Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Art Week Set-up

Process art is, of course, all about the process…the doing it on their own, the exploring, the learning…and not what they make per se.  Process art will not have a “sample” to follow, will have limited (if any) instructions, there will be a variety of supplies available, and each child’s art piece will be unique. 

It’s good to know what process art is, but defining what it isn’t is also important.  First and foremost process art is not a “free-for-all”.  Guidelines are always a necessity when working with children.  Yes, we want them to try new things and experiment, but not at expense of ruining the experience for others or wasting resources.  For example, it is OK to mix paint colors on your own paper, but not OK to mix paint colors in their containers; nor is it OK to paint the wall behind you. 

Two other important things to keep in mind when doing process art with young children:
  • We can limit which supplies are available for use If you just really can’t do paint, you don’t have to offer it.
  • You can still have a general project idea in mind.

All Ages
Chalk Art
Use black construction paper and white & colored chalk to create a picture.  Older children can trace a variety of items.

Ice Painting
Fill Dixie cups with water (depending on storytime size—5-10 cups).  Add a generous amount of food coloring to each cup; stir to combine.  Place a craft stick in each cup.  Freeze for several hours.  Allow children to use the ice as paint brushes.

New Creature
Clean out your craft supplies and ask the children to create a new creature—make sure to have googly eyes, yarn, feathers, construction paper, crayons, scissors, glue

Can you paint with that?
Bring out a variety of objects for kids to try to paint with…feathers, straws, comb, pipe cleaners, pine branch, toilet paper rolls, plastic eggs (opened)
You can use a clothespin for a “handle” for these kinds of objects: pom-poms, foil, yarn/several pieces of yarn
HINT:  Use an empty cardboard egg carton as a paint pallet for several children to share.

Toddler Art
Sticky Mural
Cut a length of contact paper for each child.  Set out a variety of things to stick on it—tissue paper pieces, construction paper scraps/shapes, stickers, curling ribbon (not curled), yarn, feathers, foil pieces, anything else in your craft closet that is relatively flat.  Cover with another length of contact paper to seal.

Painting with Cotton Balls
Clip cotton balls onto clothespin (so the clothespin makes a handle).  Put paint on paper plates or use an empty cardboard egg carton as a paint pallet for several children to share. Allow children to put cotton ball into the paint then paint on their white construction paper.  You may need to swap out cotton balls often so the paint doesn’t get too mixed up.
HINT:  You can cut egg cartons into groups of four sections to use for paint

Baby Art
Mess Free Painting
Place piece of white cardstock in gallon size Ziploc; squirt in 2-3 drops of paint; seal bag and tape to reinforce; allow babies to smash paint around.  When parents/caregiver get home they can remove the paper and let it dry.
Tape Collage
Children rip of variety of colors/lengths of tape to create a collage on a piece of white card stock.

Be sure to cover the tables (table cloth included) and pull out your tarp for the floor!  Don’t forget the extra package of baby wipes (included)!! 

Book Ideas for Art Week

Edward Gets Messy / Meade
Mouse Paint / Walsh
White Rabbit's Color Book / Baker
Bear’s Picture / Pinkwater
I’m the Best Artist in the Ocean / Sherry
Patrick Paints a Picture / Pirotta
The Dot /  Reynolds
Elephants Can Paint Too / Arnold

ART WEEK Storytime

The week of May 15-19 was ART Week throughout our library district!  I was the coordinator for all of the art projects, so it ended up being a pretty big job.  But it was so much fun and the children really seemed to have fun with it...and the parents liked the change of pace too.


White Rabbit's Color Book
by Alan Baker

I subbed on Wednesday and since I had some of the same kids I read...
Mouse Paint
Ellen Stoll Walsh

Elephants Can Paint Too!
by Katya Arnold


ABC Welcome

What did Henrietta Bring? (paintbrush)

Paint a Picture
Instead of a song we all stood up and "painted a picture"
Put on apron, get out paints, decide on the size of our canvas

Squirt out some blue...
What could we paint that is blue?
I allowed children to name whatever they wanted to paint, and then we "painted" it

Wash out your brush!

Continue with red and yellow

Let's make green.  What colors do we need to mix together to make green?

Continue with orange and purple.

Sign your name!  Show your picture to your grown-up!

With all these colors let's paint one more picture...a rainbow!

Play and Learn

Can You Paint with That?
 I made two identical egg carton paint palette and paint "brushes"--feather, pipe cleaners, straw, cotton ball, foil ball, yarn.  The kids did a pretty good job of putting their "paintbrushes" back into the correct paint color.

Chalk Art

Ice Painting

Blocks, magnets, train set

See this post about how I divided up the preschoolers.

On Wednesday the storytime person wanted to do "New Creatures" instead of painting.

A Tip from Kindergarten--Stations!

Internal Blog Post

Sometimes in storytime I set up an activity that the children swarm.  All of them want to do it first thing and very quickly there isn’t enough room for everyone or enough of the activity to go around.  Then kids get hurt feelings or maybe a little aggressive because they want to be in on it.  Here’s a trick from the Kindergarten classroom that that easily be used in storytime to help all children enjoy the activities you have…just not all at the same time.

