Creative beginnings for tiny tots

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Big Shoes to Fill

Today was the first meeting of our fall class for preschoolers. It was wonderful to have a small group of kids who have been coming to the same class together for about a year now. When I realized this was a “seasoned” group, I decided to change the plan for the class at the last minute from free-form painting and a simple shoe tracing (we read a rollicking version of Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes just to get everyone warmed up), to a more focused exercise in observational drawing.

I think the children and their grown-ups were pleased with what they accomplished today!

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These nests are THE BEST!!!

Here’s a little photo gallery of some of our busy nesters and some of the many delightful nests they created in our classes recently.

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Nature AND Nurture

Nothing like baby animals to bring out the nurturing side in us humans, and toddlers and preschoolers are no exception.  The essence of that nurturing spirit is captured literally and symbolically in the concept of the nest.   And the act of nesting itself, creating a warm, protective environment in which a new life can grow and emerge enveloped by its parents and the safe haven they so carefully crafted, is truly captivating for young children, as they identify with the babies in the scenario and also get to try the parental role on for size.

Toddlers and preschoolers are natural collectors…

… and gluers…

And as you can see, highly invested in creating their own unique nests.

An ambitious five year old got busy with scissors to create his own chipmunk from construction paper and flower petals (for eyes) to live in his nest.

I just love these nests, and look forward to seeing them emerge each spring!

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Simple Words of Wisdom

…for anyone who knows, loves, teaches, cares for, or spends time with young children.  Compliments of Explorations Early Learning LLC, which I stumbled upon on Facebook.

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The Beauty of Black and White

Always a crowd pleaser, Kevin Henkes’ “Kitten’s First Full Moon” inspired monochromatic studies in black and white this week.

We introduced found objects as painting tools (cotton swabs, lids of various sizes, tubes, and round pieces of foam) to expand notions (for the tots and their adult partners) of ways to make marks on paper, as well as to reinforce connections to the repeating circle images in the story.

Magnificent modern art!

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Let it snow!

Not much has been happening winter weather-wise around the DC area this year, but winter-a-plenty has been happening in our classes.  See for yourself.  The kids readily grasp the connections between our stories, such as Lois Ehlert’s Snowballs and Jane Simmons’ Little Fern’s First Winter, to their experiences with the art materials.  Hopefully, in the weeks to come, they’ll have some real world experiences with snow before we welcome spring.