Saturday, December 21, 2019

ECE Planning for December

The month of December is always a busy and fun one in Early Childhood! We focused our energy on festivals of light, including our own local Carbondale Lights Fantastic Parade, the festival of Santa Lucia, and the Advent Spiral.

We continued with our Songs, Verses & Movement for classroom routines.

We also did a consistent December Circle Time of verses and songs, to help us prepare for the Advent Spiral celebration on Friday, December 20th.

Monday, December 2

  • "Why the Evergreen Trees Keep Their Leaves in Winter"
    by Florence Holbrook
    from Buy Nothing Day 2019 (PDF) activities by Waldorf Publications
  • decorate half wall with black wire sleigh & reindeer, collect evergreen branches from outside to decorate indoors

Tuesday, December 3

  • "Old Gnome's Advent Time"
    by Suzanne Down
    from Old Gnome Through the Year, p.42
  • squeeze orange halves and drink the delicious fresh orange juice
  • make treats for the birds and hang outside (strings of large organic whole fresh cranberries, bamboo skewers of our orange shells)
  • collect evergreen branches from outside and begin to build spiral

Thursday, December 5

  • "The Magical Elf Garden"
    by Suzanne Down
    from Christmas Tales for Young Children, p.6
  • pop popcorn, read excerpt from Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, experiment with popcorn and milk
  • make treats for the birds and hang outside (strings of popcorn, strings of popcorn and fresh cranberries)
  • tear stale homemade bread and sprinkle crumbs outside for the birds
  • finish building the spiral
  • And, of course, we made Stone Soup. Today's soup included
    chicken broth, onion, sweet potato, carrot, pears, yellow squash, and barley. Thank you to everyone who contributed!

Saturday, December 7 @ 6 pm
Carbondale Lights Fantastic Parade

Sunday, December 8 @ 2 pm
Christmas Stroll at Harrison-Bruce Historical Village, John A. Logan College

Monday, December 9

Tuesday, December 10

  • "The Golden Pine Cones"
    by Betsi McGuigan
    from Tell Me a Story, p.176
  • giftmaking - make "Pine Cone Fire Starters" from Earthways, p.100

Thursday, December 12

  • "December" poem and illustration & "January" illustration
    by Elsa Beskow
    from Around the Year
  • "Sweden"
    by Mary Lankford
    from Christmas Around the World, pp.28-29
  • prepare Santa Lucia crowns and Star Boy hats and wands
  • make Advent Spiral invitations
  • And, of course, we made Stone Soup. Today's soup included
    vegetable broth, onion, butternut squash, celery, carrots, zucchini, and green cabbage. Thank you to everyone who contributed!

Friday, December 13 @ 10 am
Santa Lucia Day

  • look at traditional wheat straw and red thread ornaments and "Kirsten" American Girl Doll straw ornament making kit
  • make Santa Lucia Sweet Rolls recipe
  • "Santa Lucia" story by Tiziana Boccaletti
  • walk in procession with oldest girl wearing the felt Santa Lucia Crown (from MormorsLegacy) and carrying sweet buns
  • Here is the simplest-ever recipe for sweet buns, which I got from Becca's Kindergarten teacher years ago. I had the children help shape them, giving them each a piece of the dough on a piece of parchment paper, and showing them how to make the traditional swirly shape. We placed dried cranberries in each curl of the "S" before baking.


    You will need: 5 cups of Bisquick, 2 eggs, 6 T grapeseed oil, 3/4 cup + 5 tsp milk, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

    Directions: Combine the Bisquick, eggs, grapeseed oil, and 3/4 cup milk in the order given, stirring after each addition. Divide the dough so that each child has a piece. Ask the children to shape the dough into 8 inch long rolls and curls the ends to form an "S" shape, as shown. Add raisins or dried cranberries for decoration if you wish.

    Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes.

    While they are baking, prepare a frosting by combining the powdered sugar with 5 teaspoons milk. While the rolls are still warm from the oven, brush with the frosting.

Monday, December 16

Tuesday, December 17

Thursday, December 19

  • Winter's Gift
    by Jane Monroe Donovan
  • exchange gifts
  • sensory play with Frozen Pom Poms
  • carry apples and practice walking the spiral
  • And, of course, we made Stone Soup. Today's soup included
    mushroom stock, carrots, celery, parsnip, fresh sweet corn, rice, and Parmesan cheese. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

    We also had a delicious chocolate babka baked by Ms. Shelby!

Thursday, December 19 @ 12 pm
Little Egypt Chorus Holiday Favorites at Sandwiches & Strings, Artspace 304

Friday, December 20 @ 4:30 pm
Advent Spiral

  • Winter Circle Time with families
  • The Tomten
    by Astrid Lindgren
  • walk the beautiful Advent Spiral outdoors in the now-dark, with each child taking a turn one at a time to silently walk the spiral, carrying an apple with a candle, walking into the very center of the spiral, lighting the candle from the Earth Candle, carrying the apple and lit candle out, and choosing a star in the spiral upon which to place it
  • decorate gingerbread houses

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