D is for Dark (and Light)

Some things are black and white


This week we learned about the contrast between Dark and Light.  We talked about the colors black and white and the concept that if you add a bit of black paint to another color, it darkens the color.  And, conversely, if you add white paint to a color, it lightens the color.

Invitation to Play

For this week’s invitation I used “Sands Alive” (a kind of kinetic sand that I bought at JoAnn’s Fabric and Crafts a couple of years ago) a bucket of black rocks and rolling pins.  The kids loved playing with the sand.  It has such a captivating texture to explore.  One can’t help gooshing and squishing the sand!  They built with the sand and rocks, rolled out the sand, buried the rocks and generally had a jolly, good time.

I also put out the Buddha Board.  I was given the Buddha Board this Christmas by a dear friend who thought that my Littles might enjoy it.  And enjoy it they do!  The official description of the Buddha Board is this:  “Buddha Board is inspired by the Zen idea of living in the moment. You simply paint on the surface with water and your creation will come to life in bold design. Then as the water slowly evaporates, your art will magically disappear leaving you with a clean slate and a clear mind, ready to create a whole new masterpiece.”

Circle Time

We are slowly learning and building up our repertoire of winter verses.  I did not add any new ones this week, we continued repeating the ones from the previous weeks.  But this week to underscore the idea of Dark and Light, on Monday and Tuesday I put on a Shadow Puppet play of Little Red Riding Hood.  The children loved it.  it is interesting to watch the anticipation and calmness that comes over the Littles when I tell a story or put on a puppet show.  In both instances a lot of imagination is used.  On Wednesday and Thursday I let the Littles put on their own Shadow Puppet plays using the Red Riding Hood puppets and others that I had made.  For the most part their goal was to use every puppet without much thought to storyline (!) however a few of the older ones came up with a simple plot.  It was lovely to watch their little minds working so creatively.

Art Projects

  1.  Black on White and White on Black Mixed Media Collages:  For these art projects I first gave the children white art paper and then a variety of black objects with which to create a collage–black bits of yarn, black pom-poms, cut up bits of black and white photos from a magazine, black patterned  washi tape, black squares of organza fabric and black feathers.  I also gave the older children black paint to create with.  Next, I gave the children black paper with a variety of white collage materials–small white seashells, little white heart doilies, black and white googly eyes, bits of magazine print, white snowflake shaped confetti, white hole punch reinforcement stickers, cotton balls, and white paper cut into circle shapes.  I also gave the older children white paint.  They created marvelous collages

2.  Jesus is the “light which shineth in the darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not.” (D&C 6:21).  To introduce this concept I talked with the children about the dark, and that if we have a flashlight it will light up the darkness and help us to see the way that we should go.  In the same way, Jesus shows us how to navigate our way through this dark and troublesome world.  We went into my storage room which has no windows and turned off the light.  It was completely dark and then we turned on the flashlight and that little beam of light helped us to find our way to the door and out into the light of the hall.  For the art project to help illustrate this concept, I printed black and white pictures of Jesus and glued those onto black paper.  Then the children used chalk pastels to create a brilliant rainbow of colors surrounding the picture of Christ.  I sprayed the chalk pastels with hairspray to keep down the dust.


3.  Monoprints.  Monoprints are an impression of an image that is made only once.  We made ours by squirting black paint on a square of plexiglass.  The children used a hard brayer to roll out the paint in a smooth layer.  Then they used their fingers to draw designs in the paint.  Finally, I pressed a piece of white drawing paper onto the plexiglass and when I pulled up the paper, there was an amazing print that reminded me of old wood block prints. They were really lovely.

Outdoor Play

We are so fortunate to have had a lot of snow this past week.  The children love to sled, make snow angels and snowmen.  This week several of them were trying to snowboard on the boogie boards!  There is little that is better for children than being in the out of doors and interacting with the natural world.

Favorite Books about Dark and Light

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