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EARLY CHILDHOOD NEWSLETTER

Volume 4, Issue 25
November 27, 2006

Links updated October 31, 2007



A WORD ABOUT THIS ISSUE'S THEME:
Holidays and Hiccups

The holidays and all their festivities are upon us. In addition to family and friends, an important part of any holiday seems to be food. Whether we are making holiday treats for a fellow teacher or whipping up a special snack for our students, it seems we can always use a new idea or two. In this issue, we present some fun ideas for holiday goodies that you can make and share. So no matter what holidays you choose to celebrate, relax -- you'll be ready… it's a piece of cake!

Susan LaBella
Editor, Early Childhood Education Newsletter

 

ACTIVITY IDEAS

WHERE'S RUDOLPH?
Give each child a ½ piece of whole wheat bread (triangle shape) and let him or her spread it with peanut butter. Place bread on a paper plate and let children use pretzel sticks to create antlers and legs. Children can then use raisins to create eyes, a cherry for a nose, and a piece of licorice string for a mouth and tail.

DON'T EAT THIS!
This sweet-smelling dough can't be eaten but it makes great ornaments. Mix together 1/3 cup warm applesauce, 6 tablespoons cinnamon, 2 tablespoons cloves, and 2 tablespoons nutmeg to form a ball. Sprinkle some cinnamon onto a cutting board and roll the dough to about ¼-inch thickness. Let children use holiday-shaped cookie cutters to cut out the dough. With a straw, make a hole in the top of each child's piece of dough. Lift shapes carefully with a spatula and place them in a cool area to dry for at least 24 hours. Tie festive pieces of ribbon or yarn and have students take their ornaments home. 

LAS POSADA COOKIES
Teach children about this Mexican Christmas celebration. Then get things cooking! Help children blend 1 cup margarine, 1-½ cups powdered sugar, and 1-½ teaspoons of vanilla in a bowl. Let children then add 1-½ cups flour gradually and ¼ teaspoon salt to the bowl and mix well. The dough will be stiff. Ask children to shape the dough into small balls. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 375 degrees. Cookies should not be too brown. When cookies are slightly cooled, roll in powdered sugar which has been spread on wax paper. Serve with spicy hot chocolate for a Las Posada treat!

HOLIDAY CANDLES
Help each child place a piece of lettuce on a plate and a slice of pineapple on the lettuce. Give each child ½ of a banana to stand in the hole of the pineapple slice. Children can place mint leaves and cherries at the bottom of the banana to look like holly.

MAKE A MENORAH
After explaining the importance of this Hanukkah symbol, invite children to create an edible one. Each child can place a piece of bread with its crust on a plate and spread it with peanut butter. Provide each child with nine carrot rounds, nine raisins, and nine pretzel sticks. Invite children to place the carrot rounds flat onto the bread slice (along the bottom edge of the bread) with one in the middle slightly higher than the others. Next children place a pretzel stick flat on the bread above each carrot round. Finally children place a raisin on top of each pretzel stick as a flame. Eat!

KWANZAA FRUITS
Kwanzaa means "the first fruits." Introduce this African American holiday to children then invite them to share in this fruit snack. Cut up pieces of banana, apple, orange, and pineapple. Place some of each on black paper plates for each child. Provide children with red and green toothpicks to eat their fruit, reminding them that red, green, and black are the colors of Kwanzaa.

CEREAL CHRISTMAS TREES
Melt ¼ cup margarine over low heat in a large saucepan. Stir in a large package of marshmallows until they melt. Remove from heat and add ½ teaspoon of vanilla and ½ teaspoon of green food coloring. Add 6 cups of round-shaped cereal pieces and stir until the cereal is coated. Butter children's hands well and give them paper plates and a large amount of the cereal mixture. Help children shape their mixtures into trees (pyramids). When the tree shapes are well packed, children can ice them with canned white icing and decorate with small red and green candies.



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ON THE WEB

Check out the following Web sites for additional background and activities.

Chocolate Holiday Bears
Kids will love decorating these cute bears!
http://www.kraftfoods.com/main.aspx?s=recipe&m=
recipe/knet_recipe_display&u1=keyword&u2=holiday&u3=
**10*50&wf=9&recipe_id=66289

Dinosaur Punch
It's green and would make a fun holiday drink!
http://angiecooks.tripod.com/kids/dinopunch

Holiday Snack Mix
Children will have fun making this simple recipe.
http://www.kraftfoods.com/main.aspx?s=recipe&m=recipe/knet_recipe_displa...
&u2=holiday&u3=**19*50&wf=9&recipe_id=61702

Mrs. Claus's Cookbook
Take your pick! There's loads of recipes here -- yummmm!
http://www.northpole.com/Kitchen/Cookbook/

Christmas Cookie Recipes
You'll find a nice selection of Christmas cookie recipes here.
http://www.easy-kids-recipes.com/christmas-cookie-recipes.html