Fun Fine Motor Snack!

I was making holiday goodies with my own kiddos when I discovered that this snack is great for the kiddos to make!  I had seen similar postings on Pinterest for these type of treats, but none of them from an educational standpoint of course! 

Here's what we made:
 
I call them pretzel kisses because that's pretty much what they are...We used the tiny twist pretzels, chocolate Hershey kisses and red & green M&Ms.  They were super easy and the kiddos loved making them!  I loved that there was some great fine motor practice for the kiddos at the same time.  They unwrapped the kisses and placed them in the center on top of the pretzel twists.  Then we baked them and then they had more fine motor practice when putting the M&Ms on top and pushing them down.  Here's the directions summed up for you to be able to try it:
 
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
2.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread tiny twist pretzels on the pan.
3.  Unwrap and place Hershey kisses (or hugs too) on the top of the pretzels.
4.  Bake for 4-5 minutes.  They will NOT look melted.  They will still look like Hershey's kisses.
5.  Remove from the oven and place one M&M in the center of the kiss (on the point) and push down.
 
That's it!  It's just that easy.  They're delish too...of course!  You could do these with any color M&Ms so that they wouldn't be so Christmassy if you're making them for another occasion.
 
Enjoy!

Gingerbread Fun!


Run, run as fast as you can!  You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!
I'll run and I'll run, with a leap and a twirl.  You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Girl!
 
We had some gingerbread fun in our class last week.  Here's what we did:
 
Here's the bulletin board display that I set up to go with our Gingerbread Friends Dramatic Play Center.  The candy canes are made out of pool noodles!  My sister helped me make these.  We opened up a wire hanger and stuck it in, bent them into the right shape and then hot-glued ribbon around.  The garland is just pom poms glued onto ribbon and the giant candies are Styrofoam craft circles that I painted and wrapped in plastic.
 
 
Here's a tutorial for a fun little craft we made: 

We also made gingerbread boy & girl ornaments.  They're SUPER EASY!
The ingredients are simple - cinnamon, applesauce and school glue. 
You also need a cookie cutter, straw and some decorations.
 
Directions: 
Mix together 1 cup cinnamon
1/2 cup apple sauce (the size of a single-serving cup)
1/4 cup school glue (I used Elmer's)

This is what it will look like as a dough.  Just roll it out to your desired thickness. 
I like a little more than 1/4 inch thick.  Then use your cookie cutter to cut out your shape.  Get creative...you don't HAVE to use a gingerbread shape!

After I rolled and cut them out, I used a small straw to make a hole in the top so that I could hang them as ornaments.  This is the only time you can make the hole.  Once it dries, you can't do it.
 
Here's a few different ones that we made in my class.  I gave the kiddos buttons to push into the wet dough.  I helped them with the glitter glue and they also got to choose some google eyes for their ornament.  We just used yarn through the hole in the top to hang it.

Here's one I brought home and hung on my tree.  It smells good enough to eat (but don't!!!) and looks so pretty too!


We also made edible "gingerbread" boys and girls.

We used Oreos for the head (the vanilla ones), Vienna fingers for the body, arms and legs.  Then they decorated them with frosting, sprinkles, snow caps and M&Ms.  Yes...they are made of WAY too much sugar.  The good news is that these were made with the parents there as part of a parent activity.  They were more fun to make than eat too.  The kiddos took a bite or two and were done, so it all worked out!
 
Have a gingerbread day!
 
Love,
Kristin

Snowmen


I've got a pretty cute (if I must say so myself!!!) snowman craft to show you today.  We made these adorable snowmen names with each child's name.  They came out super cute!
 

To make them, I cut out white circles (about 3 inches in diameter, but you could use whatever size you want).  I then wrote the child's name in glitter glue.  When it dried (the next day) I gave them the circles with the letters in their name on it and they had to arrange them in the right order.  We glued them on , then we used a dessert sized paper plate as the head.  I gave them google eyes and a piece of foam cut into a carrot shape for the nose.  The mouth is sequins and I let them choose the color.  I love those for fine motor practice!  For the hat I was lucky enough to have real pieces of leather that my aunt gave me, but you could just as easily use construction paper.  I used little pieces of fabric for the scarf.  They stretched and glued cotton balls for the snow on the bottom and made glitter glue dots for the falling snow.
 
Happy Winter!!

G is for Groceries


We focused on nutrition this week for letter Gg, with a G is for Groceries theme.  Take a peek at our week:
Our crafts didn't go with our theme, but they don't always go together each week because I like to change it up.  So...here's our adorable crafts this week!  G is for Giraffe and g is for guitar.

Here are some pictures of our Grocery Store Dramatic Play Center this week:
(you can click any of the pics to go to my store to buy your own pack to use with your kiddos)

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Grocery-Store-Dramatic-Play-Pack-993038
This is the way I set up the bulletin board in our Dramatic Play area.  I hung the "Market Kids" store banner and the sale signs.  Directly under that I placed a shelf and put the food section signs on it, with corresponding foods on the shelf.



http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Grocery-Store-Dramatic-Play-Pack-993038

 Here's what it looked like from the front of the center area.  I just used the standard "kitchen" items that came in my classroom.  I turned the refrigerator into the cold/frozen food section.  I pushed together and turned the stove and sink and made it the check-out area.


Here's a close-up of the cold goods section.


http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Grocery-Store-Dramatic-Play-Pack-993038
Here's a close-up of the check-out section.  I used black construction paper and covered the sink and stove to look like a conveyer belt at the grocery store.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Grocery-Store-Dramatic-Play-Pack-993038
 
Here's another view.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Grocery-Store-Dramatic-Play-Pack-993038
I borrowed my daughter's grocery basket and shopping cart for my students to use. 

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Grocery-Store-Dramatic-Play-Pack-993038
I displayed all of the word cards in a pocket chart on the wall in the center.
 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Nutrition-Unit-Food-Sorts-and-Favorites-Graphs-1597057
We graphed our favorite fruits and vegetables in our pocket chart.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a pic!  The favorite fruit in our class was strawberries and the favorite vegetable was broccoli.
 

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Nutrition-Unit-Food-Sorts-and-Favorites-Graphs-1597057
I also used a nutrition unit that I created.  It has food sorts for healthy foods, unhealthy foods, diary, protein, grains, fruits, and vegetables.  I used real pictures of food instead of clipart in this pack.  My students did well with the sorts and enjoyed it as well.  By the way...as with all of my newly listed items, this nutrition pack is 50% off for the first 48 hours!  Enjoy!
 
I hope you've enjoyed a peek into my week!
 
Love,
Kristin
 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Grocery-Store-Dramatic-Play-Pack-993038