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Sparkle Snowmen and A Sale

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Confession time . . . I am a longtime stalker and gawker of Deep Space Sparkle’s blog.  I think Patty walks on water and must have rainbow colored blood churning through her veins.  I am NOT an artsy person, but man she makes me want to be one.  And more importantly, when the practical and logical teacher on one side of my shoulders whispers to ‘play it safe’ when it comes to exploring ‘art’ in the classroom . . . I think about all the cool and amazing things that Patty does with all those elementary kids and I just go for it. 
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For ‘Sparkle Snowmen’ I didn’t worry about the mess, I didn’t worry about not having an aide to help, I didn’t worry about them ‘screwing it up,’ I just went ahead and gave it a try and in true Deep Space Sparkle project fashion, they LOVED it.  I think it’s really easy to forget how much our kindersneed the opportunity to express their uniqueness and make choices that are important to them, and offering them artistic activities provide them the opportunity to really do this, and our ‘Sparkle Snowmen’ were no exception.
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Basically, Patty will give you the step by step instructions for this project on her blog.  (You HAVE to visit her.  Trust me.  I want to be a kid in her class.  Just click HERE to see this project on her blog.) But I’ll give you a quick rundown of what we did, too.
 
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We prefaced the activity by reading and really studying the illustrations in  Snowmen at Night and Lois Ehlert’s, Snowballs.  They are great books for illustrating shading and recognizing how snowballs don’t necessarily sit right on top of each other.  ‘If they did, they would roll right off.’ 

 

 
Then we got to work painting. 
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Do you know how many kids have never painted before.  It never ceases to amaze me.  Seriously, I had my boys in a tub as infants painting with watercolors.  Kids need to paint . . . and get messy . . . and the bathtub seemed like a good place to make that happen.

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I realize that not all kids get this chance, however, so we spent some time in class talking about how to hold a brush, how to wipe some of the paint off the sides and how to use LONG strokes. 
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They loved being able to choose the colors they used for the background and just painting any pattern they wanted.  I gave them free range.

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The next step was getting the snowballs in place.  It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be especially since this class has struggled with using scissor and their fine motor strength.  

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Then came shading.  We looked at Snowmen at night again and used blue chalk to make the shading and smear it in a bit. I was amazed that some of them really ‘got’ it and the shading looked great.
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Finally, we added some ‘good stuff.’ 

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They made hats and scarves,

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used yarn for hair

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or whatever they wanted. 

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It was up to them to embellish and ‘fancy up’ their snow folk.

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I love how they turned out.

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I adore the fact that they are NOT cookie cutter. I am amazed at their charm as only kinders could create.
 
I encourage you to check out Deep Space Sparkle and all the other wonderful posts from her blog.  Find something that you might like to include in your lesson plans for the New Year.

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Speaking of New Year, I also wanted to give you a little heads up that I will be having a New Year’s sale December 31st and January 1st to ring in 2015.  I hope you’ll stop by and check out all the winter products in my store HERE and much more.
 
Happy New Year to you and your family.
 

Marsha Moffit McGuire

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