Thursday, April 17, 2014

three bears play dough play

 I made a batch of cinnamon scented play dough  and added a few bear accessories added for fun. I picked up the bears from etsy seller Clickity Clack and highly recommend them.
I added some oats as well as rolling pins, muffin pans, cookie cutters and measuring cups. The children really enjoyed baking porridge cookies and pie.

Monday, April 14, 2014

three bears baking

For our week of The Three Bears we created a porridge muffin recipe using our cupcake baker. For ingredients I set out all of the usual suspects along with three measuring spoons and three measuring cups.
We bake a lot in class so the children know that we use flour, sugar, oil, eggs, and sometimes milk. I held up the measuring cups/spoons and named them...Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear. We began with flour and the children got to decide how many cups and which cup at that, of flour we needed.
After flour, we added oats, then sugar, eggs, backing soda, baking powder, and a dash of cinnamon for good measure. The children really favored the Baby Bear measure and I decided to pose question about quantity once we had mixed everything up "Do you think this is enough batter for everyone to enjoy a muffin?" After a few rounds of negotiation, the children decided to add more oats and just a little more flour.
We mixed and mixed and added one heaping cookie scoop to each cupcake well, closed the lid and plugged in the baker. The children know that the baker is off limits once the lid is closed and went about playing in the classroom until it was snack time.
The children were so proud! The muffins were super dense and surprisingly NOT sweet and they ate every last crumb.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

paint with bear bottles

 We kind of had a field day with books of threes. We began with The Three Little Kittens, then moved on to The Three Billy Goats Gruff and ended our adventure with The Three Bears. For our week of The Three Bears we explored oats, size and mass, and of course...bears! My favorite was painting with bear bottles, really it was less about painting with the bottles and more about the presentation. 
Rather than remove the entire seal from each bottle, I punched a hole or two in the seal with a toothpick. This kept the paint from being squeezed out completely on the first try and made the children work a little hard for their results (though the bottles are super sturdy and not exactly the easiest to squeeze). Setting out primary colors only had the children working from memory to mix up the colors they wanted. I had thought originally they would mix the paint onto the paper plates but they, of course, had other ideas.
There was a request for glitter and other bits of pizazz. I never refuse glitter or pizazz.  They found that their plates, when painted, looked like planets while the paper underneath was outer space.
We will be revisiting this again as more talk of planets came up recently. I need to get some books and maybe I will read this one again, it's a rest time favorite.
 They each spent a longer than usual amount of time on their creations often going back to the window where we place our artwork to dry to bring their art back to the table for a little bit more paint of pizazz. The large bits of foil pizazz is a bit like this while the bear bottles came from here.

Monday, March 31, 2014

the three billy goats gruff: blotto trolls

This smoosh art project was a hit with both classes. Many of the children made an entire army of trolls. The process is the same for any smoosh art (aka blotto and/or  blobs), fold paper in half, work on one side, fold and smoosh. To create our trolls, the children added geometric features that were pre-cut and piled onto a tray. The paint was wet enough that all they had to do was select, arrange and push into the glue needed. Some of the children had specific wants for shapes and colors, others cut their own shapes. This is a great companion project for our week of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. As we worked on our trolls, we talked about symmetry and planning...too much paint oozes out of the edges, too little doesn't smoosh enough. The children really went to town and I wish I had more photos of their awesome trolls!

Friday, March 28, 2014

the three billy goats gruff: pet trolls

For our week of The Three Billy Goats Gruff, along with all the bridge building and storytelling, we got to making and painting trolls. This project may look familiar to you as it is one often used by teachers to promote fine motor skills and use up older play dough which is exactly why I decided to do it and it fit right in.
The children loved making trolls out of the dough and random scraps of feathers, toothpicks, and pipe cleaners. If you do this project, you can have your children help you prep materials ahead of time by working those scissors skills cutting pipe cleaners and/or straws. Set up the supplies in a muffin tin for a pretty presentation and make sure to use a paper plate underneath for easy transport to a safe place for drying. The plate will also catch any bits and bobs that fall off. If you have a kiddo who really loves glue, place a sheet of wax paper on top of the plate beforehand.
The glue was also very popular and was used not only to anchor on googly eyes but to add layers and layers and layers of more dough. They took a few days and the children were ecstatic to take home their pet trolls.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

the three billy goats gruff: a playset, some play dough, and bridge building fun

I picked up this fantastic wood play set of The Three Billy Goats Gruff from etsy seller Clickity Clack  in anticipation of our week of the brothers Gruff. The children loved this set and I would often come across them reenacting the whole story from trip-trap to trip-trap.
After a dozen or so readings of the story, we got to bridge building complete with goats. The children worked at all levels of block play. Some Laying out their blocks to create a visual bridge across the water on our rug while others used long planks across shorter blocks to create their bridges. One child even used one of the goats to create her bridge. While building our bridges, I explained the difference between a bridge and a tower. We also worked on building a strong foundation for our advanced tower builders. Some of the vocabulary and terms I used were foundation, vertical, horizontal, and balance. The bridge building was a part of our math time and we spent more than thirty minutes building away.
Often, out goats would migrate over to the play dough table where the story would once again come to life. The children loved retelling and acting out the story in their play. It reminded me of how much I loved the story when I was a young child.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

playing with magnetic pom-poms

We have a set of colorful pom-poms that have had strips of magnetic tape glued to them. Sometimes they are on our whiteboard for the children to play with but I brought out our round pizza trays to see what they would do with them. We practiced patterning and made caterpillars and shapes but mostly they piled as many as they could onto the tray before putting them away so another child could play.