Thursday, March 31, 2011

and today we were mixed media artists . . .

This project required a time commitment of two days and a fair amount of Elmer's glue.  Besides the Elmer's you need:  heavy tagboard, wallpaper sample books, scraps of fabric, and tissue paper.  Because we were re-using and recycling things that were being thrown out this was a great project to touch on that subject.  I explained to the children that the fabric scraps were left-over from a project I did at home, the wallpaper books were being thrown away by a store in town, and I gathered the tissue paper from Christmas gifts.
On Day 1, I gave the children tagboard cut-outs of vases.  Normally, I'd let them cut-out their own vases or at the very least, trace them.  This time I was under a time crunch so I pre-cut the vases.  We mixed equal parts Elmer's glue and water and painted the vases with glue.  The children decorated the vases with fabric scraps and then applied a top coat of the glue/water mixture.

On Day 2, we made a background on a large sheet of tagboard.  Once again, we covered the paper with glue/water.  This time the children decorated it with torn tissue paper.  They put an additional coat of glue/water over the tissue before attaching their vases and some flowers cut from the wallpaper books.

I am in love with the way these turned out :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

drawing a still life

We smelled and touched the flowers and then arranged them in a pretty glass vase.  Once the vase was in the middle of the table, we asked the small group gathered there to really look at the flowers.  To notice the shapes and colors.  To think about the parts of the flower.  Which parts could they see?
We gave the children large sheets of heavy white paper and oil pastels and then stood back to see what they came up with.  When they finished, they were able to apply a wash of watercolor over the pastels.

I think it's so interesting to see how each child "looked" at the vase of flowers.  One little boy seemed to be attracted to the red vase which he drew in the middle of the page and then filled with red flowers (even though there were flowers in other colors as well).  Most children included the vase, but some only saw the flowers.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm on Spring Break . . .

... and I should be doing this:
but instead I find myself occupied with this:

I am spending way too much time making these little glass tile necklaces.  I started off drawing/painting - branched off into looking through my sticker collection - discovered some of my vintage children's book art- and ended up spending an entire day involved in this!  I know that I'm procrastinating but I can't help myself.  Maybe today I'll get some packing done . . . but the beach is calling my name :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

where do leprechauns live???

Perhaps they live in glittery fantastic toadstool houses?
We cut toadstools from tagboard.  Watercolors were available to paint the houses.  The next day we added doors, windows, chimneys, and other details with construction paper and markers.  Glitter and glue gave the houses that extra something that is pleasing to both leprechauns and preschoolers alike.  

The leprechauns are drawn with crayon.  

Monday, March 7, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Trees

Filling trees with all things green (and a little gold thrown in for good measure)  to celebrate St. Pat's Day.
A sheet of Con-tact paper secures the tree and it's decorations nicely with no glue needed.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Printing with Big Foam Letters

I found a foam alphabet puzzle mat in the back of my closet & we've been having fun with it.  I distributed a letter to each child and then played several alphabet songs.  As each child hears the letter that he's holding, he stands up and dances around.  This week, we used the letters for a printing project.  Once the letters were dry, the children were invited to find stickers, photos of themselves, and magazine pictures to make a name collage.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

rain sticks

marker designs on cardboard tubes
end taped with duct tape - beans/pasta poured into tube - other end taped
shake, shake, shake

Story Basket

I found these cute and inexpensive wooden shapes at JoAnn Fabric.  I'm using them in my classroom as story elements for the children's dictated stories.  On Day 1, I have the basket out during center time for the children to explore on their own.  On Day 2, I sit with the basket and invite one child at a time to sit with me and choose some of the shapes to tell a story about.  I write their dictated stories and then type them up and bring them back for the children to illustrate.  For some of the children the shapes help them focus and their stories come more easily.  I also have fewer re-tellings of cartoon and/or Disney movies :)