Thursday, July 5, 2012

American Flags Collage and Open-Ended Art

DISCLAIMER: I have not been my best blogging self lately. It's usually a matter of scrounging up photos that I happened to take during an activity.  I wanted to post about this one so I could pin it on my own Pinterest board for July next year : )  I tend to organize my boards by month so that it's easily referenced according to seasons and holidays.

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Bl brought in an American flag for "America's birthday" on Tuesday.  This inspired the children to make American flags of their own, with their unique creative twists, of course.

Our star hole punch was indispensable here.




One of my long time friends and mentors, Diane, used to say that when we put out activities that are open-ended, they will appeal to children of all ages. I find this to be very true, and children use the materials according to their level of development. 

The following are the "final products" of a 3.5 year old and a 5 year old. Can you tell which is which?




Guada also found this to be true when she put out a shaving cream block activity.  She presented the materials and the idea of sticking the foam blocks together with the shaving cream. Which do you think is made by the 3 year old versus the 5 year old?



Who do you think had more fun? Who do you think learned more from the activity? 

Well I can't say for sure, but they both stayed at the station for an extended period of time, indicated to me that fun and learning were taking place!

I think I'll try to practice a little open-ended thinking myself today.  Letting go of models, expectations, products.  Welcoming spontaneity, new ideas, inspiration.

*Stephanie*

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Red White and Blue July Pie

Making...





Eating...






How we did it:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Make a pie crust and cut into squares
  • Place squares into lightly oiled muffin tins
  • Scoop red and blue fruits (we used defrosted bags of frozen strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries) into muffin tins, but don't over fill
  • Top with some powdered sugar
  • Bake for 30ish minutes, checking ever five minutes after 25 minutes.
  • When fruit turns dark and pie crust is golden-ish, take them out
  • You can eat immediately if you top with ice cream (I pushed the ice cream scoops right into the fruit and suggested the kids to "eat the ice cream first so the fruit can cool down"). Needless to say, this was not a problem.
We started this activity as the children awoke from their naps, and the snack was ready by afternoon snack. Total elapsed time, roughly 1:15. I did the pie crust while they were napping so it could take a little longer if you do that part with the children.


Space to Feel

Children's responses to "would you like to share your feelings today?" This list of feelings emerged in our circle time...