Preschool Activities for The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School!

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The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by Laura Murray (illustrated by Mike Lowery) is one of our favorite Gingerbread books!  In the book, a teacher and her students bake a gingerbread man.  As the teacher yells, “RECESS!” the children leave the ginger cookie behind.  Silly adventures follow as the gingerbread man tries to find all of his classmates! Our kids laugh at the trials and conversations between the characters in the story.  It is definitely a keeper for home or the classroom!

GINGERBREAD MAN EXTENSION ACTIVITIES

The Gingerbread extension activities offered below are a great way to extend playful learning after reading the book with your own children!

SONG to SING – Do you know the Gingerbread Man?

Gingerbread Man Song (Tune: Do you know the Muffin Man)

Oh, do you know the Gingerbread Man, the Gingerbread Man, the Gingerbread Man?

Oh, do you know the Gingerbread Man, who ran and ran and ran?

He said, “Catch me if you can. If you can, if you can.”

He said, “Catch me if you can,” then ran and ran and ran.

I can run like the Gingerbread Man, the Gingerbread Man, the Gingerbread Man.

I can run like the Gingerbread Man, now catch me if you can.

~Original Author Unknown

One student's version of the Gingerbread Girl.

One student’s version of the Gingerbread Girl.

GINGERBREAD BOYS and GIRLS CLASS BOOK – Gingerbread Book for Preschool

Materials needed:  one book template for each student, glue, scissors, crayons and assorted collage materials to create and decorate a Gingerbread Man.

Page 1 of the file (linked above) is a cover page for your book (if using for a classroom of students).  Print page 2 of the Gingerbread Man Book for all of the girls in your class and page 3 for all of the boys.
Children can create and decorate either a Gingerbread GIRL or Gingerbread BOY. Invite the children to use any collage materials that are available (suggestions:  ribbon, string, buttons, glue, poster putty, rickrack, craft eyes, markers, crayons, fabric or paper scraps, etc.)  The children can also add their own PHOTO for the head.  It’s fun for children to look through the book to find their own picture and gingerbread creations!   **Note – If desired, use the Gingerbread Men from the Letters file (linked below) as a gingerbread man template.  Trace the gingerbread onto brown construction paper before inviting the kids to decorate for their book page.  Commercial Gingerbread Men cut outs are also available.

Gingerbread Literacy Tray for Preschool

Gingerbread Literacy Tray for Preschool

GINGERBREAD MAN LETTER MATCHING – Gingerbread Theme Literacy Matching Activity for Preschool and Kindergarten

Materials needed: Gingerbread Letter Matching file (A-Z linked above) and scissors.

Cut out each of the gingerbread men and laminate for durability if desired.  After cutting out all of the gingerbread man cards, shuffle the cards and invite the children to find the matching pairs by matching the upper case letters to the corresponding lower case letters.

For older children:   You can turn this activity into a matching game by turning the cards over and playing like a typical “Memory” game.

For younger children: Limit the number of matching pairs that are set out for the child to find.

For very young children:  Print out two copies of the Gingerbread Letter Match file and have the children match upper case gingerbread men to upper case gingerbread men or lower case to lower case.

To improve fine motor skills – invite the children to use clothespins to clip the matching pairs together.  A literacy and fine motor tray (see photo above) is an inviting way to encourage skills.  The Gingerbread Tray might include:  paper and crayons for writing letters, stamping (stamp pad/alphabet stamps), and clothespins for clipping the matching letters (OR for use with the Letter to Picture Matching printable below).

Gingerbread Theme Literacy Free Printable for Preschool and Kindergarten

GINGERBREAD LETTER to PICTURE MATCHING  – Gingerbread Letter Picture Match

Materials needed: Letter Picture Match (linked above) and scissors.

Cut out each of the gingerbread men and laminate for durability if desired. After cutting out all of the gingerbread man cards,  shuffle the cards and invite the children find the matching pairs by matching the gingerbread man with the beginning letter to the corresponding picture (for example, K is for Kite).

For younger children: Limit the number of matching pairs that are set out for the child to find.

Older children can play a memory match as in the letter-to-letter instructions above.

For more GINGERBREAD THEME activities, the entire Gingerbread Thematic Unit is now available on this blog.    To purchase The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School, click the preview below!

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Fall Theme for Preschool

Fall Theme for Preschool and KindergartenThe Fall Thematic Unit for Preschool is now available via this blog.  The fall thematic is a 100+ total page unit that contains 3 different themes in 1: Trees and Leaves, Pumpkins and Jack-o-lanterns, and Non-scary Halloween.  The suggested activities are designed for children ages 3-6, but extension activities are given where possible for slightly younger or older children.  It contains: a 49 page instructional manual with songs/fingerplays, literacy activities, math, science, dramatic play, crafts, foods and food crafts, and an extensive book list for hands-on exploration and playful learning. The theme will download as a zipped file. Once the contents are extracted, there will be a main folder that contains the instructional manual, all 49 pdf files for activities within the theme, and 5 Power Points. The RED links in the main theme are not live, but are there to serve as a guide to tell which file to print for each activity. The GREEN links are for any Power Points.

The Preschool Toolbox - Thematic Learning and Play for Preschool and Kindergarten

To preview the contents of the Fall Thematic for Preschool, see: Fall Theme for Preschool Content Preview

We hope your children enjoy hands-on, playful learning with us this fall!

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Apples Theme for Preschool

Apples Theme for Preschool and Kindergarten

Apples Theme for Preschool and Kindergarten

The APPLES THEME FOR PRESCHOOL (and KINDERGARTEN) has been revised and is now available via this blog.

