All Holidays Week - my new favourite interest!
Let me start by saying it's August. Last week's interest was Summer camp. I wanted to end summer programming with a little something different and really just have some fun with the kids. I created "All Holidays Week". In truth it was 5 holidays - but who's counting? We celebrated Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day and Christmas all in one week. What a blast!
I will say that the younger kids watching our room were a tad confused by the door decorations but my kids aged 3.5 -6 years understood it was all pretend. I even called it "Pretend Easter" and "Pretend Christmas" etc. to be sure they knew we were just having fun.
For Easter day we had an egg hunt, coloured eggs, painted with plastic eggs by using them as stamps. I found a kid's Easter playlist on Itunes and played that in the background.
For Halloween we made paper masks, made halloween shape crafts and had our dolls pretend to trick or treat. Because it is so close to real Halloween I was careful to continue to call it pretend Halloween so as not to confuse anyone.
For Thanksgiving, we made turkey headbands and made a Thanksgiving plate with food pictures cut out from grocery fliers. We talked about what we were thankful for at circle time and read Thanksgiving-themed books.
Valentine's Day ended up being unexpectedly one of our favourite days. These kids spent a long time making valentines for other people and got quite a delight in delivering out of season valentines. We had Valentine's puzzles and books and created a paper heart man that had the kids laughing at his bouncy legs. The best part was both of our craft activities gave the kids ample opportunity to practice writing their names and writing the names of other people. There was a lot of "how do you spell....?" and that was great! Writing and cutting practice are such useful activities it was fun to do them in a way the kids also found fun.
The Finale! Christmas. We started the day making cards from a variety of cards, stickers and bows. Then I gave them the opportunity to build towers with paper Christmas plates and red plastic cups. They added in bows from the craft table to top what they were calling "tower trees"
Then we decorated a laminated Christmas tree, velcroing on ornaments. The kids thought
this was even more fun as I played Christmas music in the background!
They used the tree as a dramatic play center throughout the day and played opening gifts and kitty cats knocking over the tree and other creative scenarios.
It also made a good room decoration to add to our theme.
We did a peppermint science activity which has got to be one of the easiest science activities I know that actually works! Simply fill a bowl with 3/4 inch of room temperature water, put in one or two peppermints ( we used one red and one green) and watch the lines melt off. I told the kids we were going to see if we could make the lines disappear! It melts in such a unique way that if you don't touch it or move it it will melt off in stripes delighting the kids!
The final activities of the day were a wrapping paper challenge and making a Christmas Card man while we waited for parents to pick up. For the wrapping paper station, I had them choose a book and a toy from the room and try to wrap them. They played at this for quite a while, cutting paper, folding and taping. Some kids took a little demonstration while others jumped right in and wrapped away! It was a fun game to end the day with.
For the Card man, I simply gave them a circle out of a Christmas card front and added legs and eyes as we did for the Valentine's Day heart man. It was a great calm down activity.
The kids all went home singing Christmas songs, the parents all wished us Merry Christmas and laughed and it was a great way to end All Holidays Week!
All Holidays Week was a lot of work and prep but it was so much fun! I may make it an August tradition to celebrate the holidays out of season. The kids, the parents and me all enjoyed the week so much. Try planning an out of season holiday with your kids! You will have lots of learning and lots of fun!