April 14, 2020
Here in Boston, we are really in the thick of it. A little Tuesday reminder to be gentle with yourself. We are all doing the best that we can under these circumstances. Post-bedtime, during nap, or even when a child is working on an independent project, be sure to take a few minutes for yourself. A project for parents: Intelligent Change recommends a “gratitude list” to stave away negative thought patterns. Here are a few suggestions:
- “Get Specific: The more detailed you get with gratitude, the more impactful it will be. Instead of saying, “I am grateful for Mom,” say, “I am grateful for Mom’s laugh.”
- Use Negative Visualization: Hear us out on this one before you judge it—Instead of visualizing all the good in your life, imagine it was all taken away. This is an old stoic exercise to help you remember what you love about your life that you’re not taking time to be grateful for.
- Use Gratitude Categories: Pick a gratitude category for each day of the week. For example, Monday: Gratitude about friends, Tuesday: Gratitude about myself, Wednesday: Gratitude about the world, etc.
- Share Your Gratitude With Others: Gratitude is all about the emotion. If you just intellectually THINK about gratitude without feeling, you are receiving little psychological boost. Sharing your gratitudes with others can take the emotion to the next level.”
Project of the Day for All Ages: Process Learning Veggie Printmaking from Marlo
“The child is beheld as beautiful, powerful, competent, creative, curious, and full of potential and ambitious desires.”- Valerie Hewitt
At SolBe, we talk a lot about focusing on “process” and not “outcomes” in all things. Our hope is to create an environment that encourages our kiddies to think outside the box, develop keen problem-solving skills, and be patient/present in their experiences. Our rockstar contributor, Beau Kenyon, wrote a wonderful piece on our blog exploring this principle, “The Value of Process-Based learning.” Click here for a deeper insight/understanding!
Today, we encourage you to enjoy the process of Veggie Printmaking! There is no defined outcome or focus for the kids, however, through the process of exploring we can reinforce math, composition, creativity, and relatability. See where opportunities emerge to facilitate a deeper level of learning, knowing they can use their imaginations and explore the materials in whatever way they are inspired!
- Carrots (or other veggies). You could even have older kids look through the refrigerator or cupboard to see if there are other materials that could be interesting to explore for stamping.
As with all SolBe projects, the materials are based on what you have at home! You can substitute any and all things. Being creative in this way will help to model this attribute in your little ones.
Gather your materials and create a space you are comfortable getting a bit messy.
Take a moment to explore the materials. Try to encourage discussion in older friends and exploration in our younger friends. How do the carrots feel? What do you notice about the different potatoes? See where their interests take them! When exploring this activity with my niece she made some wonderful observations about the funny shapes of the potatoes. “Yuck!” she exclaimed in response to a potato that looked as if it had a tiny head.
Let your child select which veggies they would like to use for the stamps. Take this opportunity to talk about shapes and sizes.
Parent alert! Adults can use a knife to cut the potatoes in half and then create a “stamper” on the top side. Carrots can be sliced into 3-inch chunks!
Ask your kiddos if they would like to use one or many paint colors. You can add one color at a time or place several colors on your blotting sheet—sometimes mixing all the colors together is all of the fun!
Lay out a large sheet of paper (or cardboard or whatever you had handy!) and let the children go nuts! They can use and explore all the different size stampers in all different and exciting color combinations.
Some tiny and some larger circles. They can spread the paint all around and use these homemade veggie tools to work on developing their motor skills! The tiny stamper handle on the potato is particularly challenging for babes under two.
Most important direction: HAVE FUN!
More resources to follow in the coming days. Feedback and more ideas welcome, as always!
Be well and stay healthy!