Saturday, March 31, 2012

art and max

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Bear and i recently read a book that we stumbled across in our library called Art & Max by David Weisner.  the artwork in it is amazing.  much of it resembles the pointilism that often brings renowned artist Georges Seurat to mind.  so, before we left, i grabbed a book of his work for us to explore at home.

Bear was ecstatic to find the Eiffel Tower in the Seurat book.  it's the funniest thing..the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty and the Alamo just fascinate him.  maybe he'll be an architect?

a couple of months ago, i saw a post on Reading Confetti that used eraser heads to paint cat pawprints.  my plan was for us to use some pencil eraser heads to create pictures using the pointilism technique
Bear wanted the canvas flat i'd offered him,
but turned down my idea for the pencil-pointilism...

so i let him go and do...
he got out the paintbrushes. 
he snagged an easel from one of my pieces.
he moved a chair. 
then he asked for help propping up the books. 
this was the set-up he wanted
(just like art and max had in the book)

he wanted to "paint like a real artist"

so he painted

and painted

and i watched him as
                 he got lost in the paint
and the brush on the canvas. 
and it felt good to know that
instead of following
the example i had placed before
he was creating and
                          following that
little whisper inside of him
that so many of us ignore

 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

more resources on pointilism
Melted Crayon Pointilism Art from Helping Little Hands
Pointilism from Arts for Life

Friday, March 30, 2012

tough questions: were there dinosaurs on Noah's Ark?

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sometimes our children ask toUgH qUEsTioNS that we aren't sure how to answer...




the latest one actually came from Pip, who's 16.  she is learning about the evolution theory in school.  she isn't allowed to speak about the Creation Story and struggles with this because of our religious beliefs. 

Pip is quite the dinosaur enthusiast- always has been.  she's thinking of going into paleontology in college.  two of her biggest questions were:
how do dinosaurs fit into the Creation Story? 
how did they fit on Noah's Ark?
 
i had to stop for a second.  Pip doesn't usually go that deep, so i was shocked and proud to know that she was questioning what school taught her as a fact versus what we have taught her as faith.

thus inspires a new series on tough questions that kids ask.  just for fun, i asked some of my friends what their children thought about dinosaurs and the ark. here are their responses...

were there dinosaurs on Noah's Ark?
No. Just animals.
Lily (2) from Mama Smiles

Yes  {how's that for sweet and simple?}
Aiden (2) from Inspiration Laboratories

Yep. Dinosaurs. Went real far away. All way home. {In a very serious tone}
Grayson (2) from Imprintalish

Yeah {With a big grin and a chuckle in his voice}
Little Dude (3) from Davis Domestications

No..well... there were two of them
Lele (3) from Mama Mia's Heart 2 Heart

Johnny: Umm... Just animals.
Mom: Are dinosaurs animals?
Johnny: Uh huh.
Mom: So were dinosaurs on Noah's Ark?
Johnny: Yes.
Johnny (4) from Mama Smiles

No, because its not in my book {pulls out Noah's Ark book and points at the pictures.}
Putti (4) from Putti Prapancha

Yes! T-rex was on there and he went to a ginormous volcano!
Andrew (4) from Toddler Approved

Yes, of course there were dinosaurs on Noah's ark, they were just little baby ones.
Emma (4)

Dinosaurs died before Noah made his ark.
Aurora (4)

No, because I didn't see them in the Bible story.
CJ (4 1/2) from Creativity My Passion

No! They were from the Jurassic time. The ark was WAY before that.
Aikman (5) from Montessori Tidbits

Emma: I don't think so. 
Mom: Why?
Emma: I just don't know!
Emma (6) from Mama Smiles

No because they weren't mentioned.
Caleb (7)
No cause dinosaurs were already extinct.
Luke (8) from Christy's Cuties

Little Man: No.
Mom: Why not?
Little Man: It would have killed Noah.
Little Man (9) from Davis Domestications


dinosaurs on Noah's Ark
i'm not a pastor.
i'm not a biblical scholar.
i'm a mom who prays that God
will help me in guiding
my children in faith and life.
so here is how i answered Pip
and explain it to Bear.

so...were there dinosaurs on Noah's Ark?

here is how i answered the question to my kids:
  • in Genesis, it says that God made animals.  dinosaurs were animals. so that means that He created them too.
  • the specific names of the animals on the ark aren't written in the Bible.
  • Scripture states that 2 of every animal was on the ark.  since we believe this to be true, dinosaurs were on the ark.  it was very big. 
  • the dinosaurs that were on the ark couldn't have been the larger ones like the t-rex or anything like that.  it would be more logical that baby dinosaurs were taken.
  • like most of the animals that were taken on the Ark, dinosaurs were not the ones that we "see" today in their fossils.  all of these animals were the predecessors to the ones we know now. 
  • **added**  the above point does reflect on the evolution theory in relationship to how animals have changed.  we look at it this way: the original animals were created to live in a world free of sin.  after the flood cleared the earth, it stands to reason that God made changes (evolved) to the animals so they could survive in the world of sin.  
what tough questions have your children asked?

