Oh my! How fun it is to go cut down your own Christmas tree... We got to do that this past weekend, which inspired me to design this dramatic play for the classroom. I couldn't wait to go home to create this for the little ones and to share it with you guys!
Besides the traditional shop, we added a sorting station, measuring sticks and a "Treats on The Farm" play area. The kids are having a blast!
We found great bargains at the dollar store and walmart! Both the cups and mugs were only $1 each. Score!!!
The kids had a blast. As they are working on their fine motor skills, they are using their imagination serving treats in a cold winter day. They used plastic tongs to place marshmallows (cotton balls) into their mugs and sprinkled toppings on with their little fingers.
Our little elves had a chance to explore measuring and sorting trees to build on those important math skills. We used non standard measuring tools such blocks, erasers and links, as well as our holiday measuring stick with non standard units.
Of course, we added the yard stick for mood as well as vocabulary, but we know not to use those with our little ones. And... we had them laying around, so why not!
More, more, Math! Of course this time of the year has so many opportunities to use and explore adorable holiday materials. It's always a treat to see the kiddos excitement when we pull out new materials for our Hocus Pocus math stories and pattern activities.
Tree Art... Super easy prep with lots of learning!
One art project we worked on were these adorable trees. We talked about shapes, sizes, colors, comparing prints. And the activity also uses tons of skills: small motor, cutting, measuring.
Don't they look so cute when they are focusing and busy learning? I love hearing their conversations about math and about their experience while they were doing their art.
Here is a super easy with very little prep activity, friends! All you need is play dough, a rolling pin and tree shaped cookie cutters. Plus buttons or jewels to be used as ornaments! Brilliant!
One of my favorite Christmas tree books has got to be Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree. It brings back childhood memories of wonder and warmth. My mom, who is also a school teacher, read it to me every holiday season. And now I read it to my girls every year. I just love family traditions! My mom also made this felt tree for me and it comes out every year in the classroom as one of our literacy centers activity.
A new addition to my collection, Night Tree, was a happenstance find. I picked this book up because I just love Eve Bunting's beautiful language. I just read this book for the first time in the classroom yesterday. The kids just fell in love with this story of sharing as well. I highly recommend it. I think I will have them decorate a tree outside with food for the little neighborhood critters to feast on in the next couple of weeks.
We used different materials to let the children explore and learn math. Activities were designed around different ability levels.
This fun little math game is simple and entertaining to keep them interested. We used a tin mug to shake the pieces and then poured them out.
Without flipping the pieces over, the kids had to place them inside the circles.
Once the circles were all in place...
They figure out how many of each color ornament they have.
We can then ask questions through math stories... i.e.: How many red ornaments are on the tree? How many white? How many total? What if one red ornament fell from the tree and it broke, how many red ornaments would be left?
Here is a video of the activity:
I teach this lesson in small groups so that they are ready to play independently during centers.
Even our littlest of learners can start flexing their math muscles. In this video we explore the kiddos abilities to manipulate objects in order to develop their number sense. Besides the math concept of decomposing, the children are also learning how to count properly and processing vocabulary that builds up their math skills.
Another subitizing video using tens frames with our older kiddos (4 and 5 years old)
I am putting a link to the print out materials for the dramatic play area. Just click on the image below...
And this is the materials file used for the math component: