Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reminder- Next Week

Next week Big Tree Little Preschool will be closed. We are offering Family Camp Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Please be sure to ask us if you are interested! Thanks!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Our Halloween Party!

Our Halloween Party started the "Halloween Weekend" with a bang! We were very excited that our new friends could join us! We played "Pass the Pumpkin" and "Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin." We sung our special Halloween songs and worked at Halloween Centers (see photos below)

The Centers We Worked On:

Monday, October 25, 2010

Peek At The Week October 25th

Playdough Recipes for Halloween!

We made our very own orange playdough for Halloween today! We tested a new recipe and it was so-so... The very best homemade playdough is one you cook on the stove, but since we did not use the stove today- we kept it simple and followed this recipe:

You will need:
Measuring cups                   Flour
Large Bowl                         Salt
Large spoon                        Food Coloring
Warm water

To make:
We poured 1/2 cup of salt in the bowl and added 1/2 cup of water. We mixed it up, but I think our water was not warm enough and didn't fully disolve the salt (this left our playdough feeling gritty.) We added 1 cup of flour and kneaded it to make a dough. Then we added red and yellow food coloring and kneaded the dough more until it was the perfect Halloween Orange.  In the future I might try to add the food coloring to the water/salt mixture. Becareful because the food coloring can stain your hands.

To make the very best playdough at home follow this link to an excellent playdough recipe!

You can also add spices, glitter, and more to make it even more fun!! Later this week we will be making more Halloween Playdough!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Yelp and Facebook + More...

We need your support!

We will begin to collect Campbells Soup Labels for Big Tree, Little Preschool to help us earn points for classroom equipment. Every little bit helps, so please save your Campbell's soup labels and box tops for us. We really appreciate all of your support!

Please help spread the word about Big Tree, Little Preschool. Find us on Facebook and Yelp by searching for Big Tree Little Preschool. Your thoughts and comments will help other families make choices about preschool for their kids. We really appreciate your feedback!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Peek at the Week

New Book Packs Available

We just added 3 more books to our Book Pack Collection. We have several fun and familiar activities in each Book Pack so be sure to check them out! The latest additions include:

Curious George's Dinosaur Discovery

Detective Dinosaur

The Best Mouse Cookie

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Yoga Classes Coming Soon!!!

We are starting Yoga Classes with Ms. Evelyn starting October 5th. She is offering a free class to all our students- so send your child with a yoga mat or something similar. Her classes will be every Tuesday from 10am-11am.

Let’s Play
Come join us for an hour of yoga exploration!
Registered yoga instructor, Evelyn Wittman teaches this interdisciplinary class integrating classical hatha yoga poses, traditional yogic ideals, creativity, and lots of fun to help your child enjoy a healthy, balanced life. Playful yoga poses, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques are enhanced with music, beautiful books, songs, and games to create this unique mind-body experience.

Cultural Component
Students are exposed to some of the cultural aspects of Yoga including pose names in ancient Sanskrit, aroma therapy, background music produced for yoga classes, and a chime that begins and ends each class. Students may choose if they would like to receive a temple massage at the end of class and if they would like to repeat a Sanskrit phrase wishing the world peace and happiness. If you would like more information regarding these cultural components before signing up for this class, please contact Evelyn Wittman at

What are the benefits of practicing this ancient art?
  • Fit, flexible, healthy bodies
  • Improved concentration, focus
  • Improved balance and body awareness
  • Heightened self-esteem and confidence
  • Healthy, soaring imaginations
  • Relaxed, peaceful minds and bodies
  • Nutrition, body/mind connection, and environmental awareness
  • Peer and social interaction skills
  • Tolerance of others and self-reflection abilities
  • Lots of fun and laughter

Basic Registration Information:
Location PUUF
Start Date October 5, 2010
Time Tuesdays from 10am-11am
Bring Yoga mat (inexpensive ones can be purchased at Target or Walmart)
Course fee $30/month
Instructor Evelyn Wittman, R.Y.T.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Power Struggles and Power Cards

Ah yes... we all suddenly find ourselves in power struggles at some point. So... how do we get past the sruggle and really teach our kids what we want them to know? Power Cards are a simple idea that you can use at home tonight! The idea is that you take your child's favorite character and speak through the character to reach your child. Here are some samples:

It is best to keep them short and to the point. It also helps to have a catchy phrase at the end like "You are a cool dude with a great attitude."  Using your child's favorite characters will help catch their attention while teaching them some skills that you want them to learn. The Power Cards can be printed on cardstock and laminated to be pocket-size. You can carry them with you (especially if grocery shopping is a challenge) or just keep them handy around the house.

