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.

abc button
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

Amazon.com Widgets



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.

Amazon.com Widgets

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

Shibley Smiles
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.