Our Halloween Parade!

P1050406Ava came as Doc McStuffins, patching up boo-boos and handing out smiles.

P1050409Magnus was a friendly, silly dragon, bouncing around and making us giggle.

P1050413Guess who is behind this shield? It’s the brave knight, Gaspard! As Mallie said, “Magnus, the dragon, better watch out!”

P1050412Mallie was as pretty as a princess in her Snow White costume.

P1050417Reese was ready to save the day as Super Girl!

P1050420Quinn arrived as Tinkerbell, spreading her magic fairy dust all around ECDC.

P1050423Steven swooped in on his motorcycle to catch the bad guys, as a member of the SWAT Team.

P1050428“To me listen. Wise, I am wise. Hmmmmmmm.”

P1050435Sam was a sweet, shy dinosaur.

P1050436Regal as always, Joy graced us with her presence as a Chinese princess.

P1050439“Super Iris” to the rescue! (…and Super Dad!)


Old Dan Tucker was a mighty man

Hi, Sarah here! Last Friday, my mom and dad came to ECDC! My mom is a retired fifth grade teacher and my dad is a gifted & talented teacher for grades K-5. Besides teaching, my dad is  a storyteller and plays the banjo. After meeting the Seashells, dad told a folktale and taught the kids, “Old Dan Tucker,” a traditional folk song. The Seashells loved the song and movements so much, they woke up singing it after nap!  Some of you may have heard your kids singing the song at home. It’s very silly! Here are the lyrics in case you would like to sing along (there are several variations):

Old Dan Tucker was a mighty man,

Washed his face in a frying pan,

Combed his hair with a wagon wheel,

Had a toothache in his heel,

Get out of the way, Old Dan Tucker (Repeat 3 times)

You’re too late to get your supper!


The Seashells loved learning about the banjo and were able to identify the shiny, crescent shaped moon and stars on the peghead of the instrument.



P1050487After learning the song, the Seashells danced around to the twang of the banjo.

My parents had the best time playing with the kids! They were so impressed by their knowledge, independence, and manners. I was so glad to have them visit! They finally understand my love for ECDC and the sweet Seashells!

See ya!

Miss Sarah

Witch’s Brew

Recently, we’ve been encouraging pretend play and working with our imaginations. In honor of Halloween, we created an imaginary witch’s brew filled with yucky, creepy crawly rubber items. Some of our favorite ingredients were a witch’s finger, an eyeball, a snake, a roach, mice, a bat, and a salamander. So gross, right?! The Seashells selected an item, named it, and dropped it in our black cauldron, while the rest of the group sang the spooky song, “Stirring the Brew”.  We’ll be singing this song at the Cistern on Parade Day, so if you want to practice at home, here are the simple lyrics:

Stirring and stirring and stirring the brew.

WooooOOoo  WooooOOoo . (Repeat 3 times)

Tip toe, tip toe, tip toe…


(Click on the pictures below to enlarge and read captions. These features may not be available on mobile devices and email formats.)

After making our pretend witch’s brew, we decided to do a science experiment and create a REAL witch’s brew. No one was brave enough to give this one a taste!!


Spooky Fine Motor Skills

We are always looking for fun, creative ways to practice and strengthen our fine motor skills. With Halloween just around the corner, we have set up lots of new themed fine motor activities. Here are some of the new works that are out on our shelves.

(Click individual pictures to enlarge!)

Eyeball Transferring

This activity requires concentration and a steady hand as the children carefully scoop eyeballs (plastic, don’t worry!) from one bowl and drop them into another. We encourage the transferring to go from left to right just as they will be reading and writing in the future.



Vertical Bead Threading

Last week, we found a large block of wood on the playground and hammered in a group of nails to make a nature-inspired fine motor activity. Once again, concentration is needed to properly align the bead hole with the nail and stack the beads. Removing the beads requires even more concentration in order to keep them from spilling. We have been noticing a few of the Seashells counting as they stack the beads onto the nails.



Pom Pom & Pumpkin Scooping

Both of these activities reinforce the skill of one-to-one correspondence, which is an important preschool math skill. Each tray has a space for a certain number of items. Then each item is placed in one of the spaces.



Spider Pinching

This activity is great for strengthening finger grip, which is needed for future writing. Sometimes it takes practice to develop the necessary strength to pinch and grasp objects using tongs and tweezers, but practice makes perfect!



