In January we read the book Snip, Snip, Snow. It is a book about a girl who is so impatient waiting for it to snow outside, she convinces her teacher to let them cut out paper snowflakes. All of the pieces of paper on the floor from everyone's paper snowflakes end up like looking like snow. As they are hanging their paper snowflakes on the windows of the classroom, it starts to snow outside. The following day we had paper, scissors and glitter out at our invention center and put the book there too. Some friends worked really hard on their fine motor cutting skills to cut out shapes and turn the paper into snow flakes. They were very unique. We put glitter on them and then hung them on our tree in the hallway to admire.
We also have art activities inspired by books that are lead by parents during free choice time at school.
We read the book Snowballs. It is a story about saving real life items and using them to "make snowmen". In the book, though, there are way more than "snowmen". There is a snow dad, a snow mom, a snow boy, a snow baby, a snow dog and a snow cat. It is so fun reading the book and seeing how the nose might be a shell or the ears might be wheels from a car. There are mouths made of sunflower seeds and a purse full of peanuts for the birds and animals to enjoy. We asked each child to make their own "snow man" and we provided as many of the "real life" items that we could. The results were snow moms, snow dads, a snow grandma, a snow cat and snow "storm troopers" complete with a "death star" made out of sunflower seeds.
Another activity revolved around two books. They are Christina Katerina and the Box and A Box Can Be Many Things. Both stories use big boxes and a lot of imagination to make something special out of a box. We talked about maybe making a machine out of a box. The next day we used lots of small boxes, bottle caps, items that could be recycled, but were saved for just this occasion to make our creation. Some comments about what we made were as follows:
"There is a horn and bug catcher."
"There are lights for when it's dark."
"Part of it is a telescope."
We always also put the books in our library area, so that we can read and reread the books. The art goes on the walls and reminds us what joy the book brought to us originally. Books and art go hand in hand at preschool.