Thursday, March 20, 2014

drippy icicle paintings

For our week of Snow, even though we live in a town that does not experience snow, we leaped into the idea of snow. All of the children in the class have experienced snow so it went a bit easier in my mind to talk about snow in context with their experiences. I however have not had much experience with snow. I know what it is and I have walked across the snow that remains on the side of the road up in Sequioa National Park and I once spent a morning in Idyllwild when the ground was blanketed in the icy goodness. It was fun all the same. From songs of snow, pretend snowball fights, and snow play dough we really embraced it. Here is a project I did with the children when we were talking about gravity and gravitational pull (thank you shout out to an awesome toddler teacher I once got to work with who taught me this project).
I did a demo first to explain the steps for the children. This was not a free for all art project. I don't even have photos of the finished pieces as the children took them home that very day. We talked about ice and icicles and how they form. As we talked about our ideas of icicles, I drew a line at the top of my paper and explained that we would use gravity to create our gluey icicles.
I wish I had used our boring newsprint instead of the purple paper I used because when I asked the children what color paper they wanted they all wanted to use purple as well. Not a bad thing at all but wonder if had I used the newsprint would they have wanted that as well? When you do this project, use an oversized sheet of construction paper if you have it and fold it in half keeping the crease at the top. This will make the project a bit more sturdy. You may even want to use cardboard and have the children paint their cardboard ahead of time. Ooh, I might do that next year! Have your kiddo draw their glue line near the top. It's their project so try not to correct where they think the top of their paper is. This is a good tool for gauging whether or not your kiddo understands locations...IN, OUT, TOP, BOTTOM, ETC.
After they draw their glue line, have them stand their paper up and let gravity do the work. There will be some dialogue which will invite inquiry and more for discussion. Some of the children had great long lines dripping down their paper while others did not. One of the children figured out how much glue you drew determined your icicle lengths. See? Cause and effect, Awesome!
Next up came the sprinkling of salt and glitter...of course. Each child got their own wee bowl of salt mixed with a hefty does of glitter in their choice of color from silver, iridescent, pink, blue, and/or purple. We used our pinching fingers to sprinkle the glitter across the page.
Some of the children chose to draw additional lines and dance with gravity again. It was a lot of fun and the conversations that carried on throughout the day seemed to focus on the wonders of gravity.

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