I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn. ~ Albert Einstein


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Splat Painting

We are always looking for new ideas to explore art with different mediums. When I came across this video, from one of my FAVORITE early childhood educators, the "Ooey Gooey Lady", I knew anything that combined art with mess would be a good time!

For step by step instructions on how the splatters are made,
check out her video here... 

So, we had to try it for ourselves!

I didn't have any popcorn on hand, but had PLENTY of rice, so we used that instead. I suppose you might be able to use other fillers as well, maybe
 beans, or even sand.

I'm all about using up and making due
with what we have on hand.

Except for the fact that not ONE pair of pantyhose could be found in my house...lol

But I did find them at Walmart for .33 cents a pair!

We thinned the paint a bit with some water just to add to the "splat" factor

The grass was wet from a recent rain, so we did this activity in the driveway. We picked up quite a bit of gravel with our splatters, but that just added texture to our pictures, I suppose!

Double handed action.....

One of the final products....

And of course, no activity is ever complete until we find other surfaces to cover.....

They would have done the entire sidewalk, except that it started raining again, and washed away their efforts. I guess we'll have to bring out our splatters again, on a nice sunny day!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What can we make with it Wednesday: Giant Paint Sticks

I came across this box of giant paint sticks at a yard sale a few weeks ago. When I asked the man running the sale about them, he said he couldn't seem to get rid of them and I could just take them home with me!


When he saw how excited I became over a simple box of wood sticks, he gave my husband a funny look.

Now, anyone who works in childcare, or any aspect of early childhood education, understands what I'm talking about.
Scoring free stuff is like winning the lottery!

MY husband looked back at the man with the same puzzled look, shrugged his shoulders, and replied:

"She does daycare."

<insert me rolling my eyes here...>

"Civilians", as I call those outside the world of early childhood education,
will never understand...LOL

So, for our first installment of "What can we make with it Wednesday", I decided to put the giant paint sticks out in the art area, and wait to see what the children would do with them.

I've been told these are amusement park rides
for a traveling circus of ants.

I happened to only have school age children during this activity. So, I plan on leaving the bucket of paint sticks out for a few more days to see what the younger preschoolers will do with them as well. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Light Table

A light table has been one of those select items that have been on my wish list for quite some time. The thrifty part of me just knew there HAD to be a way to make one that was less expensive, and worked just as well. I came across this post:

And knew I found just what I was looking for! Instead of listing all of the steps here, you can click on the link above to see how it was made.

Now I will be on the hunt for creative items to use on our light table! For now, we have these shapes I found on Ebay, and our color tubes. To be honest, they are plastic shot glass tubes I found in the picnic isle of our dollar store. But of course, I won't tell the kids that. Now they are "color tubes"....lol ;)

Here, you can see I placed a mirror behind the table to add another element to exploring with light.

I'm excited to see all of the new ways we will come up with to use our new light table in the future!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hot plate prints

I found this food warming tray at a second hand store for a few dollars. I've never actually used it to warm food...but it melts crayons wonderfully!

First I cover it with a few layers of aluminum foil.

And then plug it in and let it warm up!

The crayons melt as we draw on the surface.....

I know what you're thinking....

"Isn't it hot?!?! Won't the children burn their hands?!?!?!"

Yes, the surface is quite warm, but not hot enough to burn your skin if you touch it briefly. I always sit nearby and closely supervise, continuously reminding the children to "lift their wrists".

Then we lay paper on top , and press to make a print.

As an extra precaution, the children wear oven mits to press their paper, as you do need to rub the surface for a few seconds.

We end up with really neat "prints" of our work!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Flubber is one of those activities we do often, and I, err, I mean the kids, never get tired
of playing with it!

The recipe is pretty simple....

mix 2 cups of water with 4 tablespoons of
borax in one bowl


mix 2 cups of water with 1 1/2 cups of Elmer's glue, and a few drops of food coloring in another bowl

Then slowly stir the borax mixture into the glue mixture

...and you have flubber!

It looks rather "slimy" but it actually rolls right off of your hands quite easily.

You can even blow bubbles into it.....

It rained the next day.....so we brought it inside to explore some more.

We used a lot of descriptive words, such as: slimy and squishy, rubbery and bouncy.

We even had to see what it felt like on our feet.

And of course, no activity would be complete without us just HAVING to stick our head into it!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Water Wall

We decided to take on the project of making a water wall out of recycled parts. We got busy adding parts we found around the house, and outside in our sand area. We added our parts with tape, hot glue, and even got a chance to use a power drill!!!

In all our excitement in building our wall, we failed to realize that when we stood it up, it was 6 feet tall!!! Most of us can not reach that high, so now we had to decide if we were going to turn it on its side, and rebuild it that way, or if we needed something to stand on so we could reach higher.
The kids have decided to embark on a new project; we will need to build stairs!

As with most of our projects, I'm sure things will continue to be added, taken away, and reconfigured on our wall. I'm excited to see how it will evolve over the summer!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Talking Tube

I came across this heap of tubing at a yard sale today. I'm not sure what is was originally intended for, but I had a few ideas of my own in mind.

First, I cut the tops off of two 2 liter soda bottles.

I covered the sharp edge with heavy duty tape.

Then I attached the tube to the spout of the bottle with more tape.

We strung the tube around the playroom from hooks I already had in the ceiling, from one end
of the room to another....

One end is in our block area.....


...And the other end is in our reading area.

I'm looking foward to seeing the kids use it on Monday morning! We even have enough tube to add one along the fence outside!