Our last day of camp brought us to the country of Romania in eastern Europe. Our Toddler Teacher, Ms. Oana, is originally from Romania and had lots of interesting and authentic items to share with the class. We started off the day examining traditional clothing, weavings, flutes, and wood carvings.
Ms. Oana showed us some beautiful pictures from Romania, and talked about the special items she brought in. You can see two of the boys are playing wooden flutes. These are traditionally used by shepherds to play for their sheep.
She also introduced the children to some traditional songs and games. The game they are playing below is like 'London Bridge' but it is about rocks falling down. They loved it!
After a few minutes outside, we came back in for our snack. Today we had a customary Romanian bread, grapes and cheese. Sheep cheese is a popular food item in Romania, though we stuck with cheddar :) The beautiful woven cloths are examples of traditional colors and weaving patterns.
Our art project was making sheep. Sheep have always been an important part of Romanian agriculture.
For our science experiment, we made 'snow' from shaving cream and baking soda. It made a cool, powdery substance. The night before we froze water in sand castle molds. The children loved building ice castles, especially after seeing pictures of real castles in Romania earlier in the morning.
We finished off the day with water play, trying on our tie dye shirts, lunch, and taking a group photo.
Today we continued our trip around the world with a visit to Japan!
We found Japan on the globe, looked at photos, and read the book, 'A Day in Japan.' You can see there is a picture of Mt. Fuji and another of cherry blossoms. These subjects inspired two of our activities today.
Our snack was a bento style spread, including grapes, snap peas, and bread cut into shapes. For our art projects, we made koi carp fish. These fish are thought to symbolize luck, prosperity, and good fortune in Japanese culture. We also made trees with cherry blossoms. Cherry blossoms, or sakura, are seen as symbols as the fleeting beauty of life. Because they are fragile and bloom only for a short time, they have captivated the imagination of people the world over.
Our science experiment was making a volcano! While not as big as Mt. Fuji, the volcano we made from cloud dough was so exciting for the children. We molded the cloud dough mountain around a water bottle, filled the bottle part of the way with baking soda, and poured in the vinegar. We had multiple 'explosions', much to the delight of the children!
We finished up the day with fun outside in the sprinklers! We're looking forward to tomorrow, when we visit Romania with our own Ms. Oana leading the expedition!
Today, we visited Brazil! Since Brazil was home to the last world cup and soccer is popular sport there, we started the morning playing soccer.
Then, we came inside, found South America and Brazil on the globe, and looked at pictures. We also read 'Welcome to the Green House' about the rain forests of Brazil. The children enjoyed singing a song to the tune of 'The Wheels on the Bus,' but instead goes like this:
The parrots of the rain forest go squawk, squawk, squawk...
The frogs of the rain forest go ribbit, ribbit, ribbit...
The pythons of the rain forest go ssssss, sssss, sssss...
For our snack, we went on a scavenger hunt to find popcorn, coconut, raisins, golden raisins, and banana chips to make 'Rainforest Trail Mix'
For our art projects, we made parrots out of paper bags and maracas out of paper plates. The children loved making music with the maracas!
Our science experiment was making 'Rainbow Milk.' We put a layer of whole milk in a dish, then dropped in food coloring. Using a q-tip dipped in dish soap, we swirled the colors together. The fat molecules of the milk interact with the soap and make a cool firework effect.
We finished up with playtime in the garden, sprinklers, shaving cream, water soccer, and the rest of the food coloring! A great time was had by all, and we are looking forward to visiting Japan tomorrow!
Today at camp we learned all about Ladybugs! We started off with reading a very interesting book called Are You a Ladybug? The kids loved it! It explains the life cycle of the ladybug (much like the ant and caterpillar, it also goes through metamorphosis) and what ladybugs like to eat the most (aphids). The primary children were fascinated to know that a female ladybug could eat 70 aphids a day while a male ladybug may only eat 40. They were also glad to know that ladybugs are especially helpful for the garden plants. The toddlers read 'Five Little Ladybugs' and laughed at the silly rhymes.
Examining a ladybug we found in the garden.
After reading it was time for art projects. The little ones made a lady bug out of stickers and paper plates.
