Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pink, Blue or Maybe Green Water

After I got done reading Teachers Toms blog on “The Power And Joy Of Being Water” I realized how lucky some of us are. We are able to give children time to play and learn without having to constantly disrupt by pointing out exactly what they are doing and what they are suppose to be learning. I personally would be a horrible teacher if I had to follow a rigid set curriculum, I prefer to stand back and at times and help out with conflict and new discoveries. The best part of my job is having the opportunity to play every single day!

One of my fondest memories growing up in the Philippines was playing with rain water. I would splash and slide on the grass knowing that the best part was yet to come. Our yard sloped down and I would pray and hope that it would rain hard enough so that the lower part of the yard would flood knee deep. As I look back I think the best moment of the entire experience was that my mother simply allowed me, to just be.

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Three years ago, I had the opportunity to start Casa Maria; I had dreams of buying those beautiful and highly expensive water tables. Frustration would set in at times because I couldn’t purchase items that the children needed for learning. I decided to buy inexpensive plastic tubs and used them for water play. Honestly, the children didn’t care! All that mattered was that they were playing with water and were given the opportunity to just be.

pirple water (2)

pirple water (3)

pirple water (5)

pirple water

We love to change our water colors quiet often; it has become a ritual now. Can you just imagine how delightful and thrilling it feels to be able to pick a color or even mix up your own colored water?

Yellow water 1

yellow water 3

yellow water 10

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yellow water 8

pink water 1

pink water 3

pink water 5

Allowing children the to take rocks, shells, plastic animals and sand in the water makes their play experience more exciting.

blue water 3

frogs (2)

frogs (3)

frogs (8)

frogs (9)

Blue water 2

frogs (10)

blue water 4

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Stubborn Shoe Boxes Part Two

“Slick Side Up”

What to do with all those cardboard squares? Well, I laid them on our art table with some liquid watercolors and magic happened. Child A was painting on a cardboard square when I heard another child yell, “watch out! You are creating a huge puddle. Look at all the colors changing, I want to do that too.” Child A answered “you need to paint on the slick side up!” Everyone gathered around the table and before I could count to ten all the chairs was taken :)

I felt like I was in an assembly line, it kept coming and coming. We had squares drying all over the room. I grouped them together on a bigger cardboard square; the colors are so bright and happy.

They look like subway tiles.


Slick side up (2)


Slick side up (5)


 Slick side up (7)


 Slick side up (1)


 Slick side up (9)


Slick side up (10)


Slick side up (11)


 Slick side up (12)


Slick side up (3)



Slick side up (4) 


Slick side up (8)


Who would have thought that a shoe box could be repurposed twice to create such one of a kind art.

Stubborn Shoe Boxes Part One


An important part of creativity is having a chance to work on process experimentation and discovery. It’s been three weeks now since we displayed our colorful one of a kind shoe box art. No one would have guessed that it would turn up to be such a science experiment with “cause and effect” being the star of the show. It took skill and concentration to be able to move the golf balls around the paints to create such beautiful prints all over the box. Sometimes the boxes were moved up and down and from side to side. With practice the children learned to master the skill of controlling the balls movement. Consistent repletion of healthy activities opens opportunities for learning and helps build a child’s brain.


Aubreie -Golf Ball Painting 2011 (2)


Aubreie -Golf Ball Painting 2011 (4)






By the time we were done with this activity the children had painted twenty seven boxes. The only problem we encountered was how to keep the boxes on the wall. We attached masking tape around the perimeter of the box so it would stick to the wall but every morning I found two or three boxes on the floor. The children and I would add more tape daily; this went on for days and days till we used up a roll and a half of tape. Those stubborn boxes just wouldn’t stay up! I knew it was time to find another solution to the problem.










The next morning I picked up four more boxes on the floor and asked the children what we should do? One child said “just use more tape” another said “let’s use a stronger tape… how about the silver tape?” meaning duck tape. After demonstrating the power of duck tape we decided that it would be best not to use it because it would ripe paint off our walls. We observed the boxes more and noticed how it left a blank spot around the rims. I said “they almost look like picture frames”, after pointing that out someone shouted, “just cut it out!” I took a box and cut out the sides and we all agreed that it looked great. We have not had a problem with the again.


27 boxes (1)


 27 boxes (2)
















I ended up with cardboard squares of different seizes which I knew was going to be repurposed one day.


            Stubborn Shoe Boxes Part Two