In order to have our room decorated for Easter we made paper Easter eggs this week. I cut out black ovals and the children glued on small pieces of paper they had cut earlier in the year when they were practicing their cutting skills! I really like how all the colors pop off the black background! This is a project I will do every year I like it so much! After the glue dried I put each child’s name on the back with glitter and hung them from the ceiling – I really like how they look hanging up and have gotten several compliments!
Another project we did this week was tissue paper crosses. I die cut crosses out of white construction paper and the children glued tissue paper squares to them. They turned out beautifully and almost look like stained glass (although if I’d had contact paper – it would have been even more awesome)! I also hung these from the ceiling to get the most impact out of them (and becasue our walls are still covered with art from our bug unit). Our room looks very Spring-like! 🙂
Today we did an easy project that depicts life cycle of the butterfly. Here’s what you need: Paper, glue, white rice, macaroni pasta, shell pasta (medium size), and bow tie pasta. What I did was cut the paper (I used green) into a large circle and divided the circle into quarters with a back permanent marker. I had a simple illustration showing how the butterfly starts as an egg, becomes a caterpillar, goes into a cocoon, and then comes out a butterfly (something we’ve already gone over and read many times).
From this the children glued one piece of white rice into the upper left quadrant, one macaroni pasta into the upper right quadrant, a shell pasta into the lower right quadrant, and lastly a bow tie pasta in the lower left quadrant. In each space the children also labeled the items with the words: egg, caterpillar, cocoon, and butterfly. I had the words written out and they just copied them. I know I could have used the word “pupa” instead of “caterpillar” and “chrysalis” instead of “cocoon” but I choose not to as the majority of the books we’ve read don’t use those words and I didn’t want to confuse the children!
They really enjoyed this project and many got a kick out of “reading” the words to me as they went over the process! After we were done I realized that perhaps the children could have colored a scene around each item to put them in a more natural setting. Or we could have glued the “egg” onto a leaf, the “caterpillar” on a small stick or leaf, the “cocoon” on a small twig, and the “butterfly” onto a fake flower. Oh well, the children enjoyed it anyway! They couldn’t wait to take them home so they could “read” them to their parents!
So, I’ve been given some embroidery thread, large needles, (both plastic and metal with blunt tips), clear plastic canvas, fabric (linen colored – not sure what kind though), and 4 plastic embroidery hoops (maybe 5 or 6 inches across). Obviously, these things are used for sewing. The person who gave them to me wanted me to “use them with the kids in my classroom”.
I was very excited (as I always am when I get free or very cheap things for my room)! However, I’ve never sewed with 4 year olds. So, I’m writng this to ask any of you if you have done sewing projects with your class and what did you do? Or do you know of someone who has? Any links or pictures would be appreciated! Where should I start? I’m kinda lost – I don’t sew (but have ALWAYS wanted to learn) so I’m excited about this and willing to take any advice! Leave a comment or a link – thanks! 🙂
As I was looking for valentine activities on my favorite blogs and websites I came across this post from Kristin at Preschool Daze. I saw it and immediately thought, “I have got to do that in my class!” And so we did – and the children loved it! I’ve done this before (with red and yellow) but I’ve never painted as a group on large piece of paper before (and while we don’t have a large rectangle table where a lot of children can be at once, I used a circle table and had 4-5 children paint at once).In the past each child gets their own piece of large paper to paint – but I loved this community painting!
After reading that post I went on and found this post (from last year) and more recently this post! You can only imagine my excitement! So after cutting our pink paper into hearts and savaging around the school for anything and everything we could use to make our own valentines, i dedicated a table in our room to this purpose! Unfortunately this area was only open for 1 week (it took me awhile to gather up items and such) but the children immediately fell in love with creating valentines! Next year this will be an activity for the first two weeks in February! I adored seeing the children so excited and creating such wonderful valentines for everyone they love! 🙂 Who could ask for more?
We’ve been keeping busy the last couple of weeks preparing for Valentines Day and starting a new unit about the Seasons/Weather! We learned about clouds, how they are made, what comes from them, and how many different types there are. Ms. Bennet got a few books about clouds from the library and we have enjoyed taking them outside on the playground and trying to figure out what kind of clouds are in the sky! We also love trying to find pictures in the clouds!
