Thursday, November 18, 2010

1s clay and watercolor

This week I offered the 1s class a similar clay provocation as the older kids. Instead of giving them clay slabs to work with, I presented the clay in balls and coils and set popsicle sticks on the table (no pointy toothpicks for this group). Clay in this form is easier to pick up and manipulate than in the form of a slab, which makes for a new kind of exploration.
A new friend, Grayson, joined us for class this week and was immediately interested in the clay.
Pretty soon, I brought out a variety of tools and water to continue the exploration.
Aly was curious about the materials on the shelf as well as the liquid watercolors at the easels.

At the end of class I brought out some large watercolor paper and different stencil-like shapes for each child. They painted the paper with liquid watercolor then placed the shapes on the paper. The watercolor tends to pool up underneath the shape and when it drys you can see a darker image of the shape on the paper. Electra came over to paint, and sat down right on top of her paper!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Clay Provocation and Watercolor

For our second clay exploration of the session, I decided to present the clay in the form of balls and coils, rather than a slab. The addition of toothpicks and popsicle sticks offers a provocation for a new way of working with the clay (Reggio Emilia early childhood experts use the term "provocation" as a form of provoking, or inviting, children to interact with a material or idea). I set up a workspace for myself as well so I could model different ways to use the materials. I wanted to present the clay in a way that would encourage the kids to build up, rather than out. The toothpicks proved to be great tool to connect the pieces together to create a sturdy structure. The children also loved sticking them into the clay to create spikes.

After our initial exploration with the toothpicks, I began to bring out more tools, water, and extra slabs of clay for the kids to work with.

Sienna celebrated her 2nd birthday with us in class! Happy birthday Sienna!

The kids began to move around the studio and found the easels set up with oil pastels and liquid watercolor paints.

Some of the kids decided to bring the watercolors to the table to use with their clay. As the table began to overflow with watercolor, I brought out coffee filters to soak up some of the liquid, creating interesting effects.
To continue the watercolor theme, I offered each child a large piece of watercolor paper with various stencils and cookie cutters to place on the paper (everyone started with a stencil of the first letter of their name). Then the children sprayed their papers with liquid watercolor and left the papers on the floor to dry.

When they were dry, I removed the stencils to reveal white images of the shapes on the paper!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Colored Glue Collage and Sand!

This week in the 1s class we worked on colored glue collages. Electra and Aly worked hard trying to squeeze the glue out of the bottle- which is great for fine motor development! I also offered them a tray of small collage materials like foam shapes, beads, and jewels.The children first experimented with swirling the glue around their paper and mixing the colors, then began to chose items from the tray to stick into their glue.
After a little while, I brought out bowls of colored sand to the table. The kids scooped the sand onto their glue and rubbed it around with their hands, feeling the grainy sand mix with the sticky glue.
Because young toddlers love to scoop, I always keep a large bin of collage materials like dried pasta and beans to use with glue. The kids use small cups to scoop out the materials and dump them onto their paper.
Aly moved around the studio and was excited to use the markers set out on the easels.
Electra was happy to stay at her seat and explore all the interesting items that she collected onto her paper.

Towards the end of class, we brought some materials outside to try out the splat paintings that we did in the older classes. The girls enjoyed squeezing the water onto the plate of paint and pom-poms and then throwing the pom-poms at the easel!I then set up the tray on top of the water table and brought out the colored sand, colored water, plate of paint, and other fun mixing tools... so much fun!

See you next time!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tissue Paper Sculptures and Various Painting Projects

As daylight begins to shorten this time of year, I thought about offering projects that can incorporate the darkness of winter. This week I decided to focus on tissue paper collage sculptures that are fun to play with in the dark! (thanks to The Artful Parent for this great idea) First I created a circlular frame out of wire, then placed it on a sheet of clear contact paper (sticky side up). The children were offered bits of colored tissue paper to create a collage.

The children also decided to add glitter and sequins to their collage!

When the collages were finished, I helped the kids fold over the sides of the contact paper to seal it up, then showed them how they can bend and sculpt the wire into various shapes. I happen to have a flashlight handy in one class, so I showed the kids how to illuminate the sculpture by shining the flashlight through- which is especially fun in the dark!
For the rest of class, the children re-visited their scrap sculptures from the previous week to add paint and more details.

As the children finished up their sculptures, they worked on various projects around the studio.

We even took advantage of the warm weather to finish up class outside.

While we were outside, I introduced "splat paintings." First we soaked pom-poms in watered down paint on a tray...
then we threw them at the easel to create a "splat!"