Thursday, October 29, 2009

Reflecting on Halloween Past and Present

I've been reflecting on Halloween(s) past and present after tending to a sick kid all week.

She's SO MUCH better...but it has been a LONG 8 days. Waiting at the doctor's office.
Making-up homework. Refereeing sibling "disagreements" (screaming matches)
Trying not to go insane. Craving my art studio. Craving "me time."
Waiting for a return to the old routine. Grateful it hasn't been worse
(and I know it could be/could have been so much worse)

Painting pumpkins with the Frog Princess

The Frog Princess and our painted pumpkins

Princess Fiona and Snow White

Our Puking Pumpkin Debut

Mini-Saurus at the Pumpkin Patch


Puking Pumpkin
(note the plastic wrap, makes for easier clean - up/
transport to the compost!)

Mommy-Rella and her favorite little Care Bear

The Frog Princess as Malificent

Scooping Pumpkins

Stained-glass fun

Nature Walk

Our Witch

Family "Portrait" of the Girls at the Pumpkin Patch

Our backyard

Our Swine Flu Pumpkin

Hoping to fit in some more Halloween fun!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

* Woolly Bear Caterpillar Habitat

Our yard is full of woolly bear caterpillars right now.
The girls are having so much fun playing with them.

Why not turn it into a fun science lesson?

We did some online research about our woolly friends

They eat a variety of plants,
we're picking fresh grass and a few leaves (they like dandelions)
to put in there each day, along with a light spritz of water
(like dew drops -- from our snail tank spritzer)
When they seem sluggish, we'll give them a layer of dry leaves/debris to hibernate in.

We're planning to let them hibernate in our garage
over the winter then, they'll spin cocoons in the spring
and we'll watch them hatch into Tiger Moths!

We had an old fish tank in the garage that we repurposed into
a woolly bear habitat.

The woolly bear tank in the Frog Princess' room...and yes, her
beanie baby snail is wearing antennae warmers : )

So cute and little pipe cleaner friends.

I'm the lame mom who calls them "the Woolly Berenstain Bears"
yeah... my kids don't think it's funny either.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Science At Home: Anti-Gravity Brooms

(My sweet Frog Princess model is in her PJs
since she's battling Swine Flu this weekend)

My in-laws called this weekend to let us know
you can stand up a broom
in your house right now
because there is something wacky
with the Earth's gravity.
(they've had one standing in their kitchen for a week!
can you tell they don't have small kids around anymore?)

I don't know how long this phenomenon will last,
or what is causing it...

On the day of the equinox, the Day Arc of the sun is 0 degrees.
The exact date and time of the September equinox is September 22, 2009 at 21:18, or 9:18 pm.
While no exact date is available for the end of the Autumn Equinox,
the effects of the equinox can still be enjoyed now.
(article from the St. Louis Parenting Teens Examiner)

it is TOO COOL for School!

Perfect for (mini) witches and warlocks out there!

Or just freak out your kids/spouse
and tell them you've learned
a new magic trick.

Hey teachers... this might be
fun to try at school this week!!

Pink and Green Mama Note:
hmmm... I'm not sure why I'm getting so many
comments about folks who can't get it to work.
It's easier with a straight broom than an angled one.
No, I don't think you can use a push broom.
No, it's not a prank.
I posted this on Facebook Yesterday and got a dozen
responses from people who could get it to work,
one friend had to use her kid's broom instead but
DID get it to work.

Use a light touch,
and be patient.
No breezes, make sure your windows are closed.

Please let me know if you DO get it to work.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Fun: Toilet Paper Roll Pumpkin Craft

This is what my kitchen table looked like at breakfast time on Wednesday.
(the kitchen table photo... not the toilet photo!)
Yes, that cup of coffee was my breakfast.

I was cutting fabric squares and glue-gunning brown paper into little tubes
to prepare for a visit to my youngest daughter's preschool classroom.

I started my visit by telling them
this adorable Halloween Paper Story
from (one of my favorites!) Itty Bitty Love blog. (the kids and teachers loved it!)

Then we made

It is such a simple craft/activity with a
100% success rate for this group of 2.5 year olds!

To make your own, you'll need: fabric (approx. 22" x 18"),
toilet paper (can you say dollar store?), brown paper for stems
(or a stick, or a cinnamon stick), and a green pipe cleaner for a vine.

You'll get 4 pumpkins out of 1 yard of fabric (you'll cut the fabric into fourths)

Set the TP roll in the center of your fabric square, tuck and stuff the fabric into the tube.
Add a rolled paper stem, and bend a pipe cleaner as the vine.
Easy (and practical) craft.

