Our Thanksgiving Feast in preschool

It’s Thanksgiving day and just as many of us are cooking up a big feast to eat at home with our families, my students cooked up their own Thanksgiving feast to serve up for our classroom family…

Thanksgiving Feast Day by Teach Preschool

We started our day by reading the story “Thanks for Thanksgiving” by Doris Barrette.  This is a book about being thankful for the simple things in our every day lives and of course, it ends with the family enjoying a Thanksgiving Feast together which was what our classroom family was getting ready to do too…

Thanksgiving Feast Day by Teach Preschool

After reading our story, the children helped me make a list of things they are thankful for…

Thanksgiving Feast Day by Teach Preschool

There were still some preparations to be made before we were ready to eat together. First, we had to prepare our place settings…

Thanksgiving Feast Day by Teach Preschool

Around the room the children found a place that they would like to sit. We added their name to a square on the paper place mat and each child decorated their place with stickers and crayons…

Thanksgiving Feast Day by Teach Preschool

Once they had finished their place mat, then they were ready to set their plates, cups, napkins, and silverware on the table…

Thanksgiving Feast Day by Teach Preschool

And we still had a few food items to heat up or prepare including our green beans…

Thanksgiving Feast Day by Teach Preschool

And our dinner rolls…

Thanksgiving Feast Day by Teach Preschool

And our gravy for the turkey that was cooking in the oven…

Thanksgiving Feast Day by Teach Preschool

While the last few items of food were heating up, the children went outside to play and then wash hands and then they came back inside to enjoy all of their work and a feast fit for the entire classroom family….

Thanksgiving Feast Day by Teach Preschool

The children made their own fruit cornucopias too by filling a waffle cone with fruit and popcorn…

Thanksgiving Feast Day by Teach Preschool

The children did a wonderful job setting the tables, cooking food, and serving their plates and the best part was getting to sit down together and eat it all up! I am so thankful for these little ones…

Thanksgiving Feast Day by Teach Preschool

I will be off spending the rest of the Thanksgiving holiday with my family.  Mrs. Courtney, Mr. Hayden, and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your family too!

Deborah's Family

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By | November 28th, 2013|Categories: Children's Books, Thanksgiving|Tags: , , |3 Comments

My, oh my! We like to make pies!

As the day of our Thanksgiving Feast draws near, we continue to spend time exploring different things we can make or explore that are related to our Thanksgiving Feast.  One thing that our preschoolers love is to make pie – my, oh my!…

My, Oh My! We Like to Make Pies by Teach Preschool

We had two different kinds of pie on our agenda today but to start off our pie making experiences, we read the book “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie” by Alison Jackson…

My, Oh My! We Like to Make Pies by Teach Preschool

There are many different versions of “I Know an Old Lady…” and we have them all. In this particular version, the old lady swallows just about everything commonly related to a Thanksgiving feast including an entire cake and a whole turkey. I always hesitate to read this book to my class because it uses the phrase, “Perhaps she”ll die” all through out the book and sure enough, one of my students told me that he didn’t like that word so in our class, we changed that phrase to “Perhaps she’ll cry.”

My, Oh My! We Like to Make Pies by Teach Preschool

After reading the book, the children helped me come up with all the things the old lady swallowed and put the words up on our turkey magnetic board to review…

My, Oh My! We Like to Make Pies by Teach Preschool

We came up with words like; salad, pot, turkey, food, cider, squash, and more. As the children thought of a word, I wrote it out and handed it to them to place on our turkey board…

My, Oh My! We Like to Make Pies by Teach Preschool

And then we were off to make our own pies. We made two types of pies: a playdough pie and a real cherry pie.  Our playdough pies needed a pie pan and crust to get us started…

My, Oh My! We Like to Make Pies by Teach Preschool

Once the children had a crust for their playdough pie, then they went around the classroom to decide what they wished to use as their pie filling.  I wasn’t allowed to see what they would use because I was going to have to eat the pie later…

My, Oh My! We Like to Make Pies by Teach Preschool

The children added their pretend pie fillings and then they put the top crust on their pie to seal in the filling…

My, Oh My! We Like to Make Pies by Teach Preschool

Now it was time for Mrs. Stewart to guess what might be in one of those pies?  I could not ever guess right so we had to cut them open and take a look!…

My, Oh My! We Like to Make Pies by Teach Preschool

Inside the pies were pretend strawberries and blackberries, race cars, and other toys…

My, Oh My! We Like to Make Pies by Teach Preschool

The children continued to make their pretend pies all through out the morning and serve them to me and each other…

My, Oh My! We Like to Make Pies by Teach Preschool

In the meantime, the children also participated in helping to make a real cherry pie for our Thanksgiving Feast.  Each child helped in some way whether it was helping to mix up our dough for the pie crust…

My, Oh My! We Like to Make Pies by Teach Preschool

Or rolling out the pie crust…

My, Oh My! We Like to Make Pies by Teach Preschool

Or adding the cherry filling to the pie…

My, Oh My! We Like to Make Pies by Teach Preschool

Or cutting strips of dough for the top of our pie…

My, Oh My! We Like to Make Pies by Teach Preschool

Or designing the top of our pie…

My, Oh My! We Like to Make Pies by Teach Preschool

Together, my students made a beautiful cherry pie for our Thanksgiving Feast…

My, Oh My! We Like to Make Pies by Teach Preschool

Just one more day until our Thanksgiving feast!

