Pet Rocks Rock

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We have been talking about animals this month, especially pets. And since not all of the kids have pets at home, we decided to make our own. We chose the rocks (everybody got two) we wanted to use and gave them a proper bath. The kids loved splashing and scrubbing the rocks clean. Then they dried them in a towel and let them rest for a bit.

Rest didn’t last long though since everybody was so excited to start painting. We used regular tempera paint – and covered the whole rock with colors. Then we added feathers, beads, eyes, flowers, buttons and yarn to make our animals unique.

As they were drying, we filled out their adoption certificates, signed them and told stories about them. Some of the rocks were friendly bugs, others were parts of a vicious snake… it was really fun seeing the different animals and hearing the creative stories behind them.

Self portrait and lines


What is a line? 

A dot that went for a walk. — Paul Klee

I started today’s at project with a mission in mind – I’m documenting kids work during the year and would like to make them a book (presentation folder) that will hold the most memorable moments. And that book needs an awesome personal cover. 

We talked about lines and Wassilly  Kandinsky. What is a line? What types of lines do we know? What can we draw with them… and then we made our background with oil pastels, sharpies and liquid watercolors. 


Then we used our art easels with little mirrors taped into them to draw our self portraits. It was really fun to see how different they were… M decided that he will be a mountain 😉


When the boys were done (yes, this class is full of boys), I cut their portraits out, framed then with black paper and we glued them onto the colored background. 

Aren’t these portfolio covers going to be just perfect? 🙂

Mailing letters filled with paint


Painting letters

V really enjoyed putting together huge letters today. It started slowly. He wanted to paint over some doodles he made on a paper. Then he wanted to paint another piece of paper… and then he experimented. What would happen if I put them on top of each other? This simple inquiry resulted in thirty minutes of a very focused work. He kept adding more and more paper and using the paint as a glue. When the paint was not enough he used tape. Soon the letters were so thick it was a challenge stuffing them in the envelopes. 

I was amazed how such a simple activity can become such an amazing project – with such focus and attention. Soon M started copying V’s work… it looks like I have at least two engineers and inventors in the classroom this year. We already talked about getting more boxes so we can build up our houses with them (and tape) and painting them. Looks like a long term project in the making of you ask me. ❤️

Borax Snowflakes

 

borax

Would you like to make some amazing crystals?

It’s much easier than you may think. Here is how to make the snowflake:

First cut a pipe cleaner into three pieces and combined them in the middle. Then mix hot water and borax (1 cup of water and 3 tablespoons of borax) and tie the snowflake to a pencil with a thin yarn or thread.

Dip the snowflake in the borax solution and leave it in overnight (or for at least four hours). Try not to move the cup in that time. Make sure the snowflake does not rest on the bottom of the cup. It could get stuck to it and that’s no fun.

You can add food coloring to tint your creation as well.

Btw, what is BORAX?

Chemically, it is called sodium borate but you may have it in your laundry room. If not, it can be easily purchased for a couple of dollars in the laundry section of almost any grocery (or drug) store. It is a soft, white powder that easily dissolves in water and has many uses. It can remove many stains and deodorize a garbage can. It can put out a small fire and kill cockroaches (that’s why you should not eat it either). It can remove rust, treat athlete’s foot and wash your laundry. And on top of that it can grow amazing crystals in only couple of hours 🙂

Tinkering in Tacoma

tinkertopia

If you love tinkering, upcycling and art – bring your kids to Tacoma!

I have never been in this tiny little store before but I wanted to get there for quite some time. It is a little bit far for me now but oh my goodness, am I glad I spent an hour in the car!

As soon as I walked in, I knew it was worth it. They have so many treasures here (at least my kind of treasures). I found translucent Plexiglas crabs for the light table, plastic tubes for robot’s legs, transparent circles for alcohol-ink sun catchers, wooden spaceships ready to be painted, wooden horse-monsters from an old piano, apple-monster ready fall art project-in-the-making, microfilms and photo negatives and of course a LOT of samples of tiles, bricks and stones for our block area. And the best part? A huge paper bag is $20. I stuffed it to the rim and beyond  😉

tinkertopia finds

They also offer drop-in tinkering sessions for the kids. I talked to the owners and the best time to go seems to be Saturday morning or Sunday early afternoon. Just check their online calendar to see if there is a birthday party or not. It’s $7 per hour an a half and you can use whatever there is in the tinkering section of the store. I know what we are doing the next weekend it’s raining…