Cards for Moms

Making gifts for moms has become a ‘thing’ in my classroom now.

We make gifts for them almost every day. Kids want to make pictures for their moms. They want to pick flowers for them. They want to wrap pieces of papers as presents for them (the more of them there are and the more colorful they are the better, obviously).

I scored a box of old (yet amazing) greeting cards at a garage sale and when the boys found them in our tinkering space, they were amazed. They immediately wanted to use them to make cards for their moms. True, some of them were wedding congratulations, Christmas cards, Valentine’s Day cards… but when the kids combined them together, glued some gems on top and wrote a personal message inside, I think nobody minded.

Building a House

Yesterday the kids decided that my house burned down and I need a new one. What followed was amazing.

They started talking about what my house needs and of course, since they are four boys, the main focus was bathrooms. As of now, my new house has 18 of them (one of them being inside of a dump truck to make it easier). But that’s not all. I now have ‘pool noodle electricity’ installed throughout my mansion, along with a hose so that my house does not burn again… I have three beds, an attached restaurant and a lot of things to play with, including a fish and a monster. I have a high-tech security system that will scare all bad guys away and I have a very flexible roof that can be removed as needed. Honestly – what more can I wish for?

From a professional point of view – they worked on it for two hours, cooperated, helped each other, planned and estimated how what will support the weight of the logs… they measured and counted how many items they used. They wrote messages around the house practicing their literacy skills. They were so engaged, it was truly inspiring.

Earth Day Celebration

I would love to invite you all to a free Earth Day event at Artree Preschool this Saturday April 22nd (from 10 to 12).
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– Create Earth day with us by creating clay pendants and painting a giant upcycled cake. 
Plant sunflowers to take home. 
– Spin a wheel of fortune and win a crafty prize. 
– Explore our pirate ship!
– Visit our fish and a frog, say ho to the mason bees, bugs and the butterflies and walk Bob (the tortoise).
– Discover the fun behind upcycling and tinkering.
We will have a lot of games and activities for kids of ages + a small snack.
Come see what our little preschool is all about.
Also: if you register for our preschool by the end of April, we will waive the registration fee.
See you this Saturday and please, bring your friends and family! This is an event for kids of all ages!
Location: 21415 SE 19th St, Sammamish, WA

Building up Seattle

Where do we live?

We are opening our doors next week for the first time! I cannot wait to start working with the kids. I have so many things ready to show them and so many ideas what to do! 🙂

The first month is going to be all about us – trying to learn more there is to know about ourselves and the place where we live. The room is slowly transitioning – Space Needle and self-portrait stations everywhere… just couple more days to go!

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.

Our Remodel Story

remodelAs always, it started with an idea.

Two years ago when we were looking for a place to live, we saw this big house on almost an acre of land. As soon as we walked out on the deck a mother deer walked into our garden, followed by two little fawns – and they started nurising just in front of us. We were sold!

We moved in a couple of weeks after that.  And as it happened, there was a 700-square foot building right next to the main house. The previous owners used it as a shop and storage but once I saw it I knew it could be so much more than that. It screamed: art preschool!

We talked about it a lot, counted and planned… until we were ready to do it. We found an amazing contractor and started on this long, painful and exciting journey. Now, after a year of permits, plans, 100s of decisions and a lot of patience… we have arrived. The building is almost ready. We have new drywall, wonderful floor that should survive anything, skylight-like diffused lights that should be perfect for creating art under… basically, the interior should be finished in a week or two. I cannot wait!

We still need to finish a brand new bathroom (we are connecting to sewer to be able to do it so it slowed us down a bit) and a playground for the kids… but I cannot wait to be able to start moving in some furniture soon and sharing it with all of you! YAY! So excited!

Melting Cups

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 We decided to bring some color to our windows.

I have always wanted to try the melting-cups-into-suncatchers idea. And yesterday we finally decided to give it a try. It was super easy and the results were amazing.

We used colorful sharpies to decorate our plastic cups. I read that plastic #6 is the best one to use so I searched for the right cups and found them in a local grocery store for about $5. The kids loved decorating them! They were pretty sturdy so it was easy to draw all over them.

When we were done, we covered a baking sheet with aluminum foil and placed the cups on it. Then it was just a matter of minutes. The oven was heated to 350F and within a minute the cups looked like Chihuly’s flowers. Within 3 minutes, they were flat and we took them out. The kids were able to handle them almost immediately. They loved them. They kept swapping them to see which one is the most fun to look through… I think they will make an excellent addition to the lighting table as well. We may make more in the future just for this purpose!

I also saw that you can get jell-o shot cups that are plastic #6 and I am thinking about using these next time. They would be even easier and faster to decorate and we could make a LOT of tiny little circles, which would be perfect for the light table. I’ll keep you posted 🙂