“I need to make my ears more like elf ears because the top is pointy!”

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 both years.  We began by reading The Colors of Us by Karen Katz and talked a little about different shades of skin, eyes, hair, etc.

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



Declan: Oh my gosh, I look beautiful!  Look… I see I have two sharp teeth like a tiger.

Isaac: I have a bun on my head like you!

Mina: I found vanilla ice cream.  That’s my color.

Avery: I made my earwax.  No, no, my eyelash.

Asa: My lips are a little bit of two colors.  They are a little bit light and dark.



Jax: I have hair.  I think it’s dark brown like this.  What’s next… oh… my mouth!

Nora: I made my head so big because I’m growing.

Adele: My skin is like vanilla, or maybe like sand?

Dayana: Let me find my color.  Oh, this looks good!

Joelle: I’m dark chocolate brown.  I drew my dark chocolate cheeks.



Sammy: You have to look in the mirror to see what kind of skin you have.

Cesar: My eyes are different than my skin.  They’re darker.

Brandon: A mirror shows the reflection of your whole body.  And your whole face.

Julian: I made my head to look like a potato shape.

Alden: I have light brown hair and I have a swirl.  I’m drawing it long from the top of my head because I need a haircut.


Beginning of the year self portraits are typically a one week process, but this year it seemed like a perfect opportunity to introduce children to self critique and adding detail. This week, children examined their self portraits and noticed parts of their face that they had forgotten to add.  This led us into a discussion on adding details, and how revisiting your work can make a stronger finished piece!  Friends found it hysterical that their self portraits almost went into portfolios when they were missing noses, ears, eyebrows, etc.



Aurora: A detail is coloring in your skin.  And maybe I could add my dress!

Irvina: I can make my hair darker.  That’s a detail because last week I made my hair light!  I see different colors of brown on my cheeks, too.

Theo: Hey, why did I forget my ears?  It’s the same color as all my skin.

Africa Grace: A detail is when you add your color to your body so it looks like you.  And you can make your cheeks.

Santi: I forgot my ears… I gotta add them!

Isaac: I need to make my ears more like elf ears because the top is pointy.



Naila: Details are maybe adding finishing touches?

Elizabeth: You need to add things to make it look more like yourself.

Bella: I’m adding more hair.  I didn’t put enough!

Drew: My detail changed!  I don’t have a dinosaur shirt on anymore.  Today I have a polo shirt with a horse on it.

Alina: Why did I forget to add my eyebrows?

Mateo: You could color in your face because your skin isn’t really white like the paper.

Katherine: Last time I did my skin peach, but I see my skin looks like peachy pie.



Below are some finished self portraits, which show self reflection in making the work look more realistic.


“There’s rainbow rainbows… everywhere!”

After spending three weeks pushing into the art center in PK classrooms, this week children FINALLY began coming to the Studio for art groups!  Friends were busy exploring the space, learning about new art materials and collaborating with friends.

Each art group began with walking around the Studio and noticing things that excited them or that they were curious about.  Children that were in PK last year enjoyed noting similarities and differences between the Studio, as many areas are new!


Elijah: I remember the easel was turned this other way and you had a rectangle table, not a circle table last year!

Betsegaw: I hear a teacher?  I want to see the friends.

Irvina: This room is so amazing.  It’s like a rainbow.  There are so many decorations in here!

Cesar: Why you don’t got no bathroom in here?

Declan: I see centers in here, like different art centers.


Kendul: Your bell sounds like a musical instrument.

Dayana: I hear a baby crying.

Julian: I see the park!

Charlotte: Your room has windows.  A rainbow window.  And that’s aftercare over there.

Daniela: Everyone belongs in here!


Naila: I’m looking around the room so I know what I want to paint.  I love the rainbow on that window!

Marcus: I hear the “popcorn on the train” song.

Drew: I remember making those bug stamps last year!

Luca: The easel turned to the side.  I notice so many new friends, but not the bell… the bell was here last year.


Asa: There’s rainbow rainbows… everywhere!

Alden: I know, we made that a couple years ago about insects.

Julian: There’s a hole in the wall so we can hear them singing the fishy song!

Uhura: I hear friends behind that wall.  I think they’re doing a dance party!

Vanessa: I saw diamonds!  I love diamonds.

Jax: How do you have play dough in here?

Nora: Where do the smocks live?


