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Saturday, March 31, 2012

An Eggciting Week

Two things came together this week, our study of birds and Easter eggs.  It has been a big week of egg play, talk and art making.

Spin Art Eggs

One of the things that captivated the kids the most this week was making our spin art eggs.
I just picked up two salad spinners for $2.00 at a local flea market, and it is the best $2.00 I have spent in a long time.

This kids laid their egg shaped paper in the basket, I watered down some tempera paint, and the fun and beauty began.

Adding the paint

Before spinning the salad spinner

After the spin...beautiful

 A proud artist showing his work

We made lots and lots of eggs!

Egg Shakers
We also made some great egg shakers this week.  I love these shakers because they are a nice addition to our music making time. 
We have a store bought egg shaker and I have to say I like the ones we make at
school better

We use plastic eggs and let the children add rice to half the egg using a small spoon.
After they add the amount they like, take masking tape and tape the seam of the egg.

(Photo Complimentary of Elianna...the kids have been enjoying taking pictures of the projects)

Using watered down glue, and cut up pieces of tissue paper, have the children paint the egg with the glue mixture, and then add the tissue paper.  Follow this with painting over the tissue paper.  It will get your hands gooey, so prepare the children ahead of time by letting them know.  I have done this several times with kids, and each time I forget to have a wet paper towel near them so they can wipe their hands as they go, because some kids really dislike the feeling of the glue on their finger.  The littler ones sometimes need an adult to hold the egg as they work because they roll.

They come out really cute and have a great sound.

I am throwing one more egg project into this post.  We made these candles last year, and although we will not be making them this year, it may be a project some of you would like to try at home.  Who knows, if there is time we may just make them at school again:)

Bees Wax Egg Candles

We took eggs that we used when we made our apple cake, and saved them.  We then added wax to a make shift double boiler, which in our home and school is a coffee can placed in a pot of boiling water.  The kids watched the wax melt, and then using gloves they held the wick in place as I poured the wax into the egg.  We then watched them cool in our star shaped candle holders which I found at the dollar store.  They are also really cute sitting in egg cups.
Some of the kids colored with crayon on the outside while the eggs were still warm which gave them a melted wax effect.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Face Off!

For a couple weeks we have been enjoying projects using large pictures of the children's faces. 
I placed a piece of Mylar over the picture, and the children used marker to draw over their features. 
The nice thing about the Mylar is that the washable markers actually stay on it for a short period of time and doesn't smudge easily.

Studying her face

Drawing over the features of her face.

It was interesting watching them chose which parts of their faces they wanted to draw, and their perspective of what stands out on their faces.

Here is the face with the Mylar on top and the photograph below

The Mylar on its own

We sprayed water on the paper and then placed the Mylar on top.
The children then rubbed their hands over the Mylar to transfer the image.

Here is the transferred image on top of tissue paper painted fiber paper.  Tissue paper painting is just laying cut tissue paper on top of another paper and spraying it with water.  The colors bleed and make wonderful watercolor painting.

Here is the process again.
Holding up the finished drawing on top of her photo
spritzing the paper with water, and then placing the Mylar on top and rubbing the image

Lifting the Mylar off, look close and you can see the transferred image on the paper.

We have a lot of fine quality paper from a friend's book binding business.   The funny thing about this paper was that it was so absorbent that we discovered the next day that the faces were gone!  The paper soaked them into the fibers, thus the title of the blog..."Face Off,"  because the kid's reacted by saying "the paper took our face off."

Solar Prints

We had done solar prints over the summer, and the kids loved them.  However, a lot of my students this year have never done a solar print, and a dear relative of ours wrote to me the other day and remembered how much her children loved making them, so it inspired me to do them again.  The weather last week was so beautiful so how could we not do art outside.

I set up two trays with plenty of objects the children could chose from.  When we did these in the summer the children found a lot of leaves and flowers in nature to work with, but as we are in early spring, the pickings are not as plentiful.

They picked  4-5 objects they wanted to use, and then they arranged their compositions in the shade before we placed them in the sun. 
The paper we use is Nature Print Paper, which I purchased from United Art and Education, a great art supply dealer that I used when I taught in public school.  Your local art supply store may also have it, or order it for you.

We place the paper and objects in the sun for about 2 minutes, or until the paper starts to turn a lighter shade of blue

Waiting for the paper to be ready for the next step

When the paper is ready, we place it into a bowl of cool water and watch as the image of the objects  appear on the paper. 


Then we hang them to dry.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Three Little Birds

For almost three weeks Art and Soul has been bird sitting three little birds.
Tomorrow these little friends go back home, but throughout there time at school they have been well loved and have inspired many projects.
Because the children have taken such an interest in birds, and in keeping with the reggio philosophy, even though our friends are going home, I feel the bird project will continue to have life and thrive. 

For the first couple days the children enjoyed visiting the birds and getting to know there ways.

Some initial comments were:

EB: "look one curled their toes."
Me: "Why do you think they do that"
EB: "Because they can"
MK: "They're not much a talkers.  Birds can tweet but not talk."
TM:"I saw them kissing."
EB: "awe, they're so cute!"

One of the main queries about the birds was in regards to their eating.  The children always wanted to see the birds eating and what did they eat?  Anytime a birdie was caught eating the kids happily pointed it out.  They also looked at the types of food in the cage, they noticed there was bird seed, a cracker, lettuce, water and a clump of bird seeds on some sort of shape.
I pointed out that this is a kind of bird feeder and asked if they would like to make one as well.  Two days later we made similar bird feeders, however we gave ours to the birds outside.

Here is the recipe we used:

Bird Feeder

4 cups wild birdseed
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup water
3 Tablespoons corn syrup
1 envelop Knox gelatin

We took non-stick cooking spray and sprayed cookie cutters and then placed them on a piece of wax paper laid over a cookie sheet.  We then filled the cookie cutters and smoothed out the top with the spoon.  A little later we used a straw to poke a hole in the feeder for hanging.

Ours came out red because I didn't have the Knox gelatin and had to use the strawberry gelatin we had in the house.

On another day of school the kids pointed out that the birdies did not have a nest so that night I gathered some materials and the next day they made some nest for the birds.  These nests had eggs and of course wormies for the birds to eat.


I had these bird shapes from a while back and the kids did water color painting on one side to make birds for their nests.  On the other they layered colored tissue paper and sprayed the paper with water sprayers to make the colors bleed.  We then removed the paper and unveiled the colors.  I love how they came out.

Bird's Nest Sensory Station

 One morning I put out a bin filled with plastic containers, and recycled straw filing and shredded paper bags.  The invitation was to make birds nest's in the bowls.  They were most excited about the eggs and it became a race to see who would get the most.

One of the completed nests made at the bird nest sensory station with lots of EGGS!

That same day the children took turns in front of the cage observing the birds and drawing their version of the birds.

I am interested to see where this project may continue to take us.  My hope is to stay open to the cues from the children, and continue with studying birds as long as they are interested.