Crozet Play School

Kids at Play in Crozet


2 Comments

Clay Work

IMG_2072

As soon as we returned from our wonderful holiday break I brought out clay as a new material in the classroom.  The materials provided with clay were cardboard pieces, clay tools, beads and gems.  Clay is a great fine motor manipulative for preschool children to work with!  It takes more dexterity than play dough, holds its shapes, and dries to make a permanent piece of art.  They were very interested in this material, and the table was quickly crowded with little clay workers.

IMG_2070.JPG

The first time this invitation was set up I didn’t give the children any direction on what to make with the clay.  I allowed them to work with the clay as they wished, creating anything they pleased.  I helped students if they wanted to roll the dough, but otherwise I let them create whatever they wished.

IMG_2068.JPG

IMG_2077.JPG

Once each child finished their work, we took time to transcribe a story about their work of art.  They each had stories to tell about their clay.  It was fascinating to hear all of the stories, ideas, and tales about their clay pieces.

Some children loved squishing beads into the clay and using the clay tools to make marks in the clay.  Other children were intent on making “something” with the clay: people, gingerbread men, cupcakes, and lots of other fun ideas.

IMG_2066.JPG

J above is making different marks in the clay using a variety of tools.

IMG_2065.JPG

C in the picture above is in the beginning stages of his gingerbread man.

IMG_2103.JPG

H in the picture at the table made a wonderful piece that was his sister with the clay.

 

IMG_2107.JPG

This is a picture of one of D’s siblings!  It was so neat to see them making clay creations for and about other people.

The following video shows a display I made of their clay work, and how unique all of their pieces were!

 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

There’s No Such Thing as a Gruffalo

 

IMG_2285 2.JPG

Julia Donaldson is my new favorite children’s author!  I was introduced to her by one of my Mom’s during Halloween.  She came to our class dressed as a witch and read “Room on the Broom.”  That book became an instant favorite, and then I found her Grufflo books too!  My own children LOVE these stories, the element of the Grufflo, and the tricky mouse.  The mouse is able to trick all of the forest animals, and convince them that he is the scariest creature in the “deep, dark wood”!  He even scares the Grufflo.  I think children love when the underdog wins!

61qFOIalGUL._SX398_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

After reading the book we re-created the book using our wooden platform, tree blocks, and little figures to represent all of the characters.  I had the puppets for the mouse and Grufflo.  C had the great idea to add rocks from our nature table, and M thought we should add felt to represent the creek and river.  We acted out and re-told the story using the props, and the children played with the items as well!

IMG_2292.JPG

 

The gruffalos child.jpg

We also read the second book, “The Gruffalo’s Child” in which the Gruffalo’s baby learns an important lesson about the little mouse.

IMG_2274.JPG

After all of this discussion about the Grufflo, I thought it would be great to set up an invitation for the kids to make him using clay and loose parts.

I gave them a variety of clay tools, wooden sticks and beads.  The results were awesome!  Below D made the Gruffly and used the wooden sticks to make his arms, claws on his feet and horns on his head.  I had the book propped up for the children to refer to the picture if they wanted to.

IMG_2281.JPG

IMG_2267 2.JPG

T working with the clay above.  She rolled out the clay to form really, really long legs of the Gruffalo.  I love the way she used all of the wooden picks to make his belly.

IMG_2276 2.JPG

A above added a variety of eyes to her Gruffalo, and then decided to change her creation and put in lots and lots of wooden sticks all over his body.

IMG_2280 2.JPG

IMG_2269.JPG

C was one of the few children that wanted his Gruffly to stand up on the cardboard.  He asked for help getting his clay to stand up tall, and then he got straight to work adding details to his face and body.

IMG_2279 2.JPG

 

IMG_2277.JPG

IMG_2282 2.JPG

At the end of the week we let everyone come to school in their PJs and we had a Gruffalo viewing party.  There is a short 25 min movie on Netflix that is based on the book.  We gathered on the couches in my family room area and snuggled up for popcorn and a movie.  Many of the children said they watched the movie at home as well!

IMG_2290.JPG

It was so fun to dig in deep with this story!  Happy Reading!