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There Are Plenty of Fish in the Sea

Today’s activity is a great example of how to add purpose and comprehension to an art project.  It’s illustrates exactly, how to turn fun into learning, how to engage and excite a child’s natural curiosity and how to prepare a child so that an activity is meaningful to them.  I hope you enjoy this post as much as we did!

Mondays and Wednesdays I choose one activity we did today from the Reaching Roses curriculum and share our experiences (starring my twin babies)

 This week’s Theme: Ocean Animals

Activity DescriptionOceanic Wall Mural (Sensory): Get a large canvas or large piece of poster paper as the basis for your mural.  Gather bubble wrap (different sized bubbles would be great) and cut them into manageable pieces (suitable for your baby).  Paint the bubble wrap blue (use different shades if desired) and stamp it onto the poster paper to make the ocean back ground.  Then glue/stick/draw on ocean animals and plants to complete the mural.

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Creative Development

Specific Skill: Making a print

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 24 months + 1 week

This activity had two parts (because we had to let the paint dry before we could add plants and ocean animals)

Part 1 – Making a print

1.  I briefly explained that we were going to make a big picture of the ocean to put up on our wall. It’s a new concept so they weren’t quite sure but they understood that it involves water.  So I explained to them that we were going to make the bubbles in the water for our picture.

2.  I demonstrated how to paint the bubble wrap and press it onto the mural. Then it was their turn!

O & M painting the bubble wrap

O & M painting the bubble wrap

O presses it onto our mural

O presses it onto our mural

Taa Daa!  O made a print

Taa Daa! O made a print

M makes a print too

M makes a print too

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Once the background was dry, I added seaweed and coral and tried to explain what they are. Then we set that aside to dry.

Several prints later.....

Several prints later…..

Mom adds coral and seaweed

Mom adds coral and seaweed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 2 – Completing the mural

4. The first part of our warm up involved looking at a plush globe we have (Hugg-A-Planet). I just tried to convey that the coloured parts are where people live and the blue parts are the ocean where the fish live.

Hugg-A-Planet - Thanks Auntie M - we love it!

Hugg-A-Planet – Thanks Megs – we love it!

M put the whale on the ocean part of the globe

M put the toy whale on the ocean part of the globe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. For the second part of the warm up, we watched the BBC’s Blue Planet (not the whole thing, I fast forwarded to relevant parts).  I tried to convey that the ocean is an enormous body of water that many, many fish live in.  I paused the documentary several times to further explain concepts (like showing the seaweed and the coral and how the smaller fish like to live/eat/hide there and the ocean animals).  They were really excited saying things like, “Look, yellow fish. Wow, really big!”blueplanet

6. Now that they had a pretty good understanding of the ocean and a lot of practice with the vocabulary (ocean animals), we started to complete our mural. I showed them the stickers we had and asked them to name each one. I talked to them about space on the paper (a concept they are beginning to understand) – because we didn’t want all the stickers in one little area.

The materials we had to work with

The materials we had to work with

7. Then I let them loose!

…fine motor skills at work

M peels the sticker backing

M peels the sticker backing

M delicately places an octopus sticker

M delicately places an octopus sticker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…..spacing and placing the stickers

Jellyfish

Jellyfish

An orange fish

An orange fish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

……the final product

A close up of one section

A close up of one section

Another section

Another section

We love our ocean mural

We love our ocean animals mural

 

 We had a great time doing this activity together! They were so excited to show it to Mr. Y when he got home; talking all about it! They really learned a lot!

 

This post was based on an activity included in the Reaching Roses curriculum.  Click here to learn more!

Fizz-tacular Painting Activity

Looking for a fun and easy twist on your regular painting activity?  This one is a sensory delight!  It’s perfect for reviewing and learning colours, it includes elements of science and encourages artistic expression!  Perfect for all ages.

On alternating Fridays I blog about the final activity of our current theme 

This week’s Theme:More Colours

Activity Description: Science Experiment: Fizzy painting activity!

