Category Archives: Fall

Fall Votive Candle Holders

Many fall activities are happening in the preschool class.  Last week the children made beautiful votive candle holders for their families to use at Thanksgiving.  

Ball canning jars were painted with Mod Podge that was slightly thinned with some water.  This makes it easier for the children to paint the glue onto the jars.

The teachers cut leaves out of tissue paper in fall colors then the Children put them onto the jars.

Mod Podge was painted over the leaves.

I  love E’s focus and concentration.

Other fall activities include playing with pumpkin pie play dough, a turkey color matching activity at the light table, counting mini pumpkins while learning one t0 one correspondence, and learning Chinese food vocabulary with Gao Laoshi.  This week the preschool class will make pumpkin pies to share with their baby home friends and teachers.

Little Pandas Preschool

Halloween Silhouette Painting

Our preschool class made Halloween silhouette paintings last week.  The inspiration for this project can be found at That Artist Woman’s site.  Gail has many great ideas for elementary school art, many of which can be made doable with preschoolers.  This project took a week to complete.  A small piece was completed each day giving preschoolers ample time to do each step of the project well and not be overwhelmed with completing the entire project in one sitting.

We used water color paper that was taped to the table with blue painter’s tape to form a frame around the pictures.   The children used yellow and orange tempera paint cakes to paint the bottom third of the paper.

Red was added next.

Blue was added to the top of the paper.   The tempera paint cakes work like water colors and allow the colors to mix.  This was the first time I tried the paint cakes and love them!  I found a school supply store in Canada that carries 28 colors!  This is going to be my next purchase for the preschool.

The next day a contact paper mask was place over the top 3/4 of the picture.  The children painted the bottom 1/4 of the picture black.

Misty-Jade created black Halloween cut-outs for the children to paste over their paintings.   The pictures were then framed and put up on our new bulletin board.


This picture reminds me of the cyclone in the Wizard of Oz.



This was the first experience this group had using the tempera paint cakes.  Some of the children figured out how to make their paintings brighter by using less water and getting more paint onto the brush.

Little Pandas Preschool

Pumpkin Pie Playdough!

Amber and I made pumpkin pie playdough for the kids.  We added cloves, ginger and cinnamon to the dough and some orange food coloring.   The result was absolutely wonderful and smelled delicious.  The kids loved it and had a difficult time leaving the center to let friends have turns with it!

They loved rolling out the dough and pretending to cook.

Pie tins were filled.

The dough had to be rolled again once it was put into the tins.

After the pie was finished it was time to share the desert!  We’ll have to make real pumpkin pies next week before Thanksgiving.

The playdough recipe we used is one of the best we have ever found and have been using it for years.  It’s very easy and quick to make.  It would be a great project for parents to do with kids at home.

Cream of Tartar Playdough

  • 1 cups flour
  • 1 cups water 
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • food coloring
  • flavorings (0ptional)
Place all ingredients in a large pan.  Cook slowly on medium-high heat and stir until the playdough thickens.  Remove the playdough from the pan and knead on floured surface until it’s no longer sticky.  Playdough can be stored in a plastic bag.

Fall Trees

The children have been working on a fall tree painting and collage for about a week.  The original idea was found at Helping Little Hands: Kids’ Fall Trees Art.  Her children’s finished product is beautiful and inspirational.  All of our kids did a great job with the project.  

Each child was given a 12″ x 12″ piece of scrapbooking paper.  It was taped to the table using blue painter’s tape.  This helped the children to freely work on their projects without the paper moving, and it produced a frame around the finished product.  The children painted the entire paper blue.

A contact paper mask was placed over the top of the picture.  Children painted the lower half of the picture green.

Amber cut out the trees and then the children glued them onto their pictures.

Over a couple days the children worked on tearing paper into small pieces for leaves.

Children glued their leaves onto their pictures.  The result of doing the project over a period of time and in concrete steps insured that every child including the toddlers was able to produce a beautiful finished art product.  The pictures will be displayed in both classrooms.

Little Pandas Preschool

2011 Halloween Party

Here are some pics of our Halloween party. Enjoy!

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Glow in the Dark Pumpkins

The kids went outside on a warm fall day to paint pumpkins with acrylic glow in the dark paint.

The children could choose from pink, yellow, orange, or green paint.

The goal was to cover the pumpkins completely with a thick coat of paint.

After the pumpkins dried the children played with them at the light table.  

The children were fascinated with pumpkins glowing in the dark.



Fall Collage

Last week the children created fall collages.  There are many concepts and skills learned from working on this type of project.  One of our objectives was to teach children they can work on a project over a period of time.  The collages and supplies were left out for a week.  During daily center time the children were free to work on the collages for as long as they wanted, leave for another activity and return when they felt inclined either that day or on a different day.

A variety of materials including leaves, dyed popcorn kernels, holiday ribbon, fall colored sequins, construction paper scraps, and foam pumpkins were available for the children to use.

When children are given time to work on projects they can plan what they want to do and which materials they will use.  They’re learning to organize their thoughts and ideas.

The children practiced fine motor skills while learning to use scissors.

Learning to use glue can be challenging, so some problem solving skills are acquired at the same time.

As with other open ended art projects we’re not concerned with the finished product, but with the process and the skills the children have gained.  Earth’s Kids has an excellent article about the value of children working on collages.

Little Pandas Preschool

Fall Leaves at the Light Table

This week the kids have been exploring fall leaves and all the beautiful colors at the light table.  Amber collected several leaves and I put them in contact paper so that they would remain flat.  

The leave’s colors are greatly enhanced with the light table.

The veins in the leaves show up very clearly.

Some of the children used the orange vase gems to enhance the leaves.  

Little Pandas Preschool

Playing with Light & Shadows

Playing with flashlights and creating spooky shadows is a perfect science activity for Halloween!  The kids have made some great observations about light and shadows. 

They learned that shadows can be large or small depending on the distance the light is from the object.

After some discussion about the color of shadows the children experimented with white and black paper and concluded that shadows are black.

The flashlights are a very popular item, so I will need to buy a few more!

Little Pandas Preschool

Pumpkin Seed Art

The kids created pumpkins with the seeds they removed from the pumpkin they opened last week.  Since we needed about a 100 seeds per child we supplemented our collection with seeds purchased in bulk from the grocery store.   The seeds were dyed a bright orange.

Kids poured glue onto their pumpkins.

Seeds were added to the pumpkins.  The pumpkins are displayed on the bulletin boards with other art work created by the children.

Little Pandas Preschool