Friday, August 24, 2012

Cornmeal Music Shakers... (Week 2)

If you have been following this mini cornmeal journey with us, you may be wondering...
"Tondra Denise, is that the SAME cornmeal that you spilled on the floor over a month ago?" 

My answer to you is "Why yes it is, and thanks for asking." 

We have had so much fun with it, and we still have 3 more weeks worth of activities to share with you!  I'm so glad I didn't throw this stuff away!! (I told you that I saw more, didn't I?

For those of you reading this that do not have a clue what I am talking about,
you may go back to read the beginning here 
 
For the rest of us, Week 2 activities included... 

Activity #6- Cornmeal Maracas

 

What we did: Set out cornmeal, beans, and empty paper towel rolls.  I folded and stapled the end of the paper towel rolls, and let the children fill them up with cornmeal and beans.  Then I stapled the top, and wrapped it inside of the chldren's artwork papers to catch any leaks the staples miss.  Stylish, yet functional!  (Mathematics, Visual and Performing Arts, Health).



Helpful Tip: Recycle, repurpose, and reuse what you already have on hand.  Use this opporunity to discuss "going green" with the children, and explain the importance of taking care of the Earth.

Activity #7- Cornmeal and Rainbow Rice


What I did:  Put cornmeal and Rainbow Rice in separate bowls inside of our red sensory table.  (Social- Emotional Development, Language and Literacy, Mathematics, Visual and Performing Arts).

What they did: Stirred them, mixed them, sorted them, sifted them.  (No, this is not from Dr. Seuss)


Helpful Tip: Keep the rules simple and consistent. Each person must wash their hands before and after the activity, be sure to "clean" or sift through the cornmeal after using, and store it in a sealed container when finished with the activity. Following these tips allowed us to use our same cornmeal for over a month!

Activity #8- Cornmeal Textured Painting


What I did: Mixed cornmeal together with paint and put it into a repurposed egg carton (Visual and Performing Arts, Social-Emotional Development, Language and Literacy).

What they did: The children used their fingers to explore the texture of the paint, and dip out onto paper.

Activity #9- Blindfold Sensory Game


What I did: I separated a variety of items into sandwich bags (birdseed, feathers, cotton balls, string, rice, cooked noodles, beans, and cornmeal).  We blindfolded the children and let them try to guess what each item was using only their sense of touch. (Social-Emotional Development, Language and Literacy, Visual and Performing Arts).

What they did: There was a lot of giggling because there is something fun and silly about being blindfolded and given a task to perform (think of pinatas back when we were kids).  The children were only allowed to feel the outside of the bag, which made the game quite interesting.

I see more: Later in the day we read the famous Indian Legend of "The Blind Men and the Elephant" about six blind men who happen upon an elephant.  Each man, using only his hands, must feel the elephant and declare what it is.  What they didn't know is that each of them felt a different part of the elephant leading them each to a different conclusion; the elephant is a spear, a wall, a snake, a tree, a fan, and a rope... "And so these men of Indostan disputed loud and long, Each in his own opinion exceeding stiff and strong, Though each was partly in the right, and all were in the wrong!"

Reinforced Lesson: The children were so excited about this activity, they wanted their parents to play at pick up time.  I was excited because research has shown that learning is extended when adults get involved and show interest in children's play because it teaches them that their ideas are important, it builds communication with the adult, and promotes a love for future learning activities.  It was so AWESOME to have dads that came in at the end of a LONG DAY, who were willing to take the time to let their children blindfold them for a 4 minute game!  The cost of that?...Priceless!!!

Helpful Tip: Do not let the children see any of the items before the game begins.  Put all of the smaller bags into a larger bag and have children pull them out one at a time.  Also, if you have younger ones DO NOT pull the items all the way out of the bag.  Let the blindfolded child feel for what it is without letting the younger children see it either.  Two year olds do NOT have good impulse control and will blurt out the answer!  Ask me how I know...


Activity #10- Cornmeal Sand Castles




What we did: We made our own sand by mixing colored sand, cornmeal, and water.  Bring out the trays, add cups and spoons and make homemade sand castles!

Helpful Tip: To get the most use of the cornmeal, do all of the dry activities first.  Once you add water to your cornmeal, you only have 24 hours before you must throw it out.

(Click here to see Week 3 activities)

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