Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Candy Week for Preschoolers - Part 1

Candy Week? What was I thinking? Oh wait! I remember! Candy is something so easy to find here in Germany and thus, I have access to so many more manipulatives for my trays! Or do I? I think I might have overlooked one great detail this week: we don't eat much candy at all in this household. As such: what manipulatives was I thinking about? Sure candy is available at the store but what a shame to buy pounds of candy to play with and not eat later! In the end, my idea wasn't so bright after all but the week sure was fun and Adrian loved candy week because let's face it: what's sweeter than tasting a new kind of candy every school day?

Gumball and pompoms
Counting gum balls

Would obviously have been much cooler done with real gum balls. I later found some in our local grocery store but then again, I'd have to chew them all later, right? (Gum in my book is not safe for the under 6) Also, I would have had to somehow raise the edge of my "machine" so as to not have the balls roll around. For this exercise, I was practicing counting and oral memory. I would call a number in between 0 and 30 and Adrian then had to count the right amount of pompoms and  fill the gum ball machine. I'd repeat the number only once. The graphic (which can be printed in a HUGE size according to the author) was a freebie found on Plum Adorable. Like her, I used pompoms but we didn't glue ours! :)

Life Savers Bracelet Tray
Lacing - Making a "Life Savers" Bracelet

Lacing a great activity many preschools practice. This one is  nice variation with a pipe cleaners...and Life Savers. I did take the candy out of the wrappers for Adrian by the way.

Life Savers Bracelet
"Life Savers" Bracelet Modeled by Adrian

Marshmallow Microwave Experiment
Marshmallow Magic - Turning a Mini Marshmallow into a Regular Marshmallow

So I was all out of the regular sized of marshmallows! How sad is that? I asked Adrian if he thought we could turn the mini marshmallows into bigger ones? With a puzzled but most certain look, he blurted out a "no". Needless to say, it was the answer I was looking for. Exploratorium (and many other resources as well I'm sure) will guide you through a very neat experiment quadrupling the size of marshmallows! Being that it was candy week, I just had to pull this one. Adrian could not believe his eyes. The mini marshmallows were turning into "jumbo" ones right in front of him. Not only that, but poking the freshly microwaved white "things" and then waiting a minute to poke them again made a huge difference in their textures. Hey, Easter is coming..you guys can also try it with Peeps! ;)

Candy Store Weigh and Fill
Pretend Play? Candy Store involving scooping, tweezing, weighing and more

Adrian is very well grounded in reality. He has never liked dressing up and actually has a hard time making up stories. Pretend play is just not his thing. When I prepared this activity, I was very well aware that this would look like pretend play to him so I had to make a conscious effort of having specific tasks! :) As such, Adrian had a "shopping list" on which he found a list of 4 candy listed. Next to each of them was written a number and that number corresponded to the amount of grams needed for each type of candy. Adrian then had to use the utensil found in the candy dish to fill a candy bag and weigh that bag on the scale until he had the right amount of candy noted on the shopping list. I did have to prompt him for the first bag as to how to get a bigger number of grams on the scale and then how to reduce it after he had put too many M&M. After that, it was all pure fun to him to see the numbers go and down.

Shopping List

Life Savers...60g 

Candyland Board Game

Now you may think that playing a board game such as Candyland is not exactly the best way to teach anything but board games are actually pretty good at teaching a child to take turns, especially when they have no siblings and/or are being homeschooled. They can also teach a child to be a good sport and well, a game such as Candyland will teach a younger child quite a bit about colors and about counting from 1-6. When Adrian was "little" and I "taught" him Pre-Pre-K, we played a different board game every week to get his social skills developed. Candyland was his favorite. Now we didn't get to play this week but it would have fitted right in.

M&M Paint
Painting with M & Ms

Didn't do much art this week. I don't think Adrian noticed. Not his cup of tea. :) He did enjoy the above paint though! Mind you: Not this actual painting, but the paint! :) We made it with M&Ms after completing a "science" activity I'll be blogging about tomorrow...So stay tuned so learn all about how this paint came to be...

Today, I'm happily linking up to:

If you would like me to link up with you, please don't hesitate to ask, it might take me a week or two, but I generally do!


  1. My kids would love this unit! Candy is everyone's favorite. Love the lifesaver bracelet. Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

    1. I'm glad we have to opportunity to link up with you Janine. And yes, candy is a theme loved by children everywhere and whatever their age. Coming up with ideas was easy and so exciting!