Monday, August 2, 2010

Flowery Writing

The first time I saw this idea was in an elementary school office. Perhaps they were attempting to make the office more friendly? Then my niece made a pile of these to sell at a school fundraiser and she gave me one, which I treasured. What am I talking about? The lovely, colorful, beautiful, uber cool, spectacular, pencil with a fake flower taped to it. What kid, particularly girls, wouldn't feel more interested in writing with these babies in hand? Since I don't have any girls, my boys get to use them. And guess what? They don't mind at all.

To create your own pencil bouquet you will need:

new pencils (you can use ink pens too)
faux flowers
floral tape (I couldn't find any here in Poland, so I substituted electrical tape)

Now the tricky part (just kidding) - cut part of the stems off the flowers and then tape them to the pencils.

Now sharpen those babies up and get writing! Flowery writing peppered with adjectives is optional. We have a bunch in a jar on our table, which is rather convenient and pleasantly decorative at the same time.

Monday, April 12, 2010

3 Things

I have 3 things to share this morning, which is amazing considering it isn't 7 am yet.

1. Kido'z. It is an internet browser for kids. It is safe, so you can let your kids be online without fretting that something nasty is popping up.

2. Splatter Paint. It's fun. Let your kids go Jackson Pollock and they will adore you. Maybe you'll want to participate?

3. Elephant & Piggie Books. By Mo Willems. We have 10 and Caedmon will read them all in one sitting. Because they are awesome and make the kids (and me) laugh. Perfect for young readers. HIGHLY recommended!!!

No, the pictures are not in the correct order, but you get the idea :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Easel

Our easel is one of the most used items in our home. We use it every day for school - mostly the whiteboard side. The boys also use the chalkboard sometimes and enjoy drawing/painting on the paper roll. I was so happy to be able to get one from IKEA here in Poland, just like the one we have at home, inexpensive, sturdy, and just so handy. I cannot tell you how much I recommend having one of these in your home! (I have this dream of someday putting an easel by the sidewalk in front of our house, with a different quote on it every day, that passersby can read.)

One of the things I like to do with Ansel for letter recognition practice is to write a letter at the top of the board (both uppercase and lowercase) and then have him search for and circle those letters on the board. He loves this and it takes about 10 seconds for me to set up.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Eggs

These might be my favorite eggs, ever! I'm a sucker for all things "natural" and dyeing eggs this way was such a pleasure:

1. chopped up purple cabbage and boiled it in a pot of water. let cool. strained.
2. kids drew on the boiled eggs with soy wax crayon rocks. (poor Caedmon wasn't feeling well, so he let his brother do most of them.)
3. added white vinegar to the dye bath and soaked the eggs in it for about 1/2 hour until they were a lovely shade of blue (we had brown eggs; if you use white I think they will be more purple than blue).
4. repeated process with yellow onion skins to make the dye. this dye basically gave a deeper orangish hue to our eggs, which I love.
5. we also have some quail eggs in our mix. aren't they beautiful? you can buy them at the grocery store here!

I hope these little boys are up to an egg hunt later! Unfortunately, they are both running fevers now and would like nothing more than to stay on the couch and watch Winnie the Pooh!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Easter Nests

We might not have plastic eggs or jelly beans this year, but do not fret, we are still having a festive time! Of course, we focus on the reason for Easter, a celebration of Christ dying for us and rising from the grave (much like Christmas, it's too easy to get wrapped up in the commercialization, but we all know this, right?). We also embrace the traditional fun of baskets and egg hunts. So, what to do this year?

When I saw this post I knew that we had to try this: making nests from paper bags! LOVE. And so we did:
1. Cut paper bags into strips.
2. Turn over a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
3. Paint glue onto plastic wrap and layer the strips.
4. After it dries, peel it off and find a golden chicken to lay some chocolate eggs in it. Even better if the chicken is Polish, which ours are! I heard they lay the best chocolate eggs ever.

We will be dying eggs tomorrow with cabbage and onion peels. I also picked up some quail eggs at the market - they are so beautiful that they require no decoration. I can't wait to see how they turn out!

* This craft is from Alpha Mom via Ohdeedoh