OMG Reading Aloud!

Reading children’s storybooks is one of my [OMG!!] absolutely personal favorite activities, so it’s only fitting that I dedicate this blog to the BEST ACTIVITY–READING ALOUD!

Before I get into some of what I’ve learned about reading children storybooks I would like to share how this passion for reading stories developed.

While I was in the Early Childhood Education Program at Sheridan College one of my professors Cathy Coulthard said “Anytime is a great time for a story!”, this resonated with me ever since, it was such a powerful statement one that at the moment didn’t mean much to me but has become one the truest parts of who I am as a mother, educator and instructor.

Around the age of 3 months I started reading aloud to my daughter Sophia (now 7 years old). I can confidently say that for the past 6 years of Sophia’s life she has had a book read each night (give or take a couple late nights). I think that for any parent who wants to cultivate a love of reading it has to become a “lifestyle choice.”

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How it all started…

I started off by buying a low shelve for her to easily access books independently, I researched best titles for babies, toddlers and preschoolers (the librarians can help with this if your not sure where to begin). I placed all the books so she could see the covers. Use a front-facing book rack or stand some books up on a table or shelf. Setting out many books for children to choose from can be overwhelming for young children, so limit the number of books, surprise children with books by placing them around the house or incorporate them into different areas of the classroom or your home (I would bring some along for car rides.)

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Plan a book area that is cozy and inviting, away from distractions and busy traffic flow at home. Place soft items, so children can feel a sense of security and so they can lean and sit on — pillows, blankets, or cushions — and a bean bag chair, love seat, small mattress, and/ or rocking chair. Make the area cozy!

I also made it a point to read to her during down times, or anytime (getting ready for naps, sitting around at the doctors office, at home, riding in the car)–I literally started off taking books everywhere. As she grew the interests in different stories also changed, the stories and how she understood them began to evolve. –Reading was simply for pleasure. After years of reading stories she now independently looks for books to read.

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Tips for Reading Aloud

“The Read-Aloud Handbook” by Jim Trelease, I have the pleasure of sharing chapter 4 with you which is titled “The Do’s and Don’ts of Read-Alouds”

Do…

  • Begin reading to children as soon as possible. The younger you start them, the easier it is.
  • Choose books for infants and toddlers that include rhymes, songs, and repetition to stimulate language and listening.
  • Read as often as you and the child have time for.
  • Start with pictures books with only a few words on the page then gradually move on to books with more and more text and fewer pictures.
  • Before you begin to read, always say the name of the book and introduce the author and illustrator, no matter how many times you have read the book.
  • The first time you read the book, discuss the illustrations on the cover of the book and ask the child(ren) what they think the book will be about.
  • Occasionally, read above children’s intellectual levels and challenge their minds.
  • Allow your listeners a few minutes to settle down and adjust their minds and bodies to the story.
  • Mood is an important factor in listening. The authoritative, “Now stop that and settle down! Sit up straight! Pay attention!” doesn’t create a receptive atmosphere.
  • When reading a picture book, make sure the children can easily see the pictures.
  • Remember, reading aloud comes naturally to very few people. To do it successfully and with ease, you must practice.
  • The most common mistake in reading aloud is reading too fast. Read slowly enough for the child to build mental pictures of what he just heard you read.
  • Slow down enough for the children to see the pictures without feeling hurried. Reading quickly allows no time for the reader to use vocal expression.
  • Preview the book before reading it aloud to your children. This will allow you to know ahead of time if there is any part of the book you want to shorten, eliminate, or elaborate on.

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It’s okay … the motherhood journey

Motherhood is many things. It is hard, and it is rewarding. It is exhausting, and it is enlightening. It is messy, and it is full of endless surprises.

Some days Sophia will sleep until 8:30 a.m. and I decide to wake up early on these days to sip tea in silence, browse Pinterest, answer emails or take a shower–of course once she hears the shower she immediately wakes up and decides to jump in too, she’s too worried I’ll get ready without her–yes she’s almost 7 and sometimes takes showers with me! Yup, I know…but the excitement she expresses to share in this moment with me all to quickly stops me from saying no. I also know I’m going to miss feeling needed like this one day.

