Flour Sifter

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We have a make-shift sensory tub that often makes its way into the middle of our kitchen where we conduct experiments, make "cakes and pies," and mess around with the feel of stuff. Some of the things we've filled it with are dry beans, oobleck, jello, vinegar and baking soda, and rice. I'm always on the lookout for neat-o objects that might challenge and delight my child, … [Read more...]

Tracing Circles

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Some of you have mentioned that you're building up ideas for foul-weather-indoor-play, and I've got something for you that requires very little preparation and can be pulled together with materials that we all have on hand. Materials marker/pen/pencil paper tape cups I taped a sheet of paper to the table and showed N how to trace around a cup. I'm in love with … [Read more...]

Ghosts + the Emergent Curriculum

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N is fascinated with Halloween decorations, and with every animatronic witch and 10-foot spider that we see around town she decides that we, too, need to own "that!". We decorated with some cobwebs, pumpkins, and a 3 foot spider, but apparently that's not enough! After seeing a ton of ghosts yesterday, followed by lengthy discussions about our spooky friends, with my daughter … [Read more...]

Sponge Stamping

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In the days leading up to the arrival of Baby I, I spent a lot of time in our garage in search of baby clothes, the car seat, and other long forgotten baby paraphernalia-- and along the way I found a box of sponges shaped like letters, hearts, and flowers that I've been hauling around since my early art teaching days. Inspired by my find (and, frankly, thrilled that I could … [Read more...]

Beans are for Gluing

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Unless they're refried and smothered in guacamole, my daughter is not a huge fan of eating beans. But, when given the opportunity to glue the little suckers to a piece of paper, the very same beans are her friends. After spending way too much time grazing the bulk bins on a recent trip to the market, we filled up a bag with a colorful potpourri of bean soup for art making, of … [Read more...]

Egg Carton Painting

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If you grew up in the United States, there's a good chance that during your childhood you made some version of an egg carton craft: think lady bugs with pom-pom faces and googly eyes. On this page alone, I counted 47 craft projects for preschoolers that begin with egg cartons! What N and I embarked on is more of a free-painting project, sans pom-poms, pipe cleaners, and googly … [Read more...]

Creative Cooking

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While the art world may dominate a large corner of the creativity market, creative activities can be found in just about any aspect of life. And the kitchen is a great example of this.  A couple days ago my daughter spotted the candy sprinkles that we used for her birthday cupcakes, and jumped up and down with enthusiasm to make cookies -- the medium (in this case, sprinkles) … [Read more...]

The Creativity Crisis

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Newsweek just published a must-read article, The Creativity Crisis, co-written by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman (both well-known for their best seller, Nurture Shock). In the article, the authors make a great argument for infusing childhood experiences and school curricula with creative-thinking methodologies, stating that children who are stronger creative thinkers will fare … [Read more...]

Think!

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A Program Designed to Encourage Kids to Think Outside the Box I discovered a really great website that's full of innovation-generating ideas for kids (but they would be SO much fun for adults, too):  Think! As I read the mind-stretching "assignments," I was reminded of Learning to Love You More and creative design challenges such as this one at the Tech Museum of Innovation … [Read more...]

Playdough Tools

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If you have a batch of playdough and could use some ideas for how to play with it, we're going to dig into that today! If you don't have any playdough, and want to know how to make playdough, click here.  I collect tools from everywhere: online shops, toy stores, play kitchen tools, my kitchen, second hand shops. Playdough Tool Ideas note: this list contains affiliate … [Read more...]