- Cristi Wuenschel
Snake Invitation to Create Process Art Experience
As an Experience Early Learning Blog Ambassador, we receive the Experience Early Learning preschool curriculum in exchange for sharing our honest and authentic stories resulting from our personal experiences. As always, our opinions on amazing things for children are 100% our own. Keep in mind that all preschoolers do things in their own time and on their own terms. What one is ready for, another might not be. Please use your best judgement when planning activities for your children.
Last week I shared a closer look at several days of our new pond theme from Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time).
Today I wanted to take a step back and focus on one particular activity that I feel made a huge impact on our preschoolers.
I've talked about process art before and why it's important for children to have open-ended creative experiences.
This particular invitation to create focused on our Day 2 topic (which was snake), but most weeks include at least a few process art activities.
We set out the inspiration photo that was included with our Experience Early Learning materials as well as the additional supplies.
The materials that the children used included straws, pipe cleaners and beads.
Now let's talk about what happened because this is what really impressed me about this activity.
Each invitation to create process art experience includes a list of prompts.
What do you notice about the snake in the photo?
How will you decorate your pipe cleaner to look like a snake?
Will you cut the straw into pieces?
Could you make a pattern with the beads and straw pieces?
One by one without any prompting whatsoever, the preschoolers started creating patterns with the beads and straws. Not all of them and not every age group, but enough that I took notice.
We've heard it over and over again. Children learn through play and of course play is so important in early childhood.
This experience is just one example of how Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) encourages play-based learning and experiences for our preschoolers.
I didn't sit down with our group and tell them, "Hey! Let's make patterns." They worked independently and in small groups and did it themselves.
The skills listed for this activity in our Teacher Guide included Fine Motor and Visual Arts, but process art also encourages creative thinking and problem solving skills as well as providing important sensory experiences for children.
Our Teacher Guides also make the assessment process easier by providing a list of things to observe as students are completing specific activities.
Did the child demonstrate fine motor control while threading the beads or straws?
Did he or she use scissors to cut the straws into pieces?
I love that these sections give me a sort of checklist of things to discuss and skills to observe.
As a busy preschool teacher, I'm thrilled that I don't have to reinvent the wheel and create everything on my own.
It's already right there. It's provided for us. From the Teacher Guides and daily discovery bags to the prompts and assessment as well as everything in between, Experience Early Learning makes teaching a lot easier.
Don't forget to check back next week to learn more about how we're using this preschool curriculum in our classroom.