Friday, February 25, 2011

straw painting

Pre-cut umbrella
liquid watercolors
eye dropper
plastic straws

I always love the way these watercolor paintings turn out.  Some of the littles like to apply just a bit of paint with the dropper and some like to apply a whole lot!  Once the puddle of paint is on the paper,  the children use a clean straw to blow the paint around the paper.  We added dictation on raindrops as each little told us what he/she likes to do on a rainy day.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

T is for Toothbrush

Really big toothbrushes :)  My friend and teaching partner, Sara, came up with these cute toothbrushes.  The littles sponge painted the handles and dictated something they have learned about teeth on the bristles.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Welcome to our Outdoor Studio and Art Gallery

Well, it's just painting on paper that we taped to the fence and then displaying those paintings and letting them dry in the sun - but . . . it was fun :)  Why is it, I wonder, that everything is a little bit better when you can do it outside?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Someday this girl of mine is going to be
off at college.  We won't be going out to lunch on a whim.  We won't have lazy afternoons to drink tea or have long chats about everything and nothing.  I won't get to hear the new song she just wrote or see every painting she's working on.  Yes, we will always be close.  She will always be my girl.  I will always be here for her whenever and however she needs me. Yet,  I can already feel how much I am going to miss her presence.  I think it will feel a little like a piece of me is off in the world somewhere.  

Yes, someday my girl is going to grow up and go out into the world.  But today . . . today we went for bagels and tea and wandered around Michael's and talked about things important and not so important.  Today was a good day and I'm glad that someday isn't today.

Monday, February 14, 2011

watercolor + rubber stamps = happy

I'm sure that this has been done before - although it's the first time I've tried it.  I was looking around the classroom today, trying to find something to put out with watercolors at the art table when I came across a basket of rubber stamps.  The littles thought the idea was genius.  (Gotta love those littles for my daily ego boost.)  We simply brushed watercolor on the stamp and pressed it on the paper.  A few tried using a light wash of color on the paper first.  It seemed to work best when the watercolors weren't too wet.

Friday, February 11, 2011

cutting up calendars

I'm just beginning the process of lightening my load.  And you know what?  It feels pretty good.  We are moving into a much smaller home, forcing me to abandon my pack-rat ways and discard many of my treasures and trinkets.  I am a sentimental saver and did not go into this with a light heart.  However, my head was eventually able to convince my heart that I do not need to hold on to so many of my daughter's old toys, every single piece of art work she has ever created, or a slew of other things that live in boxes and seldom see the light of day.  My level-headed girl helped me go through the dizzying amount of memorabilia and save a few things.

One of the other things I'd been holding on to were pretty calendars.  The art work was lovely but I own a lot of beautiful art books and really don't want to proudly display a bunch of old calendars in my bookcase.  And so I spent an evening cutting some of the calendars into free form hearts.  I brought the hearts to school today and the littles were enchanted with the gorgeous colors. (That's one of the things I love about preschool.  Some simple paper hearts are just as likely to hold a child's attention as something from the toy store.)  I put the hearts out on the art table with glue and heart doilies and let them play with patterns (or not) and create some valentines. It was interesting to watch certain children sorting through the hearts as they would puzzle pieces, looking for the pictures or colors that went together.  When the children were satisfied with their heart placement, they added their photographs and the words Happy Valentines Day and we called it a day.

I wonder what else I can re-purpose rather than pack?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Being a preschool teacher

Being a preschool teacher means
Understanding that tears don't always mean that someone is hurt
Tears can mean I need some extra attention today
I didn't get enough sleep last night
I don't feel well
I miss my mom
I'm frustrated
Tears can come quickly and be gone in a flash
Tears can linger all day long
Coming in short bursts at a moment's notice
Being a preschool teacher means
Listening to the tears
Rather than blocking them out
Rather than accepting them as part of the background noise
Being a preschool teacher means
Remembering when your own feelings were so close to the surface

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

sweet & simple

I have a bad head cold this week and I'm also in the beginning stages of packing up my house to move across town, so --------- I needed something super simple that I could do with materials at hand.  No time to search through my stash or run to the store for something that I just packed up in a box.  I gave the littles watercolor paper and liquid watercolors and let them go.  On Day 2, we cut hearts from the watercolors and the littles outlined each heart with a black Sharpie and dictated "I love ..." There is something about less is more that I love.