Thursday, May 26, 2011

Celebrating Memorial Day in ECE Classrooms

I recently visited a couple of classrooms that had some fun things going on for Memorial Day. Our town is home to Fort Gordon, so we have a lot of military families in our program. It's important to acknowledge the holiday observances of our students' families. On the other hand, just last week, I attended a meeting where teachers were encourage to "keep it simple" when celebrating holidays that may be difficult for children to understand. Too much info about why Americans celebrate Memorial Day may be a little scary for the kids to think of their moms and dads in harm's way. I think these toddler classes found ways to include these celebrations into their play nicely!

This class transformed their dramatic play center into "Fort Oakbrook" (Oakbrook is our school name).  Notice the MRE's (meals ready to eat) on the bottom!

Another class transformed their class into a Memorial Day picnic. Parents loaned the use of uniforms for dress up. There were even dollar store medals for the kids to wear!

I visited earlier in the week and saw the children painting paper tubes with white paint. The next day, they added star stickers and curling ribbon with a mall piece of tape to the inside to make these very cute firecrackers! They added to the overall decoration of the center nicely.

One of my favorite posts, Fourth Of July Fence Weaving  by Centers and Circles  might be way to incorporate Memorial Day into outdoor play activities, as well.

Happy Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Painting Nature

I saw these wonderful Candied Gumballs on Casa Maria's Creative Learning Zone. Be sure to check out the both of the follow up posts, Gumball Sculptures Project 1 and Tie Dyed Gumballs, as well.

We have so many gumballs around our area, that I knew we had to try this. Our playground is literally covered with them, and the kids spend hours collecting, counting, and playing with them in a multitude of ways. It was a "no-brainer" to put some in our art center to let the children have a go at painting them.

Most of our gumballs fall with pretty long stems attached, so we didn't use toothpicks, we just held on to the stem. Instead of dipping them, we used paintbrushes to apply the acrylic paint.

With the first few balls, the kids were hesitant, and only painted portions of the balls.

They looked pretty cool individually.

After letting them dry for a few days, I added string and attached them to a nice branch to make a mobile to hang from the ceiling. ( For photographic purposes, I placed white paper behind it to show it better.)

Thanks for stopping by!

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