Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Activities for Thanksgiving Day

Whether you've got little ones to entertain at your own Thanksgiving celebration or your looking for fun ideas for your last day of school before the holiday, I've got you covered. Here are some fun ways to celebrate the holiday while enjoying each other's company:

I hope these ideas make your holiday even more memorable!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Books for Thanksgiving

I am one of those people who refuses to put up Christmas decorations or listen to Christmas music until Thanksgiving is over, so this week I want to share some last minute Thanksgiving ideas - Starting next we'll dive into the winter holidays, I promise!

Here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving books - all links are affiliates - happy reading!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday Freebie - Pumpkin Spice Sugar

I have a bit of an unconventional freebie for you today.  I found a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Sugar on The Cottage Market, and it comes with these really cute printable labels. How fun would it be to mix up a batch of Pumpkin Spice Sugar and some Cinnamon Sugar to jazz up some toast for snack time.  Then you could send little containers of each home with your students so that they could share with their families! Go check out the recipe and the labels and have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Fine Motor Orange Pomanders

Have you ever made orange pomanders? I remember making these in preschool, but I haven't seen them around much recently.  I always love to refresh some of the activities that left an impression on me personally, so it seems like this one might be a keeper. 

They are very easy to make, you just need some oranges (any kind will work - even little clementines), whole cloves, something to poke holes with (a toothpick, push pin, screw, etc.), and some twine or ribbon. 

Start by showing the children how to poke starter holes into the skin of the orange. Once the starter holes have been made it is easy to push the cloves in.  Make any design you like, using as many or as few cloves as you want - the more cloves, the stronger the scent will be. 

Once the children have finished, wrap a piece of twine or ribbon around their pomander so that you can hang it to dry. Let them dry in a cool, dry place for a couple of weeks before hanging them in the classroom or sending them home for the holidays. 

This is a great way to introduce your students to a little bit of history that is easy to connect to their own daily lives - what air fresheners looked like before plug-ins and aerosol sprays.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Spice Painting

Historically, spices were often used to create paints because many of them have very distinct colors.  Making your own spice paints is a great way to explore spices and their scents at the same time!

All that you have to do is mix a good amount  of a single spice with a small amount of water until the paint is the consistency that you want.  You can also add a little cornstarch to make your paints go a little farther. 

Here are some spices to try and the colors that they will make:

  • Paprika = Orange
  • Turmeric = Mustard Yellow
  • Saffron = Bright Yellow
  • Parsley = Green
  • Cinnamon = Brown
Prepare for a room full of strong scents, and enjoy the conversations that come from the experience!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sensory Spice Jars

Thanksgiving lends itself to a completely unique sensory experience due to all of the wonderful smells associated with the holiday.  This is the perfect time to explore your sense of smell, and there's no better way than creating a set of smelly spice jars for your science center.

There are so many different ways to make these, but the key is to make sure you still get the scent without actually leaving any spices in your jars - you don't want to deal with the sneezing that will come from inhaling the actual spices.

I love to use the actual spice containers that the different spices come in when I purchase them at the store because these are authentic. Many of your children will recognize them as something that they have seen in their own kitchens.

To do this, simply empty the spices into another container, then drop a cotton ball in the jar and put the lid back on. Shake it up good so that any spices remaining in the container are collected by the cotton ball.  This way, the children will be able to smell them, but they won't escape the container.

That's it!

Some great spices to explore include:

  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Ginger
  • Allspice
  • Apple Pie Spice
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
Here are some other ideas for using spices in the classroom:

Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday Freebie - Pie Dice Games

Happy Friday! Can you believe that it's nearly the middle of November?! I have obviously had one thing on my mind this week - pie! The closer we get to Thanksgiving, the more I think about desserts.  Today's freebie is perfect for your Thanksgiving math centers - these pie dice games are adorable! Go download yours from Lodrew and have a wonderful weekend!