Monday, March 14, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Fun

Hello Friends!

I came across this amazingly delish looking rainbow fruit platter on Gluesticks and simply had to share it.  It's a great activity for you to do with your ankle biters for a St. Patty's day party (or just to enjoy at home).  What kid wouldn't want to help make this?  I want to make this!  Check out the other projects that Brandy (of Gluesticks) has on that link as well.  Rainbow painting, pots of gold and leprechauns are a must for St. Patrick's Day crafts.  I dropped the ball on getting together some crafty ideas in time for this luck-filled holiday, so I'm resorting to sharing Brandy's with you instead.  There is a lot going on in my world right now...busy busy...  Enjoy!
Have fun & get messy!
Miss Jenna

Friday, March 11, 2011

Kid Talk

Do you need to laugh today, giggle or at least crack a smile?  Well my friends, do I have a treat for you! Today, I was looking through my huge scrapbook from my pre-school teaching days and I found the book ( that my Director (Miss Janet) printed out for me of all the wonderfully silly kid quotes that she and I collected and compiled throughout the years.  If you've ever been around pre-school aged children, you know that they can be funnier than the best professional comedians.  I mean...seriously...the way they butcher the English language is genius!  Whenever one of my little lovelies spouted a linguistic gem, I would write it down immediately...and I mean verbatim...specifically writing out the mis-spellings and marking inflection.  My little bits of paper gold would be placed in their special place on Janet's desk and a day or two later I'd hear her howl with laughter as she read through them all.  This was absolutely one of my favorite things about that job.  So without further ado, allow me to present the first batch of Kid Talk...

"I have a tadoo!" (tattoo)
"May name broke down."
"I cut it with sidders."
"I saw a apple-puss!" (octopus)
"Siesta is how you say New York in French." (huh?)
"Jimbo's are elephants!" (Dumbo's...I think)
"This is Farari Week." (safari week)
"Thank you very welcome!" (gotta love good maners!)
"He called me a BIG FAT!!!"
"A critter is a jumphopper."
"Turkeys go 'boggle-boggle'." (or...gobble-gobble?)
"I've been learning about Overhand Lincoln."
"Guys, your noise is giving me a fever!" (I feel your pain little one)
"I LOVE to do arting!" (art table)
"I stabbed my toe!"
"It's NOT a concept!" (contest)
"I can whistle backwards!"
"A bull shark even has HORNS!"
"Eskimos live in an Egg-Loo."
"A critter is a bug that crits around and crawls on legs."
"Do you know what color hair I have?  I'm blind!" (blonde)
"Oh, did I say I love you when it's Valence Day?"
"Lizards are echos."
"I've got my hand-shoes on!" (gloves on hands in the "shoe store" dramatic play area)
(talking about milking cows) "They squeeze the gutters!"
"I have pretty good taste bugs." (or buds)
"There was a REALLY mean wiggard!" (wizard)
"It was a big hungry know...REALLY big and hungry!" (???)
"Can I be the Pazoose?" (caboose)
(in a sing-song to eeny, meeny, miney, mo) "Catch a tiger by the mo."
"You be the monkey, okay?  Then you can be the monkey's uncle!" (yes, really. They were playing in the "pet hospital" dramatic play area)
"Chickens are very instershing...they go back and forth to find food...and when they come back with the food sometimes the make a friend! Sometimes it's a duck, they're not like chickens anymore!"

....aaand, your welcome.  :-)  I hope you all have a beautiful day and don't forget to have fun and get messy!
~ Miss Jenna ~

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Recycled Bottle Cap Glue Project

In my first blog post for Ankle Biter Art, I wrote about Process vs. Product in children's art.  To try to make it short and sweet, the process a child goes through in working with their hands and creating a piece of art (for example: getting tactilely involved with the supplies, experimenting and getting messy, working independently from start to finish) is SO much more important than the visual outcome of the artwork or 'product'.  It may not be a magnificent "fridge worthy" masterpiece or be anything recognizable to us adults with expectations.  It might be a downright glue puddle mess or have a hole worn through from too much paint....but these things don't matter, because in this creative freedom, a lot of learning happens.

So, Process vs. Product....and this project absolutely falls under 'process'.  It's not a "pretty" art project, but it's still a good one for several reasons.  One of them being that bottle caps are actually surprisingly difficult to recycle.  I had heard that before, so I did some quick research and found this helpful article that explains why.  I also incorporated sorting as part of the steps in accomplishing this project.  Simple sorting is an important component of early childhood science and math and a lot of pre-schools incorporate sorting activities into their curriculum.  "Simple sorting and classification are fundamental concepts that help children to organize their thinking about the real world."
  • A variety of bottle caps in different sizes - I collected my caps for a month or two and stashed them in the closet until I had enough.
  • Full strength white glue
  • Glue brushes
  • A really sturdy base - I used the stiff cardboard backing from a pad of Bristol board that I had, but you could also save your Styrofoam produce or meat trays (washed & dried).  They work really well and you get to do some more recycling!
  • Glitter (optional)

1.) Have the children sort the bottle caps by size
2.) Glue the caps to the base.  {TIP} The bottle caps adhere best if they are glued with the flat side down.  I recommend showing the children an example of this, otherwise you'll end up with bottle caps popping off very easily.  Whether or not they they follow the example is another story and if not, no biggie.  This is one of those freedom ("open ended" as we called it when I taught pre-school) projects.  Remember...PROCESS!  :-)
Sam did some nesting and built up while Molly kept her caps flat and singular.  I love to observe the difference in process between these two...age and personality play a big part, but I find it interesting.
3.) Glitter (optional) and let dry.  This project can sometimes take a LONG time to dry depending on how much love your ankle biter had for glue puddles, so keep them out of reach until they are completely dry, otherwise you might have a sad friend when it all falls apart. 
....and there you have it!  Have fun & get messy!
Miss Jenna