Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October Book Review

I finally got around to reading a book I have had in my Kindle forever; Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington. I loved it, really loved it.  I could admire what he went through, where he came from and how he held onto his convictions through it all.  A hard worker, suffering unimaginable loss of not 1 but 2 wives, and still seemingly never becoming bitter.  Washington offers up lessons in hard work and keeping a good attitude with humility.  I put this on my kids to read list for school.  Its a quick read and easy to follow.  I bought it in paper back for my kids though since its a bit easier to read than on a phone or mp3 player.

I also read Alan Alda's Never Have Your Dog Stuffed.  An honest and humorous memoir.  It was a fun quick read.  This is not an indepth autobiography, and its not a "How I got Famous" book, nor is it a fairy tale how he lived happily ever after.  I think he touches on a lot of what everyone goes through.  Always struggling to meet this goal that doesn't have a name and we have no idea how to get there.  I really enjoyed it.

I also read Stori Telling by Tori Spelling.   This was one of those guilty pleasures, like sitting in bed eating ice cream while you watching something on tv that has no moral merit at all.  It was a quick easy read and I just could not put it down.  It was funny and honest.  Honest in a way that I am sure was hard to write about.  Some of what she talks about, the mistakes she made, admitting she was wrong could not have been easy. 

Next I am on to Betty White's Here We Go Again.  I love Betty White.  I read a book of hers last year and enjoyed it so much when I saw this one I knew I had to read it.  I'll let you know if I was right. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Autumn Fingerprint Craft

We are having a busy day and so I had to find a quick craft for the kids.  This turned out WAY more involved when my baby decided he would finger paint too.  There I was standing with paint on my fingers when my 3 year old told me to go see what the baby had done.

Don't worry, its shampoo.  Smelled WAY worse than paint though.  Whenever these things happen I figure God was just telling me I needed to mop.

Back to the craft.  I buy large paints in primary colors and let the kids mix the colors to get the ones they need.  Which is great for this craft.  A little bit of Red, Yellow and Blue and you have your basic Autumn colors.

You can print the tree here or make your own tree.  Which would be a good idea if you have an older child who likes to draw.  You could even make it a bigger picture with lots of trees and have the kids finger print on one sheet instead of their own.  Or perhaps the tree has already lost all its leaves, put the leaves on the ground instead of on the tree.  Or maybe there is a wind blowing the leaves away.  You can create a whole scene with one kid doing a scene with all the leaves on the tree, another with the leaves blowing away and one with all the leaves on the ground. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday art: Perspective

Learning about perspective can be lots of fun because its so tangible.  One of the few art classes I can remember is the one where we learned about perspective.  Our teacher took us outside and has us stand at the corner of the school, right with our nose nearly touching the wall and look down the length of the building and see how it shrank in to the distance. 

You can teach perspective in lots of ways.  Put 2 balls of the same size on the table, one at one end and one at the other and look down the table at them both. 

I showed my kids a Monet picture on the wall, "Poppies" and had them compare the size of the house to the size of the women in the foreground.  I told them the house was smaller because it was further away.  In real life the house is much much bigger than the women.  It only looked small because in the picture We are further away from the house too. 

Then we did this for our craft:

Its pretty easy and fun craft for the kids.  You can do this with just about any landscape.  Have a Horizon with sea and sky or land and sky.  Have different sized objects going from biggest to smallest pasted on.  We used sailboats on the sea.  We glued paper waves on to give it some depth.  Color and cut out the object and paste it on the paper.  I suggest glue sticks.  Liquid is just so heavy.  And messy.  Very very messy.   You can do trees in a field, or cars on a road.  Whatever you want a picture of really.  There are endless printables you can print out and color. 

*remember to click on the links, lots of info for helping you in your craft making, and no I don't get anything out of it, just don't want you to miss out.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Thermal Downshock

I am not sure but I think the shock part refers to what the person standing near by feels when it happens to them.

Thermal Downshock is what happens when something Hot meets something Cold and it cracks or explodes.  As an example: cold water, say from a medicine syringe, hitting a hot light bulb would cause the light bulb to crack.  Perhaps crack right along the base and fall from the ceiling shattering into a hundred pieces in the sink.  It might look like this:

Not that it was intentional, but it was a great learning experience.  I am sure the complete shock of the situation will forever ingrain Thermal Downshock into my children's vocabularies. 

*No children were hurt in the making of this blog

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bookmarks - Monday Craft

If you are looking for a craft that is as functional as well as fun and educational try making bookmarks.  Anything can be a book mark.

You can reuse greeting cards to make books marks, scraps of fabric, old books that have fallen apart, Poems or facts or other things you are trying to get your kids to memorize, pictures of the kids for family.  The possibilities are endless.

 Or you can do like we did and print some out free, color and glue to card stock and use some ribbon for the tassle.  This is one of those crafts that you go, Oh crap I forgot to plan a craft, and craft time is in 30 minutes.  Yea, I just make it look like I am prepared. 

Tie a knot in your rbbon so you have a loop and 2 ends.

Push the loop through the hole you punches and thread the end through the loop.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Help me Raise Money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

We are walking on November 10th in the Light the Night fund raising event for the LLS.  We do not see any of this money ourselves.  This goes directly to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  LLS helps raise money for not only research to cure cancers but also helps families by giving them funds for expenses like gas to and from the hospital and helps educate people on what Leukemia is.

Feel free to share our link on your blog.  Help us meet our goal of $100.  If we are one of the first teams to $250 we get a signed Miranda Cosgrove poster for our son.  He loves iCarly.  Help him get his poster. Click the link on the Right -----------> 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Art Monday: Van Gogh

Today we learned about Vincent Van Gogh.  If you click on the link you will be taken to a page full of power points and videos about the artist.  Easy for kids to follow along and geared towards them. 

You could do many different crafts in the style of Van Gogh.  We did 3.  I had them geared for the different ages of my kids.  The younger ones I printed out pictures to color: the famous Starry Night and  Sunflowers.  For the middle kids I had them do a diorama.  For the older kids I had them do a tissue paper craft from Classified Mom.  

This is how they all turned out:

Flowers and Vase with blue background in tissue paper on card board.

Diorama with construction paper floor and walls.

We had to wait for everything to dry before we can put it up on the walls.  My 5 yr old is a perfectionist who is never happy with his work.  He will often ruin it after he is done because he didn't do it perfectly.  And my boys who are 10 and 12 just do not have the patience for such intricate work like the tissue paper one.  So keep that in mind when you are doing it with your kids.  My middle kids loved the diorama.  I suggest using cardboard and stapling it to the floor then gluing it down because the people kept falling over.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Art Craft: Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol painted a lot of pictures that were common everyday items like the soup cans.  This makes for a fairly easy art project with the kids.  There are many resources online for crafts involving his art work.  I always start with a print out of the artists Bio and I pull of the images of their most famous works on the computer for all the kids to see. 

For this project I printed out a bunch of different pages for the kids to color and they could pick the one they liked the most.  I got most of mine from Famous Artists Crafts for Kids and Coloring Pages 101

We aren't trying to reproduce the pieces exactly, more like learn the style and do it in the way that pleases you most.  Heres what my kids came up with: