It has probably been a month since we enjoyed these activities at our “Preschool Moms” class, but I’m posting this anyway…maybe I can change the publication date.
Anyhow, our theme was Fall Faces so that we could make some jack-o-lanterns and scarecrows! Plus, it is a good reminder that kids are very tuned into faces, especially the faces of their mamas, starting at a very early age. A classic experiment, the “Still face” paradigm, started by Dr. Edward Tronick and colleagues, is a moving example of how babies are always watching mama’s face and deeply affected by her emotions and responses. Watch the video on youtube! An unresponsive face leads a baby to distress and despair. Furthermore, a baby worried about the love and safety in her mama’s eyes has all her resources tied up in that issue, with nothing left for learning or exploring or deepening understanding about the world around her. Of course, people don’t really grow out of this “phase;” we need eye contact for human connections and love and security for our entire adult life. I recently was shown a video about Validation Therapy, founded by Naomi Feil, that brought me to tears because of the touching nature of human interaction that includes needs that last a lifetime.
Furthermore, these are great activities for teaching facial features and where all the parts of the face belong when creating these faces! Play is learning!
First, I printed this pumpkin/jack-o-lantern poem onto cardstock, leaving a big space for drawing a pumpkin. The idea was to paint or draw a pumpkin, with a handprint stem, then to glue black construction paper pieces, cut into the shapes of eyes, nose, mouth, etc. onto the pumpkin to transform it into a jack-o-lantern. Pen Elaine thought this was so fun – we completed the pic in stages, and I just let her color the orange pumpkin with a crayon, followed by a green paint handprint, and black facial features. I cut out several options for eyes, nose, mouth, and she chose and glued what she wanted onto the “pumpkin.” I did talk her through putting the facial features in the approximate “right” places; maybe I was squelching her artistic license, but since she’s three, I wanted to make sure she was thinking through where body parts should actually go.
I couldn’t resist – here’s my little pumpkin!
Second, we made paper plate scarecrows! These were fun – I cut out the shapes for Pen Elaine and let her glue them down, reminding her to place eyes where “eyes go” and mouth where “mouths go,” etc.