Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Earth Day for Preschoolers - Part 2

For Earth Day week, I focused on using recyclables for my activities with Adrian. I tried to make our trays look as colorful and attractive as usual but I tried to proved to him that we could reuse some of our things he called "trash". It ended up being a whole lot of fun AND a rather inexpensive thematic! :)

Cork & Earth Push Pins
Wine corks and Earth push pins

I bought these cute push pins in the bargain sections of Michaels two years ago and believe it or not, completely forgot I even had them. :) My idea was to have Adrian use them on a cork board and pin "some pieces of paper" on with them. Unfortunately, we don't have a cork board...but we do have lots of corks! In the end, it became a fine motor activity with the small rubber pins and small corks.  Rather cute too if you ask me.

Corks and Earth Pins
Corks and Earth; a fine motor experience

ReUse Creative Thinking
Coming Up with Ideas on How to Reuse Common Objects

Ever heard of Guilford's Alternative Uses Task (part of TTCT)? I remembered reading in Psychology Today that most school-aged children were WAY less creative than they were 20 years ago and somehow I was pretty sure my kid was in that lot. Earth Day. Reusing. Let's give that task an informal "try" I thought. I presented Adrian with a newspaper we picked up while traveling. What can we do with a newspaper? I knew he'd say he could read it. I was hoping he'd find other uses. He couldn't. I suggested wrapping objects in them such as when we move. He liked the idea. We searched a bit more but he couldn't think of anything else. I didn't push. We moved on to the fork. Eating was his first answer. Then, nothing. I made a motion like I was combing my hair but he thought it was wrong yet funny. Even funnier was me pretending to use the fork as a launcher. The sock, to Adrian, was to be exclusively worn on his sister's foot. *sigh* No sock puppet? Really? No polishing of window or anything? Well, I guess we'll be working on creative/divergent thinking from now on... :)

Milk Caps UpperCase Lowercase
Uppercase and Lowercase Milk Caps Matching

I'm sure you've seen this before. We've just never done it before (oh the ideas I save for the sake of a theme!). Save lots of milk caps and write lowercase letters and their matching uppercase counterparts on them and have your child match them up. We're huge milk drinkers here but even two weeks did not give me that many pairs. Nevermind that...I'm still saving them for next year! :)

Giant Wall Dot-to-dot
Giant Earth Day Dot-to-Dot Mural using a Box to be Recycled

Dot-to-dots are always fun. A giant dot-to-dot? Now that is extra fun. Since our theme was Earth day, I reused a giant box I was planning on putting in our recycle bin and opened it up flat. Drew some Earth Day drawings and numbered some dots and it was ready for Adrian. I chose to tape mine on the wall because I've been reading that it helps children achieve a proper grip on their pen when it comes to writing. Anything to help! :)

Earth Globe Papier Mache
Papier Mache Earth Balloon Globe

Well this was a LONG craft for a preschooler. I intended on using a smaller balloon but Adrian insisted on using the bigger one. Umpf. Anyhow, the idea came to me from a post I had seen on Our Day Your Journey. She, like us used a balloon, covered it with squares of newspaper and homemade glue (1 cup of flour mixed with 2 cups of water), let is dry overnight and finalized with squares of blue and green silk paper the next day and a new batch of homemade glue. Using a 5" balloon would have been plenty but Adrian really wanted to use the 12" so I helped him a bit otherwise, I think we'd still be covering the balloon. :) After the balloon dried, I intended on popping the balloon so it'd "sit" but Adrian was afraid his hard work would "deflate" so I didn't but you could. The proof? His balloon fell the next day and the balloon "popped" and it is still well shaped to this day. I suggested poking small holes all over the "land" and inserting a battery operated candle inside so his Earth would look illuminated but he told me it would damage his "friend Earth". :)

Papier Mache Balloon
Craft in Progress

M√łns Klint, Denmark and its beautiful chalk cliffs on the Baltic; 
Although Adrian was born in Denmark, he never saw this magical place; He went there while in utero! 
(yes, I did hike this at 5 months pregnant...thankfully, there were stairs! :))

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  1. I love the Earth push pin! Great idea! I hope you don't mind that I pinned that!

    1. Not at all. Although I have no Pinterest account, I don't mind people who do and pin ideas! I probably should start too! :)

  2. Lve the balloon globe! Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

    1. You're welcome Debbie! Glad to see you stop by! Hope everyone will still enjoy seeing my Earth Day posts despite the fact that it's gone by already! :)

  3. I read all 3 parts of this series. I love your projects and the way they use repurposed materials and also connect to Earth Day in other ways!

    However, if you do projects like this all the time--where you plan in advance and give Adrian instructions and often set up a lot of it in advance--that may be part of the reason he had trouble with creative thinking. (Part of it may also be his personality--some young children are just "conventional thinkers" who feel most secure believing there is one right way to do/use each thing.) I don't want to judge too strongly on that because I've only read about your Earth Day projects, so maybe you're more open-ended sometimes, but it's something to think about.

    When my son was in preschool, I visited his classroom on Earth Day to talk about recycling and reusing and help the kids make "garbage sculptures" out of assorted interesting stuff they'd saved from their trash at home. I said they could make ANYthing, maybe it would look like an animal or vehicle or something or maybe it would just be interesting shapes. I did NOT show an example. Every kid made something different, and they were all really cool! Most of my experience organizing kids' activities is with older kids (I was a Girl Scout leader) but I had noticed that when you show an example, kids think they are supposed to make that specific thing and are much less original in what they'll try.

    1. You are so brave to read all my babble! :) I always feel like I "talk" too much! LOLThank you for your input in regards to creativity. It is true that free play encourages imagination a lot more. Adrian gets plenty of that. The "school" time I give him is mostly pre-planned though. When it comes to art, it isn't always though. The clay art for example wasn't planned out. I had pre-planned to make a turtle with my clay block but initially told Adrian to create whatever he would like. Whenever I say that, he gets a bit stuck, not knowing what to make. He just pushes the medium around, breaks it up, pokes it and such. Always very abstract. Same happens with play dough and painting, drawing, sandbox and such. After a while, he gets bored and asks me what I'm boring at which point I tell him and he usually lights up and tries to mimic my sculpture. I don't write up all of that every time in my posts because it's lengthy and I talk enough at it is! :) As a result, I sometimes simply plan an art project. He loves pre-planned projects where he knows what it will look like and what he is doing so I try to have some of those as well. Basically, I have a mix throughout the week but my blog showcases mostly the pre-planned activities...Thanks for reading by the way! :)

  4. I love your crafts in progress. It helps me to realize that others take time to finish crafts, not just me!

    Thanks for linking up with Tender Moments with Toddlers & Preschoolers

    1. Got to teach children to finish what they start, right? LOL I know some art projects take longer to do so I start them earlier in the week knowing they'll be time consuming or will need drying. Adrian is not too much into the projects that can't be finished right away since he loves seeing the finished product right away but I want him to enjoy the process more than the product AND I want him to be patient too! :) Delayed gratification can be good too! :)