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Language, creative, cognitive, fine motor, gross motor, social, emotional

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 24 months

1.  I explained to the girls that we were going to do a painting activity with ‘special paint’.

2. Prepare the paint:

In a container, I added the following: Juice crystals of desired colour, 1/4 cup of baking soda, a squirt of clear dish soap and I slowly added water to get the consistency that I wanted.  A thicker consistency of paint allows for more textured painting and can be sprayed multiple times for more fizzy-fun.  Our four colours this week are: pink (pink lemonade crystals), orange (kool-aid), brown (iced-t crystals) and purple…I used purple kool-aid but it was far from purple…more of a green I would say!

 

Home-made, scented, fizzy paint!

Home-made, scented, fizzy paint!

3. Review the colours & paint away!!

Mommy demonstrates

Mommy demonstrates

M goes straight for the pink

M goes straight for the pink

O painting with 2 brushes

O painting with 2 brushes

Mommy makes a lion

Mommy makes a lion

O adds some last minute touches

O adds some last minute touches

 

 

Voila!

Voila!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. This painting activity is not over yet!  Now for more fun, let’s make it fizz! (spray with vinegar)

Mommy demonstrates.  Oh wow, says M!

Mom demonstrates. Oh wow, says M!

M does some spraying

M does some spraying

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O wants to make it fizz too!

O wants to make it fizz too!

Time-out! O found a sticker (which trumps EVERYTHING)

Time-out! O found a sticker (which trumps EVERYTHING)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fizz-tacular fun was had by all!

Fizz-tacular fun was had by all!

This painting activity kept them occupied for AGES!!!  They kept saying, “more paint mommy, more fizz mommy”. We will definitely be doing this one more often!

If you’re doing this activity in the winter, you could easily do it in a shower or bath! The mess would wash right down the drain!

This post was based on an activity included in the Reaching Roses curriculum.  Click here to learn more!

Paint-sicles!

From birth, our children are natural scientists, mathematicians and artists.  This is because they are constantly making efforts to understand (and express their understanding of) their world.  When we provide an enriching and supportive environment for our babies, they intuitively use that opportunity to absorb everything they possibly can.  Today’s activity is an example of an easy-to-implement, hands-on project that will engage your baby in a fun and creative way and that will help develop your baby’s sense of joy and wonder….and as a result…probably yours too!

Mondays and Wednesdays I choose one activity we did today from the Reaching Roses curriculum and share our experiences (starring my twin babies)

 This week’s Theme: African Animals

Activity DescriptionIce Cube Painting (Sensory): Make ‘paint cubes’ and use them to paint a picture of lions and/or make an independent piece of artwork.

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Creative

Specific Skill: Exploring different art mediums

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 22 months + 2 weeks

1. Preparation:

Put a small amount of paint* in each cube

Put a small amount of paint* in each cube

Add water to each cube

Add water to each cube

Mix water and paint*

Mix water and paint*

Add handles and put in the freezer

Add handles  (I used Q-tips) & put in the freezer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taa Daa! Frozen paint cubes!

Taa Daa! Frozen paint cubes!

*To make ‘paint’ you can use juice crystals, food colouring (which are both edible) or actual tempera paint (which is what I used)

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. To warm up, we reviewed the vocabulary by playing with our African animal figurines and we sang a song included in the activity plan.

3.Since we are learning about lions today, I provided them with a lion colouring page (which is a template included in the Reaching Roses activity plan) and let them paint it!

Eager little hands!

Eager little hands!

M starts painting

M starts painting

Getting the hang of it!

Getting the hang of it!

Great job O!

Great job O!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
4. Now it’s time to let them create some original pieces of artwork!

"Circle' said M as she draws circles!

“Circle’ says M as she draws circles!

M's masterpiece

M’s masterpiece

Having fun!

Having fun!

O could NOT get enough of this activity

O could NOT get enough of this activity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOW!  They spent a considerable amount of time creating with these frozen paint cubes.  I knew they would like it but was surprised by the level of enthusiasm and excitement.  We will definitely do this again!!

 

Want to check out some more sensory ideas?

(15-18 mths) Click here! (18 -24 mths)Click here!

 

This post was based on an activity included in the Reaching Roses curriculum.  Click here to learn more!

 

 

Fork over That Paint!

