Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Vegan Bites: Thai Curry Paste

Light Box Rainbow Blocks

Rainbow Blocks

I've had my eyes on this light box project for some time now We were stocking up on Crayola, when I came across a set of knock-off Jenga-style blocks for $2. I used the coloured transparency sheet left-overs to cut 2&1/4 by 3&1/4 rectangles for the centers, before arranging the 8 blocks in a frame.
Easy, peasy project with sharp results and loads of play opportunity.

Though I presented them with the light table, the preferred use was tinted glasses!

Add coloured cornmeal!

Emotion Cups & Flip Dolls

Our house runs high with emotions 7 days a week.
Since emotions and emotional intelligence plays such a huge role in the life of human beings, we set aside some time to look at the myriad of feelings going on around here, with the help of Flip Dolls and Emotion Cups

I prepped the outline of the dolls, cut out hair and dress options.
Along with talking about how our facial expressions (including eyebrows, eyes, mouth and head) can hint (or scream!) how we feel, colour can also express mood.
I asked O to share four faces that she would like her dolls to express.
"Happy, sad, angry 
and so-angry-there's-nothing-you-can-do."
Poignant response!

O then worked at gluing the cut-outs and started drawing their faces.
She mastered 'happy' and 'sad' with upward and downward curved lips.
We glued all four together so they can stand on their own, or flip like a book.

 Emotion Cup

While she was working, I started an Emotion Cup for Baby C.
Since she was asleep, I asked O what 'faces' Baby C makes on a regular basis.
Without hesitation, she replied, "Happy, silly, angry and shy."
She knows her sister well!

O opted to make an Emotion Cup for herself and asked if she could pose with her drawings;)

Years ago, my uncle presented me with a book of his on cartooning.
I loved this book and studied it intently.
I distinctly remembered a few pages devoted to facial expressions, so I brought this out for O to take a look.
She had a go at guessing the expressions and demonstrating a few of her own!

Attachment parenting suggests that not simply allowing, but accepting the range of emotions inevitable to human nature is to solidify unconditional love with your child. In other words, I don't just love you when you are behaving well and enjoyable to be with, but I love you no matter how you feel and I still want to be with you.

When You Are Happy. We were at a friends in Shanghai, when I came across this book for the first time, before scouring used book stores to find a copy of our own. It's about loving unconditionally and caring for people at their best and worst.

Emotion Rocks. O still pulls out this project to play with These rocks were based on the 'Feeling Face Book'

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Paper Magic: Origami Basket & Balloon

O is a flower fanatic. She loves picking lawn bouquets and often tries to stretch into neighbourhood gardens!
When we're in the car or bus, she will pine out the window to stop for a special flower she has not seen before or a field of blooms that needs attention!
Most of these end up tossed into my bag as she has no other place to hold them until we get home.

We decided that the origami basket would be a decent solution; light, fold-able and easy to transport on the field. A book we found at the library called Origami for Children had a tutorial for baskets. O doesn't like long stems, so this mini solution works.
Last year we made Fairy Necklaces that still hang from our back door, but these are very tiny and can only hold the heads of a few flowers.

Baby C was waiting patiently for her present, once O received her Flower Basket.
After a good 20 minutes, I was able to 'whip up' this complicated Origami Balloon, which took Baby C about two seconds to return it to it's original flat sheet;)

Vegan Bites: Sticky Mango Rice

If you love all things island, this is the rice pudding for you!
Anytime we ate at 'Simply Thai' in Shanghai, I did dessert for dinner and dessert with their 'Sago & Coconut Pudding'.
This 'Sticky Mango Rice' was the next best thing, but lacked the lovely crunch and pandan leaves!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Fibonacci Art Dots

Recently, 'What We Do All Day' has become one of my go-to sites. Since her son is particularly fond of mathematics, she is in tune to making every lesson math (and often science) related. This 'Fibonacci Art Project' got my attention but I wanted to make it user-friendly for O & Baby C.
First I had to study a bit myself (another bonus of homeschooling is parent often becomes the student!)

Protractor Play

I re-introduced the protractor set, complete with sharp compass! O & Baby C got busy with some paper and triangles while I took a minute to work out the circle radii of the Fibonacci set. Fibonacci's basic concept is simple (and not actually his discovery). Begin the set with two consecutive 1's and then proceed by adding the last two numbers of the set.
1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34.....

Fibonnacci Set's

Once I created the first circle set, O helped cut out two more for the art project.

Baby C didn't need any lesson on how to arrange her circles and set straight to work.

O already had something in mind when her circles hit the paper. She arranged them in sets of 'mommies and babies'; the mommies being the larger circles and the smaller circles reserved for the babes!

Lots of Dots

On a library run, I just happened to see this book on display and decided we could incorporate it into our Fibonacci Art Project. It's actually a really well done read, with a witty poem about finding circles all around us.

Fibonacci and Spirals. Over the weeks, I've been more attuned to finding Fibonacci in nature. Particularly in pineapples and pinecones!


Mysterious Patterns. This is a fabulous book for early learners.


Vegan Bites: Sweet Potato Brownies

I was pretty reluctant to believe that baking brownies without flour would be a success, but attempted this recipe despite my assumptions 
Those pictures taken pretty much sold me to, at the very least, give it a try.
I had to nearly triple the baking time in order to firm up the texture enough to scoop out of the pan, but the flavour is very good and the tahini gives it a little nuttiness, which we all need more of;)