Projects

Favorite Book Art

You or your kids have probably had this idea already. Consider this a reminder!

You will need: large paper, permanent marker, tempera paint and something to put the paint on. Oh and brushes or something to spread the paint around with.

I use a paper plate.

Draw outlines or have your older children draw outlines for things related to their favorite book.  Read the book out loud while they paint or beforehand.



I actually painted this one by myself because my kids were hungry when I had it all laid out. Note to self: It is important to invite the children to participate when they are interested, not always when it’s convenient.

I really enjoyed mixing the colors to get orange and purple and brown. It was almost therapeutic. I also cut up an old smelly dish sponge into heart, triangle, and circle shapes to make stamps with. (Those blobs around the butterflies.)

You may have noticed that I have the same book on the shelf twice. This is because I just bought Wow, Said the Owl because I and my kids love it so much. Mr. 1 loves it so much he learned how to say “WOW!!!” and says it over and over the whole time we read. We read it at least 5 times a day, which is also what inspired me to make this art project.  I need to return the other one to the library.

Feel free to comment and let me know which books inspire your children to make art!

 

Projects, Science

Project: Sticky Zoo Collage

I have a new project for you guys! I randomly thought of it while on the airplane.

Sticky Zoo Collage

You will need: Contact Paper, Permanent Marker, tape, and pictures of animals.

I cut most of our pictures out the magazine sent by our local zoo for being members. Also, it may be better not to overwhelm the child with too many pictures at once. I think my 3 year old was a bit frustrated having to sort through them. Here we go:

Step 1: Cut your contact paper and lay it on the counter, clear side up.

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Step 2: Draw your zoo map. Include as much or as little as you want. You could even have your child help with this if they are interested.

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Step 3: Turn the contact paper over and tape it down as you peel the cover off. You should tape it so that the sticky side is up.

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Step 4: Give your child some animal cut outs and let them fill the zoo however they want. You may need to stick a few on there to show the younger ones how to do it.

Above, I included some construction paper cutouts taped to the non-sticky side to provide more color. I was hoping to get the child to think about different environments but I didn’t force the issue.

Mr. 1 enjoyed the project once he figured out what to do. Mr. 3 wanted to put the animals into his safari truck and drive them to the zoo.

Comment below if you try this out!

 

 

Projects

Project: Textured Greeting Cards

Mother’s day is just around the corner! If you are looking for a little project to keep your kiddo’s busy, you can let them help you make some greeting cards. You could make “Happy Mother’s Day” cards for grandparents or neighbors.

All you need is construction paper, crayons, glue, and treasures.

These are really simply and can be applied to any occasion! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, even if you are not a mother!

 

Projects

Project: Baby Obstacle Course

My little one is 14 months old, today, and still not walking independently. This is fine, I understand everyone learns at their own pace. He shows a lot of interest in walking, and constantly wants to be assisted. We spend a lot of time with him walking in front of me while I hold his hands.

To keep the game more interesting and help him build the strength, coordination, and balance he needs to do it on his own, I built an obstacle course for him. This is so quick and easy to do; all you need is pillows, boxes, balls, or other similar household goods.

The little one went around 8 times before he needed a break and wanted to play with the balls. He really enjoyed climbing over the pillow mountains and he was breathing hard after all of his laps.

When the little one got tired, the dog and the 3 year old joined in. The dog seems to think that any pillow on the floor is for her.

Daily Lessons, Projects

Construction Site

This post is mainly about construction sites, and a little play dough project follows at the end. 

In Seattle, you can get in free to most major museums on Free First Thursday. That’s the first Thursday of every month. Today we were going to go to the Museum of History and Industry because Mr. 3 wanted to “ride up and down in the elevator” and also because they have an exhibit on building the rail road track in Seattle. It’s pretty fun because the kids get to pretend to hammer in the rail road nails and it makes loud noises.

IMG_6232Well, we made it down to South Lake Union, but we never made it to the museum. We were distracted by an awesome construction site.

The kids were so excited to see a construction site in action because usually we end up being close to one on the weekends, or in the car where they can not see as well.

[Side note: I think this is where the new Facebook buildings will go.]

