Last month we did a lot of explorations with painting and creating various Christmas crafts. One day we used our hands to explore how paint feels when we squish it around, then created a Grinch portrait with our handprints. Next, we explored the effects salt has on paint and watched paint drops being absorbed and spread throughout our salt painted Christmas lights. One of the students giggled when they saw the paint spreading across the paper and exclaimed, “Whoa, whoa, whoa!” In a less paint-related activity, we took turns playing with pompoms and fuzzy craft balls, examining their sizes and shapes, then throwing them up in the air. After this exploration was done, we used paintbrushes to cover paper trees in glue and stuck our pompoms on the trees to make them look like decorated Christmas Trees. The children had the most fun throwing the pompoms in the air and catching them. During this time, the classroom was filled with giggles and laughter.
Other explorations not centered around Christmas included taping a huge sheet of white paper to our tables and letting the children make whatever marks they desired. We gave the children dot paint, crayons, markers, pencils, and regular paint/paintbrushes. After the paint had dried, we hung this masterpiece on the wall above the cubbies. A few days later we added the handprints of our children to the paper. Many of the children giggled while we painted their hand; one of them even said “That tickles!”
This month we will be exploring things about ourselves. One of the things I would like to do is start helping the children to understand their emotions better. To help do this, I plan to print pictures of different emotions and place them in the home center by the mirror for the children to look at. Placing these images by the mirror gives the children the opportunity to imitate the picture and see what they look like when they are happy, sad, angry, etc. We will also be introducing some new books to our class library as well as during circle time and read-aloud time. All of these books include a story about at least one emotion and how the characters of the book deal with the emotion(s).