Making puffy paint snowmen in preschool

As mentioned the other day, we read the book “Snowballs” by Lois Ehlert which led to our exploration of a cotton ball snowball blizzard and our cotton ball science. The book “Snowballs” was a great way to kick off our winter session and you can’t read this book without making at least one snowman to go with it…

Puffy Paint Snowman by Teach Preschool

Before making our puffy paint snowmen, we went back to the book “Snowballs” to take a look at the different materials that were used in the book to make a snowman.  We didn’t have all the materials on hand that were in the book so we improvised and used other materials but we took a look anyway in order to get the idea of what to do with the materials on the table…

Puffy Paint Snowman by Teach Preschool

To make our white puffy paint, we added a few squirts of white Elmer’s glue to a cup of shave cream.  Then we set out the puffy paint along with shoe box lids, blue paint, and other materials for the children to make their puffy paint snowmen…

Puffy Paint Snowman by Teach Preschool

The children started by painting the inside of their shoe box lids with the blue paint to give their scene a sky or outdoor looking backdrop…

Puffy Paint Snowman by Teach Preschool

After painting their boxes, the children began dabbing the puffy paint into their box to begin making their snowman shape…

Puffy Paint Snowman by Teach Preschool

Once the children finished creating their puffy paint snowman (or adding all the puffy paint in their cup) the children began  adding other materials to decorate their snowman…

Puffy Paint Snowman by Teach Preschool

Every snowman began to take on its own look and style…

Puffy Paint Snowman by Teach Preschool

The children added pasta,, corn seeds, foam pieces, and pretty much anything else we had on hand to their snowmen…

Puffy Paint Snowman by Teach Preschool

All the children took their time making decisions about which items they wanted to add to their snowman and where to add it…

Puffy Paint Snowman by Teach Preschool

Some of the children really enjoyed the decorating aspect of this process so much that they just kept going and going…

Puffy Paint Snowman by Teach Preschool

And going…

Puffy Paint Snowman by Teach Preschool

Once the children completed their snowmen, they set the snowmen aside to dry.  With this type of puffy paint, I let the paint dry for a couple of days to make sure it is completely dry before sending home.  The puffy paint will feel light and puffy to the touch after it dries…

Puffy Paint Snowman by Teach Preschool

Although we started off making snowmen, the student who created this beautiful piece of artwork informed us that it was not a snowman but rather it was a city in the snow…

Puffy Paint Snowman by Teach Preschool

A wonderful process with some of the most beautiful snowmen, and city in the snow, I have ever seen! I say this truthfully because behind every snowman or city in the snow was a young artist who took the time to invest, create, and make decisions – and that, is beautiful.

Available on Amazon

By | January 6th, 2013|Categories: Winter Art|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

Snow scientists at play

We had a nice surprise this morning before heading off to preschool – it snowed! Usually, we have lots of snow by now but this was our first “real” snow day this school year. So we had to take advantage of it…

The children managed to scrape together just enough snow to build a snowman. They added a nose and ears using some of the play food from our classroom. They also added Ms. Abby’s scarf as the final touch…

On their way back into the classroom, the children were given small trays to scrape up some snow and bring back with them. I had thought they would bring in a small amount but they chose to pick up as much snow as they could carry…

And so we had to drag out the big magnet board to put some of the snow on and the rest of it stayed on the individual trays…

At first, I only set out paintbrushes and colored water for the children to paint their snow…

But once the children got started, I decided to add droppers to the process too…

The children liked the droppers best. They liked poking holes into the snow and then adding the color inside the holes. The droppers made them feel like they were scientists…

The children took their time exploring, examining, and coloring the snow…

Some of the children preferred to work on their own little tray of snow and some preferred to work on the big group tray of snow…

This wasn’t a planned activity for the day but how can you resist not making a snow day out of a snow day?

Once the children decided they were done exploring the snow, we piled all the colorful snow on the large tray and took it back outside…

By the end of the day, most of the snow had already melted away but perhaps we will have one more day of snow before spring! We shall see!

