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Monday, May 31, 2010

Learning about Animals through ART

A picture speaks a thousand words ... in our case, through a picture or an art, we can teach a child many things.

During our animal theme, we have done many art and craft activities. And, besides being aesthetically beautiful, the children are exposed to many developmental aims along the way.

Take for example, the creation of the octopus by the 5 year olds.

  • First of all, they colour the paper in shades of blue, green and yellow to create the background of a sea. This has to be coloured meticulously and patiently.

  • Indirectly, the children are gently reminded that the sea is not only blue- which is the normal way they colour it but rather a combination of beautiful colours!

  • Next, they are asked to finger paint the octopus - they love the tactile experience! Also, they are given only two primary colours - red and yellow.

  • They explore with their fingers and in the process, one boy commented "Look, my octopus is turning orange." I love this comment - it shows that the boy is discovering secondary colours through this art activity - beats teaching them about red+yellow= orange any time!

  • They also learn that an octopus has eight tentacles, and I see some of them carefully counting the tentacles as they go along to make sure that they have the correct number.

  • This activity promoted sharing and taking turn as they are using the paint from the same palette. It teaches them responsibility too as they ensure that the place is cleaned up later on.

  • Some are hesitant initially, but once they get over their reservation, they are free to express themselves. Every piece is different - even though it came from the same instructions. The fishes add a very nice touch to the overall effect!

Look at the fluidity of this octopus as it sways gently in the ocean!

Other crafts which we did include:
The elephants are moulded out of newspaper. As the children scrunched and twisted the papers, they are also creating wrinkles - which are an integral part of an elephant! They tactilely and visually learn about the elephant's BIG trunk, ears and tusks. Again, no two pieces are alike - entirely up to the children - look closely, and you'll see that the elephants are indeed very unique and there is a lot of movement - even though the focus is just on the head!

Another art is, of course, the porcupine, where the children learn more about its' spine.

Finally, I love the owl that the children painted - fat owl, thin owl, angry owl, party owl, etc. Here, they learn that owls are nocturnal animals from the moon in the picture - something that the children will remember easily because of the hands-on experience!

Aren't the children' art just lovely?


Here is the other theme board for the animal theme- the octopus, starfish and the sea are made by the younger children.

The sea background is created by sponging tempera paint and the bottom of the sea is sprinkled with sand - very tactile for th children to explore!

Whenever the children see me with a camera, they get very excited and are willing to pose for me. Love the spontaneity, don't you?

May Theme - The Animal Kingdom

Yiks!! That's a porcupine! Look at the spines - be careful, don't let them prick!!!

That's our theme for May - The Animal Kingdom, in which we talked about animals on land, under the sea as well as minibeasts. This is a very large theme which took up the whole month.

The above porcupine is made by one of the students. For this month's theme board, most of the animals are made by the children themselves. There is a great sense of pride and ownership as they look at their own masterpieces and tell their friends and parents about them.

As I am taking the pictures, the four year olds immediately came out and posed in front of the theme board. They are not shy, and are very spontaneous in front of the camera. That's what I like - no pretense!

The theme board up close - look at the porcupines, the snakes and the birds. Some of the wild animals (although not proportionate) are coloured by the children.

Look at the slithering, twirling snakes and the spotted leopard. Also, the birds perched high up in the trees!

We also have another theme board featuring animals Under the Sea.
The children are very knowledgeable about animals, but it is always interesting to bring to life some of the features of these animals, as well as to introduce new ideas to them. For example, we talked about the fastest, strongest, tallest, biggest, smallest or slowest animals on earth.
When we discussed minibeast, the children are familiar with the life cycle of a butterfly - in fact, we always have caterpillars and chrysalis from our lime tree to show them the metamorphosis of a butterfly - simply amazing! We talked about earthworms and dug for them, and also observed a snail.
Alas, I promised to find a stingray and live crab for the children, but have yet to find them. But, we will continue to look for them in the market.

A very interesting theme indeed, and we are still learning together with the children!

Friday, May 7, 2010


Straight hair to ...

Curly locks

Curly hair to ...

iron-straight hair.

Before ...

After - rocker-style!

Hello ....

See my new hair colour!

Innocent me ...

The WOW factor!

Our Community Theme - April 2010

As part of our theme for My Community, we've invited some special guests to talk about their occupation. The children were happy to learn more about the different jobs, and right now, most of them want to be policeman!

Our first guest was Chef Roy who demonstrated how to cook a healthy, delicious stir-fried vegetables as well as grilled sausages! After the demo, the children tucked in the delicious food ... mmmm... yummy!

Our very own chefs!

Chef Roy discussing cleanliness and safety in the kitchen.

Cooking the vegetables...can you smell the aroma?

On Tuesday, we invited Teacher Leroy to demonstrate how to play the guitar and drums. We sang along and played some games ... it was entertaining!

Teacher Leroy (and Javen) talking about being musician. Both performed a song.

On Wednesday, the police came and talked to us about safety. They were kind and willing to show us some of the tools which they use such as handcuffs, baton and even a shotgun and rifle.

Our police personnel.

Police from the Sri Damansara Station telling the children about safety and taking care of oneself. Most important of all, do not go out alone or open the door for strangers. Never follow a stranger!

Trying on the police hat.

Shaking hand with the police. They are here to help - do not be afraid of them!

Group photo in front of the police car.

Hello - when I grow up, I want to be a police!

May, a professional hair stylist from Bianco, did some styling on our children and we had a great time looking at the before and after effects!

Curling up my hair - now I look like Goldilocks

Auntie May showing us how a hair dryer works.

More pictures in my next post of Before and After transformation from Auntie May!