Next, children were introduced to sketchbooks.  We will be using them throughout the year to collect art work and individual stories.  Children will have opportunities to share artwork from their sketchbooks with others as we build a collaborative community.  Friends used liquid watercolors to begin designing and differentiating the covers of their sketchbooks.


Aurora: How does the paint dry so fast?

Frances: I see paint.  Pink paint, hooray!

Ahmari: It looks like blood but it’s really paint.

Avery: I’m covering all the white.  It looks beautiful!  Look what’s happening… the blue is going away because I’m changing the color.

Kaylee: I’m painting so much.  I’m working so hard!



Theo: Before you paint, you have to tap off some of the paint from the brush.

Kourtney: The jars are made out of glass.  If you drop it, it will break and it will make a mess.

Brandon: The outside of the sketchbook (spine) looks like a slinky.  It moves!

Elizabeth: Remember when I mixed garbage green last year?  I’m trying that again.





Nazeer: I can teach you how to put on the smocks!  Just go and put your head through here.

Katherine: I’m being so kind with this… I’m sharing the paint.

Adele: I’m so an artist.

Christian: We can share the paint in here, but we can’t share our germs.

Daniela: Be gentle gentle with the glass.



As children finished painting, they began learning about other centers in the Studio.  This week, dry erase markers were available at the easel and Slick Stix were available at the back table.  Friends are VERY excited for the sensory table to open up next week!



Frances: These feel good but they feel a little sticky.

Ahmari: Pop the top back on it.

Kaleb: The erasers are super soft.

Kendul: These look like lipstick.

Theo: I like the Slick Stix.  They look kind of nice and sticky like glue sticks.






“I’m making a color that nobody’s mixed before.”

After weeks and weeks of experimentation with color mixing, children started working on their final color study product!  Friends began by closing their eyes and imagined what it would be like if they only had a few colors in the world to paint with.  Children thought about places they had been that evoked vivid memories, animals and food that they loved, and objects they have seen at school or at home.

Next, friends began creating their unique colors in small plastic cups.  Friends added paint to their cups until they had a color that made them happy.  Once the color was just right, they painted a small rectangle with their paint that would be used for the final product.  Children were able to pick the number of colors they wanted to create, ultimately ranging from 2-4.  Colors were saved for the following week… stay tuned for a post about the final work!



Victor: I maked black. I mean I maked grey! I’m making it!  I like it!

Luca: This color looks kind of rotten.

Naomi: I’ve got an idea! Maybe if I put orange and yellow it will make gold. Elijah, is that how did you made gold?

Sebrina: I’m ready to make mines. Let’s see if mine is beautiful enough.



Amen: It made mint blue. Mint blue is very light.

Dafnee: I made brown. You just use all the colors to do that.

Eli: I used yellow, blue and white. Then I used a little bit of blue again. I picked them because I want to make green. I knew blue and yellow made green.

Waju: I think I need a little bit more red to be happy.

Julissa: Oooohhhh, this color is good!

Isaac: Let the color mixing wars begin! A color mixing war is something that when everyone mixes colors together!



Fatima: This green I made looks like turquoise. I like this. I want to use this color everyday.

Eden: I’m making a color that nobody’s mixed before.

Kwame: I made dark green. I’ve never made dark green before. I saw a juice that was dark green before.

David: White paper like colors of paint!

Jeylin: Mine looks like yogurt.  I love this so much.

Siah: I’m happy with my color. Wait, no, I’m not.  More purple and now I’m happy!



Katherine: I’m using all of the colors. It’s turning into rainbow colored. It’s changing to brown.

Avery: I’m not happy yet, I still feel a little mad.  I’m not happy yet.  Now mine looks like a smoothie.  I’m happy with this!

Kate: This is like chocolate milk.

Sammy: Close your eyes everybody, lets see what it is. Oh my god! Oh my gosh! A dark purple, I’m happy with it.

Anders: I like this one… it’s blood red! Zombie red. Zombie blood red.

Kourney: Look at it, I love this color. It’s purple and pink.



Aurora: This color looks like cake.

Elliott: I’m ready for my paper because it turned so light. Wow! It’s light orange.   It only took me all these colors to make light orange.

Kaleb: I’m sad about this color. I need to get some red a little bit.

Isabella: This is the color I wished for and wanted to make.

Amal: I like this color now. This color is amazing.

Leonel: I maked beautiful colors.

Frances: I’m mixing all of my colors into a beautiful paint that looks like a leaf color.  I love it, I love it.



“I’m going to make the crying face blue because tears are blue. When I see water coming from the sky it’s blue.”

Phew! We have been so busy with all this color mixing that I’m not really behind on blogging— sorry about that!

A couple of weeks ago, friends began making connections between colors and feelings.  To further explore this, we read My Many Colored Days by Dr.Seuss.

Once it was time to start mixing colors, friends were excited to see that different facial expressions were on their paper and immediately made connections between colors and feelings.


Victor: I made grey. White and black made grey. The sad face is grey.

Autumn: Peach is a silly color.

Luca: When someone makes you mad your face get’s red.

Elijah: When someone’s making a really silly joke, you might laugh really hard and cry at the same time.  I don’t know what color to make that face, though.

Naomi: There’s black in the story and it was a mad page. I’ll make the mad face black.



Amen: It’s making it grey. Daniel, you’re right, it’s making grey. Dark grey. You mix up all the colors to make it.

Dafnee: That face feels exhausted.

Eva: I make the happy face pink. It’s my favorite color.

Elliott: I’m using blue for the sad face. Because blue is the color of tears.

Amal: That face feels shy. And that’s a love face.  This is a curious face.

Nydelyn: The face with the hearts is purple because purple is my favorite color. I like purple.

Cora: A smiley face with tears? I loved something so much that I cried.



Frances: Heart eyes, he’s in love. Pink or red are good love colors.

Elizabeth: White is confusing because then you can’t see the face underneath.

Kai: I’m putting more mad. It’s getting so mad.

Alden: The laughing and crying is a rainbow face. Because I said so.

Eli: Look at this one. I made the sad face pink because I don’t like pink.



Mileena: The sad face is red.  I don’t like red.

Waju: I made my mad face super duper red. Some peoples face look red when they get mad. I made it super duper dark.

Jayde: Pink for heart for red for aaawwww. Love.

Isaac: I’m going to make the crying face blue because tears are blue. When I see water coming from the sky it’s blue.

Konone: He’s smiling and crying at the same time because he’s so happy. My mom smiled and cried at the same time because she was so happy.


Eden: Yellow is for happy, for the happy face. Yellow makes me happy. And it looks like a happy face sun.

Drew: This one looks silly. That’s why he’s a clown with a red nose.

Kwame: He’s making a happy face. Do you see he has a beard. He has a ginormous beard. He’s a little embarrassed that he has a beard.

Siah: Happy is pink like in the book.

Dylan: I’m making mad. Red and blue, it look like a rainbow. Look, Siah, I made a rainbow. Because it’s beautiful.



Julita: The heart in eyes is purple.

Anders: I’m putting yellow and white, haha. I feel surprised about that color.

Sammy: I made a wolf color for mad.

Kimi: It’s like your eyebrows are like up, up, up, angry.

Julian: This face is red because he’s angry.


“Magical colors coming up!”

Last week, children learned about mixing tints and shades by adding white and black to their paint palette.  We began by reading Mix It Up by Herve Tullet, a really sweet gift that Ms.Morris picked up for me at the National Book Fair this fall!

This was such a fun book to read because it’s hands on and everyone was able to participate in changing the colors throughout the book.  Friends thought it was magical and continuously checked their fingers to see if the paint really left the page and was on their hands.


Cameron: The book is magical because it made different colors. Some colors disappeared.

Frances: 1,2,3,4,5…. * gasp * it made my hand. Wait, it’s not on my hand. It’s magical!  It’s mysterious because it didn’t get on my hand but I could still change the colors.

Mateo: There’s a lot of colors on that page.



Trebor: 1,2,3,4,5… all the colors went on my hand. But there’s no paint on them.

Naomi: This book as magical. I like when we got to put our hands on it.

Felipe: The book was beautiful.

Anders: The book is magical when you smushed the book together and it made grey.


Next, friends began mixing their own colors and have started to really draw connections to the colors they make and objects that they know.



Brandon: A little bit of blue and a little bit of red, let me see what happens. Looks like pink like the ice cream.

Elizabeth: How you make the light blue? Wait, actually you tricked me, it’s blue grey.

Ethan: Yeah, pancake pancake.

Luca: Look, I made light grey! More white makes it light.

Siah: This one’s my favorite. It’s peach pink.




Elliott: Look what we both made. Red and black. Eva’s is lighter because of the red, and mine is darker because of more black. Mine is darker than Eva. Eva, look how dark mine is.

