Maybe Christmas, Perhaps, Means a Little Bit More

Guess what our theme is this week!? I’ll give you a hint- he’s green, he’s grouchy, he hates Christmas…and he learns a sweet lesson that maybe Christmas isn’t all about stuff, but that it’s truly about spending time with “who” you love! That’s right- it’s GRINCH WEEK! We used to do a “Grinch Day” in my classroom, and I must admit it’s one of my favorite Christmas books/movies (Elf is my all time fav. though!) There are so many great lessons you can pull from this classic Dr. Seuss story- and for older kids the theme song is a fantastic lesson on metaphors (your heart is full of unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk Mr. Grinch!). Don’t forget to slink on over to my toddler post “So Long As We Have Hands to Clasp” for more Grinchy fun like a “Who hair” tutorial, a Who Pudding recipe and some super cute and easy DIY Grinch ornaments!

Literacy:

-Grinch similes: Similes are a great way for good writers to describe things by using comparisons that include “like” or “as” (for example: The Grinch is as cuddly as a cactus. The Grinch is green like grass.) I explained what similes are to my little, then had him think of green things to describe the Grinch which I then added to a thought web with a printed picture of the Grinch in the center. When we had filled up the web, we read it together! I got this idea from A Pinch of Kinder.

-Persuasive letter to the Grinch: I used to do this activity with my 2nd and 3rd graders to work on persuasive writing, so I thought it would be fun to try it out with my little too (obviously he dictated while I wrote!) I told him we were going to write a letter to try to convince the Grinch to not steal Christmas and asked him what he would like to say. I also went over the parts of a letter with him- date, greeting, body, closing and signature. For extra fun, I wrote the note on this free printable Grinch stationary!

-“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” punch-a-bunch questions: We read “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” then I had my little punch each punch-a-bunch (essentially a tissue paper covered bowl with a comprehension question inside! I got this genius idea from A Pinch of Kinder– it takes time to prep, but boy does it make comprehension questions FUN!!!) and answer the question inside. I retyped the questions and you can print them for free here!

-Grinchy green name practice: I made a name practice page for my little where I wrote his name, then left off the first letter, then the second and so on and had him fill them in. We did it with the Grinch’s name too, but since he’s not used to writing those letters, I ended up writing them in dots so he could trace them.

-Grinch acrostic poem: This was a bit tricky for my little, but it’s a great way to practice vocabulary and beginning sounds, so it’s worth a shot! You just write GRINCH down the side of a page and have your little think of a word that starts with each letter of the name and also describes the Grinch. To be honest, I thought of all the words except green…and even for that one I had to give him a hint! LoL But it was still fun and was a nice way to practice beginning sounds!

Math:

-Grinch counting game: This was a HUGE hit with both my littles and they begged to do it again when we had finished all the cards! You just print, cut out and fold up all the cards and tuck them in a bowl, have them draw a card one at a time, then act out the card while counting (ie. Slink 5 times.) Here’s a link to the game cards you can print for free!

-Measuring the Grinch’s heart: The Grinch’s heart is one of the main topics of the story, seeing as it was “two sizes too small” and then grew once he discovered the true meaning of Christmas, so of course we had to get in on some heart activities this week! In this activity, I cut out 5 different sized hearts from craft foam, then had my little measure their length and width using unifix cubes which you can get for around $10 on Amazon. If you don’t have any on hand, you can use another “non standard” measuring tool such as buttons (as long as they’re all the same size) or clothes pins. I got this idea from A Pinch of Kinder.

-Measure a Who (the tall and the small): I printed out this picture of a group of Whos and reviewed how to use a ruler to measure things. Then I had my little measure each Who and I wrote down the number under each of them.

-Outrun the Grinch game: I got a cute “Outrun the Grinch” game board on Teachers Pay Teachers, printed it, colored it and laminated it. To play, my little and I took turns drawing an UNO card (you could also roll a dice), identifying the number, then moving that many spaces. If you land on a Grinch space, you lose your turn. It was really fun! We played 3 times at my little’s request!

