Being a preschool teacher during the holidays is a little bit frenzied but a whole lot of fun. Kids rejoice during the holiday season and you can use this enthusiasm to boost classroom engagement! Consider some ideas for sprinkling a little holiday magic into your curriculum this time of year. These ideas are approved by Santa himself!
Greeting cards: Kids and crafts go hand in hand, so making homemade cards is the perfect activity for preschoolers. Get out crafting supplies and direct kids to make cards for loved ones. This is also a great exercise for reinforcing writing skills! Take this activity a step further by making it a service project. For example, have each child make a card for the residents at a local nursing home. It's a wonderful way to give back to the community.
St. Nicholas Day: On Dec. 6, you can add a touch of holiday magic to your classroom by participating in a St. Nicholas Day tradition. During circle time, have kids take off their shoes and leave them outside by their backpacks and jackets. Then continue with your lesson as another teacher fills their shoes with a treat, such as a peppermint stick or fruit snacks. After circle time, invite the kids to discover the surprise and then enjoy snack time together.
Winter solstice: The change in seasons is fascinating for kids no matter if you live in a chilly or more temperate climate. On the day of the winter solstice, explain how it's the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year in the Northern hemisphere. This is the perfect reason to get out that globe and have a mini geography lesson.
Christmas around the world: Take a trip around the world from the comfort of your classroom by creating a curriculum that explores different holiday traditions in various countries. Visit www.educationworld.com for a great resource about multicultural holiday traditions including classroom activity ideas. This is also a good time to discuss different holiday celebrations, such as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, to reinforce important diversity educational goals.
Countdown chain: Making construction paper chains is something we've all done during childhood, and for good reason. The cutting and gluing is a wonderful way to work those fine motor skills. Writing the numbers reinforces number sense and handwriting skills. Plus when done, it's a fun way to count down to the holidays at school and at home.
New Year's celebration: Some preschools break for the holidays and others may return to school for the days between Christmas and New Year's. Even if the kids don't return until Jan. 2, you can celebrate the start of the new year in style. Put up some decorations, brainstorm and set some classroom resolutions, and then have a countdown before having a little party.
Being a preschool teacher during the holidays is a little bit frenzied but a whole lot of fun. Consider some ideas for sprinkling a little holiday magic into your curriculum this time of year.