Pretty paper candy cane tubes in preschool

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As many of you may have already read, I recently posted our candy cane sensory tubes and since that time, we have been exploring the tubes in other ways.  I have a few things I have learned since first introducing the candy cane tubes to my class that I want to share with you….

First of all, when selecting tubes for any activity in preschool, check out the way they are made.  Every manufacturer makes them different.  For example, the tubes I bought from the Dollar Store had seams that run down the sides but the tubes I bought from Walmart (and used for the sensory tubes) didn’t have seams down the side and were a little more solid all around…

And I also noticed that depending on the kind of tube you purchase, each tube comes with different kinds of labels.   For example, the tubes I purchased from the Dollar Store had labels that slipped right off with the packaging. They were super easy to remove.  The tubes I bought from Walmart had labels that were a bit harder to to remove.  They peeled off cleanly, but they took a little more effort.  I have had other folks tell me that they have tubes where the label is almost impossible to remove so be sure to look at those labels and see how they are stuck on!

We have used the candy cane tubes in a variety of ways. Making pretty paper candy cane tubes was fun for our pre-k children but still a bit challenging too. The children rolled up strips of paper then used a pencil to push the the paper down into the tubes….

I let the children choose the colors they would like to use in their candy cane tubes and asked them to make a pattern with their choice of colors…

If I were to introduce this to my threes, I would change the process to adding scrunched up paper tissue instead of trying the curling process. It takes pretty good fine motor skills to curl up all that paper and then guide it into the candy cane tubes…

I also set out the candy cane tubes along with our peppermint play dough.  The children loved stuffing the playdough down the tube but getting the playdough to come back out of the tubes was another challenge!! I had to show the children how to squeeze and tap the tubes to get the playdough to fall out rather than trying to pull the playdough out…

As with any new tool for play and exploration, I am learning right along with my students as they use the materials and learn about them too.  One of my little boys has decided his candy cane tube is simply a gun.  Before he went home today, he asked me if he could take home his gun with the red handle.  It took me a minute to figure out what he was talking about!

So as you explore the idea of using candy cane tubes in your classroom, keep in mind that I am learning about them too. But I have to say that I will be checking to see if any go on sale at the end of the season so we can use them next year. I have found so many ways the children can explore with them, so the learning process on my part has been worth the effort!

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Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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