After reading the story, I gave them a bit of specific direction on how to draw a lighthouse. We carefully drew out our pictures, and since I had rushed out of the house that day we didn’t have the watercolors to make it look dark and stormy. But, they did enjoy drawing and coloring the lighthouses.
I loved how varied their results were: I found Superman’s especially interesting because he had a definite plan in mind for his lighthouse, and after a while I realized he was trying to make one like in the book for the pattern.
I LOVE the Muppets. Back when Jeff and I were first married I got the Muppet Show on DVD. Every year at Christmas we watch the Muppet Christmas Carol. I love ALMOST all of their movies (some of their more recent ones have not been kid appropriate, cough cough Muppet Wizard of Oz or that stupid Christmas movie a few years ago, cage dancing?).
But, I digress. I picked up the movie, because I wanted it. Then to bribe them I let them make Muppet sandiwches:
We have a house brownie. His or her name is Periwinkle. Depending on who you ask, Periwinkle is a boy or a girl. I’ve noticed the answer matches the person answering the question.
Periwinkle lives through the door there. It’s a magical door. From what we can see it’s just a normal door, there’s nothing behind it. But inside that door is her house. She comes out from time to time and encourages my kids to clean. She has been known to give candy for clean rooms, or encouraging notes.
Princess spent Saint Patrick’s Day morning creating all sorts of wonderful pictures for Periwinkle.
There are also various sewing projects in works. Actually, now that I’m looking over at Periwinkle’s door, I’m noticing a small stash of blankets and pillows she made there.
Small might have been an understatement……..
Periwinkle got the news he was going to join us last Saint Patrick’s Day. So we celebrate his Joining Day on that day. It takes a long time to travel from Ireland, so he didn’t arrive to our house until late July.
Periwinkle wrote Princess a lovely note to thank her for the present and gave her a small toy which he had found while cleaning up our house the other night. Apparently, one of the charms from my charm necklace as a kid was found in my closet. Periwinkle thought Princess would love to use it for her dolls.
If you’ll excuse me, Periwinkle needs to write another thank you note to Princess for the lovely blankets she made. After much hard work she was able to carry them through her very small door.
Then I turned them loose with a box of crayons, colored pencils, scissors, glue, and a box of scrapbook paper. Their only instruction was to make a boy doll and a girl doll, an unpopular instruction with everyone.
And here’s what I got:
I love the look on the boy’s face in the top picture, that really is his personality. My kids never gave me a chance to get a picture of them with their pictures. I love the variety, from the all colored to the some colored some paper. All of them were unique.
The bottom right corner is one of my boys’ pictures. I’d guess Superman from the one guy being all blue.
I have no pattern to show you. It’s simple, take one of those 9×12 pieces of felt and cut it in half. One of those halves cut off about 3-4 inches from the top of it. Place it on top of the other piece and sew. Cut a strap from a piece of ribbon measured to the size of your kid.
During the Revolutionary War children would help support the war by sewing bags for the soldiers to carry their stuff in. After we finished sewing we brainstormed what might be in their bags: bullets, food, knife, Bible, letters from home, etc.
They’ve been using their bags nonstop since they made them. Pretty good job, huh?
In case anyone’s wondering: fabric used: felt, regular sewing needle and thread (I didn’t grab embroidery thread this time, though it’s easier for kids to use because of its thickness).
You hear a lot about people going West in a Covered Wagon. You don’t really hear as much about them going West other ways. This book was a great example of another way. This family floated West on a house boat.
“A house boat?” you say. Yes, and there are dangers I didn’t think about connected with a house boat.
After reading this I decided it’d be fun to make our own house boat. Two fun and easy ways to do this would have been using a milk carton or juice boxes.
I thought of this pretty much 10:00 the night before, and I don’t have 10 boxes saved to use right now. I have a lot of egg cartons….. Not so useful for this.
For whatever reason my library has about 10 books by this author for Louisiana. They all have great voice and flair to them. They also have a very distinctive illustration style. It’s a variation of collage artwork, a sort of cut work that is very appealing, and lends itself easily to art projects.
We used two of her books for art projects: “Down in the Bayou,” and “Chef Creole,” both were different projects. Forgive the quality of the pictures, I forgot my camera at home, and we did this at a friend’s house.
For “Chef Creole” I gave them a bin of various pre-cut out shapes I made using various hole punches I have. If you don’t have hole punches, just go crazy before hand randomly cutting out things. This was a big hit and I’m looking forward to trying it again with just my kids and letting them use the punches with A LOT of supervision (mainly because I don’t want them dropped on toes, OUCH!).
Project 2 was using “Down in Louisiana,” it’s a fun counting book, and I made a small booklet with about 5 pages and gave them a stack of pictures for the animals in it from clip art images.
Their instructions were to draw the background with markers and then glue on the pictures.
This wasn’t as popular, they just wanted to cut and glue. Either way I highly recommend these books, especially for the early elementary/preschool set. They were wildly popular with all of the kids, and mine haven’t let me return these to the library yet.
“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.