Children LOVE sand. Hours at the park, beach or in the back yard sandbox accumulates a large portion of our summer for the littles. To my surprise, while working at a preschool, the private school center actually did NOT allow the children to play in an outdoor sandbox due to safety precautions. As wild as that sounds, that did not deter us from bring sandboxes inside. Throughout the years there have been so many “new” products introduced on the market, and to another surprise teachers pay SO MUCH for these products to save time and energy. As a teacher, I loved seasons. I would get as creative as possible to “create” our own sensory bins while utilizing inexpensive everyday products that most homes or center already obtain. As creative with textures and visuals as we could be, we still get asked time and time again about a moon sand type recipe we have used for years. Although, I believe the texture is a bit different, this recipe can fill a bin for pennies if your center or home has the proper ingredients already. HERE it is:
As you can gather, this recipe is a base recipe I use for the large clear totes that fit under the bed. We have done a pond unit for homeschool & preschool and place 1/2 the pool with this sand dough and it’s critters. The remaining half split with water gel beads and local rocks we collected from a previous unit.
I LOVE having activities out where the children enjoy learning without the structure. Kids love to learn naturally and through exploration & it’s such a joy to watch and be apart of!
Okay, that’s a simple list, but how complex does it have to be? Take that same list and if you have dietary guidelines or allergies you have to consider, make you life easy and go through for a rotating snack list. Honestly 2-3 weeks works great!
So here is the same list:
Cookies- Now this could be a dietary guideline issue. Cookies could be vanilla wafers- these are great with any fruit, a fruit dip or spread or whip. Don’t forget though cookies could also be a butter cookie topped with fruit (like a mini fruit pizza) or oatmeal raisin cookies, whole grain doodle bugs, fig newtons, etc.
Cereal- Kids love cereal plain. Since generally have a hot breakfast, cereal is a great snack for us. The varieties are plentiful and can easily be ate plain or with a side or into a homemade trail mix.
Pretzels- self explanatory, goes well with a fruit side, a dip or in a trail mix if you’re wanting to change it up a bit.
Yogurt- This is a favorite snack or “treat” my kids say. We make it into a “parfait” in small mason jars for the kids with fruit and the option of granola. However, if a kiddo is extra hungry or needs a quick snack, we have plenty of yogurt on hand to do so.
Sliced Veggies & dip- one of my favorites because it can be prepped easily and a large container is easy to grab if the kiddos need more.
Smoothies- although fruit seems the most obvious and likable, and as weird as it may seem. Zucchini or spinach based are actually among the top favorites with my kiddos. A great way to get in those veggies in daily. A blender can be prepped with the veggies & fruit and placed in the fridge, then added to the base and made quickly right at snack time. Or pre-packing your “mixes” in the freezer saves so much time!
Pancakes & fruit- Kids never get tired of pancakes. Generally we make multigrain and spinach. Even though the kids have pancakes on their breakfast menu every other week, they still love the minis for snack with a side of fruit or fruit whip spread.
Graham Crackers and Cheese- As you know, virtually any cracker works, but I found the cheese on the graham cracker kids love! That hint of sweetness in the sandwich satisfies. My kids love it!
Brownies- Now, like cookies, there are healthy versions. From oatmeal bakes to “fudge” bean brownies. If allowed these make a great menu change up that kids love!
String cheese- what can I say, kids love them and there are many varieties out now!
I hope this has blessed you and allows a you to create quickly a versatile spring semester menu! Enjoy your break! Happy Teaching!