Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Seasonal Sensations Family Activity Night

We belong to a preschool play group run through our school district called First Steps. We meet with other children of similar ages for one hour a week for free play, theme based activities, art, and circle time. ER really enjoys going "to school" and I like talking to the other Mommies. We've made some great friends in our local area, and had some fun play dates. Most of my friends from growing up live an hour or more away and only one has children close to ER's age so it's nice to have friends closer by.

Besides weekly play group about once a month there are parent education nights. This month we met for a family activity night and it was a lot of fun. The theme was Seasonal Sensations and the activities incorporated using our five senses, there were a lot of great things to do. Thanks so much to Julie, Nicole, and Fifi who put a lot of hard work into making play group so much fun and for planning and putting together this fun event.

We made floom out of cornstarch with water and food coloring. ER always likes getting to play with spray bottles! The floom has a goopy texture that solid yet liquid, very fun.

There was a table with different scents in bags for the kids to smell, such as cloves, cinnamon, and clementine peels. At that table we also peeled a clementine and talked about how it feels when we bite into it and how it tastes. It was the first time ER has tried peeling fruit; she got about half way through it before handing it to Daddy to finish, and she knew it was juicy when she bit into it and it sprayed juice all over her face. We also spread marshmallow fluff on graham crackers and talked about crunchy with her. At another table we made cute ornaments, and it's a good idea for crafting with young kids. A sheet of contact paper is folded in half and an ornament shape is cut out of it. Prepare this for the child ahead of time. Peel back half and have your child lay little squares of tissue paper on top. Unpeel the second half and fold down. Press firmly to seal. Add a hole to add a string for hanging and you're done. ER thought it was neat how the paper was sticky and glue wasn't needed.

We made a second cute ornament too. Each child was given a pre-cut ornament photocopied onto heavy paper. Then finger paint was used to decorate it and some sprinkles of glitter added shine. You could cut out the center and add your child's picture but since most of ER's artwork is in the center we will be leaving it as it. We usually paint with a paintbrush so I think ER was surprised to be told she could get her hands all messy this time.

The kids even got to take off their shoes! We walked on top of a fake furry bear skin rug, snapped big bubble wrap with our toes, stepped in sand, and then stood on chalk dust before making foot prints on a paper trail.

The last one was making fun treat, Snowman Soup. Place one pouch of hot chocolate, eight marshmallows, one candy cane, two chocolate kisses, and Snowman Soup poem in a plastic bag. Here's the poem:

Snowman Soup
Was told you’ve been real good this year,
Always glad to hear it!
With freezing weather drawing near,
You’ll need to warm your spirit.
So here’s a little Snowman Soup, complete with stirring stick
Add hot water, sip it slow, it’s sure to do the trick!

I'm not sure if this was supposed to be part of the activities, but ER really liked the sensory table this week. So she took advantage of a chance to play in the "snow" one more time. I may have to give her cotton balls to play with at home too!
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