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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Total Solar Eclipse

On Monday, August 21, 2017, the moon will cover the sun, causing rapid temperature drops throughout the United States. This is known as a total solar eclipse. You can complete a simple craft with your children to help explain what the solar eclipse is and how it will look.

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Items that you will need:

  • Two sheets of black construction paper
  • One sheet of yellow construction paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Directions

Guide your child in cutting out a large circle from the yellow sheet of paper and glue it to one of the black sheets. Next, take the second black sheet of paper and cut out a circle slightly smaller than you cut from the yellow sheet. Slide the black circle across the yellow circle to show the different phases of the eclipse. Once you are done discussing the phases, glue the black circle to the center of the yellow circle so that just the edges of yellow are showing. This representation is a great way to explain to your children how the solar eclipse will look.

While completing this craft, discuss with your child why solar eclipses happen and how often they occur.

Five Benefits of Imaginative Play

Imaginative play benefits the growth of the cerebellum. This part of the brain is “responsible for key cognitive functions such as attention, language processing, sensing musical rhythms, and more” (Brown & Vaughan, 2009, p. 34). Here are five other benefits of imaginative play for children.

1. Play fosters the development of imagination. Imaginative play encourages children to be anything they want to be. This anything-goes thinking allows them to come up with ideas that they might not think about in a more structured environment.

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2. It encourages the development of problem-solving skills. Problem solving requires the ability to think creatively. Imaginative play involves experimenting with different activities, such as building with blocks or sculpting with modeling clay (White, 2015). Engaging in these playful activities helps children become more creative, which gives them the ability to solve different problems (Roskos & Christie, 2000).

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3. Play allows a child to fail without consequences. For example, when children play house, they imagine themselves as parents or spouses. They learn from those scenarios without dealing with negative consequences. Imaginative play, in other words, gives children the freedom to fail and try again without feeling defeated (Lillemyr, 2009).  

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4. It encourages social-emotional development. When pretending to be, say, a mother or a father, the child must imagine being in that person’s shoes. As a result, the child learns to interact and think about things as a parent, which helps the child become empathetic and practice language that is more in a parent’s vocabulary than a child’s.

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5. It helps children unwind. Unstructured imaginative play gives children the opportunity to be in their own world for a while without worrying about anything except playing and having fun.

 

References

Brown, S., & Vaughan, C. (2009). Play: How it shapes the brain, opens the imagination, and invigorates the soul. New York, NY: Avery.

Lillemyr, O. F. (2009). Taking play seriously: Children and play in early childhood education—An exciting challenge. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Roskos, K. A., & Christie, J. F. (2000). Play and literacy in early childhood: Research from multiple perspectives. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

White, R. E. (2015). The power of play: A research summary on play and learning. Retrieved from http://www.childrensmuseums.org/images/MCMResearchSummary.pdf

Summer Activities

Ten activities to do with your child this summer:

  1. Ride your bikes around your neighborhood or in a local park to increase family togetherness and to emphasize the importance of exercise.

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  1. Have a picnic. Encourage your child to help pack the basket. You can talk to him about the different types of food you are putting in the basket, where the food is from and what foods are best for his health.

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  1. Go on a leaf hunt. Your child can learn about different types of trees by their leaves, and she can observe how the trees grow. To create a lasting memory of your wonderful walk, you can collect a few leaves, place them on a sheet of paper and color them with a crayon. This will produce an imprint of the leaf to have for the future.

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  1. Volunteer in your community. Many communities have public gardens where children and parents come to plant their own flowers to contribute to the beauty of the community. If your community doesn’t have a garden, consider starting one. This will teach your child the importance of being involved and giving back.

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  1. Plan a treasure hunt. For more enjoyment, include the whole neighborhood.

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  1. Prepare new summer recipes. Encourage your child to use his skills to help with the ingredients and measurements. Soon, he’ll be cooking meals for you.

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  1. Take some of your old clothes and place them in a chest. Now, you can have a dress-up day, which is a perfect inside activity for a rainy day. Your child will love dressing up just like mom!

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  1. Create a craft table. Prepare a corner in your child’s playroom or bedroom with a table for craft activities, such as drawing, painting or building. This makes for another great indoor activity for rainy days.

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  1. Stargaze. On a warm, clear night, sit outside with your child and observe the various Talk about what you can and cannot see with the human eye. Enjoy the starry night!

