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  • Melanie Patric

Dying Silks, Al Fresco Dining, and Mud Kitchen

The children and I have been enjoying our morning routine quite a bit this month. We've been focusing on nursery rhymes, and at this point have quite a repetoire under our belts. Together we've learned "Jack and Jill," "Baa-Baa Black Sheep," "Sing a Song of Sixpence," "Hush Little Baby," "Old King Cole," "Mary, Mary Quite Contrary," "and several more!

After our morning routine of calendar, weather, and fingerplays, we got ready to dye some of our faded playsilks. The silks are such a fun, flexible toy for the children, and what the children use the silks for changes as they grow. Infants love to feel the soft silks and gaze at their soft colors, and especially enjoy games of peek-a-boo or hide-the-toy using the silks. Older children use their imaginations to change them into capes, dresses, hats, belts, leashes, water, food... the list goes on.

To prepare, we first had to decide what colors we wanted to change. We had two rather faded-looking silks and decided to change them to orange and green. Next, we all put on our aprons to protect our clothes. After that, the children took turns dripping food coloring into some warm water.

The dye mixed into the water so prettily, and it was fun for the children to watch it "bloom" as the drops disbursed.

Next, the children placed the silks into the water and I carefully ladled a mix of hot water and vinegar into the bowls.

It was at that point that the stirring began...

... lots and lots of stirring! Everyone got more than one turn to help stir.

After the stirring step, I rinsed the extra dye out of the silks, then we hung them out to dry. They turned out beautifully!

In the afternoon the children and I enjoyed some al fresco dining on the deck. The weather was lovely, and there was a lot to look at. The children pointed out birds, butterflies, and insects.

In the afternoon, the children and I headed back outside for a session in the mud kitchen. We filled a big pot with water and made all different sorts of "soup."

See you tomorrow!

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