Cardboard Gingerbread Creations

The kids in ‘The English Club’ don’t stop to amaze me with their imagination!

I set them a challenge last week – to make the most creative ‘gingerbread’ construction out of cardboard – so, armed with cardboard, and anything else they might need, they started on their mission…

We had three groups – the boys, the horse-lovers (Maya & Ida-Maj), and the traditional one (Hanna).

This was the second week of the challenge, and the week to complete – and complete they did..!

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And so, the completed constructions were…
1) The Traditional Gingerbread House..

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…with pipecleaner and sequin mistletoe over the front door step…

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…and a pipecleaner Christmas tree in the attic….

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….plus decorated sides…

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2) The Castle

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…with turrets, and a pipecleaner drawbridge…

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..plus an inside courtyard with pipecleaner people, cork seats, matchstick stocks and a barrow with wooden wheels….

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Do you see the soldier at the turret with his weapon?

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….and lastly…
3) The Stable

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…with a wooden stick fence, pipecleaner separators between the stalls, sequin mistletoe decor….

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….paper horses…

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…and the use of cut yellow paper and dried spaghetti, for straw/hay….

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Aren’t they fantastic?!
I love each and every one of them! I set it as a competiton, so they’ll be finding out who won after the Christmas break.. :)
We rounded up our English Club end of term, with a dinner, tasting the foods of England… ‘toad in the hole’ (english sausages in pancake batter), baked beans (though I think these might be American, despite the fact they’re a staple element of an english child’s diet!), Christmas pudding, and mince pies! ;)

A Candlelit Walk

School ended yesterday. How did it end? With presents for the teachers? Of course! With the singing of Christmas songs? Of course! With gingerbread snaps and homemade blueberry soup? Of course!
And what else? Well – a candle lit walk through the forest of course!

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Maya’s painted jar lit up beautifully…

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Father Christmas and the angel Gabriel (!) were there to greet you in the forest…

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Alfie and his friend Douglas’ candle sheltering in the cove of a big rock…

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…a row of pretties together…

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..and at the end of the trail a fire pit burned…

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…and the head mistress stood giving out homemade blueberry soup next to a basket of gingerbread snaps…here Maya helps out..and below Alfie stands proudly with his jar…

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Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! 🌜

Candy Cane Fun!

More great ideas for little ones, from another great blog ‘Teach Preschool’ – this time, experimenting with ‘peppermint’ – in other words, candy canes! ;)
Firstly, a shaving foam/peppermint aroma/red food colouring mix…

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…makes for wonderful sensory fun..!

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Secondly, experimenting with a real candy cane in water, made for super exciting observation…

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Ted tried to ‘blow’ the candy cane smaller (see picture!), and predicted that the candy cane would get smaller and smaller. He ‘sounded out’ his vision of the candy cane’s red colour disappearing in to the water (you could actually see this happening), and we talked about it ‘dissolving’.
Thirdly, our candy cane picture, outlined by myself, with masking tape spread in stripes across it, and painted red by Ted…

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…which looked brilliant when cut out with
the tape removed…

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Great fun! 🍭

Fabulous Folded Christmas Tree Painting!

I saw this on ‘No Time For Flashcards’ (what a fabulous blog for ideas with littles!) – and I thought we’d give it a try…
A folded piece of paper, opened up, with the painted ‘sketch’ of a Christmas tree on one side – and baubles (which Ted added)….

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..fold it carefully back over, and smooth it out (Ted liked this bit)…

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…and open it up (Ted liked this bit even more!)…

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Fabulous! And don’t forget to add glitter!

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Of course we had to try this again (and again and again and again…) :)

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Great fun! 🎨

The Gingerbread House!

They’ve made one together every year, and I do believe, will be doing so until they leave home! ;)

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I do believe we had 100% co-operation and 0% eating of the decorations (without asking) this year! ;)
Of course, the decorative areas varied according to age… Leon and Maya worked together to create orderliness and pattern….

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Alfie had that eccentric, artistic side, and added tiny gingerbread cookies and the form of a green and black ‘creeper’…..

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…whereas Ted….well…Ted…made the ‘garden’… ;)..

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All in all, a great effort from the whole bunch! :)

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Delicious! 👍

A Christmas Peep Box

“What is this?” you ask.
Well, I will show you….
…two closed empty boxes, connected to each other, with a tiny peep hole cut in the front….

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…let’s look a little closer….

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….and closer still…

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Yes. That’s right. A Christmas gnome.

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…to his left you can a toilet roll ‘pine tree’, behind him lies a window of a house, within which lie presents and a gingerbread house… and to his right, a snowball ‘lantern’…

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You see. I knew you’d love it.
Another ‘marvellous Maya’ creation….

P.S. Don’t forget to include a torch :)

A Winter’s Morning

The days are long and dark right now, and there’s no snow to light up the sky. The other morning, after the other children had gone to school, Ted and I went for a walk to the lake…

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Such a beautiful sight – the pinkness of the sky, the stillness of the water, and the ice on the ground.

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The ducks came to say hello…

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…and Ted had a great time…

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It may be cold and dark, but it’s beautiful :)

Our Lucia Celebration

A little ‘pepperkaks gubbar’ was up early to get ready for the Lucia celebrations…

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Still dark outside, the parents gathered, waiting patiently, until the familiar slow soft sound of the Sankta Lucia song filled the air, while the silent footsteps of small children with lights gliding through the darkness came through the room…

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The song continues until all the children are standing in place, ready to sing about small ‘tomtens’ (gnomes) ‘tip tapping’ through the snow, and gingerbread ‘gubbar och gumman’ (men and ladies) coming to ‘pepperkaka land’ (gingerbread land), and of course ‘sockerbaggare’ (the sugar baker).

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And when the songs are finished, the children quietly file out, two by two, singing the Lucia song again.
The ‘sjärn-gosses’ (star boys)….(can you just see Alfie’s little face in the middle?) :)…

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…the gingerbread boys and girls…

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…the ‘tomtens’….

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….and the ‘Lucias’…

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It’s the most beautiful festival I know!
Now it’s over for a year, but I still got to take home a ‘pepperkaks gubbar’ and ‘gumman’…

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Now time for saffrons ‘bullar’ (buns) and hot chocolate – or coffee, for the adults!
Happy Lucia everyone! ⭐️