Thursday, May 28, 2015

Little Red

"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them Fairy Tales"
We haven't introduced Fairy Tales in the traditional sense.
Hopefully Einstein was referring to any sorts of Fairy Tales, not those limited to Disney or Grimms brothers.
We definitely talk all things fairies & gnomes, though we stray far away from princesses, wicked step parents, poison apples and the likes. 

I love finding an 'alternative' fairy tale, like 'The Very Little Red Riding Hood'. 
Not only is she a female heroine, she is a child hero! 
As she sets out for her Grandmothers house, she spots a wolf who she affectionately calls "Foxie" and therein, she calls all the shots!

Both O & Baby C loved this introduction to Little Red.
O was even persistent about asking if this was our copy to keep!

Raised Saltwork

You can't go wrong with glue and food colouring!
O loves a messy project, but even more so, art supplies that are new to her!
We don't often bring out plain old white glue, so this was a welcome part of the day!
You could use sand instead of salt, but for the science component of this project, salt is a clearer medium to watch the food colouring work it's magic!

I attempted to emphasize how the results would be clearer if glue was drawn in delicate lines (rather than giant globs) O quickly taught herself how to lift and release the squeeze, so she could write her name!

Eye droppers are another winner in our house!
As soon as you drop some colour onto the salt, it spreads in all directions of the lines. Lovely!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Tessellation Stencils

It's not surprising that art as a crucial component of education is being recognized in more institutions.
Not only does it promote 'outside-the-box' thinking that stretches the brain, but delves deeply into various subject matter; including but not limited to, math, science, history, music...

The majority of projects we tackle in a week are art-related, not because my children are young (I plan to continue art projects as they age), or because I have a strong background in the arts myself, but I see the value in using art as a segue into various aspects of education.
The beauty of using art in education is it's not limited to subject discipline. The core lesson of art is to encourage self-expression and creativity, neither of which can really be 'taught', only permitted and exercised.

Art is not limited to drawing either, for those people who claim they cannot.
Doodlers, mappers, engineers, DIYer's are all artists.
Many mediums can be used to create art and the final product isn't necessarily the goal.
The challenges, learned and enjoyed aspects of the process, are key.

Tessallations are a case in point.
I can draw, but I struggled with these math puzzles for a few days.
Eventually, when I pulled them out to tackle them again, O & Baby C started entertaining themselves!

Ride Around the Maze!

The concept is quite simple; repetitive patterns with no gaps or spaces.
Think 'tiles'.
You can keep it as simple as diamond shapes repeated (I think of the chain link fencing I could stare at for hours as a child, finding images in it's patterns.)
But I didn't want to create something as simple as diamonds.

I folded and cut a standard sheet of 8.5x11" paper, so I could try various designs.
This first was a fail.
Curling up the corners of the rectangle did not result in a 'no gaps design'.

Then I cut off the corners and arranged them.
This worked, but I wasn't keen on the design, resembling a weapon!

Once I got into a few shapes I liked working with, I mounted them on a cereal box to create a stencil.
O didn't want to create from scratch. Perhaps a result of her mother cursing over these for days!
She was happy to take one of my stencils and quickly learned how to 'trace and slide' to create a page full of pattern.

Fox Face

Eventually, my favourite pattern became 'Fox Face' and from here, I carried on to put detailed designs on one of the shapes, leaving the rest uniform.

What We Do All Day. Quickly becoming one of my new favourite blogs, 'WWDAD' has a fantastic post on various projects that combine art and math.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Balancing Act

By drilling four teeny holes into a wooden cube, you have a simple balancing tool.
Add a few skewers, some plasticine and beads and you have an activity.
This video sparked my interest in the project though not the first time we've attempted a balancing act; or used our wooden scale to experiment with

Front Seat=Enthusiasm
Back Seat=Innocent 'til proven guilty!
Our intention was to take some time and thread beads on each upward facing skewer, chit chat about math, addition and subtraction, pendulums etc. etc.
Baby C's intention was to inject interference whenever possible;)
It wasn't long before we turned this balancing project into a free block-play session!

O gathered all the wooden cubes she could collect, to stack into a tall tower.
Shifty Gaze

While Baby C enjoyed watching me build a structure whose fate was clear from the start!

If you have budding architects or engineers look no further than, 'Iggy Peck Architect' and 'Rosie Revere Engineer' by Andrea Beaty. (the latter full of female engineers and heroine's!)
Clever stories told in rhyme with illustrations over graph paper! Love it!

Twenty Months Old


Wee Bunny

Mr. & Mrs. Duck have returned to the pond at the park and in their place, this wee bunny has been frequenting our front porch!
Baby C wakes up each morning and reminds me what to do...'Carrot!?'

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Rhythm Sticks

Baby C collected her own Ryhthm ssticks from garden stakes and went to town tap, tap, tapping!

 All her sticks in one basket:)

Songs for Sticks. Laptime and Storytime provides a slew of chants that work well with Rhythm Sticks

Sticks with Spunk. These little twigs received a make-over!

You Tube Lovin'. O and C will go nutty for these!