Science/social studies:

-Who/Grinch compare and contrast: I drew a large Venn Diagram on our chalkboard (a piece of paper would also work!) and had my little think of ways the Grinch is different from the Whos (outer parts of the circles that don’t overlap) and how they are alike (inner part of the circles where they do overlap). I’m not sure if that’s actually a social studies lesson…but I’m counting it because the Grinch is an exemplar for how you shouldn’t treat others and the Whos are an exemplar for how you should!

-The meaning of Christmas: Since the Grinch learns the true meaning of Christmas in the story (or at least secular Christmas), I thought my little and I would have a chat (and I would jot down) what Christmas means in our family. I wrote what he said on a web on our chalkboard with “Christmas” in the center.

-Grow the Grinch’s heart: This was a fun science experiment I got from Inspiration Laboratories and Creative Family Fun. First, blow up a green balloon just a smidge so it’s firm enough to draw a heart on it with red sharpie. Then fill it with about a tablespoon or two of baking soda using a funnel (I just made one from paper). Next, pour some white vinegar in an empty water bottle and fit the balloon around the top. Hold it securely while you dump the baking soda into the vinegar by giving the balloon a good shake, then watch the Grinch’s heart grow as the balloon fills up with gas produced by the fizzy chemical reaction!

-Fizzy Grinch hearts: My littles both LOVED this fun science exploration/sensory play activity and carried the tiny hearts around all day afterwards! (I ended up getting a ton of hearts, but I’ll find something fun to do with the rest on Valentine’s Day!) So for the experiment you make “dissolving rocks” by mixing baking soda and water dyed green with food coloring until you get a moldable paste. Then, hide a heart gem inside a small ball of the paste, place them on a plate and put them in the freezer (I made 6 using a cup of baking soda and about 1/4 cup of water, but you can do as many as you like!) When they’re completely frozen, mix a squirt of dish soap with 1/2 cup of white vinegar in a cake pan, then have your littles put the “dissolving rocks” in the vinegar for fizzy, foamy fun! If the dissolving slows down, just pour more vinegar on top of the “rocks”. You can also do this with just vinegar (no soap) but you won’t get the cold foam to play in (we did 4 in foam, 2 in plain vinegar and they were all cool- but the boys loved playing in the foam as the rocks dissolved). I got this idea from Inspiration Laboratories and Reading Confetti. Pro tip- put down a towel or blanket under your pan…this WILL get messy and that makes for a much easier clean up!

Art:

-Grinch/Who hair: Seeing as hairdressing is an art form, I’m just going to put this here! LoL This week is a fun chance to get creative with your little’s hair! If you have a kiddo with long hair, you can create a crazy “Cindy Lou Who” style updo fairly easily by following my tutorial on YouTube– all you need is a brush, hair spray, a small cup, some bobby pins, a few small elastics and a festive bow or flower clip! If your kiddo has shorter locks, you can spike it up with gel and spray it green for some groovy Grinch styled hair! My little loved his Grinch hair so much he cried when I washed it out during bath time and asked me to restyle it every morning all week long! hahaha Here’s a link to the green hair color I used!

-Grinchy green open ended crafting: As a kid one of my favorite things to do was to gather all my craft supplies and make gifts for my family (and this was before Pinterest so it was up to my own imagination!) I know that open crafting fostered creativity and problem solving in myself, so I thought I would offer a Grinchy version of that to my little. I gave him a bin of all green craft supplies (as well as tape, glue and scissors), then told him he could make whatever he liked! He made a ring for his brother and an abstract piece of art for me- and definitely had fun with it!

Supply/shopping list:

  • 6 paper bowls
  • red and green tissue paper
  • Unifix cubes
  • ruler
  • clothes pins
  • red craft foam
  • green balloon
  • red sharpie
  • water bottle
  • baking soda
  • vinegar
  • heart gems
  • green craft supplies
  • brush
  • hair spray (green or plain)
  • bobby pins
  • small elastics
  • cup
  • festive bow or flower hair clip

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