This week in playgroup, we opened with clay again. But, this time it looked different. It was nice to see many friends plunk down and enjoy exploring clay again this week.
In our studio, we added a light box to the lenses so that we could explore more properties of this material. Filling and pouring was also a familiar pastime. One friend worked for a long time to fill a large vessel. When other friends ventured over to this center, we were able to narrate the encounter so that everyone became involved.
We also added containers with lids to the building area after observing children taking marker lids off and putting them on last week. There was a fascination with the markers last week, and we noticed the lids and contents of the containers kept friends busy this week. Many were successful in twisting the tops off the containers!
Other studio activities included tape, cutting discarded greeting cards, and mark making with oil pastels and water color paint.
Our materials playgroup began this week. We welcomed new friends and enjoyed seeing our old friends, too.
We gathered around clay, which was a new experience for many. It was nice to see everyone happily engaged in clay, enjoying its properties and sharing techniques for changing it.
In the studio, we offered a cutting station of VCR tape, a sensory bin of lenses, attaching with tape, mark making with oil pastels and markers, and a collection of balls, tubes and tunnels.
Pictures from Tuesday's playgroup:
Pictures from Thursday's playgroup:
How fun it was to meet new friends and have new experiences! At our first playgroup, we gathered around natural clay. Some friends were hesitant to touch the clay at first, but almost everyone became involved. Many of us commented that the clay felt cold. We grabbed chunks of clay off of the block and worked to change it. We rolled the clay into coils and balls, and we pinched and poked it. We stepped on the clay and touched it with our feet. We flattened the sides of a ball by dropping the clay repeatedly. And, we worked to put the hunk of clay back together.
Then the room was open for exploration. In our workshop, friends rolled balls through tubes and tunnels. We were curious about where the balls went, and we noticed the sounds they made as they moved in the tubes. Other friends poured materials and put them into containers. We also made sounds with the containers.
We made marks with tape. Many friends "stuck" with tape: unrolling, cutting, ripping, and sticking it on reclaimed posters and themselves.
Many friends were "focused" on the bin of eyeglass lenses. We looked through the lenses, made comparisons and sorted them. We also enjoyed scooping and stirring the lenses. We noticed that friends were satisfied with both the sight and sound of this experience.
Our color collection box was open and friends created designs on the wall.
We would like to share an article with you about constructivist learning and productive questioning: Productive Questions: Tools for Supporting Constructivist Learning, by Mary Lee Martens. We will be talking about how we can guide our children's play in ways that support and extend their learning.
See you next time!
UpCycle CRC is pleased to announce expanded programming and Open Houses to introduce prospective families to our programs for young children.
UpCycle Creative Reuse Center 2013 Program Open House Dates:
at Convergence, 1801 N. Quaker Lane, Alexandria, 22302
We hope you'll join us to explore the possibilities of working with reused materials on the grassy lot next to Bean Creative, 2213 Mt. Vernon Avenue. We'll be making bottle cap necklace charms and weaving a large sculpture. Come join the fun... and our mailing list!
Some images from our evening: