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Showing posts from April, 2018

Puppets and Stories: Finger Painting Part 2

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Preschool art series, continued...
As a kid, I played with puppets fairly often and generally created strange adaptations of stories I'd been reading at the time. Over the years, I have created a lot more stories, but haven't done much oral storytelling. Recently, though, I introduced my kids to puppets and had to come up with a story for their puppets.

At first, I intended to make a gingerbread puppet and adapt the Gingerbread Man story to include the kids' puppets. Adapting well-known stories like that is a great way to introduce young kids to puppets! However, I didn't want my puppet to get 'eaten' at the end, so we improvised a new story instead about some friends traveling to visit the beach.

If you want to create your own stories, you can use the basic framework below and adapt it to fit almost any theme!
The first part, creating a puppet, is super easy:Start with a paper lunch bag.Decorate it! You can just use paint, or you can add other materials--glue …

Counting Flowers...

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Yes, I know that “April showers bring May flowers.”
And it's still April.

At the moment, though, we’ve got a lot of April flowers.

Yesterday, on a walk, we started looking for different colors of flowers. (My initial goal was to slow my oldest child down a bit, so that the rest of us could keep up with him. I used to think there was no way I could ever run any substantial distance--that seems to changing now, as a matter of necessity.)

Anyway, today, we decided to count all the flowers in our yard--and a few more around our neighborhood. It made for a good outdoor preschool activity, and kept us busy for at least an hour, including a short walk through our local area.
Any guesses how many flowers we found?
At least 40.
I didn't take pictures of everything we saw--and we only picked flowers in our own yard (not counting the dandelions next to the road), but we found 40 unique species of flowers, counting bulbs, weeds, and even trees.
That’s just the ones with some sort of bud…

Circles and Fish: Finger Painting Part 1

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Preschool art series, continued…

Last fall, I discovered the simple way to paint a picture: use a paper plate!

At the time, we were doing a preschool art program at our community center. Two of the four projects used paper plate circles. One circle became a pumpkin, and the other a moon. The plate was both the canvas and the image.

If you look up paper-plate art projects, there are dozens or hundreds of ways to use a paper plate (or some similar circle): add triangles for ears and paint an animal, add strings and make a hot-air balloon, or add cotton balls to the center to create a flower.

I've created a relatively simple project that combines this circle art with some easy scissor practice. We started with the basic circle, and then cut it into sections, gluing the sections together to create a fish.

You can keep things simple by using a paper plate. I traced a circle onto painting paper, partly to add some extra scissor practice to our project.

(Art tip for preschoolers: I start my…