Friday, September 9, 2011

Rainbow Day

For the last two weeks my preschool class has been doing "color days".
Each day was assigned a different color and the kids would wear that color to school and bring an item of that color from home to show their friends. Today was our last day so, of course, it was rainbow day!

We did several really fun activities including painting with all of the colors:

We also did a really cool activity with unflavored gelatin.
We had been having colored jell-o each day for all of the other colors, so today we "painted" some clear jell-o. We started with a bowl of unflavored gelatin that I had made the day before (this was trickier than I thought! The first batch we made was waaaay too hard so we melted it down in the microwave and added more water. We were pleased to find that it re-set nicely in the fridge, but bummed to find we had added a little too much water and it didn't hold it's shape when we took it out of the bowl. Third time was the charm! It took wiping the inside of the bowl with a little veggie oil on a paper towel and making sure to dip the bowl in HOT water for about 15 seconds before tipping it over.)

Step 2 was preparing our "paint". We filled these paint trays with a little bit of water in each well (probably about 1-2 Tbsp.) and then I had the kids name what colors they wanted to add. I used Colorations Liquid Watercolors - a.k.a. The Best Classroom Art Supply EVER. They are a definite must-have for any early childhood classroom. You will not regret the money you spend on these!
tip: the more concentrated the color the cooler it will look, but you don't want to use the liquid watercolors undiluted because then you'll end up using A LOT of them in order for you to have enough for the kids to be able to get in their droppers.

Step 3 was using plastic pipettes to inject the watercolors.
It was super fun to push them into the gelatin and watch the color squirt out!

Eventually the gelatin started to break into chunks from all of the injecting. We also cut it into sections to see what it was looking like on the inside. Eventually, I pulled some of the chuncks off and put them on a separate tray so we could look at how they had been stained by the paint. They looked like jagged jewels. 

 Once I figured out how to turn the camera's flash on, I took this one which shows all of the cracks and punctures from the pipettes.

We also ate rainbow snacks (candy corn and goldfish crackers) and sorted them by color before eating them... but really, after the whole gelatin injection project, popcorn and goldfish are kind of lame. ;-)

We did one other super cool project that I've been dying to try after seeing it all over the crafty blogosphere:
melted crayon canvas art!!!

I had the kids help to find the colors and put them in the right order.

Then I hot-glued the crayons along the top of the canvas...

 ...and turned on a blowdryer on the highest heat setting.

They started off pretty slowly, but once the wax started to heat up, it flowed really nicely.

 This was our finished product!

A lot of the pictures I've seen of similar artwork online have the wax covering more of the canvas, but my favorite part is the drips, so I kept a lot of drips and didn't melt as much of the wax as I could have.
I would have had the kids help with the hairdryer part, but by the time they sat through the process of finding and sorting the colors and waiting for me to hot-glue them on, they were ready to move on and go play. They all loved the finished piece though and were mezmorized by the drips.

As much as the kids loved it though, I think my favorite was the reaction of some of the adults in the building who saw it. Eyes bugged and jaws dropped and many people just asked "Where did you get that idea???" To which I responded, "Blogs!"

So thanks to all my bloggy friends who have done this project or posted pictures they found of other people who have done it. I'm definitely going to do more of these in the future and perhaps even a few for my house. Some of the ideas that my fellow teachers and I were discussing were using metallic crayons on a black canvas or experimenting with adding another layer of crayons over the first after it dries.

It's been a really fun two weeks in preschool.
Now I have to figure out what we're going to do on Monday...

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