Carmel Mountain Preschool Blog

Creativity

Spiders

This lesson I wanted to focus on fine motor skills and task resilience.
We not only had fun making spiders but also got our hands on a wide range of materials.

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Nature Banners

Our sunny days lately have made for some beautiful mornings in the Glenn.

That‘s why we kicked off this school year with nature banners!

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Bear Caves

Dramatic play can be defined as a type of play where children accept and assign roles, and then act them out. It is a time when they break through the walls of reality, pretend to be someone or something different from themselves, and dramatize situations and actions to go along with the roles they have chosen to play.

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Imaginary Playgrounds

What’s your favorite part of the playground?

Can you draw it for me?

Now let’s build our own !

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Wizard Wands

It’s incredible to watch each age group develop their drawing skills. From scribbles to recognizable figures each stage is necessary as they gain control of their cognitive and motor skills.

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What inspires you?

What Inspires You?
We started with a simple concept- a flower! Each child was instructed to inspect, touch, and smell their flower.

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June 2019 – You Rock!

Miss Calee donated a rock tumbler to Tinker Hollow. It was interesting to watch the children gravitated to this super cool tumbling machine.

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Bubble Hammer and Nails

Learning how to use tools builds confidence, creativity and lifelong skills that in turn, your children will teach their children.

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Bird Nest Project

We learned about different birds and what their names are by reading “Feathers for lunch” by Lois Ehlert.We talked about what a bird may use to build a nest and where some birds choose to build their homes.

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Face Painting Fun

Painting on yourself is often discouraged and that is why it was great fun to dedicate a special day for them to be the canvas.

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The Glow Room

WIth the Glow Room I incorporated a black light to show the children how their creations could be brought to life through luminescence.

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Bubble Wrap and Loose Parts Play

“I had an idea” to put all that Tinker Hollow bubble wrap that we have been collecting since the fall to use and have some fun. Miss Marcy helped Miss Carole create bubble shoes for the children. They loved walking and popping and jumping and popping.

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Dark Room Shadow Play

This week I decided to convert the art studio into a dark room for the children to create, play and explore silhouette art as a fun form of art medium.

Using shadow boxes and multi-colored click lights, the children made their own unique sculptures to cast shadows.

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Puffy Paint Cakes

Each child benefits from this form of role-playing in such a joyful manner, which is not only fun for them but also improves their social skills, confidence, creative communication, and problem-solving.

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Styrofoam Sculpture

Children love stuff that sticks together. These super cool and colorful pieces of Styrofoam can be used for making all kinds of interesting sculptures.

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Tinkering with Brads

Young Children are fascinated by creating things that can move. Using brads and cardboard is a great way to let children play and experiment with moving parts!

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Tinkering and Process Art and How do they work together.

This week we started a fun unit using found objects and paint. We began to sort and classify the rubber bands and had fun attaching our feet and hands together. I shared with them my idea: “I have an idea” and demonstrated a fun ‘process art’ activity’ that you will see in the pictures to follow.

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Learning How to use Scissors

Learning how to use scissors is an important skill, it helps children develop the fine motor strength needed to use a pencil. Strong fine motor skills help children as they begin to learn how to write, and are the foundation for gripping and manipulating objects.

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The Maker Station: A dedicated area devoted to creative exploration and DIY projects.

The most popular center in ‘tinker hollow’ has become the ‘maker station’. It is so much fun to set up and works indoors or in a covered outdoor area. At the maker station the children are free to create, design, tinker and build anything that their imaginations lead them to.

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Rocks and Stones

Each playground at CMP has a special tinkering area for the children to create, design and explore in. Some of the new materials include rocks, stones and crystals of various sizes shapes and weights.

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What to do with all those boxes?

It is called Box City. Save the boxes! Tape them up, put some weighted items in some of them and start a collection. The possibilities and fun are endless. A roll of masking tape, some markers and paint will enhance their creations. Take a look at the pictures from Tinker Hollow and let your children’s own imaginations and inquiries lead you.

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Frida Kahlo Shadow Box Project

This was a fun project to do with the children since I love introducing new artists and ideas! Throughout this lesson, the children exercise proper pen holding skills, fine motor skills, and get to learn a little art history along the way.

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Spider Project

Early October we jumped right into our Halloween themed art projects starting with our web spinning and spider beading creations!

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Watercolor Art

This fun watercolor project is all about the exploration of color and magic and of mixing! This exercise gives each child a chance to work on their brush handle it skills, color identification and inspiration for working with different mediums.

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Imagination Theater: Starring My Wooden Friend

This time in the tinkering hood, the children made awesome wooden friends and starred in a wonderful imagination theater production.

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Animal Movement

Animal movement is always a favorite with preschoolers. Getting to act out their favorite animal moves is fun for all.