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So what are my thoughts about motherhood… well… it is about feeling guilty, then feeling victorious. It’s being tired, but somehow mustering the energy you need to smile and get through the day. My blog post has been inspired by this weeks events. I have been at work from 10am to 6pm, this rarely happens but since we are orientating new students into the program, duty calls. Even though, I am aware these work hours are the norm for many mamas I can’t help but express the frustration and uneasiness I feel being away this long from Sophia.

So what do I tell myself…

By following my passions I am a happier person

I get very excited when I accomplish things at work and push myself to grow and I take this excitement home with me.  Sharing my passion with my Sophia shows her that it is good to pursue her passions and be responsible for her own happiness.

This blog post is also about saying, that it’s okay to yearn for days when a quiet, peaceful shower or tea time alone is okay.

It is okay to feed your children chicken nuggets for dinner because you feel like you have nothing left inside to give and you just need to survive bedtime so you can watch The Handmaids Tale in bed when it’s over.– FYI The Handmaids Tale is seriously brilliant and terrifying all at the same time!

It is okay to want to run for the hills once bedtime approaches, but also to be sad when you missed bedtime stories and kisses. 💋 It is okay to miss your ‘pre-motherhood’ self and the independence you often took for granted, but at the same time, to not even be able to fathom who you would be without your children. Or what you would do.

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Okay, so to conquer the day with a positive attitude because you’re the best mom ever!

No one ever said motherhood was easy, but it sure is an experience. When you want to scream, laugh, cry, or hug, or when you’re feeling all alone, just remember, we’re all out there in the trenches with you.

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Mirror, mirror everywhere

I’ve noticed that mirrors are the newest trend in childcare classrooms (of course… Reggio Emilia preschool centres have been using them forever, infant classrooms have always had a mirror and the AQI states we must have a full length mirror in the dramatic area), so because of the fascination with mirrors I have decided to incorporate them into my classroom activities with ECE/ECA students. Now, before I  started using them in the classroom I had to first research the rationale for including them in play-based learning, “How do mirrors support children’s development?”, “What are some simple ways to get started using mirrors–students would need to know?”

Mirrors have an important place in the history of child development.

Jacques Lacan, a psychiatrist, noticed that when babies between 15 and 18 months old look into a mirror they recognized themselves (the mirror stage). This developmental milestone is regarded as an essential marker of the baby’s self-awareness and emerging identity as a distinct and unique individual.

Mirrors provide the opportunity for kids to explore:

  • symmetry,
  • reflection,
  • perspective,
  • angles,
  • their own movement, and
  • self-awareness.

Mirrors and other reflective surfaces are fascinating tools for exploration, discovery, and creativity. *Ding, Ding Ding!!

How to support exploration:

Location of Mirrors for infants and toddlers. Plastic mirrors mounted to walls, crib sides, and the ceiling over the diaper-changing station-would be a great place to begin. (Check the edges and if sharp, wrap in cloth tape)

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Show your emotion. Invite a child to sit next to you in front of a mirror. Demonstrate facial expressions that express a range of emotions—sad, happy, surprise, frustration, fear, or anger, for example. Challenge the child to name the emotion and to mirror it in the mirror.

Getting dressed or blowing your nose. Invite children to put on dress-up clothes in front of a mirror. Allow ample time for trying on hats, wigs, scarves, and aprons.

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Playing with mirrors to reflect light and wondering how our image is reflected teaches children a beginning understanding about the properties of light.

Bounce light off of different surfaces. A large plastic “baby” mirror, held freely, is especially good for this. Have children use mirrors to look behind themselves. “Catch” some sunshine and reflect it to another surface outside or inside. Children can use a mirror to examine their face to draw a self-portrait.

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Draw yourself. Place mirrors in the art area. Children are more likely to draw from the observations they see in the mirror and not from memory if they are encouraged to focus on parts of their face they don’t usually begin with, such as their nostrils. Ask, “Do you see the holes in your nose? How many are there?”

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Reflections of loose parts. Use a framed mirror as a tray for table-top sensory exploration. Gather a variety of soft, textured, loose parts. You might choose materials from nature (leaves, twigs, feathers, and grass)

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Okay so where to purchase mirrors?

Mirror tiles, available at home stores, are an inexpensive. Buy mirrors at a dollar store. “Baby” or designed-for-preschool plastic mirrors can be ordered from preschool, or scientific, education supply companies. Also available at home stores are large sheets of mirrored acrylic board. Ask to have the sheet cut into 2- by 4-foot pieces—they are easy to store and open the possibility of cooperative art and socialization activities.

