Dry Erase Caddy for the Preschool Literacy Center

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I used to really struggle with figuring out what to put in my literacy center. Paper, writing utensils… okay, then what? Over the years, I’ve figured out which literacy materials will draw my students there, and I’ve learned which tools are there favorites. For my preschoolers, both the Pre-K group and the younger threes, the dry erase tools are a classroom favorite.

This year, I decide to organize my dry erase materials by corralling them in a caddy. Children can grab it from the shelf, and pick out the marker and dry erase strips they want to use. This week, I have my monster pre-writing strips in the caddy. (I switch them out every week to keep them interested! Here’s a link to all of the pre-writing materials in my shop!)

Dry erase caddy for the preschool literacy center

I like to keep pre-writing materials available at all times, because many of my students are just learning to correctly hold a writing utensil. They can practice tracing repetitive strokes, and on the sentence strips (which you can see at the very back) they can free write on the other sides, which are blank. When they come to the literacy center and grab this caddy, they’re improving their fine motor skills and building up their hand strength. Those skills need to be in place before they can hold a pencil and write their name!

In this photo, you can see a couple of erasers for the kids to use. They work pretty well, but the dry erase strips are still pretty streaky at the end of the day… but I’ve learned a Magic Eraser does wonders! I cut them in half to make them last longer. I’ve also provided a selection of dry erase markers. I prefer Expo markers–not only because they last longer, but because they’re fat and easier for preschoolers to hold. We were also gifted these Crayola dry erase markers, which the children really like… they’re just not my favorite. I guess I’m just an Expo snob? 

 

Caddies for preschool literacy center

 These caddies are similar to the one I have, and you can get a pack of 6 of them from Amazon here.

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Dry Erase Caddy for Preschool Literacy Center. A great way to organize your dry erase materials in the literacy center.

Preschool Dinosaur Theme Activities & Freebie

I love, love, love doing a dinosaur theme with my preschoolers. I feel like dinosaurs are universally loved by all four-year-olds. Right? And I’d be lying if I didn’t say I didn’t go through a Dr. Ellie Sattler (Jurassic Park) phase. (Actually, I’m not entirely sure I grew out of it. She kicks butt.)

One of our favorite dinosaur theme process art activities is painting with the toy dinosaurs’ feet! My preschoolers loved dipping the dinosaurs onto paper plates of paint and then making them “walk” across the papers. To prevent any color-mixing confusion, I matched the paint to the dinosaur’s colors. This helped them remember to put them back in the right spot.

They had fun comparing the dinosaur’s different footprints. Some of their footprints just looked like blobs, whereas others had cute little dino toes. I loved watching them use their imaginations, making the dinosaurs come to life.

We also had a lot of fun with these Dinosaur Number puzzles. Before putting them out on the math center table, we did this together as a circle time pocket chart game. I put the numbered cards (1-10) in my pocket chart and passed out a dinosaur card to each student. When I called their number, they came forward and put their dino card in the right slot. They really enjoyed this game; I love playing interactive games like this at circle time because giving them something to hold reminds them to keep their hands on their laps. :)

You can download the Dinosaur Number puzzles here.

And here’s a fun dinosaur theme literacy activity! Send you students on a dino hunt in the sensory bin. As they pick out a dino letter card, they take a dry erase marker and trace the letter on the recording sheet. (The recording sheet was printed on cardstock and laminated so students can write on it with dry erase markers and easily erase it when they’re finished.)  This resource also comes with numbers 1-10 and a corresponding number recording sheet!

Download the ‘We’re Going on a Dino Hunt’ printable here!

We had a dinosaur shirt day, too. This was after I noticed that he majority of my kids had dinosaur shirts already! I asked all of the parents to send their child in a dinosaur shirt if they had one, but if not, not to worry–everybody would get one of these cool dinosaur necklaces!

Grab the Dinosaur Necklace FREEBIE here!

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Dinosaur Theme Activities

Easiest Ever DIY Snow for Sensory Play

In the last week before Christmas break, my preschoolers were getting antsy… and usually when this happens, I know it’s time to pull out some kind of new sensory activity. In the spirit of Christmas, they helped me make this super simple DIY fake snow to play with.

The easiest DIY snow recipe for sensory play!

This DIY snow is literally just two ingredients:

3 cups baking soda

1/2 cup WHITE hair conditioner

I emphasize white, because when I made this the first time at home with my son, the conditioner had a yellow tint. And well, you know, no one likes yellow snow. So definitely grab some cheap white conditioner from the dollar store.