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By | November 27th, 2013|Categories: Children's Books, Thanksgiving|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Turkey toss drawings

This is a fun game to invite young children to explore the drawing process and today, we tossed the dice to inspire some rather unique turkey drawings…

Tossing up Turkeys: A simple drawing game by Teach Preschool

The children started by drawing a circle on their paper for a turkey body…

Tossing up Turkeys: A simple drawing game by Teach Preschool

Once they had their version of a turkey body on the paper then the children tossed the dice to find out what color or kind of feather they should add to their turkey…

Tossing up Turkeys: A simple drawing game by Teach Preschool

Some of the children tossed up squiggly lines to draw while others tossed up feathers to draw…

Pie day 160

As you can see, the children weren’t all that worried about drawing a typical turkey. Instead, they focused on drawing the lines and shapes they saw on the wooden dice any way they wished…

Tossing up Turkeys: A simple drawing game by Teach Preschool

Each drawing was beautiful in its own way…

Tossing up Turkeys: A simple drawing game by Teach Preschool

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By | November 26th, 2013|Categories: Thanksgiving|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Exploring cornucopias

Holidays present a wonderful opportunity to expose our children to new ideas and vocabulary.  We recently explored a new word with our children as it relates to our  up and coming Thanksgiving feast.  That word was cornucopia…

Exploring cornucopias by Teach Preschool

With our Thanksgiving feast fast approaching, we wanted to explore the many different types of foods that are served at a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  The word cornucopia isn’t a word that we use very often.  It is a word that was unfamiliar to most of our children.  A cornucopia is also sometimes referred to as a “horn of plenty” and is a traditional Thanksgiving symbol…

Exploring cornucopias by Teach Preschool

On our large tray, we spread out many different types of play fruits and vegetables.  We also set out paper bags to use as our cornucopias.  The children pointed out some of their favorite fruits and vegetables and we discussed some that may have been unfamiliar to them like egg plant…

Exploring cornucopias by Teach Preschool

We then invited the children to fill their horns of plenty with all of the fruits and vegetables that they would like to eat at their Thanksgiving feast…

Exploring cornucopias by Teach Preschool

The children grabbed a bag and began filling their cornucopias to the brim…

Exploring cornucopias by Teach Preschool

This activity gave the children a chance to explore lots of new words and they were eager to tell us all about the contents of their cornucopias…

Exploring cornucopias by Teach Preschool

The play with our pretend fruits and vegetables continued all throughout the week as the children went to the grocery store…

Exploring cornucopias by Teach Preschool

We also found several books that talked about the kinds of foods people often eat at their Thanksgiving feasts including this fun book titled “One is a Feast for Mouse: A Thanksgiving Tale” by Judy Cox. This book is about a mouse who went off to gather as many left-overs as he could carry from the family table to enjoy a feast for a mouse…

Exploring cornucopias by Teach Preschool

The little mouse in our book tried to balance as many things from the Thanksgiving feast table as he could. He balanced things up high but soon it all came tumbling down to the floor and in the end, he was left with one little pea which was exactly just the right amount for a feast for one…

Exploring cornucopias by Teach Preschool

We used our pretend food to retell the story of the little mouse as we worked together to balance the food from our cornucopias on a plate just like the mouse did…

Exploring cornucopias by Teach Preschool

Keeping all that food from falling off the plate as we walked across the room was a very big challenge.  Perhaps, just like the mouse, we don’t need quite so much food for a feast after all!

Exploring cornucopias by Teach Preschool

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By | November 25th, 2013|Categories: Children's Books, Holiday Ideas, Thanksgiving|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Fun with feathers and beads

As our Thanksgiving feast was drawing near, I decided that I would fill our classroom centers with materials that were somehow related to either our Thanksgiving feast or some of our Thanksgiving books. One item that we found in many of our Thanksgiving related books were feathers so we filled our classroom centers with different ways we could have fun exploring and working with feathers...