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Hammer and Nail Butterfly Dot-To-Dot

This session in Tinkering the kiddos were given a refresh lesson on using a hammer properly and safely. Once we finished learning the correct way to hold and swing a hammer the children made “Hammer and nail butterfly dot-to-dot”.

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Clay Nature Prints

In this lesson kids get to explore how many different ways we can use the same materials and introduce the concept of clay printing by relating it to something students might already know/have used: stamps!

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Smash Art using Nature

Get kids to interact with nature by simply exploring your outdoors and have students try to find as many colors as they can! We had our students explore The Glenn and find as many different items as they could from nature to use and test on our papers.

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Using our Imaginations to Create with Nature!

We can use a stick and leaves to create our very own paintbrushes! By sparking a child’s creativity it allows them to engage and view the world around them through different lenses.

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Hand-made Accordion Journals

This week our Kinder-Prep kids learned how to create their very own journals. This is such a fun and easy to make project. The children love to document their thoughts, ideas, memories and observations in this safe art-place. It is also a great way to utilize cross-curriculum by adding literature and numbers.

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Spring Inspired Mixed Media

Spring is in the air at CMP! We talked about flowers, birds, grass, and trees.  Then they drew pictures inspired by the book and this special time of the year. This is a very fun and colorful project.  Try it at home or in your classroom!

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Squatty Body Cars

This week up in “The Hollow” the tinker tots built squatty body cars. This project was a lot of fun to teach, the children are getting so amazing with hammers and nails. It was so fantastic to see all the different types of cars roll off the tinkering assembly line.

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Nature Photography

If you are ever at a loss for what to do with your child some afternoon, hand them a camera. Sure, that’s usually the opposite of what you hear…it is a technological device after all…but I promise you won’t regret it.

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The Glenn Gallery – Our First Art Exhibition

Mr. Brian, Ms. Erin and I have been orchestrating a school-wide exhibition that will showcase Tinker Hollow, The Art Studio, and The Nature Lab.

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Mixed Media Nature Art

This week up in The Studio we had fun drawing in nature and using a variety of materials to create a colorful mixed media work of art. The children love to draw in nature, so we found a comfortable place to sit and draw in The Glenn.

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Scrap-wood Imagination Sculptures

This week in Tinker Hollow we are exploring new ways to build and create with wood, by creating sculptures out of scrap wood.

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Building With Cardboard

This week up in The Studio we used cardboard to create a sculpture that resembled a place, a space and also a “huge” dinosaur!

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The Friendship Quilt

By Julie Goldstein This project all started with a book that we read up in The Studio called “The Friendship Quilt”. A story about a mouse that is very sad and her friends sew her a quilt to help make her feel happy. The children talked about friendship and how to make friends feel happy, […]

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Color Mixing and Collages

By Julie Goldstein This week up in The Studio we learned all about colors. First, we read the book “Mix it Up” by Herve Tullet. Then we practiced mixing Primary colors: Red, Blue, and Yellow into Secondary colors: Purple, Green, and Orange. The kids painted 3 paintings of secondary colors then turned their brushes around […]

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Discovering Nature

By Julie Goldstein This week up in The Studio our CMP artists inspired by the book “Leaf Man”. It is whimsical story about a leaf that explores different landscapes as he floats North, South, East and West. I told the story as if Leaf Man was traveling through The Glenn. The children then went on […]

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Tie-Dying Smocks

By: Julie Goldstein For the past two weeks we have been tie-dying smocks up in The Studio. I thought it would be a fun idea for each child to make its very own “messy art” shirt. Every time they travel up to see me they will wear their colorful tie-dyed tee to protect their clothing […]

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Rain Fish

By: Julie Goldstein This week up in The Studio we started our art lesson by reading a whimsical book called “Rain Fish”. It is a story about fish that were created with trash and recycled materials. The children loved describing the different materials that they saw within each fish; bottle caps, feathers, newspaper, even old […]

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Nature Findings and Pastel Drawings

By: Julie Goldstein This week up in The Studio our CMP artists had fun collecting small natural found objects in The Glenn. Then they created a design with them by placing onto a small mirror. After observing each object and describing the shapes and textures, they created a drawing. Finally, they used pastels to blend […]

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Wire, Cork and Paper Sculptures

By: Julie Goldstein This week we tinkered around with recycled corks, oil pastels, paint, and wire. The kids were excited to click on their “listening ears” and follow three steps in three different locations in The Studio. First, they painted a cork with white paint. Then they moved over to the drawing station where they […]

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Rose Paintings

By: Julie Goldstein This week up in The Studio we were inspired by our beautiful rose garden. The kids had fun drawing the roses, observing the different shapes of the petals, leaves and stems. Then, they used red, white and bright pink to paint the flowers. While they were painting, some students used the back […]

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Mother’s Day Vases

By: Julie Goldstein This week up in The Studio our kids made a very special gift for their moms for Mother’s Day. Each child chose a glass vase. We purchased a variety of sizes. Then they mixed white into purple and blue to create a base color. Afterwards, they chose yellow or aqua to add […]

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Printmaking with Recycled Cardboard

By: Julie Goldstein I am a professional printmaker, so whenever I get a chance to teach the kids how to print and make editions, I get really excited to see what they create and always so inspired by their ability to have fun with such an amazing process. This week up in The Studio, we […]

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Everyone loves the color Purple!

