When the kiddos arrived at my home studio I had 4 different snow stations set up, and the kids were invited to rotate through and experience all the different “snow” textures, since the book takes place during a snowy day.
We officially kicked off the session with the kids mixing their own winter punch. This fun (and tasty) activity was a great way to introduce the kiddos to the world of Chirri & Chirra.
Our finally sensory experience was playing with "frozen marbles". Each of these small frozen spheres had a tiny flower inside and provided a unique sensory experience.
For our process art project, the kids created their very own igloo planetarium to take home with them. Using sponges to paint on the ice blocks and prepunched holes to serve as the stars. The kids were so excited to see their stars light up insider their dark planetariums. It was such a fun time!
What is the Book & the Bristle?
The Book and the Bristle is a process playdate studio providing a place for kids to explore the world of books and art in one stimulating environment. Every unique session is inspired by a book.
Walking toddlers to elementary schoolers will be exposed to sensory activities - encouraging them to explore, be curious, and engage their senses before moving on to a picture book. After an interactive story time, kids will be invited to participate in a process (and book) based art project - making the book come alive!
Mindset is a powerful tool. How you think about tasks and daily endeavors can be altered by the way you think. It is the division between "I can" and "I can't". When you are negative it can create obstacles and eliminate growth. But when you have a growth mindset - you believe in change. You believe where you are in life is not fixed and opportunities are endless. It can completely obliterate negative thoughts and inspire children (and adults) to be better!
As a child, school and academics did not come naturally to me. It was a struggle - from elementary school through high school. I was fortunate enough to have parents and teachers (one in particular) that believed in me, encouraged me, and CONSTANTLY told me "yes you can". It wasn't until college that I found my groove and I'm one hundred percent positive it's because these amazing people had instilled in me a growth mindset.
As a teacher and a mother, I want my kids (biological and students) to have that same mentality - that they can do anything. They will have bad days and downright vile days and sometimes these days can turn into weeks... Where putting together a puzzle seems impossible, reading a chapter book is daunting, and the thought of decimals causes stomachaches. But there will also be glorious days and days when they finally say "aha! I finally did it!" And those moments are the best.
For me, books are the mightiest weapon. Read them. Enjoy them. And make each storytime count. These are some of my (new) favorite books about mindset and perseverance. Each character (real and fictional) experiencing their own hardships in a wide array of perspectives. I love them and I've already purchased them all to share with my two girls and all the babes at my school.
Alice in Wonderland week! I picked out this script months and months ago and with the best group of campers read different versions of Lewis Carroll's classic tale, created book based projects, and worked on Wonderland monologues.
We made giant flowers to be used as props for our upcoming production of Alice in Wonderland, and the kids were really excited to carve their initials into the concrete and claim their art!
Making "Eat Me" cookies!
I've been ogling over storybook signposts for ages now. (I have like four Harry Potter ones in my etsy cart right now.) Obsessed. If you know anything about Wonderland, you know Alice gets a tad lost in Tulgey Wood. Enter the perfect opportunity to make storybook signposts!! Each camper took a famous/important location in Wonderland and created a direction sign. I was slightly hoping they'd let me keep them all - but they wanted to take them home. I don't blame them.
Aren't this flowers perfection? The girls (and my one sweet boy) spent two hours painting these beauties. I gave little to no direction and was essentially missing for the entire process - helping other campers with their audition monolgues and popping popcorn. When they were done, we all stepped back and thought Lewis Carroll would be quite pleased. We followed the DIY from @mer_mag & @houselarsbuilt - and are absolutely positive these flowers belong in Wonderland. Can't wait to fill up the stage with these pretties.
Another super play date today. I have beeen DYING to do a space themed session and was excited when I found this space story - Your Alien to inspire our activities, and bonus points for it being autographed by Tammi Sauer! Wonderfully sweet story about a boy who accepts an alien into his home, school and heart without a second thought - then with a fabulous amount of Christmas lights, helps his new friend find home again. Not sure where this little guys calls home, but we imagined the moon, playing with moon dust (flour + olive oil), moon rocks (aluminum foil), and finally made our own alien portraits. I think these private play dates are my favorite and I need to get my hands on the second book!
