Wednesday, February 25, 2015

painting our own cloudy sky

We've spent a lot of time reading Little Cloud by Eric Carle, and so our classroom is overflowing with all sorts of cloud activities and projects. The only thing missing was an actual sky full of clouds which we got for a spit second before the wind blew the clouds south. To create our own cloudy sky, we went the Michelangelo route and decided to surprise tomorrow's class...
Our train table (we call it our building table) is just the right height for little arms to reach from underneath. I covered the underside with blue paper and masking tape and set out a tray of white paint and little sponges for the children to create their own clouds with.
It got a bit crowded but the children really held their own, negotiating for space and a turn at the sponges. They kept at if for maybe fifteen minutes before the lure of our shipping boxes called them to create am arching band.

I can't wait to see how tomorrow's class reacts to the surprise!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

clouds clouds clouds

color sorting clouds
sticky easel clouds
cloud photos to explore
one to one clouds
return of the weather picks

Thursday, February 12, 2015

valentine classroom set up

play dough fun
strawberry cloud dough aka cake mix
color matching and sorting
valentine clothesline
pink and red sorting
spin art hearts
sink or float fun
fizzy heart experiments
heart shape button snake
Many of these made an appearance last year, thanks to being productive and me actually making them and not simply putting them on a TO DO list. This year I added sink or float fun, fizzy science, spin art hearts, the matching hearts, and clothesline fun (our classroom tree was a bit too exciting for some of the children). Not pictured is the mail center. It was pounced upon and played in immediately upon arrival and I never got it cleaned up enough for photos.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

pin the tail on the lion {and the little red bird}

The children in the preschool loved playing Pin the Tail on the Lion after we read The Lion and the Little Red Bird. They spent a lot of time retelling the story, choosing their favorite tail and playing many different versions of their game. My co-teacher painted up the lion on large white paper and I assembled the birdie from paper in our scrap bin. The tails and lion were oh-so-carefully covered in clear adhesive shelf paper so that we could enjoy him again next year with another group of kiddos.

Friday, January 30, 2015

bubble gum, bubble gum in a dish!

As a part of our artist study of Wayne Thiebaud I created a bubblegum machine matching board. The printout came from Paper and the Pea. I printed it out thinking we would use our Dot Markers on it or perhaps practice one-to-one correspondence using stickers but then I spied my markers and laminator and inspiration struck.

We have had our magnetic pompoms for a few years and use them for all sorts of projects. I pulled out matching colors (surprisingly we had no purple) and set this up to see what the kiddos would do.
Individually they will put the pompoms onto the machine every-which-way. Some of the children will color match, some of them will not. Sometimes the gumballs end up in the play kitchen. As a group we sit down and select three gumballs each and place them on their matching gumball. There are all sorts of ways to play!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

ice play with a twist

We at the 'do! live in a pretty sunny climate. Our winter temps can get pretty chilly at night but for the most part we can get away without a sweater for much of the year. During our week of The Mitten, I thought it would be fun to fill our outside sensory tub with ice and when I found these awesome ice sphere molds from ZOKU on sale an idea was born!
It took me a few days to freeze about 10 spheres mostly because I kept forgetting to do so and partly because it does take quite a few hours. I played with adding a little and/or a lot of food color for variety and got a kick out of each sphere as I removed them from the molds. Really, it takes very little to please me. I wish I had taken photos of them, they were so pretty!
Just before outside play time, I put a little bit of water into our two sensory bins and separated the ice spheres by cool and warm colors (the food color leached out qucikly enough to tint the water so I thought it would be prettier plus we've been working on cool colors and warm colors in the classroom). The kiddos were very curious and there were shouts of "circle ice! spheres! snow balls!"
It did not take long for the kiddos to realize just how cold the spheres actually were and there was a discussion about how to play with them other than dropping them on the ground to see them break (which did happen rather quickly because ice balls!) After a little debate the children realized mittens would work and after much running around was had, one of the kiddos returned with a single mitten on his hand followed by others, each one bearing only one mitten a piece (or a glove). I loved that...thank you happy thrift store mitten find!
After the mittens got completely soaked, the kiddos returned to the room to retrieve another mitten (I am just now wondering where did all those mittens go?) to continue their investigations.
Play narratives came out, color matching, rich language, songs, math, and science all made an appearance. They had so much fun I think I need to make more...once I remember where I put the mittens...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

an elephant parade

Back in October we did a guided drawing project that I had to do twice because I simply could not cut out these amazing elephants like we did last year. So, they drew their elephants and I swooned and then I had them draw a second elephant that they then added their paint to. I have to find those photos but for now lookie what these wee artists drew!