The Preschool Toolbox - Thematic Learning and Play for Preschool and KindergartenApples Thematic Unit

The Apples Theme for Preschool is an 80+ total page unit that includes enough activities for at least two week’s worth of lessons. If you plan to use the unit for one week only, you will have many activities left for a “new” unit the following year. This theme includes over 45 math, science, and literacy activities. It also includes:  Introduction suggestions, Book list, Songs/fingerplays/poems, Art/craft activities, Gross motor ideas, Cooking activities, and Dramatic play. In addition, the theme comes with detailed instructions for all games/activities, 32 pdf game files that are ready to download and print, and 2 PowerPoints for playful learning!

INTRODUCTIONS
All About the Letter “A”
Line of Apples (4 separate activity ideas)
Letter “A” Basket Sort Introductory Game

BOOK SUGGESTIONS
Over 25 of our favorite titles related to Apples

SONGS/POEMS/FINGERPLAYS
Way Up High in the Apple Tree

Ten Shiny Apples (PowerPoint)
Shake the Apple Tree
Apples are Good for You!
Apple Magic (PowerPoint)
All Around The Apple Tree
Ten Red Apples Growing

 

For a PREVIEW of the Apples Theme for Preschool and Kindergarten, click here:  Apples Theme Contents Preview

The entire APPLES THEME is available on this blog.

**Note – After purchase, the theme will download as a zipped file.  Once the contents have been extracted, there will be a main folder that contains:  a folder for all the pdf files and PowerPoints and a main pdf of all the theme’s instructions for suggested activities.  The RED links in the MAIN file are not live, but are there to serve as a guide to tell you which pdf file to print for that particular activity or game.  The GREEN LINKS are a guide to the PowerPoints that accompany that song/fingerplay.

We hope YOUR children/students enjoy exploring, learning, and playing with a fun APPLES THEME this fall!

 

 

 

 

 

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Textured Name Trains for Preschool or Kindergarten!

Transportation Theme Textured Name Trains for Preschool and Kindergarten{Disclosure:  This post and others within this blog contain affiliate links.  The Preschool Toolbox participates in the Amazon Associates Program}

TEXTURED SENSORY NAME TRAINS – Train Template

The textured sensory name trains are a great way to greet preschoolers and kindergarteners for a new school year!

Have the children brainstorm words that describe different textures.  Some examples:  Crinkly, Soft, Prickly, Smooth, Bumpy, Hard, Shiny, Gooey, Slimy, Wet, Dry, Rough, etc.  Pass out a small lunch bag to each of the children and have them look around the classroom (or outside) for items with different textures.

Come together for sharing after the scavenger hunt.  Ask the children to share a few items from their bags using the descriptive words previously discussed.

Free Train and Train Car TemplatePrint the template (linked above) to heavy paper and cut out the engine and car.  The template can be used with any paper desired.  Trace the template to the paper and cut out the engine and cars prior to the activity.  Each child will need one engine and the number of cars that correspond to the number of letters in their name.

TO MAKE THE TRAINS:  prior to the activity, decide what kinds of items the children can choose from to decorate their name train.  Place all of the items out on a table or a tray.  In the first photo, our kids used beans (bumpy), colored sugar (grainy), aluminum foil (shiny), and mini cupcake liners (crinkly).

Invite the children to write each letter of their name on separate train cars (younger children can use jumbo letter stamps).   The children can then use glue, glue sticks, &/or poster putty to adhere the various items to the individual letters on the train cars.  (If choosing sugar, coffee grounds, sand, or salt to decorate the letters, plastic spoons are helpful to sprinkle the material(s) over the glue).

To finish the name trains, add a photo of each child to the engine!

The trains are a fun way to explore sensory materials (as well as name recognition) and they make great bulletin board displays when finished!

EXTENSION ACTIVITY

Some of the items from the texture scavenger hunt can be used to make textured matching cards for the children.  Glue or tape the items to separate train cars.  Make 2 copies of each card.  Scramble the items in a large basket or bin and see if the children can find the matching cards by TOUCH alone!  For very young children, LIMIT the number of items in the basket to only a few different textures to start.  More items can be added as the children gain confidence in matching the differing textured cards.  Leftover items from the scavenger hunt can be used to make a sensory bin for further explorations!

For more ways to learn and play, the full TRANSPORTATION THEME is now available via this blog!

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EASY Patriotic Pattern Block Painted Flag Craft for Preschool

Pattern Block Flag Printing and Design

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Our preschoolers have been using pattern blocks for most everything lately:  to make buildings/towers, as “food” in our kitchen, to make domino runs, and to create intricate designs on their own.   As with most of our classroom materials, our kids often find the most creative suggestions when left to explore on their own.  Our newest creations:  PATTERN BLOCK PRINTED FLAGS!

Pattern Block Painted Flags 002Materials needed:  Pattern blocks, paint trays or paper plates, tempera paint (blue/red/white or other colors if outside of the U.S.), and paint smocks or an old T-shirt.

Pattern Block Painted Flags 003Invite the children to make flags by dipping the pattern blocks into the paint trays and printing on a plain sheet of paper.  We set out an American Flag so the children could copy the design when printing.  For the younger children, we penciled in the flag’s square and the stripes as visual guide for the pattern block prints.   Some of our children are not fond of messy play (it’s true)! :)  We improvised by using a Wikki Stix attached to only the sides of a pattern block.  The twisted end formed a  pattern block “painting tool” the kids could hold on to (see photos).

Pattern Block Painted Flags 005The flags not only make great crafts for ANY Patriotic holiday, but the printing enhances fine motor skills and awareness of various shapes!

After printing, allow time for the children to explore flag designs with the pattern blocks on a table or the floor!  Kids never cease to amaze me!

Pattern Block Painted Flags 006

 For MORE Patriotic Ideas for Kids, see our Patriotic board on Pinterest!

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