"In this classroom, relationships are fostered, families are respected, and children are honored.
In this classroom, nature's gifts are valued and children's thoughts are captured.
In this classroom, learning is alive and aesthetic beauty is appreciated." -Unknown

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas, Preschool Style

It's that time of year again. Lots of excitement abounds as children get excited about the holiday season. I wanted to incorporate the holiday season into some areas of the classroom and have it be a learning process, as well. 

Our first undertaking was the magnetic marble painting. I had purchased white Chinet plates awhile back for this project. We used the Chinet plates, magnetic marbles, a magnet wand, two plastic spoons, and two colors of glittery paint. 

I chose a glittery blue paint and a glittery yellow paint intentionally. During the process the children practice color mixing of two primary colors to get a secondary color. 

The child "fishes" the magnetic marbles out of the glittery paint and plops them on the plate surface. The assisting adult holds the plate for the child as they place the magnet wand under the plate and watch the marbles as they move the wand. The marbles begin swirling and twirling around and the colors combine and blend into something new. 

The child is allowed to drop the marbles back in the cups and get more paint on them as many times as they like to create the desired look. The result is a beautiful shimmery green. We let these plates dry, then returned to work on them the next day. I failed to get a photo of the next part of the process, but will share what we did. We had other colors of glittery paint including red, purple, and more of the blue. We put each color in a small tealight container and encouraged the children to dip a pompom into the paint and dab color on their plate, as they liked. 

We have 21 kids in our class this year so it worked out perfectly to assemble the tree with 6 plates on the bottom then working upward with 5, 4, you get the idea. A tree trunk was cut out and the kids helped decorate it. We wanted to do a star so I thought maybe we could make one out of handprints. I had 5 little ones volunteer to have their hand traced. I attached them together and we decorated with glue and glitter. Tada! Instant star.

Now that the art display is done, we moved on to transforming the dramatic play area into "Christmas at Home". 

We placed holiday wrapped boxes under the tree.

Lots of decorations for the tree are available for the children
to choose from. Dress up clothes and dolls ready for use.

Our lovely stuffed bear is ready for the holiday season.

I created a fireplace with a mantel, we added
stockings hung on hooks, a festive wreath,
and some other festive touches.

Cookies for Santa are available to put out.

We placed hot chocolate containers in the cabinet along
with a teapot and some festive teacups.

Our friends were so excited to begin
decorating the tree and playing in the area.

We all need friends to help us hang those ornaments
on the high branches.

Who wouldn't love waking to a stocking
filled with goodies?

Even our little snowman helps deck the halls.

We also began working on making some reindeer. We traced each child's hands and one of their feet (with the shoe on). After they were cut out each child attached the hands (antlers) to the foot (face) and added eyes and a nose. I love how each reindeer is individual and unique!

What kind of fun holiday things have you and your little ones been up to?