This is also a great tool to encourage and develop executive function skills—yes, the dreaded, “waiting your turn”.  Here’s what I did during Art Week that made the flow so much smoother:
I had three tables set up with three art projects as well as an area with toys.  Each of the tables had a different table cloth/paper covering.  I decided how many kids could comfortably be at each art table, then cut out scraps of colored paper to match the color of the table cloths.  I then passed out the colored squares of paper to the children (making sure sibling got the same color) and they were to start at the table with the same color table cloth as their square.

Here’s how that looked:
  • Red Table—Can You Paint with That?  There was enough room for 6 kids, so I passed out 6 red colored squares.
  • Black Table—Chalk Art  There was enough room for 4 kids, so I passed out 4 black colored squares.
  • Green Table—Painting with Ice with enough room for 4 kids, so I passed out 4 green squares.
  • I cut up a bunch of yellow squares to pass out last—which was to play with the toys first.

I told the parents/caregivers what I was doing…and why…and threw in the bit about how this would be something kids would be expected to do in Kindergarten.  I was pleasantly surprised that the parents/caregivers really helped the kids follow through with waiting their turn as well as watching when a station had an open spot.  Even the kids who had to play first did a great job waiting to go to an art station.

You can use this “trick” with almost any group of activities you put out—especially if this is one you think the children will swarm. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Baby Storytime--April and May

I love, love, love Baby Storytime...but I've found that putting the outline on the blog every week is somewhat redundant since the program is almost the same every time.  So instead I will be posting once a month or so...

Read Aloud Book
(1 per storytime)

Ten Tiny Babies
by Karen Katz

The Very Busy Spider
by Eric Carle

Ten Tiny Toes
by Caroline Jayne Church

Elephants Can Paint Too!
by Kaya Arnold
**to go along with our special ART Week**

You and Me, Baby
by Lynn Reiser and Penny Gentieu


*Hello Song
*Good Morning to You
*Little Bear
*There was a Little Duck
Baby Hokey Pokey
Tiny Little Babies
Itsy Bitsy Spider
I'm a Little Teapot
Three Little Monkeys
Hey Diddle, Diddle
Pease Porridge Hot
Hickory Dickory Dock
Tickle the Clouds
Parachute Song (sung to Mary Had a Little Lamb)
One Bright Scarf

*every week

Flannel Board

Three Little Piggies
3 little piggies rolled in the mud
Oh, my goodness! They need a scrub!
The farmer took one piggie out
Oink, oink, oink! that pig did shout!

Brown Bear, Brown Bear
Using color circles I did as many verses as I thought the babies would enjoy

Brown bear, brown bear
What did you see?
I see a red bird looking at me...

I've added a pink pig and a gray elephant

Shared Reading
We've been using (discarded) Babybug magazines, which have been fun to share!
Play and Learn

We continue to pull out our "regular" baby toys--balls, discovery boxes, ring toys, stacking cups, blocks, sensory bottles, and puzzles.

ART week for the library district was May 15-19.  We made Mess-Free Paintings and Chalk Art!

Zoo Storytime

I have had a lot of fun with this theme.  I was spoiled when I lived in the Omaha area and could visit the Henry Doorly Zoo many times a year.  A lot of kids around here have never been to a zoo, so I told them that we get to visit the zoo in the books!  I did this storytime at preschool and all ages storytimes and two early learning classrooms.

Zoo Day: A My First Experience Book
by Anne Rockwell; illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell

After reading the book we went back to the zoo map and followed the family's path talking about all the animals they saw.

Two at the Zoo: A Counting Book
by Danna Smith; illustrated by Valeria Petrone

Graph Question

What animals would you like to see at the zoo?
Elephant, Lion, Giraffe, Monkey


ABC Welcome

What Did Henrietta Bring?

At the Zoo
(The Wheels on the Bus)

I saw an elephant go stomp, stomp, stomp
Stomp, stomp, stomp
Stomp, stomp, stomp
I saw an elephant go stomp, stomp, stomp
At the zoo!

Sea Lion--ark!

Play and Learn

Use a variety of animal stamps to create you own zoo

Some had fun drawing themselves vising the zoo!

Sheep Storytime

Kind of have an animal theme going on for storytime! (from May 9)

No Sleep for the Sheep!
by Karen Beaumont; illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic

Where is the Green Sheep?
by Mem Fox; illustrated by Judy Horacek

Mary had a Little Lamb

We first decided on something that's a certain color (ex. yellow=banana) then we sang the song with the sheep being that color.  The kids had fun thinking of different objects of the different colors!

Where is the Green Sheep Magnet Board Guessing Game

I had a green sheep with different colored bushes it could hide behind.  We did the game 3-4 times so that everyone had a turn to guess a color.

We made the classic sheep craft--gluing cotton balls onto a sheep cutout.