Egg carton challenge: painting bubbles

It is another challenge sponsored by Tinkerlab and today’s challenge was to make something from an egg carton…

”Tinkerlab”

Our class has been exploring the Earth and how to care for our earth as part of our Earth Day activities. To integrate the challenge into our Earth Day activities, I had the children use the egg cartons as a paint pallet…

Part of our discussion has been on how to take care of our oceans and lakes and ponds. Tomorrow, I will share with you a wonderful game we played that went along with this activity I am sharing today…

In our discussions on the earth’s natural sources of water, we learned that we need to do our part to keep the water clean so that fish can live in clean water. We extended our discussion by painting bubbles on our fish with the egg cartons…

We had two shades of blue paint out for the children to use. The children painted the bottoms of each paint cup with the different shades of blue paint then flipped the cartons over to make bubbles on their paper fish…

Some of the children chose to paint the bottom of their egg cartons by making a pattern of dark blue and light blue paint across the egg cups.  Others just chose to add paint in a random order. The interesting thing about this process is that it slows the children down as they paint to think about which color they want to use for each egg carton cup…

As with many things that we do, the children asked if they could do this again only using lots of different colors. I think that would be a lovely idea so perhaps next week, I will just set out some plain paper and egg cartons and lots of colors of paint to see what the children come up with…

I hope I have managed to keep up with the others for the Egg Carton challenge with this idea – it did make for an interesting process!

To see what other’s did for the egg carton challenge, just click here and you can see the entire linky! (Sorry but I had to move the Linky from this post so it wouldn’t slow down my entire blog)….

Click Here to view the Egg Carton Linky!

Other participating bloggers…

Tinkerlab : Glittering Muffins : Inspiration Laboratories : Kitchen Counter Chronicles : Living At The Whiteheads Zoo : Make, Do & Friend : Mama Mia’s heart2heart : Messy Kids : NurtureStore : PlayDrMom : Rainy Day Mum : Red Ted Art : Sun Hats & Wellie Boots : Teach Preschool : The Chocolate Muffin Tree  : The Educators’ Spin On It  : The Golden Gleam : The Imagination Tree : Toddler Approved : Reading Confetti : Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Teachers : The Outlaw Mom Blog : HappyLittleMesses : RainbowsWithinReach : Mommy Labs : Child Central Station : Green Owl Art
Reusecrafts : Experimenting-Mom : Duck Duck Octopus : PaintCutPaste : Train Up a Child : Growing A Jeweled Rose  : Coffee Cups and Crayons : Ready. Set. Read! : Scribble Doodle and Draw : Carrots Are Orange : JDaniel4’s Mom : Quirky Momma

Magnetic marble tubes for the preschool classroom

I finally got around to making a set of magnetic marble tubes for my class and boy did my kids LOVE these simple-to-make paper tubes…

I saved quite a few paper Christmas wrapping paper rolls just for this activity and the other night, I was motivated to turn them into a marble run. To make these…

  • Cut each tube into a variety of lengths
  • Paint each tube with tempera paint (optional)
  • Cover the tubes with clear packing tape (optional)
  • Hot glue two magnets to one side of each tube

I brought the magnet marble tubes to preschool and set them by the magnetic board and a bag of small rubber marbles.  It didn’t take long before curiosity set in and a few of the children began to try and figure out what the tubes were for…

There is nothing I enjoy more than watching these kids work together. It is such a pleasure to observe the children as they collaborate and communicate to achieve a common goal…

The marble runs took on all different shapes and the children quickly learned how to adjust the tubes when a marble would get stuck somewhere in the middle…

The children discovered what would work and what wouldn’t work through trial and error along the way…

The children made me promise that I would leave the marble tubes out for them to play with again next week…

Simple to make and easy to replace if a piece gets lost or torn…

Linking up with No Time for Flashcards :Link & Learn!

By | January 22nd, 2012|Categories: Activity Boxes|Tags: , , , , |44 Comments

Water bottle collages made by our prek

I have been saving water bottles all summer long and this week I pulled them out to try making water bottle collages. I had never tried this before and must say I will be doing this again…

I found the idea over at the amazing Casa Maria’s Learning Zone blog. Her art is always unique and very child-centered and I really looked forward to giving this a try. I set out strips of colorful construction paper and empty, clean, dry water bottles…

The children were invited to put the strips of paper in the bottles. We talked about different ways we could fold or roll the strips if they wished…

Some of the children preferred just to keep the strips long and straight as they pushed the paper into the bottle. Others liked folding the paper first…

Pushing the paper into the bottle made for wonderful eye-hand coordination practice and for building fine motor muscles…

Our three-year-old children did not really care for this but our four-year-old children loved it and asked to make them the next day too!

I am thinking about just keeping a box with bottles and scrap paper in the classroom to pull out whenever the children would like to do this during their freeplay time…

Simple, cheap, and no mess! Can’t beat that for such a creative project to try!

I am linking up with I Can Teach My Child!

What do you do with all that left-over paint?

Often times when I am preparing for an activity, I pour what I think will be a fair amount of paint into a bowl or dish for the children to use. I try not to over-do it so the paint will not go to waste but inevitably, I end up with left-over paint that I just hate to toss away…

So I got to thinking that I could use these little plastics containers to save up some of this left-over paint….

