Wednesday, December 17, 2014

fun with dyed chanukah pasta

When I found this happy bag of Chanukah pasta at World Market I scooped it up with a whoop and imagined how pretty it would be dyed in all sorts of happy colors. So I took it home and did just that using this method.
The bag itself isn't too large so each color is only maybe two cups or so of noodles. The teal and purple were accomplished using liquid watercolor while the dark blue and the white needed a little help from some acrylic paint mixed with water. The white and blue got a bit more wet than usual in the shaking process so needed a day to dry with a manual flip in between to get both sides.
Once the noodles are all dry there are oodles of ways for your kiddos to play! Use the pasta as a stand in for gelt during dreidel play. Add it to play dough or color sort onto a sorting mat made from printed/solid paper taped or stitched together. Felt will work for a more permanent mat but happy scrapbook paper will do in a pinch!
Stack the pieces! Have a contest to see who can stack the most in a set time. Up the ante by using only your pinching fingers. Grab a pipecleaner or some yarn and string the noodles up for a pretty necklace or bracelet.
Work on math and patterning by creating various patterns with your kiddos. Set up an art table with glue, paint, and glitter and get to it! There are all sorts of ways you can play! Happy Chanukah!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

gingerbread men round 2

This year the children whipped up their own puffy paint to paint their gingerbread men and/or houses with. After reading more than a dozen recipes for diy puffy paint I came to the conclusion that the ratios did not need to be exact and that all you needed was salt, flour, baking soda, and a little water (plus liquid water color).
We mixed up our paint at circle time. Each kiddo was given a small container and spoon on one of our white plates (I LOVE these plates). Then I talked about the paint we were going to make and how it was a recipe. We've been working on recipes almost every week. The children took turns scooping out their desired amounts of the ingredients and got to mixing.
There were a lot of comments when the children found their paint to be too thick or too thin. After a little experimenting they each came up with their perfect pot of paint.
I poured the paint into small squeeze bottle that made it difficult for the children to get all squeeze happy. They really had to work those squeezing muscles!  Even though they each mixed up their own color we talked about sharing the paint with the rest of the class and how we could accomplish that through kind words and questions.
While I love the idea of using real candy to decorate their cardboard people and houses (like we did last year) I wanted for them to make something that could possibly be kept without attracting critters. To remedy this I spent one television program using various paper punches and a paper pad of holiday paper from Michael's to punch out circles, stars, and hearts of various sizes.
The children delighted in their creations and use oodles of thinking skills when they realized their paint would not puff up when we cooked it  (pop into microwave and cook for 20 seconds or so)if it was covered in paper. I loved seeing and listening to their collaborations and discoveries. Some layered circles and told me it was like "Disky" back from when we did our Kandinsky study, while others talked about shapes, size variations, and practiced their one to one correspondence with one paper shape to each blob of paint that they then counted out.
I mean, lookie how happy these creations are (blurry photos and all)! I used a template the mister made for me last year. I need to transfer to the computer so you all can have a copy if ya like.
Also, the clean up was so pretty I had to take a picture of it as well. We kept the paint out and available for the day. Oh my goodness! I just realized the sticky bottles of paint are in a zip bag somewhere in the casa...where did I put them?  I better find them before they get super ickified! Yikes! Enjoy!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

setting up the festive classroom

our storybasket for the gingerbread baby
Our literature for the two weeks before the winter break is teaming with all sorts of festive goodness. This past week we read The Gingerbread Baby and next week we will be reading Rabbit's Gift. Here's a peak into our classroom for our week of gingerbread...
sorting gingerbread men
investigating area w gingerbread men and pom poms
gingerbread felt fun
candy memory/matching game
decorating our play gingerbread house
exploring our toaster set to accompany our nursery rhyme
dot marker holiday trees
fine motor dreidel fun
fine motor tree decorating