Friday, June 18, 2010

Preschool Corner: Princess Unit

All month we had been going through our Princess Unit. I picked a theme suited for Sissy because I considered this the "official" jumpstart to her "preschool" at home. I wanted to do something that would get her excited about homeschooling. And it's funny that not once did the boys ever say, "Ugh! We're doing a princess unit!" They never even questioned it and asked each day when we were going to do our princess activities. (They did, however, do Prince activities.)
I got the idea of a Theme Box from Kristi at Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice (update: my dear, precious friend who sadly passed away). I liked the idea of having everything together in one spot, and she always made it look so fun. I purchased this box at The Container Store. I filled it with everything-princess. I gathered all of the supplies we would need for all of the projects I had planned. I included all of the books I'd purchased and checked out from the library. (She hadn't seen them yet.)

I liked having everything organized in one box. Having all of the supplies ready in one spot helped me follow through with the activities I had planned. The shoes were just a little bonus for Sissy. I got them because one of her old dress-up shoes broke. Instead of not wearing shoes, she had been clomping around in one high heel for weeks. I felt bad for her!

This was the look she had on her face when she pulled out every single item. Complete with gasps. Even with the things she knew she already owned, like her princess dresses. (I had warned her ahead of time that some of her princess "things" including her dress were going to be in the box.) It just seemed more exciting when it was in a box mixed with other princess stuff.

Activities:
Of course, we made crowns because every proper Princess and Prince needs a crown.
(drawn onto and cut out from posterboard, stapled, decorated with markers and glued on jewels)

And since my royal court also needed lots of jewelry, we made some.

First
, Dash and Sissy filled four different bags with two different shapes of pasta.

They added the drops of food coloring, and I poured in the rubbing alcohol or vinegar, just enough to entirely cover the pasta. (I tried both to see which worked better - didn't notice a difference.). I sealed the bags, and they squished it around with their hands to make sure all of the pasta was covered. I drained the bags and let the pasta dry overnight on layers of paper towels.
We used the neon colored food coloring, which made really pretty colors.

They've been busy making jewelry for two weeks. I just left it out for them to work on whenever they felt like it. Here are a few of their creations.

This was the coolest jewelry we made. I wrote about it here for stART.

another stART project we did after reading The Paper Princess

I printed off the P is for Princess and P is for Prince pages from MakingLearningFun.
Another page from MakingLearningFun. The boys used it to practice counting by 5's, but Sissy just counted out loud as she dotted the circles. It was the perfect size for these particular scrapbooking dot markers I have; they're smaller than regular dot markers.
more of our worksheets from crayola.com

Tornado also watercolored this castle and is going to make a suncatcher; we just haven't finished it yet. I got the idea from Raising Happy Children and thought it looked pretty.
her princess lapbook

I printed off the Manners, Gem's from God's Word, Kindness, and Petal book elements from Homeschool Helper and Homeschool Share.

She glued the princess characteristics onto the petals and the bible verse onto the heart.

A book we used a lot during this unit was A Little Princess in the Making. (We also bought Gigi, God's Little Princess Treasury.) After we read parts of them, I asked the kids to give me ideas of good manners, and I wrote down what they said. Under each flap, they gave an example of when we can use each good manner. Sissy, very seriously, said, "You say, 'Excuse me' when you fart."

Dash said he should say, "Yes, ma'am," when I tell him to: "Get down off the window sill." Yes, this really happens daily.

For the Gem's from God's Word, we brainstormed commandments from the Bible which would be good for a princess to remember, like do not lie and have a grateful heart.
alphabet page from Lapbook Lessons

I printed off the Pp Princess princess sheet from HandwritingWorksheets.com (that I found out about from Ticia at Adventures in Mommydom) where you can create your own handwriting worksheets.

She's not really ready for this yet. She's still in the pre-writing stage, but she did try really hard. And she carried this paper around all that day and would work on lightly tracing (like starting in the middle of a letter, not in the correct way) over a letter everytime she sat down. She'd say, "Where's my paper?!" if she misplaced it.
I bought this princess crown wooden jewelry box at Hobby Lobby for just a few dollars. (I think it was $5.99, and I got it for 30% off.) She painted it while Dash painted some wooden frames we had.

Her fingers weren't strong enough to work the scrapbook punches so big brother punched out little shapes for her to glue onto her box.

I spread Modge Podge over her final creation. She loves her little box because it stays shut with a magnet. She carries it around with her random daily assortment of treasures inside.

I saved some boxes and paper towel rolls, etc. and asked Ryan if he would make a castle for us. I can always count on him. Marrying an elementary ed. major sure comes in handy. The kids helped him. They're always very eager to use tape any chance they get.

The kids went to work painting the castle. I did have to give them clear instructions to keep the paint colors separate. Otherwise, it would have ended up all being that mixed brown color that results when left to their own devices.

the end result

They play with these chipboard Disney princesses I had bought at Hobby Lobby. They make great sturdy paper dolls. (You can see Sissy with the package at the top of this post.) Little dinosaur figures and Matchbox cars also call this castle home.

I included a picture of all the princess books we read in this post. Here are two of them. They were different versions of the "Princess and the Pea" story. They're both silly, but we enjoyed them.

For dinner: split pea soup (The mice in the pig book made pea soup with the "pea.") and pizza!



preschool corner


8 comments:

Ticia said...

What an awesome unit! My kids would go nuts for it, and I'll have to check out the links you included.

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

So fun!! My girls would love this -- the recycled cardboard castle is awesome!

The girl who painted trees said...

Love the castle! Fun.
http://theadventuresofbear.blogspot.com

Debbie said...

I love the princess theme! The first picture of your daughter looking into her box is absolutely precious!

rachel @ perfectly imperfect said...

this is so great! lots of fun ideas for my little princesses.
thanks for stopping by my blog- we had a great time with our little princess party, and the wands have continued to be fun. i thought about making little princess castles (bird houses), but they were cost prohibitive. sounds like you've found lots of resources for princess fun!

Ashley's Green Life said...

Loved the castle made from recycled cereal boxes/paper towel rolls! I'm actually a pre-school teacher, and I know my kids would love to help make something like that! Good idea! ( :

K-tribe said...

Wow! Great Unit!! All we have is girls I will have to keep this in mind.

RedTedArt said...

Oooh lovely and "just in time"... will be posting a "Royal Get Crafty" carnival later today and have included your princess post :-)

Thank you for linking to Kids Get Crafty!!

Maggy