There were so many things going on at this construction site! My favorite thing was probably watching them work on constructing a larger crane. We saw the white crane lift and move the wheel tracks for the big blue crane, and watched the workers attach it to the body.

We saw two different excavators. The orange one had a jack hammer attachment and was breaking up concrete from what was left of the parking lot. And the yellow one came by and dropped sludge close to us. I admit I shrieked with excitement to see how much came out.

It was pretty exciting and we talked and watched for about 30 minutes about the different equipment and things that we saw. We talked about colors, we counted excavators, we talked about how the workers use team work and planning to get everything done. We probably should have talked about safety (glasses and hard hats, and those bright neon jackets). 

My husband mentioned that he heard from a distant relative who works in construction that there are 162 active cranes in Seattle. I don’t know how accurate that is, but there were at least 5 active constructions sites between the one we were at and our lunch date with Daddy. [We went to Serious Pie & Biscuit, which is amazing and you should try it if you visit Seattle.]IMG_6255

When the kids finally got tired of the construction site we walked around the park at South Lake Union. We saw a gaggle of geese. This was particularly interesting because there were 3 generations of geese there!

You can’t see it in the picture, but there were teeny tiny yellow baby geese floating off to the side. SO ADORABLE! Still, we didn’t get too close because geese can be mean.

And boy do they poop. In the grass, on the sidewalk, in the water. Poop Poop Poop.

Then we went tIMG_6256o look at boats and play around until it was time to go eat.

Mr. 14 months is getting better at walking, and managed to walk a significant distance holding only one of my hands. He’s getting SO close to walking on his own. And of course he had to go up and down the stairs a few times. Neither of my boys ever avoid a staircase if they can help it. Good for them.

We also read some signs about the South Lake Union boating history. They used to build pleasure and fishing boats right there where the park is. And apparently a lot of Salmon swim in that lake, or at least they used to in the 1900’s.

There is supposed to be a thunderstorm this afternoon, but so far we have had the most beautiful day. Sunny and mid 60’s, and I am so thankful that we had such great time.

When the kids wake up, we may play construction site to reinforce some of the things we talked about. We use TinkerLab’s homemade play dough. This stuff is so nice, and the first batch we made last November is still in use several times a week. [All though the color is now brown because it all got mixed together.] We have some small construction trucks and I’m going to add some popsicle sticks and pebbles to clear out.

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Play Dough Construction Site

Requires:

Play Dough (make your own or store-bought)

Optional:

Little Trucks, cut up straws, popsicle sticks, marbles or little stones

Set up the construction site to invite your child’s interest and let them destroy or add to it as they like. 

I hope you had a beautiful day, too!

By the way, those cute little trucks are 5 for $10 on Amazon. Check it out! [Affiliate Link]

 

 

 

Language, Projects

Project: Large Dot to Dot

This project is super easy, all you need is paper and a writing utensil. I chose some packing paper left over from when we moved last year, and some colorful markers.

Sometimes it is refreshing just to change a few things up from the way you normally do things. That is why I wanted to use large paper and have them color/draw on the kitchen floor.

My goal with this was to emphasize words with the letter F because that is what my toddler wanted to learn about this week.

As per usual, my toddler did not use the project in its intended fashion (to complete the dot to dots to draw the F themed pictures and write the letter over and over), but he did have fun with it. He added a “mommy”  (blue scribbles in middle picture) and then a “Morgan” the dog (not shown). He really liked the airplane and guessed the associated word was “fly”, but instead of tracing it he just circled it vigorously.

He did trace the big Letter F’s with his finger. I asked him if he wanted to use the markers and he said no. I asked him if he was afraid of messing up, and he said yes. I told him it’s okay to mess it up. I told him I can make more F’s but he hasn’t worked up the courage.

I moved the project to our dining table in case he wants to come back to it later.

Let me know how the project worked for you, if you end up trying it!

Projects, Science

Trees – without which there would be no life.

This week, when I asked what we should learn about, Mr. 3 chose to learn about trees.

