Thursday, December 20, 2012

Our Traditional Gingerbread Hunt

I am a big proponent of emergent curriculum and The Project Approach, but this time of year for a couple of weeks, we do engage in a beloved tradition.  Our class doesn't focus too much on the various holidays of the month...rather we dive in to  various gingerbread stories.  Each year we seem to find a new one or two to enjoy.  This year a parent found The Gingerbread Bear by Robert Dennis and Gingerbear by Mini Grey, two very different stories.

I will be sharing the various fun activities we engaged in with our gingerbread in the next post, but the culminating event was our beloved hunt for the runaway cookie.  My class this year brought it up to us before we even mentioned it.

"Remember when the cookie ran away.  You comed into my class to find it.  We didn't see it!"

As we travel through each class on our hunt, the previous three year old class remembered and was hoping it would happen again.  Well, it did.

This class voted on making a large Gingerbread Girl.

We talked through which body parts she needed as I cut her from the dough.  Then of course, we had to decorate her with just a little :-) candy.  Licorice whip hair just like the book!

A few pounds heavier, we popped her in the oven.  Later when I went to check on her, she was gone!

But she left a clue.
Everywhere she went she left a rhyming clue with her signature refrain as well.

We tried to find her in the threes classroom, the twos classroom, the office, even outside.

Until at last we found her in our classroom hidden under a blanket.

We quickly did a little math to figure out how many pieces to break her into and she went the way of "most" gingerbread creatures...
snip, snap, snip....she was all gone.

It was especially poignant for me that this year, at this time, we had a fun and exciting activity to do that focused on the magical joy of childhood.  This week we made sure to focus on keeping our routines, providing a safe and nurturing place to play and making the children feel happy and loved.  We just had a little help from a special gingerbread girl.  

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