Monday, March 30, 2009

Art History Lesson: Mehndi Hand Art from India

This month we studied the Art of India.
I decided to do two projects with the Kindergarten class since
I was in there on the Frog Princess' birthday.

We made Mehndi Hand designs
by tracing hands on construction paper
and drawing "henna designs"
with skinny brown pens.
I told the children to hide their names
(and their family/friend's names) in their designs like a traditional wedding pattern.

Then we cut them out and used glue stick to attach them to eggplant paper.

For our second project,
I found some old embossing foil (two sided - gold and silver)

The kids used an old magazine underneath, to serve as a cushion.
Then, they traced their hands and embossed designs with a pencil.

We mounted those on the eggplant paper as well.
The resulting hallway display
made me feel like I was at an Indian Wedding.

The projects were BEAUTIFUL!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Doctor Birthday Bash Part 5: Fun With Friends Friday

The Frog Princess had so much fun
with her lovely friends
at her doctor party.

I thought I would end the week with some highlights
of six-year-old friendship.

The girls trying on their favor bag glasses!

Two of my favorite mini-doctors!

More silly glasses!

The boys took a break from the action to play with
our Play Mobil hospital.

This dragon is in good hands.
And yes...that would be
toilet paper and ACE bandages.

O-kay everybody...
Say, "App-en-dec-to-my!"

And last but not least....

A hug for her favorite Aunt and Uncle.
The Frog Princess said her
best birthday present this year
is her baby cousin...
due in a couple of weeks!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Doctor Birthday Party Bash Part 4: Goody Bags

You can't have a party without
party favors....

The Frog Princess decorated white paper bags
with a red crayon "plus" and each child's name:
Dr. Frog Princess, etc.
Inside were goodies we've been collecting since
the Halloween clearance sales in October.

Included in the bag:
Purple gloves
(her favorite color) from our pediatrician (free!)
Eyeball Whoopee Cushions
Syringe Pens
Miracle Bubbles in Vial
($1 bin at Michaels)
Bio-Hazard Plasma Goo
(World Market)
Eyeball Glasses
Red Foam Clown Nose
(gift from Texas Grandma)
Manilla Folder with
Blank Prescriptions and Patient Chart
Body Book Worksheet from Scholastic
(print the PDF here)
Classroom Sticker Build-your-own
Organ and Skeleton Charts

I labeled clean baby food jars
with adhesive labels I printed on my computer.
Each jar contained 10 sponge capsule
bath tablets
that transform into dinosaurs or farm animals (from Dollar Tree!)
The "goo" was very popular with several of the guests...
not sure if it was as popular with their moms.

A demonstration from Mini-Saurus
on how to wear one's clown nose.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Doctor Birthday Bash Part Three: X-Ray Lab

One of the centers I set up for
the Frog Princess' 6th birthday party
was our X-Ray lab.

I ordered a set of
Animal X-Ray reproductions
from Discount School Supply
The kids (and moms!)
enjoyed guessing each animal.
I also set up our
Build-A-Skeleton Floor Puzzle
also from Discount School Supply.

The sliding glass windows and
my light box were perfect for this center.
In this photo: Green Leaf Frog, Baby Kangaroo,
a Veiled Cameleon, and a Green Iguana.

I also had some old human x-rays
of the spine, head, and torso.

For the record...
We were going to
make our own X-Ray prints

using Solar Print Paper
that I ordered from Discount School supply was raining.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Doctor Birthday Party Bash Part 2: The Science Lab

The FAVORITE Center at our Doctor Party Bash
was the Science Lab.
I set up my portable table in the kitchen
for the Doctors to conduct their lab experiments.

Everything was non-toxic
and the experiments used simple ingredients
from my kitchen:
oil, water, food coloring, milk, vinegar, and dish soap.

Each station was equipped with
a set of test tubes from Discount School Supply,
an eye dropper also from Discount School Supply,
a pipette from Oriental Trading Company,
and a re-purposed frozen mini-quiche tray.

Our centerpiece was one of our first experiments.
A home-made lava lamp.
A glass jar filled with cooking oil
and ice cubes dyed with food coloring.
As the cubes melted, the colored blobs slowly
floated to the bottom.
I got this great idea from my blogger buddy Lisa
over at 5 Orange Potatoes - Check out her Melting Rainbows post.

A bird's eye view of the color mixing action.
Each circle of the quiche trays was filled with water.
Three of them were filled with a drop of food coloring:
Red, Blue, and Yellow.

The kids experimented with mixing colors.
If you've been reading my blog for a while
you will recognize this project from my
Color My World - Rethink How You Can Use Your Trash post.

They also loved the
Milky Fireworks experiment.
1.Fill a rimmed baking sheet with a layer of milk.
2.Drop a few drops of food coloring in the milk.
3.Add a drop of dish soap to the center of each food coloring blob.
4.Sit back and Watch the colors mix and swirl.
It's like a time-lapse movie of a tie-dyed shirt.

