Monday, May 29, 2017

strawberry science

When we raead The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear, we have a lot of fun with strawberries. Here, the chidren are weighing and comparing their strawberries they brought from home. We have a variety of scales for the children to investigate with.  I bring extra berries that are locally grown for those who forget or are unable to bring one. I haven't had a strawberry allergy yet, but if we do, we of course change the fruit to something safe for everyone.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

scent tubes

I think I found these on zulily, or maybe it was at Tuesday Morning. Either way, I am quite fond of them. The tubes are made of sturdy plastic with screw on tops/bottoms. One lid has holes punched into it so that these make for pretty nifty scent tubes, albeit large tubes. The tubes measure about 15", I think, mayne 13". They are large enough so that the children can only hold one in each hand at a time. I like to add items from my own garden to them so we can begin a discussion of what is in your garden or yard. Our community is designated rural with many of the children very familair with gardening and growing. If I had children in my room with different home environments, the discussion would be different. Here in the tubes we have basil, rosemary, oregano, and lavender.

Friday, May 26, 2017

time for lunch

A dolphin, a striped momkey, and a kimochi, all ready to be fed....this could get interesting...

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

classroom canvases

One of the ways I build community in the classroom is through our classroom canvases. Each child gets a flat canvas to create art on but with a twist. The owner of the canvas gets to choose the colors and paints the base however they wish.

We use acrylic paints for our canvases which elevate the process for the children. I keep the acrylics in a cardboard suitcase so they know something fun is afloat when it makes an appearance. Once the original coat is dry, the owner of the canvas selects a new color or two for a classmate to use on their canvas. For me, the fun part is switching out the tools the children use. I place a variety of tools on a tray and the painter selects which one they wish to use. This helps to keep the canvas from getting muddy while alerting the child that this is mindful work.

Some of the tools we've used are strawberry baskets, q-tips, pieces of cardboard, dollar store massage rollers, tp tubes, cups, sponges, toys, the bottoms of cups, toothbrushes, and our fingers.
The evolution of each canvas is pretty magical. We paint on them throughout the year so some may have layers and layers on them, while others might not.

Friday, May 19, 2017

paper plate lions

How cute are these lions? Our paper plate lions are a preschool craft project that gathers the kiddos into a group to work on skills such as cutting, glueing, and following instructions. I want to add that this is not an everyday deal that I do in my classroom. Most of the time we are mixing paint and creating our own art experiences. Sometimes we gather around so I can quickly assess who may need encouragment or who may need a new challenge. We never push and if a child has other plans or really does not want to do the project then that's okay. There a multitude of other ways to see where they are at. A craft such as this is cute and is a fun take home for parents to display. I mean, who wouldn't want a three-eyed lion on their fridge?

Paper plates are a fun and inexpensive resource for kiddo to create with. They are sturdy enough to hold ALL the paint, and have an interesting texture to them. Childre ncan cut them to create other tings, and they are happy to have paint, glue, crayon, marker, pencil, and even play dough spread over them.
Here we have a blue lion, a pink lions, a four-eyed lion, and a classic one or two in the mix. Once the paint dried, the kiddos added mouths or mustaches or design using the much coveted sharpie.
Sometimes though, I have to admit, it;s the paint messy brushes I swoon over.

Monday, May 8, 2017

mother's day brooches part 2

See what I mean? Gorgeous! I would totally wear one of these. I should make one for myself.
The bling came from my jewelry junk drawer. Craft store beads, sequins, woold balls, costume jewelry that had been dissasembled, you name it! I grabbed a couple of handfuls from the drawer and popped them into a bag for us to work from at school. I dumped the whole happy mess onto one of our trays and passed out empty applesauce/mini chobani containers for the kiddos to select what they wanted to add to their flower. Once they had their selections and I was ready for them, they came over to the hot melt glue table. Some of the children can handle the glue gun, others need/want help. We plopped a puddle of hot glue onto the center of the flower then we dumped our cup of happy onto the whole shebang. We ended up with some amazing bits of goodness. Before they added their bling, I had glued pinbacks to the backs of the flowers. When everything was ready, the children wrapped up their pins by rolling them in tissue paper and placing into a small bag. That day we also had a school function in the evening and it was so delightful to see all of the moms show up with their pins on!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

mother's day brooches part 1

This year for Mother's Day I wanted to try something that could be worn outside of Mother's Day and landed on a painted floral pin.

I cut our a variety of flower shapes in different sizes with the idea that the children would select their pieces, smallest to largest...staple them together, then add paint before blinging them out with all sorts of sparkly goodness. This last unpainted flower was my sample. 
We used liquid watercolor to paint the flowers. I demonstrated how to wet the flower by submerging it into a tray of water. A few of the kiddos really got a kick out of that part, so they would paint their flower, submerge it to rinse it off, then paint again.

They came out even better than I had imagined! I think my favorites are of the flowers that got rinsed multiple times. The layers of color are so pretty. Stay tuned to see how they all turned out! I can't remember if I got photos of the children adding their bling or not but I do have final product pics!