Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Outdoor Sightwords Activity: Dumptruck!

This is my third time to teach a child to read, and I still love it.  I love getting to be there when a child has that whole new world of literacy opened up to him.  But that's not to say it doesn't get tedious...a lot.

And of course, if it is tedious for me...how much more for a squirmbunctious little boy!  Here's one of the activities we've done lately to mix things up a little. It was a big hit!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Easter Transformation Tree

I've often thought that I would like to take more opportunity to prepare for Easter.  This year, I planned a project for my family that had the added benefit of allowing me to meditate on the truths of Easter in an artful way. 

(as a side note, I think having children is one of the best things that can happen to someone who loves to do art but isn't very skillful at it.  You don't have to produce masterpieces...just something good enough for you and your children to enjoy...it's so freeing!)

My project started a couple of months before Easter.  As I read the Bible each morning, I deliberately looked for phrases in three categories and jotted them down in my journal: 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Favorite Homeschool Resources

Oh my!  It has been a long time since I've written a post.  Mostly that's because  I have finally waded into the thick of homeschooling. I'm finding it's a murky (but delightful) bog...there's always more to do.  I know some people do a great job juggling homeschool life with blogging, but that's definitely not me yet.  

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Doily Heart Stencil T-Shirts

I saw this Valentine's Day kids craft idea last year in Family Fun magazine, but we didn't get around to it in time.  That turned out for the best though because this year the girls had an opportunity to do it with their grandmother, and now they all have coordinating shirts they can wear together on Valentine's Day.
Here are some tips we found for making this project go smoothly with kids:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Heart Shaped Granola Bars {Healthy Valentines Treats}

You know what I recommend?  Trial runs for homemade Valentines Day treats!  Ha ha...why not- right?  We did that the other day with these heart-shaped granola bars as I wasn't sure how granola dough would work with cookie cutters.  I'm happy to report that it works just fine (said through tasty granola crumbs).

I vote for making these above actual heart-shaped sugar cookies for the following reasons:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Silhouettes on a Hill {Photo Tutorial}

I was able to make this grandparent gift last year  by accident, but I've since realized that the process is completely reproduce-able.  And who doesn't like silhouettes of children?  Especially children playing?

Here's what you do:

Friday, October 25, 2013

Stained Glass: Kids Medieval Project

When I visited Europe as a child, I remember being struck by the Gothic stained glass windows, and particularly the rose windows found in so many cathedrals- for their symmetry and massive scale.  So this year as we've been homeschooling through the Middle Ages, I found myself wanting to help my children interact a little with the beauty of Gothic stained glass somehow.  

I liked the way this project allowed my children to do their own work but create pieces that were unique and presentable.  I had envisioned helping them a great deal, but found that the the art mediums at both stages of the project were very forgiving.  My six-year-old and four-year-old made their windows almost entirely on their own. I think an older child could include finer detail and could maybe be more creative with the project.


Glass rectangle from a small picture frame 
Black fabric puffy paint with a fine tip
Acrylic paints
Clear liquid glue

Friday, March 15, 2013

My Kids Love it When I do Laundry!

Yes, my girls get pretty happy when they see me with a basket of clean laundry.  Do they care that much about clean socks and underwear?  They couldn't care less!  What they love is the prospect of being showered with piles and piles of clean clothes.  (It's especially great if I am on the ball about getting it out of the dryer in time, and the clothes are nice and warm)

And why not?  It all needs to be folded and sorted anyway.  They sit close together and wait for me to dump it all on their heads.  Lots of giggles.  No creativity, time or clean-up required on my part.  Perfect.

This post is inspired by my friend Rebekah at The Golden Gleam who writes a fun series called Joy in Minutes with lots of easy, simple ways to bring joy to your family.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Blue Glue Batik

I tried this activity from Pink and Green Mama with preschoolers, and it was fun, but I think it would be a fabulous technique to try with older elementary-aged children.  It is important to use blue gel glue.  I tried it with both the typical white opaque and the clear gel with less than satisfactory results.  They both run while they are wet and shrink so much in the drying process that the lines turn into dots.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Potato Stamp Valentines

A while back, my mother-in-law suggested I try potato stamping with the girls.  It took me a while to get around to doing it, but now that we've done it, I wish we'd tried it sooner.  There's just something FUN about using food to do art.  (e.g. we liked stamping with okra and making magnets with colored pasta)

Getting the right shape in the potato can be a bit tricky.  I found that it worked best to: