Preschool Program // Wall Displays // Class of 2014

Every May, the wall displays for our preschool program follow a similar concept. An enlarged photo of each preschooler accompanied by some kind of quotation caption, and their final art project. This year, THIS YEAR, I was particularly pleased with the displays. So much so, that I want to share them with you! Our photograph and caption display was titled "when i grow up". Word for word answers to the question posed, 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' The artwork on display was part of our fundraiser. At Brilliant Beginnings, we wish to give back to the community that is helping to raise our students. Each year the students create their final project to be displayed and sold on the night of our program, and the proceeds are donated to an organization of our choice.  This year we chose to give to the children's department at our local library.  The students get really excited about creating and selling their art, and giving. It's a great experience all around.
Our students each completed a 16x24 canvas paint project.  Color Block Painting by our Little Scholars class, and Poured Paintings (inspired by local artist Annie Blake) by our Early Explorers class. A brief how-two for each project, as well as a some quick tips on large format printing, can be found at the end of this post. But first, let me share with you the pictures from our evening! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. They are awesome!
xoxo, mm

Color Block Paintings
You will need:
Paint (I recommend using acrylic.  I went with tempera to save money, and next time I will be spending a little more for acrylic.  Tempera paint doesn't have any flex once it's dry, and when the canvases bow or give, the paint can easily peel or crack. )
Painter's Tape
Foam Brushes
You will do:
Apply strips of painter's tape onto canvas as desired.  Make sure that you press firmly on the tape to avoid paint bleed-through.  Paint each section and remove tape as soon as your canvas is complete, you'll get a cleaner line if you peel the tape while the paint is still wet.

Poured Paintings
You will need:
Paint (Again, acrylic or oil based)
Small Disposable Paper Cups (The size you buy for bathroom dispensers.)
You will do:
Fill cups about half-full with paint, one color per cup, as many cups and colors as you'd like.  Pour cups one at a time onto canvas.  Allow 20 minutes or so for drying while the canvas is still upright.

I recommend spraying your paintings with a clear coat finish once the paint is dry.  I recommend Krylon's Crytal Clear, it comes in a can like spray paint and can be found in the paint isle at almost any store that sells spray paint.

Large Format Printing
My friend Heather Mildenstein of The Coterie Blog tipped me off about large format printing, and I have been singing its beautiful praises ever since! It's amazing!  Did you know that places like Office Max and Staples have large B/W format printers, used mainly for the purpose of contractor's blue prints and building plans, but that can also print B/W portraits for super cheap?! Right? I know.   Here's what I learned in my printing process: Staples is cheaper than Office Depot, and really great to work with. It helps if you have your images sized the way you'd like them to be printed, but it's not necessary.  Most print shops will format them for you for a small (like $4.99) formatting fee.  Prints are charged by the square foot. Stales is .59 a square foot, Office Max .69.  Don't be afraid to ask for a multiple print discount if you are printing a whole bunch like I did.  Staples discount my prints to .50 a square foot. Hallelujah! (Because every penny counts right?) You can put your image files on a flash-drive or CD and take them in, they will do your prints while you wait. Boom!


Balloon Science

We are now enrolling for this month's science camp!
For class information and registration visit our shop.

Thank you!

xoxo, mm


I is for Invention.

[To invent is to create or design something that has not existed before; be the originator of.]
It was Ii Week last week in our classroom and our vocabulary word for the week was "Invent".  'Preschool Inventions' is a project that I do, in some form or another, each year with my students. The results are never anything short of inspiring.  [We talk about inspiration too!]

I pulled my students over to my table one at a time, so they would be able to think privately and create independently, without the influence of peers.  [I wanted these projects to be personal, not collaborative.]  And you guys, I made no suggestions, only asked questions and let my students do their thing.

I hope you enjoy their inventions as much as I!

[A Hair-Growing Machine]

[Coloring Changing Swirly Jewels]

[Colorful Unicorn Guard-Robots]

[A Cool Bike that does those tricks for you!]

[A Quarterback Robot Mouse to eat all that bad green cheese that no one wants.]

[A machine that produces dinosaur eggs.  You know, to solve that whole extinction problem.]

[Self-building Cars and Houses. "You just push ONE button!"]

[A toy Friend, for when your real friends can't come over. Melt. My. Heart.]

[Monster Trash-Compacting Robots. I'd totally buy that!]

[A Helper Robot.  Ever wish you had more than two hands? Problem solved!]

[Heart Replacement, wherein everyone wins.]

[Ice Cream that turns you into Captain America!]


Clever Craft Classes for the Holidays!

I am THRILLED [like I didn't sleep at all last week] to announce the latest addition to our class schedule at Brilliant Beginnings, CLEVER CRAFTS with miss morgan. Cool handicraft projects for creative kids!

Starting with THANKSGIVING, Brilliant Beginnings is going to be offering regular holiday arts & crafts classes for kids ages 4-8 years old.  These are open enrollment, one-time, super awesome classes. 

These holiday classes will be taking the place of December's Science Camp.  [The next Science Camp will be in January]

I. Can't. Wait.

We are now enrolling for our Thanksgiving clever craft class, teepee centerpieces. Sharpen those stencil painting skills, it's teepee time! Hip hip!

Sign up [HERE].

Thank you!

xoxoxox, mm

Christmas clever craft coming soon!


