Friday, March 6, 2015

SOLSC 2015 #6: What do we do now?

Each day during March, I am participating in the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Story Challenge (SOLSC). All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day, every day for thirty-one days. My slices will be primarily about teaching preschoolers. Check out the Two Writing Teachers  website for lots more reflections on teaching. Thanks especially to Stacey, Tara, Anna, Beth, Dana, and Betsy for hosting this writing challenge. 


Over the past few days, we've been (or I have been) in Phillips project withdrawal (see yesterday's post)...and, for me, there is always a feeling of malaise that accompanies the end of this big effort. I decided we needed to do a couple of fun things to help us through the transition...some relaxing, open-ended activities that children could choose to do if they were interested. 

First, we got out the shaving cream! Yes, all that decoupage work left an art table covered with glue. The art table doubles as a lunch table, so it has really been bothering me that it is has been covered with this goop. Shaving cream does the trick. I can't believe it, but it was the first time I used shaving cream this school year...I don't know why I delayed the pure preschool pleasure of this. I put some in the sensory table, too. Come one, come all!

You can learn a lot about children when you observe them with shaving cream. Some took one glance and disappeared, not at all interested in touching something of that slippery texture. Others dared to touch, only to quit immediately  and beg, "it's on my hands!," disturbed by the feel. They went right to the classroom sink and were done. But, as always, there were a few stalwarts...children who could not get enough of it. 

The children drew letters and shapes in the cream, made snowmen piles of the cream, rubbed it all over with their hands, and even scrubbed with sponges. 

All the glue disappeared in the midst of all the fun!

Another fun activity, we are making our own school bus, to commemorate what might be the most memorable part of the Phillips field trip for the children - the yellow school bus we rode on. My husband gets special credit for this effort - we had a new stove installed at our house and he asked the installer if he could keep the box, "because his wife was a preschool teacher." Lucky me! Lucky kids! (The installer said - "Oh, this box has too many staples - I have an even bigger box from another delivery that is staple free; let me get it for you!") Tony and I had quite the time getting that cardboard box into our car and over to school, but now its fate is sealed.

The box is so big, we have placed it in our early childhood common space. We are creating the bus with our other preschool class, the Giraffes. Each day, teachers take a small group out into the hall to paint it during centers time. Some of the children work calmly, as if transfixed; others take bold, fast strokes and you have to caution them about soiling the hallway carpet. I have delighted at the look of children who dare to paint the interior - lots of yellow-orange paint in their hair, from the ceiling. Did Michelangelo look like this?

Soon, the bus painting will be done, wheels and other details will be added. I predict this sturdy bus will provide plenty of good play for a long while.

And, the children and I will be ready to take on new adventures!


  1. What an incredible art opportunity for your kids. There's nothing like creating a space with a box!

  2. What an incredible art opportunity for your kids. There's nothing like creating a space with a box!

  3. No iPad necessary!

    -Amanda at

  4. When my own children were small I provided in-home daycare for a couple of friends. My husband never said a word about the HUGE box he had to move to see the TV.
    Fun memories. Thanks for the inspiration. We need to do this at school.

  5. Our classroom is busy with ramps right now and alas, shaving cream is no longer an option due to being toxic. (I don't think the government trusts my many years of education and working with preschoolers to know how to use shaving cream with young children.)