Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sand Pendulum

Here is a different way to "paint" or "draw" with sand.  I call it the sand pendulum.

Take a small bottle with a special cap on it for pouring out sand - I found them at my school, but if you clean out a white glue bottle and pull off part of the top to leave the inside portion, it would look the same.   Poke holes in the bottom of it and push a pipe cleaner through it.

Tie this to a wooden dowel and suspend it above a large cardboard box.  Place a piece of contact paper sticky surface up at the bottom of the box.

Have the children hold a small funnel on the jar.  Fill it with colored sand and let it flow into the bottle.

Put the cap on and show the children how to keep the top covered as they tip it into the box and give it a swing.

Then watch as the sand bottle moves and the sand creates a beautiful "painting".  Do it again with another color sand.

Encourage the children to make predictions of what kind of shape the sand might make.  Why did the red sand go in a different place than the blue sand?  What do you notice about the sand? The children can change how they swing the bottle and compare how the sand falls with different swings.  This activity can lead to a lot of rich discussion with the older children.  The younger ones like to watch the sand fall and often like to control the bottle rather than let it swing. is the process...

Painting with Bubbles

To make some bubble art, we mixed Dawn dish liquid with water and liquid water color paint in pie tins.  Then we gave each child a straw and showed them how to blow bubbles in the dish.  It does take some trial and error with the younger children.  A few of them do end up with some soap in their mouths.

(I read somewhere a trick of poking a pin hole in the bottom of the straw preventing the liquid from from going back up, but couldn't get this to work for us.  If you know of one, please let me know!)

Once the bubbles are high in the dish, the paper is placed lightly on top causing the bubbles to pop on the paper creating the painting.  

If you blow bubbles in a different color paint and use the same paper, you get a multi colored effect.  

I also wanted to do this with the big bubble wands and tempera paint, but it did not work.  I thought we could blow them onto mural paper.  I couldn't get the mixture to create bubbles so we just used the large bubble wands to make prints on the mural paper.  I am interested in hearing if anyone has gotten a similar activity to work.  

Washing-work or play?

We used a lot of soapy water during bubble week.  There are many great books on car washes for children.  We read a few and then pulled out our cars and bikes for a good washing.  This is a great activity for children of all ages on a hot day.

We had a large collection of big car wash sponges of different kinds with several big buckets of soapy water.  They then drove them through the spray of the hose to rinse them off.

This activity bubbled off (couldn't resist) to some children washing the playground equipment and getting buckets of water to rinse it off themselves.

Since they enjoyed this activity so much, we wanted to give them other things to wash. In order to get washed something has to be dirty.....

so we made dinosaurs dirty by painting them lots of beautiful colors..... then washing them in our water tables.

Another day, we spent the early part of the morning painting the tires on our playground....and then washing them off.

These washing activities may seem pointless to an adult, but to a child they are meaningful.  They like the cause and effect of making something dirty, clean...and something clean, dirty again.  Washing is something they see the adults in their lives do, so this kind of play let's them try those roles on and feel independent and confident.  They also gain a lot of pleasure from the sensory-ness of the activity.  The feeling of the soapy water, the squishy sponges and the splashing.  It allows children of many different ages and developmental levels to experience the same activity together but within their own abilities.

Now if I could just have this much fun doing laundry!!

The Many Uses of Bubble Wrap

I always love when I can get creative with recyclable materials and use them for art experiences.  In preparation for Bubble Week at camp, I had been saving all the different kinds of bubble wrap that I received in various packages.

I had little mitt shaped bubble wrap that candles had been shipped in.  These made great "gloves" that we used to print with on the easel.

We also made bubble wrap prints.  We placed pieces of bubble wrap on trays.

 The children used foam brushes to brush the wrap with tempera paint

 and then laid a piece of paper over the top and smoothed over it with their hands to make the print.

This would take most of the paint off of the wrap leaving it a fairly clean slate for the next child to paint.  It was interesting to compare the different kinds of bubble wrap that we collected.

When we were finished with the activity we simply rinsed off the bubble wrap and saved it for our next activity....

Bubble wrap dancing.
On the last day, we laid out all the bubble wrap on the floor, put on some good rockin' music and had a stomping good time popping all the bubble wrap.  It is amazing that one never grows too old to pop bubble wrap.  From the twos to the teens to the teachers, we all had fun with this one!

So go ahead and do some on line shopping, so you can receive some cool and useful bubble wrap ;-)