We have been crafting! The Great Start Regional Child Care Resource Center has requested some ornaments to help decorate their tree, so we have been busy creating ornaments for them.
One of our favorites this year has been our milkweed pods!
I am often asked how I manage to allow children the opportunity to participate in various activities when I work with so many mixed ages. This little painting tote set up works well when I have some infants and toddlers. We have a GREAT art and tinkering station set up in our kitchen, but when I have little ones in the main classroom, it is hard to help and monitor in two different rooms. I do bring the infants and toddlers into the kitchen, but often their explorations tend to be much shorter than the preschool and school aged children, so I came up with this great painting tote!
All I do is give the children a clear plastic tote (sweater box sized). I line it with paper towel, place a pallet of paint (I always let the children choose what colors and kind), and a small water dish for rinsing brushes. When we are painting something smaller, two children can share a tote. If it is a larger project, each child has their own.
As you can see, these children are painting in our main play room. Having these totes keeps the paint from spilling on our carpet (most of the time…). When we do have an occasional spill, we do have a handy dandy steam cleaner! This does allow the preschool children to paint until their hearts are content, while at the same time, allowing us to be in the carpeted play room where the infants and toddlers are exploring other activities. (I recently wrote more about working with mixed ages over at the Pre-k and K Sharing blog.)
Back to our seed pods, we covered them with paint and then spattered them with glitter glue! Then, to finish them off, we strung them with a piece of string.