Thursday, December 10, 2009

Play School: Christmas trees

{Last week was the first week I haven't blogged about Play School. Oops! Michelle taught and I just didn't have enough info to warrant a whole post. But the topic was "Christmas around the world" and some of the activities included playing Dreidel and making applesauce and cinnamon Christmas ornaments. You could also celebrate St. Nicholas Day (December 6) by having the kids leave their shoes outside the house. During the lesson, an accomplice fills the shoes with treats and the kids find them at the end of the lesson. This is the way children in Holland celebrate}
This week our topic of study was Christmas trees.
Concepts: What shape is a Christmas tree? Shape recognition, cutting and gluing
Activities/art: Christmas tree I-Spy--we took turns choosing an ornament on our Christmas tree and using it as our object in I-Spy. "I spy Santa playing basketball..."
Christmas tree triangles: I drew three triangles of increasing size on green construction paper and helped the kids cut them out. Big B did fine, but Tempe and Little B hadn't used scissors before and cutting was a challenge for them. After they were cut out, they glued the triangles in the shape of a Christmas tree and then "decorated" their trees with crayons.
Jingle bell painting: This was one of the most fun activities we have done all year! I put a piece of construction paper in the bottom of a box, dropped in a couple of jingle bells and a few dollops of paint, and let the kids go crazy shaking the box to roll the jingle bells through the paint. The result was a very cool painting! They loved this activity.
ETA: Big B had the great idea of stringing the paint-covered jingle bells on ribbon to make ornaments to hang on his Christmas tree. Smart kid!!

Books: The Berenstainstain Bears' Christmas Tree. This is a great story that reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas--not fancy decorations or other material things, but being kind to others and thankful for what we have.
Songs/nursery rhymes:
Way up high on the Christmas tree (Point up)
Two little candy canes winked at me (wink),
So I shook that tree as hard as I could (pretend to shake tree)
And down dropped those candy canes (squat down)
Mmm, Mmm, Good!! (Rub Tummy)
Snack: I arranged sugar snap peas in the shape of a Christmas tree and added a string cheese "trunk" and cheese crumble decorations. The kids gobbled this up! I love finding healthy snacks that kids like, especially at this time of year where everywhere we turn there are cookies, pies, and other treats.

Field Trip: Last week our family went to the Festival of Trees. If you live in the SLC area, this is a great family activity! The Festival of Trees is a benefit of Primary Children's Hospital. There are hundreds of incredibly elaborately decorated Christmas trees, Christmas wreaths, gingerbread houses, and Christmas scenes, plus handmade goodies and gifts. We love going to this every year!

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