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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Festive Fall

Felted Acorn Necklaces

One of my favorite projects to do with the children this time a year is our felted acorns.
They look lovely as necklaces, but I also love the tactile nature of the project.  It is very calming to
submerge wool in warm soapy water and roll it in a ball over and over again in your hands.
Another aspect of thus project that I love, is that we look at real acorns and oak leaves and talk about how acorns come from oak tree, we also discuss pine cones coming from pine trees, and of course maple syrup coming from maple leaves.  In addition to this I like to show different leaves and identify them with the children.
I have more detailed instruction for this project under felting projects or you can click below.

 Here is E showing us her felt that she has been slowly rolling into a ball
before we add water

dunking the ball of felt into warm, soapy water

wringing out the extra water and soap

 Rolling and... 

  Two proud artists

the lovely finished product.

Apple Prints

Take an apple round and red
Don't slice it down
Slice it through instead
Right inside it you will see
A star as pretty as can be!

We did a lot with apples in September, it is a well loved fruit.
Here are some pictures from this years apple printing, but for stories and songs we do at school, as well as a low sugar apple cake recipe, click on last years post below.

Leaf Printing

There are two things that I think make wonderful leaf prints.
#1 a print making brayer for rolling out the paint and then rolling it onto the leaves.
#2 bright fall colors on black paper.
 The results are always beautiful!

Autumnal Light Table Fun

We love our light table at school, it is a popular place for play and exploration.
I try to add new elements to continue to engage the kids.
I found these wonderful leaves, acorns and pumpkins at Target, and they have been a
fun and engaging Autumnal provocation.

At first we just had pumpkins, and the pumpkin soup and juice that the children were making was very tasty.

I then introduced the leaves and acorns.
we have been playing a lot with real acorns and made our felted acorns, so it was no surprise that the children had an automatic magnetism towards the acorns.
They were like little squirrels hiding and storing away little cups of acorns everywhere.
I would be cleaning up after school and find two or three little piles of acorns in different areas of the school.  The acorns inspired a game where the children would pretend they were squirrels and hide, when the person who was seeking would find them, they then would make a trails of acorns for the the squirrel's to follow and come out of their hiding spot.  It has become a great game a school.

One of our favorite circle time finger plays is:

Whisky frisky hippety hop
There goes squirrel nut-kin up the tree top!
Whirly, twirly, round and round
here he comes back again down to the ground.
Furly, curly what a fine tail
As tall as a feather, broad as a sail.
Where is his supper?
It's still in his shell.
Snappity, crackity, out it fell!

Spin Art Leaves

The kids love using our salad spinner to create art work.  The whole process from start
to finish is a lot of fun.  For our Fall fun, I cut out maple and oak leaves and the kids loved giving them their Autumn colors.

Adding the paint

Out beautiful Fall leaves.

Magical Autumn Leaf Crowns

I have always loved leaf crowns, and the way I have enjoyed doing it is by
connecting the leaves  using the stems of the leaves and weaving them into the other leaves, however they do not hold up for that long.  This is something that I actually appreciate, a project
being in the moment and when it is done, it is left to be a part of Mother Nature.  As much as I love that, preschoolers sometimes have a hard time making something that doesn't last that long for them.
This season we decided to try to make one that lasts a little longer.
For the weaving method check out Twig and Toadstolls Blog, she has a great tutorial:

Below is how we made ours

The children first picked out their leaves which we gathered on a nature walk.

Instead of weaving the stems, we stapled the leaves together with orange staples.

We then Mod Podged the leaves front and back to help them to last longer, it also makes them more pliable.

Our crowns with ribbons attached for an easy tie on. 

Our Autumn Fairy Court, three Princesses and their Prince.

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