By: Julie Goldstein This week up in The Studio, the children learned all about the color purple. We mixed red and blue and added white to create a variety of shades. We discussed how adding white to a color would make it lighter and when there is a variety of shades and tints, we describe […]

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Wire Sculptures and Line Drawings

By Julie Goldstein This project is one of my favorite lessons. I document the children’s development from the beginning of the school year to the end by teaching this twice. Children practice engaging their fine motor skills as well as planning, organizing and problem solving as they bead and weave with wire. After they create […]

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Open Ended Art

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once [s]he grows up.” ~Pablo Picasso The Art Studio at Carmel Mountain Preschool is a magical place. It is an outdoor space that exists in a garden full of palm trees, garden beds, a butterfly garden, and a quiet reading nook where tree […]

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Meet Ms. Erin our new Glenn Coordinator

Hi all! Introduction time! My name is Erin and I’m the new Glenn curator and science teacher. I’m so excited for this opportunity to teach at Carmel Mountain Preschool. I haven’t been here very long, but I know it is such a special place and I feel so lucky to be involved. I have a […]

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The Friendship Quilt

This project all started with a book that we read up in The Studio called “The Friendship Quilt”.  A story about a mouse that is very sad and her friends sew her a quilt to help make her feel happy.  The children talked about friendship and how to make friends feel happy, loved and comforted. […]

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Clay Munchkins Comes to CMP!

What inspired you to teach clay? I consider myself a serious artist across a wide range of media–one of which is clay. Teaching clay has been both personally satisfying and inspiring. Inspired? More “inspired” by the engagement of kids in a creative art form, and helping kids build confidence by making a creative figure out […]

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Rhythm Child Drumming Event at CMP!

Carmel Mountain Preschool is very excited to host Rhythm Child Drumming on Wednesday, August 31st from 5:00-6:00pm.  This event is open to all CMP students (past, current, and future) and their families.  Rhythm Child will be performing on our soccer field, and parking will be available in the upper two parking lots.  You will need […]

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ARGGG…Pirates, Treasures, and Creatively Sculpted Islands!

Last week was “Pirate Week” at CMP. The children arrived at my studio dressed as pirates. All that I could think was, “we need to go on a treasure hunt in The Glenn!” The children searched for all kinds of natural found objects. They found seed pods, small rocks, sticks, and leaves that had fallen from the trees; some […]

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The Importance of Raising Risk-Takers

At the start of our summer program,  we had our annual teacher in-service.  Ellen Veselack from the Child Educational Center spoke to our staff and faculty about the importance and benefits of risk-taking and encouraging our parents and teachers to develop a trusting relationship with the children to romp in the mud, run around barefoot, […]

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How to Create Your Own Mud Kitchen

When I was a kid, my family lived in a town called Medford Lakes, NJ. We had 5 lakes total and from time to time after a rainstorm they would flood. My best friend and I would walk these mud trails for miles. I remember fresh as day the smell of mud, leaves, and rain. I remember playing […]

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The Importance of Music Education for Young Children

“LISTEN, LEARN & PLAY” These are the three components of the My Music Workshop at CMP. This extracurricular activity is designed specifically for preschool students and gives the students firsthand experience with musical instruments. We sat down with My Music Workshop founder Miss Lianna and she shared with us what inspired her to get into […]

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Taking ‘Playing in Nature’ to the Next Level

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge”  – Albert Einstein I remember running around barefoot in my neighborhood as a child. We created forts in our backyard, climbed trees, and played “Ghosts in the Graveyard” until dark. Things were different 30 years ago. We didn’t have electronics, […]

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Reuse, Reduce and Recycle…Into Fine Art!

