Part of the joy of creating art is the process. In fact, the process IS the joy and the whole purpose in much of the preschool art experience. Exploring materials, experimenting with different techniques -- this is where the excitement is at! Here’s our take on a process oriented Valentine.
I did run into some issues with the cornstarch glue. It seems I’m not the only one – at least Kim from Life of a Modern Mom had the good sense to jump ship and move on to the Elmer’s glue. I was trying to reach “translucency” with a bunch of white goop in my pot that seemed ready to solidify. I took the mixture out of the pan and found the perfect solution…
For more Valentine's Day ideas check out the wreath my craft toddler made and our heart shaped bird-seed ornaments (because our feathered friends need love too).
I wrote shortly after Christmas about Claire’s excitement after receiving a digital camera for Christmas from her Aunt Nikki and Uncle Matt. I finally got around to taking a look at what she’s been photographing and I laughed out loud at many of the images and marveled over the beauty of the “everyday” she captured. I’d like to think I was looking through her eyes at things that are important to her: family, friends, animals, her special toys and favorite places in our home…
I'm glimpsing happiness as she smooshed her face close to ours to fill her camera’s frame, excitement as she stalked her grandparents’ kitties, pride in a stack of clean dishes after lunch...
>>> Regina has cholera. Would you like to push on or rest for three days?
If you're a child of the 80's, I'm sure this game has a place in your heart. I remember vying for computer time amongst my fellow classmates intent on guiding my wagon full of family west to the promised land. I was so excited to purchase the newer version complete with primary source material scanned in for my students back in 2004. The graphics had improved immensely, although I admit the original had a charm all its own.
Here's a great read about the unlikely start and success of this educational software, and the efforts of its creators to make it historically accurate: THE OREGON TRAIL: HOW 3 MINNESOTANS FORGED ITS PATH
Claire has been drawing these fantastic people for a couple of weeks and I just had to share this family portrait she did. I especially love her mohawk hairstyles and the carefully chosen hair colors. Can you tell that we are all wearing shoes? I (on the left there) am even wearing my glasses! I'll have to post more of these, they are just cracking me up!
What are your children drawing nowadays? Any tips on displaying a prolific little artist's creations?
Yummy! A crunchy, sweet Valentine’s Day treat that won’t earn your kids a trip to the dentist – what a delicious, simple and healthy afternoon treat these were! Package ‘em up pretty and I think they’ll make a lovely gift for someone special. Apple chips are about a gazillion dollars per bag at my grocery store so this is a super frugal snack to boot!
What do you get when you combine a snowy morning, tons of sunflower seeds and our very first non-fiction book checked out from kiddie section at the library?
Crafty Claire strikes again, there is a poofy, pink and very glittery wreath on my front door. It's fab.
Did I mention the glitter?
I'm thinking everyone needs a wreath like this on their front door. And I'm sure this is proof that I've been sniffing too much polyurethane while finishing our staircase.
|Love the nose scunch in this photo|
Be sure to let me know if you tackle this project, I love to feature other mums and their blogs! Upload your images to our facebook page for some virtual pats on the back.
Want to see more Valentine's projects? Don't miss the V-day recipe for sweet and crunchy heart apple chips, a DIY project for heart stamps using building blocks and our spray painted Valentine's!
Claire and her new favorite game, "Singing Contest." She croons from her bed while Dan and I sit in chairs and bop along. Most of the songs consist of one word (princess, penguin, instrument or alphabet are recent favorites) repeated over and over (and over) in different monotone rhythms. She seems to have her grandmother's "gift" for pitch.
We clap as directed and smile, lots of smiling.
Originally published Jan 2010 - the large swarth of the US covered in snow got me thinking about this post. We're enjoying our own snow with mini-snowmen and copious amounts of cocoa.
Want to know my thoughts on outdoor play? I consider it an absolute necessity for all children (and adults!) I read a great article recently about “Nature Deficit Disorder” and couldn’t agree more with the author Richard Louv (Last Child in the Woods) that kids today are disconnected from nature and spending way too much time in front of the boob tube and computer screen. It’s an interesting conundrum for me, as a school’s technology coordinator - I’m always encouraging teacher’s to find ways to integrate technology into their curriculum, but is that sometimes at the expense of the child? The former park ranger in me wants to boot those kids out of their desks and send them into the field to collect data and THEN use the computer to interpret the results. But, I digress…
Back to my current life as chief teacher of a 2 year old…
Outdoors everyday. Even in the cold.
