Monday, January 31, 2011

Shadow and Light Play

Groundhog Day happens this week and offers a perfect opportunity to experiment with shadow and light.
Out came the overhead projector.
 We used little plastic flat animals and different shaped wood (like popsicle sticks, flat and round).
I heard stories of houses built for the animals and one child went and got people to add to their house. 
Parents were reinforcing the names of each animal and what sounds they make.
 It was interesting to watch when children realized that what they did on the glass showed up on the board.
Sometimes they were just interested in the light.
At the craft table we had sponges and flat shapes to make shadow prints.

Also for our daily question when we sign in was "Which shadow do you choose today?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sign of the Week - Tree

This week's sign is 'tree'.
Place your left arm in front of you horizontally.
Place your right elbow on your left palm, right fingers pointing up.
Twist your right hand.
When you move both arms together across the front of your body it means lots of trees or forest.

If You’re Ever In a Forest
Sung To: "Did You Ever See A Lassie"

If you're ever in the forest,
The forest, the forest,
If you're ever in the forest,
You might see some deer.
With antlers on one;
Another might run.
If you're ever in the forest.
You might see some deer.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sign of the Week - Dragon

This week's sign was 'dragon'.
Place both hands at your mouth fingers pointing away.
Wiggle your fingers while you move hands away.
This mimics fire coming out of the mouth.

 Little Dragon
(suit actions to words)

Little Dragon counts to three,
Little Dragon bends one knee.
Little Dragon whistles and sings.
Little Dragon answers the phone that rings,
Little Dragon touches his toes,
Little Dragon touches his nose.
Little Dragon makes a funny face,
Little Dragon runs in place.
Little Dragon lays on the floor,
Little Dragon starts to snore.

Story - The Squeaky Door

It was National Literacy Week and on Thursday I was at the city library for an interactive storytelling event for wee ones.
Last year I started introducing the children to what an illustrator is and asked them to be the illustrators for some of my oral stories.
This story is called The Squeaky Door and you can get it in book form
by Margaret Read MacDonald.
I've heard several storytellers present this story and each is a little different from the other.
This is my version.  I like to tell it because you can modify it to match your group.  What I mean is that the animals in the story can be any that the children choose.  Today we had farm animals and wild animals.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Magnetic Marble Painting

We tried a new way of marble painting thanks to Prekinders.
It's magnetic marble painting.
Yes the final product looks similar to marble painting but the process was very different.
Materials needed are magnetic marbles, magnets (we had wands and horseshoe) foil or paper plates, and paint.


Using a metal spoon made it interesting to put the magnet marbles on to the foil pan.
 Sometimes they wouldn't drop off.  We had fun trying to lift them all up together.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Watercolour Painting Sprinkled with Salt

 This morning the art table was set with watercolour paper (cut quite small), watercolour cakes, the little brushes again and salt shakers.
The idea is to paint with the watercolour, trying to to make your picture very wet, then sprinkle on the salt to see the reaction.
 The children love to paint and they didn't mind the smaller sized paper.  Again I noticed that their paint strokes were more controlled and almost all of them covered the paper.

Ready to sprinkle.
The salt gives the watercolour a crystal like effect.
 Sprinkling the salt was the favourite part of this activity (I thought it might be) and we had salt all over the table.  A few of the shakers that had many holes emptied quickly.  One child who's shaker emptied kept looking at the bottom of the shaker - did she know that is where we fill it?

This child spent time after painting searching and pointing out all the colours he used.  He'd point to the container and say "this one" then point to the spot on the paper where the colour matched.
                                         Some children enjoyed painting over the salt to see if anything else would happen.    

They said it got mushier
This child was delighted to see how the paint swirled and danced in the water.
 Final effect - we could see fingerprints in the top right corner.
The parents tried it too.  I like when they do.  Great modeling for the children.
                                          The parents' work.
                                           The children' work.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How to Paint - Swish or Dab?

Today we tried stencil painting.  Nothing out of the ordinary - well at least I thought so.  But soon realized that the children would need to use a different technique to paint than they were familiar with.
With regular paint they grab the brush and swish it back and forth on the paper.  But with stenciling they need to dab the brush up and down.
 When I put out the round sponge brushes I thought they would automatically try a new way.
Not for most of them.  The sponge brush doesn't glide easily across the stencil so there was a bit of frustration.  But once they saw how to dab they had it.

Early attempts.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Counting at the Snack Table


How much can I put on my snack?
Follow the cards to build a snowman face.
 We used rice cakes for the head and cream cheese to hold everything on.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Paint To Go

I saw this idea for portable paint boxes on a nature website.  
They are pill organizer boxes.
They are small and close tight (no leaking).

I find when the children use these small boxes and smaller paint brushes they use a lot more control. They are more purposeful with putting paint on the brush and putting it on their paper compared to using the regular size paint pots and brushes at the easel.
 Fill with paint and you're ready to go.
Today I filled the paint-to-go containers and put out wooden letters.
I thought the children would paint the letters and take them home.
 But the families thought of their own idea.
Paint the wooden letters and use them to make a print.
I saw random letters and others that were able to find every letter in their name.
Or simply explore.