 

By | February 15th, 2012|Categories: Science and Nature, Winter Art|Tags: , , , |12 Comments

More fun with penguins in preschool

Yesterday I shared with you our fun penguin exploration with the help of our Scholastic Classroom Magazine.  We then extended our penguin exploration into a combined fine motor and waterplay activity as well as a simple creative art activity…

We discovered that Penguins use their beaks to pick up and eat fish so we did a little penguin-like fishing of our own. The children used wooden tongs as their penguin beaks to pick up rubber fish and to then move the fish from one water tub to another…

I added blue food color to the water and the children explored the fish tubs off and on throughout the entire morning time in centers…

At the art center, the children sponge-painted penguin collages or you could also call their painting “abstract penguin art”…

The children dipped sponges in black and white paint to make the black and white body of their penguins…

Once the children were satisfied with their painting, they then glued on the penguin beak, flippers, and some googly eyes…

Every penguin was uniquely made!

Here are a few of our completed pieces of penguin artwork…

And of course, the day wouldn’t be complete without reading “Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester.”

Miss Abby read this book earlier in the day and the children loved it…

Super fun penguin day!

By | January 13th, 2012|Categories: Winter Art|Tags: , , , , |14 Comments

Making Lois Ehlert style paper plate snowmen in preschool

“Snowballs” by Lois Ehlert is such a great book! I love the large snowman illustrations throughout the book and so do my students…

Miss Abby read the book to our class and as she came to each new snowman, she stopped and let the children explore what was new and different about each one…

Because we were getting ready to go on break, this was perfect timing for this project. We had lots of little left-overs that weren’t quite enough to use for snack but too much to throw out so we used the leftover snack items to make our own snowmen faces…

Well, not everything we used was edible.  We had also been exploring birdseed, so we used up some of the seed we had left over too.  We talked about which foods the animals might eat and then, just as they had in the snowball book, made our own snowman faces…

We had some interesting results. I think I would like to try this again with a broader variety of materials but for today – we were just using up what we had on hand…

The children glued the materials any way and anywhere they wanted on the paper plate…

Every snowman face was quite uniquely made…

And here are a few of our finished snowman faces…

Links to grow on…

Snowman in a Mason Jar from The Artful Parent

Easy to make Felt Snowmen from Frugal Fun for Boys

Last January from Teaching Two and Three Year Olds

Marshmallow Snowmen from Teach Preschool

Snowman and Mitten Activity Box from Teach Preschool

By | January 3rd, 2012|Categories: Children's Books, Winter Art|Tags: , , , |7 Comments

Exploring things that are not alike in preschool

We discovered that no two nests, birds, tracks, snowflakes and more are alike as we read this wonderful new book (at least new to me) titled, “No Two Alike by Kieth Baker….

The words and illustrations are simple but beautiful in this book.  The children easily understood the concepts that were presented and this book easily led to other fun ideas in our classroom….

One of the activities we explored after reading this book was how no two snowflakes are alike…

We explored two different shaped snowflakes and talked about about how they are not alike. Then to get us up and moving for a bit, we set the snowflakes out on the floor and followed a snowflake path throughout the classroom…

For our art experience, we made beautiful not-alike snowflake prints….

The children enjoyed this very fun but slightly messy snowflake printing process. To begin this process, each child set two different snowflakes (these snowflakes are made out of styrofoam) on a sheet of white painting paper…

Then the children sprayed their snowflakes and the entire piece of white paper with a spray bottle filled with slightly watered down blue paint.  I had several spray bottles of paint prepared and the blue in each container was slightly different but only because I didn’t measure the amount of paint versus water I added to each container…

I sometimes had to help get the children started on their spraying so they could get the hang of how to point and shoot and squeeze the trigger all at the same time in the right direction.  But once they got started, they were quite capable of doing this all on their own…

The children soaked the paper (and at times the table too) pretty good so after they finished covering the entire paper with the paint, they removed the snowflakes from the paper…

And then used folded dry paper towels to soak up all the excess paint that had puddled on the paper…

The children did not rub the paint, they simply pressed down on the paper towels to soak up the excess water/paint…

Once the majority of the excess paint was all soaked up, then the children removed the paper towel to reveal their “not-alike” snowflakes….

