Welcome to Paula's Primary Classroom! This blog is where I share ideas for teaching and learning with families, friends and 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!

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Children love to pretend.  Let's be honest, a lot of adults like to pretend too, we just show it in different ways.  Movies and books with a little magic or fantasy are popular because pretending is... well... fun!

Which brings me to unicorns.  Yes, they're pretend, but unlike dragons, I've found children seldom are confused about that.  Over the years a lot of children I've taught have thought that dragons were real, a kind of dinosaur perhaps, extinct now, but still real.  That hasn't been the case with unicorns, the children know them as a lovely pretend.
 A few years ago I created a unicorn sensory play box, filling it with some popular flying pony toys, a plastic unicorn toy, white pompons (clouds), sparkly pompons (they must be magical!), rainbow colored foam stars, a painted rainbow, and some colored cups for scooping and sorting the colored bits. Between the soft texture of the pompons and the bright rainbow colors, the children were always drawn to play in our unicorn box.

I have a much loved, favorite unicorn book too, The Midnight Unicorn.

  This book is by Neil Reid, and the pages have embossed, shiny highlights, which adds another dimension to the reading experience for the children.  

 After we read the book, the children make their own unicorns to ride on, just like the girl in the story.  Ours are cardboard, with a paint stirrer handle - a modified hobby horse.  The teachers precut and assemble the unicorns, and the children choose the color of their mane (2 strands of yarn, folded in half then looped through holes), add facial features (one eye and one nostril on each side, a REALLY hard concept for most children), and decorate their unicorns.

The best part is riding them around.  Sometimes we keep them inside, but sometimes we play with them on the playground, or even take them for a ride (a neighborhood walk). 
I've also seen an awesome paper mache unicorn, which would be amazing to make with your own children, but isn't practical for a classroom.  I don't think I could make these unicorn poop cookies with many groups of children, but boy, would I like to!  I am going to make some for my own teenaged boys - because some things never stop being funny.

We listen to The Unicorn Song, I like this particular version because there are pictures to go along with the lyrics, and at this age, that's important to the kiddos.  With older children you might prefer one of the versions that shows the lyrics on screen, but this one works for us.  :-)

The children love to make our footprint unicorns too.  I found a foot print horse idea on funhandprintartblog.com/ , and added the unicorn horn and rainbow background.  First we paint our feet white, and print them onto colored paper (it makes them stand out better).
 Once dry, the children add the mane and horn...
...create a rainbow background by ordering 1" wide strips of tissue paper, and assemble it.  Ta-da!

Recently I posted a unicorn reading center to my TeachersPayTeachers store:


I wish I had made it before I retired, because I know my kiddos would have loved working with it, After all, who doesn't like to pretend?  The good news is, I'll be seeing some of my kiddos soon... guess what I think I'll take them?  I may even make the unicorn poop cookies!

I hope your day is magical!


Post Script.  I decided to take colored sugar cookie dough  with me when I visited the kiddos, so that we could make unicorn poop cookies together.  "Kids" from 4 - 16 got in on the action, and so did the parents.  What a blast!  We all had fun fashioning the "poop", and they tasted amazing! 

While they were baking we did the Unicorn sentence picture match activity.  My former student, now a kindergartener, did an awesome job with the game, and was talking about showing it to her friends. 
As a teacher, I can't think of a nicer compliment!