Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Amazing Sea Turtles!

So proud of the preschoolers today! They made amazing sea turtles and learned about recycling, sculpture, and collage! Aren't they impressive?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Egg Carton Penguins

Oh my gosh. How cute are these?

Today's class just put the finishing touches on these little penguins and they are absolutely adorable. Several kids from class were already getting excited about the ice habitats they would make for them when they got home. (I hope by "ice" they meant cotton ball palaces). They turned out great and the enthusiasm little ones show is contagious!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cold & Snowy

What a blustery cold and snowy day!  As I scrambled to get the kids out the door for school this morning, I was bracing myself against the sleet and slush.  I'm not a huge fan of winter, generally speaking.  But, it always helps to cheer my mood with a little thematic and seasonal project.  Here is a recent project I did with my preschool art students, we called it "A Snowy Day".  If you're trapped inside today, you  may like to try it yourself!

For this project, you will need the following supplies:

2 pieces of blue construction paper, size 12x18
1 piece of brown construction paper, size 5x7
1 piece of dark green construction paper, size 5x7
1 piece of light green construction paper, size 5x7
1 scrap piece of yellow construction paper, size 3x3
white chalk
cotton balls
white paint

Here's the step by step:

From one of the blue pieces of construction paper, cut a wavy line 2-3" high,  leaving 3 sides straight.  Have the child stretch cotton balls into long shreds.  Paint the wavy blue piece of paper with glue and have the child press the cotton shreds onto the paper.  Set aside to dry.

On the large piece of blue construction paper (the un-cut one), give the child a piece of chalk and have them smear it all over the page in any way they would like.  It's a good time to show and explain the difference on drawing a line or shading by manipulating how they hold the chalk.  Spray with a little hairspray once they're done to make the chalk "stick" and not smear additionally.

Give the child the brown and green pieces of paper all at once and have them paint them with white paint.  They can use a brush, q-tips, fingers,  sponge pieces or stamps.  We used round foam stampers.

Once the white paint dries, cut the brown paper into rectangles and cut the green papers into tree shapes. The yellow paper gets cut into a moon shape. It's ok to use cookie cutters or a template to help younger children get the right shape.  Simple triangles and circles would also work well. 

Let the child decide how to arrange the trees and help them glue the pieces into place.  Each child's art will be unique!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Feeling the Love!

The latest project from the art room! These fantastic coffee filter hearts are the perfect way to show some love.  You only need do-a-dot markers, coffee filters, construction paper and scissors.  If you're still making Valentine's today, like we are, check out the TUTORIAL.  I originally saw this come across Pinterest (where else) and thought it would be perfect for my Preschool Picasso's class.  So easy to do! I think the 5-9 age range would be really perfect for these.  They would be better at planning a design, having the patience to hold the dots long enough for bleeding through, and cutting out their own hearts.  I tried this with a 2-5 age group and it still worked, but here were our troubles: most just dotted the page and didn't hold it long enough.  No problem - if you're working with this age group, there is a solution!  After they've finished coloring/dotting the coffee filter, just give them a small spritz bottle and have them spray a little water to make the colors bleed!

Here were my personal favorites:

The ones on green and blue backgrounds needed a little spritzing to make the colors bleed together.  The purple one in the middle did not.  As you can see, it's much more vibrant when done this way but a little patience will be needed to make sure the colors are going all the way through.

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Laurie Berkner Christmas

I recently had the opportunity to review the latest album from recording artist Laurie Berkner.  The following is my review for Washington Family Magazine.  Be sure to visit their website for all of the latest product reviews, as well as a helpful article by Rich Anton of Blue Waters Vacations on holiday travel for families.  Click HERE to read his article.  Be sure to pick up this great CD of seasonal tunes for the trip!

USA Today calls her “The undisputed queen of kindie rock”. Parenting Magazine calls her “The pied piper of preschool”, and Time Magazine labels her as “A kind of sippy-cup Sheryl Crow”. The award-winning recording artist, Laurie Berkner, has just released her first ever Christmas album from the Two Tomatoes Records/Razor & Tie recording label. On this album, she is accompanied her band mates, Susie Lampert, Adam Bernstein and Bob Golden on keyboards, bass and percussion. Respected recording artists Brady Rymer and Elizabeth Mitchell also join in on this album, which was released October 30, 2012.