The scientists at work in their lab.

WE also had a jar with an
Egg soaked in Vinegar
The acid dissolves the calcium carbonate
from the shell.
Some of the vinegar will pass through
the membrane and
plump up the egg.
The end result is a fat, gooey egg
that the kids and grown-ups
couldn't resist touching
(be careful not to pop it!)

Then we made them wash their hands
with soap immediately!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Doctor Birthday Party Bash

We celebrated the Frog Princess' 6th Birthday
with a Doctor Party this weekend.

The cake she designed.
White, circle Fun-fetti cake with white frosting.
Coconut on the edge.
And a Red Cross symbol made out of gummy bears.

Our Family Room O.R.
The coffee table was draped in pale blue sheets
to serve as the operating table.
This is the frog princess getting toilet-papered by
some of her colleagues!

The Exploration Station.
(This was in our playroom.)

Blue Tray
You will find a Microscope with
different texture specimens

Yellow Tray:

Her dissecting Frog model
with squishy/sticky organs.
And a sticky brain...

Pink Tray:

Two with bones (flour and popsicle sticks)
one without bones (just flour)

Middle of the table:

Color changing heart model.
Walking Brain.
Magnifying Glass.

We also had our Shrek Operation Game
and our Play Mobil Hospital
set-up nearby.

Stay tuned...
More details to come in upcoming posts!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fishy Cupcakes

Yesterday I brought these cupcakes to share
with the Frog Princess' Kindergarten class
to celebrate her 6th birthday.
I used fruit roll-ups as the seaweed
and gummy Nemo fish snacks
as the ocean critters.
They were a big hit with her class.

We had a small family celebration with
both sets of grandparents (so lucky!)
Sushi and Chinese food (the birthday girl's menu of choice)
and a small butterfly "funfetti" cake that I hand cut from a 9" circle.
The Frog Princess helped me decorate it.
Such a tasty work of art!

Now we're busy getting ready for Sunday's
"Fairytale Hospital" party with her friends.
I'll post photos when the big bash is over.
Happy Birthday my sweet 6 year old girl!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Birthday Count Down...

Happy Birthday my Sweet Princess.
You taught me how to be a mother.
You taught me how to love more than I ever thought possible.

The Frog Princess will be six years old on Wednesday.

I will bring cupcakes to her classroom.
I will stay to teach this month's AIS art lesson per her request.

She will celebrate with four healthy grandparents,
an aunt and uncle with a baby cousin due next month,
two loving parents,
and an adoring little sister.
So many blessings.

We will serve the menu she has requested for her special day.
Breakfast: Rice Krispies with Sprinkles and Whipped Cream.
Lunch: Subway Turkey Sub.
Dinner: Sushi - California Rolls.

I can hardly believe it.
I can believe it.
It seems like only yesterday that I was on my way to the hospital to have her.
It seems like seven years ago that I was on my way to the hospital to have her.
How can motherhood feel like something so new...
and like something I've done forever at the same time?

I've kept a journal with random letters I've written to my daughters,
amusing quotes of things they've said,
lists of first words
off and on over the past seven years
as I've traveled this path of new motherhood.

These days,
Most of my observations are notes
I jot on scraps of paper
and toss into a jar by our kitchen table.
I write the date so I can go back later and
add them to a scrapbook or
just paste them into my journal.

We will be having a small celebration over the weekend
with a select handful of long-time friends.
Her theme this year?
Fairytale Hospital Party.
She designed her own invitations
featuring a frog in a rainbow wheelchair.
I'll be in scrubs shuttling some 5 and 6 year olds
through some science experiments and art projects.

Please forgive my absence while we celebrate
this important family milestone.
I will be posting details and photos next week.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Art In the Schools: Tessellations with MC Escher

My daughter's school participates in this great program called Art In the Schools. Parents volunteer to come in one day a month and do a supplemental art history and hands on art project in the classroom. We feature a different artist each month with a portfolio of prints loaned to us by GRACE (the Greater Reston Arts Center.) It enriches the existing art curriculum (they only attend art class in the art room one hour ever OTHER week) and exposes students in all grade levels to a new series of portfolios every year. As the AIS mommy in the Frog Princess' kindergarten class, I love getting to play art teacher once a month and be a fly on the wall in my own daughter's classroom.