In the garden we had fun experimenting with bubbles. We tried a new mixture today. The recipe was: 6 cups of water, 2 cups of dishwashing detergent and 1 cup of corn syrup. The bubbles were very 'sturdy' and the children were delighted they could catch the bubbles in their hands.
We also did something I have been wanting to try for a while. We made a giant waterbed out of a tarp and duct tape! This idea came from the awesome blog 'Play at Home Mom' I highly recommend checking it out for fun ideas to do at home this summer.
More outdoor fun...
A great time was had by all, and we are looking forward to learning about insect camouflage tomorrow!
Today we finished our trip around the world with a visit to Asia! We heard quite a few exciting stories about real people, places, animals and products in Asia. One of the favorite stories was about Mt. Everest (and another about the daring climbers who were about to reach the summit). We also talked about water travel in Vietnam, a Japanese garden, a boy eating with chopsticks and dancing to sitar music in India.
We had Snappea crisps, mandarin oranges and seaweed snacks. Yum!
As one of our art projects today, the Primary children made a Korean Dragon Puppet. They heard the tale of how long ago the Koreans thought that the blue dragon would protect them from the east (which is why you could see blue dragons on the east side of over 7,000 temples in Korea!) and that the white tiger protected them from the west. We made our very own Dragons out of paper bags and blue paper. Did you know that the only difference between a Korean dragon and a Chinese dragon is their number of claws (Korean dragons have four claws and Chinese have five claws)?
The toddlers enjoyed painting paper lanterns.....
...and making fans with the ever popular 'dot-dot' markers.
The primary children also made paper Uchiwa (paper fans) from Japan. Did you know that they are typically made of split bamboo and "washi" (a Japanese paper)?
And since today was rainy, the Primary children also made Thai owls. In Thailand, children love to fly kites and often have competitions where one kite knocks another to the ground. We made kites like the ones sold in markets in Thailand.
Before the rain started up again, we decided to head outside for some brief playtime in the garden. We didn't get to have water play today because it was so wet and muddy, but we did have fun.
It was a rainy day today but we made the best of it! Ms. Julie read several stories and we danced and sang to music.
Then we got to play some parachute games!
Everyone enjoyed cleaning off the tables for lunch and snack. After all the paint and markers we used it was very satisfying to scrub the table until it was spotless.
The primary children also enjoyed some time playing with the parachute before heading home for the day.
A "wonderful" time was had by all! We hope to see you next summer!!
(Many of the art projects and stories this summer were borrowed from The Kid's Multicultural Book by Alexandra M. Terzian)
Today we visited South America! After some time to play in the garden, we jumped into Cultural Stories about real people, places, animals and products from South America. We talked about the waddle of penguins on an iceberg at the tip of Argentina, the macaw soaring through the Amazon Rain forest, the gaucho using his lasso, and many more!
This story was a favorite! We shared a real Peruvian Tapestry and also had a lovely story about a Bolivian one (pictured at the right). The children loved making observations about each and identifying characteristics that are similar and different.
For our snack today we made Strawberry Mango smoothies and had some popcorn (corn being a main product of South America). It was delicioso!
Our art project today was to decorate mariposas (butterflies) just like the ones you would see in the Amazon Rain forest.
The Primary aged children also made Chilean rainsticks. They had a parade in the room and enjoyed shaking their rainsticks. After, they heard the story of how real rainsticks are made from dried cactus, the cactus thorns and pebbles. They also heard how the Chilean people use the rainsticks in the desert because they believe it helps to bring the rain when they need it most. We also found Chile on the globe and talked about its shape.
Soon, it was time for water play in the garden!
In addition to the water, shaving cream and a cornstarch + water mixture made for some fun sensory play in the garden.
A 'wonderful' time was had by all! We hope to see you next Wednesday, July 17, as we travel to Africa!
For our final Wonderful Wednesday we studied the work of Claude Monet. Monet was a French painter whose work was the starting place for the impressionist movement. Monet felt that nature did not have strong lines and used paint to create beautifully colorful and energetic pieces of work. Monet was especially talented at capturing light and movement in a natural setting. Impressionism was all about preserving a fleeting moment in time.