 

Thank you to all the wonderful teachers and programs that capture these lovely moments in their classrooms and with children, you are inspirational. 

Why I use Provocations at the College level with my students?

One of my favorite parts about the blogging world is peeking into everyone’s classrooms. I am always in awe. Whenever I am browsing teachers public classroom photographs I can’t help but think about…

  • What their pedagogical values are?
  • How they have implemented them into their teaching?
  • In what ways are student engaged? with materials or other students/children?

This brings me back to my own [journey] pedagogical values…

There was so much to think about when I first started teaching, from how to dress and behave, to classroom policies and procedures, to what to teach and how to teach it, that it was easy to forget that without theory—without ideas about why you are doing what you are doing with your students, what you hope to accomplish with them in the class, and why it matters to you—teaching can easily become a robotic job of assign-assess-repeat, with little true value either for you or for your students. Just going through the motions of education, rather than genuinely participating in the learning process.

In Ontario, the curriculum is directed by provincial guidelines. At the college/university levels, however, in most cases I am responsible for determining what I’m teaching and how I’m going to teach it. Most importantly throughout my teaching career I have learned that the—WHY you are going to teach it —is often overlooked in the grand scheme of things, but in reality it can be the most important thinking that you do when you are structuring or revising an outline for the class. The engagement is also so, so crucial!

If your own pedagogical values are not reflected in your choices of what to teach and how you’re going to teach it, then your class will be much less authentic for you and for your students. They need the “why” as much as you do, and the more transparent you can be about the matter, the better off everyone involved is going to be, as well.

In the field of Early Childhood Education the Ontario document How Does Learning Happen? A Pedagogy for the Early Years has been so instrumental in helping me align my professional goals and educational goals for both the students and myself. Provocations have also provided me with a sense of inspiration.

For me provocations with students … are skillfully introduced  with the intent to create a spiral of learning where students construct knowledge.

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  • In the picture above, I have included the Assessment for Quality Improvement (AQI). I find that adult learners appreciate learning about the expectations from the city and their future employers, it helps ground their understanding.
  • I also place sticky notes for students to answer guiding questions on, these notes are usually saved and revisited at the end of class.

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  • In the picture above, I have written two points on the importance non-fictional books in the classroom, on this day we were discussing nature/science related topics. This helps start the conversations and possibly encourage students to think up other reasons for the placement of nature/science books in the classroom.

Provocations …. give students plenty of time to talk, to think through things in small groups or together as a larger class, while I can facilitate their thinking without dominating it. Model the kind of critical thinking and reflection I want them to do, and then give them the room they need in order to do it.

In many of my classes, I structure daily lessons around a question or a set of questions or an idea or set of ideas I would like us to explore, and we work together to create meaning and find answers through discussions.

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  • In the picture above, I have included the Early Learning for Every Child Today (ELECT), the goal was to have students holistically connect the learning experiences to the continuum of development. In the invitations to explore materials I like to include ‘real’ photographs of the learning experience in the classroom, this helps students visually see the set up in a classroom.

I love that provocations or environmental invitations grant me the ability learn more about my students as learners, I love to observe them and listen to their conversations as they engage with materials and discuss ideas. I also think, central to the explorative process, is reflection. I feel provocations provide student teachers with a comfortable space when they do not “fully understand” as teachers. The door is open to rich dialogue and critical reflection, practices that make us better teachers/learners.

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  • In the picture above, I have introduced students to “small world play” I have defined for students in a simple format and in addition not pictured above I have created an album on small world play and a handout for students to learn more about.

Provocations I think poke at something more specific and defined in education and why not use them with college students! At this point in the “spirally constructivist approach to learning” (love this! It reminds me of Loris Malaguzzi’s metaphor of the brain as a tangle of spaghetti) we have figured some things out and we are consciously placing something into that identified trajectory of learning, inquiry, theory development. Since the constructivist approach involves co-construction, we often think in terms of a scaffold (something that provides a platform for the learning so the child or student can reach the next point or make sense of an idea or concept in their unique construction of knowledge). The joy of teaching is that the learning and reflection never end!

Conversations in Block Play

Teachers can encourage children to think deeply about their experiences with blocks and materials. The way in which a teacher responds can help children make connections and create meaning during their block play.