Kai: I think I’m gonna make pink. I made pink! How do I make pink darker?

Phoenix: That looks like ketchup and mustard.

Autumn: My hand is hurting because I keep painting.

Drew: Yellow and red, wait, wait, wait that’s not right. Yellow and blue makes green.

Dylan: Red, for Mater. I use red.




Isabella: Snowy blue. Just like Elsa made with her powers.

Katherine: I used red, white and yellow to make pink, light pink.

Ali: A magical colors mean it has green.

Kimi: Wow, I mixed it… I did it!  I didn’t feel scaredy.

Waju: White will make it light, black will make it black.

Elijah: That color looks like honeycomb.

Gionni: My palette is filthy.





Amal: If we put all the colors and put it here it makes grey. I hoped it was rainbow. Not fair, it’s grey.

Avery: Magical colors coming up!

Jax: *gasp* it turned play dough red!

Konone: Silver! All the colors made silver.

Nazeer: This looks like a toothbrush. And the paint is the toothpaste.

Amen: You can do light pink with I don’t remember, oh yeah, white and red like this.



“Purple and yellow together made a dark yellow that looks like a rotten banana.”

For the second week of our color study, friends mixed colors using primary (red, yellow, blue) and secondary (orange, green, purple) colors.  We began by reading Color Dance by Ann Jonas, which gives really great visuals for how colors mix and change… especially highlighting that all colors mixed together make grey or brown.

Next, friends began mixing colors on their individual palettes and shared with friends what they noticed and wondered throughout the process.




Autumn: What did I make? Red! But what kind of red? It’s yellow red!

Gerson: I made brown.  No, this is purple.

Phoenix: I made two purples… like twins.

Luca: Purple and yellow together made a dark yellow that looks like a rotten banana.

Naomi: Wow, this is a new color.  It’s so new that I don’t even know the name for it.  I guess I can call it yellow gold.




Elijah: I made a special color.  It’s called violet jam.

Nazeer: I’m holding the palette in my hand like I’m an artist because I am an artist.

Daniel: Red like the lobster.  Red lobster.

Brandon: Let me see what happens.  I used all the colors and see, it made brown.

Leonel: This color is called dark rose.




Frances: I think I made grassy green. And this kind looks like cactus green.

Elliott: On sunny days, I want to be cooled down. On cold days, I want to be warmed up. I’m going to make a color to make me really warm. A color like the sun makes me really warm, I used yellow and orange to make that.

Isabella: Does anyone know this color? It’s a dark stormy color.

Cora: I’m mixing Christmas-y colors. It made purple brown.

Trebor: I mixed a little bit of orange and a lot of green and it made monster green.

Elizabeth: Look look look what I made, it’s garbage green.




Mileena: This color is like the clouds. Like outside the window on those clouds.

Gionni: What happens if I put a little more green on the blue… it got lighter! I put more blue and now it’s darker.

Eden: That’s how real artists actually do when they paint on the walls they hold the palette.

David: What color this is? Blue. Yes.

Siah: Let’s see how it changes. Orange, I got orange! Uhhhh, I used red and orange.




Avery: I’m making black. But I’m not finished yet, I’m still making colors.

Anders: Let’s see what happens to this. It made green. I made light green and dark green. It looks like trees.

Jax: Some red and some yellow, mix the colors and now let’s see what happens now! It turns to an orange with…. Blood!

Julian: Mater is brown and McQueen is red.

Joelle: I’m gonna mix two colors. Not a lot of colors, just two colors. It looks like green beans, right?


“I need to take a little break… mixing colors is making me tired!”

Last week, friends began learning about colors and color mixing as we kicked off our long-term color study!  We started by reading Monsters Love Colors, a very silly book that introduces colors and color mixing to young children really well.

Daniel: Red monster!  Blue monster!  Yummy colors!

Elizabeth: I can’t wait to mix so many colors for the monsters.

Felipe: Will red, yellow and blue make a rainbow?  The monsters will be so happy!  We made new colors, too.

Next, I introduced some new materials, such as a palette.  Children learned that palettes are a tool that artists use for mixing colors.  They were very excited to hold it in one hand and their paintbrush in the other.  For the first week, each palette was prepared with the primary colors (red, yellow, blue) for children to mix new colors with.


Leonel: We’re going to paint with Colombia colors… red, yellow and blue.

