I talk a lot about the importance of process over product with learning. The experience and not the final outcome is what matters most. I just read a disturbing report this morning. IBM did a creativity report and found that American children's scores in creativity have been steadily declining since 1990. We need to fuel the creative juices of our young minds. Alright, off my soap box to show you a cool way to do that...
This can be done on finger paint paper, but another opportunity to explore this type of paint is on an acrylic easel. With a large easel, the children were able to paint as a community effort.
Put trays of paint under the easel.
Let the children grab handfuls of paint and begin painting.
When they feel like they are finished,
they can wash the easel with large buckets of water
and car wash sponges.
Another great way to cool off in the summer!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
and let them paint whatever they want!
No, I'm not crazy. The "paint" is water!
You may think this would appear boring, but if you put it in buckets and pass out large paint brushes like professional house painters would use, it becomes an exciting material for discovery.
Then the children can enjoy watching the "paint" go on the objects they are painting and change as the sun dries it- a wonderful learning opportunity! Of course, along the way, they are getting a bit splashed themselves and cooling off.
Give it a try. We had 18 children ranging from 2-6 painting up a storm this week!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Blocks have to be one of the best toys ever invented!
I am a firm believer that they have a strong place in every classroom up through the primary years and beyond. They come in many shapes, sizes, colors and textures. Sadly, they are being taken out of the early childhood classrooms. I advocate taking them out of the classroom as well.....but only so you can play with them outside!!
Using large blocks fosters teamwork and cooperation. Children negotiate placement of blocks and how to get their friends to join their "notion" so that their idea can become bigger using all of he blocks.
I will add that we do talk about de-construction or demolition. We talk to the children about safety when they are ready to knock down a building. The rule is hands only-no feet. First check that no one is inside the structure or behind it. This does take a few lessons-the urge to kick it down is always irresistible.
Lastly, a terrific class gift that my school received this year is another set of large wooden blocks. On this set, however, a parent had engraved each child's name as the child would have written it with a router. This class was a set of voracious builders-so they have a legacy now.