A White River Valley Advanced Child Development student guiding a preschooler through a monkey face snack craft.
White River Valley Advanced Child Development students got hands-on experience working with preschoolers. After discussions, activities and assignments geared toward understanding how preschoolers grow and develop physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially, students got to test their knowledge by creating snack craft activities to do with preschoolers.
This time I was able to use a Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) state project. Like I mentioned last week, FCCLA provides many projects for students to complete that challenge their skills and provide opportunities for them to be recognized for their work.
Last week, students worked to understand what nutritional needs preschoolers have and how to help keep them healthy. They planned a day’s worth of meals and snacks following the pattern suggested by the USDA. They then reviewed the plan to create a healthy snack craft for the preschoolers to create.
The goal for many of them was to create a snack that was not only healthy but fun, so the preschooler could take part in making something interesting. They already knew from previous weeks of study that preschool children have better-developed fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and patience and skill for working with small pieces.
They also knew that preschoolers are creative and imaginative and enjoy trying new things. These characteristics give preschoolers initiative to take on the task of creating a snack craft.
Students created lesson plans that included overall information about the project, the recipe and step-by-step instructions to guide the preschooler through the snack craft. Everyone’s lesson plan began with washing hands. Then each student came up with an opening question geared to get the preschooler talking and sharing.
After that, students had to record the directions they would say to the preschooler to guide them through making the snack craft. Before the preschoolers came to class, students prepared and organized their ingredients.
Students invited their friends and family members to bring preschool-age children in during class time to make so many fun, healthy and yummy snacks. Preschoolers made ‘animal face bread’ (toast with peanut butter and fruit arranged to look like an animal), ‘snake fruit’ (strawberries and bananas sliced and arranged to look like a snake) and ‘owl rice cakes’ (rice cakes with peanut butter, fruit and cheerios arranged to look like an owl) and many more.
“I learned that some preschoolers have a lot to say, while others don’t,” said Alison Welch.
“I learned that preschoolers are way more capable of doing things than I thought,” said Kenzie Sweiger. “They also enjoy being included in making things.”
Lyric Shaw noticed that the preschoolers were excited to make the food, and Kylie Palmer saw that the preschoolers had a lot of fun and enjoyed it a lot.
These hands-on activities give students a better insight into the development of the preschool child.
Betsy Misner has been the Family and Consumer Science, formerly Home Economics, teacher at White River Valley for over a decade. Her motivation is helping students to strive for strong, happy, healthy families and providing career pathways. Check out more of what is happening in the classroom by following her on Twitter: WRVFACS@BetsyMisner