Exploring Spices

Ever since this moment when Silas discovered the spice cabinet (which was in a bottom cabinet) and dumped out an entire jar of cream of tartar, my collection of spices has been haphazardly re-homed wherever they could fit in the cabinets that are not within his reach. During last week's cold snap when we really couldn't leave the house, I took the opportunity to organize and purge my stash. Silas helped and we put together a little play dough and spice exploration for him. 

We started by making a fresh batch of cinnamon-scented play dough (I just boiled some cinnamon sticks in the water and then fished them out before adding all the other ingredients) and we put it on a tray with some star anise, allspice berries, juniper berries, and cinnamon sticks. He really enjoyed it. He smelled each of the spices, learned their names, and then pressed them in the dough.

Let me give a little hint to the other mamas who are new to parenting a preschooler (a hint that is sure to give the more experienced mamas a chuckle). This is a supervision-only activity. Even if you are in the same room, but your attention is diverted by, say, making breakfast, your little angel, who has never, prior to this point, been one to put things up his nose, will almost assuredly push one of those there juniper berries as far as he can into his right nostril. Don't panic. It will come out, but not after some tears are shed. Lesson learned. *ahem*

Circle Time update...

Week Four: Animals in Winter
Week Five: Tracks in the Snow

All the songs and verses stayed the same for Week Four. The only change was the books:
Story book: In the Snow: Who's Been Here? by George
Lesson book: Animals in Winter by Bancroft

Week Five & Six: Tracks in the Snow

* Circle Time Opening Song:
Circle Time
Circle Time
It's Time for Circle Time
Come on down
Settle in
For rhythm and for rhyme
* Song: Sky Bears
* Song: Snowflakes Falling (to the tune of Row Row Row Your Boat)
Snowflakes falling down
Falling on the ground
Great big white flakes
That do not make a sound.
* Verse: 
Snowflakes falling soft & light,
Snowflakes falling in the night,
Soft & light, pure & white,
When the sun shines out so bright,
All the earth is dressed in white,
All the earth is dressed in white.
* Storybook: Tracks in the Snow by Yee
* Lesson Book: Footprints in the Snow by Benjamin
* Verse:
Little light snowflakes whirl around.
Little light snowflakes fall to the ground.
Fall on the tree
And fall on me.
Make the Earth white,
Make the Earth bright.
* Song: King Winter
* Movement: 
Up and down the yard we go
Making boot prints in the snow
Big steps
Little steps
Around and around
Oh what fun with snow on the ground!
Turn around to see our tracks,
Then spin and spin around real fast! (repeat)
* Circle Time Closing Song:
Circle Time
Circle Time
Circle Time is done
Now it's time
To fill our day
With laughter and with fun
Week Seven: Groundhog Day
Week Eight: Hibernation
Week Nine: Valentine's Day
Week Ten: Night Animals


  1. When I grind my spices, I have been letting my little babe smell them. She has just gotten to the point where she knows what "smell it" means and that she uses her nose. I have been wanting to let her play with sorting different colored dry beans, but I know she is too small yet. Nose, mouth, ears, it would probably all happen. Glad yours didn't turn into an emergency room visit.

  2. Oh my... a beery up the nose?! Yikes!

    I love sensory experiences and spices are no exception! Wonderful activity.

    My daughter and I are doing a project on snow right now. It is going fabulously. I'll have to investigate the books you've mentioned.

    Wishing you a lovely day.