After looking at some examples of Monet's work, we made a painting in the style of one of his most famous works, 'Bridge Over a Pool of Water Lilies'. The purpose of doing this with children is not to copy the work of another artist, but to become familiar with the style of painting that artist uses. Then the children can apply this style to their own work, giving them a larger repertoire of tools from which to work with.
In addition to art, we also had plenty of outside time and of course, water play!
A great time was had by all this summer. Now we are getting ready for the start of our 18th year at COLCMS. We'll see you in a few weeks!
This Wednesday, we learned about English sculptor, Andy Goldsworthy. Did you know that instead of using a paintbrush and canvas, Goldsworthy uses things from nature and his bare hands to create his art? He makes beautiful site-specific sculptures using rocks, beautiful fall leaves, flowers, twigs and more to build his creations.
Goldsworthy uses elements of repetition and balance to create his sculptures. We decided to start our morning with a nature hike and create our own Goldsworthy-esque sculptures outside.
The children were eager to create their own sculptures on the benches in the outdoor amphitheater.
Here are a few of the final sculptures!
We decided it was time to hike back inside to get ready for snack.
Today we used our blueberries, strawberries, banana slices and pretzels to create more Goldsworthy inspired creations before eating them.
Then we headed outside for some garden time before coming in to do our art project.
For our take home art project, we made our own creations using pasta and beans demonstrating Goldsworthy's elements of resourcefulness, pattern and design.
And then, of course, it was time to head outside once more for water play!
A great time was had by all and we'll see you next Wednesday for our last Wonderful Wednesday of the summer!
This week, we focused on learning about French painter, Henri Matisse. To start our day, we played in the garden. And since we had so much rain last night, water play started early.
After our fun in the garden, we came in to have snack. Today, we had roll-ups with cheese, blueberries and watermelon. The children loved using cookie cutters to make shapes with their cheese and roll-ups!
Once we were done with our snack, we moved on to talking about Matisse. Did you know that he started painting when he was sick one day at home? His mother was trying to keep him busy and it turned into his career! He painted in many different places and enjoyed painting people.
Our first art project was Fauve based. Fauvism was a movement of a group of artists with similar ideas and loved to paint landscapes, in particular, using colors much different from how they really appeared. So, on one side of our paper, we painted a tree as we might see it outside with a brown trunk and green leaves. On the other side of the paper, we painted the same tree with wildly vibrant colors--some chose to make the trunk orange and the leaves purple!
Our second art project is a personal favorite! I love the "Snail" print by Matisse. At first glance, it looks like a lovely collage, but if you look closer there is a little surprise! In the top left corner is a very tiny purple snail! And the print itself has a spiral feel, just like the spiral of a snail shell.
Matisse created "The Snail" as one of his last art prints when he was over 80 years old. He was not feeling well enough to paint, but did feel well enough to cut shapes out of paper and arrange them into new designs. He called it "drawing with scissors" and this is where modern day collage stemmed from.
Then, it was time to go outside for water play! We were very grateful that the sun came out just long enough for us to play.
See you next Wednesday!!
We decided for this Wonderful Wednesday to focus on American art since the fourth of July is right around the corner. Before getting started for the day, we had a lovely time playing in the garden and after a dance party, the toddlers joined us outside.
We started with an American art folder which is usually in Ms. Claire's classroom. Pictured below are famous paintings from other American artists, including Norman Rockwell. The coolest part of the paintings is that they all depict some place within the United States--including the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls. The children examined each picture closely as we talked about each one.
We had a red, white and blue snack--with fresh strawberries, blueberries and popcorn. Our friends love to eat!
Andy Warhol is probably most famous for his Campbell's soup can prints--did you know he made hundreds of them in varying colors? We decided to try our own "Pop Art" by making collages of brightly colored ladybugs.
The children enjoyed learning about modern artist, Jackson Pollock, who became famous for his over-sized abstract paintings that he created by splattering, dripping and splashing paint on the canvas. His method of painting was called Action Painting by the art critics. Pollock felt that his art was a way to express his feelings. The children LOVED creating their own "action painting" out in the garden.
And after our Pollock inspired paintings, we were ready to go for outdoor water play!
Of course, facials were a must during our outside water play!
After our playtime, we came in, cleaned up and ate lunch together. To finish up our day, we did some yoga. We all had a wonderful time! See you on July 11!
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