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The GIANT Encyclopedia Of Learning Center Activities For Children 3 to 6

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The GIANT Encyclopedia Of Learning Center Activities For Children 3 to 6


  • paper tickets
  • engineer hat
  • whistle
  • Freight Train by Donald Crews
  • construction paper in a variety of colors
  • scissors
  • markers and crayons
  • glue


What to do

1. Arrange the chairs in the room like a passenger car. Put on an engineer's hat, give each child a ticket, and blow a train whistle to announce the start of the activity.

2. When everyone is seated and comfortable in the "train," share train-related books, songs, and fingerplays with them. Read Donald Crews' Freight Train, which incorporates colors and train car recognition. A good poem to read is "Clickety-Clack" by David McCord. This wonderful poem makes an excellent knee-slapping chant that children will enjoy. Also do the fingerplay "Choo- Choo Train," which can be found in many fingerplay collections.

3. End the train activity by making train headbands.

4. Copy the pattern of the freight train cars (see illustration). Trace onto construction paper and cut out. Cut one out for each child.

5. Encourage each child to choose a train car cutout, color it, and glue it to a construction paper strip to make a headband.


-Joan Bowman, Langhorne, PA


Place materials on the tables.
* Write the words "praying mantis" in large letters on a sheet of paper. Place it
where the children can see it.
What to Do
1. Sitting in a circle, talk about the praying mantis with the children. Ask them
why they think it's called a "praying" mantis.
2. Read one of the books about praying mantises and show them pictures of
this insect.
3. Tell the children the mantis is not poisonous but we should leave them, and all
bugs, alone. Farmers often use the praying mantis to control other insects, so it
is helpful to keep praying mantises safe for farmers' crops.
4. As the children sit at tables, challenge them to draw a praying mantis, and if
appropriate, to write "praying mantis" on their drawings.
Teacher - to - Teacher Tip
* There are many websites that offer free clip art images of praying mantises.
Consider the following:
* Ask the children to talk about the praying mantis.
* Can the children explain why farmers like these insects?
* Can the children explain why we shouldn't touch these insects, or any bugs?
(Some might bite, some might be poisonous, and we should not disturb the
creature's lives.)

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