Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Exploring Clay

For our third class of the session we focused on clay work. I first offered the children a few tools to roll, poke, or shape the clay.

Many of the children have worked with clay here in previous sessions and immediately knew what tools they wanted to use. Soon they were at the shelf retrieving trucks and animals to roll and stomp in the clay.
We talked about how you can pinch off parts of the clay and roll it in your hand to make balls or coils. I offered them toothpicks to use with their clay to continue our exploration of building up from last session. I also offered the children a tray of little "treasures" to decorate their clay (this included beads, buttons, rhinestones and googly-eyes).

The children in the 1s class were not quite sure about manipulating the clay with their hands, but they were very excited about decorating the clay!

Sometimes it's nice to take a break from working at the table...

After working with clay for a while, it can begin to dry out, so I always offer the children some water and a sponge to moisten their clay.
Sometimes it can get really wet and the kids will soak up the excess water with the sponge or an eye-dropper.
After working with fabric last week, many of the kids wanted to cut and add fabric to their clay work- an interesting new combination!

And sometimes a bowl is needed for all that water!

In one of the 2s classes, the children asked for the spray bottles and glue. They began to mix the glue and water together which began to drip onto their chairs. This gave one of the kids the idea of spraying the chair with watercolor, then cleaning it off with a sponge!
Pretty soon all of the kids were "cleaning" the chairs.

I thought it was interesting how the chairs suddenly became a new surface for their art experiments (good thing these materials are washable!)
At the end of the 2s class, the kids painted the batiks that they had started last week. Next week I'll show you the final results.

Yay for clean up time!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

1s Fabric and Sand Collage

For the second week of the 1s class the children explored collage through glue and fabric. At this age, the focus is mostly on learning how to squeeze the glue- which is great for fine motor development! Squeezing glue is hard work for little hands, but it is so rewarding when the glue begins to dribble out... especially the colored glue!
After much glue practice, the children found new items to add to their collage. They especially enjoyed scooping colored sand and dumping it onto their collages. When the sand dries in the glue, it creates a rough texture to compliment the smooth fabric.

The joy of learning from an older child!
The weather has been warming up, which makes for great water/wash up time at the end of class!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Working with Fabric and Glue

This week we focused on fabric and glue. I first set out a simple collage project with scraps of fabric and white glue. The children all began to carefully glue down their fabric scraps to the paper using various methods. Some glued on top of the fabric...
some glued all over the paper, then placed the fabric down...
...while others decided to stack the fabric with glue.
After this first introduction to fabric collage I soon brought out colored glue. which adds a new design element (and is much more exciting than white glue!).

As the kids made their way around the studio, they went to the easels to paint and then to the shelf to pick out more items to use with their collages.

Returning from the shelf, the children brought back glitter, animals, cars, brushes, and even scissors for cutting the fabric!

To add a new texture to the mix, I brought the children some colored sand to scoop onto their glue.

At the end of class, I brought out one more project to continue our investigation of glue and fabric... the makings for a glue batik! I saw this project on the Artful Parent and was eager to try it out in class. The first step is to use blue gel glue (a non toxic school glue) to create a design on a white piece of fabric. We will wait for the glue to dry then next week the kids will paint the fabric. Once the paint dries, I will soak them in water and the glue will peel off, leaving their original design white. I can't wait to see how they turn out!