This is our fifth year participating in a fundraiser for our local Boys & Girls Club. We create a Gingerbread building, donate it and it is raffled off to the public.
The Club provides the board for the base.
This year I remembered to paint it first which helps give it a nicer finish.
We have been focused on farms for the past two months so it made sense to create a gingerbread farm. The toy barn was used to make a pattern for the
The children painted the sides with red frosting and decorated the roof
We made gingerbread animals; cows, horses, chickens and a dog. The haystacks and trees were made with melted marshmallows, corn flakes and shredded wheat.
Time to put it altogether. Tootsie rolls and pretzels worked for a fence.
We added a pumpkin patch.
Then covered the surface with brown frosting before adding the animals.
It was very tempting to want to pick off the candies while we assembled.
A bird’s eye view gives you a glimpse of all the animals and plants we saw
at the farms we visited this fall.
A thank you to the three farms that allowed us to visit.
Our district held Ready Set Learn events this week and last.
The three schools that I participate in held theirs yesterday and today.
Ready Set Learn is an initiative by the Ministry of Education to support preschool children’s early learning by inviting them and their families into the schools. The parents are their child’s first teacher and we wanted to provide simple activities for them to talk, read and play with their children to give them the best start on becoming successful learners.
The focus of this event is on literacy and numeracy and this year we provide activities about bugs. Every activity had bugs in it. My role was to model reading, playing and talking with the children. Encouraging the parents to do the same. Building the children's vocabulary, expanding on their knowledge and having fun together.
We started with the book “There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly”. As I read I encouraged the children to participate by making the sounds of some of the animals and having them guess which animal makes it. Also encouraging them to remember the order of the animals in the story. The children had the opportunity to retell the story using props.
The following are the centres that the families played together.
In the tall, tall grass was a tub full of Easter grass and bugs.
As they found a bug they matched it to it’s picture.
A tub of rice with coloured bugs with snap blocks to play. The children loved the feel of the rice as they searched for the bugs. They scooped it up and let it fall on the blocks and bugs.
There was a memory game where they had to turn over and match two pictures. This game provided an opportunity to practice taking turns and learning social skills. Sorry I have no photos of the pictures.
I also provided a sheet of all the characters in the story for the children to take home. They could colour it, cut it apart and retell the story, practicing their memory skills.
The snack was Bugs on a Log using celery, Wowbutter and raisins. I created a photo recipe encouraging the children to ‘read’ the recipe. Explaining to the parents that this activity works on the foundation of reading. Learning to scan left to right, going in order and telling what they see in the pictures.
Another simple activity was a pile of coloured spiders with felt rectangles. They matched colours and counted the spiders.
But the favourite centre, at all three events, was Digging for Bugs.
All the children spent time in the dirt. Digging with their hands or the shovels. A simple, inexpensive activity that worked on describing the bugs, categorizing and counting. As well as talking about colours. Some of the children stayed so long in this tub that they had dirt all up their arms, down their clothes and on their face.
We finished with a bug hunt. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures but it is the same as a bear hunt but I had hidden bug stuffies around the room. We used little magnifying glasses to look for them and after finding them we move liked the bug would. The bee flew and buzzed. The grasshopper hopped. The butterfly fluttered gently. And so on.
Last week when we went into the forest to look for fairies we also collected
materials to use indoors.
The children really enjoy being in the woods traipsing through the branches.
Searching for fairies and their homes. We found two doors on the trunk of trees.
Our focus, though, was to collect materials to take back in to school.
Ask a child to pick up a stick and they will give you as much as they can carry.
I took a few of the thicker sticks home and my husband made us this teepee.
The gnomes were the first to move in and set up a tea party for the fairies.
All this week the families have been busy building their own fairy homes. I’ll share pictures soon.
Last week we made trail mix using different shaped cereal.
The idea came from Food Flair, a resource created by nutritionists and contains information about nutrition, healthy eating and food-related topics, along with recipes and fun activities to do with children, and ideas and information sheets to share with families.
I picked the Trail Mix recipe and created a matching game to go with it.
We measured and poured each of the cereal; cheerios, chex and puffed rice
talking about each shape as we added them to the bowl.
We added raisins and dried cranberries then stirred it altogether.
At the snack table the children matched their cereal to the same picture.