Monday, October 16, 2017

Children's Artwork: What to Keep and How to Store It

As a former art teacher, and teacher pack-rat, I truly struggle with letting things go.  
Trying to decide what artwork my 3 year old creates is trash or treasure really has perplexed me.
However, my preschool curriculum from Mother Goose Time, has really helped me start narrowing down what is worth keeping and what is okay to toss. 

What do I keep?

The purpose behind keeping artwork (for me) is to remember what was learned while making it.  

-Was this the first time she wrote her name all on her own?  
-Was this the first time she demonstrated true cutting skills?  
-Is there something special I really want to remember about this piece?  
If so, it's a keeper.  If not, it needs to go.

MGT makes it even easier to document by giving me this handy little "My Creative Mind" sheet in lesson bags 1, 6, 11, and 16. All I have to do is cut the box and glue it to the back of Sweet Pea's work, and if I want to write something more specific about what she learned, then I do so on the back of her work.

For example, we did all the Creative Art experiences above, but the wind day and snowflake were total busts for us, so those ended up in the trash.  Below are the 3 decent pieces we ended up with; however, I am not keeping them all. Of all 3, I will definitely keep the rainbow sculpture because on that particular lesson, she created this with no help at all, and this was the first time she demonstrated awesome cutting skills with her scissors. 
(I might also keep her Cloud painting... I think it would be a beautiful addition to brother's nursery.)

How do I display the artwork?

It's so important for children to take pride in their artwork and talk about what they made and how they made it.  I display Sweet Pea's artwork for an entire month in her playroom.  Using a burlap string and clothespins I display her work.  When Daddy comes home, she can easily tell him what she made and how.  At the end of the month, I take down all the artwork she made.  I trash the things I never intended on keeping (see above section), frame the things I want displayed in the house long term, and I place all the rest in a binder for documentation (aka portfolio).

DISPLAY TIP: By adding a tape border when artwork is created, you make a great framed piece already.  Placing this artwork on top of a black mat inside a cheap Hobby Lobby frame transformed this 2 year olds watercolor into a conversation piece in our home.

How do I organize my child's binder/ portfolio?

First of all, get a BIG binder!  I bought a one inch binder last year and ended up transferring into a larger binder halfway through our year.  Also grab some sheet protectors- this way, you never have to punch holes in the artwork, all that glitter stays in the protector, and the sculptural pieces are easily stored.

Bag lesson 20 always has the "My Portfolio" page.  The front displays the month's topic, and the back lists some key skills that were learned.  I like to write what month we covered this unit and how old Sweet Pea was at the time.

I store her My Little Journal with the cover page, and then place all the keeper work in the sheet protectors.  I absolutely love that Self-Portrait she made!  She knew she had blue eyes, and made little circles, eyebrows, and that mouth!  LOL! cracks me up....

There you have it.
At the end of the year, I have a wonderful documentation of all the learning that took place.  I can see the growth from month to month, and my house is decorated (cheaply) by the little hands that matter most to me.

How do you document your kiddo's creations?


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Pineywoods Fair 2017

It was Kids Fair Day this past Friday, and my cautious 3 year old rode some fair rides all by herself!  She didn't scream or yell or even look scared!  The look on her face was either shear determination to hold on or joyful smiles as she rode around.  So proud of her.

Our day started with learning about our first responders in our community.
Sweet Pea started her morning getting strapped to a stretcher and placed into an ambulance where the guys showed us different ways to take heart beats.

After the ambulance tour, kids were able to see different firetrucks, all the compartmnets on the truck, and time how long it took a fireman to put on his gear.  To pass the test to become a fireman, the men must put on all their gear including oxygen equipment in 1 minute 30 seconds!

After the fire trucks, it was time to tour the Sheriff's police car!  Hopefully this is the only time Sweet Pea will be in the back of a police vehicle. :)   The Sheriff also showed us some of his protective gear that he has to wear in certain situations.  All the responders were so nice and patient with all the kids!  Love our little community!

After the tour with the responders, it was time to ride some rides....for FREE!
This was such a great experience for all the littles.  They didnt have to wait in line, and they could ride a ride a billion times in true toddler fashion.
Sweet Pea's first ride was the motor cycles.  I was really worried she was going to scream and try to get off in the middle of the ride, but she was determined to hold on and ride that bike!  So proud.

Her absolute favorite was the jeeps I think.  Daddy and I might have to discuss getting her one of those electronic jeeps for Christmas...
Look at that face below! "Crazy drivers on the road..." hahaha!

Our day didnt end there either!  After riding the rides for awhile it was time to go to the petting zoo.
We went to the petting zoo back in July and it was a disaster.  Sweet Pea didnt want to touch one animal, so I was already in the mindset that she was going to bolt when I put her in the zoo.
I was so wrong!
She let the animals approach her and she pet just about every single animal in there!
There was a little goat that just wanted to smell her hand, a donkey who followed her around waiting for Sweet Pea to pet his face, and a Mama Llama that enjoyed her neck rub. 

What a wonderful day!  We were able to do this all before lunch, and Sweet Pea and I both took a great nap in the afternoon after this adventure.
I feel so blessed to live in a town where my little girl can have so many wonderful experiences.


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