Tuesday, April 30, 2019

a colorful invitation

 First, the children all brought flowers into the classroom, then we used our senses to explore each one. We learned the words for the parts, and then we used our fingers to pull them apart! From there, the petals were added to art, mixed in with play dough, brushed across arms and faces, turned into potions, crushed into perfume, added to the water table, and SO MUCH MORE! 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

they had so much fun

We took it outside! A lot of new teachers may ask, "What can I set up outside for the children?" The answer is "Pretty much anything you do inside, you can do outside." From easel painting to chalk work, to block building, to egg shell crushing, your classroom kiddos can do it all outside! Sometimes, we even take our naps outside. 

stamping with plastic eggs


Friday, April 19, 2019

more butterfly fun with dollar store finds

This butterfly frame is the outside part  of a butterfly sign that I turned into a chalkboard. It was originally glittery pink, and now it'...not. We set it out on a table, along with a plethora of small bits to explore.
Some children designed a loose parts butterfly, some showcased their skills in symmetry, and other essentially used a one-to-one correspondence approach to their design. More blurry pics, but they show the variety of exploration in this group of three and four year olds. 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

dollar store butterfly chalkboard

A little chalkboard spray paint can transform all manner of dollar store signs. This particle board butterfly being one thing. We used makeup sponges as chalk erasers, and set out the thinner chalk to really eke out those pincer grips! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

butterfly fine motor fun

I found this butterfly placemat at the dollar store. It was a bright pink, so I spray painted it black and set it out with a variety of other colorful felt pieces. The photo is blurry, but it works. The older children (and often their even older siblings) will set about to create a symmetrical design, while the younger children take a more is more approach to the whole thing. You can also do this by cutting out a butterfly from felt. I liked the placemat as it was much larger and more sturdy than the felt I had at home. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

rolling coils

When I do guided art in my classroom, I am doing an assessment of sorts. Who is showing an interest in writing their name, who is crossing the mid-line, which hand is being used, are they ready for abstract thought, and so much more. We set the example by beginning a discussion based on a book that was read in class. We collaborate about how to draw, play, craft, or create a concept, and then we make it happen. No child is forced to do any of the projects the "correct" way. Each child does their art as they see fit, and as they are developmentally able to do. This helps me, the facilitator, see where they are in their fine or gross motor development, their executive function, their self-regulation, their communication skills, etc. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

nature discovery bottles

It may seem ironic that these discovery bottles have fake plants in them, but there's a reason for that. Real plants, flowers, and greenery molds, and falls apart. While we absolutely do make nature bottles with real items from nature, this set here is made for staying power. The only thing in them is a bit of plastic flora or fauna, and water. That's it! These will not remain pretty forever, but we hope to get a few years out of them.