Tuesday, July 17, 2012

321 Blast Off!

We had a great time with our outer space theme!  For one of our art projects we made a moon!  We took a paper plate a bubble painted on it with blue liquid paint.

Mix blue liquid water color with water in a small dish.  I love these black dishes that I have collected from the "Smart Ones" meals (I just washed them out and have about 15 on them on hand in my classroom).  Then add some liquid dish soap and you're ready to go.

Use a straw (if you poke a hole in the straw with a safety pin it makes it difficult for the kids to suck up any liquid by mistake) to blow bubbles in the mixture.  You will want to have the kids practice blowing out- but luckily the dish soap isn't toxic.

Hold the paper plate over the dish with curve side facing down.   The kids LOVE this process and the end product looks like a fairly realistic representation of the moon!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Jack and the Beanstalk

The end of the school year was crazy and the first month of summer has somehow gotten away from me, but I took lots of pictures of our end of the year projects to help show-off what the kids did!

We finished up our unit on fairytales with the story of Jack and the Beanstalk.  I really struggled to find any good process oriented ideas out there for an art project for this story, so I ended up creating my own.  The supplies we used were- blue construction paper for the base, green tissue paper, Lima beans,  cotton balls and glue bottles.  The first step was to have the kids plant glue the beans down.  

Next the kids had to roll their tissue paper (great for building fine motor strength) and glue that down as the "stalk" coming up out of the beans.

The final step was to glue on some clouds (cotton balls) to the top of their paper since Jack's beanstalk went up into the clouds.

Lots of my co-teachers hate using glue bottles, but I really encourage you to put up with the extra effort and little bit of mess- they do so much to build strength in the fine motor skills of younger kiddos!

When the kids ask to add something to an art project, I always let them!  Some kids (like in the picture above) asked for crayons so they could draw Jack climbing up the beanstalk!

The kids got surprisingly into jack and the beanstalk, and I loved seeing them retell the story through their block play, easel paintings, and dramatic play times.  The picture above is a painting one of the girls did at the easel after completing her art project.

We not only got to learn about Jack and the Beanstalk through this activity, we also got to discuss how plants grow (starting as seeds).  I put some of the lima beans into a wet paper towel inside of a plastic bag in a drawer of my desk to see if I could get them to germinate.  I was so impressed that the beans I bought at the grocery store (meant to eat!) started to sprout roots within just a few short days.  Of course we then had to plant them- each class had their own plant and we attempted to see whose plant would reach the ceiling first.  Unfortunately gardening is not a skill I have; so I forgot to care for them appropriately- oh well, another lesson right?