Friday, March 23, 2012

I've Moved!

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rainbow Hands

Here's a great art lesson to teach color and color theory for kids ages 2 through 6. It is a super fun activity for kids anytime of the year, who doesn't love a rainbow?
Materials you will need:

containers for mixing paint in

-Finger Paint
-Drawing Paper (I prefer not to use finger paint paper for this project because it's a little too slippery.  Regular drawing paper is just perfect because it has a little texture which is great for applying the hand prints and little hands don't slide as much.)
-Spoons or Paint Brushes
-Mixing Trays/Plates/Bowls
-Glue Stick
-1 Piece of Constructions Paper (any color 12 x 18)
-Cotton Balls (4 to 6)

Begin by putting your finger paint in the trays.  Place a dab of each of your primary colors in a tray.  These three would be red, blue, and yellow.  To create your secondary colors, place a tray between each of your two primary colors. This helps the children to visualize the color relationship and see the colors side by side before they begin to stir the paint.

After explaining which two colors make the third color when mixed together, have your child mix them with a spoon or paint brush.

Line up all of your containers in a row in the rainbow order.

Now that you have this, it's time to make the hand prints.  I have tested both of these two ways.  First, I put Lily's hand directly into the finger paints.  This left too much finger paint on the paper and the hand print was not very clear.  The second and best way I found to make the hand print was to take either a foam brush or regular paint brush and paint the finger paint directly to your child's hand.  To ensure that your child's hand makes it to the area of paper you are aiming for, use the hand over hand method. Do this for each of the six colors, washing hands after each color has been used.

Let the finger paint hand prints dry.  If you want to speed up this process, you can use a hair dryer.  Cut each hand print out.  Next, glue each hand print in order of the rainbow with a glue stick.Cut out two clouds, one for each of the sides of the rainbow.  Glue these down too.  Put a couple of books on top of the project and let it sit for a couple of minutes.  This will prevent the edges of the hand prints or clouds from peeling up.
After everything has dried, and been flattened, have your kids glue the cotton balls on top of the clouds.

Now, you have made a fabulous looking rainbow and a keepsake project for your scrapbook while explaining to your kiddos how the 3 primary colors (red, yellow, &blue) make all the other colors in the rainbow.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Making Lemonade

We've had a house full of sickos.  I mean everyone was sick.  But, don't worry I have still been coming up with some really good tutorials in the midst of the epidemic. That's why there's been a little lull lately in the blog...if you were wondering. 

Well, we have a Meyer lemon tree in the backyard.  It has the biggest lemons I've ever seen.  Some are as large as the oranges we picked not too long ago, off of our orange tree.  This time of year I feel so spoiled living in Southern California because of all the fresh citrus.  Originally being from the Midwest, I never had Meyer lemons until I came to California.  They are so full of juice unlike the store bought, small lemons, that have a tendency to be very dry.  The Meyer lemons often have this yellow orange glow that make it almost appear like an orange.  Emma sometimes has to ask if it is a lemon or an orange.  Having a big bowl full of lemons, I figured it was about time to make some lemonade with the girls.

Notice how these lemons are all so roundish in shape? We only had two that really resembled typical lemons.

See Emma's hand.  This is truly a BIG lemon!  

We decided to only juice a few lemons and save the rest for later.  I made a simple syrup recipe that my Dad always swears bye when he makes his lemonade, and it did not disappoint. The syrup recipe is so easy. 
Just one part sugar to one part water and boil.  Let it cool.

Here's my recipe for homemade lemonade:
Using a 16oz. glass:
1/8 lemon juice
1/8 simple syrup
several ice cubes
Fill the remainder of the glass with water.  

It's the perfect combination of not too tart and not too sweet.  You can easily modify it to however you prefer, more sweet or more tart.  Next time, I'm going to try it with a little carbonated water.

Here's what the girls thought.

There was no taking pictures of them.  It was all business. 

A little cheers is in order!

Good to the last drop!

Next, we'll have to make a lemon meringue pie.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Cereal Box Puzzle

Here's a great and simple to do activity for a rainy day.  This puzzle can be adapted for kids as young as 4 and up. 

Start by cutting the front of the cereal box off.  Flip it over and use a ruler to draw lines horizontally and vertically.  Don't worry if the lines are not exact.  

Next, take a coin and just trace half of it to make the interlocking edges to the puzzle pieces.

As you create the interlocking edges on the puzzle pieces, make sure to erase you lines that are not needed as you go.  Cut you pieces out using scissors or an xacto knife.

Here you go.  Easy as pie.  These are great for the classroom too when teachers don't have much of a budget to work with.  All kids love cereal and the characters on the box.  For Kindergarten ages, I would just make the puzzle smaller.  This way they won't get as frustrated.  

