We usually have a gingerbread unit study during the week of the first snowfall, each year. I try to be ready with a batch of gingerbread dough, so we can start things off by baking, and decorating gingerbread men. This year though, our first snow was in early October, and we weren't really in the mood for gingerbread yet.
But by this week, we were ready. So, last night as the snowflakes started falling, I mixed up a batch of cold porcelain clay (you thought I was going to say gingerbread, didn't you?), and used it to make six Christmas ornaments. If you don't know anything about cold porcelain clay, then you can click here to go back a few posts, for an explanation, and a recipe.
This time I made a larger batch, eight times our base recipe. When it was prepared, and ready, I patted it flat, and used a gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut out a few men. Then, I used extra bits of the dough, to add some details, and used a wooden skewer to poke a hole through the dough, near the top of each ornament, for a hook. I left the clay white, so the children could paint the ornaments today, after they were dry, for our stART project (a story and art project hosted by A Mommy's Adventures).
The story we chose this week was The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup. It's a little Christmasy for a November stART choice, but it was the book that caught our eye at the library, and since I had a feeling it would be snowing soon, we went ahead and checked it out.
After we read the story, the children painted their ornaments with acrylic paints, including a few I modified to go along with Matt Tavares' illustrations. The kids had a lot of fun painting, with only one dissenter in the ranks, who didn't want to paint an ornament.
Now, as the paint dries, we hope to devote the rest of the day, to playing in the snow, and making some gingerbread men, that we can actually eat.
It's great to be a homeschooler.