Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

S is for Santa, of course!


S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten
It is December, and the kiddos are ever so ready for Christmas!  We focused on the letter S this week, so of course, Santa had to come into the picture, regularly!  Our upper case S craft had a Santa hand print on it, but the very most fun "Santa" activity was dressing up!

S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten Several years ago I bought a large kid sized red fleece top, and red pants.  I added white fleece around the cuffs and hems, added an old black belt, a fun fur beard, Santa hat, and my own black snow boots, and voila!  We have a Santa costume.

 Not everything was about Santa, of course.  We still did a lot of regular activities, like practicing writing our names on the ipad.  The kiddos are using Writing Wizard, which allowed me to enter their names and other words to practice. 
S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten

S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten

 We also worked hard on more ornaments for our parents this week, in preparation for our class Christmas party.  I love the snowmen CDs, which I found on happyhooligans.ca from November 29, 2013.  I painted old CDs with white acrylic paint ahead of time, and the children added button eyes, black bean mouths, and a twisted square of orange tissue paper for the noses.  Super cute!  The only difficulty was that when I stacked the CDs, some of them stuck together.  Next time I'll put a piece of wax paper between them.











S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten
  Here are our hand print choices for this week: Santa, swans, and snails.  You can see all our hand and foot print art ideas on my handprint alphabet pinterest board.
S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten

S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten





















We had some beautiful days this week, and took advantage of it to get lots of outside time.  The kiddos were so adorable, here are some of their favorite outside play choices:
S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten

Drawing, coloring and writing at our outside table...
S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten

Playing on the swings.  Swinging on their tummies is ever popular, and since every child I've met wants to do it, it must feed some kind of a need.  These two were super cute holding hands and swinging side to side together!
S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten

Running, chasing, playing...
 The kiddos were fascinated by the jack-o-lantern pumpkins rotting in the dormant veggie garden.  I watched them run up and poke at them, to see how soft they had become, and realized this one was ready to split open. I didn't want it to eventually mush under anyone's prodding, so I poked a hole in it, and opened it up for the kids to see.  Everyone wanted to look, and I had to ask them to not pick out the seeds from the rotting pumpkin!

Do you wonder what secrets these two are sharing? So sweet!
Then came the biggest event for the week, our Christmas party, complete with a visit from a certain jolly old guy!

S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten
 Several times a day for the last two weeks, I've read the children one of my books of The Night Before Christmas.  Every time, I make the same hand motions for the kiddos, and they have all memorized most or all of the poem!  We start our Christmas party each year by reciting it to our parents.  Needless to say, the children who have been with me for several holiday seasons know it really well!  Our moms and dads were very impressed!
S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten

Before our party, we talked about gift etiquette; looking at the giver, saying thank you, and making a positive comment about the gift - even if it is just to notice the color or to acknowledge the thought behind the gift.  So often our kiddos are overwhelmed with gifts, and tear through them.  Taking the time to be appreciative is important!

Julie and I give each child a small gift to keep. This year the kiddos got a small stuffed animal.
S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten

The second gift the children open is something to stay at school for us all to enjoy.  We got new books, some puzzles, and stuffed animals!
S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten

S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten
Do you remember being a child?  One thing I remember is my love of paper, any kind of paper!  After we had opened our gifts, we gathered up the paper to save for crafts the next day.  Used fancy wrapping paper with snowmen and shiny sparkles is "trash" to most adults, but to the children, it is treasure!  They cut it, pasted on it, and decorated it like crazy the day after our party!
S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten
 Our gifts to our parents is all the ornaments we've made.  I treasure the Rudolph ornaments my boys made with their hand and foot prints when they were small, the popsicle stick snowmen, and paper gingerbread men... I hope our parents all find these as precious as I do! 
S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten

Then Santa came to see us!  A few of the children weren't too sure about him, but most were thrilled to have him visit. 
S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten

S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten
 Before the party, I prepped plates with candy, green frosting, a plastic knife (to spread the frosting), and an ice cream cone.  Turning these ingredients into Christmas trees was our culminating activity, and it was wonderful!  I found the idea here, and all over pinterest.com!
S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten
As you can see, the children were very engaged with this project!  (Gee, candy, sugar cones, and a craft project all in one, wonder what attracted them?)
S is for Santa, by Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten





Happy Holidays!  I hope your Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate, is as sweet as can be!

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