Fun with Feathers by Teach Preschool

Many of our Thanksgiving related books included photos of turkeys with beautiful colors of browns and whites and even some feathers of a variety of colors. So in one of our centers, we set out white feathers with a variety of beautiful colored wooden beads that would fit easily over the ends of our feathers…

Fun with Feathers by Teach Preschool

I drew several small pattern cards as a way to invite the children to make patterns with the beads on their feathers but I must say that the cards weren’t really ever used…

Fun with Feathers by Teach Preschool

Many of my older students had their own patterns in mind and never looked at the cards and many of my younger students just preferred focusing on putting as many beads on a feather that they could…

Fun with Feathers by Teach Preschool

The Styrofoam trays were simply used as a way to stand the feathers up so the beads would not fall off and so the children could display their beaded feathers as they went along…

Fun with Feathers by Teach Preschool

The feathers were a perfect tool for my younger students to use. The stiffness of the feathers helped them to easily guide a feather through the hole of a bead which eliminated some of the frustration in beading that many of my threes encounter. Instead, they quickly discovered they could master the process and stayed with it for much longer than they normally would…

Fun with Feathers by Teach Preschool

After a child decided he or she was finished exploring the feathers and beads, then we slid the beads back into our basket and set the feathers out for others to come and give the process a try. I stopped to take a few photos while the feathers were still all set up because I found the completed feathers all set up in their trays to be quite beautiful and artistic…

Fun with Feathers by Teach Preschool

I have detailed for you this one example of how the children explored with feathers throughout the week but here is a quick look at another example…

Feathers and Beads in Playdough

Fun with Feathers by Teach Preschool

At this center the children explored the feathers and beads by putting them into the playdough. Another interesting and very open ended form of fine motor play…

Fun with Feathers by Teach Preschool

Although I set out googly eyes for the children to use, they were never touched. Instead, the focus was solely on exploring the beautiful brown feathers and brown tones of wooden beads.  Interestingly, it also seemed the children either preferred to only work with the beads or only work with the feathers and very few, if any, of the children chose to mix both beads and feathers on their playdough creations…

Fun with Feathers by Teach Preschool

Two simple ways (among others) that our students spent time exploring with feathers….

Fun with Feathers by Teach Preschool

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Our Thanksgiving chart

Before heading off to enjoy our Thanksgiving feast, we took a few minutes to share what we were thankful for…

As each child chose something to be thankful for, I printed their word on a sticky note and added a picture….

I gave the children their thankful notes and invited them to add their notes to our thankful chart…

We left more pads of sticky note paper on the table so the children could add more thankful notes to our chart throughout the morning as they wished…

Some of the children drew pictures on their notepads…

And others “wrote” words of thankfulness…

A very simple way to share our thoughts of thankfulness with each other!

 

I hope you have many things to be thankful for too and have a very

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

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By | November 21st, 2012|Categories: Holiday Ideas, Thanksgiving|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Sticky tube turkeys

You can add just about anything light in weight to a sticky tube but since we are still on our turkey tangent – we made sticky tube turkeys in our classroom this week….

To make a sticky tube, gather up empty paper towel or toilet paper tubes and wrap them with contact paper – sticky side facing out.  We stapled our contact paper to the tubes and had them ready to go before the kids arrived.  We just needed one quick activity to complete our day and this was it!…

To make a sticky tube turkey, the children found feathers and googly eyes on the table and simply stuck them on the tubes…

If they didn’t like where an eyeball or feather was placed, they could easily take it off the tube and stick it back on again in a new place…

We didn’t set out beaks or feet but you certainly could add more items for the children to decorate their tubes than we did.  Our students were happy just adding feathers and googly eyes and we had many other things going on that day so we kept it very simple…

Ok – so maybe they look more like owls or birds or fuzzy monsters but in any case, a sticky tube has lots of possibilities!

Oh – and lighter weight items like tissue paper, fluffy feathers, construction paper scraps, and small googly eyes work best – heavier items tend to fall off the sticky tube 🙂

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Check out all the other Thanksgiving Books for Children by Clicking here!

 

Goin on a turkey hunt

We have been reading a variety of books about Thanksgiving and in many of our books, the authors show the historical story of how the Pilgrims sailed across the ocean and came to a new land only to find that they didn’t know how to survive in this new land.  What the children have found most interesting in these books are the Indians who made their own bows and arrows and taught the Pilgrims how to hunt for food.  Building on the children’s interest we made our own bows and arrows and then went on a turkey hunt…

We had to brainstorm what we would need to make our bows and arrows and the children easily decided that we could make them from sticks – so off they went to gather sticks.  The children had to find sticks that were long and perhaps had a bit of a curve or arch for their bows and then shorter sticks for their arrows.  This meant we had to do lots of searching, comparing, and collecting of sticks for our hunt…

We also needed turkeys to hunt.  Each child threw together a paper bag turkey but we noticed that we had flat turkeys and no hunter wants to eat a flat turkey…

The children took their paper bag turkeys outside to fill them up with leaves. While we were stuffing our turkeys with leaves, one of my students asked me, “Mrs. Stewart, Do turkeys eat leaves?”  What a great question!…

Once our turkeys were stuffed and the ends were tied off, the children went back outside and hid their turkeys…

And finally we went back to making our bows and arrows…

The children wrapped their bows with a special kind of tape (which I will share more about soon) while Mrs. Courtney and I tied a large rubber band on the ends of each bow to make the string of the bow…

Here is a look at a few of our completed bows…

Now that we had our bows ready to go, the children went outside to gather more sticks for their arrows and hunt for their turkeys….

