Thursday, September 8, 2011

Table Top Easel Pad Makes Art Time a Breeze!

Regina Eardley, Discount School Supply Account Manager for Southern Texas, has been working with children and art for more than 15 years. Previously, she owned and operated a KidzArt® franchise serving hundreds of students in the private and public sector. She is TEA certified in Art K-12, ESL, Generalist 4-8, ELA 8-12, and Journalism 8-12 and taught middle school through the public schools. Additionally, she holds certifications in both One Stroke decorative painting and faux finishing for Walls & Furniture. She has a passion for color, pattern and texture and delights in using imagination and creativity to stimulate the senses of young children.
Do you remember paint days at school when you were a child? One of my earliest memories is standing at an easel, paintbrush in hand, letting my imagination run across the paper in front of me and getting carried away by the colors. I like to recreate that experience for my students, but I have not always been fortunate enough to have enough workstations. When I came across the Go Craft® Self-Stick Table Top Easel Pad (TEASEPAD) I was thrilled. It is a very affordable, portable easel pad with wonderful rubber feet on the base, so it won’t slide or move around.

Storage can be a problem in the classroom, but because this easel pad collapses onto itself and closes with hook and loop tape, you can easily store several in a closet. It is perfect if you want to take the class outdoors for inspiration. One of my favorite features about this product is that it comes with 25 16x15" sheets of high-quality paper. What is even better is that the sheets tear off and have a self-stick adhesive on one end so you can place a sheet on the opposite side of the easel and -- ta-da! -- you’ve created a two-person work area!

Using the Go Craft® Table Top Easel (TEASEPAD) gives me an opportunity to let students explore Colorations® Liquid Watercolor, BioColor® and other great paint mediums available from Discount School Supply. It is also a perfect teaching tool for me as an instructor when I demonstrate a technique. I love the flexibility I have to tear the sheets off as I go and stick them to the walls around the group. Students love going on “gallery walks” through the classroom and seeing their artwork displayed.

See the easel in action by watching this video!

If you have a limited budget but want to create economical workstations, this is the way to go. For less than $20 each you can have an area that will accommodate two children at a time without taking up a lot of classroom space. Give your students the opportunity to make memories and let them use their imagination to explore art mediums with the Go Craft® Table Top Easel (TEASEPAD). And don’t forget there are plenty of activities at our Free Activity Library – just visit!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tactile Discovery with Moon Sand®!!

Hello, my name is Sara Strand, and I’m an Administrative Assistant for the Merchandising department here at Discount School Supply. I help our buyers as they select new products for the catalog and develop new items for our customers.

Of all the cool things I’ve gotten to play with in my job (Wait, did I say play? I meant work…), Moon Sand® (MOON20) has got to be one of the most unusual. This specially-coated sand is designed specifically to provide endless opportunities to mold and sculpt. Moon Sand® feels like wet beach sand, but molds beautifully. Plus, it’s just really fun to squish!
Moon Sand® can also be baked to create hardened sculptures. If little ones want to preserve their sandy masterpieces, it’s easy—baking at a low temperature causes the Moon Sand® to harden. But, here’s the best part: when you’re ready to start reusing the sand, just reheat it, and it goes right back to its original, moldable form. In other words, it’s an art supply you can actually reuse over and over.

I am always looking for fun ways to incorporate early literacy activities into play, and Moon Sand® is perfect for this! Kids can practice letter recognition in a no-pressure, tactile way by drawing letters in the sand, using letter molds, and starting over again and again. The super-sensory experience gives a great incentive for kids to play and learn in a hands-on way.

I also love the opportunities for children to practice their narrative skills using Moon Sand®, because it is completely open-ended. This material can become anything a child can imagine! Have a child or group of children use Moon Sand® to tell a story, shaping objects in the story, crumbling and recreating as they go. Or, have the children describe to you what they’re doing as they explore the cause-and-effect relationships of molding, packing, crumbling, squishing, rubbing, and pressing.

Moon Sand® doesn’t require any special tools or maintenance. My favorite way to play with Moon Sand® is in a large tray, which minimizes clean-up.. Another great option is to spread a plastic sheet on the ground in your play area and let kids play to their hearts’ content. When they’re done, just gather the corners of the plastic and funnel the sand back into your container of choice. Or you may prefer to just wrap the Moon Sand® in the plastic sheet and place the whole bundle in a container, ready to go for the next time.

See how versatile Moon Sand® is in this video:

If you’re looking for something tactile, creative, open-ended, and incredibly fun to use, I highly recommend Moon Sand®, available in a variety of sizes and colors through Discount School Supply.