 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Other Resources
Dinosaurs on Noah's Ark
Were Dinosaurs on Noah's Ark from Discovery: Scripture's Science for Kids
Answers in Creation: Job 40-41
 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

spring sensory bin...my worst choice ever

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it's been spring for about a week now, so that means a spring sensory bin is in order
no fake plastic-clingy grass like i crazily did here...
no, this year, i thought i'd do something even meSSieR than that...
**grimacing**

i found this cute colored coNFeTTi in the Easter section at Wal-Mart and paired it with some split peas and green rice.  we also tossed in some springy erasers, small bitty eggs, and flower beads from the dollar store and the Target 1 spot. 

Bear had/has soooo much fun with it, and i'll admit that i do too.  it's really cool to watch it all fall...

or have it come out of the "cement chute"...

we also did a huNT for the small eggs by the top pink arrow.  and then we "picked" flowers (the bead by the lower pink arrow).

the only pRoBLeM?  is that this is what the floor looked like x5.  this is only after a few minutes....

now, before you start thinking of how retentive i am, i have to say this...
the motto in our house is
if you're not making a mess, you aren't having enough fun

i welcome exploration at the cost of having a clutter-free home.  stop by anytime and you'll see what i mean. 

but this confetti...ohhhh, this confetti... all in the living area.... stuck to the couch, the bottoms of feet.  we had a trail down the hall towards the bathroom and bedrooms that Hansel and Gretel would've been proud of.  likely the worst choice for a sensory bin...

but, i've been blessed with a little boy who loves to clean... especially when it comes to using our little hard floor vacuum.  when he was done, he went to the closet, got it out and asked me to plug it in.  then he cleaned it all up = happy, proud momma!


what's your biggest activity blunder?

 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Monday, March 26, 2012

in {her} shoes...gina

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today's in {her} shoes guest poster is another one of my first bloggie buddies.  Gina from Random Thoughts from an Incoherent Mind is an extremely talented woman.  She does some of the most AH-MAZE-ING tablescapes.  Check out her latest Chicks and Bunnies Breakfast tablescape and my personal favorite, the Christmas Sentiments Tablescape.  well, enough of my rambling, here's Gina.


When AndieJaye asked me to participate in her blog's In {her} Shoes series, I was extremely hesitant...honored...yet hesitant. I thought I was much too old for this kind of thing. After all, I'm not a new mom, I've been one for over a decade. Somehow, she managed to convince me (probably because she's so sweet ) and here I am with you today.


My name is Gina and I have a blog called Random Thoughts from an Incoherent Mind. Yeah, that looooong blog name. What was I thinking?

Anyway, I have been married for 19 years to my high school sweetheart and we have two children, ages 13 and 10. I was a stay at home Mom for about 9 years. Now I work part time as a teacher's assistant. This is the perfect job for me as it allows me to be home when my children are home.

The most challenging part of being the kind of Mom I am is keeping it all in balance. I tend to walk a fine line between being a loose mom -vs- an authoritative mom. I don't want my children to view me as a pushover, yet I don't want them to see me as a tyrant either. I try to balance somewhere in the middle. My parents raised my siblings & I this way and it worked like a charm. Now if I could just figure out how they did it!

The most rewarding part of being a Mom for me is my children, themselves. I hope I don't get any rolled eyes over this, but neither of my children have ever experienced one second of time out when they were younger. My daughter had one temper tantrum as a toddler, I put a quick stop to it, and never saw another after that. My son never had one ever. They never fought then and rarely do even now. I have received many compliments about them over the years. So you see, they are the actual reward.




Let me add something though. My children, by no means, are perfect. I apologize if I've made it sound that way. I'm not one of those people who think their children do no wrong. I just believe there is no such thing as a perfect child, or adult for that matter. I try to set the right example and hope for the best. Remember my daughter is 13 years old, I'm sure there's lots of drama ahead!


The most important values I try to instill in my children are: respect, honesty, generosity, communication, the importance of family, and a sense of humor. Ok, maybe they're not the "traditional" set of values but I think a sense of humor is important to get through life, don't you?

