Saturday, December 16, 2017

Deciduous trees and passageways full of clowns

Spork recently acquired a festive Christmas tree headband.  He proudly wore it out of the store, and I joked, "You look just like a real tree!"  He beamed with joy.  I added, "I hope a beaver doesn't try to cut you down, tree!"  He scoffed, "Beavers don't even like this kinda tree."  I asked, "How do you know?"  He insisted, "They just don't."  I thought this was a bizarre comment to make, and because I still suspect him to be a reincarnated beaver, I thought I'd do some research and guess what?!

"Beavers have a definite preference for the trees they like to eat. Preferred tree species include alder, aspen, apple, birch, cherry, cottonwood, poplar and willow." ( I'm still laughing!  My reincarnation hypothesis stands!

If you need a good scare, here's a new one from Tater.
Tater:  I wish our house had a secret passageway.
Me:  Me too!  I've always wanted one!
Tater:  ....except it would be full of clowns.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

After School Art

Spork attends a fine arts public magnet school.  Having no public school experience myself, I was a little nervous and unsure what to expect, but we've been blown away by the passion and dedication of the teachers and the quality of the experience he's been having so far.  There is some question about where this program will be next year, and I hope that no matter where the dice fall, that the program will retain the heart and promise it has now.

My mom taught me that you get out of a school what you put into it.  When the school called for After-School Arts Instructors, I volunteered in a heartbeat.  I was lucky to be assigned 7 great kiddos, grades K-2.  Yes, Spork was one of them.  I called my class "Paint in Motion" and it focused on creative, physical ways to create art with paint.  (Or as Hubby would call it, "Truly Terrifying Situation with Children Splashing Paint Everywhere.  I am partially writing this post so he has to look at the photos and shudder.) I love the uninhibited way that children create art.

Week 1:

 Ping pong balls down the slide

 Tennis ball shake up

 Yo-yo painting

 Belly swing art

Week 2:  

 Rain painting - watercolor pencils on card stock to set outside in the rain.  I was told later that the rain was too hard and the colors simply became muddy, so perhaps this is a project better done on a drizzly day.

 Stop.  Hammer Time.
Spoon a bit of paint on cardboard, top with a cotton round, and smack away until you have a glorious splat.  Because I had a low budget for this program, I cut up a lot of Amazon Prime boxes and was really pleased with how they held up to the paint.

 Dish brush and fly swatter painting - swish it and smack it!  Look at that texture!

Marble painting

Week 3:
Car Ramp

 Animal Tracks

 Straw Painting

Salad Spinner Art

Not pictured because my hands were an absolute mess at the time:  
We also did a mix your own puffy paint activity with shaving cream in Ziploc bags.  
I took apart the salad spinners to make an animal bath and car wash so the kids could help me tidy up.  Finally, I put the rest of the shaving cream on the table and let them fingerpaint/scrub it!  The free play with shaving cream was definitely their favorite part.

Week 4:  Embracing the beautiful mess

I had the kids cut shapes from cereal boxes meaning to make resist art.  But once they had the spray bottles in hand, they got a little trigger happy, and their pieces quickly became totally saturated.  Oh well, "happy paint lake process art" I thought, but as they dried, they became astonishingly beautiful.  I wish I had photos of the dried pieces, but we did frame one and sent it to the admin building.

 Mesh Pouches


Week 5:

 Roller painting

Alcohol Watercolors

 Drill Painting

Shaving Cream Marbling

Week 6:  Our final farewell!

Bubble Watercolors - we've done this at preschool before, but for the older kids, I bundled straws and taped them together, then cut them into small bunches so they would have clustered bubbles for their project.  It reminds me of hydrangeas.

Feather Painting

Cotton Ball Catapult

Bubble Wrap Prints

Monday, November 6, 2017

Halloween 2017

After last year's Halloween extravaganza, we tried to take it down a few notches.

Our first event was Book or Boo at Better World Books.

Next, Spork had a Trunk or Treat for his school.

Next, the art museum!  Tater bumped into one of her besties, so she was all smiles all night!

 Finally, the real deal!  Trick or treat with our wonderful neighbor friends.  Yes, we are beyond lucky to have this collection of buddies within walking distance!

Wedding Weekend November 2017

We had fun at my cousin's wedding this weekend!