Category Archives: 60 Minutes

Exploration Ice Blocks

explorationice

Submitted by: Mandy White

Let little ones explore textures, colors, temperatures and more!

Goals:

  • To learn about different textures
  • To practice matching skills
  • To learn about the different forms of water: gas, solid, liquid

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: ice cube trays, plastic containers, Liquid Watercolor™ and various materials (glitter, colored sand, colored rice, leaves, flowers, rocks, small sticks, etc.).

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Fill the different compartments with a little bit of the different materials you gathered. Carefully fill the tray with water. Add some drops of Liquid Watercolor™ to some of the compartments. Allow to freeze overnight.

Step 2.
The next day, empty the ice cube tray into a clear plastic container. Allow the children to touch and feel the cubes and encourage discussion about how the different materials frozen inside of them feel.

Step 3.
Use tweezers to help you explore the different ice cubes, while also practicing the pincer grasp.

Furthermore:
Ask the children to match cubes with similar attributes (colors, size, materials, etc.), or try practicing fine motor skills by stacking the cubes.

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Iceberg Melt

icebergmelt

Submitted by: Kate Parker

Using icebergs made from paint, children watch the melting process and make observations of the combination of colors, flow of the melting colors and the elapsed time needed for their “icebergs” to melt.

Goals:

  • To practice measuring
  • To understand the difference between liquids and solids
  • To hypothesize about the new colors created when colors are mixed
  • To create art and patterns from the melting “iceberg” paint
  • To discuss where real icebergs can be found

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: small paper cups, markers, water, BioColor® paint colors and a covered working surface.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Give each student a small paper cup and have them write their name on it. Students should add their own mix of BioColor® paint to their cup. Freeze overnight.

Step 2.
Have the children guess (i.e., make hypotheses) what will happen when their icebergs begin to melt and blend together. What new colors will be created?

Step 3.
Tear away the paper cups to release each iceberg. Place the icebergs on a plastic tray, panel or another type of water container.

Step 4.
Observe the melting icebergs. Which hypotheses proved to be true? Encourage the children to develop new hypotheses as they observe.

Furthermore:
Discuss further scientific principles that can be observed while the icebergs are melting. For example, solid water (ice) floats on liquid water. Do the melting paint colors blend the same way they do on paper?

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3-D Snowmen Scene

2192

Submitted by: Robyn Priest

Use modeling material and tools to create a wonder-filled winter scene.

Goals:

  • To use the imagination as a source for symbolic expression
  • To practice a variety of methods of observation from different points of view while exploring spatial relationships

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: Air-dry modeling material in assorted colors, modeling tools, paper plates and miscellaneous embellishments.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Distribute the paper plates and modeling material amongst the children. Allow them to become familiar with how the material works.

Step 2.
Demonstrate how to build a snowman using the material. Encourage the children to do likewise and build a winter scene around their snowman.

Step 3.
Use different colors of modeling material to create different parts of the snowman, such as a hat and carrot nose. Mix colors if necessary to enhance the look of the winter scene. Alternatively, use all-white air-dry modeling material and paint color and details onto your snowman and your scene.

Step 4.
Add embellishments to the snowman and the surrounding scene.

Furthermore:
Modeling material will need to sit for 24 hours to completely harden. You may wish to split this activity over two days; the first for modeling the clay, the second for any painting or decorating of the winter scenes.

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Animal Effigy Coil Pottery

coilpottery

Submitted by: Robyn Priest

Children can create an animal-inspired coil pot to treasure for years to come.

Goals:

  • To learn coil pottery techniques and create original, 3-Dimensional artwork
  • To introduce Native American cultural crafts and traditions

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: non-hardening clay (for practice), Crayola® Model Magic® or other air-dry modeling clay, dough mats, Colorations® markers, pipe cleaners, wiggly eyes and feathers.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Expose children to Native American pottery examples and provide a global view of how pottery is used across the world. Provide a demonstration of how to build a coil pot. Explain that they will choose their own animal to inspire their artwork, and allow time for them to plan by drawing or writing about their ideas. Children can use non-hardening clay for practice.

Step 2.
Provide modeling clay to the children, and have them divide the material into four quarters. Explain that one quarter will be used to create a slab bottom. Three quarters will be used to create a coil for the pot.

Step 3.
Provide modeling clay to the children, and have them divide the material into four quarters. Explain that one quarter will be used to create a slab bottom. Three quarters will be used to create a coil for the pot.

Step 4.
Then, have children shape a smooth even coil (it will look like a long snake shape). The coil will be wrapped around the perimeter of the slab bottom. The coil pot is complete when they wrap the coil around on top of itself a few times.

Step 5.
Provide students will additional clay to mold the head and tail of their animals and they can color with markers if they wish. Other materials, such as feathers, wiggly eyes and pipe cleaners, can also be added for decoration. (If you use Model Magic® allow it to dry before decorating with washable markers.)

Step 6.
Display the final pots around the classroom.

Furthermore:
If time permits, allow students to create an environment for their animal. Incorporate this art project into a lesson about Native American culture and art as well as other cultures that create coil pottery. This is a great opportunity to describe how people’s experiences and culture influence the development of specific types of artwork.

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Dinosaur Teeth

dinosaurteeth

Submitted by: Maureen Myers

Trachodon (meaning “rough tooth”) is a dinosaur identified only by a few of its fossilized teeth that were found in Montana. This fun, stringing activity is inspired by this little known creature.