Have fun!

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Duct Tape Lunch Money Holder

Duct tape has become so popular these days.  I came up with this tutorial for moms out there who don't want to spend a significant amount of money on a lunch money holder or are tired of using Ziplock bags for your kids to take their lunch money in.  So, this lunch money holder not only has the cool kid factor look, it's easy to make, and is so flexible it will fit in your kids pant pocket. Also, monetarily won't brake the bank to make again if it gets lost.

Materials Needed:

-1 roll of duct tape (I found mine at Walmart for $3.00.  You can also find it at Michael's and JoAnn's. Don't forget your coupon.)
-1 package of snaps with the snap tool
-1 pair of scissors
-1 rotary cutter or paper cutter
-1 cut matt or piece of cardboard if you don't have a cut matt

Step 1:
Cut three pieces of the duct tape at roughly 11".  If you go over, that it is fine.  For this part, your measurements do not have to be exact and a little bit bigger is better.  You will be able to trim this all up at the end.  You will be making what is equivalent to a piece of fabric out of your duct tape.  The overall dimensions will be 9" x 4".  I went a little larger to square up the piece of duct tape fabric without any problems.

Step 2:
Lay the first piece down with sticky side up.  Next, you will take the second piece of duct tape sticky side up and slightly overlap the first.  Repeat for the third piece.

Step 3:
Cut/Tear three more pieces at 11".  You will lay these three pieces on top of the the sticky side up pieces.  Now, you have your swatch of duct tape.  Just like example up above.

Step 4:
Trim your piece on both sides.  You will want the final measurement to be 9" x 4".  Make sure to square it up as best as possible.

Step 5:
Fold your piece of duct tape into a tri fold.  I fold mine so the top fold is not flush with the bottom. I bring the top flap up just a bit.

Reinforce the insides with 2 pieces of duct tape at the top as well as the bottom.  So, you will have used a total of 4 pieces of tape.  This will help the snaps stay in place and helps keep them from pulling through the tape after repeatedly being  opened.  

Step 7:
Place your snap.  I put the bottom of the snap underneath and press through the tape so it leaves a mark.  This helps to locate the snap location on both sides of the lunch money holder.  Take a pair of scissors and use the tip of the scissors to help the prongs through the tape if necessary.

Step 8:
Use your snap tool and apply the snap parts to both sides of the lunch money holder.

Step 9:
Cut a piece of tape the length of the pocket .  Cut this piece of tape in half.  Fold these pieces of tape onto both sides of the lunch money holder.  This will finish the sides.

Step 10:
Snap your wallet shut and use pinking sheers to give the top flap a more finished look... if you so desire.

Watch out!  You might be making these for your kiddo's entire class.  Make sure you have enough duct tape.

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This is part of Get Your Craft On Tuesday at Todays Creative Blog.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Desk Chair Makeover

O.k.  I have been sitting in this blah boring desk chair for five years now at my current school.. So, yesterday I decided I'd had enough and had to do something.  I had looked at this ratty old thing for too long.  The worst thing is all the teacher's chairs on campus, expect for maybe administration's chairs, look like mine.  When it comes to summer break and cleaning time on campus, all of the teacher's chairs get lumped together in one spot.  Somehow this year I received one that had been faintly written on in orange marker.  That was it.  I had to change it.  I had seen this post for recovering an office chair at Saving 4 Six.  She made it look so easy and it was.  I was able to take the whole chair apart very easily, used a staple gun, applied fabric, and ta da.

Behold!  The new desk chair.  Of course, it couldn't be any plain boring fabric for an art classroom.  This ties in with my table cloths that I have on a couple of tables in the room.  It was huge hit with the students.  My...what a little change will do for the creative soul.

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Trip to the Park

Today was a beautiful day.  It was also Read Across America at school.  Dr. Seuss was in full force at both of the girl's schools.  Emma got to wear her pajamas which she thought it was the coolest thing ever.  I have to admit.  I never got to wear my p.j.'s to school and wish I would've had the chance.   She also got to bring enough Dr. Seuss books for her and her friends.  Lily had the book The Lorax read to her and the teachers helped the students make very cool hats.  So, put a beautiful day together and mix it with a little Dr. Seuss.  What do you end up with?  We ended up at the park to have some fun.  I also had to take lots of pictures.  I couldn't resist. It's not Dr. Seuss's bithday every day.

Say, "Dr.Seuss!"

Lily looking at the birdies in the sky.  She absolutely loves birds.

The birdies went away and big sis went to play with a friend she had found at the park.

I love how it looks like the field of green grass is never ending.  The lighting was just perfect.  But, Lily was done having her picture taken.

Here's to you Dr. Seuss.  Thank you for such a great day!

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