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.
Due to the enormous amount of fun we’ve been having with face painting around here lately, I thought I’d let you in on a little secret I learned about a decade ago while teaching at the lab school. If you purchase an inexpensive set of Watercolor Colored Pencils you can use them for face paint simply by dipping the tips in a little water before drawing. I really can’t think of an easier way to do it! For me, it’s less complicated to use the pencils to draw and there’s far less mess than creamy palettes. They’re easy to store, last forever, and are ready to use at a moment’s notice. Once the drawing dries, it’s pretty durable as far as rubbing goes, yet to remove it all you need is a wet washcloth. This just might be the best bang I’ve ever gotten out of six dollars!
Here’s just a sample of where these pencils, plus a little imagination, have taken us in the past few days:
I’m sharing some of my old favorites while I’m away this week. This one was originally posted July 6, 2010.
Many parents have come to their child’s preschool teacher with the same concern. “It seems like my child plays dress-up all day at preschool. What could he possibly be learning from that?” The question is understandable – what does he learn from leaping around with his cape fluttering behind him? And yet, the question is somewhat ironic, as these very parents likely spent much of their childhood engaged in the same kind of play.
I personally still have vivid memories of my own childhood, as my playmates and I snuck past sleeping giants, swung through the trees in the Amazon, and set sparkling lures for fairies. In fact, my playmates themselves included one conjured character named Cheney, a girl who lived in the clouds.