Goals:

  • To learn about dinosaurs (especially the Trachodon) and their teeth
  • To promote counting skills and eye-hand coordination
  • To teach measurement, comparison and prediction

Before You Start:
Read a book about this or other dinosaurs and show photos to the children. If possible, make a visit to a museum which has fossils of dinosaurs. Find pictures of dinosaur teeth; try to show children a replica of a dinosaur tooth if possible. Point out how some dinosaur teeth look rough and smooth in different places, and how some are pointed and some are rounded kind of like packing peanuts. Some dinosaurs, like the Trachodon had many large teeth in their very large mouth. Gather items needed for activity: packing peanuts (foam or other), string or yarn, bags for each student to use to divide the packing peanuts into groups of 100 and plastic needles. The teacher may want to cut lengths of yarn/string, tie a knot at one end of each of them, and thread the needles ahead of time.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Let children prepare bags of peanuts by counting them out in increments of 20, 25, 50 or 100, based on their level of math skill. Each child should have their own bag of peanuts.

Step 2.
Give children a length of yarn threaded through a plastic needle. Demonstrate to children how to stick the plastic needle through the peanut and push the peanut along the string/yarn to the knotted end.

Step 3.
Have children string their own peanuts in 20, 50 or 100 increments. Place in a box until you have 2,000 peanuts strung.

Step 4.
When the children have their segments, take them out to the play area for some math, measurement and prediction activities.

Step 5.
Ask children to predict how far all the segments would stretch when they took them outside and connected them. Ask children, “Do you think they will all fit in our play area? Why? How can we make them fit?”

Step 6.
Talk about how large some dinosaurs were again and ask the children to estimate how many segments it would take to be as long or tall as a certain dinosaur. Have the children use their segments strung together to approximate or represent the sizes of various dinosaurs or dinosaur parts. When segments are connected to create various lengths, stop to ask the children how many peanuts there are total, reminding them how many are in each segment.

Furthermore:
This project should be done over a week or more; put it on the math and/or science table and let children work on it as they choose. Segments can be strung together to approximate sizes of many other objects such as vehicles or large animals, to measure playground equipment, or to see how long all the children are when lying down head to toe.

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Sign Language Book

signlanguagebook

Submitted by: Teri Price

Sign language can be learned as part of reading time, and this way they can remember and take home the new things they have learned.

Goals:

  • To learn sign language and have a reference to take home
  • To gain a sense of accomplishment and be able to share the book and the signs learned.

Before You Start:
Give each child a Foam Journal. Cut print-outs of hand signs for every letter, and have crayons on hand for the children to draw with.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
For each letter of the alphabet, choose a word – A for apple, B for butterfly, C for cookie, etc.

Step 2.
For the letter A, each child draws a picture of an apple; teacher attaches a photo of the hand sign for letter A next to the picture, and so on with the other letters.

Step 3.
Review each sign word and its letter daily. The children will love to learn signs for their favorite things.

Furthermore:
Children love learning signs and creating their own books. They can become little artists at age 4!

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Ice is Nice

niceice

Submitted by: Sarah Creswell

This is a wonderful cross-curricular investigation, emphasizing art (color mixing and sculpting), writing (metaphors, descriptive words, language experiences), and science (use of the scientific method, observing water as it changes from the solid state to a liquid).

Goals:

  • To begin to understand how to use descriptive words and metaphors
  • To learn about and apply the scientific method in an investigation

Before You Start:
About a week before doing this project send a letter home to parents asking them to help their child to make an unusually shaped ice cube. Milk cartons make good molds, as do margarine tubs or any container which is wider at the top than at the bottom (so the ice cube can be unmolded). Specify the date on which you want the kids to bring their ice cubes. The day before the activity is to take place, empty the sand or water from your sand/water table in preparation for containing the ice sculpture.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
On the morning you have selected for this project, have the kids take their ice cubes out of the molds and place them into the sand/water table, which has been emptied out for this ice sculpture. It’s best when the ice cubes are more or less piled on top of each other.

Step 2.
Have each child put one drop of either red, blue, or yellow Liquid Watercolor™ on top of their ice cube after they put it in the sand/water table.

Step 3.
After all the ice cubes are in place, and all the Liquid Watercolor™ has been added, lightly sprinkle glitter over the entire sculpture.

Step 4.
As the day goes by, have the kids check on the sculpture frequently. On a chart in the front of the room, record the children’s observations, questions, and descriptions of what is happening with the sculpture. Emphasize the use of “describing words,” and tell the children that both actual and metaphorical descriptions are great (you will have to explain the concept of a metaphor prior to beginning the chart recording). Also, emphasize the scientific process by asking questions, making predictions, making observations, and explaining results.

Step 5.
Enter into the wonder the children experience as they observe the unfolding, ever-changing beauty. Feel free to add your own observations and descriptions to the chart.

Step 6.
As the ice melts, the Liquid Watercolor™ will mix, and the children will observe the effects of mixing different primary colors together.

Step 7.
By the end of the day, the sculpture will be nearly melted. Discuss with the children what happened, and why it happened. Structure your questions to reflect the process of the scientific method.

Step 8.
Have fun! This is a wonderful, fun, magical activity to do with young children. They love it!

Furthermore:
This activity can be followed up with art lessons in which the children mix their own paint colors from primary colored tempera.

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