Peek at the Week for September 20, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Our Beautiful Butterfly Snack Recipe

We had fun this week learning about bugs and butterflies. We walked through the butterfly garden each day this week. We saw grasshoppers, caterpillars, flowers, and butterflies of course!

Enjoy a butterfly snack!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We have Bookpacks available for check-out!

We created Bookpacks to help connect families to their child's preschool experience. Some of the books go along with the theme of the week, while others are books we haven't read yet. We currently have 6 Bookpacks available for check out. Included in each Bookpack is an activity, some supplies to complete the activity, a book, and a "How To" card. Please feel free to check these out whenever you want, and we appreciate feedback! If you are interested in a particular book, please let us know. We would love to hear your comments on what we can do to improve our Bookpacks to better serve your family.

Current Bookpacks available:

This Old Man (Interactive Book)
Pattern Fish
May There Always Be Sunshine
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
I Know Shapes

We will continue building our library to give you more themes and books to take home with you. Please share your ideas with us!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Book That Kept Everyone's Attention This Week Award goes too...

Our 3 and 4 year olds have been practicing sitting at Circle Time. It can be especially difficult at the end of Circle Time when we read a book. We carefully choose books to keep our student's captivated, but unfortunately we can't always win them over. That is why, when we do find books that keep everyone's attention, we want to share them with you. So... our "Book that Kept Everyone's Attention Award goes to:

Animals should definitely not wear clothing. By, Judi Barrett

We had a lot of fun looking a the pictures and making guesses why each animal shouldn't wear clothes! We especially had fun looking at the Opossums!

What will we be doing next week???

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Teacher Tips to Pre-Writing

Today our students practiced making a "Big A" and a "little a." Holding markers and crayons can be tough for kids. One tip is to have them develop their pincer grasp by beading, using tweezers to pick up paper, or using clothespins to hang up things. Check out: for tons of ideas using materials you already have at home. The idea is to help your child to eventually learn to hold the marker between his/her thumb, pointer, and middle fingers. This will help them to write letters with ease. Another tip is to break crayons in half so that they have to hold it correctly rather than in their fists.

Friday, September 3, 2010


This week we read Crysanthemum by Kevin Henkes and learned all about names. We decided that our names are "absolutely perfect!" Did you know Crysanthemum has 13 letters in her name???? We counted the letters in our names and compared the lengths. Here are some more activities you can do at home to teach your child all about their name:

Make a Name Board.
1. In large, bold print type or write out your child's name.
2. Glue onto card stock and cut into squares.
3. Make a blank "Name Board" with empty squares (the number needed for the name)
4. Model placing the letters in order on the Name Board for your child.
5. Place some of the letters on the board in order, but leave out a couple and have your child fill them in.
6. Work up until your child is able to spell out their name!

Names and their Meanings
Talk to your child about what their name means (if it has a meaning) or tell them more about why you chose that name. If your child's name has a meaning (like a flower) look that up in a book to show them a picture of the flower (or other item.) Have them color or paint a picture of what their name means.

Writing My Name
1. In large, bold print write or type out your child's name. Some computer programs can do dotted print (for tracing) or bubble letters (for writing in the lines).
2. Glue to card stock and cover with clear contact paper.
3. Have your child practice tracing his/her name using a dry erase marker.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September Giveaway!!!

Just leave a comment here between September 1- September 15th and you will be entered for a $20 voucher to Playwerx in Carlsbad. You get $20 worth of admission, food and drinks! go to to find out more.

A New Preschool in Town!

