Tessera is a Greek word describing a small tile used to create mosaics. We work to provide children with opportunity for individual exploration, but also emphasize collaborative projects with peers. Every child is both a unique individual, and an integral part of our larger community. We work together to create a supportive, unhurried environment where children can focus on processes, creation and self expression.
Our final collaboration of the year! It would almost be sad if it weren’t so awesome. The multi caldera landscape of glorious technicolor vulcanism is a fantastic finale to a great year of collaborations.
We started with a layer of newspaper to help absorb moisture and map out the placement of the clay so every child would have their own looming volcano to work on in the whole.
It took a lot of little hands to get this much incredible detail into the base landscape. It was really fun taking turns and working together, sharing our space and making something truly epic
The new building is coming along nicely. Renovations are still under way and will be for awhile longer. Once or summer program is complete, we should be ready to jump into our new home! With an entrance facing away from the street, drop off and pick up should be wonderfully peaceful. The space is looking wonderful, with a huge play area and a couple of smaller rooms for focused crafts projects or quiet time when we need it. A little more work will make this space a worthy successor to our original space, and the community of artists and creators around us will be exactly the kind of place that has always made Tessera special. We can’t wait to get things ready for everyone to come and visit.
We’ll also be close to Mathay-Ballinger park, a short walk east of our new location, for when a rambunctious time on the playground is in order. The new play structures are really exciting, but all that open green space for running and playing is really important too.
Tessera has rented space from the Shoreline School District since 1998, but with the district growing, it’s been nice to rely on the Shoreline Center to help Tessera transition to meet the evolving needs of our community.
Our community is what makes Tessera what it is, and we can’t thank everyone enough for keeping our little village strong while the city around us continues to grow!
Our our most recent wilderness lore adventure with Hawkeye focused on wetlands.
He told us a thrilling tale of creeping through the mud, camouflaged with duckweed to the edge of a small pond in the wetlands. Hawkeye nearly touched the foot of a foraging duck. He told us that it was very fun, but very cold.
Hawkeye showed us a cattail he collected from the wetlands and we talked about all the other living things that can be found right around any given cattail in a wetland. Tadpoles, herons, egrets, dragonflies, crayfish, turtles, ducks, muskrats, snakes, raccoons, beetles and lily pads of all sizes. The kids guessed a lot of them on their own and several said they had seen some really huge lily pads before.
Hawkeye brought a lot of interesting plants and animal traces for us to study. Measuring huge skunk cabbage leaves was almost as popular as breaking their skin to release the stinky sap from inside. We examined scouring rush, which has been growing in wetlands since dinosaurs walked there!
The beaver skull was a favorite, but we also had the chance to study a raccoon pelt and a cast of its tracks as well as models of turtles and frogs. Hawkeye taught us about wetting our hands before handling a frog because it breathes through its skin and the moisture barrier will prevent our hands from drying the frog out. He also taught us how to find the flat spot behind a frogs eyes where it’s ears are, and that if the drog’s ear is larger than it’s eye it’s a male, smaller, a female.
We finished with a book called Frog Girl, by local author Paul Owen lewis, which tells of a First Nation princess who rescues the children from a frog village that have been caught in hunter’s traps.
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This week at Tessera we’ve been making bird feeders out of oranges. The best part is that we get to juice the oranges first. With a few holes in the rind, they are easy to hang with yarn. Make sure to grab a bag of seed at pickup so your child’s feeder can attracting migrating birds.
Everything we need to make a natural bird feeder (as well as some yummy juice!)
Some kids come for the bird feeder. Some are in it for the juice. It’s a fun way to start the day however you do it.
Hollowing out oranges to make a seed cup is the most delicious (for humans) part of making this kind of bird feeder.
Spaces are filling up fast in Tessera’s winter break workshop!
Reserve your spot by Thursday, 12/15 and your child can stay until 3:30 at no additional cost!
Guarantee a your child has the chance to make unique handmade gifts for this holiday season.
Sign up today!
Hand made gifts wrapped by the kids themselves are the best kind of present anyone can ask for.
Winter Break- Gift Making Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday December 21,22, 23 9:30am-2:30pm
Children will make and take two quality, wrapped gifts, as well as unique items of their own design!Bring a lunch and be ready to get messy!
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