Sebrina: A palette holds the paint.  It’s important.

Finally, it was time to paint.  Children began mixing colors that they thought the monsters from the story would love!



Autumn: Look at how I made it…  I mixed red and blue and it’s purple!

Phoenix: That color looks like the color of Ethiopian food.  My mom likes that food!

Luca: Red is the color for love.

Dafnee: Daniel was right!  Red and blue makes purple!



Brandon: I’ll mix red and blue and let’s see what happens!

Isabella: How did you make that kind of purple, Elliott?  Does it have more blue or more red?

Cameron: I mixed all the colors… let’s see what happens!  How come when I did all the colors it made brown, not rainbow?

Nydelyn: I made red, like a strawberry red, because I like them.



Trebor: I want to make rainbow.  Wow, I did it actually!  It’s because I’m an artist.

Cora: I can’t believe red, yellow and blue can make all of these colors!

Frances: I made turquoise with a lot of blue and a little yellow.  Now look, when I put a lot of yellow and a little blue it makes light green, like slimy green.

Bella: I made the color of ducks!



Elizabeth: When you mix colors, the paint is loud.  When you paint, the brush is quiet because it’s busy.

Waju: I made dark green!  Now I have two types of green.  This one is darker because it has more blue in it.

Eli: I made green because I thinked about it and remembered that blue and yellow would do that.

Kwame: I mixed all the colors and it made brown.



Siah: I made tropical blue, how did I do that?

Katherine: Blue and yellow I told you made green.

Anders: I was right… red and yellow did make orange.

Joelle: A little bit of yellow and a little bit of blue makes a little bit of green.

Sammy: I need to take a little break… mixing colors is making me tired!



“He’s the writer. He writes the words. He makes the pictures. Eric Carle is a human. I’m like Eric Carle!”

While children were embarking on an author study of Eric Carle in their classroom, there was so much enthusiasm around his stories and illustrations that consistently came up in conversation. It seemed like a natural progression would be to find connections to his work that we could explore in the Studio!

Each group began by reading By Mouse and Frog by Deborah Freedman. In this story, Mouse is trying to write a story, but Frog keeps interrupting and changing the plot of the story. By the end, they learn that they can write a wonderful story together, but only if they take the time to slow down and listen to each other.

Phoenix: Mouse and the frog don’t listen to each other.

Naomi: Mouse was mad because frog made a big mess with his story.

Sebrina: The mouse was sad that frog was talking over his story.

Cameron: Frog made it a mess and it was a bad story. He didn’t let mouse talk!

Eli: The frog made the mouse worried because he didn’t listen.

Isaac: That story blew my mind because they drew on the walls!

Next, children were introduced to the “imagination rock”, which meant that when it was your turn to contribute to the story, you were holding the rock and sharing your ideas. The rock had the word “imagine” etched in it, and friends loved feeling it’s “powers” when it was their turn to share. Once the collaborative story was complete, we edited it until everyone in the group was happy with it.



Autumn: The special rock is giving me powers… story powers!

Luca: Close your eyes and you can feel the story powers.

Amal: If you put it on your heart, you use your imagination and you know what you want to make.

Samantha: This rock is really special.

As children learned about Eric Carle, they loved that he writes books and also does the illustrations. After re-reading our story, children used ripped tissue paper and glue to design backgrounds based on their story.

Amen: I heard Eric Carle did the ladybug and the click beetle book.

Dafnee: I read a book, an Eric Carle book, and it had a monkey in it.

Fatima: Eric Carle writes the words and draws the pictures.

Katherine: He made that caterpillar book.

Anders: He’s the writer. He writes the words. He makes the pictures. Eric Carle is a human. I’m like Eric Carle!


Aurora: He’s the person who draws the words about the caterpillar who ate all the food.

Joelle: He’s an author. He draws pictures. He wrote about the grouchy ladybug.

Luca: When I grow up, I want to be Eric Carle.

Gionni: I’m gonna be like Eric Carle and make the frog a funny color. He’s a yellow frog now!

The following week, we read The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse by Eric Carle as we began thinking about how to represent the characters. Eric Carle used his imagination in this book, and friends thought it was silly that he represented the animals in different colors. Children began drawing and collaging to make their stories come alive. When the work was finished, children signed their names so people would know that they were the authors and the illustrators!


Isaac: Everyone calls me Eric Carle but I don’t know why. Maybe because I’m drawing a rainbow donkey.