The first step is to observe children with intent.

These observations provide next steps in planning by revealing to us an insight of how to expand the children’s learning and how to nudge them forward through the asking of open-ended questions and /or the arrangement of materials. (Harriet K. Cuffaro, Block Building: Opportunities for Learning)

Beautiful Inspiring Spaces:

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To unlock the benefits of block play, the children need social interaction from adults as well as peers. (Block Play Constructs a Math Mind, sixtysecondparent.com)

By giving children lots to talk about by asking questions, making I wonder or I notice comments, or directing their attention to specific content or skills, the block center can be an exciting environment in which to gain deeper understandings of their world. (The Block Center. The Institute for Childhood Education.)

Examples of open-ended questions to ask during block play:

  • I noticed…
  • What would happen if …
  • Tell me about…
  • How would you…
  • How is _____ and __________ the same? Different?
  • How can you use _______ differently?
  • How did you…?
  • What else could you try…
  • What else is another way to…
  • How could you change…
  • What might explain…

Possible [specific] questions to ask about block play:

Concepts of Ramps:

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  • Which container moves down the ramp fastest/slowest?
  • What is same/different?

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  • How can you compare…?
  • How is this ramp the same/different as…?

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  • What doesn’t move and why?
  • How can you change the ______ to have it move faster?
  • What can you add to the ramp to slow down the movement?
  • What angle of the ramp makes it go faster/slower?

Concept of Balance:

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  • How did you place the can on top?
  • What would happen if we put something on top?
  • How can we use these blocks to make something really tall that doesn’t fall down?

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  • Why doesn’t your tower fall down?
  • How can we use these blocks to make something that is really long?
  • How can you make a bridge that goes over part of the structure?
  • If both buildings have the same number of blocks, what makes this one taller?

Concepts of Structures:

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  • How can you make sure _______ (animal etc) doesn’t escape?
  • What will happen when the animals want to go outside and they get thirsty?

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  • What will the people do in your building?
  • What happens when it rains on your house/castle/hotel etc.?
  • What can you do to help the people inside stay dry?
  • What do the people need inside of the _________, outside of the ___________? How can you build those items?

Space has to be a sort of aquarium that mirrors the ideas, values, attitudes, and culture of the people who live within it.
– Loris Malaguzzi

Sensory Ice Play with Children

Ice Play is so beautiful… the possibilities are endless.

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Sensory play contributes in crucial ways to brain development. Think of it as “food for the brain.” Stimulating the senses sends signals to children’s brains that help to strengthen neural pathways important for all types of learning.

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As children explore sensory materials, they develop their sense of touch, which lays the foundation for learning other skills, such as identifying objects by touch, and using fine-motor muscles.

The materials children work with at the sand and water table have many sensory attributes — they may be warm or cool, wet or dry, rough or smooth, hard or soft, textured or slimy. Discovering and differentiating these characteristics is a first step in classification, or sorting — an important part of preschoolers’ science learning and discovery

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Sensory play promotes many learning experiences:

  • Sensory play encourages children to manipulate and mold materials, building up their fine motor skills and coordination.
  • Sensory play uses all 5 senses, but the sense of touch is often the most frequent. Toddlers and children process information through their senses.  They learn through exploring these.
  • Sensory play is unstructured, open-ended, not product-oriented; it is the purest sense of exploratory learning
  • Self-esteem: sensory play offers children the opportunity for self-expression because there is no right answer and children feel safe to change or experiment with what they are doing.
  • Language development- experimenting with language and descriptive words.
  • Develop social skills: practicing negotiation skills, turn taking and sharing. Provides opportunities for working out problems and experimenting with solutions.
  • Encourages Imagination and creative play.

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Shapes in Preschool

Journeying into the world of mathematics has always been a little difficult for myself. Lately, however, I’ve felt a new renowned satisfaction with math. It appears that my daughter’s transition into grade 1 has ushered me into the world of math again. I can’t help but admit that it isn’t until your forced to relearn and/or teach your own children or children in class math concepts that the pieces for how everything is connected becomes so much more important –and that getting right from the beginning really matters!

This post is on geometry as my daughter likes to call it now and a collection of some beautiful invitations to play.

