Friday, January 27, 2012

2012, Year of the Dragon

I guess we've had dragons on the brain lately, what with the year of the dragon unfolding before us.

We spent the last two school days constructing a dragon fit for a Lunar New Year parade (just my humble opinion, you know).

First, we bunched up a long piece of butcher paper by twisting it up, and then covered that "filling" with another piece of butcher paper that we wrapped around it.

The children painted it green and orange and added glitter (even though we planned to cover it with fabric)...

Then, the children added glue and scraps of bathing suit material that Hisae gave us (we miss you, Hisae!).

This took a lot of children, a lot of cutting, a lot of glue, and a lot of time.

They also had to negotiate who got to put fabric in which space and who is entitled to their "own" space versus which area of the dragon is for collective decoration.

After adding a nose made by Be and Ha, and eyes made by Be, Br and Ha, and the necessary component of fire coming from its mouth, we suspended the dragon to display it's colorful flamboyance in the classroom.  With glitter and glitz and a dominating presence, it truly represents the fearlessness and power that this mythical creature embodies.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Red and Gold

Chinese New Year Playdough
We put it in the sensory table and let the kids add gold glitter.  The next day, we added dragons and rocks and other little materials.

Red Lanterns
It was SO nice to let the kids take the lead on their lanterns. They needed very little guidance, and they all turned out more or less unique despite the craftiness of this activity. 

The Dragon Dance
Guada let the children make dragon-like streamers to dance with to a rhythmic "dragon" song.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


This project landed on my January Pinterest board just in time for our seasons theme! I'm posting it because the children were very engaged in the activity, which was two-fold (lacing and then decorating).

Monday, January 23, 2012

Let Them Drink Juice!

It's only 100% juice here at Beansprouts...and that juice comes straight from the source!

Last week, our juice was orange-carrot-celery-apple-persimmon.

10 out of 12 children loved it!

Surprisingly, the children didn't like me using the term "pooping" to describe how the juicer released the pulp.  I thought it would be funny...but I guess they were disturbed that I was using this crude bodily function terminology to describe something we were about to consume.

I want to add a close-up so you can see the nice color of the juice (and more importantly, why you will see why I call it "pooping the pulp"!).

Bottoms up!


We're linking up with...
The Play Academy @ The Nurture Store

Sunday, January 22, 2012

They made me a house

I. Love. Loose. Parts.

Having loose parts in the yard allowed the children to be guided by their imagination and inspiration to collectively build a house...for me!

It started with some bricks and a piece of plywood

When the frame was complete, that's when the ideas...and teamwork...really started to blossom

They built steps

and designated areas for rooms

Lots of dirt was intentionally spread to create a "yard"

And they did some container gardening as well

Inspired by all of the greenery, they made a "real" garden in the "front yard"

They made sure my dogs would have a great selection of dog toys in their new house

And the toys were sprinkled with dirt...

as were the stairs, for a very important reason, of course. I don't know what that reason was, but I trust that there was a good one.

They were busy children that afternoon.  
Extremely focused, cooperative, intentional, productive children.

I linked up at:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Packing Peanuts Activity Tray

Materials needed
1 bowl (plus an endless supply of extras) packing peanuts*
1 small sponge on a tray
1 small cup or bowl to transfer water from the sink to the sponge when the sponge dries out

*must be the kind that melt when wet

The children made some pretty cool sculptures with the peanuts, including vehicles, headgear, letters, animals, and people, but since we're all about the "process" and not the "product", let's focus on this next picture... 

I loved watching them sit around at chat while they waited for a turn.  
What a beautiful group of children.

It reminds me of one of the best quotes I have ever read 
(and I just read it yesterday) 
You have to go to school
so you can love people you didn't know before.

Ain't that the TRUTH???


Wrestling is good for children.

Originally published Sept 2010 Many of our parents seemed shocked when they came to pick up their children from Beansprouts and found the...