Thursday, October 30, 2014

Eyeball Soup

Water beads, I like how they feel and how the families interact with them but they are the one material that makes me really nervous having in the classroom.  I’m constantly on guard to be sure none fall and stay on the floor. 
But I found these black water beads last month and squirreled them away to use this week.
Last Friday I put the beads in our clear sensory table and added some water.  They were so tiny that I put a popsicle stick in to measure the growth.
By Monday morning the bottom of the table was almost covered.  You could still see some light shine through though.
Before the children arrived, on Monday morning, I added wiggly eyes and more water.
The children’s first reactions were fascinating to watch. 

One of them called it eyeball soup and the name stuck.
These black water beads are the best I’ve had.  Most beads, when they swell with water, become clear with just a dot of colour.  These are completely black even as they grow.
Several children asked if they were blueberries, which increased my concern of them being swallowed.
We added water several times that morning and the beads continued to soak it up and grow.

This morning I added a few glow-in-the-dark sticks.
Our room is quite bright and at first I didn’t think they were working but we buried them under the black beads, crawled underneath the table and took a look.
Throughout the morning I would encourage children to crawl under the table and look up.  The sticks added another dimension to the table.  I’ll add a few more tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hallowe’en Play Tray - Not your Ordinary Tray

     This play tray looks like an ordinary fill-a-jar with pom poms tray.
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           Using an ordinary stawberry huller to pick up the pom poms.
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   Practicing and focusing on moving the pom poms from the basket to the jar.
                  Deciding which coloured pom pom will go in next.

Yes it looks like an ordinary pom pom tray but it’s special because once
 the jars are filled you can see which Hallowe’en creature you've made.
                 Ghosts, a jack o’lantern and Frankenstein jars.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Painted Autumn Jars

This morning our art table went from this
                                                                  to this.

We've painted jars before but on the outside. 
Today it was the reverse and a bit confusing for a few people.
We used pipettes to control how much paint would go in the jars. 
Using the pipettes worked their fine motor muscles as well as learning
how to work the pipette.  It takes a lot of practice to learn when to
squeeze and when to release.
          We chose yellow, orange, black and bronze acrylic paints.
  As we dripped the paint into the jar the colours would begin to mix.
      After adding paint it was important to put the lid on tight.
Because then we turned the jars on their sides and rolled them,
            watching the paint move and make designs.
When they were done we placed them upside down on the window sill. 
The paint thinned out as it slid down the sides making it a bit transparent.
When they are dry we will place little candles in each to see how they look.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall Leaf Tray

      Last week on our Play Tray table I set up an Autumn Leaf tray.
      I drew a picture of a leafless tree and copied it to make four. 
In the box are acrylic leaves, flat plastic leaves and coloured buttons.
    The children used the leaves and buttons to  decorate their tree.
We used the opportunity talk about what was happening to the trees outside.
We’ve had a few windstorms too which looks like what happened to this tree.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Purple Sand

This summer, in our community, a day care closed and had a great
              yard sale where I picked up lots of treasures.
       One item I bought was a big container of purple sand. 
      I placed it on trays with Halloween shapes and jewels.
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It is a very fine sand and almost feels smooth.  The children enjoyed tracing through it with their fingers.  The Halloween shapes were a secondary interest
to the sand.
Then I moved it to the light table.  The light below added a fun effect and
         it looked like the children were painting with the sand.
The older children became interested in the jewels and started to sort and
                                      create designs.
The younger children continued to enjoy the feel and movement of the sand.  The larger surface gave them more freedom of movement causing the sand to spill onto the floor.  They were often so content on watching their hand move through the sand that they didn’t notice it fall.