Friday, June 25, 2010


One of the simplest and most requested outdoor activities is waterpainting. The first time I introduced this to my students, I was amazed at how exciting it was for them!  All you need is a sidewalk, paintbrushes, and a bucket of water. It is so exciting to see children marvel over something as simple as water creatively painted on dry concrete. Kids in this day and age are so hyperstimulated with technology, it's good to know they still desire the simple things if presented to them.

On this particular day I had sidewalk chalk in a separate area. It was the children's idea to mix the chalk drawing with the waterpainting and it was such a cool effect. Children are innately creative and are not afraid to experiment, I learn a lot from them!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Spring Bulletin Board


I absolutely love the excitement that comes with the arrival of Spring!  At this point in the year, we've accomplished so much and the end of the school year is almost in sight.  It's also a time for new beginnings, fresh starts, and the birth of all things beautiful in nature.  I'm always enthused about what Spring brings to a classroom, whether it's new ideas in science, math, literacy, or art.  For this particular project, we learned about the beauty and colors of flowers, and why they are a sign of spring.  We made beautiful tissue paper flowers to go along with this lesson, and ended up turning into a lively hall display!

First I had the kids make tissue paper flowers in pots.


I let each student choose two tissue colors. I showed them how to fold the tissue accordion style, then how to wrap a green pipe cleaner in the middle. This fine motor skill was difficult for a few children, but most could do it and were able to "help" those students who needed it.  The fun part was poofing the flower out!

The next day, we painted large Styrofoam coffee cups with a mix of red, orange, and brown paint to appear like terra cotta pots. When the cups were dry, we stuffed them with a piece of green tissue paper and I stapled the pipe cleaner inside. This particular design is meant for hanging, so the flowers do not stand up on their own.  If I want a standing flower next time, I might try using a pencil, a dowel, or even rolled construction paper.


The actual bulletin board came together without much of a plan! First I made the tissue flowers. I took photos of my students posed together as friends,  cut out the photos and taped them to popsicle sticks to give them a base.  I then stuck the popsicle sticks into the tissue paper flowers . I found the quote Friends are Flowers in the Garden of Life randomly on the internet and wrote it with a thick sharpie on white paper and cut it to fit on the bulletin board.  The first thing I hung was the grass (two shades of green construction paper) and the glitter sun. I hung the quote around those, and stapled the flowers where they would fit. I cut strips of green paper to use as stems and leaves, and voila! It turned out better than expected.