Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Toys

Hey, check out the cool new toys we picked up at the grocery store.

Some of them look kind of like balls, so we thought we'd set up the gutters and paint with them the way we sometimes do with balls.

We ran adding machine tape down the gutters, dipped our new toys into brown, yellow, orange, and red paint, then let 'em roll. Big messy time fun!

Some of the painted adding machine strips were still drying when I locked up on Friday, but we'll use them to finish up the "woven" bulletin board we started last week.

We also have larger versions of the cool new toys. They're pretty heavy, but most of us can lift them, before dropping them back to floor. So far they've always bounced. We tried making ramps out of our big blocks down which to roll them, sat on them, and used them for places to count our spooky dinosaur skeletons. We're finding them both useful and versatile.

Next week some extra big ones arrive in class -- so big we won't be able to lift them, but we'll try! Maybe we'll be able to lift them by working together.

We've also been trying out our new toys in the magnificent sensory table along with some 30 lbs. of flax seed, where they seem to have attracted teeny-tiny, itsy-bitsy, and great big spiders. Flax seed is the king of sensory materials. The tiny, smooth oily seeds glide and slide over your skin, leaving them soft and good-smelling. 

There is something almost liquid about the way they move, flow and ripple together. Several years ago 2-year-old Aiden made this connection and tried drinking a cup of flax seed, which turned out to be a bad idea. You'll notice there are no containers, shovels or scoops in there -- that's so the children have to feel the seeds with their hands. Flax seed feels sooooo good.

And then there are these things.

We'll all know the word "ornamental" by the time we're done with them.

There is nothing more gratifying than breaking in new toys.

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Deborah said...

I love all these ideas - the weaving is especially gorgeous!!

Deborah said...

I love all these ideas - the weaving is especially gorgeous!!

Juliet Robertson said...

I think you've just demonstrated the play value of harvest time! Did you have any luck with your garden crops this year?

Juliet Robertson said...

Oh - on that note, perennial flax is the most beautiful plant to grow - oodles of blue flowers all summer long. The seeds can be harvested and the stems used to make flax ... which is the basic fibre of linen.

Anonymous said...

Inspiration! I love how you use interesting natural materials. Love the flax idea...must investigate or think of alternative but something different from sand!

Fiona Johnson

Lena Just Lena said...

Amazing ideas-I love it. Thanks for sharing.

Kara said...

The pumpkin painting is stunning! Such great ideas! I'm adding flax seeds to my grocery list- always love new ideas for sensory tubs.

kristin said...

on my grocery list: flax seed.

Lynette said...

Teacher Tom, your posts are so inspiring for my preschool classroom. I wonder if anyone out there knows a way to buy flax seed without breaking the budget? I am in central, coastal NJ, land of all things expensive. LOL. Any resources you could share? Thanks in advance.

marcia said...

you do the COOLEST things! a true inspiration you are and how lucky the childen who are in your company!

happy day!

Teacher Tom said...

@Lynette (and others who have asked) . . . First of all, I should mention that MOST of our flax seed is several years old. We just keep sweeping it up off the floor and putting it back in the sensory table. This is true of all of our "bulk food" sensory items like rice, beans, wheat berries, etc. We're now in a routine in which we are only augmenting it with a few fresh pounds each year.

We buy ours at a local food cooperative, but it would be available from anywhere that sells bulk food. Most of our local supermarkets in Seattle now have bulk sections. I've never checked, but there may be online sources.

Play for Life said...

Okay so it's Halloween season I'm guessing?!! You certainly get some really cool props at Halloween time Tom! Those pumpkins are awesome and your gutter painting as always looks terrific!
Donna :) :)

Unknown said...

Amazing and wonderful!!! We've done many things down raingutter ramps, but not pumpkins. How fun!!!

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

Awesome!! Love the play-doh with the corn, I hope you're going to whip up some seasonal/scented batches of playdoh -- like my apple spice/pumpkin pie spice dough!!

The flax seed looks like SO MUCH fun -- also digging the gourd printmaking-bowling project and those big dinosaur skeletons : )

xoxo MaryLea (pink and green mama)

Beansprouts said...

Very the corn playdough rollers and the woven paint strips. I love how fall can be woven into and imprinted on every part of the curriculum. It always feels like my "easy" season because ideas are there just waiting for harvest.

Counting Coconuts said...

Hi there - I'm new to your blog and just took a few minutes to look around. Wow, you are quite an inspiration! This post alone is packed with clever ideas.

I'll definitely be back to read more - keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

We have found reasonable flax seed at a co op, but we buy animal grade flax that is used as suppliment for horses, still about $65-70 for 50lbs but it lasts a long time!

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