Saturday, January 30, 2010

smelly paint (and dough)

I try to find ways to use some of our five senses whenever I can. This week we made smelly paint. We modified Ms.Jessi's (gettingmessywithmsjessi) puffy fingerpaint recipe. We mixed unscented shaving cream, a little Elmer's glue, and a packet of Kool-Aid to create a really creamy, yummy smelling paint that felt so nice on our hands and made our classroom smell like my childhood! My little's had never seen or tasted Kool-Aid. I guess that explains why I had such a difficult time finding it at the grocery store.

We also made teacher Sallie's famous Kool-Aid playdough, starting out with the basic homemade dough recipe and adding Kool-Aid rather than food color.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

rondo vario

Some of my littles still need some shape recognition help so I was excited to find this simple wooden bead game which not only provides shape recognition but also color recognition and fine motor practice. To play, you toss two dice and determine a color and shape combo. Beads are strung together to make caterpillars. The littles found this game to be very exciting and once I gave the entire group instructions it was fairly easy for most groups to do it on their own. I love it when something is simple, fun, and has educational value to boot.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I spend a lot of time writing lesson plans, thinking about developmental objectives, forming and reforming my personal philosophy of teaching. But I realize more and more that when I don't worry so much about what I need to accomplish and simply listen to what it is the children need I am amazed by the learning that takes place. Our school doesn't allow children to bring toys and things from home. (They do anyway.) Yesterday one of my littles brought in a treasure map. I noticed it peeking out from under her shirt! (She knew that some adult would be asking her to put it in her cubby.) As we prepared to go outside she quietly asked me if she could bring a treasure map. And I am so happy that I listened to my inner voice. More than half of the class spent their entire time outdoors searching for treasure, cooperating, sharing, and meeting many of those developmental objectives that I'm always so worried about.

Another fun thing we did yesterday was bring out the silk scarves during circle time. Silk scarves have always been one of my favorite props for the preschool classroom. They can be made into capes and pirate headgear and princess dresses and lakes and pastures for the farm animals and coverings for a hide-out and blankets for the baby dolls and . . . Because I came to this group of littles in November I've been slowly changing things and introducing them to things that would have been in my classroom from the start. They were in love with the scarves. The color. The texture. The way they move through the air. The scarves are taking up permanent residence in our classroom.

Friday, January 22, 2010


We used acrylic block frames and a brayer to make mono prints this week. The littles rolled the paint on the acrylic frame and then drew an image in the paint with a q-tip. To make a print they placed a piece of black cardstock over the image and rubbed. They loved the process. Some of the prints didn't turn out as crisply as I'd hoped. I think the q-tips got saturated with paint and then didn't work as well.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

little wooden people

Leslie and I found these little wooden people from & decided to paint a few for the dollhouse at school. They are really tiny but I think I'm going to let the littles try it for themselves next week. I think that they'll be able to do it as long as I keep it simple. I actually like the ones that only have eyes (and no other facial features) best.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

she made shoes!

Yes, yes, I know. She didn't actually make the shoes. She embellished them. But this mama is still proud of my "think out of the box- i'm never going to color in the lines" kid. Love you L.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Happy 101 Award

Jessi from Getting Messy With Ms. Jessi tagged me in the Happy 101 Award. Thanks, Jessi!
For this award, you are to list 10 things that make you happy, then tag another 10 people.

1. Listening to my daughter play the ukulele
2. Listening to the laughter of my littles
3. Spending the day with my husband
4. Seeing wildlife around my house
5. Art
6. Getting inspired by great blogs
7. TEA!
8. Watching movies with family
9. Scrapbooking
10. Mix CDs my daughter makes for the car

Here are 10 blogs that i love...

links and format done by my daughter. thanks!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mat Man

Mat Man is a component of the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum for Pre-K. He helps children develop body awareness, spatial awareness, drawing skills, socialization, and number awareness. Every year my littles are crazy about Mat Man. This year is no exception . . . The cry at circle every day this week has been "Mat man, mat man, mat man!" Good thing I like him so much!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

ice skating fingers

We had ice on the playground this morning - a very big deal if you are four years old and happen to live in sunny south Florida! The littles were gleeful as they explored the chilly substance that most of them have only seen as an ice cube in a drink! When we went back indoors, I pulled out some aluminum foil and finger paint and let them ice skate with their fingers. A few of them got a lesson in color mixing but for the most part it was just a fun process art experience.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Brrrrr . . .

Snowmen are actually almost relevant here in south Florida this week. It's only in the 30's here this morning! The littles made these last week. I cut a piece of wood into blocks and sanded them smooth. The hats are newborn baby socks that I found at the dollar store. I went looking for some of Leslie's old baby socks and actually found them but for some insane reason was unable to part with them! I think it just seemed unreal that she was ever that small!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

. . . back to the littles

Had a great reunion with the littles today. A new little joined our class and she seemed to transition to her new surroundings very easily! On today's agenda? Playing with penguins in the water tubs. Making snowmen out of blocks (I'll post the pics tomorrow). Looking at new photographs in our class book "Our Day". (And I couldn't resist posting a pic of this sweet little guy who is crazy about numbers and the alphabet. The easel was outside today and he worked on putting the numbers in order. Usually, you can find him writing the entire alphabet on the fence in chalk!)