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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Live Nativity

Since the nursery school is part of a church, Christmas is very important to us. We are always sure to stress that Christmas is Jesus' birthday. We talk about Mary, Joseph, the beautiful star, angels, wise men, shepherds, and the stable. Our room is full of Nativity scenes. Jesus' love is all around us. Plus with a stained glass window like the one below, HE is always watching over us. This window is no smaller than 8-10 feet high. It's quite a window.

This year the church had a Live Nativity. They had never had it before so I was anxious to see it. They held it last night. It was really very nice. If anyone in the area got to experience I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. I hope they are able to share this experience with the community every year.

As you enter you are sent to your "shepherd" who will take you on your journey to the stable. The shepherd shares the story of Jesus as you travel.

Our first stop was the stable with Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, and live animals. After the reading you were invited to pet the animals and enjoy the area. They had the cutest little donkey and alpaca there--adorable.

After visiting the stable you go out to the "fields" with the shepherds as the angels came to bring the good news of Jesus' birth. They did a wonderful job illuminating the area for the angels.

Finally, you head over to a reading from the Bible of Jesus' birth.

It was really a beautiful evening. It didn't take too long so it held the children's attention. It was chilly, but the flier said it was outside and to dress for the weather. But, they had yummy hot chocolate and cookies for all to enjoy after our journey.

Thank you Cedarville for allowing us to enjoy this beautiful Christmas experience.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Bye Bye Color Books

If you read my last post, you may have noticed that one of the activities I was trying to finish during our whirlwind two days, was the color book covers. Yes, we did finish them and the color books went home.

This is always so exciting for the children. Every day after we would finish a painting the children would want to know if they could take their picture home. Each day we would explain we are making a book with all the colors in it and when it's all done we are going to take everything home. It's hard to wait 3 months to take their beautiful creations home. But, last week was the week.

Our cover is very easy. I just have a piece of paper that says, "My Color Book." I then put out watercolors and let them paint however they would like. More often then not I am trying very carefully to get the paper to the drying rack without having it fall apart because it is so wet. The table usually needed cleaning after each child as they LOVED those watercolors.

So, the books are at home and I hope all our families are enjoying their children's work and going over all the colors we completed. I hope you enjoyed following our journey too.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

"Ho, Ho, Ho, It's Christmas"

Thursday was our last day in the classroom before our Christmas break. Boy did I cram a lot into the two days we spent together. Thursday was very nice. I kept it low key so the children wouldn't be too revved up for their Christmas program. But Tuesday, oh boy, we finished four projects in 2 1/2 hours on Tuesday. The kids did great. I on the other hand was a bit exhausted.

So what exactly did we pull of this week? Well, first we made our Chocolate Cherry Bites which I posted about the other day. Then we made Hershey Kiss wreaths, wrapped our family presents, finished our color books so they could go home, and made a fluffy Santa face on Thursday. I'm tired just typing it.

Most of the projects are pretty easy, and I'm a bit attached to them. I keep thinking we don't have to do such and such, but I love doing the project so I end up trying to get it in.

For the Hershey Kiss wreaths, I cut a wreath shape out of tag board, tied a red piece of yarn on it for hanging, then the children glued on the Hershey Kisses. I wonder how long they stayed together?

Our fluffy Santa face involved a picture of Santa's face. The children colored the top of his hat red, then glued on cotton, a red pompom nose, and two wiggly eyes. I know it doesn't involve alot, but they are really cute and they bring a smile to the children's faces.

Finally gift-wrapping the presents. Again, this is pretty easy, because I am trying to do too much. I fold a large piece of construction paper in half and tape the sides. Then the children color a Christmas picture, cut it out, and glue it to one side of the "envelope." On the other side I write--To: Mom and Dad (or something similar), From: and the children write or trace their names. Then we slide the Handprint Poem picture inside and put it under the tree.

I also have to share with you the great cookies our leader brought in to share with us. I had never seen them before, but they look real easy. They are reindeer sugar cookies. It looks like she may have used a bell shaped cookie cutter to cut out the shape. Then turning the bell upside down she used small pretzels for the antlers and M&M's for the eyes and nose. I didn't get to talk to Mom, so I'm not sure if you add the pretzels and M&M's before or after baking. Thanks Mrs. P.

We finished off the Christmas season at school with a short program for friends and family. I hope all our visitors enjoyed the wonderful presentation by the children.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Chocolate Cherry Bites

I always like to try and make some food item with the children during this time of year. This year as I was decorating I came across a recipe on the back of the poster. There was no cooking involved so I thought we would give it a try. Beware, severe sweetness to begin.

This recipe calls for walnuts we did not use them in our recipe.
Today we made Chocolate Cherry Bites. You will need:

1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (we did not use these)
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon water
Red colored sugar

Mix vanilla wafer crumbs, powdered sugar, walnut, and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Stir in cherries and corn syrup until well mixed Sprinkle with water and mix until thoroughly blended. Shape into balls, using about 1 tablespoon of the mixture for each ball. Roll in colored sugar, shaking off any extra sugar. Store in a container with a right lid overnight before serving. (Makes about 48)

The recipe says it makes about 48 balls, but we didn't get anywhere near that many. I don't know maybe I did something wrong. We got about 16 all together. Each child rolled one ball and we sent it home in a zipped bag.

