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Play time?
Old 01-04-2019, 12:22 PM
 
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I have a short (about a half hour) play time at the end of my day. I don't have centers like a house area, block area etc. That is only for prek in my district. Also, they think coloring and playdough are too prek for kindergarten. I am look for some new ideas to put out for play time. Any ideas?


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Old 01-04-2019, 03:10 PM
 
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I think that's a horrible policy! And I realize you didn't put it in place. I'd do sensory play and fine motor stuff.
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Old 01-04-2019, 03:39 PM
 
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I agree with you. Sensory play and fine motor sound like good ideas. Thanks!
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Old 01-04-2019, 05:19 PM
 
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Only for prek? Bah!


Definitely sensory play, fine motor, stem building, anything like that. And art. My kids love when I pull out art materials for them to use freely. It's my most popular morning center. And games. My kids love playing games as well!
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:50 AM
 
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I forgot games! My kids love Connect 4 so much I have 3 of it! We play Uno, War (called Top-It, but it's War), dominoes, and Hi Ho Cherry-o often, too. Also, puzzles. My kids this year love puzzles.


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Old 01-05-2019, 10:41 AM
 
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I agree with PPs-STEAM, games, building, fine motor, science and art activities are the way to go. My kids love creating and building. A sensory table is a good idea!

Wow! I can't imagine kindergarten without blocks, kitchen center and Play-Doh. Yikes! That is horrible and has to be so frustrating for you. Tell administration that those materials/activities are developmentally-appropriate for K students. Not only do they foster oral language development and social emotional skills, those materials/activities help students learn how to collaborate and work together which are 21st century skills. STEM, art and coding activities promote critical thinking and creativity, develop problem-solving skills, and work on the mathematical practices such as persevere in problem solving. Students benefit from working with items like Lego blocks-strengthens fine motor muscles so they can hold and manipulate pencils when writing .Even doing activities like directed drawing helps students work on listening and following directions, as well as, build fine motor muscles and work on visual perception.

Do you have an art center or can you create a small makerspace in your classroom? Fill it with supplies like cardboard paper towel and toilet paper tubes, shoe boxes, cardboard boxes, construction paper, lots of tape, glue, stapler/staples, paper cups, paper clips, left over scrapbook paper, ribbon, markers... Allow students to explore and create on their own. You could create challenges for them. i.e. Design a marble run using cardboard tubes. Students could work in teams to create stuff. I would bring in large boxes and have them create their own kitchen center and food.

My students don't seem to play games at home so they love when they can play games in our classroom. In addition to the games Zia mentioned, they enjoy games like Sorry, Trouble, Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Jenga-even Tic-Tac-Toe. (You can get mini-Jenga sets and dominoes at the Dollar Tree.) Checkers are a big hit, too! Some years, we have even had a checkers tournament.

You might not have a block area, but can you bring in or ask parents to donate items like Lego blocks, Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, MagnaTiles, wood blocks, cardboard bricks...? If you don't have a large space to store the materials, maybe you can have a large tub filled with one item. Change out the item every couple of weeks to allow all students to have a turn and to keep it fresh. You can find different STEM building challenges online for them to do. Some can be tied in to literature. i.e. Use the Lego blocks to create a bridge for the gingerbread man to cross the river. Another idea is to have them use Lego blocks to create a maze for marbles.

For a fine motor center activity this month, I have my students build snowmen with white Play-Doh and use other colors to add the features. (In December, I had gingerbread man outlines drawn on cardstock and laminated. Students used different-colored Play-Doh to decorate their gingerbread man.)

There are different screen-free coding activities for young students. My students enjoy the Code and Go Robot Mouse/Maze and Bee-bots. You don't even need to have a robot to do a coding activity, We have an activity where we use the squares on our carpet. One student is the mouse and stands on a specified square for start. Another student "hides" the cheese on another square. The other students tell the mouse how to get to the cheese. ( i.e. Forward 2, Left, Forward 3) As they get proficient with that, we start to add obstacles and block pathways. Learning Resources has an activity called Let's Go Code with foam shapes you put on the floor.

There are file folder games with coding activities you can buy, but it is easy to make your own activities. I put a grid on the bulletin board. Can you help the skier down the slope? I set up the first challenge-skier on start, different obstacles, finish line. Students have a "command center" to record their responses. (They use arrows.) Then students take turns creating a new challenge each week for other students to do by moving the pieces around on the grid.

I attached a sample coding activity I created for my students. I shared it with them in Google Classroom. They dragged the arrows to the slide. I downloaded it as a pdf file to share on here so it is screen-free. You can print out the slides on cardstock and laminate. You can have students use dry erase marker to draw the arrows or you can print out the fifth slide, cut out/laminate those pieces for the students to use on the mats. It is tricky when they first start doing it because they have to pay attention to which direction "Duggy" (my dog) is facing. Left is a quarter turn-stay in same space, not move a space to the left.

There is a coding board game called Robot Turtles that my students like to play later in the year.

Can you create a Discovery/Exploration area or table? Have things like magnifying glasses, colored paddles, variety of magnets, microscope, ramps/cars... in that area for students to use to explore. Bring in unique things like variety of leaves, pine cones, snake skin...

I hope that I was able to give you some ideas you can use.
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Wow! Thank you
Old 01-05-2019, 04:57 PM
 
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Wow, thank you for the great ideas! This was so helpful!
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Play time
Old 01-06-2019, 01:18 AM
 
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Most things I do have been covered by PP. My group last year also loved to play school. I would let them use my whiteboard easel and our phonics flashcards, plus they'd use picture books and mini whiteboards. I feel like I learnt so much about how they perceive me watching them play! The great thing about this game is they usually choose to review skills we've been working on in class that week. No one could argue it isn't educational!

They also love playing with our train set, lego, marble run, threading, dress-ups, and play doh. Such a shame you're not allowed play dough
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Puzzles
Old 01-06-2019, 01:22 AM
 
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Quote:
My kids this year love puzzles.
I've just finished my first year on kinder, and none of my kids ever seemed to choose puzzles! (and I have zillions of them in my room). Funny how different things are popular with different groups of kids!
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Old 01-06-2019, 06:25 AM
 
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ElizabethJoy, exactly! Some years, the blocks are the big thing and no one touches puzzles or games. This year, the blocks are pretty much ignored and they're all about the games and puzzles--hence the buying more Connect 4!


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