The holidays are here and my scholars love our home-school connection.
When families with young children decorate for the holidays, the children want to be a part of the decorating process. The twinkling lights, the glimmering decorations and the busy excitement of the season can oftentimes bring chaos into the classroom. Bringing in a connection from home to school can actually help reduce the hubbub and be incredibly beneficial, when set up as a skill building activity. Why not bring in a tree and child-safe decorations for scholars to decorate? They can hang, remove and re-decorate, over and over, using fine-motor.
For the two weeks in between themes, our Imagination Center is transformed back into our "home".
During the holidays, when our "home" is set up, I like to add a holiday touch. A simple fireplace mural with a stocking hung and embellished with sprigs, is printed from a blown-up clipart file and laminated to be used each year. The wreath is from the dollar store and is secured with a Command Strip hook. The Christmas tree is only four feet tall and the perfect size for young children to decorate.
Small, plastic decorations are the perfect size to add fine-motor practice.
Tubes of small, plastic ornament balls can be purchased at most dollar stores. To make them last from year-to-year, I hot glued the cap to each one. This also reduces any chance of students finding a hole that they'd be tempted to stick a finger into, getting stuck. Many of the large grocery chains, such as Walmart, carry a variety of small ornaments that are made for mini trees. Just be sure to lookout for anything sharp and breakable. In order for the ornaments to be easily gripped and separated from each other in the basket, I replaced the cording with thin satin ribbon.