Wednesday, December 16, 2009

9 am Wonder Arts Wet on Wet Watercolor, Shaving cream color mixing, and Clay

My husband, daughter, and myself went to the zoo this week. I fell in love with the Mama and Baby Rhino! I tried to sign them up for Wonder Studio classes but the zoo wouldn't release them!

This week we used a Waldorf watercolor method called Wet on Wet watercolor.
We soaked the heavy "watercolor" paper in water for about 15 - 20 minutes and then the children used liquid watercolor to paint. The children were all very engaged in this new experience and the end result seemed very satisfying to all!

"Watercolor is a medium that requires great discipline, says Waldorf Teacher Helena Niiva, you have to learn when to let go and allow the colors to live and also when to exercise more control."

The wet paper provided a wonderful canvas for fingerpainting with the watercolors!

The truck serves many purposes here...exploration of wheels, movement of the paint, a sense of security. Regardless, it's all about making meaning! Isn't that what we are all trying to do?

Experiences vs. Activities...
Years ago I attended a conference hosted by Alise Shafer, head of a Reggio Inspired school in Santa Monica, CA. The topic was this: Experiences vs. Activities. What is the difference between the two?
Activities are...planned by someone else, there is an expected outcome, and always an end result.
Experiences are...spontaneous, not rushed, memorable (creates a history).
My preference is EXPERIENCES! My goal for this class is to create experiences for children and caregivers. While I set up the "possibilities", I am never quite sure where the children will lead us. We need three things in order to create these "experiences" (according to Shafer), the Materials, the child, and a Responsive adult. Why? There is not another 3 years (in a child's lifespan) that are so critically important to a child's development and disposition!

The children are getting more and more comfortable with clay as well as the caregivers! I am noticing the children beginning to tell stories with the clay!

I originally thought to put the clay out for those children who do not find pleasure in the Shaving cream experience. However, J. surprised us when he came over with his truck to check out the shaving cream.

The next step was using a paintbrush. Another wonderful example of giving children time and an entry point for exploration. He is trying to understand this substance and what it's possibilities are.

The next step, the hands!!! His mom and I both smiled proudly as he felt comfortable enough and curious enough to be ready for this step!

I always like (if it's possible) to grant children's requests. J. really wanted to experience the overhead projector at the end of class and we were happily able to grant that request!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

11 am Wonder Arts Watercolor, Paint/Shaving cream mixing, clay

Proud, strong, and brave Mamas! It won't be long until these little guys join in!

This guy was creating quite a dynamic between himself and the toddlers. His squeals were contagious and seemed to create an exciting energy in the room!

This experience started off with some frustration by S. (left) not being excited about sharing her space with E. (Right). However, as the experience continued, they seemed to realize that the experience shared with another would create more enjoyment!

I could talk about the various learning taking place but I think you see in their faces, that this kind of experience creates a Memory that can never be exactly repeated!