Saturday, June 16, 2007

I'm Nuts About You!

Two of the eleven years I spent as a teacher have been dedicated to educating preschool children. This was not a choice but rather a placement that I had to accept. Although I do thoroughly enjoy the little ones, I felt my talents as a reading specialist and highly qualified teacher were not utilized to their fullest possible extent. I would walk by the first grade rooms and stare into them like Barbara Stanwyck at the end of 'Stella Dallas'. What must it be like on the other side? I wanted to join the party but had to go back to where I belonged.

That said (and once I truly 'got on board'), I had a blast. My co-teacher Maggie was and is a beautiful woman - not only physically but inside as well. We shared a strong literacy background for early childhood which benefited our students and we adhered to the Reggio Emilia approach to education to build a strong foundation for the children, but still in all preschool is about play and exploration. As cognitive-developmental psychologist Jean Piaget wrote "Play is child's work".

In this environment out went running records and miscue analysis and in came hands-on arts and crafts activities. We did some wonderful things with our students but mostly it is about providing them with the materials and letting them explore them in a free style manner.

Except during the holidays where there was an unspoken rule that the children would bring something home for their parents; their painted hands pressed on paper in the shape of a heart for Valentine's Day, snow globes in the winter, painted child crafted framed pictures for Mother's Day.

By the time Father's Day rolled around in our second year we were out of ideas. So I grabbed the latest issue of The Mailbox: The Idea Magazine for Teachers and thumbed through it looking for a quick, easy Father's Day gift. We can across an idea with the title "I'm Nuts About You". Maggie and I read it and LAUGHED. How lame! We wondered if we could possibly get away with such a silly gift for dad. But we were out of ideas and tired so we went ahead.

The kids loved it. The parents commented on how sweet it was. And Maggie and I added it into our repertoire of nifty ideas. I now pass this along to you - if you find yourself in need of a simple Father's Day 'token of your affection' gift, give it a try.

What You Need:

  1. A bag of peanuts

  2. A brown paper lunch bag

  3. One sheet of construction paper (any color)

  4. A hole punch

  5. String, yarn or raffia (Colored raffia looks the best and is my personal favorite)

Directions: Place peanuts in the bag. Close bag and fold over the top. Punch a hole through the flap. Cut out a peanut shaped card and have the child write "I'm nuts about you!" on it. They might also want to add "Happy Father's Day" or some such sentiments. Pictures are acceptable. Punch a hole in the top of the nut. Take your raffia (or string or yarn) and attach the card to the bag. Give to dad.

*Not the best gift idea if anyone involved has peanut allergies. Use common sense when attempting to carry out this activity.


Joy said...

awww. nuts. ;)

Cade said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
d. chedwick bryant said...

I love this idea. (btw my eldest sister and my dad started teaching me to read when I was almost 3 --they were relentless, and I enjoyed the attention, by the time I hit first grade I could read the 3rd grader's reading books.) I wonder why they "wait" to teach kids to learn the alphabet and read. If it is introduced slowly, why not start super early? My sister and dad thought they could make me a doctor or lawyer by playing "school" with me so often-- oh well, that didn't work out. They created a readaholic instead.

MONA said...

wow! how sweet! :) That is indeed a perfect gift! with a Pun associated!

& that little girl IS quite an artist. I love the missy in high heels with a cat! :))

lettuce said...

thats sweet! :)

Sebastien said...

Nice idea! Just watch out, there might be a horde of crazy squirrels that tries to steal those nuts...


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