Showing posts from July, 2014

Clay Mountain

Usually when we work with clay in the preschool we give the children individual pieces of clay. To give the children a new experience we decided to put the entire block of clay on a table in our studio. The children pounded on it, dug their fingers into it, and used craft sticks to stab and cut it. Some children made little things and some made big things. We introduced a spray bottle with water and they discovered that it made the clay slippery and were delighted to discover that the water made the clay slide across the table. We made a big clay mountain and a giant mess and a great time was had by all.


Once upon a time the children in the land of Imagine thought making castles out of sand would be a lovely way to pass a summers morn. In preparation for this activity we started looking at pictures of castles and attempted to draw their likeness. 
After a few children seemed frustrated by this task yet still very interested we started a conversation about shapes and found shapes in the photos of the castles.
We set out tools for tracing simple shapes.
While castle drawing was taking place, castle building/contructing was a popular activity in our block area.
When we went outside the children were ready to work with the sand.
We asked questions like, "How can we get our structures to stay?","What happens if the sand is too wet or too dry?"
The children worked together and created a beautiful castle.


We set up an activity that encouraged the children to construct their own catapult.
We supplied craft sticks, cardboard, bottlecaps, clothespins and tape.
The children were given a pre-made catapult and were asked if they thought they could build their own.
After a discussion about how the example was made they set out to create their own. With different levels of assistance every child was able to assemble a working catapult. The interesting occurrence was that they figured out on their own that there were different ways to build them. One catapult you pull the end of the stick back to "launch" the aluminum foil ball into the air, another way required the child to bang the end with their fist. It all depended on the way the craft stick was mounted on the clothes pin.
When construction was finished they decorated them or just set off into the red room to give them a try.

Revisiting Portraits

After reading a book at story time about emotions we decided it was a great time to revisit portraits.  Using Sharpies we first drew our portrait and described some of our emotions/feelings.  We used the colors we mixed last week to extend this project. We discussed how color can provoke certain feelings.   Some children were very thorough with their paintings while others used very minimal color. They are a great addition to our portrait wall series. Look for all our beautiful portraits hanging in the preschool kitchen.

Mixing Colors

We spent the last few weeks working in various ways with colors. While investigating all the different colors of the rainbow we decided to take our exploration a step further by setting up a color mixing provocation. We set out primary colors along with black or white and left the children uninterrupted to freely scoop, stir, and mix various colors into a jar until they reached a color they liked. Then each child got to name their creation. Simple projects like this are a great way for us to go back to the basics and watch as the class rediscovers certain information. Some of our class reminded themselves how to make purple and orange. Some friends tried to make the same color as each other but instead discovered that some blues are darker and some are lighter.  We compared colors to things we see in nature or out and about in the world.


We utilized our light table with this fun color activity. Using jars of red and blue water and droppers the children made purple. Too much red and it starts turning dark pink, and too much blue the purple disappears. It was cool to watch the kids figure out how much of each color they needed to get purple. As an extension the children dropped blue and red on paper towels. It was awesome to watch the water "absorb" into the paper towel. They were so pretty on our light table.

Water Day Fun

Summertime at Imagine would not be complete without a blog post about water day. The children spend their time exploring and investigating how we use tools to move/manipulate water.  We supply funnels, squeeze and spray bottles, cups and anything that can hold water. It's also just cool fun on warm, sunny summer mornings.


We painted with yellow and red together and discovered orange!
The children explored "shades" of color while painting with orange tempura paint. They found if they added different amounts of white they were able to produce different "hues", or shades of orange. They had fun painting on newspaper with brushes and cotton balls. Our work room is really filling up with our color paintings. We invite you to take a look.

Red Yarn Painting

Continuing on with our color exploration we thought it would be fun to experiment with yarn and paint.

It was fun and messy!