This week up in “The Studio” famous artist Louise Nevelson inspired us. She was an American sculptor known for her monumental, monochromatic, wooden wall pieces and outdoor sculptures. We decided to use recycled materials to create collages. Then we painted our artwork in one color, just like Louise! Materials Anything recycled such as: cardboard popsicle sticks […]

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The Benefits of Yoga for Kids at Carmel Mountain Preschool

Here at CMP we’ve worked closely with master yoga professional, Claire Cafri, to develop and implement a special yoga program for our students. She is a master yogi and certified to teach both children and adults. Claire is originally from South Africa and is a full-time dance teacher. She has always had a love for Yoga […]

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“Cool Tools” — Creating Art with Hardware

I was organizing my studio last week and came across my husband’s old toolbox. I started tinkering around, looking for interesting objects that could make different shapes and textures when printed. I found all kinds of interesting hardware and immediately thought that the kids at CMP could use these objects to create shapes and textures […]

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“Dear Sea, Love Me” – An Exhibition by CMP Art Teacher, Julie Goldstein

“I believe life is full of adventure, creativity, and exploration.  Take the time to play in the sea, run in the mountains, observe the world around you and spend quality time with the ones you love the most.  Record your life and share your story, it is meaningful and important!” – Julie Goldstein, Master Artist & […]

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Spring Into Art

This past week the flowers have been in full bloom up in The Glenn. The garden is full of oranges, yellows, purples and reds. These beautiful flowers inspired my art lesson for this week. The children at CMP are getting very good at mixing colors and I thought that a bouquet full of flowers would […]

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The Art of Printmaking to Create Valentine’s Day Cards

Printmaking is my passion and is the perfect project for young children. It is one area of art education that is applicable to all grade levels and which is adaptable in most classrooms. There is the excitement of creating a design by gluing down found materials, painting the surface, pressing paper to the surface, then […]

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Creative Art Project for a Rainy Day Using Lines, Yarn, and Patterns

Over the past few weeks we’ve had a very rainy few days here in San Diego and from what the weather report says, it sounds like we should be expecting more rain throughout the winter.  So, I decided to write a couple of lessons that would be easy to transport into the classrooms, as well […]

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The Gingerbread Cookie: The Sweet History of a Holiday Favorite

This is the season of giving. It’s a time to appreciate all that is around us–especially the sweet scent of holiday baking. Baking gingerbread cookies and houses is a childhood memory for many of us and it’s one I want to share with the kids at CMP. As I was shopping for ingredients, I thought,“What […]

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Out of the Box Christmas Project for Kids: Yarn Wrapping Stars

Yarn Wrapping Hanging Stars This month, the children worked with yarn and sticks to create an ornament that will remain timeless.  I am a fan of using naturally found materials in my art projects. Up in The Studio, we are surrounded by nature and the children love to explore and collect rocks, sticks, leaves and […]

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Creating a Friendship Quilt: Expressing Gratitude with Art

“Expressing gratitude with art. Fun ways to help little ones express their gratitude creatively”. This month was dedicated to giving and gratitude. The children were inspired by the book, “The Friendship Quilt” while creating in The Studio (our art area). We discussed friendship, giving and what it means to create hand-crafted gifts for people who are […]

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2 Fun Science Activities to Teach Kids About Germs

A great way to teach your preschooler about germs is through fun, educational activities. We have two science activities to teach your little ones how to avoid spreading germs and how to stay healthy: 1. Glitter Germs For this activity, you will need glitter to show how germs are spread from one person to another, or […]

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Harvest Time Veggie Recipe for Kids: Shredded Carrot and Beet Salad

Our resident art teacher and creative extraordinaire, Julie Goldstein, has whipped up this colorful, yummy and easy to eat fall inspired veggie recipe that her family loves, and hopes yours will too! Shredded Carrot and Beet Salad The more vibrant the color, the more nutrition there is to be found in a food.  This salad is […]

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Healthy Fall Snacks for Kids: Oat Cookies with Pumpkin Crème

For the past several weeks, I’ve been looking for the perfect easy breakfast and snack cookies. But almost everything in the stores has added sugar. So I played around with using bananas instead of flour and nut butters for extra protein and omegas. My son, Frankie, is now 2 years old and he absolutely LOVES […]

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3 Lovely Children’s Books About Autumn

Autumn means pumpkins, gourds, changing leaves, shorter days, longer nights and every shade of orange. While it’s still warm in Southern California, we’ve (finally) been experiencing some cooler nights and seeing fun fall decorations lining neighborhood houses and local shops. The changing seasons are a wonderful time to educate your children about your local climate, region and […]

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2 Fun Fall-Inspired Nature Projects for Kids

Hello, Creative Parents! This month Carmel Mountain Preschool is focusing on projects that are inspired by fall and the change of seasons. In The Studio we used nature as our muse and went on an outdoor scavenger hunt to collect all of our materials for the projects this week. The two projects that I’ll share with you […]

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Get to Know The Glenn: A Special Place of Learning at CMP

Over two years ago I met Arianne Betazzi at a baby shower. I was there with my son Frankie who was about six months old and Arianne was eight months pregnant. We connected over motherhood, surfing and organic gardening. We became instant friends and soon after spent many days with our sons and husbands at […]

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Creative At-Home Sensory Play for Your Little One

Being a parent in this technological age can be challenging. The temptation to pop your little one in front of the television or hand them an iPad to use for an hour is strong. But the benefits of spending time creating together far outweigh the ease of simply distracting them with technology. And the wonder, […]

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