I'll be making them again this week with the Frog Princess' first grade class
at their Fall Harvest party.

Pink and Green Mama

Friday, October 23, 2009

Preschool at Home: Twizzler Shape Lesson

I told the Frog Princess
I needed her help
to teach her little sister
Once I explained the lesson,
she was more than willing to help out.

I read this great post at
Teach Mama
and knew it was something we couldn't pass up.
We printed out her wonderful

Then slipped them in some plastic sheet protectors.

After a trip to the store
to pick up a package of Twizzler Pull-and Peel candy
(watermelon flavor in case you wondered)
we were ready to play!

Who knew learning could be so tasty?!
These are WAY BETTER than Benadaroos : )

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pink and Green Mama Crafts: Halloween Stained Glass Templates

It has been rainy and gray here all week.
The girls and I decided to jazz things up with some homemade
"stained glass" for our art studio and playroom windows.

We're getting ready for Halloween fun.

Nothing too scary...
just some friendly kitties, ghosts,
pumpkins and bats.

Here's my secret art teacher weapon:

They will save you time and frustration,
allowing younger children (and their parents)
to create festive decorations without difficulty.

You can make some too!
I've made a set of templates and illustrated step-by-step directions
you can purchase from my Pink and Green Mama Crafts Shop.
Check it out, they're in the Halloween Fun ebook.

Preschool At Home: Practice With Scissors

The Mini-Saurus is 32 months old now
and showing an interest in a lot of
"big girl"
fine motor skills work.

She just wants to do whatever her big sister is up to.

So, we've been having our own
mini preschool lessons at home in the mornings
after her sister climbs on that big yellow bus.

One of her favorite lessons right now
is our practicing with scissors.

I set up a bucket with strips of paper scraps
and two pairs of children's scissors.

Obviously this is something we
only do together,
I would never let a child this age use scissors without supervision!
(I still supervise my husband with scissors)

I model how to properly hold the scissors
with her thumb on top.
(like you're going to shake someone's hand)

How to hold the strip of paper
and keep your fingers away from the scissor blades.

And of course,
how to carry scissors the safe way
by holding the blades in your fist.

You can also start
scissor work with
preschoolers using play-doh
and plastic play scissors.

She's doing very well,
and LOVES her new
big girl scissor skills.

I'm savoring my mornings at home
with my little cutie-pie
before the big yellow bus gobbles her up!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Painting Fall Trees With Kids

She is a WONDERFUL art teacher
and has so many great ideas
(she's on my sidebar and one of my regular must-reads).

I saw these fall trees this summer
and couldn't wait to do a version
with my own artists in residence.

She used watercolor washes for her beautiful
fall color backgrounds
but we decided to try out
tissue paper collage on ours.

I remember making paintings like this with
my mom and her watercolors when I was a little girl.

First we glued some
(shades of orange) tissue paper
squares to a fuscia sheet of paper.

Then we made a big, wet,
black watercolor puddle
at the bottom of the page.

Then I gave the Frog Princess
a straw from our Inventions Box
(you can also use a ballpoint pen tube)
and told her to blow.

You may need to add a little more
of a puddle to your paint blob
as you go to get the tree going.

You could also do this with very watery
paint (watered down tempera)

I love the black tree silhouette against the bold colors.
Happy Fall Crafting!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Preschool At Home: Halloween Tissue Paper Craft

The Mini-Saurus and I did some Halloween crafting this week.
We got this great idea from another blogger here.

We made a Pumpkin and (her idea) a mini Witch.

First we fished this cereal box out of the recycling bin,
then I sketched out a pumpkin shape and cut it out for her.

Then we started to cover it with glue and I showed her how to
crumple tissue paper squares and add them to the glue.

The witch got the same treatment.

Our finished pumpkin!
Perfect to hang in a window, perch on a seasonal nature table or display on the fridge.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Preschool At Home: Smelling Game

We resurrected an oldie but goodie.
The Smelling Game.

We filled small plastic jars
with various kid-safe scents
(for example: cinnamon, mint gum,
vinegar, lemon extract, vanilla,
allspice, pepper, etc.)

One scent per two jars
so they make a matched set.

Then we place a cotton ball on top
so you can't see what's inside.

You take off the lids
use your sense of smell,
find the matching pairs.

The girls love it.

It's great practice for
opening and closing
jar lids too!

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