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  1. Teach your child to conserve water during her daily activities. Since we enjoy pools, oceans and lakes during the summer months, this is a good time to teach your little one about the dangers of pollution and the effects it can have to our oceans and lakes.

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Fourth of July Fun!

Four fun crafts for the Fourth of July!

  1. The American Flag

Take a white sheet of construction paper and place it lengthwise on a table. Assist your child to cut out seven red stripes 0.62 in. wide and one blue rectangle 3.5 in. wide by 3.75 in. long from construction paper. Glue the rectangle lengthwise on the upper left corner of the white sheet, and then glue the stripes 0.62 inches apart starting with the red so the white and red colors alternate, but do not cover the blue rectangle. Next, ask your child to draw stars in the blue rectangle. Lastly, talk with your child about why there are fifty stars and thirteen stripes on the American flag.

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  1. Red, White and Blue Firecrackers

Gather nine popsicle sticks. (Don’t eat all the popsicles at once!) Cut out a red, a blue and a white triangle from construction paper, and pick out some fun red, white and blue string or ribbon. Next, guide your child in gluing the popsicle sticks together in sets of three, edge-to-edge, one next to the other. After they have dried, glue one triangle to the top of each set of popsicle sticks, and tape the string to the bottom. When you finish, you will have three fabulous firecrackers.

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  1. Painted Fireworks

This is an easy one! All you need is blue paint, red paint, tape, a white sheet of paper and seven bendy straws. Wrap tape around the non-bendy ends of the straws so they are secured together. Bend the other ends so they are sticking out in different directions. Assist your child to paint the ends, alternating with blue and red paint. Once all the ends are painted, place them down on the paper. This is a great opportunity to explain patterns to your child. Add more paint and repeat this step in different spots on the paper.

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  1. Uncle Sam Hat

First, take a white Dixie cup and paint evenly spaced red stripes around it, alternating white and red. Next, cut a half-inch strip of blue paper and have your child paint stars from one end to the other. Once the stars have dried, glue the strip around the wide end of the cup. Lastly, cut out a circle from foam, paint it red and glue the rim of the cup to the circle.

2017 Upcycling Challenge!

Congratulations to our 2017 Upcycling Challenge winner – Ashland, VA! The School won with 1,603 votes for their mural of The Goddard School logo using packing peanuts and recycled water bottles.

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White Marsh, MD came in second with 1,551 votes for their mural made of recycled materials.

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Village of Shiloh, IL came in third with 574 votes for their rain barrel and sensory garden. Way to go!

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Thank you to our Goddard School community for participating, voting and sharing!

Paper Flower Craft

Attention parents! Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and the most special gifts are those made by the hands of your tiny tots. Here’s a craft idea to help your child create a special keepsake for mom.

What you need:

  • Photo of your child
  • Construction paper
  • Pipe cleaners or straws
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape

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Instructions:

Cut the photo of your little one into a circle.

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Encourage your child to choose a color (or two) of construction paper and cut out eight ovals for petals. Cutting should be done by an adult.

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Help your child glue or tape the petals into a flower.

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Glue or tape your child’s photo in the center of the flower.

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Use a straw or pipe cleaner for the stem. (Tip: Twisting two pipe cleaners together makes a stronger stem.)

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For a more advanced activity, help your child write a poem for Mom and attach it to the flower. Have fun!

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Party with Poems for the Month of April!

Celebrate national poetry month by bringing the neighborhood together! Use chalk to help your child write down one of her favorite poems on the sidewalk. Leave extra chalk and include a note encouraging neighboring families to add their favorites, too. Pretty soon, the sidewalks will be filled with colorful poems from all over the community. This can be a great way to meet and work with neighboring families! (You can also do this at a local park, but be sure to acquire any necessary permissions first!)

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Take a trip to the local bookstore or library with your child and pick out an easy-to-read poetry book. Before bed each night, choose one of the poems to read with your little one. Continue this for the month of April. Poetry before bed will be a fun tradition for you and your child to enjoy!

Help your child select a favorite poem at the beginning of April. Repeat it together each day to help him memorize the poem. At the end of the month, hold a family recital where family members recite their favorite poems. Create lots of applause so your child feels comfortable. When he is ready, ask him to recite the poem from memory, impressing everyone who attends!

What are some of your family’s favorite poems to read together?

