Saturday, July 31, 2010

Liquid Watercolor and Whipped Cream

We began this week with liquid watercolors, a new medium for many of the kids! Starting off with a simple painting experience, each child was first given watercolor paper, cups of paint, and brushes. Soon they began to ask for cars or other familiar tools as well.
Many of the children began to pour the watercolor- which is usually what toddlers want to do with a cup of liquid! Sometimes they would pour the paint into different cups, but mostly they poured it onto their paper (after the first class I realized it was a good idea to use trays!)
After a little while, I offered the children coffee filters to paint on in addition to their paper. Coffee filters soak up the watercolor in a different way and are fun to experiment with.

Eye droppers are great tools to use with the liquid watercolor. They're unique and fun for the kids, but they're also excellent for developing fine motor skills (specifically the pincer grasp, used for writing).
After a lot of painting and pouring, I moved the paper to dry and brought out whipped cream! With the aluminum foil on the table, I gave each child a scoop of whipped cream and encouraged them to use it in their exploration. Some kids immediately wanted to rub their hands in it, while others used tools to move it around. Painting the liquid watercolor on the whipped cream offers a unique sensory experience and a new way of seeing the vibrant colors.

The easels were set up with jars of liquid watercolors to continue the watercolor experience.

I recently replaced some of the containers on the shelf to entice the children to visit it more often. I think it's working.
Finally, I brought out the watercolor spray bottles to use on the easels and at the table. I can never go wrong with the spray bottles!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Salt Dough and Colored Glue

This week we started off making salt dough. Salt dough is similar to playdough, but it is meant to be baked and decorated like clay. If you're interested in trying this at home, click here for a simple recipe (or here, for a gluten-free recipe) To make the dough each child was given a bowl and spoon for mixing and a cup to scoop out the dry ingredients. After mixing the flour and salt, I offered them a squeeze bottle of water (with only a little water) to add to the bowl. We added more flour and water when needed, then mixed and mixed until the dough was just right!

Once the dough was the right consistency, the kids dumped it out onto their mats to begin their work. They used cookie cutters, pizza cutters, plastic knives, and clay tools to mold their dough. I also brought out some spray bottles and more flour to keep the dough moist and pliable.

Sometimes the dough was too sticky so we had to add more flour!

After a while of working with the dough, the children began to check out the shelves for new materials and tools.

For the children who were ready to move on, I put their dough creations on the shelf to dry and brought out some paper, colored glue, and plastic lids.
The children then squeezed the glue into the plastic lid, which is used as a mold. Once the glue dries, you can pop it out of the lid to create a transparent window hanging (this fun idea came from a great blog called Darling Clementine- check it out here).
But of course the best part of this activity is the squeezing!

Where there is glue, there is almost always glitter and collage materials!

This week instead of the usual paint, I put markers at the easels. Some kids really enjoyed the change!