P is for penguins and pinecones

I came across this super sweet book titled, “Penguin and Pinecone” by Salina Yoon and just couldn’t wait to introduce it to the children. After reading the book by myself, I was able to think of so many possible ways we could expand on this book but knew we couldn’t possibly do them all…

“Penguin and Pinecone” is a story of friendship, kindness, and concern as well as a story that introduces concepts like forest, cold, hot, snow, climate, clothing, play, and more.  The book is very simply written and beautifully illustrated…

To give you a very short overview of the story, Penguin finds and befriends Pinecone but soon realizes that Pinecone can’t live in such a cold climate.  Penguin loads Pinecone up on his sled and takes him to the forest so he will be warm and safe. After time passes, the grown-up Penguin goes back to the forest and finds that his friend Pinecone has grown up into a beautiful pine tree…

Because we had a collection of pinecones gathered in our classroom, I decided to focus primarily on the pinecone aspect of this book. But honestly, I think I will read this book again during the winter because I feel like there is so much more this book shares that we could explore…

Mrs. Courtney and I decided to make each of the children a “pinecone pal” as a story token to take home complete with googly eyes and a little scarf (cut out of a sock).  Mrs. Courtney and I decided that the pinecone pals didn’t turn out all that cute like the one in the book but the children didn’t seem to mind. The one in the book didn’t have googly eyes and now I see why…

Before the children put their pinecone pals in their cubbies, Mrs. Courtney invited the children to compare the pinecones and organize the pinecones from smallest to largest…

After reading our book and comparing our pinecone pals, the children were off to explore pinecones and pine tree branches in some of our centers. At the easel, the children found pine paintbrushes to paint with….

I have a couple of pinetrees in my yard with lots of pine tree pieces on the ground so I gathered the pieces up and taped them to a craftstick to make pine paintbrushes. We were so busy all day that neither Mrs. Courtney or I managed to take a photo of the children painting at the easel but here is one example of how the paintings looked from using the pine paintbrushes…

We also invited the children to make a pinecone ornament. We wanted this process to be about color and glitter and so it was…

But I am going to wait and share our pinecone ornaments in my next post so I can share the entire process with you without making this post so long.  So be sure to check back tomorrow for more of our pinecone and pine tree explorations…

Available on Amazon

By | December 8th, 2012|Categories: Children's Books, Easel|Tags: , , , , |7 Comments

DIY holiday paint brushes

I made a couple of different sets of holiday paintbrushes for my class to explore and want to share the holiday bow paintbrushes with you today…

My holiday bow paintbrushes are simply made by hot gluing bows on the end of a craft stick.  You could possibly just peel off the sticker and stick them on a craft stick but I was making something else with my glue gun at the time so I just hot glued them in place really quick…

Just set the holiday bow paintbrushes out with a little paint and some paper and you are all ready for a little fun…

Some of my students made simple prints on their paper by pressing the bow into the paint and then pressing the bow onto the paper and others preferred to rub the holiday bow paintbrush around their paper – mixing all the colors together…

One little guy was particularly interested in the bow painting process and continued to add lots of color and layers of bow prints on his paper…

Super simple to make and always interesting to see what the children will come up with when given a new tool for creativity…

 

Available on Amazon

By | December 7th, 2012|Categories: Christmas, Holiday Ideas|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

Exploring the paint brush

Have you ever tried painting with a todder? Now that summer time is upon us, my preschool is on break and I have had extra time to spend with my 14 month old grandson…

I set out some large sheets of paper and a rolling paint brush and then squeezed some paint out on the paper.  I thought my grandson would love the fact that the paint brush rolled. He tends to love anything that rolls.  But instead, he watched me roll the paint across the paper just a bit then proceeded to set the roller down and crawl over to see what else I had in my basket of goodies…

I hadn’t intended to bring out an entire basket of paintbrushes but since they were sitting near by, my grandson decided that what was in the basket had to be more interesting than rolling that brush on the paper…

I continued to drip small amounts of paint on the paper and invite my grandson to paint but still, he really only wanted to explore all the paint brushes…

Instead of taking the paint brushes away, I just let my grandson explore all the paint brushes while he sat on the paper…

Occasionally, my grandson would reach out and give the paint on the paper a little push with his finger or drag the brush through the paint (without intention)…

But mostly, my grandson enjoyed exploring the paint brushes…

I was right that my grandson would enjoy a paint brush that rolled. I just hadn’t considered that he would rather roll or push all the paint brushes around the paper instead…

I am not so sure my grandson really even noticed the paint at this point…

But he sure did notice all those paintbrushes!

After all, an artist does need to know his tools before he is ready to create…

Available on Amazon

 

By | June 16th, 2012|Categories: Infant and Toddler|Tags: , , |3 Comments

Exploring newspaper

Newspaper is a fun medium for exploration in preschool. We started out in circletime with reading a few headlines and hunting for a letter ‘Nn’ and different colors in our newspapers…

I brought over a random stack of newspapers to look through and each child had their own to open, fold, close, and “read” as we went along with our morning circletime…

This wasn’t a “sit and listen to me” circletime session. I simply modeled a little newspaper reading for the children as they explored their own newspapers and we talked about what they were finding through casual conversation….

After circletime, the children found a variety of newspaper activities throughout the classroom including these interesting newspaper paint brushes I made for them to paint with…

The paint brushes were strips of newspaper stapled to the end of a craft stick. I made some of the brushes with short strips of newspaper and some of them had curly strips of newspaper. I added tape to some of the brushes if they needed a little reinforcement but most of them were fine without the tape….

The children used red, black and white paint because we discovered that those were the three most used colors in the newspapers we had explored earlier that day…

After each newspaper paint brush was used, we threw the paint brushes away. They really can’t be shared or reused all that well so I made a bunch of the newspaper paint brushes in advance…

The children enjoyed discovering the color gray through this process. We really hadn’t painted with gray paint before so having a new color come from our color mixing was a nice surprise…

 

Who knew that black, red, and white paint would make such pretty colors?

 

Teach Preschool in the news: Tools for waterplay

I was in the news again and this time my special guest was Addison! Addison helped me share a few fun tools you can use for water play…

Noodles

Foam noodles are often found in the swimming pool but they can also be used for other types of play and learning. Next time you are at pool, try cutting up some noodles and doing these activities. Addison shows how to thread the noodles to make a noodle necklace…

Recently, my nephew and I made shapes with foam noodles in my driveway. Here he is jumping over the noodles…

And here, Wy is using the noodles to make form shapes in the driveway. Bambi (the dog is not helping:)…

I have seen many ideas from my fellow bloggers on what you can do with foam noodles. The Body Smart Blog has some ideas and you can also view the ideas I have collected on Pinterest!

Paintbrushes and Buckets

Another simple tool for waterplay is to set out a bucket of water and a paint brush…

Wy also liked painting water on his feet and legs in the hot sun…

Water Wall

Another tool for waterplay is a water wall.  I have seen some wonderful ideas posted on water walls and wanted to try making my own. I am going to post a second post that talks about my water wall and share links to other water walls too but in the mean time – here is a photo of my water wall in action – can you see the blue water? You can view the water wall works on my news segment below as well…

 

Foam shapes and water

In the news segment, Addison demonstrates how to dip foam shapes in water and put them on a small window. This was an idea shared by The Imagination Tree. I didn’t have a window with me in the Fox 59 News Studio so I used a small piece of clear plexiglass just to get the idea across. I also painted the back side of my water wall with water and the foam shapes stick nicely there too….

If you are viewing this post by email or reader, you may need to come to the blog or click on the link to view the Fox 59 Waterplay tools in action.

 

Have you been keeping up with the latest on our book blog party?

See chapter Five of Literacy Beginnings over at Pre-K Pages

See chapter Six of Literacy Beginnings over at Pre-K Pages

Want more information? View the Literacy Beginnings FAQs over at Pre-K Pages

We made a paper plate bumble bee in preschool

The children at preschool made a paper plate bumble bee…

The children started by using yellow paint and a paint roller to turn their paper plate a bright yellow…

Then the children painted on some black bumblebee stripes with a paint brush. Notice how they used different types of painting tools as this process progressed.

Using different tools for painting keeps the process interesting…

Time to add on the bumblebee head! The children used their fingers to paint on the eyes – another form of painting is now added to this mix…

And then they taped on the bumblebee antennae..

Don’t forget to write that name on the bumblebee before you start to paint!

