School Projects

Fun Projects

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Little Girl Project

With Ian starting school this month, it seems like most of the projects I have been doing have been either with him or for him. A few days ago, I decided I needed to have a special project with just Brynnie. While shopping one day, she fell in love with a headband that had a large flower on it. Now, I'm not that girlie, but she is, so I considered buying it. Until I saw the price, that is. Sorry, but I'm not spending five bucks on a hairband for a two-year-old. So we went home and did a project instead.

I traced flower shapes and circles onto some pink felt I had, cut them out, and found some little clips stashed in the bathroom drawer. Brynnie glued the pieces together and then I sewed on a button in the middle.

Voila! She was thrilled with her flowers and I was thrilled with the price.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Blair

Sometimes, it is tough being the youngest. If you are being quiet, your mom might forget that you are still sitting in your high chair, long after lunch is over. If those bigger kids just wouldn't make so much laundry........

Thankfully, Blair is a girl, and a new birthday outfit covers a lot of forgetfulness!

Happy 1st birthday!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

This is another update post, of sorts. Way back at the beginning of this month, I tried to condense Ian's "Nature Collection". It only worked temporarily, since the collection continued to be added to (you can't really make clay impressions of opossum skulls anyway).

Yesterday, I finally got around to doing something with the clay disks that make up most of the current collection.

Ian glued the disks and labels to a piece of cardboard, which we then stuck inside an old box frame I had stored away. It is a bit of an improvised shadow box, but at least I didn't have to leave the house to make it. Maybe after the opossum skull is totally dried out, it can have it's very own box too. That box MIGHT get stored in a closet.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Kite Flying 101

Do you remember a while back when I talked about being too cheap to buy a new kite? Well, that plan backfired on me. I was publicly humiliated as the obnoxious kite refused to fly. Clearly, I still have several large lessons to learn about patience and humility. As a result of this disaster, and Ian's attempts at bearing his burdens bravely, I broke down and bought a new kite. As a salve to my wounded Dutch genes, I used a coupon and got it 40% off.
Happily, the kite flew. Sorry about the picture. Do you have any idea how hard it is to manage a kite and an eager 4-year-old flyer, while trying to take a picture and keep a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old from getting clothes-lined by the string? Try it can work on your patience and humility too.
Anyway, here is the happy boy, learning about wind power, lift and gravity, and other sciency stuff, but mostly having a blast.

If you look closely, you can see the kite. If you get out your microscope, you can see the Bald Eagle who was scoping out the activities (seriously, there was a Bald Eagle!)One more picture. That face makes up for all the trouble this little project has caused me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Project Day Kickoff

With the start of the school year comes the start of another tradition: Project Day (the original impetus for this blog!). Since three of the five participants are officially "school-aged" we decided to make a change in the proceedings. Instead of coming up with a random, unstructured, uneducational project, we decided to turn Project Day into an official art class, and to bring in an actual, experienced, teacher: GRAMMIE!!
The time for class to begin arrived, and the students were ready - ready to see what amazing art supply they would get to use today. Grammie was ready. She pulled out........a bucket of crayons. Crayons? That wasn't exciting. What sort of crummy art class was this, anyway? Undeterred, Grammie began to demonstrate all the different ways you can use crayons (coloring very dark, thick and thin lines, shading, dots, blending and mixing, etc.)

Things were beginning to look up in this art class.

After practicing proper crayon technique for a while, the art lesson moved on to looking and drawing. Kids love to draw. Looking is a different story. It is a major concept, requiring careful demonstration, to teach kids that the eyes are NOT at the top of the oval-shaped head. They eventually got it.

Well, not all of them. The non-school-aged students had more fun decorating with stickers and making undirected scribbles (although I guess scribbling is an actual developmental stage).
The lesson ended with a section on Art Appreciation.
I think they liked it!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

By Way of Apology

I finished my college career at Minnesota State University-Moorhead. One of the earlier names of this institution was the Minnesota State Teachers College, and in keeping with that name, the Education department was huge. I considered myself fortunate not to be one of those seeking a degree in the field of "Color, Cut and Paste" - and I often teased my teacher friends that everything they needed to know to teach kindergarten they learned in kindergarten. I, on the other hand, was increasing the wisdom of the world by writing papers with titles like "Did Cities Continue to Exist Throughout the Dark Ages?" Well, guess who got the last laugh.

Those pesky teachers! With the school year less then a week old, I found myself tracing, coloring and cutting out "pattern block" shapes for my kindergarten class. Oh well. If I need to make myself feel better, I can always pull out one of those college papers.....or maybe not.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Labors

Does it seem to any of you like everyone has been in a bit of a slump the last few weeks? Everything I have done - or tried to do - seemed to take twice as long (and require twice as many extra trips to Hobby Lobby). I didn't seem to have any motivation at all. I admit, some of it was pregnancy exhaustion, but that couldn't have been all of it. Even in blogland, nobody that I regularly read seemed to be posting.

However, I did manage to eventually get a few things done, and in celebration of Labor Day, I thought I'd share them all at once.
#1: Dealt with a growing "Nature Collection" (Thanks so much to "PBS Kids" for giving my children the wonderful idea to save EVERY stick, stone, bug and shell they found.)

We made impressions on clay disks of the especially specials items and then chucked the originals (well, I chucked the originals when nobody was looking). I'll figure out something to do with the disks later.

#2: We made a kite. Several years ago, I had the unfortunate idea to buy Ian a kite. Actually, the idea wasn't unfortunate, but my unwillingness to spend more the three dollars on a kite was. It has refused to fly, no matter what. So, to pacify a not-so-small boy, I agreed to get a new kite, but I was still unwilling to spend more then three bucks. I spent the three bucks on supplies suggested by this book: and we got to work. Measuring, cutting and gluing wood, string and garbage bags was a bit tricky, but decorating was easy. Then we had to make the extra trip back to Hobby Lobby to spend another $3.99 (but with a 50% off coupon, roughly two dollars) on string, since the string from the original kite disappeared. Now, we wait again - for the perfect weather day.
#3: Prize bags for the kick-off of my MOPS group. This was the most fun for me, especially because I got it done without any interruptions, during an unusually quiet and long rest time. I kinda hope I win a prize, just so I can have one back!
#4: Started several sewing projects. One project is for me, and it will have to wait until after the others, because those are for Blair's birthday, and I'm up against a serious deadline. Good thing she will only be one, and won't actually know if I finish them or not.

And so ends the summer. Tomorrow is the first day of school, and that opens a whole new can of worms. This pre-Labor Day slump has officially ended!