If there was still excess paint dripping on the paper, then I would take the paper towel and blot up the remaining excess liquid so our snowflake prints remained preserved…

Some of our students asked to do this process several times and almost every set of snowflakes were slightly different in color…

Here are a few of our completed snowflake prints (you can see the paper towel prints in some of these prints too)…

By | December 29th, 2011|Categories: Children's Books, Winter Art|Tags: , , , , |15 Comments

Our five senses snowmen in preschool

We have been exploring the Five Senses of Christmas along with other activities surrounding snow and snowmen so as a review of all of our senses, each of the children created a Five Senses Snowman…

I borrowed this idea from PreK—Preschool Ideas from Noey! Before making our snowman, we reviewed each of our senses in circle time…

I gathered bells, googly eyes, cinnamon, candy canes, and cut out snowman arms from sand paper.  As we passed around each item, we talked about how we can see with our eyes…

And we can feel the sandpaper arms with our hands…

And we can hear the bells with our ears, taste the candy cane with our mouth, and smell the cinnamon with our nose…

Then the children went to the table to make their own Five Senses Snowman…

Thank you Noey for this great idea. It fit perfectly with our Five Senses of Christmas unit we have been exploring the past two weeks…

By | December 16th, 2011|Categories: Winter Art|Tags: , , |9 Comments

We made snow globe boxes in preschool

Yesterday, I shared how we had fun with our snow globe sensory play and today I want to show you how we made these fun little snow globe boxes…

 

The snow globe in the above photo is one I made. There is a little story behind this snow globe that I want to share first. My mom’s car was recently broken into during the night. Just to be clear – my mom wasn’t in the car at the time but in the process, the driver’s seat window was smashed and had to be replaced.  As a temporary fix, my husband covered the window with this special plastic you can find at Home Depot (and probably most hardware stores). You cover the window with the plastic, by taping it around the edges of the window, then use a blow dryer to heat up the plastic.  As the plastic heats up, it tightens really tight and is perfectly clear to look through. It feels kind of like plastic wrap, only thicker.

The box came with three large sheets (42″ x 62″) of this plastic and cost about $4.oo for the box – I found it on Amazon to show you.  My husband used less than one-half of a sheet to cover my mom’s window so I asked him if I could have the rest.  As soon as I saw how cool it looked on the window and how easy it was to “shrink” the plastic, I wondered if it might work just as nicely taped around a box!!  So now that you know about the plastic, let me share with you how we made our snow globe boxes…

The snow globe making process..

I saved the boxes (tops and bottoms) from our Christmas cards that I had bought from the Dollar Store. Each child painted the inside of their box with blue paint.  For this process, it is best if you can find boxes that have sturdy sides like a shoe box…

Since we were going to use the blow dryer later on any way, I let the children use it now to dry their blue paint. This way, we could make and send home the boxes all in the same day…

I wasn’t worried if the boxes stayed just a tad damp from the paint.  Later in the day, we made our snowmen to put into the boxes…

The children were supposed to add eyes, nose, and a mouth to their snowman but most of them just colored the entire snowman with the permanent markers:)  The snowmen are simply two connected egg cups from a white egg carton…

Next the children added twigs for the snowman arms.  I had to help the children poke a hole for each arm so they could stick the twigs in the holes…

Once the arms were added to the snow man, the children placed the snowman into their box. No gluing was necessary – it is okay for the snowman to move around a bit inside the box…

Next the children added “snow” to their box. This was the same snow we used in our snow glow sensory tub.  I set out a small bowl of the snow with a teaspoon and invited the children to add up to 5 teaspoons of snow to their box.  Some of the children added a little more or less…

Once the children had added their snow, we set the boxes aside until later in the day – we had to break for snack:) ….

The final thing to do was to add the plastic around the box.  Adding the plastic is tricky because you have to tape the plastic around the box without dumping out the snow or the snowman.  So needless to say, I added the plastic. I cut a square of plastic for each box, placed the plastic over the box, and taped the plastic along the sides and back of the box with clear packing tape. Then the children used the blow dryer once again to “shrink” the plastic….

All the wrinkles in the plastic smooth out and the plastic pulls tight around the edges. It takes about 30 seconds for the plastic to shrink under the warm blow dryer.  The plastic does not “melt” to the box – the plastic only shrinks so it is important to have it taped securely to the back or sides of the box before hand…

Writing this all out is more complicated than it was to actually make the boxes.  The children LOVED their boxes and couldn’t wait to take them home. I tried to take a few pictures of the snow globe boxes before the children left for the day…

This plastic is some really cool stuff and I still have two large sheets of it left!

By | December 14th, 2011|Categories: Winter Art|Tags: , , , , |10 Comments

Ice play in preschool

Today, we enjoyed a little ice play.

Sometimes the simplest of ideas can be the most enjoyable for young children. The teacher in this class set out a bowl of ice with some cups, smaller bowls, and spoons…

The children scooped the ice from one container to the other…

And some children used their hands to pick up ice cubes….

What makes an activity like this so successful is that it is truly all about discovery, exploring, and play…

We won’t be able to hang this up on a wall when we are finished but we can talk about our experience…

And during the process of our ice play we discovered the ice was cold and when it melts, water runs all over the table and down on the floor!

And when the teacher isn’t looking, we can place an ice cube on the handle end of our spoon and it suddenly becomes a Popsicle!

Can you see all the learning (and fun) going on just from some simple ice play?

I am linking this post up to The Play Academy!

Snowflake puzzles in preschool

There are lots of snowflake ideas out there and at the end of this post, I have collected a few links to other ideas that I would love to try. But first, let me share with you this simple snowflake puzzle we made this past week.

The PreK children in this class were given a printout of a snowflake (I do not have a copy of this printout), some blue construction paper, scissors, and glue to get them started.

The children used their own judgement in this class to cut out simple construction paper shapes that will fit inside the snowflake pattern…

Then they glued the construction paper shapes onto the snowflake…

In the PreK class next door, the teacher had pre-cut the construction paper shapes…

I noticed that the children who cut their own shapes spent more time working to make sure the shapes fit in each space of the snowflake puzzle….

They would cut, visually measure, cut some more, and work out the positioning of each construction paper shape until they were satisfied…

When the children finished their work, they each printed their own name on their puzzle…

In the class where the pieces were all cut out for them, the children covered their snowflake more fully and although most of the children started out trying to fit the pieces into each section – I noticed that in the end, they tended to not worry so much about whether a piece fit here or there…

The same project with two different teaching approaches. This happens all the time! My message to all teachers as I observe their individual teaching approaches is to always keep in mind what the children are capable of doing and give them the opportunity to try.

Now here are some of those snowflake links I promised you….

Tired, Need Sleep : Crystal Snowflakes

The Artful Parent: Marshmallow and Toothpick Sculptures

Let’s Go Fly a Kite: Snowflake Matching Game

The Seeds Network: Popcorn Snowflakes

The First Grade Parade: Symmetrical Snowflakes

Frugal Family Fun Blog: Easy Snowflake Suncatchers

I Can Teach My Child: Puffy Snowflakes

A Little Learning for Two: Paper Snowflakes

The Honorable Mention: Q-tip Snowflakes

Alphamom: Plastic Berry Baskets into Glittery Snowflakes

Almost Unschoolers: Glittery Snowflake Window Clings

The Artful Parent: Bleeding Snowflake Tissue Prints

Frugal Family Fun: Tape Snowflakes

I am linking this post up with No Time For Flashcards!

By | January 9th, 2011|Categories: Winter Art|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

We made paper plate snowmen globes in preschool

No Time for Flashcards is always such an inspiration to me and where possible, I share her ideas with our teachers so we can try them too! This week, our Pre-K classes borrowed Ali’s snowman – snowflake craft idea!

We gathered up…

  • Small and large paper plates (with a small circle cut out of the center of the plate)
  • Foil cupcake liners
  • Red ribbon
  • Construction paper shapes for the face and hat
  • Googly eyes or sticker dots
  • Glitter
  • Glue
  • Markers

Right out of the gate, the children started with the most challenging part of this activity! They folded their little foil cupcake liners into three parts then took the scissors and snipped a few small angled cuts along the folded edges of the foil liner…

I wondered if the children would be able to do this – and they really amazed me! They were very competent in folding and making their tiny cuts. A good sign that these children are getting lots of cutting practice!

So then the children were ready to open their snowflakes and smooth them out…

With the snowflake cutting completed, the children were ready to begin gluing their snowflake-snowman together…

They glued the foil cupcake liner on top of the hole cut out of the paper plate then flipped the plate over and added some glue to the front of the plate and sprinkled on a little glitter…

Next, the children worked on making the face of the snowman on a smaller paper plate…

Once the children completed their snowman face, the teacher in this class helped the children staple the snowman head and body together…

In the other class – the children added hats and scarves first:)

Super cute!

By | January 6th, 2011|Categories: motor skills, Winter Art|Tags: , , , , |5 Comments