Monday, March 19, 2012

Picnic Area

Our dramatic play area this month, is a Picnic at the Park. I love this activity that one of my coworkers made a while ago. The objects that are on the "tablecloth" can  be pulled off of the velcro and placed in the basket. Even though the basket has fallen off (despite multiple hot-glue and tape fiascos) the children continue to play with this picnic board.

We decided to make our own tree to have a picnic under. The children and I used markers to color cutouts of apples and added those to the tree as well as pictures of the kids coloring them that were added to each side of the tree. A blanket sits under the tree (whenever the children have not dragged the blanket elsewhere) and the food toys are available to create a picnic scene.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Imaginary Fireplace

I decided that it would be fun to have a fireplace for them to imagine they were warm by the fire. I took a white piece of posterboard and went to town with a red marker to make a brick wall. My co-worker finished it off for me and added the dots to make it look more like real bricks. Then I added a piece of black posterboard and put a real picture of a fire centered on top of that. A few of the kids obviously have a fireplace at home because they went right up to it and rubbed their hands together and held their hands out towards the "fireplace." All of them like to sit on top of the climber and snuggle up next to the fire.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Toilet Paper Snow

Last week we imagined it was snowing in the classroom. I took one toilet paper roll (yes, all of that is from just one roll) and separated all of the sheets. It takes about 5-10 minutes to separate all of the sheets, but it was extremely simple to do. Don't expect to be able to keep it afterwards, because it will be crumpled, crinkled, and much of it will have to be thrown out right away when the children inevitably lick it or wipe their little noses with it. :) And while it looks like a lot, clean up was super quick. The kids enjoyed helping to put it in the trash can, and the broom worked great to make a big pile we could just transfer right to the trash. Either way, it is extremely worth it. The kids had a fantastic time throwing the "snow" up in the air and trying to catch it...

And then they started getting the cars to drive through the snow...

And stuffing their shirts to see how much they could fit...

And filling up the dump-trucks and bulldozers.

We had so much fun with it, that we did it again the next day. This time, I provided cups and they all happily stuffed them, hoping to be the one to get the most pieces of snow in the cup.

Winter Collages

We made some Winter Collages last week. We fingerpainted on some foil that was attached to a blue piece of paper. Then attached lots of different white and blue collage materials, like feathers, cotton balls, pieces of yarn, pieces of pipe cleaners, etc. The kids just placed everything directly on the paint and it worked great. I was glad we used the fingerpaint, because tempera paint tends to peel off of smoother surfaces like foil. Here's a picture of one of the finished products.

What Do You See?

So for our Imagination theme, we decided to cover one of the shelf units with some inkblots. We thought it would be really interesting to see what the kids thought they were pictures of. I added a few colors by just putting some paint on a piece of paper and folding it over, creating a symmetry painting. The kids love them. Everyone agrees that the orange one looks like a butterfly, the bottom middle is a ballerina, and one of my little friends insisted that the purple one is a jacket. There were too many other declarations to count, so the kids really used their imaginations on these.

We used our other shelf unit to tie in to the Dramatic Play stage area. We added pictures we found online of different amounts of children on stages.

Who's in the Window? was Ms. Anita's great idea. We added foil so that it was almost like a mirror so they could imagine themselves in the big window frame and add pictures of the kids to find each other all around it. We always try to incorporate pictures of the children into things we are making because they have such a fun time finding themselves and naming all of their friends.

Imaginary Beings Board

As I stated before, February's theme is In My Imagination, so we decided to add a matching board to the room and made it about Imaginary Beings. It was very simple to make with just pictures that look realistic of imaginary beings, unicorns, giants, mermaids, etc. and some posterboard, contact paper, and velcro. Place it on a tri-board and let the kids go to town.

Valentine's Day Banner

So I am finally back and posting the picture I promised of the Valentine's Day banner. The kids loved how they had helped to create it with the cookie cutters in paint. Then I made a little sign for it and added pictures all around it of the children painting. The parents and the kids enjoyed being able to see them hard at work creating the banners that hung all around the room. We had a great party, ate lots of goodies, gave out valentines, and made glitter bottles with red food dye to take home.