Wednesday, April 30, 2008

One Hand Two Hand Red Hand Blue Hand

name that tune:



da da da da
da da da da
da da da da da daaaaaaaaaa!!!!

Now, see if you guessed correctly:
Align Center

This activity is pretty self explanatory but here are a couple details:
  • The shirt is from good will. I cut off the sleeves and made a painting smock.
  • I just had him use a water color brush from a watercolor set.
  • Don't be afraid of painting on the windows, it washes off easily with warm water and a little dish soap.
  • Use washable tempera paints like the school kids use.
  • You could cover the floor if you wanted to, but my son isn't crazy messy, so I didn't. The drips wipe up easily.
  • Put very small amounts of paint on the paper plate palette. This prevents spills and encourages fun mixing. You can always add more, but it's hard to take away some once it's poured.
  • I didn't plan on Max using his hands at the end but he did and it was fun and the paint came off his hands MUCH MUCH easier that I thought.
  • Throw on your favorite classical music - it's a lot more fun.
COST: Under $5 dollars
Variations: Obviously older kids could paint something not as abstract. They could draw your family. Draw what they WISHED or IMAGINED they saw out your window. Encourage them to do seasonal art on your windows, or to write things like Happy Fourth of July or Happy Birthday. They could practice their spelling words on the window. How's that for homework? Toddlers could be given only the colors for that upcoming holiday - orange and black, pink and red, etc. to create an abstract holiday masterpiece.

So much fun.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Stone Soup

Gather 'round, my dear friends.
It's time for Stone Soup.

This whole afternoon project started off as a couple of neighborhood kids wanting to dig somewhere. I told them they could dig in one area of my yard. Then the sisters came over and wanted something to do. They made mudpies in that old muffin tin that rusted out - remember??? and then we started making the soup. The glorious stone soup.

The trick is to get them really excited about all of the ingredients. Put some regular dirt in for color but add pinches of "magic chinese earth" (potting soil) and "buttercup fairy flowers" (dandelions). Raid your vegetable bin for bendable carrots and stalks of celery and wilting spinach. Throw in a handful of dry pasta, cheerios, a tsp sugar.... whatever suits your fancy. Just name it something funky and really go over the top with the drama.

Pretend to taste it and pretend to spit it out and say "NEEDS SOME PICKLE JUICE!!!!" or whatever.. I think you get my point. Just have fun with it.

I got them started and boy did they go with it. After I supplied a few things from the kitchen I told them they now had to find outside ingredients to add. And they had to name them.

It was a lovely afternoon.

Cost: FREE
Variations: Read them the book Stone Soup! It will make the whole experience even more fun. You could most definitely do this inside as well, with no dirt. I used to love "making recipes" when I was young. If you know your neighbors well, it may be fun to knock doors and see what each neighbor could add to your soup. Maybe even like a scavenger hunt. NOW THAT would be fun wouldn't it??? The list could ask for things like stale bread and withered apple and egg shell - things that people do not want... Man, I better stop before I get out of control with the ideas.