Mmmmmm, I smell Cookies!
I am still not in much of a Christmas mood so instead of reading Christmas stories this week for our Story Time classes I decided on cookies as a theme. I could still tie it in to Christmas a little bit but we could read all types of stories. I chose Mr. Cookie Baker by Monica Wellington, The Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson, Maisy makes Gingerbread by Lucy Cousins, The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins, and Mmmmm, Cookies by Robert Munsch. I also used the Little Golden Book version of The Gingerbread Man by Nancy Nolte. Other books that would have worked well with this theme are Cookies: A Mr. and Mrs. Green Adventure, and any of the Cookie books by Amy Krouse Rosenthal among many others.
We played a game of Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? on the flannel board using several bears that were pictured doing different things like picking flowers or wearing a tutu. I hid cookies beneath the one that was riding a bicycle and we would repeat the old rhyme. Then I would let the children decide which bear they wanted to look under, and ask is the dancing bear hiding the cookies? etc.
I had another activity planned that just wasn't coming together when I was doing my prep work, so last minute, I changed and made a simple matching game. I took some of the cookie cutters that we use for Playdough and traced them onto poster board. Then I placed the cookie cutters in a basket. I traced enough that each child could have a turn. They each took a cookie cutter out of the basket and then they matched the cutter with the correct outline. It was such a hit that several children wanted to play with the poster and cookie cutters at the end of class. A surprisingly simple game with fun results. I deliberately outlined the shape in a color different from the actual cookie cutter so the child had to focus on the shape.
We used the CD Action Songs for Preschoolers and danced along with The Bean Bag Rock, using bean bag props.
For our craft I prepared a copy of a simple gingerbread man outline on cardstock. I had the children color the details like buttons and eyes. Then using a homemade puffy paint recipe they painted the gingerbread man brown. The recipe required that we cook the paint so I hauled the library microwave downstairs. Since the paint needed to be brown I added cinnamon. The wonderful about it was as the gingerbread cooked the entire library filled up with the scent of cinnamon. The library still smells great this afternoon! The drawback to it was that the paper warped a little bit during the cooking process so the gingerbread me didn't lay completely flat.
Our take home worksheets included a gingerbread man color by number and a roll a gingerbread man game.
Next week: Christmas Trees
Michele Schumann, Children's Librarian