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To begin…

Preschool children learn to recognize two-dimensional shapes and three- dimensional figures by their appearance. Shown a rectangle and asked to identify it, children might say, “It’s a rectangle, because it looks like a door.”

Early in the development of their geometric thinking, children have little understanding of geometric properties – the characteristics that define a shape or figure. They do not rationalize, for example, that the shape is a rectangle because it has four sides and four right angles.

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As children develop…

Research (Clements et al., 1999) indicates that children aged 4 to 6 years begin to recognize and describe properties of shapes.

Their explanations of shapes are incomplete, but they have developed some notions about them. For example, children might explain that a shape is a square because “it has four sides”.

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What we can begin doing…

Students learn about geometric properties as they view, handle, and manipulate objects (Copley, 2000). At first, students describe objects using vocabulary related to observable attributes: colour, size (e.g., big, small, long, thin), texture (e.g., smooth, rough, bumpy), movement (e.g., slide, roll), material (e.g., wood, plastic).

  • Identifying shapes and figures
  • Comparing shapes and figures
  • Classifying shapes and figurres
  • Sorting shapes and figures

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    Experiencing various representations of shapes and figures

    Children need frequent experiences using a variety of learning strategies (e.g., playing games, using movement, sorting, classifying, constructing) and resources (e.g., using models of two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional figures, geoboards, pattern blocks, or tangram pieces).

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Educators can help children acquire mathematical language by using correct mathematical vocabulary themselves.

Tips:

  • discuss two-dimensional shapes so that children develop the concepts and language that allow them to explain why a shape belongs to a certain category (e.g., “It’s a weird-looking triangle because it’s long and thin, but it’s still a triangle because it has three sides”)
  • discuss how shapes feel. Children can handle, feel, and describe two- dimensional shapes (e.g., plastic or wooden shapes, cardboard cut-outs) that are in a bag or box without looking at the shapes;
  • providing experiences in constructing squares, rectangles, and triangles with materials (e.g., straws, toothpicks) and of discussing the properties of the shapes (e.g., a triangle has three sides)
  • provide opportunities to locate and discuss examples of two-dimensional shapes in the environment
  • provide opportunities to match shapes (e.g., matching shapes drawn from a paper bag to shapes on a display board);
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Clements, D.H. (1999). Geometric and spatial thinking in young children. In J.V. Copley (Ed.), Mathematics in the early years (pp. 66–79). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Clements, D.H. (2004a). Geometric and spatial thinking in early childhood education. In D.H. Clements, J. Samara, & A. DiBiase (Eds.), Engaging young children in mathematics: Standards for early childhood mathematics education. (pp. 267–297). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Hannibal, M.A.Z. (1999, February). Young children’s developing understanding of geometric shapes. Teaching Children Mathematics, 5(6), 353–357.

Beautiful Play dough Invitations

“When children use playdough, they explore ideas and try different approaches until they find one that works.”

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Summer Lemonade Play dough 

First…Play dough Benefits & Child Development

Social and emotional development 

Creating with playdough lets children feel competent (“I’m good making balls with the dough”) and proud of their accomplishments (“Look! I made a pancake”). Pounding, flattening, and squeezing are healthy and safe outlets for extra energy. They can also help children cope with strong feelings- stressed or angry.

Creativity and imagination

With playdough, children express their ideas through art and make-believe play. At the same time, they learn symbolic thinking by pretending that the playdough is something else (“The blue circle is the ocean and the red dots are fish”).

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Spider Play dough
Language and Literacy 

Children use language to invent stories about their playdough creations. Child may use facts or ideas from books they have read. Children also refer to things they did or saw in their everyday lives (“This is my birthday cake when I turned 4”).

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Science 

Children learn about science through hands-on experiences. They learn by observing, thinking, and talking about how materials feel and how they change (scientific thinking).

Math 

While children participate making play dough they can measure and count. They may learn about measurement and numbers by filling the cup and comparing the size of teaspoons and tablespoons, and about counting as they add the ingredients.
Children also note changes in shape and size as they comment on, compare, and contrast the objects they make (“I made a square” and “Mine is a tiny ball and yours is big”). Others notice who has more or less play dough.

Have you ever found yourself making play dough and only adding cookie cutters? Try creating a play dough invitation for children!