Imagining how my children would describe me in 3 words, is a tough question. Since my children are old enough, I thought I'd just go ahead and ask them. They came up with a list of 11 words and said they simply could not narrow it down to 3. Do I dare share the whole 11 words? Bare in mind, my 13 year old has been known to use words that a normal 13 year old wouldn't.

Here goes: charismatic, creative, loving, expressive, excitable, energetic, entertaining, hearty, flamboyant, attentative and intuitive. Wow, I look like one heck of a person! I'm not so sure I'm deserving of all that, as flattering as it may be. Actually I'm really thinking, who is this person? I'd like to meet her! lol

I'm glad I've got to spend some time with you today. I love being a Mom and I can't imagine my life without my two children in it. May I leave you with one of my favorite quotes?
I never knew how much love my heart could hold until someone called me Mommy. ~unknown
Thanks for reading,
Gina

Sunday, March 25, 2012

the 5 senses: hearing

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today is the continuation of the 5 senses series. in case you missed it, check our inspiration, The Black Book of Colors here. the 5 senses activities we've done can be found here:

now for the sense of hearing activities.

this unit on the 5 senses is winding down quicker than i had planned.  Bear just isn't much interested in preschool this week... the beautiful weather is calling us outside! 

i had a list of activities i had wanted to do, but like yesterday's post, he wasn't too interested.   **drat that sunshine** 

some of the ideas were:
take a listening walk to see what sounds in our neighborhood we heard
talking through a safety cone (it acts like a megaphone)

we did make some music. 
i made a recording of us playing using the audacity program, but i can't seem to figure out how to get the lame program (actually what it's called) to work to transfer it to mp3. 


speaking of lame, i feel like it right now...
yesterday's and today's activities were
rejected by Bear, not because they were bad,
but just because he has different interests now
then he did when we started the unit.
but i'm still sharing my ideas with you,
even if i am not able to show you them in action.
partially because i don't want to leave you all hanging.

but mostly because i want to share why i think it's important to follow your child's interests.  it's okay to let them lead you, even if it isn't as
                                                                     a.  structured
                                                                                   b.  educational 
                                                                                   c.  what you originally had planned
                                                                                   d.  all of the above

but i digress...
so, with those circling the drain, i found something that interested Bear very much.  we've been talking about special needs and disabilities lately on and off lately. so i thought that i would see if he would be at all interested in talking about people who have hearing impairments.  we used baby sign with him and he still uses "please" when he gets very excited and "all done" if we're talking and he wants to use the table.  

thanks to the amazing Rachel who does Say It Two Ways: Signing Time on NickJr, he was onboard with exploring sign language... so we looked through his sign language book and did a few signs. 
i also showed him this picture of the ASL alphabet.  (it'd be great for a classroom) then i did them for him with my hands.  it was something new, so he wasn't willing to try it. 
 
 
 
and that's where we left off this week.  it provides a great segue into something that we'll be exploring here and there over the next few weeks. 

here are some links for great activities from some of my amazing fellow bloggers.  check them out for some more great sensory-related ideas.
Signs of Spring from Childhood Beckons
The Five Senses from Rockabye Butterfly
Fancy Shaker Eggs from Mama Smiles
We Explored our 5 Senses: Hearing from Teach Preschool
5 Senses:Sound Safari from No Time for Flash Cards
Fun and Learning with Boxes from No Time for Flash Cards

 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

the 5 senses: taste

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today is the continuation of the 5 senses series.  in case you missed it, check our inspiration, The Black Book of Colors here.  We've also done the following 5 senses activities:
here are the activities for the sense of taste.

Bear seems to like searching magazines for items, so i gave him a lip pencil to circle mouths in a magazine... {get it? because it goes on your lips?}

we made a list in Bear's journal about all the things that mouths can do besides taste food. some of the things were bite, talk, whistle, sing, and play instruments.
we also talked about the various parts of the mouth: lips, teeth, gums, tongue, and braces. {the last one was Bear's addition to the list}

now these next activites seemed fun to me, but are where i lost Bear...

i had planned on a taste-test of a variety of foods to identify different flavors:
salty- potato chips
plain- water
sweet- fruit snacks
sour- lemon slice
tangy- mustard
creamy- yogurt
fizzley- pop rocks
this is as far as we got when he decided he was done...
and i had planned on painting with spaghetti, but that grossed Bear out.

i'm not one to force activities, it only makes him more insistent that he does not want to do it.  so we'll leave the taste activities at that for now.  perhaps in the future i'll have a more willing assistant :)

tomorrow is the sense of hearing!  see you then!
 