Halloween Ring Stringing

This stringing activity exercises both fine motor and sorting abilities. The Seashells sort the Halloween rings by color and string them on the matching pipe cleaner.


Spotlight on Our Sensory Table

The sensory table is one of our favorite centers in the classroom. You never know what you will find inside on a Monday morning! We began our year filling the table with colorful pom poms and clear containers for scooping and filling. It was the perfect introductory material to have in the table as the children were learning the rules of independent sensory play. (Materials stay IN the table. We do NOT toss them all over the floor!) The Seashells proved they weren’t too crazy, so we graduated to pounds and pounds of dried beans with handled scoops. The beans are being guarded by our two stuffed squirrels, Bushy and Gray Squirrel, who make sure the children don’t toss the beans. The children become very focused as they scoop, pour, squeeze, sift, and explore the ever-changing materials in our table. As they work alongside their friends, they are building problem solving skills and putting their blossoming social skills to work.


Magnus scooping pom poms with BOTH hands!


Sam is concentrating hard as he carefully fills a container with beans.


Iris uses the small tube to fill the larger container with beans.


Sensory tables can also be made out of large Rubbermaid containers. Ava scrubs seashells with a toothbrush in our mini sensory table that was filled with soapy water.

We have some cool plans for our sensory table in the coming months. We will keep you posted! If you would like to create a mini sensory table at home, here are a couple of links to blogs/web pages where we find inspiration.



For those of you who are familiar with Pinterest, search “sensory tubs” for tons of amazing ideas.

Illuminated Art

One of the most popular centers in our classroom are the light tables. We are lucky enough to have two of them. We know the Seashells are fascinated by light and color, so we decided to combine these two things and fingerpaint on our light table! P1040986Here is Sam mixing together yellow and blue to make green. He was tentative to get his hands messy but he eventually became captivated by the idea of making a new color.

P1040982Ava became engrossed in making designs in the paint with her fingers.

P1040984Quinn had no fears of getting messy. She was covered up to her elbows in paint!

P1040991Sensory projects are very soothing and comforting to young children. Joy became so focused on her work that she bravely set aside her stuffed Tigger and experimented with both hands!

P1040989Light tables provide a great opportunity to collaborate and develop social skills. Reese and Mallie found their artwork could be twice as terrific when created together.

After painting on the light table and exploring different colors, the Seashells covered their design with a large piece of paper and patted it lightly. When lifted, the result was a reverse print of their design. These masterpieces are on display in the hallway and will be sent home soon.


The Power of Play Dough

The Seashells have been exploring the wonders of play dough (and other sensory substances like “gobbledegook,” oobleck, cloud dough, silly putty, etc).  We’ve been rolling, molding, cutting, and squishing it. We have also added a variety of props to enhance the play dough experience; items such as rolling pins, straws, popsicle sticks, seashells, scissors, cookie cutters and mini muffin pans.  The children have created some cool stuff including bird eggs and nests, cinnamon rolls, snakes, pizza, cupcakes, pancakes, and burritos. (They must’ve been hungry!)

Play dough advances…


Fine motor skills

Through molding, poking, and shaping play dough, children strengthen the fine motor skills needed to hold a pencil and use scissors.

P1040947  P1050003

Imagination & Creativity

Play dough helps children express themselves and engage in pretend play that advances their imagination.

P1040949   P1040953

Language Development

Children learn new words through labeling, describing, and telling stories about their creations. We noticed that in our classroom the play dough table is a very social center, filled with laughter, silly stories, and interesting observations.


The experience of stretching, squeezing, and molding play dough (and other sensory substances) gives children their first introduction to changes in matter. The scientific process is at work as they observe changes, make predictions, and discuss the sensory materials they are exploring.

P1050012  P1040998

Play dough has been a staple in American childhood since the 1950s. It is a fun and powerful tool for child development. If you would like to make it at home, here is the recipe we use in our classroom:

ECDC Playdough

2 cups of flour

1 cup of salt

2 cups of water

2 tablespoons of oil

4 teaspoons of cream of tartar powder (a preservative)

A few drops of food coloring

Mix ingredients in a large pot. Cook on medium/medium-low until mixture begins to pull away from sides. You’ll know it’s ready when you have a big glob that is no longer glossy and wet. Cool. Knead. It will keep in an air-tight container for at least a month.