At the moment we are living in a challenging world from the effects of Coronavirus to the civil unrest we have been seeing. These are all very difficult thinks to speak with children about. I know I personally rarely have the news on in front of my own kids. Some would say this is good some would say this is a bad thing. We all have our own feelings on how we should raise our children during these times and how much news we should expose them too.
The one thing I do know is no matter how hard you try to protect them from the news, the negativity, the stress, and anxiety of the world around us it sneaks in. At the early stages of the Coronavirus Pandemic Sesame Street took on the challenge of speaking with our children about what was going on through town hall events. They are now doing the same for racism. Join Sesame Street and CNN as they partner together to hold a child and family friendly town hall addressing some of the current concerns. “The 60-minute special. “Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism.” Will air on Saturday, June 6, at 10am ET. The show will talk to kids about racism, the recent nationwide protests, embracing diversity and being more empathetic and understanding.”
The special will not require cable and can be accessed via CNN’s app, cnn.com, CNN en espanol.
What is one of the all-time favorite activities for children? BUBBLES!! As I was cleaning my garage last weekend, I came across a bucket of homemade GIANT Bubble, bubble solution. My first thought was I wonder if it still works? After all it was made over 2 years ago. To my surprise it did!
I originally made this bubble solution when I was teaching preschool in Pacifica. We were nonstop bubbles for a whole week. Each day we focused on a new bubble activity. I was originally planning to duplicate this process at home this week but living in this fluid time our plans changed. I did get one bubble activity in and I was hoping for a home run. But my best laid plans fell flat.
My goal was to create bubble paintings, though the end result was not as planned it was a good lesson in experimentation and process art. I used the following bubble paint recipe which I found on the Tinkerlab website, https://tinkerlab.com/bubble-paint-recipe/.
Bubble Painting Recipe:
Directions for Bubble Painting:
My Process and Result:
Since I had never done this before I decided to do a small test before I presented the project to my kids. I gathered my supplies and made one bowl of blue bubble paint. The bubbles were slightly hard to create but it worked!! I was so excited, while my kids ate lunch, I prepared five different colors for them. This is when I discovered the blue dawn dish soap changes the color of red and pink paint, the colors became a little darker and slightly muddy. I set everything aside for our project later in the day.
Finally, we were finished with our schoolwork and it was time for art, the kids were excited! I used the same bowl of paint that I tested earlier to demonstrate the process except this time the bubbles would not stay formed. The kids decided they wanted to try anyways, and each grabbed a color. Unfortunately, the bubble paint did not work any better for them. The bubbles were still weak, but kids being kids they were having fun just trying to make the bubbles and creating a splatter mess. My fist though was maybe the soap broke down since it sat, I quickly made a fresh bowl of bubble paint thinking this will work. Nope, the bubbles were still not stable enough.
However, while I was bummed and frantically trying to fix the art to make it work my kids were having a great time creating their own versions of bubble art. I took a step back and thought “chill out Mom, art is about the process not the end result.”
As I looked over I saw my daughter using her straw as a paint brush and my son was blowing single bubbles out of the end of his straw and letting them drop onto his paper. They were figuring out what worked for them, it was time for me to just let them explore.
During clean up my son and I started pouring paint into one bowl and after seeing how beautiful the paint looked we decided to attempt making bubbles one more time. Sure, enough we got bubbles!! So, the painting started all over again. I am thinking maybe there was just not enough paint mixture in our bowls. Unfortunately, we did not get the rainbow of colors that are shown in the bowl.
My takeaway, like our daily lives right now art is fluid sometimes things work sometimes they don’t just step back and have fun!
Well we got a break from the rain this week and got outside. We were interested in participating in the Chalk Your Walk trend on Social Media however, we do not have sidewalks in our neighborhood. The next best thing for us is our fence and stone pavers outside our house.
Today I did a super easy Tape Resist Art project with my daughter. This is something you could do with children of all ages. It can also be fun for adults. You just need a few items, most of which you may already have at home.
My daughter decided one painting was not enough. On the second project she used a small canvas board. Instead of taping directly on the canvas she put a little paint down first. She then added tape and more paint. After removing the tape and letting it dry, she added a tape diamond in the middle with another layer of paint.
I could be wrong, but I feel that both of these art pieces may have been inspired by Frozen II.
I hope you all have fun painting. You could also try:
Parents often wonder how they can help prepare young children for school. Providing children with opportunities to experience early literacy is an easy way to help. Simply by reading to children you are developing vocabulary, listening skills, and introducing them to grammar. Research shows that reading aloud to children helps build literacy even more than talking to them.
With so many children having to stay at home Actors, Actresses, and Authors have come together to read stories aloud for children’s enjoyment. Search for #SaveWithStories or #OperationStorytime on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to view the videos.
With the current state of affairs in California, we all find ourselves in a unique and strange situation. In the back of our minds, we are wondering if this is the “new normal.” We hope that the situation resolves to the point we can all continue with our regular lives but for the time being families will be assisting children with distance learning.
As we start on this journey of distance learning, we need to remember a few key points.
Preschool Age Children:
Children ages 0-5 learn best through play and interaction. Since we are in a state of shelter in place, it is a difficult time to give your children interactions with children their own ages. For the time being family members will be the main source of interaction. Here are some ideas of things you can do together to help preschool children learn.
You can also find many ideas for activities on Pinterest, Google, and YouTube. For internet security, be sure to preview videos prior to showing them to your children or watch with them.
School Age Children:
Children grades TK-5 learn very differently. It is best to assess your child’s abilities and create a plan based upon their individual ability. However, children in TK-1 still very much learn through play and interactions. One way to help engage them is to empower them to be the teacher. Let them teach you something or have them set up a classroom and teach their stuffed animals. However, as a parent of a school age child you should follow the direction of your child’s CUSD teacher.
Online Educational Resources:
Scholastic Learn at Home: https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html
National Geographic: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/
Fun Brain: https://www.funbrain.com/
Highlights Kids: https://www.highlightskids.com/
Google Earth: https://www.google.com/earth/
Discovery Education Virtual Field Trips: https://www.discoveryeducation.com/community/virtual-field-trips/
Doodles with Mo Willems: https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/mo-willems/
We hope some of these ideas will help during this time.