Paper Bag Gingerbread House and a Free Candy Sheet Printable

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Phew!!  School's out and today is the first day of Christmas holidays! 

I'm most thrilled to have two weeks to wake up WITHOUT an alarm clock!  Ahhhh.......

Although school is on hiatus, we did so many fun activities this past month, I thought I'd squeeze in one more post before Christmas hits!

One of my favourite days this month was our unofficial "gingerbread man" day.

The day began by making a gingerbread craft.

This year we made gingerbread houses using paper bags.

The children coloured paper candies and a door and then glued those onto a lunch bag laid flat on the table.  

We had some fruit loops leftover from another craft, so we set those out for the children to glue onto the bag, as well.

Once the bags were fully decorated, we stuffed in some crumpled paper and stapled a roof to the top.

Here's another finished sample created by one of our 3 year olds.  
(Just pretend the dripping glue is icing!)
We continued the gingerbread theme at circle time.  

Each of the children were given some playdough
that was disguised to look like real dough by making it brown and adding spices.

(You know - teacher trickery!)

Each child used his piece to collectively create a giant gingerbread man on our cookie sheet.

When the g-man was fully shaped, we popped him into the oven "to bake."  

My daughters were volunteering that day and while our cookie was baking, they performed the gingerbread man story with puppets at our makeshift theater.

Usually we cover this theatre/storage shelf with a tablecloth to add some flair, but this day we didn't get to it.  
Not that the children cared.  
They just love the variety of having a puppet show at circle time!

While the kids were watching the puppet show, lo and behold, the gingerbread man magically "disappeared" from the oven. 

The class searched for the escaped cookie by following a series of clues that had been planted throughout our centre.

The gingerbread man was never found, but when we returned to class, he had left a cookie for each of the kids to decorate with icing and candies.  

Not a bad consolation!  

If you'd like a copy of a candy sheet to use for your own gingerbread house, click here to get a free download!
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Happy Holidays!

Christmas Gift Idea for Parents

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We've been hard at work helping our class create Christmas gifts for their parents.  

We decided to paint some cork hot plates (trivets) for parents to use on their Christmas table. 
(You can find the cork circles at Michael's.)

My daughter made a hot plate for me in preschool long ago and I still have it.
 And I still use it!

To decorate our project, the children added a "snowman print" - with their foot!  

Pretty cute, no?

Here's how we did it:

Step 1 - Children paint the round cork board with blue or green acrylic paint.  Let dry.

Step 2 - Teachers paint the children's feet with white acrylic paint and help place feet on the cork to make the print 

Step 3 - Teacher or volunteer washes feet in a bin of soapy water.  (Children sit in one chair for the print and move to a chair right beside it for foot washing)

Step #4 - Teacher adds details to the foot print with a fine paint brush and Sharpie to turn it into a snowman

This step could also be done by the students if you choose.

You'll need:
 brown paint (stick arms)
 black paint (hat)
 black Sharpie (button eyes, nose, etc.)
 orange paint or Sharpie (carrot nose)

Once our gifts were finished, the children helped wrap them.  
Merry Christmas to you, parents!

Christmas Paper Plate Decoration

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Wo boy!  Christmas is rapidly approaching.   

Time to catch up on some of the fun things we've been doing this season!

This past week we made some Christmas decorations out of paper plates.  They turned out quite cute!

To make this craft you'll need:

  • small paper plates
  • tissue paper cut into squares
  • liquid glue (with water added to make it more runny)
  • sparkles
  • two squares of black paper to attach back to back at the top of the ornament
  • string or ribbon for hanging

We teachers prepared the plates in advance by taping the loop of ribbon to a square black piece of paper and then stapling this square to the top of the plate.  

Add another black square paper to the back side if you don't want the taped ribbon to show.

Then the children painted the plate with the glue and stuck the tissue papers, decorations, and sparkles on top.

We had them decorate the front and back of the plate so that we could hang them in the windows on a paper garland.

We wanted them to look nice from both inside and out! 
Ta da! 

Next time around, I might have the children paint the plates first so that they look a little less "white" around the edges.  

That would make the project a two step process, but it might be worth it!

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