Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gingerbread Unit Part One

I decided last week to do a special theme for the week of school before Christmas. I had originally planned on using some of Growing a Jeweled Rose's adorable Grinch activities like this fantastic "Grinch Goo:"

However, Munchkin very nicely told me that "Mommy, I just don't like the Grinch that much..." so I moved on to what had been my after Christmas plan... GINGERBREAD MEN!!! 

I had wanted to kick off the unit with a Gingerbread house, but Walmart was sold out of the kits so we made Gingerbread trees instead...

Then, he helped me mix up some easy home-made play dough... Apparently I have never done this with Munchkin before because he was super excited about this... "We can MAKE play dough?!?" The recipe I used was fool-proof and took less than 5 minutes start to finish...
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup water

Afterwards, I decided to try something new... I had read about using Duncan Hines frosting creations packets to dye and scent rice over at Play, Create, Explore and wondered if they might work for play dough too. We bought the "cinnamon roll" packet to use for our gingerbread play dough.... WOW. This stuff is AWESOME. Fantastic yummy scent and vivid color that didn't rub off on my hands even while mixing it in. The end result was a perfect "gingerbread" play dough. 

I had also bought Munchkin a new "baking" set at Walmart (in their Christmas section... adorable set with everything you see here for $7) so he spent a good half hour baking "Gingerbread" treats. 

While he "baked," I mixed up a second batch of play dough to make some "space dough" with. I was still wrapped up in the excitement of the first flavor creations success that I decided to try another of the packets we bought - the cotton candy. The color was a bright and vivid blue....

.... but it wasn't quite what I was looking for so I ended up adding in quite a bit of blue food coloring as well as several teaspoons of silver glitter:

I also discovered that my recipe of play dough fit PERFECTLY in the 16 ounce ziplock twist-lid containers. Yay for easy storage! 

Outside of our play dough successes, I also decided to try my hand at creating my own printables for some skip counting and addition practice this week. Here's my very first early childhood printable! 
You can download a copy for free at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.  The file includes 2 games, a dot to dot, skip counting counters, and a worksheet. 

I am heading into a 2 week break from work so I am super excited to try out lots more new activities with the Munchkin and Monkey. Lots more to share soon! 

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