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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Being Blown Away

Last week and this week we spent some time exploring art making with straws.
Our first project was bubble painting and our second was creating paintings by blowing paint across the page.  I purchased The Artful Parent this month, a wonderful compilation of children's art projects by Jean Van't Hul, and these projects came from her wonderful book.

Here is a Link to the book through Roost Books: The Artful Parent

Before we began, I had the children play around with blowing air at each other through the straws.
In addition to this being just plain old fun for the kids, I was also nervous about them sucking up the bubble solution so I thought it was a good way to practice.  Jean wrote to put a little hole near the top of the straw, this helps with them not being able to suck in the solution, but there is still the chance, so I thought a little playful practice would help.

The invitation was set up when they came into "Art Time."
We have been continuing to work on our color mixing project, so this was an exciting 
new way to mix colors and see those colors bubble over.

They each had a spoon and told me which colors they wanted to mix in, and then the fun began!

I love these magical plates of bubble.  Our trays have a nice little lip, so I had the children prop their bubble plates up on them to help make a larger reservoir to blow their bubbles in. 

How he managed to get just one large bubble amazed both of us!

They kept their papers near by to "catch" their bubbles.  It was great fun and I like the results.

Air Blown Painting
My older kid's had so much fun playing with the straws during Art Time, that I thought the younger ones would enjoy doing a project with them as well.

I set this group up with their trays, card stock, and straws.  Again they played around with blowing air at each other.  Then one color at a time, I poured a little on their trays and they began blowing the paint around, it looked like the paint was crawling across the paper.

For this project you need to water down the paint a little.  I made a point to water down some colors more then others because I felt it would help the colors blend easier.  I also recommend using white.  Their is something about watered down white paint that lends itself beautifully to projects in which you are trying to get the colors to blend, but not become a muddied mix of color.  I found it worked wonderfully for this project, but also marbling and spin art.

The end results were very beautiful and looked a lot like marbled paper.
After the children tired of blowing the paint, many took the straws and painted with them, which
of course I loved watching, for me this is the part I love the best, the surprises that emerge spontaneously when they are working with art materials.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Earth Day

Yesterday was Earth Day and as we talked about honoring the Earth and taking care of the Earth,
we also talked about how the Earth is part of a large universe and it is one of our planets in the solar system.   
I like combining the importance of taking care of the Earth coupled with discussions of
of the Solar System because I think it gives greater importance to the idea of the Earth being our home and how essential it is that we do our part to keep it a nice home to live on.
We talked about what litter is, what recyclables are, and how it is "doing our part" to make sure garbage and recyclables are placed in the right place.  

Our project for the day was making our own versions of the planet Earth as seen from pictures in outer space.
One of our favorite process art experiments is to make our colors "melt" into each other.
The children were set up with trays, a thick homemade paper (paper towel and coffee filters also work well, but the kids LOVE using water and eye droppers, so this thicker paper choice holds the ink and water better so that all the colors do not get washed out,) and washable markers in blue, green and brown.
They colored in their circles and then used eye-droppers and pipettes to make the colors melt.

I love how they came out!

As I said we also talked about the solar system and I was surprised by how many of
the planets the children already knew.  When we looked at this picture the children where shouting
out "Where is Mars?"  "Which one is Pluto?"  Which I had to tell them was not in the picture.  One of our friends also informed us that, "There are Aliens in outer space."  When another child asked, "what are aliens?"  He responded: "They have five eyes and they live in their spaceship."

I asked the children if they wanted to paint stars, planets, or the moon on their paper while their Earth's dried.  We used Q-tips dipped into a mixture of white paint and glue.  Many then had glitter added to their marks for a little extra shine.

A completed picture with moon and stars

Another Earth with shooting stars.

I really love the finished project, but mostly I loved talking with the children about the Earth and doing things to take care of her.

One of the songs we regularly sing at Circle Time, and sang on this day is:
The Earth is Our Mother, We Must Take Care of Her
It is a lovely little song, and singing it on this day I hope held a little more meaning for the children.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Parfaits Anyone?!

My husband was home on Monday and came up with the idea of making 
parfaits with the children for snack time.  
I thought it was a great idea, and apparently the kids did too.
Josh is an educator as well, so he knows the importance of preparing ahead of time.  
He got all the goodies together; he had yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, and granola.
He then explained what a parfait was and helped them get to work.

They first added a layer of yogurt into their mason jars, then a little 
fruit or granola, the kids got as creative as they wanted.
A little more yogurt was added and some more toppings.
Just the process of scooping and pouring to make a mixture is fun for them,
I don't think they were thinking too much about what would taste good.     
Fortunately, all but one liked their creation.

Time to eat!
It was a nice, fun, snack to make and was enjoyed by all.