Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Sense of Time, Observation Skills, and Math with Cats Preschool Activities

Waiting Games and Cat's Lunch Dramatic Play

Waiting is not an easy task for preschoolers. How long can I wait if one minute feels forever? "Waiting" is a wonderful book that inspired us to compare and contrast the cats, review greater - lesser number while feeding the cats, review the seasons... or just patiently look through the window.

Mindfulness, patience, and a sense of time are all great players in the game of waiting!

Waiting: Observation Skills, Time, and Patience

"Waiting" by Kevin Henkes received Caldecott award for many good reasons. Five toy friends on the window sill are waiting for their happy moments. How long should they wait? After all, friends are there to go through the happy and sad times together. So they do. They experience a rainbow and a thunderstorm, a loss of a friend and a picnic together.

Will patience win at the end? There are no answers provided, only the invitations to observe, think, and be mindful. The illustrations feel subtle and poetic with the soft pastels, my favorite combination of chocolate and blue on a creamy background.

Amazon affiliate link: Waiting: Caldecott Honor and Geisel Honor Book.

Math with Cats Preschool Activities

It happened that a cat visited five friends. She was happy... and she waited. What she was waiting for?

The answer was unexpectedly sweet: she was waiting for her kittens to arrive soon! For these activities we used stackable matryoshka cats. They are origami cats and very easy to make. The tutorial is found here: Matryoshka Cats from Krokotak.

We enjoyed reading this short story many times. Each time the new discoveries were made and new things and feelings discussed.

Our new stackable cats remain favorites for several days now. I made them and drew their facial features using a crayon first.

We compared and contrasted the colors of the cats in the book. Do they make a patterns if set up side by side? What are similar? (Pink noses and ears, they all have patches, only one cat has stripes too.)

We looked at the number, color, and size of the patches on each cat. Then used watercolors and Q-tips to make our cats different.

An Invitation to Feed the Cats

For this activity we used:
  • 5 cats,
  • 7 plates,
  • many gold fish crackers in a bowl.
Are the numbers of cats and plates same? Greater and lesser numbers reviewed here. What can we do to set up the table properly? Possible answers: remove 2 plates, bring more cats, set additional plates for us so that everybody has a plate. Than our cats made an order of fish. Fish was counted and served - the cats were grateful.

Such a lovely book, lovely cats: we enjoyed these simple activities!

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