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:

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Rainbow of Carrots

Every time we grow carrots I get impatient.  It's so tempting to dig them up early to see what's going on under there.  The mystery is extra strong when you plant a packet of multi-colored carrots and you know that there is a whole bouquet under there just waiting to be uncovered.

 (This is our second year to plant the Organic Carnival Blend by Botanical Interest.)

So, again this year we jumped the gun and dug them all up a little early before they had the chance to reach their full, slender long potential.
We decided to make a game out of it: "Who could find the biggest carrot?"  Each girl had a pile.  The dirt flew and we all exclaimed over each new record-holder.  M found the largest carrot (a white one that really wasn't all that big), but her favorite carrot was actually the shapely "walking carrot"
Each girl washed her pile, and then we lined them up according to color.
  I chopped them and steamed them for dinner that night.  One big colorful bowl of them! (the purple carrots are actually dark orange inside)
Those of you who follow this blog may remember other colorful gardening projects of ours: rainbow chard and the magic purple beans.

I always wonder if the extra colors mean extra vitamins   Anybody know?

*Disclaimer: This post contains my affiliate link.

Friday, January 18, 2013

10 Favorite Posts of 2012

I am way, WAY late for this, but I had so much fun blogging this year that I didn't want to miss the opportunity to do a year- in- review post.  One reason this year was unusual was because my husband blessed my socks off during the summer by watching the kids while I blogged at coffee shops.  It was such a treat!

Here are some favorite posts that I've written on this blog and others this past year.  A big thank-you to all who read here and give me encouragement and to those who have let me post on their sites.  I have appreciated it so much!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Celebrating Our Free Play of 2012

My kids are always up to something- which of course, is wonderful and horrible ( for housekeeping) all at the same time.  :)  Here is a glimpse into M and G's creative play this past year.  I really enjoyed looking back through my pictures to find all of these.  It's so true that children really know how to have fun.
Lettuce Hats!
"Dyeing" string.  For days, the girls' favorite thing to do was to fill the kiddie pool with water, dissolve sidewalk chalk in it, and dip string in the colored water to "dye" it.  They had great plans for the colorful clothes they would make with their finished products.
Mattress Trampolines.  One afternoon after naps I heard a tremendous bouncing upstairs.  When I arrived in the girls' room I saw this scene.  They had stripped all of the covers off the top mattress and piled them below the bed.  Then they leaned the top mattress against the boxspring to make a kind of trampoline slide.  This arrangement allowed for jumping all the way down, rolling, and everything in between!
Shoe Buses.  Apparently, my enormous Crocs make perfect transport vehicles for little people.
Fishing in the Spinkler.  The drought the past couple of years has left lots of dead bamboo in our yard.  The girls grabbed this pole to use for a fishing rod.  

Smush Face.  This clear plastic sheet is actually a frame for children's artwork for display on the refrigerator.  (Very clever idea, by the way).  The girls though find it equally fun as a window for smushing their faces.  They love for me to take pictures of their poses and come running afterward to giggle at the results in the camera display.  
Pioneer Wagon.  I don't remember now what arrived in this large Amazon box.  But I do remember the fun the girls had using it and the packaging inside for a wagon.
Nativity Role Play.  The girls were very aware of the Nativity story for the month leading up to Christmas this year.  They were forever drawing manger scenes, cutting them out and dressing each other as characters in the story.  Here is a shepherd escaping to the bathroom.  
Free style Creations with leftover craft materials.  Such a fun, whimsical fellow he is.  I just love him!

What fun kinds of playing have your kids invented this year?  Please describe or give a link in the comments.  I know I would enjoy reading about them/ seeing pictures.