By | May 22nd, 2011|Categories: Painting|Tags: , , , |7 Comments

Teach Preschool in the news: exploring plants and nature

My little friend, Tristan was kind enough to join me on Indiana Fox 59 Morning News this week to explore a few ideas we can do with plants….

For this segment, I brought the last of my flowers saved from Mother’s Day and a few plants I had set aside…

Tristan showed how to take apart flowers and stick them on the clear contact paper canvas which you can read more about here…

Tristan also helped me demonstrate how you can save the flowers from a bouquet and use them as a paint brush which you can read more about here

Once we were all finished with our segment, Tristan and his dad took a few extra minutes to explore the television studio…

And before we left for the day, I added another sheet of clear contact paper to the front of our flower canvas so Tristan could take it home to share with his mom…

Thanks to my little friend Tristan and his parents for being such good sports and helping me share some simple ideas that preschoolers can explore…

By | May 17th, 2011|Categories: Media, Mother's Day|Tags: , , , , |10 Comments

Painting with a bouquet of flowers in preschool

Did you save the flower bouquet for preschool? I have shared how the kindergarten class made a flower canvas from a flower bouquet that was just about ready to be thrown out. Here are some additional activities to use up those flowers from the flower bouquet as well…

While at one table, the children were making a flower canvas, at another table the children were painting with flowers…

For this table, I clipped the stems of the flowers leaving just enough stem for a handle and the top of the flower for a paint brush..

Some of the children preferred to use the flowers as paintbrushes and stroke the paint on their paper…

Other’s preferred to use the flowers more like stamps and print the flower shapes on their paper (Miss Martin even thought she would give this a try)…

The children used cotton swabs to make the stems of their flowers….

Then they dipped the flowers in the paint and added the flowers to the top of their painted stems…

Here are a few of our final flower paintings…

So don’t throw away that flower bouquet just yet!

 


Books from Amazon

By | May 10th, 2011|Categories: Painting|Tags: , , , , |11 Comments

On becoming an artist in preschool

I have recently moved my studio into a room of our house. This is where I “think preschool!”

I love to make the room look “preschoolish.” The room is way off to itself so my husband doesn’t care what I do in here.

I have most of the furniture I will need in my studio but I need some paintings on the wall. I thought I would experiment with doing some of my favorite kind of art. You know, preschool art!

I started out with a small canvas, some tempera paint, and a couple of sponge rollers. I thought for my first fine piece of preschool artwork I would do some roller painting. Then I will move on to far more complex types of art like marble painting, string painting, swatter painting, car painting, and so on…

I put a little paint on the rollers and then just went for it. I painted freely and wildly and….

Actually – I just rolled the paint back and forth across the canvas.

Once I covered the canvas with my paint, I boldly ventured on and added a few yellow spots. I am not so sure that I like the spots but it is too late now!

So here is my final piece – it is still wet. Tomorrow I will pick a place to hang it on my wall.

>I am rediscovering how fun it is to paint and I am reminded how nice it is to paint….

  • without someone leaning over me making me worry that I might be doing something wrong or silly;
  • without someone telling me I shouldn’t do this or I should do that;
  • without someone telling me what color I have to use;
  • without worrying how much paint might drip on my really nice carpet!  (I do plan to buy a drop cloth:)

And when the painting dries, I put it up on the wall and then I will decide for myself if it stays or goes but it sure was fun in the process.

Have you tried painting lately? Give it a try!

Now see this work of art from two incredibly talented artists!

Swat paint printing in preschool

Any time I try a new idea I can’t help but get carried away. These were just as fun to make as they were to paint with.

Yesterday I shared how to make swatters with foam squares and straws. Today we used foam squares, foam stickers, and craft sticks.

Before decorating each foam square with craft foam stickers, we stapled the squares to a craft stick.

Then it was time to try a little printing with the paint and our new swatters.

This time we painted the swatters with a brush so we could add different colors on each of the shapes.

And then we gave a little swat on the paper!

We tried just dipping the swatter in the paint too…

The results were both fun and colorful!

Check out this wonderful and simple “I Spy Book” you can make with craft foam and craft stickers too!

By | August 2nd, 2010|Categories: Around the Classroom, Creative Art|Tags: , , |3 Comments