Last month, we studied the work of M.C. Escher (1898-1972) the "father" of tessellations. For those of you not in the know, a tessellation is a repeating pattern consisting of shapes that fit together on a plane and repeat without overlapping or leaving gaps. Think of a soccer ball or a honey-comb pattern.
Back in my elementary art teacher days, I used to do a fun lesson with my fifth grade students creating unique tessellations with cut index cards that the students traced and filled a piece of drawing paper with color and whimsy. When I saw that we were studying Escher in February and I needed to do a lesson with my Kindergarteners I decided to keep it simple. No hand-cutting complicated shapes that have to fit together perfectly, instead I just blew-up xerox copies of the birds and fish from Escher's black and white woodblock print "Fish Bird Sky"

I needed an easy lesson that would display well for March's school-wide Youth Art Month display. To make my life easier, I gave each student a large blank paper fish to color and cut out. I demonstrated some magic marker and crayon resist techniques. Their favorite was how to write secret messages with white and yellow crayons then color over them with darker marker colors to reveal the image/message. Then I assembled them all into a big paper collage with xerox copies of the birds, like a glue-it-yourself jig-saw puzzle!

End result :
Adorable Giant M.C. Escher reproduction
Great Hallway Display
Co-operative class project
Memorable Art Lesson for Kindergarteners and at least one of their mothers.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Birthday Quilts

The birthday quilts are finished!
I actually got them both done
before our house was taken out by the plague of 2009
and before both girls' birthdays.
This was my
ridiculously over-ambitious
home-made birthday project this year.
I made each of my girls a quilt to snuggle under for:
oh who am I kidding,
to stay warm in our frigid family room during TV-time!

I have been saving baby clothes
and toddler PJs

with sentimental value
intending to make these quilts.
I can't believe
I actually got them finished before
the girls entered high school!
Mini-Saurus turned 2 last week and the Frog Princess turns 6 next week.
I went ahead and presented both girls with their quilts
on the same day
as soon as I finished them

since they had been watching me work on them in my art studio
and had been
not so patiently
waiting for me to finish them.

I will say that my sewing machine
did NOT like the
stretchy knit onesie fabric.
It loved the cotton from my fat quarters stash,
the flour sack dish towels
embroidered with tea cups
by my husband's late grandmother (a wedding gift I will always cherish)
the polar fleece footie PJ squares,
and the tea towels
embroidered by my own
dear grandmother

I had to wing the binding...
it certainly isn't up to my grandmother's sewing standards
but my kiddos don't seem to mind.
I used satin baby blanket in each of their signature colors
(Pink = Mini Saurus/
Lavendar = Frog Princess
to match their loveys.
I raided my button stash to tack the quilts.
The girls are having fun identifying the fabrics from
past outfits and pjs.
It's quite the trip down memory lane for all of us.

Now I'm thinking that I might make small
8x8 digital scrapbooks
to go with the quilts featuring photos of the girls wearing the clothing in the quilts
and stories behind them.
Shutterfly has a free 8x8 album promo
running between now and March 10th
(promo code: PHOTOBOOKS)
I just may have to take advantage of for this little addition to the quilt project!

The Frog Princess told me she'll
take her quilt with her
to the hospital one day when she has her babies.
She always knows just what to say to
make her mama's heart fill with love.
Of course, I have secret mommy visions
of the girls taking their quilts with them to college
to nap under in their dorm rooms
but, they'll probably be too cool for them by then.

Monday, March 2, 2009

* Ideas To Keep Kids Entertained For A Snow Day!

Well, here we are trapped on the east coast under quite a blanket of snow.
Today I'll be posting some of our favorite snowy day activities
before we bundle up to hike up the street to have a snowy play date with our neighbors.

First up is my Paint Stick Snow Ruler project.
If you have some wooden paint stirring sticks stashed in your painting supplies in the garage/basement
time to go unearth one and throw some white paint on it today.
Directions can be found on my post here.

While you are waiting for paint to dry (or the snow to finish falling)
you can play with the kids in an indoor Oatmeal Box.
Like a sand box but much tastier!
Yes, you'll have some sweeping to do afterwards but
consider it to be a Montessori keeping house lesson.

Or get out your Winter Wonderland box with rice snow
(click on the link to check out mine and get ideas).
You can make an igloo out of Model Magic
or recycle an empty kleenex box/small shoe box into a snowy shelter.
Shoveling this kind of snow is a lot more fun!

When you are ready to head out into the snow
mix up a couple of spray bottles with food coloring water and make some rainbows!
Snow men are so much cooler with some Jackson Pollock style tie-die!

Come inside and warm up with some cocoa or better yet, make my favorite
chocolate cake in a mug recipe: Three Minute Chocolate Mug Cake Yummy!
While you're in the kitchen whip up some home-made scented play-doh
make labels for your favorite cold day spices
like Cinnamon Sugar (aka Fairy Dust in our house!)

Time for the kiddos to write and illustrate their own snowy day books with a simple
home-made blank book.

Snuggle up with some of our favorite snowy books like:
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats,
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder,
The Snowy Day (Picture Book) by Anna Millbourne and Elena Temporin,
and Winter by Gerda Muller.

Mini-Saurus and the Frog Princess in their First Snow Together in 2008!

Stay warm and have fun!

Check out my Winter Fun E-Book for even more fun ideas!

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