Dinosaur Eggs: exploring textures

This weekend was all about dinosaurs. Ms. Eve did a dinosaur storytime on Friday and Saturday. She had this great catchy song playing when children and parents came in the theatre, called  “We are the Dinosaurs” by Laurie Berkner. She also had a life-size foot print of a brontosaurus for kids to step on. I made a felt matching game and counting game based on dinosaurs. Children and parents interacted together before storytime started, by matching the eggs and counting the baby dinosaurs.

dino felt dino felt2

In art, we mainly had toddlers and preschoolers, so I kept it simple. I displayed found objects on the table, a toy dinosaur and a tray of paint.

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I gave each one a piece of construction paper cut in the shape of an egg and asked them to paint it by stomping the dinosaur’s feet in the paint and onto their egg. Same with the cardboard rool, foamie letters and bubble wrap. They had a blast!

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Boxes: endless fun!

We all know that children would prefer to play with the boxes than the toys they get. Since Christmas is coming up, this is a good reminder to keep it simple.

For Toddler Music & Movement and Toddler Art, we explored the world of BOXES. Toddlers started by making art by creating a collage with shapes cut from old boxes. Once the toddlers were done, I gave them paint and they painted  their abstract bas-relief collage. It was interesting to see them use the different colors to paint each shape they had glued. As the painting progressed more mixing of the colors happened.

boxes1 boxes2There are so many ways boxes can be used in art projects. You can use an open box and make a marble roll in paint or roll up the cardboard and use it to stamp a rose-like on a paper.

Mr. Josh and I made tunnels with big boxes and streamers (carwash effect) for toddlers to go through to get in the theatre for Toddler Music & Movement. That was an awesome transition into his part of the hour on boxes. He had different kinds of boxes (plastic, wood and cardboard) as well as different sizes. When Toddler Music and Movement was done, toddlers got to continue their exploration of boxes. We had setup and “invitation to play” right outside the theatre with empty boxes that could be use to stack up, line up… and more tunnel boxes! Toddlers had a blast!
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This was our first time using the theme of boxes. I came across the idea on Storytime Katie’s webpage. We adapted it to fit our needs, but it was a great resource.

Mermaids & Pirates

The summer is slowly on the way. Some kids are out of school and we are feeling the influx of families coming in. We decided to continue with our beach-y/ocean-y themes of the past few weeks and do a Pirates & Mermaids storytime this week.

For Toddler Art, we made pirate hats, which kids decorated with oil pastels and glue scraps of paper & sequins.  They wore the hats and paraded around for storytime. It always amazes me how children react to wearing their art. Some have no problem with it, other want to keep it in their hands. I usually have mirrors around the classroom so they can look at themselves.

Reed's pirate hat

For Family Art,  which the crowd varies and I usually get more preschoolers (as well as toddlers) or early elementary children; I asked them to make a mermaid using the oil pastels, the scrap paper and sequins. Some boys weren’t very happy about the mermaid theme for the art project, so I reminded them that it was their image and they could make pirate scene instead.  Once I notice children were almost done with their art, I brought some blue paint, so they could add water or sky to their creation. I wish I would have diluted the tempera paint a little more, to make a resist. Some of the children covered their picture with blue paint, losing the drawing they had done underneath.