Thursday, August 30, 2012

* Avoid The Summer Brain Drain With Play!

What are my kids playing on you ask? 
Those are called Hop Around Steps  
we ordered them from Discount School Supply.

It's full time summer vacation mode around here and I have to admit
there's more of an emphasis on playing and relaxing as a family
than there is on "learning" over summer break. 
I was starting to feel like a bad mommy for not enriching my daughter's summer vacation
experience with private tutoring, camps, or other forms of "enrichment"
 like several of their classmates are doing. 
Then, I  found this great article about the importance of 
Playing for the Brain by Linda Johns a Seattle Public Library librarian 
over at the Mom's Homeroom website

It made me feel SO MUCH BETTER according to her, the play that we're doing IS work.
My girls ARE learning when they're playing with me and each other
and they're boosting important connections in those little noggins of theirs. 

She suggested some fun gross-motor activities that 
encourage both sides of the brain to work together.
Mom could use some work in both sides of the brain too so I decided to join in.

She suggested making a carnival style bean bag toss.
Perfect...we still have our cut out cat mouth bean bag toss boards
and they made great bean bag targets as well!

 Bean Bag Juggling -- this one was trickier but we tried
and mostly failed. But there was lots of laughing.
We also tried juggling scarves something I learned when I was teaching. 

One of her suggested activities was scarf dancing.
Scarves plus goofy dancing and music -- it's something we already do around here during 
our Friday night dance party. 

We also tried dancing on our rocker board
It was pretty fun and challenging too!

Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea

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Monday, August 27, 2012

* Creepy Silly Putty Faces

The girls and I were at the store recently and they spotted a display
with silly putty. They begged me to buy it for them so after we brought
it home and I showed them how to make comic imprints, they disappeared
into the art studio with it while I fixed lunch.
I could hear hysterical laughter from both girls, then when I went 
to check on what they were up to, this is what I found.

"C"s creepy silly putty monster.

They decided to make creepy faces with their silly putty
and some beads. I think they succeeded, don't you?
Time for a visit to the silly putty orthodontist!

 "E"s creepy silly putty bunny monster. 

Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea

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Friday, August 24, 2012

* Making Tiny Art With Kids

One things my girls love to do is make tiny art work.
Especially "C" (age 5) who loves all things tiny.

I cut some tiny 2" x 3" rectangles of watercolor paper
and left them in the art studio for her to make art with.
She made kitty paintings to hang inside her Rapunzel Tower Barbie House.

We also picked up these little tiny painter canvases at Walmart in their
craft aisle (even comes with the mini easel!) 

"C" made a mini Kandinsky Circles picture with permanent markers.
Then, she made this little portrait of "Rapunzel" with permanent 
markers and paint sticks. 

Here you can see her "Abstract" in her style.
I love it her mini art gallery!

Pink and Green Mama

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

* End of Summer Celebration: Backyard Shaving Cream Fight Fun!

I was inspired by Meg Duerksen's family tradition of 
an end of summer shaving cream fight in the backyard. 
So... last night, before dinner and pre-bath, 
I told the girls to go out into the backyard for a surprise.
I handed them each a can of shaving cream and told them to have fun!

The shaving cream was "sensitive skin" formula from the Dollar Tree, 
leftover from a shaving cream marbling art lesson. 

They decided to wear sun glasses as "protective eye wear" to keep it out of their eyes
but then decided to ditch the sunglasses (and the flip flops) and just have fun. 

If anyone got it near their eyes, I just used the corner of my t-shirt
to wipe it away - each of the girls only got a bit in their mouths once. 

Both girls had a blast making hair-dos and the mirror by the swing set
(it's on the back of our shed -- a rescue from a neighbor's trash a few years ago)!

When they were both covered, I took them inside,
put them in the shower and hosed them off - clothes and all. 
We would have used the hose but it was a bit chilly.

I only ended up with a bit of shaving cream - 
they got me on the butt after I took this photo -- nice!

