“Is that an octopus in the cage? He a spider? He gonna eat us!”

It was a very busy week and a half, as friends have started coming to the Pre-K Art Studio for art groups!  For children that were Pre-K 3’s last year, they acted as real leaders in showing new children around the Studio.  We spent some time noticing, wondering and asking questions about different spaces and materials that children observed in the new space.  Children that are new to CCPCS this year were very curious about the tarantula, Mister Skinny Legs, that lives in the Studio.  Friends that learned about spiders last year, and were a part of the naming process, helped introduce him (from the safety and comfort of his tank) to other children, and let them know that there wasn’t anything to be scared of!


Greyson: There’s a spider that has hair on him. He’s brown and orange.

Dafnee: I love your board and your lamp!

Claire: Why is there a classroom right next to yours?

Christian: I hear kids next door saying, “I have a block.”  I bet they are building.


Siah: The spider is moving. I think he likes your story!

Siena: It’s a little room… that’s so funny!

Nneka: Wow! Look at this place… it’s so cool!

Amen: The sink makes a noise.  A really loud noise.


Luke: This is the most awesomest room ever!

Esther: I’m scared the spider will get out of the cage and come to us.

Amen: Is that an octopus in the cage? He a spider? He gonna eat us!

Florentina: We get to go back to the back table when were done and the back table is always so fun!


“I look like a flying potato!”

It’s one of my favorite times of year in the Pre-K Studio… self portrait week!  Friends in Pre-K work on a self portrait for their portfolio at the beginning and the end of each school year.  It’s great to see how much their observations and skills change over the course of the year, and for children that are in Pre-K for two years, over the span of those years.  We began by reading The Colors of Us by Karen Katz and talked a little about different shades of skin, eyes, hair, etc.


Ra’Maya: I’m cocoa brown!  Yummy!

Rayyan: I look so nice like yummy chocolate brown.


Next, I showed some different techniques for selecting colors that most closely matched the colors that were unique to each of them.  Children selected colors that they thought would work, and held them up next to their hands, hair, etc. to see which color would be the best.



Mae: Eyebrows are skittery skattery across your face.

Amal: I make Amal!

Zavier: You don’t have to draw your legs because you don’t see them in the mirror.  I can only see my shirt, not my pants.



Dai’Jah: I have to try to draw my bows!

Andres: Camels have eyelashes, too.

William: Eyebrows keep the sweat from getting in your eyes and the hair in your nose keeps sand from getting up there.  It also stops wood chips from getting up there.  It tangles it up and gets it out!



Adrian: You forgot to draw earwax in your ear!

William: I look like a flying potato!

Carlos: Giraffes have eyelashes to keep mosquitos out of their eyes.  They have ears like half circles, too!



Here are some of the finished self portraits from our week!






“Do you buy smocks at the smock shop?”

During the first six weeks of a new school year, children explore new materials in different areas of their classroom. Learning about new materials is a great way to build relationships with both classmates and new teachers!


During the second week of school, Pre-K friends began working with oil pastels in the art area. It was exciting to compare and contrast crayons, which children have been working with since the beginning of the year, with oil pastels. Children were able to draw freely as they acquainted themselves with the new material. Once friends were finished with their masterpieces, they learned how to clean up oil pastels and where they could find them the next time they wanted to draw with them!


“It feels soft on my hands.” -Ra’Maya

“When I roll the pastel, it makes a funny noise.” -Zeina


“It’s on my fingers! What! How?”Jax

“When I mix them with my fingers it makes new colors. I’m an artist because I always draw nice things.” -Siena


“I’m going to mix these two colors together and I don’t know what it’ll make. It’s making purple! You need to use red and blue if you want to make purple!” -Elliott

“Does the oil in them make it so they mix? And smudge?”Mae


 “I mixed blue and yellow pastels to make green. Someone took the paper off but now I can draw with the pastel sideways!” -Miguel

“They look like crayons, but they don’t really draw like crayons.”-Isabella



The third week of school was very exciting as we began learning about different types of paint! Friends learned about primary colors (red, yellow, blue) and how to mix them to create secondary colors (orange, green, purple). We practiced putting on smocks to protect our clothing, and learned how to carefully carry wet paintings to the drying rack.


“The drying rack is like an oven.” -Ayub

“To make green darker, I can add blue. To make it lighter, I can add more yellow.” -Miguel


 “I like painting the most because I love, love, love it so much because it always looks so good.” -Siah

 “Do you buy smocks at the smock shop?” -Elijah


 “I’m dipping the brush carefully so I don’t get paint everywhere.” -Waju

 “I mixed all the colors and it made it look black. The paint is really strong. Oh yeah, my painting looks good and really awesome, doesn’t it?”-Marquis


“You can paint whatever you want. I’m painting a tunnel for spiders, ants and walruses.”    Jariel

 “I know that blue and yellow makes green so you can do that if you want to make green. I like mixing red and yellow… it makes a golden color.” -Zeina


“Why is the back hot but the front cold?”

As many of you know, CCPCS was without air conditioning for a couple of weeks.  The Studio gets direct sunlight for the majority of the day, which is typically great, but made the room incredibly hot.  I brought in a fan as a way to cool down the classroom a bit, and children ended up having so many great questions about it…

How does it move by itself?

Why is the back hot but the front cold?

Are pinwheels sharp when they go fast?

What do the buttons do?

Can it dry my project?


Friends became so interested in the fan, that it became a center in the Studio that friends could explore when they were finished with their work.  There were many materials that were available to use at the fan (pinwheels, windsock, streamers, flags, etc.) and some friends even made their own to projects to put to the test.  Children wondered, noticed and continued to question the fan week after week.




Sarah: It’s gonna blow me away!

Maceo: I’m a creation guy.  I’m drying my creation by the fan.  It dries it so fast.

Sasha: Ooooh, it makes me feel so cold!  Yay!

Abigail: Look at your dress… it’s blowing.  It’s so cold, it’s cooling off my arms.



Alberto: That part looks like a 3 rotary helicopter.

Rayyan: It looks like fireworks spinning from the wind!  Mine is super fast.

Jariel: Big pinwheels spin faster than little pinwheels.

Andres: It going round and round.  It out of control.

Selwyn: I’m getting dizzy!  The wheel spins and makes me dizzy.



Asiah: I like that fan.  It’s drying off my painting faster than the drying rack.  Then I can take it home today!

Phoenix: It’s spinning so fast I can’t even see it.

“I knew it would be good… I told you!”

6 days until our Spider Showcase! The first half of this video is from week one when children were working on spider web Gelli prints.  The second half of the video is of friends stamping their hand carved spider stamps from Styrofoam!  Make sure to stop by the Studio next Wednesday to see all of their work around spiders!