All Around Child-Outside

I have been sharing the wonderful things I saw while visiting All Around Child in Overland Park, KS. So far we have explored the common areas, hallways, and the beautiful classrooms. Now you will get to see the masterpiece that is the outside play areas, but they are so much more than that. They are […]

The Story Table

The Story Table is a vital part of my classroom.  It is a miniature world of nature complete with animals. STEP ONE:  The Base – I like to use a strong base so children can push on it and it will not collapse.   This is a shelf laid flat. STEP TWO:  Cover the shelf or […]

Polar Bears in Snow

This was such a fun painting project.  I ordered the largest size construction paper (24 x 36) in pale blue.   This gave it the “wow” factor.  I love large paintings!  We drew the bears on the paper before painting.  I gave the children crayons. Step One:  I had the children draw a half moon shape […]

Fictional Bears vs. Real Bears

One of the strong impulses of the Common Core Standards is the use of non-fiction reading.  When I work with the fairy tales like the Three Bears – I think it is a wonderful opportunity to compare real bears vs. the three bears.  We research bears by reading non-fiction books from the school library.  This […]

2 Easy Tree Habitats – Part 3

Ohh, these are so fun!  Here are my tree habitats with nests. Here’s how to make a simple nest:  Wrap a piece of brown tissue paper around your thumb. Glue with a glue stick.  Presto! A Nest! Owl Habitat Owls can live in tree trunks and tree holes.  They will make a nest.  Draw paper […]

3-D Trees – The Four Seasons (Part 2)

This article continues a series on 3-D habitats and science topics. To learn how to make a brown bag tree, please refer to Part 1. Today, I am going to share how I use these simple bag trees to construct the four seasons.  You can have the children each make their own seasonal tree or […]

3-D Paper Habitats 101 – Part 1

There are three basic 3-dimensional techniques to have in your teaching toolbox.  These three habitat basics can be used to have children demonstrate their understandings of current science studies or character settings. Over the next week, I am going to share how to make these habitats.  On Friday I will cover how they can fulfill […]

Rock Insects

These make wonderful paper weights and could be great dad gifts!  We made these as a part of our insect unit. Mexican Pebble Rocks make the best bugs! I found some of these wonderful stones at a landscape supplier. They are a nice size (palm size.) I had the children begin by drawing their design […]

Birds, Eggs and Nests: Playdough Fun

I love to use playdough as a medium for children to express what we are studying.  During our unit on birds – I put out three batches of playdough: brown for nests and limbs, blue for eggs and yellow for birds.   It was so popular!  The rule was “No mixing the playdoughs!”  And they did […]

Collaborative Scientific Drawings

Me oh my!  I saw the coolest idea ever!  Lacy Williams, an intern in the classroom next me, had the children in her class doing a collaborative scientific art piece.  I was so blown away by the wisdom of how she lead the up to the collaborative piece.  The topic was pond life.  Here’s what […]

Winter Dens for Bears

Make a hibernating bear den is one of the most beloved activities in the kindergarten.  See this post from last year:  Bear Dens.    This year I changed it up a bit and had the child glue the brown bag upside down on the paper plate.  I teach the children to use “tabbing” which is simply […]

Pricky Ball Spiders

This is an easy peasy spider to make.  I discuss the difference between a spider and an insect.  The children count out 8 legs for their spider.  Additionally,  we discuss how many eyes a spider has – (between 4-8 eyes).  What you will need:  sweet gum balls, black pipe cleaners, googly eyes and artist’s heavy […]

Drawing Bats

There are several different ways to draw a bat. Here is one: Draw a circle with an opening at the bottom. Draw two swooping curve lines for the top of the wings. Draw “bumps” for area under the wings. Draw dots and curve lines for eyes, a u shape for the mouth and triangles for […]

Bat Habitats

Making habitats is one of my favorite projects for the children.  They love it too!   What you will need: brown bags, cheap paper plates, black construction paper, scissors, glue stick, crayons.  Step One:  Cut down the brown lunch bag.  Cut “tabs” in the corners.  Fold back and glue down on paper plate.  Step Two:  Provide […]

Clothes Pin Animals

This is an adorable idea from Martha Stewart Living.  The kids loved it!  I used white cardstock and crayons.  I let the children draw whatever animal (we focused on farm animals) they wanted.   I discussed the importance of making the images big.  Kindergartners tend to draw small.  I demonstrated making one first and then let […]

Turtle Art

This is so easy and turns out so lovely.  It is a guided drawing using white oil pastels and then painted with tempera paints.  The last step uses a metallic paint pen.  Step One:  Draw a large oval that almost fills your paper.  Step Two:  Draw another circle inside the big circle.  Step Three:  Draw […]

Drawing An Owl

This week (and next) I am teaching at Philbrook Museum Art Camp.  One of my co-workers, Aubree, lead the children in this wonderful drawing of an owl.  Isn’t it cute?! Draw a large oval.  Add two curved lines. Draw an upside down triangle. Draw two large circles for the eyes.  Add a medium size circle […]

Painted Paper Fish

I start this project by having each child make a “bubble painted” paper (technique is posted in painting techniques).  This time because of time constraints,  I prepared the painted paper but they could do that as well. (To make the painted paper in a very quick and easy way I just paint the top of […]

In the Tall, Tall Grass

This was an art project in another kindergarten class in my school.  I altered only one thing.  The teacher had a pre-printed sheet of insects and animals for the children to color and cut out to put in the “tall, tall grass.” (based on the book of the same title).   I kept the focus […]

Rock Bugs and Habitats

I love using nature in art making activities.  The key to making bugs out of rocks and found nature is using artist’s heavy gel medium as the glue.  This is like a thick paste and will join the pieces together so the children can do all the work themselves. Making a Rock Bug and its Habitat […]

Insect Play Around the Kindergarten!

Sometimes in the middle of a life crisis, a little spark of creativity can eek in.  This week I have been dealing with my daughter’s illness (numbness on the left side) and last night, fed-up, I took her to the ER.  On the suggestion of my daughter-in-law, I began video taping her symptoms with my […]

Becoming Scientific Illustrators

This week we are dwelling in the world of flowers and plants.  I told the children I knew a “scientific illustrator” – a person who draws illustrations of nature.   We had our own bean plants growing and I took one and displayed the roots, stem, and leaves.    I told them we were going to be […]

How to Draw a Panda Bear

This drawing project looks great using just black and green watercolors.  I just love how unique and individual each child’s drawing turns out. What you will need:  Sharpies, white cardstock, black and green watercolors (I used a liquid concentrate). How to draw a simple panda bear: Draw a medium sized circle at the top of […]

Make a Panda Bear Habitat

During our China unit we study the panda bear and learn a bit about it’s life cycle.  The children love seeing the newborn panda photos – so pink and appears hairless!  I think it is important to have the children create the habitat of the animal we are studying.  It brings multiple sensory learning which […]

How to Draw a Bird

I think it is such an important skill to teach children how to draw.  It develops so many critical skills for learning – eye/hand coordination, dexterity, spatial perception, understanding of basic shapes and lines, the ability to observe as a means of knowledge – to name a few. All you need is enough black sharpies […]