Louisiana: Ol’ Bloo’s Boogie Woogie Band and Blue’s Ensemble


“Ol’ Bloo’s” is a fun retelling of “Bremen’s Town Musicians.”  If you’re not familiar with the tale, it’s about 4 old animals who are about to be “put out to pasture,” and decide instead decide to take off into the wide world and become traveling musicians.


The kids thought it was hilarious, and they laughed throughout the whole book, especially when they got to make the noises of the animals.


After we read the story we watched Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” from Fantasia 2000 to get the idea of what blues music is like.



After watching it we talked about how the cartoon was drawn mostly in blue, and the style of drawings.  Then I challenged them to draw a picture using many different shades of blue and media styles.  It could be inspired by the cartoon or the book.


They had access to markers, crayons, colored pencils, and watercolor pencils.  My kids only used the watercolor pencils, but the others tried different media.


End results: two inspired by the book with the animals, and two of soldiers………  I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions of who drew the soldiers.

What we’ve been reading: The Very Ugly Duckling Dinosaur

We got this book ages ago from the publisher, and I had meant to do an activity with it because it retells one of my favorite fairy tales (and yes I say that about almost all of them), but summer came and we got distracted.  And then I found it again!  Bingo, fun new activity.
So, we happily curled up and read it together and then I  gave them a piece of construction paper with an egg drawn on it, and a blank piece of construction paper.  Their job was to draw what hatched in their egg and the strange family the egg hatched to.  I told them they couldn’t do a T-Rex or duck family, and it had to be something that hatched from an egg.

While they were busily drawing and coloring away I gave reading lessons to each kid.  Then I saw the finished results:

Batman, who is currently obsessed with all things Halloween drew a spider hatching from his egg.  The spider then went to a ghost family and there they had MANY wonderful adventures.  Too many for me to tell you in this small space, partially because after the twentieth adventure my eyes glazed over and I lost track.

Superman, who is also obsessed with Halloween (I just got another question of when he can put Halloween decorations up again), had lots of eggs hatching.  The big one was a bird, who is now in the tree, and he was raised by a family of penguins.  One of the penguins died and the bird ate a tombstone, so now there’s a ghost.  And the bird ate the smaller eggs which were spiders.

Princess, who is “scared of Halloween” and can produce a very dramatic scream at the mention of it, had a family of horses who raised a bird (I think, that or a butterfly).  They are all girls.  You can tell because they have very long eyelashes.
I’d explain more about her picture, but she’s asleep as I write this, and I’m not about to wake her.  She desperately needs this sleep, even if it is almost 10:00…….

My comments on the book:  It’s very cute, and I loved the different ways the “ugly duckling” tried to fit in with people, and he looked so pitiful trying to fit in.  I’d highly recommend buying this book or checking it out from the library.

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DISCLOSURE: I received a copy of this book for review.  That was all the pay I got.  I’m sure we would have eventually read this book when we saw it anyways.

Yankee Doodle

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I was quite amused to find out the state song for Connecticut (Does anyone else think in their mind as they spell that state: Connect I cut?  Or is that just me?) is Yankee Doodle.  I rather like that song and it’s one of the few nursery rhyme archetypes we have in America (I have all sorts of amusing theories on the things we’ve created in America, that I might expound on someday).



But, getting back to what I was talking about.  So, we read the very cute story up above which has multiple extra verses written by Mary Ann Hoberman that do a great job with rhyming and letting my kids work on predicting the rhyme, which they need work on.  And lets the older kids work on creating their own rhymes.




So, after listening to the story they all got an index card, and set to work creating their own verse to Yankee Doodle.  I love the illustration Oldest E came up with (at some point I’ll have to come up with nicknames for the families joining us in these studies).  I won’t be the least bit surprised if she becomes an illustrator someday.




There’s Superman sharing his illustration.  After drawing they each  took turns sharing their rhymes and illustrations with everyone.




Here’s their rhymes:


Superman: Yankee Doodle stuck a feather in his hat and called it T-Rex.  He stuck another feather in his cap and called it macaroni.


Batman: Yankee Doodle stuck a feather in his cap and called it Pteranadon


Princess: Yankee Doodle went to town riding on a pony, stuck a feather in his cap and called it dog.


I love how much their drawings  and rhymes indicate their personality.  Don’t you just love their illustrations?

Some other Yankee Doodle activities, I really wanted to play the game:

Superheroes and Princesses

Adventures in Mommydom (part of our nursery rhyme book)

How Stuff works (a game)

Oh binding machine how I love thee

Let me count the ways…………


Seriously, I love this thing.  There are so many ways I use it.  Our geography notebooks are bound using this.


