Friday, September 28, 2012

Preschool Art and Literacy Club - Apples

When two mamas with some fun ideas come together, you end up with a fabulous new creation - if I do say so myself! My friend Kristin approached me on wanting to host a preschool art club and I immediately thought we could combine the arts and literacy into a fun filled educational opportunity for our preschoolers. As soon as we agreed to combine forces the ideas started flowing and now we have 3+ months of themes, books, activities, songs, and more planned for our new group.

We had our first meeting today at my home. However, our plan is to host our bimonthly events at the library's community room - no distraction of toys and the playroom - and NO mess for me to clean up!  Sounds like a win-win for everyone!

Our goal is to create a program where we center around one theme which will integrate the arts and literacy.  We will have a story, song and/or movement activity, two art projects, theme appropriate snack, a take home activity  and either a bound book or a printed book for home.  In order to make this all happen we do need to charge $5 per child 2+ years old.

Today's theme was APPLES.

We started off with an apple collage activity.  After the little ones cut the top of their apple tree out they placed it in a zip lock bag with some paint and went to work squishing and painting it! What a perfect way to "paint" without the mess!

We also traced the arm and hand of each child onto brown paper.  This will be the trunk of the tree.  Kids were able to add some texture to the bark with brown crayons.  While our tree tops were drying we went and read our book.

Apple Farmer Annie is a great book with bold, bright illustrations.  It is perfect as a springboard for an apple discussion with preschoolers.  Not only did we all enjoy the book, but we were able to share our apple knowledge with each other as well.  This group sure has a lot of apple schema!!

After all this sitting Ms. Kristin lead the group in an apple poem and movement activity. She based her activity on the following poem:

Apple Tree

Way up in the apple tree,
Two little apples were smiling at me.
I shook that tree as hard as I could,
And down came the apples and boy were they good.

After a snack of pretzels and apple juice we headed back to our art projects.

The little ones were able to add all sorts of red objects ( buttons, felt circles, sequins, and pompoms) to their trees to make the apples.

And they were pretty proud of their final product:

Kristin also came up with a great apple printing activity.  Apple print picture frames.  Of course my good friend Pinterest taught me a neat way to cut handles into the apples, which make them much more user friendly for little hands. It's genius, why did I never think of that?

The kids were able to securely hold on and printed away on their frame!

Now all this frame needs is a picture from a trip to an apple orchard, which shouldn't be hard considering we're lucky enough to live in an area with lots of orchards to choose from!

Lastly, everyone went home with a printed our book from that they can color and read at home with mom or dad.

It was a great morning of friends, stories and art for both little ones and mamas alike.  Our next session is in two weeks, our theme: LEAVES.  Looking forward to it! 

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