We are beginning to wind-down the Meal Time! activity plan from Reaching Roses with only a couple of days left!  (We’ll see you on Friday for our culminating activity).  Today’s post is another artsy-activity that I wanted to include so that I could have the opportunity to write about the significance of children’s artwork and Reggio Emilia’s “100 languages of children” which helps form a part of my philosophy.

Mondays and Wednesdays I choose one activity we did today from the Reaching Roses curriculum and share our experiences (starring my twin babies)

 This week’s Theme: Meal Time

Activity Description Abstract Art: Use spoons and forks to paint a picture.  Add a little flour or baby powder to the paint to thicken it a bit and provide texture (you could also add sand, salt; whatever inspires you).

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Creative

Specific Skill: Painting with texture

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 19 months

 

Preparation:  Before beginning I took some paints and added baby powder to it to give it a thickened texture.  I didn’t use any measurements, I just added bit by bit until the consistency suited me.

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1. To begin, we read and talked about some books about eating.

2. I decided to do this activity on top of the geometric art activity we did on Monday but obviously, it is not necessary to do so.  We looked at the canvas and what was already there and I reminded them that they used cups to make it.  I explained that today we were going to use “special” paint and forks, spoons, and knives to paint with.  They were excited.

3. I modelled how to use the forks and knives to create lines in the thickened paint.

4. Off to the races!

O starts with the fork

O starts with the fork

M starts with a knife

M starts with a knife

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well done M!

Well done M!

M using the fork to make textured lines

M using the fork to make textured lines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O considers the purple paint

O considers the purple paint

Great job O!

Great job O!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M uses a dry fork to manipulate the paint

M uses a dry fork to manipulate the paint

O adds some last minute details with a knife

O adds some last minute details with a knife

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  When finished, I recruited the babies to help clean (it keeps them occupied while I’m putting things away so I don’t end up with hand prints on everything in our home! – and it teaches them responsibility)

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6. Once it was dry I encouraged them them feel the different textures they created.  They were pleased.

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Oh, O, you are sooo silly!

Oh, O, you are sooo silly!

Final product!

Final product!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reggio Emilia’s 100 Languages of Children

The term “hundred languages of children” refers to the many ways that children have of expressing themselves.  Children are able to depict their understanding (of any given topic or themselves) through one of many symbolic languages such as drawing, sculpture or drama (to name a few).    It is a true form of communication and they are able to do this well before they are able to speak.  This is why I feel it is essential to provide babies with the opportunity to express themselves through artistic means and why we should pay attention to what they are expressing through their art.

 

Painting by Cups

We’re on the second week of the Meal Time! activity plan using the new Reaching Roses curriculum.  Today is all about cups!!  My camera battery was not charged so I had to use an old camera to take pictures…the quality is not what it usually is, apologies!

Mondays and Wednesdays I choose one activity we did today from the Reaching Roses curriculum and share our experiences (starring my twin babies)

 This week’s Theme: Meal Time

Activity Description Geometric Art: Dip cups and bowls into paint and stamp them on to canvas or heavy paper to make an art piece.

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Fine Motor

Specific Skill: Dipping and stamping

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 19 months

 

1. To begin, we used dishes to review the vocabulary.  We talked about the cups in greater detail by describing them (colour & shape) and talking about what things we put into a cup.

2. Next, I reviewed the colours of paint we were using then demonstrated how to dip the cup into the paint and how to stamp it onto a surface.

3. Give it  a try!

Excited to get started

Excited to get started

Careful dipping

Careful dipping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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O checks out her creation thus far

O checks out her creation thus far

Nearly finished

Nearly finished

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our beautiful artwork

Our beautiful artwork

4. Apart from being fun and giving us the opportunity to use the word “cup” a lot, this activity also lent itself very well to reviewing concepts we learned using the Clever Clovers curriculum (shapes, colours, counting).

…..there is another activity on Wednesday using textured paint and forks/spoons/knives as the painting utensil.  I think we will add it to this canvas… see you then!

By the way, I could go on for hours about how much their art work reflects their personality and learning styles – and I find it fascinating!  Leave me a comment to tell me about if/how your little one’s artwork reflects him or her!