Tuesday, February 14, 2012

NO COLORING PAGES, How to Create Light Table and Misc. Ideas for preschoolers and toddlers!

Are you fostering THINKERS and CREATORS instead of just COLORERS???
  • Coloring sheets actually prevent children from being creative thinkers and creators
  • Coloring pages are one sided. There is a picture of one specific thing that does not leave room for imagination and independent ideas.
  • Coloring pages leave little room for choices aside from maybe choosing which colors to use.
  • Coloring pages for this age group are not appropriate as coloring inside the lines requires that the child's fine motor skills be developed beyond their age
  • If you look at the artwork you have hanging on your walls or bulletin boards, do all of the projects look the same???  If so, then how can change that to be able to evaluate children's progress??
Try this exercise in your next staff meeting: 

Print off a coloring page from google images and use your NON-DOMINANT HAND to color in between the lines. 

How did you feel?  Did you get frustrated at all?
This is an example of how it can be limiting and frustrating for a child to color in between the lines. 

So the next time you think about making a photocopy of an image for the children to "color in" or "decorate" as an easy "project", instead, try putting out all kinds of materials, or just markers and blank paper and let them make up their own art!! Children will learn to stay between the lines when they are 16 and learning to drive! <!--[if !vml]-->http://cdn-cf.aol.com/se/smi/2b00003233/04<!--[endif]-->

For more info: try this book!
Young at Art by Susan Striker
From the creator of the best-selling Anti-Coloring Book series with more than 600,000 copies sold, a new parenting guide to encouraging creativity in preschool-age children

Young at Art is the first and only comprehensive book for the general audience about the nature, value and impact of art on very young children. Directed towards parents and educators of one to five year olds, Susan Striker explains why children's art is not a frill, but the very foundation upon which all later fundamental skills are built. She drives home the idea that encouraging children's artistic growth will have beneficial effects on all other aspects of their emotional and intellectual development.

At the core of this practical guide is the understanding that art is an important tool in teaching young children crucial concepts related to self-expression, reading and writing. As opposed to more structured exercises, such as coloring on dittos and underlining pictures in workbooks, Striker stresses that scribbling and free drawing experiments are the most important art activities a child can engage in; they better prepare children to read independently as they grow.

Young at Art provides descriptions for age-appropriate art activities, tips for carrying them out safely, and helps parents recognize what a child's art work should look like at each stage of development. With Young at Art, parents will develop realistic expectations of their children's work, learn how to speak to their children about their art, and facilitate skills well beyond their creativity that will benefit children.


Science: Make your own LIGHT TABLE!!

Drill several holes in the sides of an oversize clear plastic storage container, making sure that one hole is large enough for the plug to pass through.  (The smaller holes are for ventilation.)  Put strings of white holiday lights inside the container and pull the plug through the largest hole.  After placing the lid on the container, flip the container over and plug in the lights.  Place the resulting light table in a center along with colorful translucent props. 

OR...instead of drilling holes in the box, purchase the battery operated BUTTON LIGHTS.  If you need to diffuse the light, try taping parchment paper to the top of the lid. 

Translucent Prop ideas:

colorful cups

baggies of colored water in primary colors to have fun mixing colors
Colorful transparent tiles
Colored flat marbles and clear tubes
Colored paddles

Colored ice cubes to build

Science: Magnet Mystery
Hide a variety of metal objects in your sand table, such as washers, binder clips, and jar lids. Provide access to a large magnet. A child moves the magnet through the sand and pulls out the hidden items. What a fun treasure hunt for your little metal detectors!

Math:Memory Puzzles
Try enlarging photos you've taken of class events, such as field trips or parties or anything else! Glue the photos to tagboard and then puzzle-cut each photo and place it in a separate resealable plastic bag. Have the kids assemble the pictures and review the fun things you did throughout the year.

Literacy: Wetter Letters!

Teach youngsters the letters in their names by adding die-cut craft foam letters to your water table! Help a child find the letters that spell his name; then encourage him to stick the wet letters to a side of the water table.

Math:Totally Tubular
Teach children to order by size using cardboard tubes cut into different lengths.  Place the tube pieces at a center and the child stands the pieces in a row from smallest to largest or largest to smallest!

Math:  So Many Socks!
Gather a supply of clean, adult-size tub socks.  Place the socks in a basket.  Gather youngsters in a circle and invite a volunteer to sit in the center of the circle with the basket.  At your signal, have the child pull on as many socks as she can, one over the other, on the same foot.  After a designated amount of time, have her stop,. Then encourage her to remove ethe socks from her foot one at a time as the class counts

Marble Painting Made Easy for TODDLERS!!
This marble painting method is terrific for toddlers!  Tape construction paper to the bottom inside of a large paper bag, spoon paint-covered marbles into the bag, and tape or staple the bag closed.  Have the child grasp the bag and jump and dance around.  'When he is finished, open the bag to remove the finished painting.  When you are done, toss the bag away. 

Have fun at your Multicultural Fiesta manana!!


Jacie Feinberg, Education Director
Pine Village Preschool

214 Lincoln Street Suite 112
Allston, MA 02135
781-710-2348 (cell)

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