No Two Are Alike -- Snowflakes, Science, and Imagination
Here's a fun seasonal project that combines science and imagination -- two of our favorite things at CDP! We found this idea from artprojectsforkids.org several years ago and love the different results each child gets because just as no two snowflakes are alike, no two CDP kids are alike. They are each special and spectacular in their own unique way.
This project adds texture to a watercolor painting by sprinkling salt on the watercolors while they're still wet. As the painting sets, neat shapes develop from the salt absorbing the water. And with a few snowflake cutouts and a little extra effort, the painting turns into a clever and beautiful winter scene.
Here's what you'll need:
• Watercolor paper
• White card stock paper for bold snowflakes punched from a paper punch or regular white paper for softer snowflakes made by hand
• Liquid watercolor paint in turquoise
• Liquid watercolor paint in royal blue
• Salt, kosher works best
• Snowflake paper punch (If you don't have one, follow this link for a quick “how to” on paper snowflakes.)
• Glue stick
1. Paint a sheet of watercolor paper generously with several shades of blue liquid watercolor paint. You'll want to make large blobs of each color that overlap. The final product will look even more enchanting when the water forms are allowed to run together. So be sure to watch that your little one uses a light hand and doesn't blend the water too much.
2. While the paint is still wet (very important) sprinkle flakes of salt all around. Kosher salt makes the most dramatic results, but regular salt also works. Allow the painting to dry completely.
3. Brush off all the salt on the painting with your hands.
4. Make snowflakes from the card stock paper with a paper punch or follow this link to make one by hand. Depending on the age of the child, we recommend this be a job for an older sibling or grown up.
5. Arrange the snowflakes randomly on the painting and glue them to the painting. Trim off any that extend over the edge if this is a framer, which we're sure it will be.
This wouldn't be a complete CDP project without a story, right? And this week, we have two stories that are favorites of our CDP teachers.
For our littlest snowflake sky creators, we recommend No Two Alike by Keith Baker. In this picture book, a pair of birds embark on a snowflake-filled exploration through a winter wonderland. They learn how everything, everywhere, and everyone is wonderfully unique — branches, leaves, forests, people, and of course, snowflakes.
For our older kids or older siblings, we love Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin. It's the story of Wilson Bentley, who as a child was so fascinated by snowflakes that he determined that one day he would grow up and capture the tiny miracles on film. Many people didn't understand his fascination, but he carried on in spite of his critics and eventually became the first photographer to capture pictures of snowflakes, proving that no two snowflakes are alike and that science is a fascinating wonder in the way it cuts six-pointed crystals from snow. As an added bonus, the illustrations by Mary Azarian are stunning and won the book a Caldecott Medal in 1999.
Child Development Program is a center-based preschool in New Orleans, Louisiana, providing a nurturing and stimulating environment for children ages six weeks through Pre-K 4. Follow us on Facebook for more updates.