A Tent and some Disguises

I wanted a lounge area for Mikey’s party for when the kids just needed to take a bit of a break. So I created Mikey’s Sukkah.

It was so easy to create. The front is actually a supermarket Jose Cuervo display. the supermarket was taking it down so naturally I asked if I could have it. It became the front of the sukkah.

the kids loved it. I hung white sheets to create the outside frame and a small curtain rod to create the curtain in the front. Outside I had a basket of disguises which also became a huge hit at the party. They were actually a last minute decision I had some craft foam and a ton of chopsticks so I thought what can I do with these. I made them the night before on a whim and I am so glad I did!

Here is a link to the templates I used on A Mom with a Lesson Plan

All Aboard

I found pool noodles at the dolar store so I thought why not.

I knew Mikey and Kaia would think of something creative to do with them but seat belts? Genius!

Museum- Imaginary Play

• Some bones, fossils etc
• Plastic bugs
• Sea shells
• Plastic Dinosaurs
• Magnifying glasses
• Kaleidoscopes

You will need to Create, Collect, or get donations for the following:

• We need some chicken bones preferably leg bones use hydrogen peroxide to bleach the bones.

• Dinosaur Eggs and Geodes go here for instructions on how to make Dinosaur Eggs and Geodes

• Instead of doing plastic bins I thought it should look more like a real museum with displays so I made display trays [picture frame take out glass use back board cover in felt and put back in frame] for all the “exhibits” they are really cute and the kids can take the trays out play with them and easily put them back.

Under the stairs we will have a planetarium use fabric to darken the area we need to figure out how we are going to hang it use a planet light that will cast stars and other fabric that will be in this area as well. Since the light thing will be casting the light I was thinking it would be fun if we also hung CD’s from the ceiling area under the stairs the light will cast a rainbow effect which could be pretty cool.

I added Fabric that will cover all the turned over furniture.

You can see above how I covered the table with fabric so it looks like a nice display not an overturned table

I have donated a tiered tower which we are now calling the Sensory Tower.

We have Science Bottles

Feelie Gloves
Sound Jars
Smell Jars

Sensory Baggies

Rainbow Stew Baggies
and anything else super sensory oriented.

Click on any of the Sensory item pictures above or on their link titles for detailed instructions on how to make them and find some great ideas.

• For the OBJECTS for display trays that we made I was hoping to go for a natural History theme. Use fossils, shells, arrowheads, rocks etc add any ideas and items you might have.


• We have baskets on the bottom row which have rocks, drift wood, dried flowers, silk flowers, and some different textured materials and some pinecones.

Silk flowers

Drift Wood

Pine Cones
• Use a framed mirror that lays flat and some Crystals and glass stones to put on it I placed flashlights near this so the kids can look through the crystals with some flashlights. Click the following link to see more activities with LIGHTS, MIRRORS, and GLASS

Mirror, beads, and lights. There is a lot to look at and explore here
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• Try to catch a caterpillar and other real bugs maybe a plant (African violet) in a two liter bottle so you can see the roots growing you can throw some worms in there to. Set up life cycle.

• I also thought it would be fun if was had a weekly science experiment going on on top of the shelves I was thinking we could do colored flowers. By taking 3 or 4 white carnations and putting them in water with food coloring they will change color we could even split the stem of one and stick it in two different colors to see how the flower will change. I was also thinking of making a dinosaur egg another week by sticking a hardboiled egg in vinegar (it turns all leathery).

A Sensory Box or Hidden Object Box
Click the following link for Directions on how to make your own Sensory Box
Texture cards, Mystery boxes and more
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• I donated a Pheasant (it was real once) put it on display

• magnifying glass on each board

• Journal area- basket of paper and pencils/ crayons children can record their findings

* Sorting game bugs or buttons

• Small binoculars upstairs on loft attached with yarn or string.

• Plastic insects set up a terrarium or two for play exploration

I also created this…I guess ramp? Connecting the two mail chutes from when I made the Post Office Imaginary Play. I put a bucket attached to a pulley system so once the balls go through the ramp they fall into the bucket that can then be pulled up so you can start over.

Our Gravitiy, Inertia, Propolsion Testing. I also used this in the Space Station Imaginary Play
I  created this out of cardboard packing material

We have a basket at the bottom and a bucket connected to a pulley system that takes the bucket up to the loft

The boxes you see on the side actually create an air vortex by pointing the side with the hole in it at the Styrofoam cups you can hit the sides of the box and shoot the air out in a direct path or vortex and knock down the cups. The wood stand is there for the children to place a box on and aim at the cups.
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The wood stand is there for aiming you can actually aim at certain cups etc.

I made a wind tunnel. Using packing material and the clear sheets you use for an overhead projector taped together. I then bought a fan from Walmart turned it facing up and now we have an awesome wind tunnel.

The kids stuff scarves, coffee filters, and my favorite balloons up inside the tube. Than watch the fan push them through and all the way up to the top of the loft they then fall down gently. This is so awesome!

I also made a pendulum out of some spare PVC pipe. It was super easy and took me only ten minutes to make. We actually tell the kids to try and miss the tower they create. Then they have to wait for the ball to completely stop before they try again.
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I also made another type of wind tunnel learn how I made it here
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Restaurant- Imaginary Play

First things First decide what kind of Restaurant you would like.

