Who knew there was a National Holiday for Pizza? I do believe I will be making pizza for dinner!
There is an abundance of learning around pizza, and using loose parts to create an imaginary pizza are begging to be used. There is so much potential for early learning! Let’s look at some choices.
Art: Invite your children to create a pizza from contruction paper scrapes, small stones, sticks, buttons, play dough, pom poms or even milk bottle caps. Place the components in baskets and let them choose the ingredients. Include cardboard circles that can be painted or colored. You can cut these from cardboard boxes you have lying around or you can buy 50 circles for $4.00 on Etsy at studioCee. The circular cardboard pieces in this shop are varying sizes, adding to the interest for children as they select the size they wish for their pizza. If you are doing this at home, these circles can be used later for making Christmas ornaments or garlands!
If your child is developing fine motor muscles, let them tear or cut their pizza ingredients from the construction paper. You might want to offer a hole punch to make the cheese, providing a different activity for developing those muscles.
Language: How rich the language opportunities are with pizza. First, think of all the ingredients! Pepperoni, cheese, peppers, onions, anchovies, tomatoes and sauce, mozzarella, onions and mushrooms, (just to name a few.) Here you can chart what is the favorite ingredient in the house (or classroom) and do a bit of counting and comparison. Which ingredient had the most likes? Which ingredient had the least? Did an ingredient have only 1 vote as a “like”? If so, that could be an opportunity to introduce the concept of being an individual! What about the structure of a pizza? There is the crust, the sauce, the cheese and the toppings. What else can be introduced in the way of vocabulary?
There is a cute song that goes to the tune of I wish I were an Oscar Myer Wiener and the words go something like this:
I wish I was a Pepperoni Pizza—That is what I’d truly like to be.
For if I were a Pepperoni Pizza—Everyone would be in love with me.
If you visit preschool-plan-it.com, you will find many opportunities for songs, chants, fingerplays, book suggestions and rhymes.
Math: Shapes are everywhere in pizza. Circles, triangles and rectangles. Pizza is usually a circle, but not always. Have you ever seen a square pizza? Slices on a round pizza become triangles. How many slices in your pretend pizza? Take one away and how many are left? This is a great way to begin addition and subtraction. Your cheese pieces can be many shapes and it’s very easy to imagine those pieces as rectangles. What about pepperoni? What shape does it make?
Science: Of course there is cooking. Here we learn about measurements, estimations, and how heating the pizza changes the properties of the ingredients. Perhaps you make your own dough!
Halloween is just a few weeks away. If you are celebrating differently this year, check out the fun pizza ideas that include spider pies at washingtonian.com and if you need an affordable class treat that doesn’t involve candy, check out these art stones found on the Holiday page. 10 assorted Halloween stones, individually bagged, $15, including tax. (Shipping is billed separately at $8.30. This is the cheapest flat rate I can find for sending this set and shipping can be paid through Pay Pal separately.) I am taking pre-orders now, if you are interested!
Here’s to a yummy pizza and I hope you have a “slice” day!
See you tomorrow!