I thought it might be over sweet, just by looks, but it wasn't too bad. It was actually pretty good. I'm sure eating it at 10:00 in the morning isn't that good either.

They are very easy to put together and serve though. If you give them a try, have fun!

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Monday, December 13, 2010

All that Glitters is...EVERYWHERE

I love projects with glitter. I really do. What I don't understand how the well contained glitter travels all over the room. Or, how the well contained glitters travels to my face and hair so that everyone notices when I am out and about. It's like it has a mind of it's own. But, boy oh boy does it add some flair.

Last week our Christmas projects all involved glitter. Our first day was to make an ornament for our class Christmas tree. I made egg carton bells. A super easy project that brings such delight. The children take these dull pieces of egg carton and turn them into a beautiful creation for the Christmas tree.

Our second craft is a bit more involved. For our Christmas stocking the children first have to do some sewing. They did quite well. It was our first experience with sewing, but they all seemed to manage. Of course, some needed a bit of help, but I was able to have multiple children do the project at a time.

The grand finale though was adding their names to the stockings. You should see their little faces when you cover their name with the glitter and it disappears. Then you remove the excess glitter and there is their name all bright and sparkly. Nothing better on earth. (Of course that's from me not them.) Really though the looks on their faces are priceless.

This is our final week together before the Christmas break. We have two days left and a week's worth of activities:).

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Guest Post: A Future in Business?

We all wonder, "What will my child be when they grow up?" It's a question we will ask ourselves often during the years they are growing with us. Michael Patterson has been quite passionate about getting me to share this article with you. Maybe you will see some signs of a future business woman or man in your little one.

3 Signs That Your Child is a Future Business Man/Woman

Every child is unique: some children may be natural born performers while others may show early signs of a successful career in business. Many people may think that business skills and children don't mix, but there are surefire clues to help you determine if your child is a future businessman/woman.

Sign #1 That Your Child is a Future Business Man/Woman: He or she has always been uniquely innovative

Almost all parents believe their child is the smartest kid on the block, and while that may be true to an extent, some children tend to behave in an inherently innovative manner. When a child is truly innovative in his or her daily actions, earning an online MBA degree from business school may be a natural step to consider. All kids, especially at a young age, use counting, sorting, exploration, experimenting and group work to develop certain skill sets that will eventually lead them to higher levels of learning.

As a result, every child learns in a different manner. However, if you notice that while the rest of the class does one thing -- such as choosing a story to read -- while your child wants to write his or her own story to read, your child may be in the early stages of developing an entrepreneurial skill set. Children learn with concrete materials in order to understand abstract concepts, so be sure to pay attention to how your child solves problems. Learning how to develop strong critical thinking and problem solving skills at a young age is key to earning an online MBA degree and becoming a future businessperson.

Sign #2 That Your Child is a Future Business Man/Woman: He or she has a penchant for numbers

It's a basic fact of life that some children are more naturally inclined to math and science while others may excel in the arts and languages. Of course a child may work hard at and excel in all subjects, but if he or she tends to earn high marks on math exams and continually uses his or her brain in an analytical nature, an online MBA may be calling.

In the business world, and with truly any profession, budgets, payrolls, income taxes, insurance policies and number crunching will play a role in the day-to-day activities. When your child excels in these tasks at a young age, he or she may already be predisposed to the most fundamental and basic aspects of the business world.

Sign #3 That Your Child is a Future Business Man/Woman: He or she likes to take control

It's no secret that the business world has a reputation for being harsh and relentless. Honestly, a successful company doesn't have room for pushovers. The bottom line is what matters to a corporation, whether it's just starting out or has been around for decades. Businesses need strong individuals to manage others and lead the company in the best direction, all while staying under budget, utilizing the latest technologies and striving to expand.

This means that children who enjoy being the center of attention or who like being the leader in groups may have the type of personality that's necessary for starting out in the business industry and earning an online MBA.

If you notice that your child possesses some of these traits, do your best to cultivate them so the child knows how to work them to his or her advantage. In contrast, no one likes a dictator who barks orders all the time, so show your child how to give direction while listening to others' opinions too.

BIO:This article was written by Mike Patterson on behalf of which acts as an online resource for those seeking the
best online MBA.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

White Out

We are adding the last page to our color books this week, white. As you going through the colors you think I'm never going to get all these done. Here we are, time to get the books ready to go home. The children are so excited to show their parents all they've been doing.

Our first white page is, what else, a snowman. We paint the snowman white with cotton balls. I was surprised at the children that were apprehensive about using the cotton ball because their fingers were too close to the paint.

The second page of the book is an igloo. I have an igloo shape cut out. The children glue the igloo to the paper, then add the white stickers. (I like to keep doing the stickers. I still have a couple that have so much trouble getting those stickers off the paper). There is one final step to this project, adding paint snowflakes with a Q-tip. I thought it would be fun and easy to accomplish.

We also played in shaving cream on Tuesday. They all smelled so good. I had one little girl that was at that table the whole time. She had a ball there.

Finally we played in our gingerbread sensory table. Even though we add a lot of brown spices, the mixture is still relatively white.

We'll make our covers next week so the books can go home.

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