As I mentioned in the Playful Learning Spaces Giveaway (and yes, there’s still a little time left to enter) there is a strong impact in a thoughtfully prepared space. If you want your children to be playful, it helps to create an environment that invites children to play. I can think of few invitations to play that are more compelling than a special space like a tent or a hideout. You can set one up, say nothing, and almost instantly you’ll have children dragging blankets and animals in for a jungle tea party, darting in and out as they dream up dramatic adventures, or cozied up inside with a good book.
About a year ago I wrote a series of posts about creativity — why it matters for our kids, why it may be disappearing, and what we can do to get it back. I decided to put the whole series into one downloadable Ebook that you can print or read right from your screen.
Mother’s Day is around the corner here in the United States, and whether you’re looking for a project to do on a grand scale with an entire class, or something simple you can create with your own little ones around the kitchen table, there are plenty of ideas to find around the blogosphere. [Read more…]
I find it interesting, given the interesting discussion on praise that we just had, that Valentine’s Day is creeping around the corner. It may seem unrelated to some, but in my mind if there is one thing that is an even more powerful reinforcer for children than praise it is love. Pure, unconditional love. That can be shown through the words you say, the actions you take, and the time you spend together.
My children love to play with their food. That is, they love to play with toy food. We have a small set of inexpensive plastic food, but lately I’ve felt like it’s time to expand the menu. In my search for new cuisine, I’ve decided that making some felt pieces might be a great route to take. Felt food pieces offer a different sensory experience than the typical plastic pieces. They can be both realistic and charming. Avoiding paints and other aspects of manufacturing can also contribute to the piece’s safety.
I began scanning the internet for a few ideas and was bowled over by inspiration! I thought I’d share a bit with you as well. [Read more…]
Spin art is a childhood favorite. I don’t think I’ve ever met a child who doesn’t want to take a shot at it. I think it’s interesting that even the kids who often don’t want to sit down and work on a static art project, suddenly come alive when you introduce movement art like this.
As I’m watching the leaves turn bright red on the mountain near my home, I thought I should share some of my favorite fall activities. I listed study themes for fall, and accompanying activities over here. Just to highlight a few of my personal favorites that I can’t wait to get into our activity line up:
One of the things that makes young artists so great, is that they are concerned more with the whole experience than with the product alone. Expand your next painting experience by trying out these tips that encourage children to use more than just their eyes to experience art. (Originally posted January 2010.)
If you’d like to incorporate a few more senses into your painting projects, add some regular salt generously to your tempera paint and use as fingerpaint or with a brush. The resulting project will have a bit more texture and grit that becomes even more visible as it dries. [Read more…]
My boys love slime! (And really, so do I!) Whether it’s playing the part of radioactive sludge engulfing their action figures, an alien blob, or just an enjoyable home gym for their fingers, one batch can keep them engaged for hours.