Since I work in a Christian early learning center, the month of December is filled with planning for the arrival of Christmas. We also spend time talking about our five senses during the first couple of weeks of December. Please check out some of my first week of PreK Christmas.
PreK Christmas on the Easel
One of my easel activities for the PreK Christmas theme is a felt tree to decorate. Not only do the students need to decorate it, they also need to put the pieces of the tree together. This involves organizing the pieces in size order. I cut out the tree pieces myself freehand, used some felt pieces that came with a dollar store tree, and added a few pieces of my own to complete this center.
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PreK Christmas and 5 Senses Math and Fine Motor
My blue table is mostly used for math and some fine motor centers.
New this year is a set of clip cards for the five senses from The Measured Mom. I laminated these and added clothespins. To encourage trying this center out, I modeled it at circle time and had each student try one card. This also helped me see which students needed assistance in using the clothes pins.
Counting Christmas tree ornaments and placing the star with correct numeral on it is another center on this table. This activity is found on Confessions of a Homeschooler’s site.
Finally, I placed an outline of a Christmas tree, a set of Christmas theme stamps, and some dice at one spot for an easy counting center. Students roll dice, count, and then choose a stamp to stamp that many times on the tree to create ornaments. Students play until they think their tree is full.
More Christmas PreK Fine Motor Centers
The Cariboo game is long gone from stores, but if you ever come across one at a yard sale, grab it. This is a favorite any time I put it out. This time I used Christmas theme matching cards. Students pick a card, open the door that matches and see if a ball is under the door. Balls go in the hole on the side until all of them cause the treasure chest to open. You can find the cards I used here.
My Christmas Q-tip Painting center keeps students busy with a small palette of paints. I found the palette and color coded q-tips at my local Dollar Tree. You can find the sheets in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop.
PreK Christmas Literacy and Writing
Color by code starts gaining interest as the year goes on in PreK. Many students are not quite ready for a whole page in a single sitting at this point in the year. I encourage students to put their names on the page they begin and return to it during the week to finish. It helps to show an example of a completed page since students may not have seen an activity like this before.
Sensory writing is a hit, even with those students who do not have strong fine motor skills yet. Playing with the colored sand encourages those who need to exercise those fingers to come try out this center when the same student would not yet come to a writing center to draw letters on paper. This center has green sand and ornaments on alphabet letters.
PreK Five Senses Science
The science activity this week involves the sense of smell. The salt and pepper containers are from the local dollar store. Place a cotton ball in each container, along with a few drops of different oils and items that have a strong smell. I used peppermint oil, coconut (imitation) oil, cinnamon, grape flavored drops for water, orange flavored drops for water, and vanilla. All of the containers are in a Christmas gift box that I had saved from a gift from last year. Placing something in an interesting container can draw a child over to check a center out.
PreK Christmas Sensory Bin
I realized after the first day that my sensory bin was too full. We have two different sensory bins in our school. There is a larger one that we usually rotate back and forth between classrooms. This year we are only using the smaller one since we are limiting play to one student at a time in the sensory bin. I solved the problem by removing a bunch of the paper shred, which made it easier to play.
Everything in the bin came from the local Dollar Tree.
Tie a knot in the decorative string on the small presents so that the students do not unwrap the fake gifts. It is difficult otherwise to re-wrap the foam cubes.
Christmas Tree and Gingerbread Dramatic Play
The dramatic play area is finally a home living area with a kitchen and a Christmas tree. The tree can be decorated over and over, while the kitchen area is ready for baking gingerbread.
I stapled the teacher copy of a Scholastic magazine from the past that shows step by step instructions for baking, which students have been looking at for ideas.
To make the gingerbread cookies I decided we needed some cooking tools and a large bowl. These are found at the local dollar store.
For the actual cookies I have laminated some gingerbread cookie shapes. I add some velcro and laminated candies to add to the gingerbread.
Small cookie sheets are also in the center. Students quickly realize that the cookie sheets will not fit in the play kitchen oven. They solve this problem themselves by pretending the shelf is an oven.
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