Monday, November 18, 2013

Food Play!

It's Thanksgiving Week here at The Pa-Paw Patch, so we tried to think of a fun sensory activity to send to the classrooms as a special treat.  What did we come up with?  Homemade play food!  Yes, of course there's lots of play food in the refrigerators and shelves of every class's housekeeping center, but we thought some special play food might just hit the spot for Thanksgiving play!  We've had lots of fun crafting our food, with a little help from several websites and inspiration from Melissa and Doug's felt food kits.  Here's what we're eating for Thanksgiving!

We have turkey legs, bread, carrots, green beans, broccoli, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.  All we need for a yummy feast!  And we've used different textured materials to create a wonderful sensory experience!  This food is for our three- and four-year-old classrooms, because the pieces are a little smaller and we've used scratchy scouring pads for some of the food. We made more toddler-friendly versions for our one- and two-year-old rooms by including sewn and stuffed "chicken nuggets" and using less-scratchy foam sponges for the green beans and bread.

Here's how we did it, just in case you need a feast at your house!

Turkey legs: crinkled up brown paper, with the bottom wrapped in masking tape.

Bread: yellow scouring pads or foam sponges (depending on child's age), cut into oval shapes.  Draw brown marks with a marker to resemble bread.

Carrots: orange paper crinkled and twisted (little imaginations could also envision these as sweet potatoes!)

Green Beans: green scouring pads or sponges (depending on child's age) cut into strips.  Clip the ends into a point.

Broccoli: Draw a broccoli shape onto green foam.  Color the stem and draw lots of circles for the broccoli head.  Cut out.

Cranberry Sauce: circles cut out of a piece of deep red felt.

Mashed Potatoes: Cut two matching circles out of white felt.  Sew around the edge, leaving an open spot.  Stuff with batting and sew opening shut.

Gravy: a little puddle shape cut out of brown felt.

Lettuce: Cut lettuce leaf shape out of green felt and use a brown marker to draw a line up through the center with small lines coming out from the center line.

Tomato: Cut a circle out of red felt, clip four small slits from the center, and use a brown marker to draw seeds.

Onion: Cut a circle out of white felt, then cut a smaller circle out of the center to be the onion ring and middle.  Using a yellow marker, draw a line in the center around the ring, then draw circles in the onion's center.  This didn't show up well in the picture, so here's a better picture.

This pack of food would also be great to stash in a little bag for imaginative play at doctor's appointments, church, or running errands!  We know our Patchers are going to LOVE playing Thanksgiving this week, and we look forward to a fun week of learning!

And if you're looking for more craft ideas find them here: HomePlay from The Pa-Paw Patch