Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Space Adventures in Preschool!

Our week of space adventures was truly out of this world!!!!  We packed so much amazing stuff into this week of summer camp that the kids actually complained on Monday that it wasn't STILL space week!!!

We had some awesome play invitations set up around the classroom.
A set of astronauts and aliens and a beautiful play silk dyed by Kitchen Dye Works.  Buy her stuff, it's gorgeous!!

Our May Whimsy Box, a wonderful new service that brings books to life with interactive elements.  In this case, a dyed play silk, a nebula card, and a constellation disc created by From Jennifer.  I have a lot of her work as well and she and her husband create high quality and lovingly-made products.

I whipped up a few batches of goop after I was inspired by this post from Twodaloo.  I couldn't capture the awesomeness of this stuff very well, but it was a hit with the kids!
Since I ran out of liquid starch and had to use my trusty goop recipe, I decided to rename this masterpiece Galactic Goop!
I used clear glue for the gold batch and it was sooooo fun to use and you get to use big words like 'translucent' when you are playing with it!
We had a blast mixing up all the colors and watching them swirl and blend!
My Pre-K class used mirrors (as suggested in the original idea) and some marbles to create planets and galaxies.
By the end of the week, our Galactic Goop was mostly grayish/purplish, but it was still loads of sensory fun!

And for more sensory fun, we dug our hands into some water beads, with a few marbles thrown in for textural exploration!

The kiddos also got busy with some creative and colorful projects!
We created our own constellations using star stickers and forming pictures and shapes with pencils and crayons.  Some of the older kids even named their constellations!
My Pre-K class, repeated this project using a star-shaped paper punch we received in a Kiwi Crate a couple of years ago.  We also got those handy constellation cards that I laminated so the children could see a few examples of real constellations.

We used liquid watercolors and spray bottles to make beautiful stars!  I recommend getting the spray bottles with the handle and not the ones with the press-down style top, but the kids made it work and this was our final product!

I found these great rocket ship photo frames here and knew they'd be perfect for space week, the kids loved making them especially because painting on something other than a flat piece of paper is something we don't do very often.  After seeing the joy on their faces (and the intense concentration), it is definitely something we'll be doing more often!

These sticker scenes were another online find that I used during our discussion of space and planetary orbits in my Pre-K class.
We also practiced being Earth by rotating around the sun (table) while simultaneously rotating on our axis (spinning until we're silly).  Scientifically accurate portrayal? Probably not, but it resulted in hilarity and laughter, which all add up to a valuable learning experience.

And we finished out the week with some shaving cream marbling.  Since I'm not all about tutorials and such, you can visit The Artful Parent for handy instructions if you'd like to try this at home.  Basically, we drop...
...then swirl...
...press, lift and scrape to create the most amazing planets ever!!

I think we might give Space Adventures TWO weeks next summer!!


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Down by the Sea!

Our oceans and beaches week was cut a bit short due to a very unexpected hospital stay on my part.  All of our unfinished activities will be saved for some Parents' Night Out adventures, but here is a quick look at our three days of sea fun!

We used dot paints to create colorful fish that can be found here.

We created some sea creature crayon rubbings with these plates.

How about some adorable hand print fish??  Absolutely!!

No ocean week would be complete with some actual water play.  The children were much neater about this than I expected, I had towels galore on hand, just in case!

My Pre-K kiddos got some hands-on learning activities courtesy of Homeschool Creations.
 Pom-Pom Tweezing
 Fish Counting

And we also got some fine-motor water exploration with a pipette activity. Check out the cool shell-shaped bathtub applique!

Up Next: Space Week!!!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Summer Fun and LOTS of Learning!

We had a very busy first week of Summer Camp here at Seedlings.  I was so busy, in fact, that I neglected to capture all of the awesomeness with the camera.  I did get a few great shots, though, and I'm excited to share them with you!!

Everyone loves play dough, so we started our week with some glittery 'sand' play dough and a few beachy toys.
 We read a Let's Find Out classroom magazine from Scholastic and created our very own sun-shaped suncatcher.

My adorable toddler class created watermelon art that you can see in this post from last summer.

Meanwhile, my Pre-K kiddos cut and painted another sun using a plastic wrap painting technique I found here.  We skipped the extra sheet of paper and opted for some extra cutting practice instead.

Quite possibly my favorite project this week was our ice cream cones.  Usually, I do this project using shaving cream paint as I did last summer, but this year, I purchased foam paint and decided to give it a whirl.  The children LOVED it and it looked almost good enough to eat!!

And speaking of good things to eat, my Pre-K class is 100% responsible for their own snack preparation.  Monday is bread day, so I created a pictorial recipe for the children to follow.  You can create your own with pictures of the brands you use, but if you are lacking a bread recipe, this one is pretty close to the one we use these days.
Wednesday is veggie soup day, so the first activity of the day is chip-chopping lots of delicious veggies - some fresh from our garden!
And after a couple of hours of hard work and play, we are rewarded with this:
So delicious!!

Friday is usually Fruit Salad day, but this week, our Let's Find Out and an older Scholastic My Big World magazine all contained ice cream activities, so I sprung for a real ice cream maker and we were saved from shaking our usual Ice Cream in a Bag and got to enjoy a tasty cool treat to finish out our week of summer fun!

Due to an unfortunate incident in our garden, we ended up with one of our sunflowers inside in a vase and we tried still life with oil pastels.  The children were captivated by the new art material and I can't wait to continue using the oil pastels with a variety of different techniques.

I'm looking forward to another 7 weeks of fun and learning with my little Seedlings!!


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