I try to keep things as organized and simple as possible on party days. I know from past experiences how quickly things can get out of hand – and I would prefer that not to happen! We started out our party by playing a simple game called “I Love…” Basically we go around in a circle and each person get to say who or what they love. The sentence always starts off “I love _______ because…” We went around our circle 2 times because the children kept wanting to say who they loved and why! I loved hearing what they had to say!
Then Ms. Bennet read, “Valentine Mice” to the class! We’ve been reading at least one valentine book to the class everyday this week. After reading this book they requested to hear “Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse” once again so Ms. Bennet obliged their request!
While we were playing the game and reading the stories I had 2 parent helpers prepping snack (during the stories I went over to help). For our party snack we had heart shaped cucumbers, heart shaped Jello Jigglers, a heart shaped piece of bread with strawberry jam on it, a valentines cookie, and a juice box. The parents helped me cut the bread and cucumbers into heart shapes, open juice boxes, plate the food, and pass out napkins and plates once it was all done! The 3 of us managed to do this very quickly! 🙂
After snack the parent volunteers, Ms. Bennet, and myself helped the children pass out their valentine cards. Then we took the children outside to play and run off their energy! Trust me when I say – they really needed this! lol At this point in the day one of my volunteers had to leave while the other stayed inside to hide various sized hearts all around the room! Our next game was going to be a Heart Scavenger Hunt where each child has to find 3 hearts! This is pretty much the same as an Easter Egg Hunt! When the children came inside we played this game – and as usual they loved playing it and asked to keep their hearts!
The last thing we did was let them look at all the cards and goodies they had in their valentine boxes! I think this is always their favorite part (even though they don’t admit it)! They were not allowed to eat anything but they could look at it – and when they were done we put everything away and got ready for lunch! It was a great party and I heard a lot of children say that this was the best party ever! 🙂
I totally forgot to tell you about our class Christmas Party! I know, Christmas is already over…but one more post on the topic won’t hurt! My main goal at class parties is to keep it very simple! I like to have a special snack, read a story, play a game, and, if time allows, perhaps do a simple art project!
Our snack for the Christmas party was orange slices, juice boxes, and Ritz Crackers with a strawberry cream cheese spread (this was optional – they could choose to leave their crackers plain, spread on plain cream cheese, spread on plain jam, or do the mixture). The children really enjoyed preparing and eating this snack! We only get to eat in the classroom on party days – so this was special for them! And to top it off, they got to eat on the carpet (and we never get to eat anywhere but tables!) – this excited them even more!
After snack we had our gift exchange. We ask that each child bring a wrapped book to exchange with a friend. Of course, I always bring extras for those children who I know will not bring one. I first explain that when they choose a book – they may not take the one they brought (their name is on the book so I can check to make sure they took a different one). Then I call them up one by one to pick a book. After everyone gets a book, we opened them together as a class. After they’re opened, we go around the carpet and everyone told what book they got and thanked whoever gave it to them. A good time! I only had 2 children cry this year about not being able to take the book they brought home – not too bad – and they both calmed down fairly quickly and were happy with what they got!
Afterward I read, “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and a letter from Santa that he wrote and mailed to me! The kids are always super excited about this part and I have to tape the letter to the door so they can show their parents! 🙂
Lastly, we played a game which I think is called Jesus in a Manger. It’s pretty much like the Farmer in the Dell but with different words. Here’s how it goes:
Jesus in a Manger
Jesus in a Manger
Jesus in a Manger
The following verses are: Jesus picks Mary; Mary picks Joseph; Joseph picks a Sheppard; the Sheppard picks a Wise Man; the Wise Man picks the Star; and finally, the Star shines Alone – all repeated the same way as the first verse! The kids loved this game and we played it over and over again because everyone wanted a turn to be every part! I also find it’s a good way to review the Christmas story with them – because the first time we go over the game (before we actually play) and we talk about all the characters and what role they played in Jesus’ birth! Overall, it was a fun-filled day! 🙂
Since we are in the midst of an All About Me theme I thought this would be a good time to learn about what each of us likes to eat! On Tuesday I sent a note home asking for each child to bring a piece of their favorite fruit with them to school today. I had decided we were going to make a “Favorite Fruit” Salad. So this morning we assembled and ate our treat. Each child (after thoroughly washing their hands) got to use a plastic knife to cut up the fruit they’d brought (after I’d prepped it – if needed) and put it in the bowl. We had apples, peaches, kiwi, bananas, grapes, watermelon, blueberries and more! I was very pleased with the variety of fruit everyone brought! After we had all done our part we dished it up and everyone got to eat and enjoy! We also talked about what each person had brought and how altogether it made enough for all of us to eat. We also talked about how working together we made something we all could enjoy. We had so much left over we took the rest of the salad to the kitchen for the other teachers to enjoy! A fun, tasty project – and a good way to end the week!