• Cash Registers
• Play food that must be sorted into three containers
1. Containers of play food items for Market play ( whole foods for preparing food)
2. Container of play food items for the restaurant (meals and ready to eat)
3. Play food and dishes for everyday play set up when no Imaginary Play theme is up.

You will need to Create, Collect, or Get Donations for the Following:
• Child size aprons and chefs hats
• Use preschool kitchen area to “prepare foods”
• Use pots and pans, dishware to “make food” and create place settings
• Note pads and pens/ pencils for the waiters to take down orders
• Create menu’s using pictures of food from magazines have them Laminated use manila folders Label the front with something cute like “LPPP Café” also create place settings (show where fork, knife, spoon, plate and cup go) laminate them as well
• A chalkboard with “Specials” written on it
• Have two small tables set with chairs for seating in the restaurant
• Two small vases with flowers for the table, table clothes, cloth napkins
• Cooking magazines and cook books
• Make sure there are plastic bowls, plates, cups, plastic forks spoons knives, pitchers, cooking utensils
• Make a drive-up, pick-up window get a large cardboard box
There is a Refrigerator/ Air Conditioner Store in Lake Forest where you can get large boxes here is the info
Phone (949) 586-3669
25741 Commerce centre
Lake Forest, Ca 92630
Hours of Operation
Tuesday thru Friday 8:30-5:30
Saturday 8:30-4:00
• Visit Restaurants and ask for donations use the donation letter make sure you sign it and leave your contact info (among other things ask for take out containers) if you are doing a pizza restaurant then go to several and ask for pizza boxes, etc.
* A few ideas are Pizza store, Sandwich shop, Chinese restaurant, Japanese food (sushi, yum!) etc.
• Trays to carry food
• Make Felt food like felt pizzas etc.

Our Pizzeria

Place settings, Real Herb plants on the table and menus with pictures

Our check in area with a register, telephone for phone orders, menu, notepads and pencils for taking orders and menu’s for seating

Busing station for waiters with labels Plate, utensils, pitchers, cups and trays are available here

The kitchen you can also see the behind the scenes drive thru register

Our prep table for making the pizzas, Rolling pins, pizza dough and toppings are set here

Different toppings
We have green peppers, olives, mushrooms, pepperoni, sardines, onions, sauce, and cheese.

Pizza crust some are whole pizzas others are individual slices

Salad Bar

Here is the Drive-thru we forgot to put up the tip jar but there is one

And we have cars for the drive through and for Pizza Delivery!
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Post Office- Imaginary Play

• Post office bags
• Shirts
• Use kitchen units to make tables for Post Office
• Cash Register
• Scale?
You will need to Create, Collect, or get donations for the following:
• A large mailbox (big box)
• Lots of Envelope’s scrap paper, pens/pencils, stickers, rubber stamps and ink pads,
• Does anyone have an old mailbox? If so bring it in maybe go to a hardware store ask for a donation?
• Go to the post office and get a bunch of empty priority mail boxes and whatever else you can get (seals and stickers etc)
• Make post office hats and badges
• Create a cubby space where the kids can put envelopes/ letters into different slots ( try BevMo or Trader Joes ask for donations of wine crates)
• Make a conveyer belt with turning handles use a large box (got to Bike Store ask for bike box)
• Make a specific Teacher Barbara and Teacher Jackie mail Drop box
• Bring in small kid size tables for the kids to sit at and write
• Make a large sign that says LPPP Post OFFICE hang from loft
• Bubble wrap
• Post cards
• Junk Mail
• Scale (if the school doesn’t have one) ask TB
• Paper Punch
• Ask Post Office for the Bins to hold mail while on vacation sometimes they will donate
* What do you think about using the wine crates and labeling them, create our own letters so that if the children choose they can actually really sort the mail. We can use words, and perhaps shape sorting. So a name and a + sign so that readers and none readers can sort easily if they so choose.
• Buy $2 or $3 worth of 1 cent stamps for the kids to use
• Use voting booths as back drop
• Anything Else you can think of?

Our Post Office Sign

We added a sign with prices of postage etc

The Post Office counter consists of registers scales and postage and microphones so they can call out for who is next

Back of the post Office Counter

Lots of envelopes

Plenty to sell
We turned the upstairs loft area into a writing center which includes two mailboxes one for each of the Teachers

The are envelopes, stamps, paper, markers, and more to create all the letters for sending and sorting

Mail bags for carrying the mail

Very cool Mailbox it even has a door in the back to pull all the mail out

The Letter sorting game

A letter game I created with small boxes to further their sorting

Each box has an Upper case and lower case letter they also need to be sorted into the right larger box with assigned letters

Racks for all the boxes and sorting

Plenty to mail in these great boxes

Shirts for the Post Office employees

Hats for the employees

We created badges for the children to wear

Our Mail chute
The mail shoot is connected to the top of the loft where the writing center is so after the children have written a letter it can be sent down the mail shoot to the conveyor belt where it can then be sorted and sent off to the mail truck to be delivered.

There is also a mail bin with some bags for carrying letters and packages to the mail truck.
The mail lands on the conveyor belt

The inside of the mail truck has an awesome shelf

The back of the mail truck

Front of the mail truck

Another attempt at the mail truck this time it moves!

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