Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas for Preschoolers - Part 1

Tada! After "many" years of blogging here on Sorting Sprinkles, I realize that I've never actually posted anything about our Christmas trays. Sad, isn't it? So I thought I'd make a special effort and publish some this year! Yay! I know it's a tad bit late for all of you to use BUT, Christmas will return next year, and the year after and...well forever and ever.

Patterning a Christmas tree
When I saw this beautiful activity on Teach Beside Me, my heart was set on having it on my Christmas shelves. Of course, it took a bit of preparation on my part but after that, what fun to be had. My preschooler picked a card and decorated her felt tree just as seen on the card...and in the end, she made up her own pattern!

Matching bells...and bells!
After seeing this idea on Never Picture Perfect I started looking for some bell clipart. I knew it'd be a popular activity so I really wanted to put it together...and did. As expected, my daughter loved it. We worked only from number 1-5. A strong basis is very important to me but I can see my daughter is quick and exact each time now so after the holidays, we'll go from 1-9.

Christmas star with glitter
This may not look like a great activity but it is quite difficult for some children to use liquid glue. For this star, I pre-cut the shape and drew pencil lines. My daughter had to use the liquid glue and spread it only on the lines and then shake just a bit of glitter on top. It demanded quite a bit of fine motor control to use the actual liquid glue container. Squeezing along the lines just enough glue is challenging! For older children, pin punching the star or cutting it out themselves will increase the fun. So will drawing their own lines! Next year, we'll try that and to make it more attractive I plan on using gold foil! :)

Christmas wreath
Seeing how sparkly pompoms made everything more Christmassy, I provided a clean plastic paint palette to mimic a Christmas wreath along with the right amount of pompoms. Very basic. Too basic in fact...so I added a pair of wooden toast tong for pompom transfer. Voila! A tougher challenge already! :)

What comes first?
Sequencing a story is not easy for children. For my preschooler, I provided only 3 pictures per story. One illustrated the making of gingerbread people and the other, the making-delivery-opening of Christmas presents. 

Christmas present wrapping
Well, this is kind of a traditional Christmas activity for many Montessori schools. My kids love wrapping presents and pretend it's a birthday or Christmas any time of year so silk paper, gift bags, ribbons and all come out quite often. I had a basket of supplies, tape and small wooden blocks for wrapping. 

Christmas play dough mats
Tot Schooling had the cutest play dough mat for Christmas so I quickly printed the entire set. My kids loved the mats! Who doesn't want to make antlers for a reindeer or a beard for Santa after all? I even gave it a shot! :)

Tree puzzle
I made this huge challenging Christmas tree puzzle for my newly turned 4 year old. She didn't really care for it. Maybe it was just too big or maybe it just wasn't attractive enough. Who knows? Next year, I may present a smaller version of it for her to cut and glue on a Christmas card...

Matching by color
Presents and bows seem to go together, don't they? So that made bows perfect for so many activities. Here, a very simple sorting tray that can easily turn into a matching bows color later...

Mini tree and big tree matching
Another visual discrimination activity we had during our Christmas themed weeks was this one featuring 4 big Christmas trees and 4 smaller versions of the same tree. Matching cards of the same size are great but this, I felt, presented a bigger challenge. Zahavah really had to pay attention so the right trees would be matched. Some really looked alike!

Gingerbread house cards & gumdrop counters
Having bought a big bag of gumdrops to decorate our own Gingerbread house, I realized it would also make the perfect school activity. Homeschool Creations had an entire set of printables that included these cards so I printed them and provided just enough gumdrops for the counters. Mind you if anybody else did the activity after, they might have been missing a few counters...

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