Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tie-dye Snowflakes

With this activity, I've taken the typical paper snowflake and jazzed it up a bit. It is very simple to do, and since the paper is thin, it takes less strength to cut making it a good activity for preschool children. This does take a bit of skill using scissors so it would probably be best for children 3 and up - possibly younger with a lot of help. My 4-year-old was able to do it all by himself.

This is what you'll need

  • One 4 cup round coffee filter (white)
  • Markers
  • Newspaper
  • Spray bottle
  • Scissors
Directions:
  • Lay out the newspaper and flatten the coffee filters out on top of it.
  • Have the child(ren) color the coffee filter with markers - making sure they use a lot of colors.
  • Once they have finished coloring their filter, have them spray it with water until the colors start to blend.(Make sure they don't spray too close - you want them to mist, not soak, it)
  • Leave it on the newspaper to dry.
  • Once the filters have dried, remove them from the newspaper.
  • Have the child fold the filter in half, then in half again
  • Next, show them how to cut the filter on all three sides, making sure to leave portions of the folded area connected.
  • Unfold, and voila! Tie-dye snowflakes! :)

Variation: If you want to make these look more traditionally tie-dyed:
  • Grab the center of the filter and pull the ends together like a cone.
  • Tie rubber bands or twisty ties around the filter.
  • Color and spray.
  • Let dry.
  • From this point you just follow the same directions as above.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Kid Quotes

My son says hysterical things on a daily basis, and I thought it would be fun to jot down some of the funny things he, and the kids in the school say. Hopefully,over time, this will grow to be a great collection of some really funny stuff.

Where Honey Comes From
This all takes place around the table at lunchtime. Sebastian is eating chicken nuggets with honey - the lunch time favorite of 4-year-olds everywhere - and we get into a discussion about honey. He wants to know if honey has vitamin c in it (his current obsession), and I say that honey is basically just a "natural" sugar because bees make it. Then he holds up the little bear shaped honey container and says very confidently "The bees just open the top of the bear, and pee honey in there." :)

Gotta love kids!

Monday, December 7, 2009

I used to teach art so I do a lot of art projects with my son. Here are a couple projects we did recently using unusual items for painting.

String Painting
This is one I'd never done before. Sebastian wanted to play with some of the string we got at the store, and I was going to try to teach him to braid and tie knots, but then he said he wanted to paint so I thought to combine the two. I simply squirted some paint on a Styrofoam tray, and placed one piece of string in each color. We used a plastic fork to push the strings into the paint because Sebastian didn't want to get his hands dirty (don't even get me started on that :P). I would show him one way to paint with the string, and give him a little time to try what I showed him before introducing another method.
We tried:dragging the string, laying it down carefully in straight lines, lightly tapping it on the paper, and running it carefully along the paper in curved lines.
I think it turned out great! And we had a lot of fun!


Knife and Fork Painting
Before I even begin... yes I'm talking about PLASTIC forks and knives. Jeez, what kind of mother do you think I am. ;)

This project actually came out of the string painting project. Sebastian wiped the fork we were using on the paper, and I was curious to see what he could do with it. I introduced the knife later after I realized what a cool idea this was. The great part about this project is watching them explore all the different ways they can make marks using the fork and knife. Sebastian really experimented with the utensils - especially the knife. He spread the paint like butter, scratched the paint with the serrated edge, sliced at the paint.. everything. The fork couldn't hold much paint but made great scratch marks on the paper and cool dots. I'm going to try thickening the paint next time and see how that works. I'll let you know....

Here is his painting. I love it!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mommy Sites

This blog is mostly about sharing the work I'm doing for my preschool with other teachers and parents. But above all else I'm a mom, and as a mom who really has no life outside of my children and this school (if you couldn't tell), I've discovered a lot of online resources for parents. So I thought I would share with you some of the great web sites I've relied on over the past several years. I hope you will find them as helpful as I have.

  • SafeFetus.com - This was so wonderful resource when I was pregnant. It's an enormous database of medications, and how they are graded for pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Kellymom - Great resource for breastfeeding and parenting.
  • Baby 411 and Toddler 411 Developmental Checklists. - I love these checklists because they show age ranges.
  • Family Watchdog - A searchable database on sex offenders.
  • Skin Deep Cosmetic Database - This database lists detailed information about the substances in health and beauty products, and rates their toxicity.
  • HealthyToys.org - A guide to toxic chemicals in toys. Also contains a database of the results of hundreds of toys and baby products tested for lead, bromine, cadmium, chlorine, arsenic and mercury.
  • Kids-In-Mind - This is great site for parents who want more information about the movies their children are seeing than the rating system can provide. Movies are broken down by three categories: sex/nudity, violence/gore, and profanity. Ratings are given for each, but the really useful part is the detailed information they provide about the movie under each category.
  • Car-Safety.org - This site contains a wealth of information on vehicle and car seat safety.