My name is Regina and I have a slight font obession.
Some women collect shoes, I collect fonts...upwards of 300 and counting. I can't seem to help myself - the files are tiny, I LOVE each and every one. I tell myself it's totally normal to have so many choices of type (and I'm hoping you'll tell me too).
My latest finds are font sets to use with Claire. Check this out:
We just read "The Big Snow" by Elmer Hader and (if possible) Claire has become even more obsessed with birds. Having lots of wintry weather here like in the story, it was the perfect time to provide some sustenance to our feathered friends. Claire said I looked just like the old lady in the story when I through the remnants of the suet cakes in the garden...um, thanks sweetie.
I house all sorts of experiments in my fridge (both intentional and unintentional, green shrimp, anyone?) but this hodgepodge of lard, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, cheese and bird seed was a success, both in "cutifying" our backyard and keeping my three year old occupied. If birds could talk I'm sure they would be raving about this recipe, our feeding stations were swarming with visitors and the birdie cakes were the hottest thing there.
There are lots of tutorials for DIY bird suet on the web but I liked this one for two reasons, I had the ingredients on hand and the recipe came from reputed wildlife organization so I figured we wouldn't accidentally harm any wildlife.
|The cast of characters, do NOT melt the lard.|
There are no ingredient ratios, so I randomly lopped everything into the bowl. The basic goal is to get everything to gel together in a firm enough package to mold, the freezer will take care of the rest. I wasn't sure how birds felt about Parmesan cheese so there's only a bit of that.
We tried a few different mixing options, of course hands won out. I had to dig in and help at this point because I intentionally left the lard pretty firm. We packed (squished might be a better description) the suet into cookie cutters, mini muffin tins and tupperware containers then froze for about 3 hours. I brought the tray of mini muffin bird cakes outsides and set them right in the snow with a cover to protect them from the squirrels. Easy peasy.
I know everyone else who blogged this project put little straws in to allow string to be passed through a hole after the were frozen. I found it just as effective to load a bit of the suet into the container and then have Claire put some yarn (birds love pink, it's a fact) in the center before loading the rest of the suet in. It might not be as cute, but we liked it just fine. The final product:
I love having Claire in the kitchen with me and concocting a healthy, yet sweet and crunchy sweet for Valentine’s Day was a major accomplishment this week. These apple chips were so simple, cheap and super cute.
|Art Time: Family Portrait|
I am beyond excited at Claire’s artistry. She just started drawing figures and I had to frame her first family portrait. The detail she’s putting into them (not always recognizable but always explained to me in great excitement) just cracks me up.
Art Time: Holiday Decorating
The last time Audubon's "Birds of America" hit the auction circuit, it fetched $10 million -- luckily Claire is happy with the free version from our library! This was our very first non-fiction checkout from the juvenile section. A very happy morning was spent observing the happy (fat!) birds at our feeder and finding their page in the guide book.
I came across a few great (and free) fonts to share. The “pictobet” is all caps and each letter is shaped into an artistic, yet totally readable picture. We’re still working on a proper pencil grasp, but I’m not pushing it because Claire is only 3. Coloring these pages has been tons of fun and if anyone would like some worksheets made with these, just give a holler!
To encourage the birds to gather at our feeding stations we whipped up some easy, no cook suet. Claire was excited to help gather all the ingredients and help “write” the recipe on the kitchen chalkboard (She traced my letters with her fingers). We molded the suet in tupperware, heart shaped silicone molds and free formed a bunch. Claire spent a nice morning hanging them throughout the yard. This tied in really nicely to the book we checked out of the library!
I’ve been so inspired by nature tables throughout the blogosphere. We don’t have the room for a dedicated space, but this little corner is pleasing to all of us. Claire has been sorting all her collections and there have been some interesting games using the rocks and birch rounds…I’m not privy to all the rules but Claire tells me, “it’s rock ring around the rosy Mommy.” I’ve introduced the word “classify” and it seems to have stuck!
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Aunt Nikki and Uncle Matt gifted Claire a digital camera for her birthday and she couldn't love it more! We've been teaching her some photography techniques, first - get low and try to shoot at your subject's eye level. The tummy wriggle is especially effective when trying to creep next to the grandparent's elusive kitties.