Seven Fun and Creative Ways to Make a Lucky Shamrock! ☘

Are you looking for a fun craft to do with your children to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day? Don’t worry! We have you covered with seven fun and creative ways to make a lucky shamrock! ☘

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Painted Shamrocks

Gather together an empty toilet paper tube, some green paint and a paper plate. Pour a little green paint on the paper plate. Place an end of the tube in the paint and stamp a green circle on a blank canvas or sheet of paper. Do this two more times creating the shape of a triangle; then use a paint brush to draw a line coming from the bottom of the triangle to create a shamrock.

Shamrock Shakers

Gather two paper plates and some green paint. Assist your child to paint the bottoms of both plates green and lay them to dry. Next, place an assortment of “shaker” items on the inside of one plate, and then place the second plate on top with the green side up and have an adult staple the edges together. Finally, ask your child to shake the connected plates. For more engagement, encourage him to do a song or dance to go along with the rythem.

Pipe Cleaner Shamrocks

Bend one end of a pipe cleaner in the shape of a heart and use the other end as a handle. Place a newspaper on top of your table to avoid spills, and then place a white sheet of paper on top of it. Dip the heart end of the pipe cleaner in glue and stamp the glue on the paper four times in a circle creating the shape of a shamrock. Next, give your child a cup of glitter and carefully assist her in sprinkling it over the glue. Once the glue is covered, shake off the excess glitter.

Apple Shamrocks

Cut an apple in half. Next, ask your child to paint the inside of the apple green. Stamp the apple onto a sheet of paper or canvas four times forming the shape of a shamrock. Finally, use a paint brush to add a stem to your shamrock.

Texture Shamrock Craft

Cut out a large shamrock shape from construction paper for your child. Visit your local art supply store, and have your little artist pick out different green items to glue to his shamrock. These items may include buttons, pom-poms, felt pieces, etc. Once you are ready to begin crafting, encourage your child to demonstrate his artistic skills by attaching everything he gathered from the store to his shamrock. He may need adult assistance with the gluing. Discuss the different textures of each item with your child.

Shamrock Wreath

 Cut out a large cardboard circle from an old shoe box, packing box or pizza box, and then cut out a small circle in the middle of your cut-out so that it resembles a wreath. This should be done by an adult. Next, encourage your child to draw different size shamrocks. Also, consider drawing some shamrocks for her and ask her to color them in. Once you have a variety of shamrocks of various sizes and colors, cut them out and help your child glue them around the circle base. Finally, place a hook on a door in your home and hang up the wreath. Your little leprechaun will want to show off her wonderful creation.

Shamrocks out of Paper

 Draw a large outline of a shamrock on a piece of paper or canvas. Then, cut different shades of green construction paper in one-inch shapes, such as squares, triangles or circles. Next, provide your little one with all the shapes that you have cut on a plate. Ask him to start gluing the pieces anywhere within the lines of the shamrock. While he creates his work of art, you can talk to him about the different shapes and shades of the pieces.

How to Fold a Paper Airplane

If you end up stuck inside this winter due to the weather or frigid temperatures, don’t worry! All you need for some fun is a piece of paper. Spend some time with your little ones and learn how to fold a spare sheet of paper into a high-flying masterpiece! Watch the tutorial here!

 

  1. Fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise to fine the center.

 

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2. Fold the top corners down to the center line.

 

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3. Fold the triangle down to look like an envelope.

 

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4. Fold the top corners down to the center line, leaving a small triangle sticking out.

 

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5. Fold the small triangle up.

 

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6. Fold the plane in half, with the small triangle on the outside.

 

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7. Fold the wings back on themselves.

 

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8. Slowly launch the plane and watch it glide along, or lift one of the back flaps slightly to make it fly in a spiral.

 

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Have fun!

How to Make Edible Marshmallow Paint

Make a masterpiece with a batch of edible marshmallow paint!Painting

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • Food coloring
  • Wooden craft sticks

Directions

  1. Melt the marshmallows in a large microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds.
  2. Stir in the water and microwave for an additional 30 seconds and then stir.
  3. Stir in the corn syrup and microwave for another 30 seconds and stir until it is smooth.
  4. After it cools for a few minutes, pour it into individual containers for coloring.
  5. Add in a few drops of food coloring to each container and stir with a craft stick (use a different stick for each container).
  6. Let the paint cool before children use it.

*An adult should oversee all recipes and activities. Recipes and activities may not be appropriate for all ages.