We read “All About Trees” in our book Curiositree: Natural World: A Visual Compendium of Wonders from Nature – Jacket unfolds into a huge wall poster!“>Natural World. It is just 3 pages in this book that breaks down the different parts of trees, shows different leaves for identification, and provides examples of the many creatures that live from or in trees, but the book also provides important information on some of the creatures that live in the trees, or how photosynthesis works, and so much more.

Photosynthesis: The process by which plants use sunlight to produce their own food and “ultimately for every creature on the planet” (Natural World, page 58) and as a by product they release oxygen for us to breathe. Photosynthesis. I like hearing my 3 year old say that word, it really makes me feel like this whole homeschool thing can work.

My favorite fact about trees is that they provide food and shelter for many different kinds of creatures. From the fungi that help decompose it at the end of a tree’s very VERY long life (some oaks can live up to 600 years!) to the owls, birds, squirrels, and bugs that nest among its branches or in it’s trunk. You would not guess that from looking at tree, but maybe we should look a little closer.

img_6107Other than reading, we’ve had some tree related activities to help expose him and encourage him to learn more.

1. In a rare moment of sunshine we took the dog on a walk and I pointed out how different some of the trees are. “These trees are so tall, that one has white blossoms, this one has red, look at this leaf it has 4 points” etc…

2.We (mostly me) collected different leaves and bunches of pine needles to bring home and try to identify.

3. We made tree art! This is a project for all ages and it can be as simple as painting trees. I provided some different drawing tools (sponge brush, Qtips, paintbrush, wine corks) in the hope that they could make different kinds of leaves with them.

img_6149I left the leaves and book out for inspiration.

I covered my table and provided only 2 cups of paint to keep it simple. 1 cup for green leaves (it’s spring!) and 1 cup for mixing red and green to make brown.

My toddler enjoyed mixing the paint.

We use Handy Art Little Masters Tempera paint, and it washes off really easily and doesn’t leave stains on the clothes. I did ask 3 to wear a smock and 1 was only in a diaper, just in case.

3’s first picture was completely his own design, and he surprised me by taking the big leaf and painting on it. He wanted to glue it on the paper so I brought him glue. img_6152

Next I painted some tree trunks for him to add leaves to, and he used the wine cork to do it.

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Baby was working hard getting paint on the tablecloth and chair, but he did most of the following painting.

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The paint comes right off with a wet washcloth, so the chair is fine! Our chairs are dark wood and white leather and it wipes of off both very easily,

And finally, mom’s gotta have fun too, so this is the picture I made:

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The whole thing lasted about twenty minutes and ended with a short bath, but it was a lot of fun!

Project Summary: Painting Trees

Supplies:

Thick paper

Tempera paint

Various brushes, Qtips, wine corks, leaves and twigs.

Instructions:

Cover your table or area to protect it, and experiment in making different leaf shapes and mixing colors for trunks or flower blossoms.

Feel free to comment below if this project was a success for you, or if you have any cool facts to share about Trees!

Health, Projects

Make your own glasses

If your children fear that they failed their vision test, and would really feel more comfortable with a cool pair of glasses… you can make them together!

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I found that pipe cleaners allowed for a good hold while still being flexible enough to bend to size. Hot glue worked best for decorating the pipe cleaners.

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Decorations can include, rhinestones, glitter, puff balls, paper, or anything else you can think of!

Honestly, this might be a better project for a little bit older than 3, since he showed more interest in the colorful balls. But he did take the time to tell me that my glasses needed more decorations.

The good news is that kids will learn more from the process than the result, and it was fun for me, too!

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Health, Projects

Home Vision Test

Mr. 3 told me he couldn’t “see very well” . This was probably because he was upside down, but it gave me the idea to test his vision. 

I wrote letters on a piece of paper indifferent colors and sizes. If you have an older child they can help you do this part or make their own chart. If your child is not comfortable with letters, you could try shapes of different colors and sizes.

Next, we hung it on the wall. Then we placed a chair a few feet away. I gauged the distance by when my own poor vision made reading the chart challenging.


Finally, I asked him to cover one eye and pointed to some letters for him to read. Switch eyes and repeat. 

He did great. Dr. Mom feels confident in his ability to see. 

If you try this at home, let me know how it goes!