Friday, December 11, 2015

Five for Friday December 11

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Kacey for her wonderful Five for Friday Linky to share some favorite holiday fun from this week. Thank you, Kacey!  

Here are my playdough "Flavors of the Month."  

My new favorite recipe for playdough is this one using Bisquick:

Bisquick Playdough
2 cups Bisquick
1 cup salt
2 cups water
1 Tbsp cream of tartar
1 Tbsp oil

Mix all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 3 minutes.  Scrape and stir the bowl. Microwave for another 3 minutes. If it is not quite ready,  microwave for another minute.
(I made a double batch and put it back in my microwave for one more minute, which worked perfectly.)

I like this playdough because it really lasts well.   A double batch actually made 6 of these sized balls.  Last year, I was experimenting with Christmas ideas and ruined one...  I had these big, shiny confetti shapes like these that I thought would be fun: 
They didn't mix in and were too much. Lesson learned and only five playdough balls left. 

I made Snowball (white with colored glitter), Christmas Tree (green coloring with cut up red and green tinsel pieces and some little gold stars),  Cocoa (all I did was add LOTS of cocoa powder, and it smells awesome!), Gingerbread (cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg ), and Candy Cane (red coloring and mint extract). 

I was thinking I could make Peppermint Patty playdough and have the brown cocoa playdough and some white with mint extract.  Yum. 

I also looked for some pine scented essential oil in the store, but I couldn't find any. I was thinking that may work well in the Christmas Tree playdough.  I COULD tell you that I put it in there, couldn't I?  I forgot that you can't smell through the computer.  Well, I am honest- and I didn't put it in. The ones that smell don't have any "extras."  The ones that don't smell, have some bling in them.  The kids loved them.

Here are some cute Christmas Tree Playdough Mats from Jennifer Brown's TPT store. My kids would love rolling out the bulbs for the Christmas trees.
Christmas Tree PlayDoh MatChristmas Tree PlayDoh MatChristmas Tree PlayDoh Mat
She also shared some wonderful Snowman Playdough Mats! Thank you, Jennifer!

Snowman Play Doh Mats Snowman Play Doh Mats Snowman Play Doh Mats
 Here are some other cute Winter Wonderland Mats from OkinawanGirl's TPT store.
FREEBIE!  Winter Wonderland Playdough MatsFREEBIE!  Winter Wonderland Playdough MatsFREEBIE!  Winter Wonderland Playdough MatsFREEBIE!  Winter Wonderland Playdough Mats

We made these wreaths for the parents this week.  I had each child work with me one at a time to guide those little paint-covered hands.  They love it each time I paint the palm of their hands, because it tickles.  Every single child laughed this year.  For some reason, that just made me happy.

Some years I attach a poem, (My hand made the wreath. My thumb made the berry. I hope that you have a Christmas that's merry!)  but this year, I didn't.  I just went with the wreath.  

I got the bows last year after Christmas at Walmart for 70% off.  I'll be back there again this year!

The children love making these presents.  It's a quick activity that gets them thinking about what they might give to someone else, not what they want to get. 

They colored the present, cut it out, and put a real bow on it.  I did this in small groups, so we could talk about what each child was going to write, but it was a very independent activity.  I made a couple different presents the children could use. If you would like a copy, just click on the picture below! I didn't have them color the bow, because I used a real bow. (I used the picture with the smaller bow so I could cover it with a real bow.)


I posted all about Christmas lights and TPT Christmas light freebies HERE!

Each year, I use this fabulous Christmas Lights Pattern by Meredith Fitzhenry that she shared at her TPT store.  Thank you, Meredith!
Christmas lights pattern work sheet 1
 I enlarge it 200 times and print it on 11x17 paper.
I write secret sight words on each paper with a white crayon.  There are some on the paper above and you didn't even know it! The children  watercolor however they want.  It's always a favorite for all of us!

After the children discover their secret words and read them to me, they write them on their paper.

I also enlarged Meredith's paper not quite so big and made some number papers for my little ones who still need some number recognition practice.

We followed this activity up by closing the shades and reading this sweet book that lights up.
Here are a couple of my favorite candy cane ideas- with a little literacy sprinkled in!


I cut out candy cane shapes, outlined them, and wrote red sight words in every other space.  I wrote white crayon sight words in the white spaces.  The children had to read the red word, then paint the white section with red watercolor.  This was actually a really good activity for following directions, too.  The kids did great!

 They turned out really cute!  

We also made our other sight word candy canes this week!

The children could choose a  white candy cane with red words- or a red candy cane with white words. That was maybe the hardest part.  They chose ten different word stripes to add to their candy cane.  After they make their candy cane, they read their words to a friend at their table. Then, they write their words on a recording sheet.  They will also read the words to me.
(I have each child put a scrap piece of paper under the candy cane cut-out so the glue doesn't go all over the table when they glue on the strips.)

After they glue on the strips, I turn the candy cane over and help the children trim the edges.

When they finish this center, they get a mini candy cane to take home and eat as they read their candy cane words to a grown up.

Here is a copy of the sight word sheet I used and the recording sheet.  Just click on the picture if you would like a copy.
Here is a fun video of Santa making candy canes!

Thank you for stopping by!  It's going to be 63 degrees on Sunday. That is unheard of in Upstate NY in December!  I'm thinking there will not be a white Christmas this year.  I'm okay with that- except then I don't want a white winter at all afterward.  The only time I really love snow is before Christmas- then winter just drags on for months after that...   Have a WONDERFUL weekend! 


  1. Always, always wonderful. I'm doing the sight word candy cane activities for sure!! Happy holidays to you, Carolyn!

    1. Thank you so much, Sandy! Merry Christmas to you!!! XOX

  2. Great activities! I love the candy cane sight word activities! I am going to adapt them for pre-k with letters.

    1. That sounds like a perfect idea! Have a great week! Thank you for writing!

  3. Love the Candy Cane Sight words! So much fun! One thing is for sure I won't be having a white Christmas. Good luck with the rest of the winter!

    1. You definitely won't be having a white Christmas, Dan! I don't think we will either this year. I'm happy for people who are traveling. Thanks for writing, Dan!

  4. The wreaths are so cute! Parents must love them.


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