The objects around this book may seem incredibly random but I promise you they all were key to making probably the best read-aloud with a playgroup ever. A bag of unicorn glitter, because you know they shed. A handful of forks to scratch with our hooves, some pom poms to throw with every poof and magical unicorn entrance, and cupcakes... because the magical beasts aren't house trained. Paired with this book, along with our unicorn horns (party hats), and mini wishing well (water filled buckets and some coins to throw) it was a hilarious, interactive, amazing morning with a great group of kids.
A unicorn came to Texas and burped out a U N I C O R N R A I N B O W S E N S O R Y W A L K for my playgroup today! Complete with froot loops, foam squares, rainbow pasta, colorful rice, polka-dot tissue paper, homemade playdough, and rainbow water beads. It was epic - wish I had taken a video!
My little unicorns.
Wishing for unicorns.
If I had it my way, the first week of my term would be focused on community building, cheesy icebreakers (that adults hate and kids love), and aaallllllll the school related books. Although I love the classic charmers, like First Day Jitters, I love LOVE using untraditional stories and new finds to teach policies and procedures. Which brings me to Rules of the Playground: my new favorite back to school book. I'm using it at my playdate on Saturday (see previous posts for water bead amazingness), but I can't wait (CAN'T WAIT) to read it to my newbie students. When I was a kid we had this really cool fort on the playground and we would race to it. Whoever was first would chant "I'm the king of the castle and you're a dirty rascal!" - this book is so reminiscent of those memories and being the ruler for the day. It's also rad that three main characters are named after the author's kids - I'm obsessed with Augustine's faces throughout the read. The perfect book to teach recess (and play) etiquette.
We had the greatest time painting our @fortmagic! The kids got super messy!! We wrapped the entire base of our "castle" with saran wrap, whipped up some shaving cream + food coloring, and let the toddlers have at it!
Water beads & water balloons.
My rulers of the playground! We made cardboard crowns and all promised to be kind and fair!
Dinosaurumpus - is a spectacular book that I LOVE reading out loud. Foot tapping, onomatopoeia yelling, and dinosaur romping! For our playdate, I paired it with a homemade "tar pit" (aka cornstarch, water and black food coloring), a Jello swap, and frozen dinosaur eggs.
I had bit of a mishap with the first pit - the blue on my cheap plastic baby pool bled into the "tar" and died my hand a bright smurf blue - didn't think the mamas wanted to take smurfs home, so luckily I had one last container of starch and was able to make plan B happen. It wasn't as epic as the pool could have been... but the kids still had fun!
We helped our babies hatch using salt and warm water. Some kids were pretty clever and figured out if you just dropped them on the concrete they would open. This was the perfect activity for a hot Texas morning!
Once again inspired by Chirri & Chirra - however this time it was the visit with the lizards in their fluorite home that had us making candy shards and Starburst sweets!
I think this was probably the prettiest session I've ever had. The hues of pink, purple, green, and yellow in my home studio were so lovely (and I know the sweet little girls were enamored with all the pink).
Two years and four year olds hard at work, making "fluorite" that sparkles with many colors. I used two bags of ice, vinegar and baking soda! The littlest one sprinkled the baking soda on top of the ice, while the bigger girls sprayed and squirted colored vinegar. The results were gorgeous and they were all very keen to try the ice.
Instead of reading the story "live" to the girls - I recorded myself and they watched the read aloud instead.
Making candy shards. These girls were fierce candy crushers!
Creating Starburst sweets - I melted down squares and the girls molded them like play dough, creating new shapes and sweets to enjoy. (PSA the starbursts get warm quickly and watch out for the pink ones - they can hurt tiny hands if you're not careful).