The easiest DIY snow recipe for sensory play!

My favorite thing about this DIY snow recipe is how it makes our hands so soft, and it makes them smell good, too! It’s really hard to resist joining the kids in playing with it. It’s really easy to mold into different shapes. They had fun making snowballs, snowmen, and more. Later we threw in some cookie cutters and let them make prints in the snow.

DIY snow is perfect for those winter days when it’s too cold to actually go outside!

Halloween Books for Preschool

Halloween Books for Preschoolers

(Note: This post contains affiliate ads, which means I might get a small kickback if you click on the links below. Thanks!)

Halloween is hands-down my favorite holiday, and my preschoolers can probably sense my excitement when I’m reading a good Halloween book! I’ve discovered some new ones (new to me, that is) this year, and they’re perfect for preschoolers–not just because of their length, but because they’re not too scary. I make sure Halloween is fun and silly, and reading goofy Halloween books about black cats or green monsters helps!

I compiled a list of some Halloween books that my preschoolers have loved this year, or in years past. Onto the list!

1. Scaredy Cat Splat! by Rob Scotton

Halloween books for preschoolers

From Amazon: “It’s Halloween, and Splat is determined to be the scariest cat in the class. Unfortunately, he’s just too much of a scaredy-cat. He’s afraid of a little spider, and everyone says his costume looks more silly than scary. And when Mrs. Wimpydimple tells a ghost story in the dark, Splat gets so frightened that he tips over his jack-o’-lantern. But when the lights go back on, the entire class is scared silly by a small, black, furry creature with a big pumpkin head. Whooooo can it be?”

2. Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

Halloween books for preschoolers

From Amazon: “The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch’s hat, then her bow, and then her wand!  Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return is a ride on the broom.  But is there room on the broom for so many friends?  And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon?”

3. The Spooky Wheels on the Bus by J. Elizabeth Mills

Halloween books for preschoolers by Every Little Adventure

From Amazon: “THE SPOOKY WHEELS ON THE BUS is a humorous Halloween-themed version of the classic song THE WHEELS ON THE BUS…with a few ghoulish tricks and treats up its sleeves!  Count from One Spooky Bus up to Ten Goofy Ghosts as this Halloween ride races through town picking up a few unsuspecting passengers along the way.”

4. There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat by Lucille Colandro

Halloween books for preschoolers

From Amazon: “What won’t this old lady swallow? This time around, a bat, an owl, a cat, a ghost, a goblin, some bones, and a wizard are all on the menu! This Halloween-themed twist on the classic “little old lady” books will delight and entertain all brave readers who dare to read it!”

5. Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberly

Halloween books for preschoolers

From Amazon: “Caldecott Award-winning author-artist Ed Emberley has created an ingenious way for children to chase away their nighttime fears. Kids can turn the pages of this die-cut book and watch the Big Green Monster grow. Then, when they’re ready to show him who’s in charge, they’ll turn the remaining pages and watch him disappear! This lavish reissue features dramatic die-cut eyes and sparkling foil on the cover.”

6. Pete The Cat: Trick or Pete by Kimberley & James Dean

Halloween books for preschoolers

From Amazon: “Pete loves Halloween and candy but not so much scary surprises. Follow Pete as he goes trick-or-treating from house to house and discover what is waiting behind each door. With over ten flaps that open to reveal fun spooky surprises, this book is spooktacular!”

7. If You’re a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca & Ed Emberley

Halloween books for preschoolers

From Amazon: “A brand-new monster twist on a classic song by Caldecott Medalist Ed Emberley and his daughter, Rebecca Emberley. Children will stomp their paws, twitch their tails, snort and growl, and wiggle and wriggle along with this bright and bold picture book twist on If You’re Happy and You Know It. “

8. Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman

Halloween Books for Preschoolers

From Amazon: “The witch has grown the biggest pumpkin ever, and now she wants to make herself a pumpkin pie for Halloween. But the pumpkin is so big she can’t get it off the vine.  It’s so big the ghost can’t move it, either.  Neither can the vampire, nor the mummy. It looks as if there’ll be no pumpkin pie for Halloween, until along comes the bat with an idea to save the day. How can the tiny bat succeed where bigger and strong spooky creatures have failed? You’ll be surprised!”

 

Halloween Books for Preschool

More Halloween Resources: