While our Kindermusik class was on semester break, we went to SPLAT Studio's The Art of Reading preschool class one Wednesday morning. At first, E was a little hesitant because she saw the Kidmazium play structure downstairs and thought we were going to play there. Okay, she was a lot hesitant, throwing a full blown tantrum. But the teacher at SPLAT were amazing at getting her to settle down by showing her what we were going to be making and asking her what color clay she wanted!
We started by reading a book which tied in with the art lesson:
Linking art to literature? The teacher in me was getting very excited. No Two Alike was a great pick. The assistant teacher who read the story was fantastic at engaging the kids by asking them questions and pointing out the illustrator's style.
After the story, we compared 2D shapes to 3D shapes using real examples the children could manipulate. By this point, I was ecstatic. While E was handling the shapes she was saying words like, "cone, sphere, cube, and cylinder" in an age appropriate way.
Finally, the teacher tied in the 3D shapes we were discussing by showing us how we were going to use them in our sculptures. We were each going to make a bird (parents included, yay!) and, of course, no two birds would be exactly alike. They pointed out that while our child's bird might not look exactly the way we (or they) want it to, we were going to concentrate on the experience of creating the art. Process not product! Yes!
We watched the teacher model how to roll spheres and cylinders from the clay and pinch cones into beaks. We ended the class by making clay nests and eggs for our birds. E started blending two shades of brown clay for the nest which was beautiful. What a fun technique!
Sadly, I have to report that one of our cats thought that our birds looked so realistic that he should try to eat them. Here is a picture of them, beakless and a bit chewed, still protecting their nest and eggs from the scary cat! I will have to get some clay so we can fix them.