The track listing for this CD includes a total of 15 tracks with popular tunes like “Jingle Bells”, “Little Drummer Boy”, “Frosty the Snowman” and “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”, among others. Her rendition of “Silent Night”, featuring Elizabeth Mitchell, is a peaceful and beautiful lullaby as enjoyable to listen to for the parents as it is for the children. The addition of “Children Go Where I Send Thee”, featuring Brady Rymer, is upbeat and a fresh addition that doesn’t disappoint. She also includes a song for those celebrating Hanukkah, “Candle Chase”. Three original songs are recording on this album by the highly acclaimed artist. These are “Santa’s Coming To My House”, “Candy Cane Jane” and “Christmas Lights”. The music video for “Candy Cane Jane” has been uploaded to YouTube by the Laurie Berkner Band. With a tune so catchy and graphics so sugary cute, your little one will request you play it over and over!

To learn more, you can find The Laurie Berkner Band on Facebook, and well as check out the website at The CD retails on this site for $15. The digital download is available for $9.99 from the website or itunes. You can also find this CD at Wal-Mart for just under $12.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Latest MOM Reviews!

If you're still struggling with last minute Christmas gifts (like I am), check out the latest MOM reviews I did for Washington Family Magazine.  If you have a music lover, the Kidz Bop 22 CD is going to be a great choice for you.  If you have artsy/craftsy children (like I do), then you might be disappointed if you fork out the big bucks for the latest from Crayola.  We were able to review two recently released products and we weren't huge fans.  Of course, my opinion is just opinion. You may have these/want these/love these...different strokes, right?

Read the full reviews below:




And watch for my future reviews to come on the latest Laurie Berkner Christmas CD and some great crafty items from Wikki Stix!

I also recently ran across two new fave consignments shops.  I have also have been a fan of "dumpster diving".  Only...not in real dumpsters, but more in the form of tag sales, Goodwill stores and such.  So when I found the lovely combo of consignment stores that happen to be online AND have apps for my life just filled with a little more happy.  Check these out, they may make your life a little more happy too!

For children's consignments, check out THREDUP.  By following that link, we both get $10 to shop with!  I've shopped and consigned here and I'm loving it.  Prices paid out to me were fair, special offers constantly pop up offering free shipping and free "clean out" bags and I've been pleased with their referral program. Their customer service is also great. Let me know what you think!

And if you want to venture into the world of consignment for adult designer duds, check out the latest app I personally added to my phone, POSHMARK.

Don't be afraid of a deal, folks!  In the past year, I've tightened the financial belt and starting thrifting much more.  In doing so, I've adopted a new motto, which is..."thou shalt never pay full price evuh again!"  It's very freeing, especially when you walk out getting many more compliments in that $15 coat you just bought than you ever did in that full price jacket that cost you hundreds!

TGIF and Happy Shopping, everyone!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Initial Painting

Since the summer, I have eased my way back into work as a preschool teacher at a local rec center.  I have had a blast with science classes, cooking classes, and drawing classes.  But one of my favorite hours of the week is getting messy with some preschoolers during my Preschool Picassos class.  I thought I would share some of our latest projects here!  Some of you may have little ones at home (or be teachers yourselves), so I've included links to my inspiration for each project.  Give them a try!

Student, age 6

Student, age 2

Student, age 3

 As you can see, no matter the age, the project was quite successful! Fool-proof and stress free.  I love the projects that set them up for success instead of failure.  This really required very little  parent help as well. 

Here's how we did it:

Take a large white piece of heavy art paper.  Use blue painters tape to mark out the initial of the child.  Place drops of 2 separate colors on the paper, working in small areas at a time.  We used yellow and blue and talked about how mixing colors and blending them together can make another this case, green! Give them a brush and just turn them loose!

I combined two separate processes that I saw on pinterest.  If you want to view the inspiration links, you can check it out HERE and HERE.

Note: I did not use watercolors.  I preferred the abstract approach but used Crayola washable tempera paints instead of acrylic.

Tips for parents: Remember it's "their" work.  It's OKAY to let them do it....their way.  It will turn out great, promise.  And the mess will clean up....promise.

Now, off the computer for's time to go make some turkeys with these little artists!