for more 5 Senses Resources, check out these blogs:
Making Applesauce and the 5 Senses from Creative with Kids
5 Senses-Ice Cream Taste Test from No Time for Flash
The Five Senses from Rockabye Butterfly


 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

find today's books on Amazon

Friday, March 23, 2012

the 5 senses: touch

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today is the continuation of the 5 senses series.  in case you missed it, check our inspiration, The Black Book of Colors here.   the 5 senses activities we've done can be found here:

here are the sense of touch activities.

the first book that we read today was, I Will Be Especially Very Careful, a Charlie and Lola by Lauren Child.

after reading the book we went on another photo scavenger hunt to find things in our house that were fluffy and soft like Lotta's coat in the book. here's what bear found:

when we were done we made a touch window suncatcher.  before he started, i traced his hands on the contact paper with a permanent marker.  he even traced mine a few times.  then i gave him the sticky clear contact paper and soft fluffy white feathers. 
his sense of touch collage turned out like this:

we also read the awesome book by Robert Munsch Up, Up, Down. 

after reading about how Anna bandaged up her parents with 10 bandages, i offered Bear materials to make his own.  first i had him count 10 bandaids out of a pile.  then he stuck them down on a giant paper bandaid while counting them.  (also good small motor practice...those wrappers are tricky)


for Bear's journal, we talked about what hands can do.  he also pasted magazine cut-outs of hands.  then i provided different textured objects for him to make a sensory page out of.  i labeled them with the words he used to describe them.

see you tomorrow for the sense of taste!
 
for more 5 Senses Resources, check out these blogs:
Sensory Wall Mosaic Art from Mama Smiles
Feel and Learn Collage from No Time For Flash Cards

 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

the 5 senses: sight

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right now, we are exploring the 5 senses through the book The Black Book of Colors.  our other 5 senses activities can be found here:
these are our sense of sight activities.

i gave Bear a permanent marker to circle eyes in a magazine.
{Strawberry Shortcake Ad}

for art, we made stamped eye pictures.  i got out our googly eyes, the mr. potato head glasses, a thread spool, and paint (blue, green, and brown).  we used the thread spool and glasses as stencils to paint with.  then we glued the googlies eyes down as well. 

something i learned during this project...
i need to be careful how i do projects with Bear...
perhaps even skipping doing them myself.
the bottom pic of the collage shows
mine on the left and Bear's on the right.
afterward, he made an off-the-cuff comment that his
wasn't as good
as mine.

this is the journal page... writing and eye pictures done by Bear.  the Gain detergent ad from yesterday was taped in.  on the left page is a list of items in the picture because Bear wanted to ad to be an I SPY page. 

we also made our own versions of I SPY that we call "look-sees".  i'll have them available in an ebook once we get more of them done! 

i'll see you tomorrow when we're discovering 
hands: the sense of touch
 
for more 5 Senses Resources, check out these blogs:
We Explored our 5 Senses: Sight from Teach Preschool
Signs of Spring from Childhood Beckons
The Five Senses from Rockabye Butterfly
DIY Eye Spy Book from No Time for Flash Cards

 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

the 5 senses: smell

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in yesterday's post, i introduced you to The Black Book of Colors.  it is an amazing book that talks about how colors taste, feel, and smell.  find the 5 senses activities here:

we did the following sense of smell activities:
first he made a list (i wrote) of all the things that noses can do in his preschool journal:
sniff, smell, sneeze, be picked, be blown, and be on Snot Rods (from the Cars movie)

we found noses in magazines...
{pampers ad}

while we were looking at the magazines, we came across a Gain detergent add that had a scratch-n-sniff spot... sCoRE!!

we also did a photo scavenger hunt... Bear and i walked around the house and he took pictures of noses that he found with my camera.  {yes, i let him use my dslr because i broke his little digital}  here are his pictures:

then we did a smelling test.  it was funny to hear what he thought that each item smelled like :)  for example, the candy smelled like "chocolately goodness" but the strawberry nesquik smelled like "poo".  nice, eh?

he also said that i smelled
"blueish as can be". 
his favorite color right now is blue,
so i'll take that as a compliment.

along the same lines, we found food items of eVeRY coLoR to see if they smelled like the color they were.

we tried to hang spoons from our noses using this how-to video, but we couldn't get it to work :(
for more 5 Senses Resources, check out these blogs:
Making Applesauce and the 5 Senses from Creative with Kids
Scented Painting from No Time for Flash Cards
Signs of Spring from Childhood Beckons
How do We Smell from Science Sparks
Art with Spices from Dirt and Boogers
 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.
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