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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pretty Pussy Willows

We started our spring discussions today, I know I'm pushing it a little. Usually when I start our spring theme my first course of action is take a walk around the church grounds and look for signs of spring. I checked as I went in this morning--they're not there yet. I promised the children we would do it next week.

We talked about warm weather, baby animals, leaves on the trees, birds, new flowers, and bugs-"oooooo"-as all the girls said. We talked about robin redbreast being a harbinger of spring--yes, I used that word, and explained to them it means a sign indicating that spring is here. I then talked about the pussy willow tree as being one of the signs of spring-so that's what we made today.

For the project you need:

brown, white, & black paint
paper with poem

I ran some construction paper through the copy machine to make sure each paper had the pussy willow poem on it. We used to have a Golden Book that was called "Pussy Willow" and we would read it to the children when we did this project. I can't seem to find it. The poem is from this book. It reads:

I then got a small nancy bottle and put some brown paint in it, I added some water to dilute the paint a bit. I drew a line on the children's paper with the paint, then asked them to take a straw and blow on the paint to make it look like a stick. Some of the children did great with this, others, I had visions of hyperventilation--they did great. Also, I drew the lines because the paint came out a bit quickly and I envisioned large globs of brown paint everywhere.

When I did this project, about a million years ago, I remember putting a large brown splotch of paint at the bottom of the paper and blowing from the glob to create the branches. When I tried this I got something that looked like a big paint splatter instead of branches. Maybe my paint wasn't thin enough, but ours worked out pretty good.

I had taken some white paint and added a bit of black to make gray--this fascinated the children--can't really explain why. The children used a fingerprint to make some pussy willows on the branches. I originally started with a thumbprint, but some of the children were more comfortable with pointer, or various fingers.

This was the first year I did this project this way and I was pleased with the results.

I also had a big container of pom poms out for them to "experience" the softness, like a pussy willow. I think I'll be finding pom poms in the room for the next 6 months.

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