Category Archives: Seasons

Bunches of Bulletin Boards

We are always looking for fun, new bulletin board ideas.  I thought I would share some of the bulletin boards we have had here at preschool over the years, in case you are looking for some new ideas, too!

Birthday Boards

These next two were made by a very talented co-worker of mine who actually quilted these bulletin boards!  So cool!

Welcome to School Boards

This one was our seasons tree. We left it up all school year but changed the decorations with children’s artwork to go with the seasons. I’m missing a picture of the spring one. It had flowers on it.

Fall and Thanksgiving

This picture was taken before I put the title on the board. It read “OWL Always Be Thankful.”

This one was an interactive board. Each of the turkey’s feathers were made out of a different material for the children to touch and explore.

Winter

Snow globe- “There’s SNOW Place Like Preschool”

St. Valentine Secret Message Hunt

We did another hunt-around-the-room activity today. My director/co-teacher put this together. Our morning class is really into sight words, so this worked quite well for them. However, I’m not sure if most preK or preschool classes would be successful with this activity. I think it would probably be a good activity for Kindergarten.

We hid these cute little love bugs all around the room (clip art compliments of Carson Dellosa) each with a number 1-9. Next to each love bug we placed a sight word.
We supplied the kids with clipboards and papers numbered 1-9. The children went around the room and wrote down the words next to the corresponding number. Then, (and this was the really fun part of the activity) they got to read the sight words to figure out the secret Valentine message (our message was “I love Jesus. His love is in my heart.”)! It was really a fun, active writing and reading activity.

Play Dough Snowmen

January is a busy month at the preschool.  This is the month us teachers write-up the student evaluations and have conferences.  With all this to do, I unfortunately have not had time to keep up with the blog.  But… I do have about 5 drafts waiting to be written or finished.  There are so many great things to write about and so little time to write them!

I’ll start with a simple fun idea to get the (snow) ball rolling.  We put these little snowmen kits at the play dough table.  They included buttons, ribbon scarves, little hats, google eyes, pipe cleaners, and sticks.

Then, we put out our home-made white play dough and let the kids create!  The kids had so much fun with it!  Our three-year-olds especially loved creating these little miniature snowmen.  Here are some of their creations.

Ornamentation Station (Part Two)

Here’s a continuation of festive Christmas ornament ideas for preschoolers to make at the Ornamentation Station!  To see Part One, click here.

Beaded Hearts

This is an adorable little ornament that really turns out beautiful.  Also, beading is great for building fine motor control; plus the children get practice with patterning.  You start with pipe cleaners bent into a V shape.  The children then bead each side of the V.  Here we used green pony beads and red wooden beads (the wooden beads we cut off of a string of garland).

Once they have beaded up both sides, they can twist it secure and bend the end down to make a heart shape (they may need your help with this part).  We finished by using short pieces of pipe cleaner to make hooks.

Scratch-Off Paper Ornaments

These are simple ornaments that are easy for little hands to do.  We used scratch-off paper, the stuff that has rainbow colors underneath when you scratch off the black on the top.  We used our Ellison die cut machine again to make a variety of shapes the kids could choose from to make their ornaments.

Some kids will draw or make designs.  Others will just scratch the whole thing off, which might not be very artistic, but is great exercise for their little fingers!

Beaded Candy Canes

I will end with an easy-to-do classic – beaded candy canes using pony beads and pipe cleaners.  Again, it’s great for building fine motor strength and patterning skills.  Plus, its something the kids can do on their own.  And while we adults might find an idea like this a little tired or over-done, the kids have only been around a few years, so to them its brand-new!

I’m always looking for more great ideas!  If you have any ornaments you love to make with children, please leave a comment and share your ideas!  Thanks!

Simple Christmas Ideas for All Around the Classroom

Today I’d like to share with you some festive things my preschool does to make Christmas a special time in the classroom as well as help teach the real meaning of Christmas.  Again, most of the credit here goes to my wonderful director who had been implementing these great ideas for years.  

Workbench

During Christmas, our workbench turns into “Ornamentation Station,” where the children can make Christmas ornaments to their heart’s content.  The Ornamentation Station is so much fun that I wrote two separate posts about it.  You can find them here- Ornamentation Station (Part One) and Ornamentation Station (Part Two).

Dramatic Play

The most important place in our classroom during the Christmas season is our manger where we keep our baby Jesus doll (a special doll we only bring out during Christmas).  The children are invited to sit in the rocking chair and rock baby Jesus and take care of him.  On the ceiling above the Baby Jesus, we hang a star to remind the children of the star that led the Magi to the newborn king and to mark it as a special place in the classroom.  This is one hands-on way we love to use to teach the kids about what Christmas is really all about.  Plus, there is nothing more precious than to see a child rocking the baby Jesus to sleep!

Our Christmas tree is another way we make our classroom festive for the children.  We set it up with the kids, and the kids get to decorate it with shatter-proof ornaments, ornaments they make at the “Ornamentation Station“, plus mittens they bring in to help needy families.  At home, kids don’t always get to decorate the Christmas tree however they want, so this is a great opportunity for them to decorate and re-decorate however they like!

Literacy and Writing Table

The writing table is one of our favorite areas of the classroom, especially at Christmas time.  The following idea is a hit with the kids year after year.  Plus, it’s a great use for old Christmas cards!  Simply take the front off of the Christmas cards, then give the children scissors, glue, stamps, and construction paper cards.  We also provided Christmas-themed word cards.  The children are free to cut out the pictures, glue them to their cards, stamp, write, and create their very own cards!

In addition to "Merry Christmas," we provided words such as "mom," "dad," "grandma," "grandpa," and "Santa."

This next idea is a new one, and it turned out to be so much fun!  I found these great alphabet Christmas tree printables at prekinders.com (Go here for these and other Christmas printables).  We gave the children transparent magnetic bingo chips to cover the letters following the color key at the top of the page.  Then, once they had decorated the whole tree, they could use the magnet wand to clear the Christmas tree!  They had so much fun doing this!  Of course if you don’t have the magnetic chips, you could use any sort of bingo chips or small circles to play.

Water Table

One thing that is fun to put in the water table for Christmas is a miniature Christmas tree with tiny ornaments, beads, and garland.  It is fun for the kids to put decorations on the small tree; plus it’s good for building their fine motor control!

Please leave your comments and share any other great Christmas ideas you use in your classroom!

Ornamentation Station! (Part One)

During Christmastime, our workbench transforms into “Ornamentation Station,” a festive place where little elves can create all kinds of adorable Christmas Tree ornaments!

Usually the ornaments are something very simple that the kids can create independently.

The following are a few examples of ornaments the kids could make at the Ornamentation Station.

Cinnamon Gingerbread Men

The gingerbread men were made by using sandpaper and our Ellison die cut machine, but they could easily be made by cutting the sandpaper into gingerbread man shapes using scissors.  We put cinnamon sticks at the table as well as stick-on buttons or other decorations.  The children simply rub the cinnamon stick on the sandpaper gingerbread men to make it smell wonderful, then decorate it however they would like.

Paper Balls

 

This one required a little bit more assistance from the teacher, but was great for some of the older kids as it promotes fine motor control, following step-by-step directions and patterning.

At this point I have to admit that I got this idea from Martha.  Yes, I saw this Martha Stewart ornament on Pinterest and loved it!  The idea is simple.  I provided the children with paper strips with holes punched at each end, as well as some brass fastener brads.  First, they decorated the paper strips using markers (if they wished).  Then, they secured their series of  paper strips with the brads on each end of the strip (they needed the most help with closing the brads).  Then they fanned out the paper to make it into a ball.  I helped them tie a length of yarn to it so they could hang it from the tree!

Stay tuned for even more Ornamentation Station ideas!

Where Has Thanksgiving Gone?

Dear America,

What have you done with Thanksgiving?  Where has it gone?

It is not merely the “season opener” for Christmas-time.  Now, don’t get me wrong, Christmas is a truly wonderful and meaningful holiday.  I cannot downplay the significance of our savior and God humbling himself to come down to earth and become human, to come to us as a helpless baby born in a stable.  In the spirit of what Christ gave to us, Christmas is a season of giving.  However, as a result of being a season of giving, it is also a season of receiving.  And it seems receiving is the aspect of the season that gets focused on way too much.  All the commercialism you push, America, takes advantage of that.  And it’s in that commercialism that we are losing Thanksgiving.  Children especially can get caught up in all the gimmie-gimmie-gimmie of the Christmas season.  What are we teaching them if we don’t stop and say “thank you” for all the numerous blessings God gives us everyday?

Christmas is important, and we need to teach children (and ourselves sometimes, too) the true meaning and spirit of Christmas.  A good way to start is by celebrating Thanksgiving in its own right.  Not just as an oppurtunity to get together, eat a lot of food, start our Santa lists, and get excited that Christmas is coming, but as a time to give thanks to God for all He has done.  To take a break from all the “I wants” and instead say “Thank you for what I have.”  After all, America, this is your holiday.  Own up to it.  It’s a beautiful thing.

So please don’t put up your Christmas decorations after Halloween.  Take time for Thanksgiving; it’s worth it.

Thank you America.

With Love,

Me