Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Sense of Humor in Preschool Curriculum

"Well, Art is Art, isn't it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now you tell me what you know."
-Groucho Marx

 Standard preschool curriculum is made up of pre-math, the wonders of science, children's books, and various foundational elements that promote a love of learning....but, a-hem...hold up now........ these children are growing up in a different world then we did. Laughter and humor elevates the mind, increases endorphins and serotonin levels in the body that creates a state of well being and happiness.The best things about humor with children is it doesn't have to make sense...that's what's funny. Common sense tells us there has to be a reason for "funny"...but those are the ones that had common sense educated right out of them. Here are some tried and true games for your preschool curriculum that will get them laughing every time.
Laughable Preschool Curriculum Activities:
Game: Untangle
Age: 2.9+
Number of Children: At least 5
Materials: None (We love that!)
To start: Gather in a circle and everyone hold out their hands in the center of the circle at the teachers command. Then everyone is to randomly grab one hand from any two different children.
Object:To untangle the mess of children without letting go of your hands.
The Play:Anything goes...except, don't let go! Not even if you have an itch...preschoolers do what they can to untangle themselves so no arms are crossed. It's a group effort and everyone wins.
Extension: Put a timer on to make it more exciting.

Individual Finger Play (Preschool Teacher & Infant/Toddler)
Name of Fingerplay:Round and Round the Garden
Round & Round the garden (Swirl index finger on child's open palm)
Goes the teddy bear
one step, two step,(Walk index & middle fingers up child's forearm)
Tickle under there!(Gently,tickle under child's arm)
Extension:Do "Mama", "Daddy", "Baby bear", etc.

Freshen up a familiar story: Give this a try...
Extension: for favorite stories
Ages: 2+
In our preschool curriculum we read our books the children love over and over again. Often times they can repeat every word along with us. Let the children know that you will make a silly mistake when you read a book...challenge them to 'listen and hear it' when it happens. I will say, "One day, the little sandwiches ate their children....." The children laugh and love to let me know I said something silly...I pretend I didn't know what they were talking about, and then I do it again a few minutes later.

Everyone one has adds their own special ingredient as an early childhood educator. Our own special, "niche". What's yours? What do you do to brighten up their world?

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