u is for umbrella

here we have colored rain on pre-cut umbrella shaped paper…

we made rain by mixing liquid watercolors.  a teacher poured little pools of paint and the preschoolers blew through straws to move the paint around.  we were sure to take breaks for some deep, slow breathing. : )

v is for vehicle

using cars, trucks, anything with wheels, we made tracks by running these wheeled vehicles through blobs of paint.

i taped paper on the entire table and drew a simple “road” ahead of time. then i would drop blobs of paint as needed….you can imagine those became oil slicks (time to talk about pollution), rain puddles (time to talk about weather), ice spots (time to talk about seasons), ketchup (time to talk about car accidents when trucks can spill their load), dirt (time to talk about way-back-when before there were paved roads)…ah yes.

i also introduced the concept of clockwise and counter-clockwise…we walked around the table in one direction and then switch!

once dried, everyone could take home a section of the big paper…there are no names written on them, this is one way i like to nurture the “we’re a team” feeling…we all help as much as we like and everyone gets to take some of it home. comparing and competition dissolves. mmmmmmm.

and then since next week was w week, we washed the wheels in water…and it was tricky since the paint dried by then. but with old toothbrushes and baby shampoo..no problem. : )

s is for store

or g is for grocery store or f is for food store or m is for market or…

on the last days of school i put out the cash register, pads of paper, pencils, receipt books, and a sign showing the symbols of money (how exciting for those who have mastered the “s” and “c” shapes)…it was an “everything is for sale” store…though we added “except sand and water” after the first day.

the preschoolers put “price tags” (post it notes with pencil marks) on anything in the room they wanted.

yes, it made clean up more tedious, but it also cleared shelves that needed to be wiped down anyway…

e is for egg shell (and 25 others)

i buy these large cardboard alphabet shapes each year. then as we work our way through, we coopratively glue things on to represent that letter. here we have egg shells glued on the e.

other favorites i can remember:

apple seeds on a

buttons on b

crayon chunks on c

dirt on d

fake fur on f

grass on g

hair on h

ice cube painting on i

jewels on j

ketchup packets on k

lint (from the dryer) on l

(fake) money on m

nut shells on n

oatmeal on o

purple paint on p

q-tips on q

ribbon on r

sand on s

tape on t

(paper drink) umbrellas on u

velvet on v

wipes on w

x-rays on x

yellow yarn on y

zippers on z

s is for stick art

once again, the magic of glue.

we put out saucers of glue and invite preschoolers to dip sticks in and spread glue as needed.

then begins the creation of craft stick sculptures. we talk about dimensions as we build these basically flat creations. i still see a small one hanging in a preschool mama’s car years later.

this is one i actually did at home with my then 7 year old naomi and 3 year old micah in honor of eliza’s birth.

as always, if pieces are not solid once the glue has dried, the teacher can add more glue.

these pieces look great flat against a wall or suspended horizontally by fishing line. we did that over a changing table area for eliza…it was like she was looking at the underside of a big web.