Arts & Crafts

Children Can Draw and So Can You

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

I’ve written about arts and crafts many times; it’s a favorite subject of mine, and has always been a focus in every classroom I’ve had (at schools and at home). I’ve always made sure that children have plenty of time for art, as well as all the art supplies they might want: paint, colored pencils, clay, markers, and plenty of paper.

One area that’s always scared me, though, is that of drawing or sketching. It’s not my strong suit, yet it’s something that I want my children to know how to do. That’s why I was so excited when I picked up a copy of Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes.

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Our Home Classroom Part 1: The Art Area

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

As many of you know, this past fall my husband and our two children and I moved to a new house. We had lived in our previous house for 10 years, and while it was a lovely house, we felt that with homeschooling and a home-based business, we needed more room.

One thing we were looking for was a basement that could be a combination classroom/playroom for the children. The house we chose not only had a spacious basement, but it was a walkout with sliding glass doors leading to our backyard and a large picture window (lots of natural light!)

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Holidays and the Montessori Classroom

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

We Montessorians never tire of running contrary to cultural expectations. Whether it’s introducing sounds at age 3, discouraging dramatic play in favor of real activities, or delaying fantasy and fairy tale stories until elementary school, we’re always making waves. One such area is that of celebrating holidays. I’ve seen some schools go to extreme lengths […]

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Do Outlines & Blackline Masters Stifle Creativity?

Monday, December 29th, 2008

I recently read an interesting article by Julia Volkman in the Jola Montessori newsletter Public Montessorian. In it, she talks about the creative limitations of having kids color outlines like those found in coloring books or blackline masters. In Montessori, blackline masters are black and white outlines of our nomenclature cards (see the Parts of […]

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Why Should Children Study Art?

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

When setting out to help children learn about art, I think it’s important to spend some time thinking over the subject first – what is the purpose of art, and why should kids study it? To some, art is nice but sort of a fluffy distraction; possibly not even completely necessary to human existence. To […]

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Bringing Art to the Elementary Classroom

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

As I mentioned last week, I believe that every Montessori classroom should have a dedicated art area. This lets kids know that art is important, and also gives them a chance to explore different kinds of art and different art media. In elementary, projects can be more sophisticated, especially if kids have had a good […]

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Setting Up Your Preschool Art Area

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Art. What does that little word mean? It can encompass a huge variety of pursuits, from drawing to dance, from sculpture to movie making. The one thing all artistic pursuits have in common is that they involve some sort of creation – making something that didn’t already exist. As you may remember from our study […]

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Hands-on Projects Bring Nature Indoors

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Kids love nature. The endless varieties of trees, bugs, rocks, and flowers provide unlimited opportunities for learning and exploration. Naturally, they love nature-themed projects, too. Here are a few of my favorite ways to bring the outside in: 1. Construct a Miniature BiomeThese are one of my favorite projects. I start with an inexpensive glass […]

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Making the Most of Spring – Some Great Activities for Kids

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Can you feel it in the air? I can! Even after a surprise snowfall this past weekend, the first signs of spring are definitely showing up in my neighborhood. I can see some bulbs sprouting their pale green leaves in my garden box, and a certain turtle dove keeps hanging around our bird feeder, looking […]

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Helping Kids Find the Artist Within

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Art programs are invariably the first to go when funding cuts happen in public schools, and a friend of mine who is an award-winning artist tells a touching story of being invited by a teacher to visit such a school to give a presentation. As the artist walked onto the campus, carrying beautiful, colorful canvases, […]

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