Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Project 1: Home Decor Canvas Modern Art for Kids

Project 1: We used canvas, acrylic paints and tape to make a geometric wall hanging.

Since moving into a home in November, we have been watching lots of HGTV. The show Design on a Dime has been really inspiring. In each episode, the designer completely transforms one room by doing projects such as painting walls, recovering furniture, painting furniture and adding wall art.

There are so many creative ways rooms are transformed at little cost. In one episode a piece of leather was attached to the top of a small table with lots of decorative tacks. The results were amazing. The creativity is impressive.

After watching several episodes, my 9 year old and I were itching to create some wall art.

We began by applying masking tape to a canvas. The canvas was completely covered to keep the spaces even.

Then every other piece of tape was removed as that is where we desired color.

Then we added more tape at a 90 degree angle to the first set of tape.

Finally we began painting every other rectangle red and brown.

Before the paint was dry, the tape was removed.

Then more tape was added over the red and brown to create canvas space for additional color.

A cream color was painted in the empty spaces.

Then all the tape was removed and the painting was finished.



Check out these great blog hops for more educational activity ideas.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

US State Unit Study - Lesson 7: Midwestern States

Lesson 7: We read books about the mid-western states including; Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Missouri.

Settled by French fur traders, the mid-western states have a long history fur trading, fishing, shipping, and logging on the Great Lakes.


The book Paddle-to-the-Sea was an excellent spine books for this region as it was about a carved wooden canoe which floated with the current through each of the great lakes and to the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way, the canoe encountered ships, saw mills, animals and people each important in the Great Lakes region.

When we were finished with the book my daughter created a glitter map of the region.

First she hand drew an outline of the region on a white piece of cardboard.

Then she added the names of important cities and waterways including the major cities at each end of every great lake.

Next glitter glue was added covering each of the three different regions.

Finally permanent marker was used to outline the regions.

In addition to Paddle to the Sea the following books are fun to read with a mid-western state introduction.

Michigan is one of the top Christmas Tree producing states. One story of trees is told in The Christmas Tree Ship.

Near Traverse City Michigan lies a National Park consisting of huge sand dunes. The Legend of Sleeping Bear tells how the sand dunes and two islands in Lake Michigan came into being. The same author also wrote The Legend of Mackinac Island and The Legend of Leelanau, both of which we greatly enjoyed.



Older children can read Shipwrecks & Rescues: Forgotten Great Lakes History and younger children will enjoy listening to the stories. Some are tragic, so please pre-read this one if you have sensitive children.



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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

T-Shirt Design

My crafty 8 year old daughter customized a few tank-tops.

Computer time at our house is limited to 30 minutes per day at bed time. During the summer, my daughter used lots of hers to watch a series of video tutorials showing old t-shirts upcycled into new.

After watching several tutorials, she purchased a package of tank-tops and began cutting.







She added fringe, text pictures and unique cuts. It was a quick, fun and satisfying project for her and will be great for other crafty kids.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Lesson 5: Appalachian Highlands & Lesson 6: Southeastern States

Lesson 5: We learned about the Appalachian Highland states including: West Virgina, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky.



Studying this region of the country, I wanted my daughter to learn that it is rich in coal, country music and white water. The following picture books offer a glimpse into the Appalachian Highlands.

Mama Is a Miner is about just what it sounds. A mother works hard to provide for her family.

When I Was Young in the Mountains (Reading Rainbow Books) - Although I have generally tried to stay away from books that are more history based in favor of geography based books for this unit study, this one made the cut. Mountains are what Appalachia is about.

The Relatives Came - Set in Appalachia, this book tells the story of a family summer vacation.


Lesson 6: We read books about the southeastern states including; Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, South Carolina.


The hot humid south, settled by the French and influenced by the Spanish still carries on a unique combination of traditions embedded into the culture. The following books are a good place to start learning about the southeastern states.

Cajun Through and Through
Elizabeth, Larry and Ed
Feliciana Feydra LeRoux: A Cajun Tall Tale
Georgia Music
Mimi and Jean-Paul's Cajun Mardi Gras
My Family Vacation
The Worst Goes South



Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Andy Warhol Art Project for Kids

We learned about Andy Warhol.

Andy Warhol was a pop artist who lived until 1987. Bright colors showing familiar objects define his work. As a young artist, he was employed by a shoe company and became famous for his advertisements. He painted faces of famous people and often repeated his images like they were repeated on store shelves.

One of his most famous images is his Campbell's Soup Can. After reading Andy Warhol (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists) my daughter created a picture of a black bean can as it is a familiar object in our house.


Living during the 1900's, Andy Warhol lived before the cell phone and internet age. He painted repeated images of objects familiar during his time. I asked my daughter what she thought he would have painted if he were alive today. Her answer............

iPhones.




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Saturday, April 9, 2016

US State Unit Study - Lesson 4: Mid Atlantic States

Lesson 4: We learned about the Mid Atlantic States including: New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania.


The land in the mid Atlantic states ranges from coastal beaches, to woods to farmland. As a former resident of Central New York, it was fun to teach my daughter about the big differences in geography in that state alone.  While Central New York is filled with trees, the city is filled with people. In the north are the Adirondack Mountains, the Catskill Mountains are in the south and the middle is filled with long skinny lakes with waterfalls at the south end of each one.  The Finger Lakes are ideal for summer camping trips and are known for their wineries. Great Lakes Ontario and Erie both make up boarders of New York State, and the Erie Canal once was a major thoroughfare which crossed the state.





The following picture books are nice for introducing children to the Mid-Atlantic States.


How Pizza Came to Queens is a fictional tale set in the big city.

The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge are two structures greatly personified in this story. The lighthouse was a prominent building until the Brooklyn Bridge dwarfed her.

In Mirette on the High Wire, Mirette learns to walk on a tightrope from the famous Henry Bellini who crossed Niagara Falls.


Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra - Duke Ellington was a famous jazz musician who played in New York City. This well written picture book biography tells the story of his life.

Amish Home paints a very different picture of life in the Mid-Atlantic States as the non-fiction book brings the reader into the life of the Amish people who live throughout Pennsylvania and the mid-west.



Looking for more activities to do with children? Be sure to check out the pages of this blog; Math, Language Arts, Science, History, Geography, Arts and Crafts and these other great Blog Hops

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Easy Felt or Fleece Flower

Following the directions in Fun-to-Wear Fabric Flowers, my daughter made a simple felt flower.

Each morning I read to my daughter. Usually we read a story or two and then directions for a simple sewing project. She knows when reading time is over she has free time and sewing is not a requirement. It's amazing how often she goes onto make whatever we just read about. :)

This simple flower project took her only a few hours to complete. First she cut a strip of orange felt approximately 4 inches by 22 inches long. The strip was folded in half and slits were cut into the folded side making sure not to cut all the way through to the other edge of the the strip.

Next, the slitted strip was coiled into a flower shape and a needle with thread was shoved through the base several different times to hold the flower in place.

 Perhaps she will use a hot glue gun to attach her flower to a barette, or make a second flower and attach them to a pair of shoes.





Looking for more activities to do with children? Be sure to check out the pages of this blog; Math, Language Arts, Science, History, Geography, Arts and Crafts and these other great Blog Hops.
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