Thursday, 30 January 2014

Pirate Boats

I've spent the last two days gushing over how cool our February theme of transportation is and I'm not even close to being done. There are so many good things happening at STA right now, it's such a fun place to be.
Because of the higher ASD diagnosis ratio of boys to girls we always have a program dominated by little boys. This year we have 3 girls in our classrooms and 27 boys. Our girls are all adorable and sassy and very much into things like princesses, animals, dolls, and admiring their own beauty. We love them and they always keep us smiling. This theme, though, has our gang of boys over the top excited. Our boys have lots of interests but if you have to pick one things that unites all of them it's transportation. Thomas is always a hit and we have lots of fun playing with trains, there are a couple of kids that can identify the make of your car from your keys (not impressive when their teenagers, but when they're 3-5....), there's kids that like construction vehicles, and even one little guy that love love loves airplanes. Long story short, this is a really fun group to explore transportation with.
One thing that's not always fun to do with this group is crafts. We have some kids that are rock stars and love doing crafts, we have some kids that require a little redirecting but are generally ok with crafts, and we have a few kids that hate, and I mean really hate crafts. The plan (fingers crossed) for this month (and really every other month...) is to come up with some really cool transportation crafts that might motivate the kids to complete their work. We have a few lined up that actually turn into toys, like this one...
Pirate boats!

We start with these pre-made boats. Each is made of 3 recycled corks and a straw all hot glued together. I learned when looking for supplies that you could spend $30 on new corks at a wine making store, or you could simply mention that they're for a preschool craft and get recycled ones for free! We have a store just down the street from us that collects old wine corks and then donates them to schools for crafts or experiments. How cool is that? Alternatively you could open a bottle and collect your own - all in the name of education of course :)

The kids get busy cutting out one or two sails for their boat. This peanut decided to do two. Then they decorate them. Crayon is best for decorating as it doesn't run if it gets wet.

Once the colouring is finished we cut some small slits in the top and bottom of each sail and pushed them on to the straw. How amazing is that superhero/skull and crossbones combination?!

When everything is in place we take them to our water table (I told you it would pop up again) and give them a sail. The corks float beautifully and because they are glued in a row of three the boats don't topple over.

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