I bind so many different little books with it.


When I got it my Mom said, “Ticia, why do you need a binding machine?  You can just use the one we have up here.”


Yes, well then I’d have to keep 3 hyper little guys in the church office workroom as I put books together.  That doesn’t sound fun.


Now, I can make them whenever I want.  Which is often.


My binding machine is AWESOME!  (and to truly get the impact of that AWESOME imagine a high pitched sing song voice holding that out)

Favorite Resource This Week

Bible Alive Tuesday: Ezekiel, and something cool we did in Sunday School


Oh yeah, because we do cool stuff.  That we do.  And now I’ve got super silly rhymes in my head.


So, for our history we were reading about Ezekiel and they talked about how in his book Ezekiel described fantastical creatures that sounded a lot like monsters.  To keep them more or less focused while I finished reading their history to them I had the little monsters draw their own little monsters to represent Ezekiel’s vision.


And then they all hammed it up.


Those are the faces of very serious children.  Have you ever seen children take their work more seriously.


And then yesterday in the mail they got a very lovely package of monsters which they’ve been excitedly playing with Smile

stART: A Very Special Snowflake

With the winter weather we’re having here, I thought to use a couple of snow books for our art project this week, but we only ended up using one of those books, but this one is so cute, it’s worth being just one project.

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Synopsis: The two kids go out for a walk in the snow and their dog Snowflake comes out with them and gets lost.  They ask all their neighbors and the neighbors misunderstand what they’re talking about.  Finally Snowflake is found.


My kids loved reading this book and finding the dog.  It’s fun to do, and not all that hard.


030I took the easy way out for our activity and rather than searching out a clip art of a dog, I used my new Silhouette to cut out a nice little Scotty dog out of some scrap paper.


Then I set them to drawing a picture of the kids looking for their missing dog, and then they glued their dog on.


They’re kind of hard to see what they did, so here’s mine to get you a better idea:



There’s a cute little white dog in the corner, which in the picture you can only see his head because that’s the only part of him that is over something I colored.  The kids LOVED this activity and book, so I need to find some ways to do a similar project.

Preschool Corner: Tornadoes

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Okay, actually it’s just one tornado book, and this is one of about 4 posts about tornadoes.  Really, we found that many awesome books about them.
A Twisted Tale has probably been one of the two favorites from our Kansas study.  The kids love reading about the animals getting all mixed up, and imagining what would happen.

Now, if I still had this toy, it’d be perfect to follow up on this book, but it went the way of the Dodo in our house because the kids had outgrown it.

But, I don’t.  Instead I just sat there thinking about how much fun that would be.  Or any of the other fun mix up the animal toys which we don’t have.

So, I turned to an old standby………  index cards!  And I challenged the kids to think of a funny way to combine two animals.

So I got a dog and a cat that are connected to each other’s bottoms.  Superman was oh so proud of that.  Me, not so much.

A bird that has an E in it.  I think.

A person with really long legs.

Two ducks drawn by Batman that have feet from different animals. 

While, I’m not a fan of the whole connected by their bottoms, I did think Superman’s drawing was somewhat original.

Stay tuned for more posts about tornadoes.
Now, head on over to Homeschool Creations for more posts about preschool adventures, and JDaniel4’s Mom for more fun book inspired activities.  And head back on Sunday to see our science project for tornadoes.  I think Kansas has been our most fun state study recently.

I better get thinking how I’m going to top this for another state.  Actually we’re starting over because we’re going to start doing this with some other families.  Which gives me a chance to decide how to make these studies work better.

more pumpkin work



To follow up on the pumpkin post from Monday, here’s an update on how it’s gone so far.


I printed off 4 copies of the little book I had made, yes you read that right 4.  One for each of the kids to write their own version of the story, and one for putting in order.


I took turns sitting down with each of the kids while the other two played and had them dictate to me what was happening in the pictures.  I’m going to share with you the boys’ stories, because Princess disappeared with hers with a mad gleam in her eyes.  It disappeared into her toy shopping cart along with about 10 My Little Ponies, 5 Strawberry Shortcakes, and a miscellany of other toys.


Here are the boys’ versions, I leave it to you to guess who wrote which one.


