Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Playgroup

Here is our weekly playgroup idea.  The theme this week is Christmas Time (surprise).  You can have so much fun with your playgroup during the holidays and we wanted to share some things we did during our playgroup this week.

We have a really fun batch of gingerbread playdough that the kids absolutely LOVED.  They played with it and used cookie cut outs to make their own "gingerbread cookies". Here is a simple recipe that you can use:

Gingerbread Playdough

Stored properly this dough should stay supple for a couple of months.
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup water
Mix together flour, salt, cream of tartar, and spices in a medium-sized pot. Stir in the oil and water until evenly mixed (will be thick). Place pot over medium-low heat, cook and beat with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is playdough consistency. Remove from pot (Careful, it’s hot!) and knead with your hands until smooth. Store in an airtight container.
Then we played a game with a gingerbread man puppet. Everyone sits in a circle and then we had one child be the "gingerbread man" and wear the puppet.  They went out of the room and while they were gone we had a single jingle bell that we gave to one of the other children in the circle.  Everyone puts their hands behind their back and the "gingerbread man" comes back in the room and they stand in the middle of the circle.  The child with the bell jingles it and the "gingerbread man" tries to figure out which person has the bell.  When they find who it is then that person becomes the next "gingerbread man".    It was a very fun game and the kids couldn't wait for their turn to be the "gingerbread man".
After the game we read a Christmas book.  There are so many out there for you to choose from.  Then we had an arts and craft activity where we had a gingerbread man cutout of sandpaper and the kids could color them.  We also had them rub cinnamon sticks on the sand paper and then the cutout smelt like cookies.  Next they hole punched the top and tied a string so that they had their own gingerbread man Christmas ornament to put on their tree at home.  

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