Whether at home or at Playgroup, children need extend periods of time to get engaged in activities. They need opportunities to master skills by repetition and testing how materials behave. There is a lot to learn about the properties of glue and how to make tape stick and hold things together. Over the past few weeks the children have been learning how to use pipettes to move water. Now they are busy moving the primary colors (red, yellow and blue) and becoming aware of how the colors are changing. They continue to be fascinated with the light projector and now with their shadows.
The children are fascinated by the light projector. They notice that objects they place on the light source get projected on the wall...HUGE. Change the objects and the images on the wall are changed. What a sense of power to be able to make such effects happen!
We are learning to use pipettes to move water. There are many steps to master. First you suck up the water in the pipette by squeezing the bulb and letting it go, then lift the pipette out of the water and then press the bulb and observe the water flow out.
We notice the children are wonderfully eager and persistent while trying new challenges.
Your support and delight in their activity is key to the Upcycle Playgroup experience.
* Follow your child as they choose what they are drawn to explore.
* Take joy in this time with them. Be in THEIR moment!
* Converse with them as you explore together.
By joining in their play they will know you value their efforts!
See you soon,
Eve & Courtney
It was good to be back after the winter break, and to also put some routine in our days!
On our first day the children investigated the light tables and our light projector. They placed items over the light and noticed their effects on color and aspects of light and shadow. In the hallway we like to offer a gross motor exploration. The week the children crawled in large boxes and played with the light from flashlights. We continue to have centers for painting and clay work adding various formats to challenge and add elements of surprise to challenge the children's thinking. We always provide a "skills" table where children with their adult can work on scissoring, taping, gluing and mark making. See you all next week!
Eve and Courtney
The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) and UpCycle Creative Reuse Center teamed up again in the north hall of the Torpedo Factory for First Night Alexandria festivities.
The AWLA brought two dogs and a snake that were available for adoption. Pugly was a 1 year old pug mix who will be available for adoption after he receives extra medical attention. Franco was a friendly 10 year old pug/Brussels Griffon mix and Monty was an adult ball python looking for a forever home.
Children were invited to paint, draw, and create a collage of one of the on-site animals to help get them adopted.
George Washington joined in the creative fun and made a portrait of his best animal friend Screech!
Eight pieces of artwork from the event have been selected as animal winners and are posted on UpCycle's Facebook page. The public is invited to "like" the artwork until midnight on January 7, 2017. The design with the most "likes" overall wins an AWLA Executive Director led tour of the Shelter for up to 20 guests and a gift certificate to UpCycle Creative Reuse Center.
All of the artwork created at First Night Alexandria's Kids Help Get Animals Adopted Through Art may be viewed below.
UpCycle provided a variety of arts educational programming and outreach in our community. Here are some highlights from 2016. What a year!
Materials Playgroup - for ages 1.5-4 years
Tinker Time - for ages 3+
Studio Workshops, Scouts, School Groups and Parties
Camps - for ages 3-15
Partner Events - Alexandria's First Night with the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria; Torpedo Factory Arts Safari; Space Bop with Arts on the Horizon
Adult Art Workshops
Teacher Professional Development
Outreach in Alexandria City Public Schools Preschool and K Classrooms
Community Events - Maker Faire, Alexandria's Earth Day Celebration, Art on the Avenue
Fundraising Events - Gingerbread House Decorating Party
A very warm thank you to everyone who joined us for our Gingerbread House Decorating Party on Sunday. It was wonderful to gather with friends and see so many creative ways to design with candy--much of it donated to us after Halloween. Now that's creative reuse!
Huge thanks goes out to the Bennett, Jahns and Setliff families for serving as the host committee for our first ever fundraising event! And, a special thank you goes to Susan Miranda who shared her party idea with UpCycle and made the inspiring gingerbread Masonic Temple.
We hope to see you all again next year!
Thank you and happy holidays from all of us at UpCycle!
Research shows that when children are engaged with open-ended materials, their minds are more actively and dynamically engaged. Open-ended materials allow for children to explore and discover according to what interests and engages them. In Upcycle's playgroups, children challenge themselves by trying materials in new ways--like our recent ball play in the hallway. They also are experiencing activities that reinforce fine motor development through gluing, cutting and mark making.
It is lovely to see the children engaging eagerly in activities with each other and also with the other adults present. They are growing into a wonderful community of learners!
Here is a selection of photos from the last time we were together.
This week we explored different textures. We sprayed watercolor on crinkly paper, painted on slick plastic and taped and drew on bumpy (and very sparkly) paper.
We also explored printmaking with tubes and cork on cardstock and really loved the bubble effect the tubes created!
We built with blocks and tubes and had a ball playing with bouncy balls on a large ramp outside of the classroom.
Kelley & Susan update the blog!