Ginger, Spice, and Everything NICE!
We returned from Thanksgiving with a gingerbread theme. Just enough Christmas to excite her about going back to school from a week off but not so much that she is overstimulated. Gingerbread themes have always been one of my favorites because you can go in so many directions with it. I am sharing just a few of the million ways you can integrate the theme in writing, math, and sensory.
Books I Used
Gingerbread Dust - I mixed: salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground ginger together in a plastic bag then poured it on a tray (click here for tray). We practiced writing the letter and word of the day - Ii and is. Check out my recipes for play for more easy fun homemade recipes.
Workbooks - We Explored a few workbooks this week to practice Aa - Ii. Ii is our letter of the week and a fairly simply letter for Lucy so we continue practicing it as well as the ones we have been working on. I have pictured just a few of my favorite workbooks above. Please check out my blog post on preschool workbooks if you need help choosing a workbook for your preschooler!
Line Tracing - Lucy helped the gingerbread men find their way home with line tracing! I found this FREE cute worksheet on this site.
Gingerbread Men Button Recipe - I found number cards at the dollar store in the summer, I used those as the "recipe' in this lesson. How to play is you draw a number card and that is how many buttons the gingerbread man needs. The purpose is to reinforce number recognition and counting. Lucy drew six different cards one for each gingerbread man. We used red gems for buttons (also from the dollar store). The gingerbread men, I google image searched brown gingerbread man printed 6 and cut them out.
Roll, Write and Button - to make the button recipe game more challenging, the next day I took away the the number cards and replaced it with dice. I also added a dry erase board and marker. The game is simple: roll the dice, write the amount she rolled, and give that amount of buttons to the gingerbread man. This is great for number recognition, recognizing value amount, writing number practice, and counting.
Number Flashcards - Using dollar store flashcards I laid out 1-10 and then the cards with the amounts on them. She had to match the number to the amount. She is pretty good at identifying these numbers, however this was a lesson in counting the amount correctly. Like most kids preschool aged, she likes to race through counting and sometimes misses an object in the process. This activity was a lesson in slowing down to count using finger to object counting. This also works well for identifying numbers and understanding value amount.
Puffy Paint Gingerbread Man - Puffy paint is equal amounts of shaving cream and white liquid glue. She mixed the shaving cream , glue, and I added brown food coloring. I love puffy paint, when it dries it has super smooth and silky bumps.
Gingerbread House - After reading "Gingerbread Mouse" linked above, we made our own gingerbread house. Yes, there are a lot of kits out there and you can even bake your own too but this house is not of the edible sorts! I used an amazon box (I know we all have those kicking around!) cut the flaps off, and let Lucy use her imagination! We made white puffy paint (just equal amounts of shaving cream and white liquid glue, no coloring needed) to look like frosting, Christmas stickers to look like candy, and crayons for the small details. She had so much fun with this, and even decided to take the flaps we cut off into furniture. (with my help of course).
Paper Bag House - I used a paper grocery bag and cut it into a house shape then cut it half. Lucy glued the sides so opens in the middle. She was suppose to glue the gingerbread man inside the house like a peek-a-boo type door but she insisted the gingerbread man should be glued next to the house because he needs to be seen better... who am I to argue with that kind of artistic vision! I let her explore her creativity with glitter glue, stickers, crayons, and markers.
Dramatic Play - We created "gingerbread play dough" (recipe linked here) I got out the gingerbread cookie cutters, a baking sheet, a child size rolling pin and a few play dough cutters and let her play in her toy kitchen area. It was fun pretending. Dramatic play is so important for preschoolers, they learn new vocabulary, problem solving, and social skills.
Have fun learning with us? Check out our previous themes here!