E is for Earth

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. ~John Muir

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Jennifer Deacon / Getty Images

Invitation:

Recycled Materials Creation Station: For this invitation I cut up cardboard boxes into about 5×7-inch rectangles.  I put out toilet paper tubes that I had cut into about 1-inch circles, bottle caps, bits of fabric and paper leftover from other collage projects, cut up egg cartons, pieces of ribbon and pictures from magazines.  I also set out scissors and glue.  As the children arrived, I showed them our “creation station” and talked to them about creating a collage, however they wanted, out of all of these material.  Of course, since this is an invitation, whether they create a collage or not, is entirely up to the child. Continue reading

E is For Easter and Egg

Love always involves responsibility, and love always involves sacrifice. And we do not really love Christ unless we are prepared to face His task and to take up His Cross.           ~William BarclayIMG_5637

An Invitation to Create Felt Easter Eggs:

I first saw this idea on the website Best Ideas For Kids.  This is such a simple invitation to set up and the Littles loved it.  I made an egg shaped pattern and cut lots of egg shapes out of brightly colored felt.  Then I put out bowls of different things that the Littles could glue onto their eggs to decorate them–bits of ribbon and ricrac, small pompoms, pastel colored buttons, sequins and gemstones.  They loved it! Continue reading

Y is for Yarn

“It turns out that knitting isn’t about the yarn or the softness or needing a hat (although we really can’t argue with these secondary motivators). It’s really about this: Knitting is a magic trick. In this day and age, in a world where science and technology take more and more wonder and work out of our lives , and our planet is quickly becoming a place running out of magic, a knitter takes silly, useless string, mundane sticks, waves her hands around (many, many times…nobody said this was fast magic), and turns one thing into another: string into a hat, string into a sweater, string into a blanket for a baby. It really is a very reliable magic.” ~Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
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K is for Kindness

Invitations:

On Monday and Tuesday I put out different coloring sheets of children acting in kind ways–raking leaves, doing the dishes, comforting someone who has been hurt, taking care of a pet, etc.  Then at circle time each child talked about what was happening in their picture and how that portrayed a kind act.

On Wednesday and Thursday I put out lots of small heart shapes that I had cut out of white drawing paper.  I also put dollops of pink, red and purple paint onto the small plastic lids that I often use as make-shift pallets.  I let the children use their fingers to paint the hearts.  They could take the hearts home that they painted and when they saw someone doing a kind act, the child could give that person a heart.IMG_4768.jpg Continue reading

T Is For (Christmas) Tree

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My intention this month was to focus on the artist Brian Kershisnik, but “the best laid plans of mice and men go oft astray”.   Although one of the art projects was in part inspired by  a Kershisnik painting, “Pruners”,  have I talked about Brian Kershisnik, or showed the children any of his artwork? No. Sigh… Luckily, there is always next week!  And I think that is the wonderful thing about life, there is always a new day and a new opportunity to be just a little bit better.

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B Is For Birds

His bill an auger is,
His head, a cap and frill,
He laboreth at every tree,–
A worm his utmost goal
~Emily Dickinson

Usually I have some sort of an “invitation to play or create” on the table in the preschool room.  The children are free to explore if they choose.  This week however, on Monday and Tuesday the littles, the littlest littles, and I made recycled bird feeders out of toilet paper tubes.  I placed bowls of peanut butter on the table and butter knives.  It was really good small motor practice for the littles to practice spreading the peanut butter onto the tubes.  (Quite a lot went into their mouths too!) Then, they rolled the tubes in birdseed.  I strung a loop of twine through the tube so that the children could hang them up for the birds when they got home.  I heard oodles of gleeful glad tidings of great joy over the course of the next few days about how the birds had indeed enjoyed their treats.

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Halloween Fun

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Invitation To Play

For our Tuesday and Wednesday invitations, I made Goblin Goo.  In a medium-sized bowl I mixed together 1 cup of cornstarch and about 1/2 cup of water. I added a few drops of green food coloring and then stirred the whole concoction scraping the cornstarch up from the bottom of the bowl.  It was a bit stiff and difficult to stir, so in the end I just dug in and mixed with my hands!  This will make what is known as a non-Newtonian fluid.  When you roll it into a ball, it acts like a solid.  When you let it drip through your fingers, it acts like a liquid.  I threw in a few black plastic spiders to complete the spooky effect!  The kids had a lot of fun exploring this, but be forewarned: it is a bit messy!

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