An invitation to play should…

-Capture a child’s curiosity
-Be intentional in design and purpose
-Be appropriate for the age of children you teach
-Include materials that the children can freely touch, manipulate, and explore

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Thanksgiving Turkey Play dough 
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Fairy Land Play dough 
Simply stated, an invitation to play is arranging the environment so that it “invites” young children to come to an area in your classroom to explore, investigate, question, examine, participate, touch, feel, and manipulate through as much independent play as the materials can possibly allow.-TeachPreschool
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Bird Play dough 

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Robot Play dough
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Dinosaur Play dough

Getting Started with Creating an Invitation to Play with Play dough in 3 Steps

  1. Begin with a tray
  2. Prepare your play dough
  3. Add your accessories/loose parts to enhance play

Set Up:
Setting up invitations to play are super easy. Use a tray to arrange all the loose parts for play in an inviting way. But this is not necessary, you could simply place them out on the play table and invite children to play!

I have included in this blog post some of the beautiful invitations to play I have come across while browsing the internet– lots of ECE Eye Candy!!

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Duck Pond Play dough

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Valentine Play dough

Other Loose Parts/Accessories to Consider:

  • Birthday candles
  • Blocks
  • Bottle caps
  • Cookie cutters
  • Combs
  • Garlic press (be prepared to give it up forever)
  • Large buttons and other objects that can be pressed into the playdough to make a design
  • Feathers
  • Leaves, twigs, pebbles
  • Plastic knives, forks, and spoons
  • Rolling pin or bottle
  • Small toy people and animals
  • Straws
  • String or shoelaces
  • Tea strainer
  • Toothpicks (only for older children)
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Road Play Dough

Feeling Inspired Check out, read more… 

An Invitation to Play Tutorial from Teach Preschool

Creating Invitations to Play from The Imagination Tree

Elements for Creating Play Scenes and Invitations to Play from Childhood 101

Still Painting Provocations

“Put simply, provocations provoke! They provoke thoughts, discussions, questions, interests, creativity and ideas. They can also expand on a thought, project, idea and interest.”

By far one of my most favourite activities for children, and one Sophia loves has to be still art painting with watercolour paints.

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I feel painting is a way for children to do many important things: convey ideas, express emotion, use their senses, explore color, explore process and outcomes, and create aesthetically pleasing works and experiences.

A still life is an artwork that features inanimate objects—natural things like flowers, fruit, and vegetables or manufactured objects like coins, jewelry, musical instruments, and bottles and glasses, for example. Examples of still life paintings go back to antiquity in Egyptian tombs and on Grecian urns and vases.

In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, still life paintings often reflected spiritual values and gifts from the Almighty. Images of flowers and insects carried symbolic meanings including lilies (purity), tulips (nobility), sunflowers (faithfulness), violets (humility), and poppies (sleep or death). Butterflies represented transformation, and bees hard work and cooperation.

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This is a different kind of experience that I believe brings additional value to their drawing experience as it challenges their understanding and ability to look at the finer details of everyday objects in their environment

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I am completely captured by the ways in which educators set up painting provocations for children. In this post I have decided to feature some of beautiful provocations in still art painting.

fec619ab2be8247d73c034549f11159bPainting sunflowers: Provocation using real flowers, plastic flowers, and other examples @ Kinderoo Children’s Academy

Materials
  • Watercolor paint
  • Watercolor brushes
  • Watercolor paper (if you don’t have watercolor paper, heavy drawing paper will do as long as it  won’t soak through as you work on it.)
  • Black (waterproof) India ink (to outline to add contrast if you want)
  • Water & containers
  • Chalk pastel, oil pastels, charcoal
  • Still life subject matter
  • Newspapers or plastic tablecloths as protection for work surfaces

3020f5fd006b71c8ad56c046adc6c36bFrom Opal School Blog

It’s so interesting to look at objects through the eyes of a child.

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d8d3398c78ac13ef723fb3f1dc146393From Ms. Guillory Preschool & Kindergarten Art

Getting Started
  • Set up your still life-set out a bouquet of flowers in a vase, paper, and some crayons/paint/watercolor.
  • Discuss with children how they can select a flower and take it out to observe it or leave it in the vase to paint
  • Share briefly the lines and shapes seen in a flower. Direct children’s attention to some of the finer details of the flowers
  • Observe children as they mix and represent their flower with the paints

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I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.
-Georgia O’Keeffe