Friday, December 20, 2013

Jingle Bell Painting!

There are some projects that are just too awesome not to repeat every year, jingle bell painting is one of those projects.

The children LOVE the process - so much so that none of them even cared what their painting looked like at the end - they were satisfied completely with the process alone; and parents LOVE the finished product!

The process is easy-peasy, you'll just need any sort of box with a lid, paper, paint, glitter and some jingle bells of any size.  Start with paper inside of the box and add some paint drops.

Add some glitter - any type will do.  No worries all you despisers of glitter (I am one of you), the mess is contained in the box!

Toss in your bells and you are ready for the fun part!

Put the lid on your box and start shaking, rolling, turning and moving any which way you'd like!

When you've sung 'Jingle Bells' enough, and feel you are finished, you'll have this, which is even lovelier in person:

On a related note, we also did Marble Painted Candy Canes this week.  Follow the same process using an open pan - beware of flying marbles!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Change is Good: A New Look for our Classroom

I've never and I mean NEVER, met a preschool teacher who doesn't love moving the classroom furniture around to give the students a fresh perspective.  Not only does change help keep things interesting for the teacher and the kiddos, it also helps to prevent unwanted behaviors, make space where it is needed, provide different play experiences for the children, etc, etc.  The reasons for change are endless.

Personally, I've always wanted a Waldorf-Inspired classroom.  It has been my goal since I began moving toward the Waldorf philosophy years ago.  The only problem with that goal is that Waldorf appeals to a fairly small community of parents and in my current location, it is practically unknown.  Montessori is much more popular, though because the title 'Montessori' can be used by anyone, it is sometimes difficult to find a TRUE Montessori program.  I am neither Waldorf nor Montessori trained, and so I pull bits and pieces from each and find myself with a fairly balanced and appealing program.  I do have a very-far-in-the-future goal of becoming BOTH Waldorf and Montessori trained, but that shall have to wait until I no longer have itty bitty ones at home.

It could be because the holidays are approaching and I find that to be a wonderful time to de-clutter or I could just be nesting, but I've emptied out quite a bit from the classroom, including the huge bookcases that used to reside in each corner.  Everything has been brought down to the children's level and is looking fresh and bright!

I hope the children enjoy the new set-up when the see it for the first time this week!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Holiday Fun!

Here is a quick look at what we've been busying ourselves with so far this month.  The children have been working like busy little bees preparing gifts for their Moms and Dads, but those are top secret, so take a look at some other fun we've had!

Cookie Cutter Prints

Gingerbread Play Dough

Our Gingerbread Man Decorating Tray has been popular...

So we decorated some to take home!

So cute!

Our water activity has also been a hit!

One of our cooking activities this month was Chocolate-Covered Pretzels.  The children loved stirring up the chocolate with the pretzels and then dipping them in sprinkles!

One project that I do EVERY year is Shaving Cream Paint Snowmen - they always turn out too adorable for words!  Just mix some shaving cream and a little white glue and pile it onto your paper.  Add accessories and let dry.  The paint will stay puffy after it's dried!!

Check out this masterpiece!

I've just given our classroom a mid-month make-over, so stay tuned for new classroom pictures!

Friday, November 29, 2013

What We're Up to in December

The classroom is ready for my students to return on Monday.  Here's a look at the new activities for the month.

Our new selection of seasonal books.  
Yes, I love Jan Brett, her artwork is just breathtaking and the stories are simple and joyful.

Magnetic bows inspired by one of my very favorite blogs, Teach Preschool.  Just cover a cookie sheet with wrapping paper, stick some magnets on the back of the bows and voila!
This activity is also wonderful for toddlers.

Christmas sensory bin.  Colored rice and some tidbits picked up at the Dollar Tree.

Felt gingerbread man to decorate.

Pom Pom tweezing and color sorting activity.

Water transfer activity with some added holiday cheer!

Christmas tree decorating in our outdoor rice bin.  The ornaments are hand made with some mini clothespins and some random items such as pipe cleaners, foam shapes, ribbons, etc.

Happy Holidays!

November Round-Up

Finding time to keep my blog updated has been increasingly difficult lately.  But we did do some fun things this month that I'd like to share.

The kiddos had a great time working with all our new additions in the classroom.  I also added an Indian corn tweezing activity and pumpkin pie play dough, which were both a huge hit, but I didn't manage to get any pictures.

Early this month we made bird feeders and simple suncatchers.

We also managed to find time for a pumpkin pie and whipped cream - the old fashioned way.

We did a painting activity with Indian corn, which was very interesting to watch.  Each child had his or her own method of painting, some foregoing the corn altogether.

Monkey and Bear had some fun with loose parts play, and of course, cardboard was the favorite item!

The end of the month brought a much-needed rainstorm and we had a blast getting muddy and wet!

We also had an impromptu science experiment when we accidentally left our Bubber uncovered in the torrential rain.
 It floats!  
And it retains its original texture even when wet.  I'm currently drying it to see if it is back to its original form and ready to use.

The classroom has been prepped for December and we have loads of fun in store!!

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