Frances: Eric Carle is a great storyteller.



Samantha: Eric Carle is friends with Antonio the ant. He’s not a person, he’s an ant.

Cameron: Eric Carle is Antonio’s favorite author and illustrator.


Below are a few of our collaborative stories and storyboards… enjoy!


The Little Rock Goes to the Pool Party   by Jabez, Jeylin, Dylan, Frances and David

Once upon a time, there was a rock. He was walking because he had legs. And he has feet and he wears shoes. The rock has clothes on. And he has eyes, a nose, mouth and hair. Then, there’s a lion in a pool. The lion invites the rock to the pool party. They eat chocolate ice cream cake. The lion has his feet in the water. All of the people are coming to the party for the lion and they are so happy because the rock is just like them. The people are also rocks with legs! The airplane comes to pick the rocks up. The airplane takes them to New York for a bigger pool party.


Giant Monster at the Playground   by Adonai, Trebor, Cora, Nydelyn and Nazeer

One day on the playground, the mouse fell on the ground. “I hope it will stop falling,” said Trebor. “I hope it can slide down the slide,” said Adonai. There was a monster and the mouse showed his claws and said “roar!” Then, Trebor just slide down the slide and bumped the wood chips because he was surprised. The monster just fell on the rock and he got a scratch.


The Princess, the Prince and the Dragon   by Elliott, Eva, Isabella, Kaleb and Brandon

Once upon a time, there was a tower. A princess and a dragon lived there and the dragon was trying to destroy her tower. He tried to keep the city all to himself. And the princess was sad and the prince came and he made her another castle and saved her. Then, the dragon came back and destroyed the whole world and the whole planet. The dragon broke the princesses new house. The princess goes in her house and then the dragon breathes fire on the princess. And then the dragon and the princess got friends and got along. They were friends again and happily ever after.


The Rainbow Butterfly and the Nice Dinosaur  by Daniela, Cameron, Leonel, Amal and Issabela

One day, there was a butterfly and he was flying in the forest. He’s eating flowers like rosies. A dinosaur came and ate him. The dinosaur said, “roar!” The bunny comes and the butterfly came and they become friends. “Do not eat it,” said the bunny. And then the dinosaur ate him! The dinosaur ate all the butterflies in the whole city. But, he didn’t kill one butterfly, the rainbow butterfly, because he was so powerful. And he had nice kindness powers and he shot it at the dinosaur and he became nice. Now, he shares.

“Junk is ew… but if it’s Beautiful Junk, then it’s fancy!”

Last week, children were introduced to “Beautiful Junk,” which are recycled materials that we can reuse and repurpose in the Studio and in PK classrooms.  Families received a letter asking for donations and were invited to drop off bags of materials in the bins outside of the Studio.  Please continue to donate and fill our bins throughout the year.  By the end of the week, bins should be labeled so that families can sort their materials for us to use!

We began by reading Not A Box by Antoinette Portis.  This book is great, as it’s all about a rabbit that uses a cardboard box and his imagination to create a race car, a pirate ship and a robot costume.

Following the read aloud, I brought a large shoebox to the table and children made predictions about what they thought was inside.  As I began to reveal the items, children instantly made connections to the book and were overflowing with ideas of what the materials could be used for.  We talked about what they were (can, blackberry box, cork, water bottle top) and about what material they were made from (metal, cardboard, plastic).  This will make sorting and labeling the bins easier next week!

Phoenix: My daddy has shoes from a box like that.

Waju: I wish Mrs.Hughes was here to see this special box.  She likes treasure boxes.

Autumn: This is a thing for eggs.  It’s a really special box.  It protects them.

Amal: The rabbit would like all the Beautiful Junk.  It would be like a beautiful present for him.

Trebor: We could use this junk to make a collage.


Eli: You can use the materials to make a plan.

Mariyah: It’s a shoebox. I want to sit in it.

Elijah: It’s metal!  It clashes into metal and that’s what makes the sound.  It’s shiny and good to play with.  Did you know a magnet sticks to metal?

Waju: Beautiful Junk is if you’re at a scrap yard and you find junk and you think it’s good and you want to make something with it.

Isaac: Junk is like… dirty things.

Eden: This Beautiful Junk is amazing!

Ali: It’s so very yuck.

Jax: That’s a thing for babies (fabric)… like Pampers.

Luca: When I blew it (packaging peanuts), it flew all up in the air.  It flies up all by itself.  It mixes up and goes up and out.


