Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Anemone Ocean Craft

The children had a great time with our anemone ocean craft. While this is often done with toothpicks, it is safer with straws for the preschoolers, and I think the colors look much better.

There is SO much learning going on. It is much more than just a craft/art project. Advanced learning objectives discussed farther down.

Salt dough is 1 part salt, 1 part water and 2 parts flour. 

For EACH child, we used
1/2 C water
1/2 C salt
1     C flour

This was probably twice as much as needed for the anemone craft, but it allowed for more possibilities for creation and the probability of losing some to the floor.

Such a clean start...
The children put the 1/2 C water into their bowls, then chose 1-2 colors to place in their water. They squeezed out 2-3 drops each. Then mixed.

We worked on the concept of full and leveling.

After mixing in the bowl, they dumped out on the table.

A sensory explosion.

Rainy day with the doors and windows open, not the best environment for doing this, so it did need some additional flour. They didn't really believe me that it would get un-sticky. 

But it did.

They played with it for a while before I gave them the straws and scissors. I knew it would be a more hands-off activity once those came out, and I wanted them to really get the feel of the dough and the opportunity to manipulate it.

The straws have a tendency to fly everywhere when snipped, so it was a treasure hunt in the art room with pieces flying everywhere. 

They played with the dough for quite a while, stamping circles and making holes in it with the straws. In the last five minutes, I had them form it into a ball and place the straw pieces into it as an anemone. 

To dry, I left them for the rest of the day on the table, then I put them onto the top of our craft supply carts, which have a perforated metal plate, allowing air circulation to the bottom for more rapid drying. 

Last Year's
We were in no hurry for them to dry, so we just left them there for a week. If we had needed them dry quicker, I would have put them in the oven overnight on the lowest setting.


The first thing we did was taste all the ingredients and discuss the taste and texture, working adjectives. Mr. G thought the flour tasted like Cheerios. We spelled out SALT, FLOUR, WATER, STIR, MIX, DROP

Before starting, we discussed proportions and whole vs. half.  We discussed how our foot was the same size as our forearm. They have the same proportion, they are equal in size. 

I took two same sized pieces of paper and ripped one in two, and we discussed how the two together EQUALED, were the SAME as the one piece. Each small piece was 1 part of 2 that made a whole piece.
1/2 + 1/2 = 1

Disregarding liquid vs. solid measurements, we just used the same cups. So we looked at the measuring cups and the 1/2 and 1 on them and discussed how it took 2 of the 1/2 cups ADDED together to EQUAL the 1 cup. We spelled out the word CUP.

When we put the liquid food coloring into the water, we observed how the coloring laid in the water. Could we get the color back out? No? Then they mixed them up. We discussed whether or not they could get the food coloring back out now. No? Well then they had more than a MIXTURE, two things mixed together, they had a SOLUTION, two things mixed together than became one thing.

When they dumped their salt in, we discussed again. They could still see the salt and we discussed different ways they could get it back out and that it wasn't a SOLUTION, because you could still see the salt, so it was only a MIXTURE. [I didn't get into the fact that some of the salt dissolved and it was actually both. They ARE preschoolers...]

As they mixed it all together, we once again discussed mixtures and solutions and which one we were making.
Tags: homeschool, homeschooling, preschool, gifted, advanced, child, children, art, craft, salt dough, recipe, fine motor, sensory, cutting, scissor, skill, math, reading, language, science, theme, unit, ocean, sea, sculpt re, beach, summer

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