Thursday, December 18, 2014

Winter Holidays

We had a great day in preschool yesterday.  We started the day playing puzzles and reviewing the letter J.   We talked about the different holidays that happen this time of year: Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Winter Solstice and New Year's.  We read tons of books about each one.  Then we made popcorn strings to feed the birds, a winter solstice activity.  The kids did fantastic with this activity, and I think they LOVED it.
 I had pre-threaded needles for each child with a bead tied at the end (to act as a stopper).  They are real sewing needles and it was explained that if you poke your fingers it will hurt.  They did really well "sewing" the popcorn into a string with only a few pricked fingers.  I was actually quite impressed by the fine motor skills they demonstrated.  We then played a fun game making a lantern the "sun" and rolling the Earth (beach ball) around the sun.  We talked about it in terms of birthdays.  The earth goes around 1 time and then it's your birthday again.  I explained that the new year is a party to celebrate that the earth has gone around the sun one full time again, sort of like a birthday party for the earth.
 We learned to play dreidel and the kids loved it.  I changed the rule for "Hay" to just be "take one" since "take half" is to far advanced for 3 year olds.  They spun the dreidel and moved their coins (toy money) appropriately.  In art we colored pictures of our holiday decorations and played with our new alphabet stamps.  We had a little time at the end to play instruments to holiday music.  What a great morning!
Preschool B started off with reading groups. We worked on baggy books only today.  Please encourage your child to read you the books in their baggy each day.  Return baggy books on the 29th and I'll send home new ones since we'll then miss school on the 31st.
 In art we drew pictures and wrote about what we drew.  I'm encouraging them to draw and write about things in their life, such as parties, decorations and activities that are interesting to them right now.  It would be great if you would encourage similar drawing and writing at home.  Maybe a journal is a good stocking stuffer?
 This class also learned to play dreidel and they thought it was the most fun game ever!  It's a fairly simple addition/subtraction game and they get to play with coins and spin a dreidel, what could be more fun than that?
I hope you all have a fantastic holiday week!  No school next week at all, Merry Christmas!

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