Nov 26, 2016

Christmas Around the World--Ideas for Preschool

Christmas is a magical time for young children, and the winter time is filled with many holiday celebrations. Depending on the community, a Preschool or Early Childhood Centre is situated in, the cultural make up of families may vary greatly and the Early Childhood curriculum should always be sensitive to other cultures when program planning. Preschool children are beginning to understand about other countries and their cultures. Christmas traditions are a great way to show children our diversities as well as our similarities.

Handprint Menorah  Celebrating Hanukkah

Hanukkah could be discussed for longer than a day, or celebrated for the full eight days of the holiday within an early childhood setting. Preschool children could learn about the importance of the Menorah, play with a Dreidel and eat latkes, to name a few things. For more ideas, click HERE


Christmas in Australia

Christmas down under is still celebrated but there are many variation due to the summer weather. Many Australians spend Christmas day at the beach. Create a summer scene with Santa to illustrate an  Aussie Christmas. Santa could be dressed in a a bathing suit, or swim trunks as they say in Australia! Combine this with a Indoor Beach Party.

Christmas in France

In France, it is a Christmas tradition to place shoes in front of a fire, in hopes that they will be filled with goodies from Santa (Pere Noel). A craft that would match well with the learning of France's Christmas customs is to have the children decorate cut out shoes with Christmas stickers, glitter or whatever choice seems appropriate for the classroom philosophy.

    Christmas in Mexico

Feliz Nevidad in Mexico is celebrated with many fun filled events, like a Pinata party! The poinsetta is an important symbol with Mexican Christmas Celebration. To make a poinsetta in a preschool setting, provide children with five cut out leaves for them to glue onto green construction paper. The children could then tear yellow paper to make the center of the flower. For more information about the Poinsetta and printable crafts, click HERE

                                       File:Trio of traditional parols.jpg

Christmas in the Phillipines

One of the unique aspects of Christmas celebration in the Phillipines are the paper lanterns called Parols that are used for decoration. Young children would love to have their own paper lantern to bring home. The lanterns could be simplified in this preschool craft project to a big yellow star with ribbon coming off the pointed ends. Click here for more instructions.

Around the World Christmas Wreath

Lastly, perhaps the best way to Celebrate Christmas around the world is to make a craft celebrating the world itself! Cut the center of a paperplate and provide children material for glueing onto their wreaths. The material could be pre-cut, or placed out with scissors, to foster fine motor development. Here are some suggestions:

  • used Christmas cards
  • used mailing stamps
  • envelopes with addresses
  • maps cut into pieces
  • postcards
  • magazine pictures of children from around the world
  • different ways to say Merry Christmas : printed on paper

Sep 18, 2016

Using Fall Nuts Within a Preschool Curriculum

Young children love to go for nature walks and collect autumn treasures. This collection from the outside can then be brought inside for some fun indoor activities. The following article provides some suggestions on how to use nuts and other fall finds in a variety of areas in an early childhood curriculum.

Sensory Table and Fine Motor Skills:

Collect a variety of nuts, such as chestnuts or acorns and place within a sensory table along with some sorting material, such as muffin tins or ice cube trays. In addition, the table could include tongs and spoons to foster fine motor development
From The Hive Website

Math Activities Using Fall Nuts

Sorting and categorizing nuts helps develop math skills within children. In addition, graphing the nuts will help children count and develop numerical awareness.

Fall Math (5) - the measured mom:  

Language and Literature

A fun action poem for the children to participate in begins with giving each child a nut such as a hazelnut, chestnut or acorn . Start by acting like a squirrel and dig a hole in the "ground" then place in the nut. Pretend to cover it up with dirt. Have the children act alongside your actions, then pop up and say:

I'm a busy little squirrel, searching all around
Searching for a nut that simply can't be found
Is it behind me? Is it in my backpack?
Is it in my pocket? Is it in the ground?
I'm a busy little squirrel, looking all around
Digging, digging, digging. Look what I found! (show the nut)

Gathering All the Acorns Till They're Gone
Sung to: "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain"

I'll be gathering all the acorns till they're gone.
I'll be gathering all the acorns till they're gone.
I'll be gathering all the acorns, gathering all the acorns,
Gathering all the acorns till they're gone.
(Children make collecting motion with their hands)

And I'll put them all inside my little home.
I will put them all inside my little home.
I will put them all inside, put them all inside,
Put them all inside my little home.
(children pretend to place nuts in tree house)

And I'll eat the nuts until the winter's gone.
I will eat the nuts until the winter's gone.
I will eat the nuts until, eat the nuts until,
Eat the nuts until the winter's gone.
(children pretend to eat acorns)

Then I'll do it all again come next fall.
I will do it all again come next fall.
I will do it all again, do it all again,
Do it all again come next fall. (
gathering motion with hands and arms again)