Sunday, January 30, 2011

Glass Gem Mandalas

Mandalas - are “special circles “many people use them for meditation and contemplation while others use them for therapy and healing. They are special because they represent the essence of the person who created them. It is a symbol which means oneness, wholeness, love and peace.

When the children are working on their special circle it takes them away from some distractions around the classroom. They are focused on the circle and its beauty. It brings a sense of calm!

Here are some mandalas made by the children using glass gems, rocks and shells from the dollar store.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Recycled Shoe Boxes (Engage a Mind…Save Creativity!)

OK, this is going to be a controversial but I think it’s high time that teachers start learning to develop their art curriculum. We need to ask ourselves, how good can children feel about themselves when all the projects in the classrooms walls are identical? Imagine a teacher holding up a model of a project that they are going to make and a child thinking to himself “Mine will never look like that, how I can glue those ears in place? Mine always look uneven; will the other children laugh at my art work?” The art activity (a craft to me) has not yet begun and now the child feels inadequate. Their individual creativity has been compromised and we helped lower a sense of self worth! Such crafts produce results “pleasing to adults” rather than the child. Unfortunately, this is seen in some of our current early childhood classrooms and homes.


Let’s all try is to awaken a child’s creative potential through the use of recyclable and re purposed “open ended” materials. Shoe boxes and three golf balls brought so much laughter and learning in our classroom yesterday and today. The children could not get enough of the fun activity that I went through all my closets looking for shoe boxes. As we were having lunch today the children asked me to write a letter to their parents asking for “BIG shoe boxes”.

The letter reads as follows:

Dear Mommy and Dada,

Please look all around the house for big shoe boxes. Dada’s have bigger feet than mommy’s. We will need them for Casa Maria. We LOVE golf ball painting and Ms. Maria run out of boxes. We will need them when we go to school. Pretty please?