I used a globe that I borrowed from another teacher for our space unit to show the children why we have seasons. I’ve showed them a few times and many of them think it’s very interesting! They’ve also enjoyed helping read the the book, “It Looked Like Spilt Milk” and we made our own spilt milk pictures using blue construction paper and white paint! We also made raindrops by gluing a variety of blue items onto a raindrop shape (although we did learn in one of our books that raindrops are not, in fact, teardrop shaped).
So far, we’re off to a good start – if it weren’t for spending so much time on Valentine’s day activities – we could have done even more! 🙂
this is not the actual art project...this is a real planet
One of the art projects we did for space was to make our own planets. I die-cut circles our of white paper towels and then I let the children paint them using liquid watercolors and eye droppers. They turned out awesome! 🙂 So bright and colorful! Once they were dry we glued them black construction paper and put rings around them using glitter. I love looking at them hanging on the wall! We’ve gotten many compliments on them!
To go along with our space theme we taught the children a song to help them learn the plant names. Here’s how it goes:
I Know the Planets to the tune of “Skip to My Lou”.
I know the planets, how about you? I know the planets, how about you? I know the planets, how about you? Lets say the names together!
Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars; Jupiter and Saturn among the stars; Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto too; All spin around in space its true!
Everything goes around the sun. Spinning, Spinning everyone! The Earth is ours, it’s number three. Its atmosphere is right for me!
The children have really fallen in love with this song and request it all the time! The parents have even said how surprised they are to hear that their children know the names off all the planets! And, yes, I know that Pluto is no longer considered a planet – but I still teach it. I just tell the kids it’s more of a minor planet because it is so small but it is still a part of our solar system. It’s exiting to see how my children have fallen in love with our space unit!
First week back – I’m glad it’s over – it made me very tired! But it was a good week – and the children are excited about our unit on Space! So, I’m happy.
For art last week, we made stars to hang from the ceiling. I die-cut white stars from construction paper and then I gathered collage materials that were either silver or gold for them to glue on – tissue paper, tinsel, garland, glitter, fabric – anything I could find! I set the stars, glue bottles, and all the materials out on a table and told them to make stars! They really enjoyed this project – and I enjoy seeing them hanging up and sparkling as I walk into our room! Sometimes, a little bit of bling is a good thing! 🙂
To go along with this we learned that the closest star to earth is our sun, stars are made up of gas, they twinkle because the air around earth moves, and a group of stars is called a constellation. Some of my parents came in very impressed with what their children have learned so far! I couldn’t help but smile!
So this week we’re learning about orange. Yes, we are still in our farm theme – but it’s fall so I put this mini unit into the mix. This past weekend I made a batch of yellow and a batch of red playdough. As you’ve probably guessed, we are mixing the two together to get orange. I give each child a little ball of yellow and a little ball of red and just let them play – most mix the colors, a few choose not to. However, the color is coming out more of a red-orange then a true orange. I should have made a batch and a half of yellow and a half batch of red because as it stands now the red is overpowering the yellow. Oh well, I’ll have to mental-note that for next year.
Another activity we did was I put a squirt of yellow and a squirt of red paint into a small zip-lock sandwich baggie, sealed it, and gave one to each child to squish around. After a bunch of manipulation we discovered that the two colors mixed and made orange! Some children told me they already knew that would happen – but I could tell that for a lot of them it was a new discovery! I loved the looks on some of their faces when they saw the color changing!
One of the last activities we’ve done so far this week is painting with yellow and red. I put some red and yellow on a large piece of white construction paper and give them a paintbrush. Almost every child mixed their paints and painted until their entire paper was covered in orange! Then, when their painting was finished I put a strip of paper in the middle that read “Red + Yellow = Orange” – which made the kids excited because they had a “real” math problem on their paper! (We had talked about the “+” and “=” signs as a group beforehand when we did the paint in the baggies and I wrote it on the board)
So far, a good start to our week! 🙂