��My Etsy Sh��p��

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Rainbow Forest Done (for now!)

Well, it looks like the Rainbow Forest project is done for now.  There is a proud look of accomplishment on her little face and a smile that speaks volumes.  All her little animals aka "the animals of the world" are in place and settling into their new home.
I took photos in sections, so you can see the amount of animals that live in this Rainbow Forest.  "They are happy and all get along.  The trees are very branchy and give them shade and make them cozy."
"They monkey just has to stay in that tree.  He loves it so.  Oh, hello my pretty deer, come see me.  I will put you in a special place.  You and Bear are friends."
"I think maybe my horses will come for a visit, but they won't stay.  They live in the barn.  It's cozy for them.  Maybe one or two horses will live here."
I am not sure if this project is complete or not.  But, for now, it is sitting in a prime area on the buffet, where it is easy to access by G when she needs to rearrange the trees, but out of reach of little sister Roo.  Location, location, location. 

to be continued...?

Have a fun and playful day.
Mel

Reggio to Rainbow

I have always loved the Reggio approach to education.  I incorporated a lot of its aspects into my classroom once upon a time.  The above photo was on Pinterest and comes from atelierpourenfants.blogspot.fr  I was so inspired by it.
I went in search of clay and decided to go to my local dollar store, because it's inexpensive and didn't know how well the project would go over. They only had rainbow clay and that's okay. 1) G loves rainbows and 2) it was cheap. I didn't want to invest a lot of money in clay if G was interested.
But G WAS interested - intrigued even.  She loved molding the clay aka tree bases and adding different twigs to make the trees - big and small, straight up or "very branchy".
Roo, who is 20 months, also LOVED making the trees.  She spent about 30 minutes making her trees.  She likes to do everything that big sister does, but also this is her kind of project.  She likes to figure things out.
The above was my Rainbow Forest.
This above photo is G and Roo's Rainbow Forest.  G has plays to expand her Rainbow Forest.  "We need to make it big enough for all the animals of the world." She said.  I had to go pick up 4 more packs of Rainbow clay.  In between breakfast and preschool this morning, we were making more trees for the Rainbow Forest.  I smile, because I think in true Reggio fashion, we have a project lead by the child's interest and it is a project that it being added to and growing with the child's thoughts and imagination.

Have a fun and playful day
Mel

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Once Upon A Time in a Rainbow Forest

"Once upon a time, there was a Rainbow Forest.  It was a cozy play, where lots of animals live.  I wish I could live there too.  It's sooo cozy..."
"...lot's of animals live in the Rainbow Forest and make it their home.  There's deers and hedgehogs and skunks and a whooole lotta birds..."
"...sometimes a baby dragon is in the Rainbow Forest and needs someone to take care of him.  He is a tiny baby dragon..."
"...the fairies take care of baby dragons and alllll the animals.  They are good at taking care of animals.  If I was lost there, they would take care of me.  No bad people are in the Rainbow Forest.  If bad people did come, the fairies would hide everyone..."
"...foxes are in the Rainbow Forest too.  They are onry sometimes and play tricks on the other animals.  Look, there are owls, too!"
"...we can take care of hedgehogs and deers just like the fairies, but first we have to catch them.  Where is there a forest here?  I do want to find a Rainbow Forest big enough for me to stay in.  I think they eat and drink and sleep and play alllll day in the Rainbow Forest.  It's a happy place and cozy, too..."
"...lots of birds live in the trees but one lives on the ground.  The red bird is flying.  I can fly too.  Watch me..." (running about with arms flapping)
"...the fairies take care of alllll the animals then they go to sleep.  The End." - G, age 4

I do love the imagination of this child.

Have a fun and playful day!
Mel

Tinkerbell is a Tinker Fairy

Okay, yes, I know have adult children, but I still love Tinkerbell.  She may be my favorite Disney character - well, I have several.  BUT  the new Tinkerbell movie is out today.  I got a Tinkerbell and the Never Beast playset at the Disney Store this weekend for $15.  I will set up a tea party after nap, but for now...Tinkerbell is tinkering about.
I had some miniatures from a dollhouse and used them to set up Tinkerbell's workshop - spare clock parts, teeny tiny nuts and bolts, paperclips, spools, jars of fairy dust, and buttons were also added.
G is going to have a ball tinkering around with Tinkerbell today!

Have a fun and playful day!
Mel

Craft Day Tuesdays - St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day Inspiration
Here's some St. Patrick's Day Craft inspiration from Pinterest!  Happy crafting.  We have freezing rain here in Ohio - great day to stay in and craft the morning away!
Have a fun and playful day
Mel

Monday, March 2, 2015

Tinkerbell and the Never Beast

Are you a Tinkerbell fan?  We are in this household!  We are sooo excited for the new movie - Tinkerbell and the Never Beast to come out tomorrow.  I went to the Disney Store to get this new playset ($15) - it comes with 5 fairies and a never beast.  I walked into the Disney Store and the employee asked, "How can I make your wishes come true today?" A little corny maybe, but I smiled like a kid.  I do love the Disney Store.  I feel like I am part of something special there.
So the playset is for G and Roo, but I played around with it for a bit this weekend.  The set looks good on my playscape (found in my etsy store), but I am going to take it with me tomorrow for a Never Beast Tea Party I think!
The weather is supposed to be crummy tomorrow.  Well, I guess we will make some popcorn and snuggle in to watch Tinkerbell's new adventure!

Playscapes - Setting the Stage for Play

I once interviewed for a preschool teacher position (I didn't take it) and the woman interviewing me kept repeat, "The classroom needs to look like a catalog."  I had to ask about this.  She said, "When the room is empty, it must look like the pages of a catalog - neat and clean and organized."  While I agreed with the fact that the room needed to be straightened up, I also know how kids play.  If they build a tower, after recess, they want to come back and add to that tower.
For many years, I have thought about that preschool and tweaked their approach.  I think the classroom or playroom or play area should be an invitation to play.  When a child or children walk into a room, they should be immediately drawn to an area, to the toys, to learning.  Toys don't need lots of bells and whistles and make noises to be engaging. When I taught preschool for 14 years, I always had the classroom set up - staged for play if you will - for the kids coming in.  If they were excited to play and found something to engage themselves, transitions and drop offs were much smoother.
As a nanny now of 4 years, I still set the stage for play.  While they are napping, I arrange their toys to scream, "come play with us!"  I often set up a scene to engage them.  In December, one day they woke up to a whole village of gingerbread houses complete with a river made of felt and a cardboard bridge.  Don't you know that they played with that village well into January?
I have been hand-stitching playscapes - landscapes for the imagination - for my etsy store.  You could simply set out the playscape play mat with a few toys as the pictures here in this post are an example and let the child's imagination run wild.
Maybe the Smurfs are hiding in the cave or the Schleich fantasy creatures are going to take a swim in the babbling brook.  Jake and the Neverland Pirates might be playing a prank on old Captain Hook or maybe Snow White is singing to the woodland animals.  Whatever the scenario, the stage for play is set.  Batteries are not included, because they are not required.  Only the power of imagination powers this play.

Playscapes are available in my etsy store - link to the right or www.mybigworld2015.etsy.com

Have a fun & playful day.
Mel