Amen: Maybe cats would like these (corks).  It looks like it came from a tree.

Elliott: That’s fabric for making a curtain.

Isabella: Beautiful Junk is what you use to make something cool.

Alden: That tube looks like a dough roller.

Elizabeth: It’s things for sauce (small cups) … like for ketchup.

Eva: It (corks) smell like candy and looks like a roly poly because it’s round.

Cameron: I saw so many junk in the hallway.


After children were familiar with the materials, I invited them to openly explore and build with them in the sensory table.  Friends collaborated and enjoyed creating new objects together.



Autumn: Let’s pretend the straw is like a magic wand.  Turn Ms.Cushner into a… frog!

Luca: Shiver me timbers… I’m a pirate!

Nazeer: I want to make a dump truck.  I need cardboard to do that.

Frances: Hey, that fabric is from my house.  Junk is ew… but if it’s Beautiful Junk, then it’s fancy!

Trebor: The straw is like a wand.  Abracadabra… turn my grandma into here!



Mariyah: We love you, Beautiful Junk!

Naomi: Those are tops for wine, but you could use them to make a treehouse in the woods.

Kai: Ah! Stuff can fall out of the bottom of it (toilet paper tubes).

Belen: These look like cupcake cups.  I’ll make blueberry cupcakes.

Yuri: I’m a skeleton with tubes on my arms like the bones.

Frances: The ribbons are like dancing strings.



Please continue to donate Beautiful Junk for us to build with throughout the year!

“Scissors are so powerful. They really can’t stop paper!”

Over the past couple of weeks, friends have been practicing with scissors and different types of materials to build the muscles in their hands.  We began by talking about materials that were appropriate to cut with scissors, as well as materials that aren’t ok to cut with scissors.  We also practiced how to use them correctly and safely.

Autumn: Scissors are dangerous for babies.

Diego: My mom, she cut my hair.  Not cut hair in here.

Isabella: Go to like, a hair salon or a beauty salon for a haircut.

Nydelyn: You could cut plastic with scissors.

Eli: I know, you can braid your hair but don’t cut your hair.

Trebor: If you cut your finger it’ll so hurt.

Eden: We could cut fabric and flint.

Drew: We could cut pictures of cars.

Frances: We could cut ribbon!

Samantha: We could cut crabs so we can eat them.

Next, friends practiced cutting paper with assorted shapes and lines provided.  Depending on their age and experience, children snipped around the outside of paper, were able to cut through the paper, or successfully cut out shapes.



Kwame: Scissors are so powerful.  They really can’t stop paper!

Gionni: We have scissors in our class, that’s why we know how to use them.  We can cut our drawings out.  How can Isaac cut so good when he’s 3?  Good job, Isaac!

Stephanie: I did it.  I’m happy.

Joelle: Good job, Joelle.  I did a good job!



Bella: I did it!  My first time using scissors!

Jax: If you can’t do it, you just practice.

Aurora: These scissors make a big mess with the paper.

Kimi: Open, shut, open, shut.  You did it, Anders!

Elliott: You could make a truck with these shapes.




Nydelyn: I’m practicing so I get better.

Mileena: I could make a unicorn with this shape.  I like scissors.  I like cutting things.

Katherine: I cut the diamond!

Leonel: Open, shut, open, shut.  I love cutting them small so they are small like babies.



After friends practiced with paper, they were invited to cut playdough.  Friends practiced rolling playdough “snakes” and then using dough scissors to cut them.  Friends noticed a difference between cutting paper and cutting playdough right away, as both feel different in your hands.  Children are very excited to finally have scissors available in the Studio and in their classrooms!


Belen: What? Playdough scissors?

Jax: Cut the snake?  I don’t want him to be dead guys!

Torin: Cutting the playdough feels like snow because it feels squishy.

Brandon: Ouch, poor little snake.  I cut the big snake to make little snakes.

Julissa: It’s so harder to cut playdough.


Eli: I’m pretending to give the snake a haircut.

Anders: I can roll a snake.  I can roll a ball.  I can cut a ball.  I can cut a snake.

Eva: It’s soft to cut playdough.  Sorry snake, I don’t want to cut you but I’m practicing.


Elizabeth: Playdough is harder to cut than the paper.

Mateo: The snake broke and now there are two!

Frances: I’m cutting the snake up because he’s poisonous.  I’m cutting you up forever!