I bought these at the grocery store – they only hold about 1/2 cup. I use them for a variety of activities like holding glue and cotton swabs so I decided to use them for the left-over paint too…

Even after the paint gets all mixed up, it can create some unusual colors that I might not ordinarily have or make myself. I think they will be fun to pull out for something down the road but no plan yet what I will do. But it is nice to know I have them ready to go and that I won’t just have to toss those odd colors of paint away…

DIY: Make your own magnetic play set for preschool

I just love robots and this is one of the most creative ideas for robots and magnets that I have seen. This idea was shared by The Chocolate Muffin Tree: titled “Tin Can Magnetic Robots” earlier this summer. As soon as I saw this, I just had to make me a set of magnets similar to the idea for my new classroom this year…

I started out by collecting a variety of tin cans. I didn’t have the kind of can opener that leaves the inside completely smooth so to make sure there were no sharp edges, my brother sanded the inside edges for me with a metal sander. It took him about 15 minutes to sand down all my cans.  But you can find can openers that will leave smooth edges – I will have to look for one of those. Along with collecting tin cans, I also have been collecting milk jug lids and other types of lids of various colors and sizes…

I also bought a few small plastic Slinkys to add to my magnetic play set.  Just about everything you see here has a round magnet glued to the back of it using Soho glue. I glued each end of a slinky inside a milk jug lid and then glued a magnet on the back of the milk jug lid…

Here are some folks that have enjoyed the magnets…

Great Grandma and Wy exploring the magnets

Deborah (me), Wy, and my special guest Eric Violette exploring the magnets together (Click the photo to see more about Eric)

Wy with the magnets all to himself !

I can’t tell you how fun this has been to play with over the summer and I look forward to sharing it with my class this fall…

Magnets are glued on the lids.

Magnets glued on the tin cans

 

Both ends of Slinkys glued inside a lid with a magnet on the bottom

 

For more fun ideas to go with this homemade magnetic set, see how The Chocolate Muffin Tree made her “Tin Can Magnetic Robots“!

I am linking up with Melomma Friday Blog Hop!

By | August 9th, 2011|Categories: DIY|Tags: , , , , |44 Comments

DIY: colorful discs for the light table in preschool

I am not so lucky as my sweet friend Leeanne over at Kreative Resources who managed to find a free set of plexiglass discs to use on her light table. In fact, I don’t even have a light table! But after reading several ideas from others, I have managed to make my own discs and light table. This post is about the discs and my next one will be a little tutorial on the light table so stay tuned…

These colorful discs are a spin off of a “not so nutty” idea for making a rainbow suncatcher shared by “Life in the Nuthouse“! As soon as I saw how to melt plastic cups, I went on a search for the perfect clear, colorful plastic cups…

The cups alone made for some fun play on a light table so I saved some and melted the rest. As you can see (in the photo below) each colorful cup is sitting on a melted down plastic cup (now what I call a colored disc)…

To melt the plastic cups, you first need to know that not all plastic clear cups are the same. Some do not melt and others do. “Life in the Nuthouse” talks a little about the difference between cups but I still ended up having to learn this the hard way…

I bought the red and blue cups (shown above) from Meijer and Garden Ridge and they melted fine. The purple and green cups (shown above) came from the dollar store and didn’t budge! So make sure you buy the right type of cups. Later I found a set of brightly colored cups from Meijer. They were in the birthday party supplies and they melted down perfectly…

To melt the cups, you need to preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit first. Then set the cups on a baking pan covered with some parchment paper and pop them in the oven for about 3 to 5 minutes (time depends on your oven and your cups)…

I used a spatula to flatten the cups or shape them a bit while they were still in the oven. The cups soften under the heat but as soon as they hit the cool air they harden and there is no changing them after that…

I did not cut the bottom out of the cups out like “Life in the Nuthouse” did because I wanted to see the full circle for the light table.  Here are a few of my finished colored discs on my homemade light table…

Not every disc turned out perfectly flat and round but it didn’t matter, they are all really cool to play with and very durable (I dropped a few and they didn’t break or crack)…

Check back to read my next blog post about how I made my own light table…

Here are some other light table toys you can read about…

Colored water bags on a light table from Kreative Resources

Lovely light boxes from Irresistible Ideas

Light table ideas from Strong Start

Exploration light table from Pink and Green Mama

By | June 13th, 2011|Categories: DIY, Light Table|Tags: , , , , , |30 Comments

An earth day poem: What do you see?

I wrote this little earth day poem based on the story “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Bill Martin Jr. and  Eric Carle.

Teacher, teacher what do you see? I see lady bugs, sorting, and counting games looking at me….

Teacher, teacher what do you see? I see paper animals, trees, flowers, and instruments looking at me…

Teacher, teacher what do you see? I see bowling pins, spy games, and painting tools looking at me…

Teacher, teacher what do you see? I see paint holders, sorting trays, dinosaurs, and caterpillars looking at me…

Teacher, teacher what do you see? I see paint canvases, baskets, and vests looking at me…

Teacher, teacher what do you see?, I see butterflies and sensory play looking at me…

Children, children what do you see? We see the opportunity to play, create, explore, and learn…

That’s what we see.

By | April 23rd, 2011|Categories: Special Occasions, The Value of Play|Tags: , , , |6 Comments