November Science Camp [Now Enrolling]

You guys! I'm so excited to announce this month's science camp.
Volcanoes! Volcano Camp is seriously one of my most favorites of all my favorite science classes. What are volcanoes? What do they do? How do they work? Where are they located? And best of all... How can we make our OWN?!
Together we will dive in and explore the Volcano World, and each student will be given the rad opportunity to make their own volcano from scratch and mix their own secret red lava juice. 

Whaaaa Yes, for real.

Sign up [HERE]

I can't wait!



Happy Halloweeeeeeeeeeen!

Want a real Halloween treat?
These vids will make your day. I swear it.

"I'm a Mean Old Witch" [Early Explorers]

"A Spidery Foe" [Little Scholars]

Happy Halloween from all of our preschoolers!


October Science Camp [Now Enrolling]

Brilliant Beginnings is now enrolling for our October Science Camp, Pumpkins and Spiders.
 Hip hip!


Please include your child's name along with your email address in the message box at check out.  Once the classes have been filled I will contact you with more information regarding camp day.

Thank you so much!

xoxo, mm


Summer Camps 2013 [announced]

We are SUPER excited to announce our class schedule for the summer. (Finally! Right? We know, we know. We have just been really busy, really enjoying our two week break.)

This summer we are doing things a little different from our norm. We will be holding day camps for the months of June and July, rather than the six week summer preschool course that we have offered in the past. We feel that this change will be just awesome, and that you will love the classes that we have to offer.

And, drum roll please...... Brilliant Beginnings is teaming up with Bear Cave Studios, to offer summer art camps! Yay!  Annie, founder of Bear Cave, is an incredibly talented artist. Check her out [HERE]. She and I are thrilled to be working together this summer. We are confident that your children will love our classes, and we are anxious to share the awesome things that we have planned, with you! 

Thanks for being so FANTASTIC, we hope to see you this summer!

Our Day Camp Information below:

Ladybug Camp
Friday, June 21st
Children 3 & 4 years old - 10am-Noon
Children 5 & 6 years old - 1:30pm-3:30pm
A day filled with fun based on Eric Carle's picture book, The Grouchy Ladybug.  We are going to learn a little bit about what to do with our feelings, good and proper manners, and a whole lot about ladybugs.  Ladybugs are pretty cool. This camp will include activities in science, art, music a food. Your child will even get to bring home a small collection of live ladybugs to release in your home garden, or yard!

 Art Camp with Miss Annie and Miss Morgan
Wednesday, June 26th 
This class is for children ages 4-6.
Come and explore new art techniques, create, and get messy!


Pirate Camp
Wednesday, July 17th
Children 3 & 4 years old - 10am-Noon
Children 5 & 6 years old - 1:30pm-3:30pm
A day of filled with fun based on David Shannon's picture book, How I Became a Pirate. Come sail the seas, hunt for treasure, and explore in the pirate way! This camp will include activities in science (Do Pirates use soap?!), art, music, and food.  Pirate hats and patches are welcome!

Art Camp with Miss Annie and Miss Morgan
Friday, July 26th
This class if for children ages 4-6.
Come and explore new art techniques, create, and get messy!


Camp Eligibility:
We do not have an age eligibility cut-off date for day camps. Children must be at least 3 years old and no older than 6 years old, at the time they attend camp. Children must be potty trained, and comfortable leaving mom and dad for a couple of hours, to attend camp.

Camp Tuition:
The cost for each camp is $20 per child. Tuition is due at the time of registration and is non-refundable.  Classes will be filled on a first come first served basis, and enrollment will be open until all classes have are full.  You can sign up for one, or two, or all.

PLEASE EMAIL Miss Morgan to reserve your spot, or with any questions.



D is for Dinosaur Day Camp

Our new class pet?
New class pet? #dinosaurdaycamp #dinosaur #brilliantbeginningspreschool #sciencecamp #preschool

Jr. Paleontologists. No big deal.
Oh, just a couple of junior paleontologists. #dinosaurdaycamp #dinosaur #sciencecamp #preschool #brilliantbeginningspreschool @codik15 @kasigood

Dinosaur bones. #dinosaur #dinosaurdaycamp #sciencecamp #brilliantbeginningspreschool #preschool #juniorpaleontologists


Oh, just making ourselves some fossil dough.


Dinosaur Fossils?! WAY cool.
Oh, just making some dinosaurs fossils. Nbd. @annilygreen @sarah_s_hunt #dinosaur #dinosaurdaycamp #preschool #science #brilliantbeginningspreschool

Dinosaur Day overgramming! What what. But moooom, we just had so much fun. #brilliantbeginningspreschool #dinosaurdaycamp #fossils #preschool @valdal11 @whitneyingram @jillakaufusi @collectedblog

Oh, you know. Just comparing our tiptoe footprints with that of the king tyrannosaurus.
Oh, just comparing our "tiptoe footprints" with that of the king Tyrannosaurus. #dinosaurdaycamp #dinosaur #tyrannosaurusrex #brilliantbeginningspreschool

Look how awesome our fossils cooked up!

Horton Hears a Who

These Clovers, with their Who Ville Specs, turned out WAY cuter than I invisioned.
Such a hit this week, Dr. Seuss week!
Horton Hears a Who? I think yes. #drseussweek #seuss #brilliantbeginningspreschool #preschool #hortonhearsawho #happybirthdayseuss