It Not "Just Recess" Anymore!

Teachers often heave a sigh of relief when they take their students out to recess. Finally! The children can burn off the pent up energy they had been accruing for the past few hours indoors. But what if we change our outlook on outdoor play time? What if we create an outdoor environment that offered all of the learning opportunities that one would typically find indoors? What if children could run out to a well-planned play yard to find experiences in math, science, nature, dramatic play, water, building and construction, sensory activities, physical development, art and music? What if they play yard developed critical thinking, discovery, problem solving, and cooperative skills? The result would be that we wouldn't have "just recess" anymore. We would have The Outdoor Classroom!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Puffy Snow Paint

Prior to the major storm this week, our sensory/art project on the patio was Puffy Snow Paint (see recipe below). I mixed up a batch (it looked a LOT like Cool Whip), provided spoons for scooping, and offered the children the opportunity to make a snowy picture. I also added small jars of glitter to add some glitz to the project. This group is fairly active, and so I imagined a full sensory experience of using hands and fingers to spread the soft "paint" around. Funny enough, there was only one little girl who dove into the gooey mix with full gusto!

The boys diligently scooped and patted the paint with their spoons, ever so careful not to get any on their hands! One boy did give it a little taste, but discovered quite quickly that it doesn't taste nearly as good as it looks! 

The glitter was a HUGE hit with the boys and they did shake those little bottles with enthusiasm!

I don't think they started with an idea in mind, but they all decided that their pictures looked very much like mountains and volcanoes. And they did!

I hung their pictures up on our display line on Wednesday. That night, a massive storm (click to read that post) hit our city and cluttered our yard with over 30 garbage bags of debris! Our 3 sided easel was ruined, the patio was a MESS, trees were toppled outside the gates, and our "loose parts" were found everywhere around the yard. Lamp posts and traffic lights were snapped in half, but those little pictures were still hanging on the line the next day! Sparkly volcanoes and mountains survived! ;-)

Mix 1 part school glue to 4 parts shaving cream. 
*Dries exactly as it is put on the paper! Looks fluffy, feels soft and dry.


  1. What a story! The pictures I've seen from that storm are crazy. Glad to hear the damage was minimal at your place. I think we are doing the same project this week, too! Then we are going to use a handprint when they are finished to make a gift for their parents for the holidays.

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