Updated: Dec 3, 2022
This year no particular book has stood out as a favourite so far (but it's only the first week of December), instead magnetic tiles and the lightpads have been the BIGGEST interest (and ICE but that will be my next BLOG).
I have tried to combine these two interests with Christmas as the season is mentioned many times a day and will continue to be by the children!
Let’s start with magnetic tiles. If you do not have these in your early childhood setting, I would be surprised as they AMAZING! Children love to build, engineer and use them in unique ways. I added Christmas bells to the magnetic tiles and in no time the children had made trees and decorated them with bells. I followed their lead and set up an invitation with bells, metal rimmed coloured chips and for a bit of a challenge a magnet wand for them to decorate them with. It is trickier than you think to do this as you can’t get the wand to close as it will pull apart the tree made from tiles.
There was more talk of decorating a tree which may have stemmed from the tape and loose parts tree we always do at Christmas and throughout the year.
I used the tape to make a tree on our magnet story board (tip get the top of the tree in the centre of the board, I didn’t). It was as simple as putting out the magnetic tiles with bells and watch as the children filled in the tree. Quite a bit of problem solving was needed and Lee said “you did not draw the tree evenly which makes it more of a challenge”, which was kind and very understanding. Lee did suggest they might try to do a tape tree next.
You can get small and extra large bells but will need to adjust the magnet board. The extra large bells were too heavy for an upright magnet board but worked well when laying flat.
I will be using my tape on our tuff tray soon and aim to use natural loose parts and materials from our picking garden.
The interest in magnetic tile Christmas trees and bells continued so I added these to our A4 lightpad as an extension and we are enjoying the illumination and have made a ‘dark’ spot for it. Next year I will buy an A2 lightpad so that children can gather together and create on it.
I had bought some Kinetic Plug Chain for our magnet wands and added these to the loose parts bowl with bells and chips (with metal rims). These were popular with the tree but then a child had used it alone like a string for lights with the chips so I grabbed our coloured gems and put them in the bowl. The next day I set up this invitation with more plug chains available.
I have noticed that Christmas trees and decorating is an interest and so I have gathered 3 books that feature Christmas trees ( The Christmas Pine by Julia Donadlson, The lonely little tree and The Christmas tree tangle by Margaret Mahy) and photocopied a tree on tracing or translucent paper and cut one out of a green A4 folder. I added the same items used for decorating the Magnetic tile trees but also added acrylic numbers, acrylic pebbles and wooden stars, cats and dogs 9from alixpress).
Christmas tree Lights
The lights are red.
The lights are white.
The lights are shining very bright.
The lights are green.
The lights are blue.
The lights are twinkling for me and you!
Last year the book Have yourself a HAIRY little Christmas was our go to and I will re-use Santa's beard on the lightpad (it is tracing or translucent paper with Santa's beard photocopied on it). See more ideas and read more about this book here.
The lead up to Christmas has only begun and I look forward to sharing other simple hands-on and inexpensive activities that happen in coming weeks and if there is a strong interest in a book. If you or the children are feeling weary then my attention grabbing BLOG may be for you!
Unitl next time
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