Big Tree, Little Preschool has officially opened it's doors in Vista, CA. We are located at the Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship just off of Melrose and Buena Vista Drive. We are a licensed Preschool and Childcare facility for children ages 2 1/2- 6 years of age.

What makes us stand apart from the rest:

Big Tree, Little Preschool aims to be an extension to your family. Our weekly themes and activities teach your child that learning is fun and instills a love for learning!

We are more than just a Daycare.We have a high quality preschool program, embedded in our day, that all children will participate in. This Pre-academic program readies our students to excel at the California State Standards for Kindergarten.

Our Teaching methods:

We teach to the individual child. We consider all approaches of teaching to touch on each learning style (visual, auditory, reading-writing preference, kinesthetic and tactile.) Your child will be participating in music, dance, imaginative play, fine and gross motor activities, and socialization. They will be immersed in reading, writing, and math activities all correlating with a weekly theme.

Brigance Early Childhood Screening:

We offer a state-of-the art monitoring system that gives you a printed progress report so that you can see your child's strengths and weaknesses. The Brigance Early Childhood Assessment is an informal assessment that tracks progress in readiness skills, social skills, preacademic skills, and self-care.

Boardmaker Picture Symbols:

Boardmaker picture schedules, symbols, task lists, and labels will introduce your child to reading. Our schedules and task lists offer a simple nonverbal structure that eliminates adult instructions. After all- kids at this age are wanting to become more independent and grow tired of constant verbal directives. Your child will love checking their schedule and knowing what the next activity is before they are told. Our Boardmaker-made Interactive books will engage your child in books and make it their own! Our File Folder games directly teach kids matching, sorting, colors, shapes, numbers, letters, and more- all while making it fun!

Tuned Into Learning:

Tuned into Learning is a music program that introduces young children to shapes, numbers, the alphabet, hygiene, safety, and social skills. Big Tree, Little Preschool uses the Tuned into Learning program to supplement the activities throughout the week. We also use well-known family favorites such as Raffi, traditional children's songs, Jim Gill, Putumayo Kids, They Might Be Giants (yep- for kids!) Greg and Steve, Charlotte Diamond, and many many more to get kids moving, learning and having a blast!

Gentle Teaching:

Despite all this fun, we realize that there still may be tears and disagreements. We are trained in Gentle Teaching and believe that proactive planning and the teaching of appropriate behaviors and self-management is a must. We teach children how to share, take turns, talk to each other, and self-calm. We use redirection to catch minor behaviors before they become larger ones. 

Manipulatives and Work Systems:

Similar to those completed in Montessori-style classes, our workboxes are created with kids in mind! They contain motivating manipulatives that are enticing to young kids. They are theme-focused and teach math, reading, pre-writing, and more!


We aim to be Earth-friendly and want to share this passion for nature with children. We will be taking nature walks on our beautiful campus to observe our butterfly garden, native-plants, trees, and wildlife within our garden area. We will learn about composting, planting and gardening, and limiting what we throw away. We will focus on recycling, reusing, and reducing. We make every attempt to fill our classroom with Earth-Friendly toys and supplies. We will purchase locally-grown or organic fruits and vegetables for snack whenever possible. We encourage "trash-free" lunches and reduce our waste by composting left over fruit and vegetables that otherwise would be thrown out. We are cloth-diaper/pull up friendly!

Our Natural Playscape is indeed under construction, BUT...

You and your child will not be disappointed! We want to bring children back to nature while enticing their imaginations outdoors. We want to encourage play surrounded by trees, plants, and nature. Our Playscape will have slides, a stage area, bridges, a playhouse, a trike path, and a grape arbor/tunnel. It may not look like much just yet, but our volunteer-driven Playground Committee is constantly organizing and planning- not to mention digging, lifting, creating, planting!!!

Our monthly newsletter keeps you informed in any changes, news or up-coming events. We continue the bridge between home and school with an activity you can do at home and a monthly reading tip!

Call or email to arrange a visit of our beautiful preschool and campus! Meet our Directors and Teachers and see for yourself just what sets us apart from the rest!


Phone: 760-500-7488 or 760-547-8733

Visit our website for more details!