1: Title: A Bat found Pumpkin and he named it George Bob


The bat found a pumpkin.  The bat carved the pumpkin.  And then he went to do Halloween.  He left him home.  His Mom and Dad stayed home and he scared the kids with his bat pumpkin.  Then they baked a pumpkin pie.  Princess got some water in her tea pot.  They are making the pumpkin pie by pouring water in with the pumpkin.  The Boogeyball family said, “Trick or treat,” to the bat family.  They baked two sets of pumpkin pie because the kids really like pumpkin pie.  The kids are scooping the pumpkin pie.  One kid tasted the pumpkin pie, but he didn’t like it that way.  Someone is pouring water in there.  Mac ate pumpkin pie when we dropped it on the floor.  One guy scooped a part of the pumpkin.  Someone mixed it, but it wasn’t a girl, it was a boy (It was a picture of Princess he was looking at).  Me mixed it until his Mom said, “stop!”  I ate a seed, but I didn’t like it.


2: Title:  ________ carving a pumpking


We are carving the pumpkin.  We are taking the icky stuff out of it.  We’re using spoons to get the icky stuff out.  Batman is putting the pumpkin piece in there.  Princess is getting water for a tea party.  Batman is pouring water on the pumpkin pieces.  We put foil on to make it cook good.  The pumpkin pieces are getting cooked.  I am scooping out the part we eat of the inside.  Batman is pouring water.  Mac eat a piece of pumpkin.  I think he liked it.  Princess is scooping more pumpkin pieces.  She is pouring water I think.  Princess is stirring it.  Batman is eating a pumpkin seed.


It was really interesting to see how they each approached it.  You could also tell the difference in age and personality.  Princess didn’t use as many descriptive words even when I tried to coax them out of her.  My more creative and original thinker of a boy went in a totally different direction than I was thinking and then added his own bat illustrations.  My thinker was able to add more details as I coaxed him through it.


All in all it was a great writing experience I look forward to them being able to write it themselves, but they all had fun.

stART: Skeleton Meets Mummy



This super cute Halloween story, that for some reason reminds me of “Little Red Riding Hood,” for no good reason was a lot of fun to read.


Skeleton is sent by his Mom to take a basket to his grandma (the part that reminds me of Riding Hood), and as he goes through the forest is scared by a sound behind him.


A mummy is chasing him, and finally catches him.  Skeleton overcomes his fear by………..  If you want to know, then read the book.


I had this brilliant idea of a craft, which of course my kids wanted to do a completely different craft, so we did several of these.  With only one kid actually completing my project as envisioned.


Supplies: person cut out (you could trace a gingerbread cookie cutter, do a paper doll chain, however), strips of white paper, scissors glue




1.  Glue the strips of paper onto your mummy.


If wanted, draw a face on said mummy.  Batman insisted it’s necessary, “see the book, it has a face Mommy.”




2.  Trim the extra paper away, so it’s a person shape again.





As an alternative you could do Superman’s method.  Just draw lots of lines on it, so it looks like a mummy.





Then glue your mummy on the Halloween Mural of AWESOMENESS.






And stand back and stare in awe at the wonderfulness of your mural.




Now for more ideas head on over to A Mommy’s Adventures.

stART: Ten Timid Ghosts


“Ten Timid Ghosts” is about, well…. ten timid ghosts that live in a house, and a mean witch moves in and ‘she wants them out.’


It’s a cute rhyming count down story about how she scares each of the ghosts out, and how they get back at her.


Well after reading it, of course we had to make ghosts.


Supplies: paper, glitter glue, markers, cookie cutters, scissors



1.  Trace around the cookie cutter.  It might help if you hold the cookie cutter for your kid.  I know it helped Princess.


And PS: the bracelet is a reminder to pray for a friend of mine in Afghanistan right now, so prayers are appreciated.




2.  Take your time and cut it out.  Great cutting practice, and there were a few times they tried to give up and have me cut it out, but I insisted and they got it.  Eventually.




3.  Draw a face with markers, or crayons, or what have you.


Poor Superman looks so upset.  I wonder what I did to him.  Apparently yesterday I totally ruined his day by accidentally locking him outside for all of 10 seconds.  He went on and on about it to Aunt Tara who tried very hard to keep a straight face as he explained his horrible depravations.



4.  Start adding the glitter glue and the little decorations.


And if you’re under 10, I’ve learned glitter glue is added in huge piles that are about an inch high.  Apparently the key is to try your best to empty the brand new bottle of glue.  That’s very important.


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And as frequently happens at my house, the kids took this idea and ran with it.  Making about 3 more projects.  Including Batman finally getting to make the bat he’s been wanting to make.

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And there are the finished projects hanging up on the Halloween mural.


I’m not quite sure what we’re going to do with this mural once Halloween is done.


For more great book inspired art head on over to A Mommy’s Adventures.