The colder months tend to keep us inside a bit more, but we also get a chance to explore new materials and techniques in the classroom! We have worked on a few projects using liquid watercolors this month in a variety of ways. Liquid watercolors are similar to water color paints, but with a lot of versatility. You can paint with them of course, but also add them to play dough, gak, and lots of sensory recipes for a pop of color.
For these paintings the children were given large bowls filled with the watercolors and paint brushes. They went to town painting different designs with the liquids. After their paintings dried, I thought it would be great to introduce our crayon melter to the class. We discussed the safety rules for the crayon melter, because it can get quite HOT! They did a wonderful job being very careful with the melted wax. Using the Q-tips they simply dripped or painted with the different wax colors.
H and M wanted to try the crayon melter on plain white paper instead. They were busy working with this new medium for a long time. Painting with the melted crayons provides wonderful hand-eye coordination and development. It also allows them to assess risks and take risks in a safe way, by being careful around the heater. Lastly, it was always important to put the Q-tip back in the correct color or the crayons would get really muddy. We learned this the hard way, and everyone worked diligently to make sure their Q-tips were put back correctly (color matching!!).
Another way we used the watercolors was with the pipettes and paper towels. The children simply squeezed the colors out of the pipettes to create beautiful designs and images on their paper towel. They had to make sure not to get the paper towel too wet or the colors would run together.
The pipettes can sometimes be a bit tricky to use, and they really have to concentrate while using their pincher skills to squeeze the paint onto the towels.
C and D working side by side above! I loved seeing Cs two-handed pipette painting!
After our paper towels dried we cut them into snowflakes and hung them on our classroom doors.
I think my group this year has used up almost every last piece of chalk that I have! They simply love side walk chalk. As a group they are really starting to come together, play as a group, and do group projects that they plan together. One of their favorite things to do outside has been to “paint” with the chalk in the rain puddles on the road. They will gather up all of the chalk and get to work!
You can see B above offering different colors to friends in the roadway. The results are very cheerful on a rainy day too!
Light and Shadows:
Another fun invitation to create has been these tracing papers on the light table. I got the great idea from the Teach Preschool blog. She has a fantastic blog and so many wonderful ideas. I drew simple lines, curves, and points for the children to trace on the light panel. They had to lay a piece of tracing paper on top of my original and trace the lines with a marker. You may have seen some of these tracing papers coming home. Many students did this again and again!
In the sensory tubs we have had two new materials! The multicolored rice “Ice Cream” tub is pictured above. The students have really enjoyed this tub, and have opened up a few ice cream shops during the day. They will make different flavors and offer them to friends that happen to pass by!
We also had this really colorful “Valentine’s Day tub.” I filled the tub with white beans, cupcake liners, and lots of fun Valentine’s Day goodies. They love the heart boxes, and filling them up with beans.
Our play dough this month has been this beautiful rose scented pink play dough. I added a lot of soap scent to this dough, and it really fills up the room when the children start manipulating it!
The play dough tray has pink gems, heart roller, heart shaped cookie cutters, and lots of heart cupcake liners.
T made the most beautiful creation with all of the heart shaped cookie cutters. I had to capture it in a picture! Stunning!
Now that the snow has finally melted, it left my yard a beautiful muddy mess! That has made the mud kitchen a hot commodity! H is stirring up a large batch of mud soup, and M is making cupcakes below! She even requested a special pouring cup to measure each muddy cupcake correctly.
Lastly, we have been getting out our preschool learning trays almost everyday! They have really enjoyed all of the math games that use old candy. In the pictures above M is completing a color pattern. The first patterns are given to her, and then she fills in the blank hearts with the corresponding candies.
You could even play this at home, and it would be a fun way to use your extra candy!
T and B getting to work on their pattern papers.
D working diligently to find the correct colors to match the patterns. I was so so proud of their hard work and math skills!