Thursday, September 29, 2011

Creative snail mail

Instead of writing their journal prompts this morning, I had the kids write letters instead. Letter-writing is such a lost art.
To make it more fun, we drew pictures to go with our letters, and I used a thick Sharpie to decorate the envelopes, too.

Even the kids got into the envelope art. My sweet MiddleBoy (6) did the envelope below for his Poppy.

Everyone loves to get mail, and it's such a personal way to communicate.

I've saved my Mimi's letters, and can recognize her handwriting on anything...

Send some funky mail, y'all! People cherish and appreciate it more than you may realize. :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Making a Box Come Alive

Need some art inspiration? Start small. Rich Davis' "Box" video is great, and my kids got to work immediately!
I know, I know. I've been BUSY.
Actually, it's up to the next level of busy-- bustling.constantly.
Again, though, I will say that I LOVE being elementary coordinator. I spent time really praying about it before taking the position, and God is giving me the time, energy, and JOY in it day-by-day.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Motivation for Measuring

Q. How do you get a 1st grade boy to measure as accurately as possible?
A. You involve a funnel, measuring cups and MUSIC!

Idea by Family Fun.

How to Fill the Bottles
1. 7 ounces (Do)
2. 9 1/2 ounces (Re)
3. 12 1/2 ounces (Mi)
4. 14 ounces (Fa)
5. 16 1/2 ounces (So)
6. 17 1/2 ounces (La)
7. 18 1/2 ounces (Ti)
8. 19 ounces (Do)

Row, Row, Row Your Boat
1 1 1 2 3
3 2 3 4 5
8 8 8 5 5 5 3 3 3 1 1 1
5 4 3 2 1

Have Fun!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

School Year Profiles

Every year I do an "interview" of sorts with the kids, asking about their favorite food, subject, field trip, and so on. This year we decided to add a profile picture and cut-outs of their interests.

For the profiles, I had each child stand in front of the fridge, and I traced his shadow, and then he cut it out.

My MiddleBoy Dash added birds, airplanes, dogs, a game of Twister to his interests.

My OldestBoy filled his interest space with all nature items. No surprise there.

Their handwriting leaves something to be desired, but we're workin' on it. ;)

Here are their answers:

I love OldestBoy's answer to "Favorite place to go"....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Love Who You Are

She's dressed for the cold. Do you feel that chill?

The promise of autumn.

Note to self: only use pens that won't smear or rub. I didn't have my Millennium pens with me, but I drew anyway. It's not a decision I regret, but I DO wish I hadn't rubbed the ink around.

God made us all different for a good reason.

Be who you were meant to be.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Warm and Cool Colors

We snagged the color grid idea from A Faithful Attempt and the warm/cool coloring pages from Awesome Artists. Amazing people with amazing ideas, sharin' the love!

My Girl used some of her own tangram art paper for her warm/color illustration.

The purpose was to show how colors change around each other, how colors strengthen their complementary colors, etc. The older kids got more of that talk, from our art book, and the little boys just sorted crayons according to warm/cool and then colored their pictures. :)

I need to throw in some pics from a recent creek trip with our dear friends:

There's just something so wonderful about seeing children skip around in water, happily exploring.

We were even lucky enough to find a turtle that day! We never take critters home, by the way. At the end of each creek play date, we have a "release the animals" farewell time.

Good-bye turtle!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Building block (Because I DO what I pin!)

(Two posts in one day?! I'm making up for lost time!)

I saw this, and thought, "huh. My boys would love that. I could do that."

So I did.

I decided to make it a building block, so the boys could see the screws go in, but it would be safer. I could just imagine them tipping a work-board and accidentally stepping on it. {shudder}

First, drill plenty of holes. Mine are all about 2 inches apart, using different sized drill bits.

Next, screw it together tightly (so the kids can't remove those!) to make a block.

(I'm so exact, I know; forget measurements, just make it work.)
Every mom has a laundry basket, wood, drill, and tool box in her living room, right?

Maybe only the cool ones.

Voila! ~Building block.

As you can see, it's not a true "block." It has a top, bottom, and two sides, for them to see in the middle.

My little guy is proud of his hard work!

Just give 'em all screwdrivers and let 'em go at it! We found some hook screws and other fun things to use, too. This has kept them busy for HOURS. Great for preschool motor skills, tool identification, and concentration. Plus, it's something they can work together on. I want to make another lock board and touch boards by this "pattern," too.
Ta for now.

Leaf Rubbings and Jump!Zone

We've started on our standard fall leaf rubbings around here, to add to our Nature Notebooks.
Leaf rubbings just never get old. :)

And here are a few pics from Jump!Zone a few weeks ago, for my nephew's birthday:

My sister and I were pretty freaked out by the huge shark!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Watercolor Silhouettes

To start, we washed watercolor paint over regular white paper. Each of the kids has their own cheapy set of watercolors, so we used those this time instead of the more expensive tube ones.
They covered the paper entirely with sunset colors.

Set wet paper aside or put on drying rack.

Now for the fun part. Draw simple shapes on black paper-- a tree, for instance, or a sailboat. Then cut it out. Draw whatever you want along the bottom on your page-- rolling hills, water, etc. Cut it out. When the paper is dry, glue your black silhouettes on.

Ta-Da! Masterpieces!

Have Fun!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nature Notebook: Being a Naturalist

Our last Nature Notebook session was led by my sweet friend Samantha-- Sammi. She wouldn't say it herself, but this fine lady is an expert in all-things-Nature. Her home, her collections, her knowledge all amaze me. She's an extremely inspiring person.

The children listened attentively, took notes & drew pictures. My two little guys look so stinkin' adorable in their shades!

Okay, they listened well most of the time. My LittleLad got distracted by things occasionally, but overall, he stayed very interested.

You should see Sam's collection of animal skulls, skins, furs, preserved creatures, field guides. It was amazing! My boys were in science heaven. Also note, Sam does not ever kill creatures unless they pose a direct risk to her family. I think they once killed a copperhead that was at their mailbox.