They had a blast, made great memories, I got some awesome photos,
and the girls think I'm the best mom ever (thank you Meg!) 
Do you have any (messy) end of summer traditions?

Pink and Green Mama

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

* Shaving Cream Bathtub Paint, Don't Say I Didn't Warn You!

I used to give my students shaving cream at the end of the school year
to finger paint on the tables as an artsy and fun way to wash the tables before summer vacation, 
that technique coupled with the nine million versions of bath tub paint 
I've seen in blog and Pinterest land were the inspiration for this post!
So I thought, oh this will be so fun. We'll all love on.

Pardon the dark photos, bath time is in the evening around here
and the lighting in the bathroom is only "meh."

I set up the paint tray with a muffin tin on a stool outside of the bathtub.
I put a drop of food coloring in the bottom of each pan,
then sprayed in the shaving cream and let them mix it for a surprise!
(leftover from our shaving cream liquid watercolor marbling project)
The girls loved it. 

There were a few stifled coughs from the stinky shaving cream 
fumes and our asthma. Had to turn on the bath fan -- but it's still fun right?

The kids used paint brushes and fingers to decorate their canvas
(our white bath tiles)

Portrait of mom?

See those blue fingers?
My kids were tie-dyed when they were done with this little project.
Lots of giggling at this point.

See how pretty the colors are? 
That didn't last.

After they painted the walls they started to paint each other.
Think foamy war paint. I'm not posting photos of my kids here. 

Everything turned a gross shade of grey green in a matter of minutes....
including my children. 

The walls were dirty looking. 
The bath water was gross.
The grout was stained green and blue. 
My kids were gray, green, and blue.
Crying children because the shaving cream was causing a burning in nooks and crannies 
= not. good. at. all. 

I had to drain the tub. Hose off the kids. Wash the walls. And tub. Rinse 
Re-run the bath and wash my kids two more times to get the food coloring stains off. 
Giant pain in the butt. 

Will we be painting with shaving cream in our bathroom ever again? 
Don't say I didn't warn you!

Pink and Green Mama

Saturday, August 18, 2012

* Lego Sponge Bob Box

Yes, my kids love Sponge Bob.
They also love Legos. 

So, I have to say I wasn't completely surprised when "E" called me into
the family room the other afternoon and showed me her latest creation.

She built a Sponge Bob out of Legos. 

His nose and teeth crack me up!

But wait, there's more...
he's also a secret little box to hide treasures inside. 

Pink and Green Mama

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

* Back To School Supply Makeover: Washi Tape Wrapped Pencils

The girls are getting ready to head back to school in a few weeks so we 
stocked up on this year's school supplies last week. 
A lot of the "list" from school dictates what the item has to be,
such as plain folders in solid colors, boring notebooks, etc.
so there isn't a lot of room to interject one's personality (read: BORING!)
We decided to remedy that with a mini school supply makeover!

We started with the required packages of #2 yellow pencils
for each girls' classroom.
Then we decided to embellish them with a bit of washi tape at the ends.

The girls have really been enjoying mom's washi tape stash lately.
(It is a new favorite art supply 
It has been making appearances in collages and 
being added to various boxes to add some pizazz.

"E" and "C" asked me if we could add some washi tape to their school pencils.
I googled it and sure enough - it has been done before and looks like it worked.
After I showed the girls the pencils on the Sew Woodsy blog, we decided to 
err on the safe side and not wrap our pencils quite as far down as she did.
Our pencils will be used by the whole class
 and "E" said the naughty boys like to see who can get their
pencil worn down the smallest -- I didn't want to start off the new school
year by clogging up the teacher's pencil sharpeners!

We set to work one morning in our PJs with mom's weekend coffee treat
and wrapped pencils with washi tape.

The girls enjoyed sorting and stacking various color combinations with the tape.

When we were all done, I put the pencils back in their packages
and taped them shut to send in with the first day of school supplies. 

Hope we don't get into trouble with the teachers for adding 
some bling to our boring school supplies!
Happy ALMOST Back to School!

Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea

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