A fun fall activity that I did with my students late in the month of September was a leaf activity. The ideas ties in with our community and observing the world around them in nature. Children were responsible to collect leaves of any size, shape, and colour from around their neighbourhoods. We displayed them on our light table and placed paper and crayons for the children to create leaf rubbings. It really sparked some discussions around why leave change colours, what kind of trees they came from etc. So I added some books to the centre about leave, and their colours. It was a great conversation and it allowed me to work with children and show them how answers can be found by reading in a book.
Later, I read the book: The Leaf Man by Lois Elhert. This book was selected to spark/inspire a creation of a leaf person. Children collected other outdoor materials like-rocks, sticks, flowers, pine cones to add. On Dollar Store cookie sheets students placed their materials and created a person. I took a picture of them and their design. After I asked them questions and I recorded the children’s thought about their leaf person. Some told me about what they used, some gave them names and told me be about family. I typed up the information and posted the picture along with the write-up on construction paper and hung it around our classroom. The children loved seeing themselves in the classroom and loved talking about what they created. It was so cute and this simple activity sparked so much discussion building on their oral language skills!
Because we had been making flowers for Mother’s Day last week, there were several children asking if we could make flowers again today. Instead of repeating the same activity with the handprint flowers, I wanted the children to be able to create a different flower. I decided to create tie-dye flowers instead.
I got large basket coffee filters. I find these great for art, so I always keep them stocked in a cupboard. I also got out 3 paint holders, eye droppers and food colouring. I covered the table with plastic. I filled each paint holder half full with water and then added food colouring to the water. I added several drops of the food colouring to make sure the colours were strong. I used red, blue and yellow, but you could use any colours you wanted to.
I then gave each child at the table a large coffee filter and a black marker. I had them print their name near the edge of the filter. Once their name was printed, they filled the eyedroppers with coloured water and dropped it slowly on to their filter. They continued this until the entire coffee filter was full of colours.
Once the filters are dry, I assisted the children with twisting them in the middle and wrapping a green pipe cleaner around them as the stem.
This activity is fun, and not only does it allow the students to get creative, but they get to learn what colours are made when colours are mixed.
With Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, we wanted to make a craft for all of the wonderful mothers, grandmothers and special women in our students’ lives. We decided to create flower bouquets using the children’s hands as the flowers and green straws as the stems.
First, we traced the child’s hand 3 times. The children then cut the hands out. Next, we showed the children how to twist the handprints at the base so they would fit into the straw. Once the hands were in the straws, we showed the students how to bend the petals (fingers) of the flowers over by curling them around a marker. Once all 3 flowers were finished, we tied them together with ribbon to create a bouquet.
We did this in small groups to provide us the opportunity to assist the children as much as needed.
Yesterday, we filled an ice cube tray with water, and with our kindergarten children, added different colours of tempera paint into each space. We stirred them thoroughly and put the tray in the staff room freezer.
This morning, we brought the tray into the classroom to show the children how the coloured water had froze. We then popped out the ice cubes and used them to paint on white paper. The heat of our fingers melted the ice just enough to allow the colour to transfer to the paper.
We put the rest of the ice cubes into 2 foil pans and set up 2 tables with white paper where the children could enjoy painting and creating with the coloured ice cubes.
To help our kindergarten students learn about good nutrition and healthy eating habits, today we did an art project to help them learn about creating healthy lunches.
In our art centre, we had pictures of foods from each group. We got them out of grocery flyers. We set out glue, and brown paper lunch bags. The children got to choose their favourite foods, and things they thought would be good to bring to school for lunch. After they are dry, they can take them home to their families. They can show their families all of the healthy foods they would enjoy eating in their lunches. Hopefully, their families will see what their children enjoy and we will see all of our students with healthy food everyday!
We wanted our children to create Valentine’s for their friends. But, we didn’t want them to have to make ones that looked like a pre-made craft.
So, on Monday, we set up 2 art tables. We put heart stickers, foam hearts, doilies, red/pink/white/purple/black paper, markers, glitter and glue out. We had some pre-cut heart shapes, some hearts drawn for them to cut, and we also had cardboard hearts that they could trace. Once the children made a valentine, they had to print “To (name)” and “From (name)” on it, and then put it on our art drying rack. We had these tables set up for our first 100 minute block and again for the last 45 minutes of the day.
Then, on yesterday, we gave each child the Valentine(s) he/she made. Each child had already decorated a bag for their cards, so we helped them deliver them to whomever they made it for. The children took pride in what they had created for their friends.
To continue our Full Day Kindergarten’s focus on nutrition, today we painted with vegetables!
I brought in 2 potatoes, a cucumber, a carrot, a green pepper and a red pepper to class today. I cut them in half (the carrot I cut into thirds) and we used these like paint stamps to create a collage of healthy vegetables. I used large foil pie plates to put the paint in. Once the paintings were dry, I hung them up in the hallway so the rest of the school could see our beautiful art.
Another way you could do this art project is to use fruit. Next week, I will take in apples, pears, nectarines and a few strawberries and we can repeat the activity. Hopefully the children will like it as much as they did today!
It was such a beautiful day today that we decided to go on a nature hunt. We collected pine cones, leaves, rocks, and anything else the children thought they use in the art centre. We brought everything in and sorted the items into bins (this part was an excellent math activity). I then let the children decide what other art supplies we would need to create a new art centre (this promoted co-operative play, and turn-taking). Once it was all set up, the children loved creating their own art with everything we brought inside.
Some children painted large rocks. Some children made leaf collages. Others painted pine cones. Each child who went to the art centre created their own unique work of art with the nature we gathered from outside today.
Tomorrow, we are going to put some of the art up on display to show off our kindgarten students’ creativity to the school!