Today we had a school wide water day! To be honest – I was kinda dreading this all week because we’ve never done this before – but it turned out really well and everyone had tons of fun! We had it this morning – the 2 hours proceeding lunch and nap. There were 4 sprinklers, a water table, squirt bottles, these water balls which absorb water and splash people when you throw them at someone, and buckets of water with brushes to paint the brick wall of our building! Lots of activity! Tons of fun!
For snack each child got a piece of cold watermelon and a cookie. Then there was a special treat! Snow cones! The children loved them! They got to pick either grape or cherry for their flavor – and the teachers even got one! Very yummy! It was the perfect morning for water play too. Cool enough so the teachers didn’t get hot but warm enough for the children to get wet – and a slight breeze – the perfect weather!
Before I took my class in I let them lay on their towels on the grass in the sun to get dry. They looked so peaceful and really enjoyed just laying their chatting with their friends and enjoying the day. I wish this part could have lasted longer – I enjoyed sitting with them and laughing and talking. It was an incredibly enjoyable morning – one I won’t soon forget!
On Wednesday and Thursday my my class made crosses for Easter. I cut them out of white construction paper and the children used liquid watercolors and Q-tips to paint them. I loved the end result! The liquid water colors really looked vibrant and they reminded me of stained glass! Very beautiful! I had Ms. Bennet hang them from the ceiling in our room.
On Friday we had our Easter egg hunt. It rained so we had it in our room. The children were taken to another room to play with toys and do an art project while I stayed behind to hide eggs. I wrote their names on the eggs so that I knew they would all have the same amount. They could only put the eggs with their name on them in their bag. It went very well. And it helps me to see who can recognize their name and the names of their friends. Our two rules for our egg hunt are (1) You can only take eggs with your name on them and (2) You cannot tell your friends where their eggs are. Everybody had fun!
We also had a special easter egg shaped cookie for snack and we drank our juice from special easter cups! They were very excited about that! We then played Pin the Tail on the Bunny. They did really well with that game and were very good at waiting their turn! To round out the day we read the book “The Legend of the Easter Egg” which talks about the ture meaning behind the Easter egg and tells about the first Easter. We also read, “My Easter Basket: And the True Story of Easter” a cute and simple way to tell the true story of Easter to young children. My children really enjoyed reading and talking about both books! In fact, we read each one a couple times throughout the day!
All in all, a great end to a so-so week! I wish everyone out there in Blog Land a very Happy and Blessed Easter!
So today we had our party – and everyone had a blast! Of course I ran out of time and we didn’t get to do all the activities I planned – but there is always next week – what matters is that everyone had fun today! We started the day with our usual journals, morning message, and circle time. No matter what – we do these everyday. But then the fun started!
We had a valentine themed snack. Each child made some red strawberry jam heart toast – using a cookie cutter to cut the heart. Then, I had cut cucumbers into hearts with a cookie cutter and each child got to take some of those. Next, we had purple grapes to go with our Valentine theme and red cherry juice. As a treat, they each got a valentines cookie to eat as well. They get super excited about being able to eat in the classroom on party days – and not at tables – they lay their napkins out on the carpet like mini table clothes them put their plate on top and eat sitting on the carpet! We still only drink our juice at a table though.
Next was what the children had been waiting for – time to hand out our valentines! Everyone got their containers and Ms. Bennet and I went first – then two children at a time went around the circle and handed out their Valentines util everyone had gone. This year I had 3 parents who brought in goodie bags for each child – boy were they excited when they saw that! So after everything was handed out – we let them look at everything they had gotten – they were all so happy! Smiles for everyone! This part took a long time – which was no surprise to me and I didn’t really care – they were having fun!
After all of this the only thing we had time for was to sort and count some conversations hearts – which they had a good time doing. Anytime they can do an activity with food – they love it! We were all so tired when it was over we barely gor through lunch – but everyone was happy and it was a great success! And they all slept for nap today! As a matter of fact, I got off early at 3:30 pm and when I got home I passed out in bed for an hour! 🙂 And when even the teacher is exhausted – you know it was a success! Fun times…
*Picture found through Google Images*