"In this classroom, relationships are fostered, families are respected, and children are honored.
In this classroom, nature's gifts are valued and children's thoughts are captured.
In this classroom, learning is alive and aesthetic beauty is appreciated." -Unknown

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Inspired by Nature

Children love nature and being outside. Most of the time the outdoors is fully accessible and open to exploration, but you can also incorporate nature into lots of experiences, both indoors and out. The following are some of the things we have tried at our preschool.  

Still life art inspired by some beautiful flowers
brought into class by a parent.
Collecting natural materials for creative expression. This provides
the opportunity to look at nature up close.

Smoosh painting with nature accents. This was inspired by my
friend, Jackie over at http://happyhooligans.ca/
Each child squirted fall paint colors on the posterboard. Wax paper
was placed on it and the child "smooshed" to their heart's content.
Once the paint had dried, each child chose the natural elements they
wanted to glue onto their masterpiece. 

Nature Frames: The group of children chose natural materials and then
worked together to arrange them in the frames. Definitely worth framing!

Still life art inspired by some harvest items

Sunflower Love: posters and books were accents for
these beautiful sunflower heads we had on display.

Flower Suncatchers: paper plates with the center cut out, contact paper
placed in the center, and fresh flowers placed in between. These
turned out beautifully. 

Natural materials are lovely in the block area: tree blocks, unit blocks,
and cardboard caves/mountains, along with forest animals.
Bird display in Science area: feathers, birdhouses, nests, and more...

Beans and peas ready for a Seed Collage

Pumpkin Exploration: cut open and placed in the sensory table
made it accessible for checking out the textures, colors, and more...

Puddle fun: rainboots and recess, it's a win/win.

Fall Collage: fall colored pasta, foam leaves, silk leaves, etc.

Harvest Item Sorting: a variety of harvest items and baskets

Coriander grinding: Mortar and pestles and whole coriander seeds.
A great fine motor activity and it smelled divine!

Nature Item Exploration: tree cookies, antlers, pinecones, leaves,
turtle shell, snakeskin, and more...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Farmers' Market Fun

After several weeks of enjoying the outdoor farmers' market and the cooler/wetter weather drawing near, we decided it was time for a change. The kiddos were still enjoying playing with the produce and baskets, so we thought we'd try an indoor farmers' market complete with all the produce and baskets, like before, but also adding scales, a cash register, signs, and more.

Incorporating measurement into the activity by adding some
scales and a small basket.

I took photos of the variety of items and we made signs to post
in the baskets.

By adding the signs, it created a sorting and classification activity
for the kids.

All ready for the arrival of the kids.

Loving the baskets some families donated to us.
They are perfect for the gathering of produce.

Busy making harvest selections and preparing to purchase them.

Adding up the cost of the goods for her friends.

Seeing just how much the corn weighs before purchasing.

It's been a very busy place!!