Wednesday, April 30, 2014


So, I was thinking of doing a month on different kinds of transportation.  I got out the rubber counters and took out one of each vehicle.  Then I asked the children to choose a vehicle and tell me where we were going to go.  The first child told me we were going to take a car to the airport.  Then, the next child said we were going to take an airplane to Africa.  The 3rd child said we were going to take a bus to see the animals.  And the 4th child said we would take a helicopter over the land.  The last child said we would take a boat to see the sharks.  Thus, a learning unit was born.  It was amazing to me that the children came up with this on their own and it was so comprehensive and perfect! 

                The children are working together to put a safari floor puzzle                                                 together.
           This child is painting binoculars that she can use when we go             on safari.  We discussed all of the things we should bring on             our safari.  Toys, food, water, & binoculars were at the top of                                our list to pack into a backpack!

One of the things we learned was that there are 3 different climates on the continent of Africa.  There is desert, grasslands called the Savannah, and the rain forest.  Africa is home to the world's largest desert; the Sahara.  The children each got a map of Africa and they glued yellow sand at the top for the desert; shredded green paper in the middle for the Savannah; and dark green leafy treetops for the rain forest.  Then they used a blue crayon to color the ocean around the continent of Africa.

 Here we are on the airplane traveling over land and ocean to Africa!  The children took turns being the pilot.

Once we were in Africa, we visited a village and learned that in the evenings, villagers often gathered to tell and listen to stories in front of a fire.  We were fortunate enough to be able to take part in this one evening.  The story told was based on an old African folktale.  It was called Abiyoyo.  After the first telling, it was repeated many times over our trip.  The children also acted out the story like a play.
The children also learned that people speak in different languages in Africa.  One of the languages is Swahili.  We practiced counting in Swahili with the help of this book called Moja means one.

Driving in a jeep to our first safari!
                             On Safari in the Savannah!  Looking for animals!

Monday, April 21, 2014


During week 4, children worked with wood and did a group sculpture and some individual sculptures.  For the team project, they worked on arranging the wood on a base and gluing it down.  It was challenging to see what would balance and if things would adhere to the glue in the way they wanted to.  Lots of trial and error during this week!  Some of them also worked on individual projects as well.  After the glue dried, they painted the wood and added other embellishments that they chose to add.  

 This child is working on an individual project, she decided to make a turkey and the fanned sticks are the feathers.  Such creativity!
 This child is stacking and gluing blocks onto the team project.  All the children worked on the group project at one time or another.
 Another individual project.  She is leaning the sticks towards the middle.  I love the concentration evident in her expression.
The group project is really coming along!!  Looks like it will be ready for the next step soon!
                                                 Painting her individual project.
                                         Painting begins!
              Adding embellishments; jewels, rocks and pipe cleaners.
                                                             Wood Sculptures
                                                             Paper Sculptures
Canvas, glass and puffy paint sculptures
Their sticks are hanging beautifully from the ceiling light structure, and their wood sculptures are in the corner.  There is also a pipe cleaner sculpture on the shelf that they collaborated on.  Truly an amazing month!!

Friday, April 4, 2014


During our 3rd week of 3-D art, the children used a hot glue gun and arranged jewels and rocks onto a square canvas.  I enjoyed seeing the creativity with this project.  Some of the children were plan-full about where they placed things and others used a more freestyle approach.  Each piece was beautiful and unique. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014


During the second week, children found sticks from outside and brought them in to work with.  There was an array of wires and beads available to create with.
It took a lot of skill to wrap the wire around the branches and add beads. They came out beautifully!


Each year in June, the preschoolers focus on different types of art and we invite families into school for an Art Gallery Opening so they can see all of the hard work accomplished throughout the month by their children.  This month, the preschoolers focused on 3-dimensional art and sculpture.  During the first week, children experimented with paper to make art.
Children are using pencils to wrap the strips of paper around to make them curly.  They also folded the paper back and forth accordion style.  Great ways to help strengthen their fine motor muscles!   
This child is working on a box lid sculpture.  
This child chose to use a box to make her creation. She painted the box first, prepared some curled paper, and glued it to her box to make her sculpture.
This child chose a lid, painted it, and then asked to use pompoms to make his 3-D sculpture.  I love when children think "out of the box!" 

These two children decided to work on a project together.  A great chance for collaboration.  They painted the box, prepared paper, and also added ribbon to their sculpture.  
Hard at work painting!  
Finished sculpture!