I was a little worried that we might have kids accidentally shooting each other with their arrows but I didn’t have to worry because we spent most of our time just trying to figure out how to hold the bow and the arrow in the right position in order to get the bow to spring up into the air.  This was quite challenging and most of the children did not have the coordination to get an arrow to shoot anywhere at all.  The entire turkey hunt preparation and adventure was lots of fun for the children and the children loved the adventure of it all and so did I!

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Check out all the other Thanksgiving Books for Children by Clicking here!

By | November 19th, 2012|Categories: Holiday Ideas, Thanksgiving|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

Sticky paper turkey dress-up and patterning

We have been on a turkey tangent in our classroom recently and part of our fun included dressing up our sticky paper turkey…

Our poor turkey didn’t look so good standing up there without any clothes on so my students spent a little  time throughout the afternoon giving him some warm feathers to wear…

Before the children helped out our naked turkey, they each were given a baggie of feathers (two different colors) to make feather patterns…

Some of the children worked alone to make their patterns and some of the children combined their feathers with their neighbor and worked together on making a pattern…

To continue with our patterning exercise, I invited the children to make a pattern with their feathers on our turkey as well…

Some of my students were interested in adding their feathers in the form of a pattern but others preferred to just add the feathers where ever they found a spot.  As the feathers began to fill up the board, the idea of making a pattern was kind of lost in the process…

 It didn’t take long before our turkey looked much happier all dressed up in his beautiful coat of feathers…

We had so many feathers on our turkey that it was difficult to find a spot to add any more feathers by the end of the day…

A job well done by our students and a bright and colorful turkey looked quite proud in his new coat of feathers…

 

Questions you may have…

  • We covered our magnetic board with contact paper leaving the sticky side out and taping the edges of the sticky paper around the back of the board.
  • The feathers came from Walmart
  • You can read more about how to make a magnetic board here!
By | November 15th, 2012|Categories: Holiday Ideas, Mathematics, Thanksgiving|Tags: , , , , , |4 Comments

Fine motor turkeys in preschool

Today was our Thanksgiving feast and I needed a few simple activities the children could do while we waited for the food to finish cooking. So here are a few ideas I threw together….

I call these little guys fine motor turkey toppers.  I actually got this idea from Reading Confetti – only she made an edible snack that is too cute….

For the fine motor turkey toppers, you simply cover the outside of a paper cup with a turkey then poke holes in the bottom of the cup.  I set out a selection of feathers and pipe cleaners for the children to poke through the holes…

The children simply add feathers to the top of the turkey by poking the feathers or pipe cleaners through the holes in the cup.  This could be used to make a cute table center piece as well but I just needed a game.

This idea was simple to throw together for a last minute Fine motor turkey activity and between the two materials, pipe cleaners and  feathers, there was some nice textures added to the turkeys as well!

Turkey Punch

For this second fine motor activity, I prepared a set of paper plate turkeys.  The idea here was not for the children to make and take a turkey but to instead explore a variety of tools in the classroom…

I set out hole punchers, scissors, crayons, and yarn for the children to explore. I invited the children to use the tools any way they would like on the paper plate turkeys. They could punch holes, cut the feathers, snip the feathers, thread yarn, weave yarn and so on….

The children really struggled using these hole punchers (they were brand new to our class) but as they kept coming back to the table, several of the children got quite proficient at using the hole punchers. It had to do more with strength than it did fine motor control…

The yarn was a big hit with the younger children.  Some liked threading in the holes but most of them just liked wrapping the turkey all up…

Apple Turkeys

And finally, we used part of our morning to create apple turkeys. I found this idea from I (heart) Crafty Things.   These were going to be for our centerpieces on our table for the Thanksgiving feast but I forgot to have the children set them out once we got them finished.  It was a crazy busy morning!

The apple turkeys were a huge success with the children.  They loved poking the toothpicks into the apples and adding on the gum drops and marshmallows.  Our apple turkeys ended up looking not so much like turkeys but the process definitely led to some quality fine motor play….

 

Not sure what you would call these creations but they each turned out quite unique…

These were a few of our last minute fine motor turkey activities…..

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