Happy Pi Day

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Have you ever wondered what’s inside a computer keyboard?

Well, my little engineers don’t need to wonder anymore – they know! 🙂

We celebrated Pi Day yesterday by opening two old computer keyboards and popping all of the little keys outside. It kept 5 kids busy for over an hour so I think it was a big hit! They took turns with the grown-up tools and  patiently unscrewed every last screw that was holding the parts together.

Now we have a box filled with computer scraps – I’m thinking robots… let’s see what the kids come up with! They often take me on a totally different journey. For example, I would never think of using the keyboard parts to create a shaker 😉

 

Pink glasses for everyone!

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What color glasses would you wear if you had a choice?

We explored light, colors and color mixing with these awesome glasses. Kids had a blast and tried one, two and even six of them at the same time.

‘It is orange!’ cried one.

‘I made it really dark! It’s so dark I don’t even see anything’ laughed the other one.

‘I have two colored eyes! One yellow and one blue!’

Then they tried mixing the colors on the overhead projector and even on the light table… sharing the goggles with each other and talking about the way the colors made them feel. It was really fun and it made me think they are SO ready for art lessons about secondary colors. YAY!

Happy Valentine’s Day


Today we were sitting at our table, eating snack, reading books and talking about Valentine’s day. What it is and what it means for us.

I asked the kids how we celebrate it. They looked at me for a while and then said: ‘by loving everyone!’ I love that answer! (Even though I totally did not expect that) – isn’t it so much better than saying by giving each other candy and cards?

Gotta love preschoolers.

Building an Igloo

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Would you like to build an igloo?

This is just a tiny little provocation that I set up for the kids – to go along with our winter theme. We are exploring ice, snow and polar animals… and since the block area is a big part of our preschool experience, I set up this little challenge. Let’s see what the kids will come up with.

And yes, it is Han Solo and Wampa from Star Wars (I painted them for my son couple of years ago ;)).

Borax Snowflakes

 

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Would you like to make some amazing crystals?

It’s much easier than you may think. Here is how to make the snowflake:

First cut a pipe cleaner into three pieces and combined them in the middle. Then mix hot water and borax (1 cup of water and 3 tablespoons of borax) and tie the snowflake to a pencil with a thin yarn or thread.

Dip the snowflake in the borax solution and leave it in overnight (or for at least four hours). Try not to move the cup in that time. Make sure the snowflake does not rest on the bottom of the cup. It could get stuck to it and that’s no fun.

You can add food coloring to tint your creation as well.

Btw, what is BORAX?

Chemically, it is called sodium borate but you may have it in your laundry room. If not, it can be easily purchased for a couple of dollars in the laundry section of almost any grocery (or drug) store. It is a soft, white powder that easily dissolves in water and has many uses. It can remove many stains and deodorize a garbage can. It can put out a small fire and kill cockroaches (that’s why you should not eat it either). It can remove rust, treat athlete’s foot and wash your laundry. And on top of that it can grow amazing crystals in only couple of hours 🙂

Driftwood Animals

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How much doe it take to encourage kids to see extraordinary in the ordinary objects?

Usually not more than a couple of words. In this case, it took even less. I just collected some driftwood and brought it into the classroom. I showed the treasures to the kids and let them play with it. Suddenly the sticks became snakes or dragons, the larger pieces changed into birds and cars, people or even dinosaurs.

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We then talked about driftwood and read Driftwood Dragons (really nice poems). Then it took just some questions like: how can we bring out the animals that are hiding in the driftwood out for everyone to see? – Paint them! And we sure did.

It was a really fun project and now we have a lot of fun animals for our block area. I’m sure they will be very happy there.

Alcohol Ink Birds

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Alcohol inks are one of my favorite media for little kids. They are so flexible and fun to use. We have used them to decorate Christmas ornaments, coasters for teachers, plates and candle holders and now we used them to make a colorful collage on our window.

I got the idea when I picked up my new (old) overhead projector and the teacher gave me a box of colorful transparencies. I immediately wanted to use them for some window decorations and some light table projects but it took a while to figure out exactly what I want to do.

We discussed it with the kids and decided that birds sitting on a string would be awesome. So, we put a little blending solution onto the transparencies and started dripping the inks onto it. The kids love this process. It is super fast and it literally moves in front of your eyes. The more blending solution you use, the more the inks blend into each other and the more space they will cover (and the more they move). In a couple minutes we had more pictures than we could ever use.

We left it to dry for a little bit and then starting drawing and cutting out our birds, flowers, leaves, birdhouses, hearts and bumblebees 🙂 I tried to take a picture but it does not show well. It looks so much better in person!

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If you want to try it yourself, you just need some transparent colorful foil (I used old colorful foils I got along with my overhead projector), alcohol inks and alcohol ink blending solution. That’s it.

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