Tuesday, March 26, 2013

10 children's books about art and creativity

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i love creative endeavors... especially when i get to do them with my favorite little artist.  many times, we take our cues for learning and art activities from books.  here are a few of our favorite inspirational books.

Ish, by Peter H. Reynolds, tells of a young boy named Ramon who struggles to create the "perfect" drawings, especially under the criticism of an older sibling.  It isn't until his little sister points out the value in his art that Ramon realizes his true talents.

The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds, shares the story of Vashti, who is convinced that she can't draw.  With encouragement from her teacher, Vashti begins to explore all the creative things she can do with just one dot.
view our activity for this book here

Sky Color, by Peter H. Reynolds, is about Marisol, who is asked to help paint a mural in her school.  But when she can't find the blue paint, she's at a loss as to what she should use to paint the sky.  She then has to look for inspiration other than the stereotypical idea of what the sky should look like.

Dog Loves Drawing, by Louise Yates, depicts a book lover named Dog who receives a blank book in the mail.  He fills it with all types of drawings that he imagines himself in... including a monster he escapes from with the stroke of a pencil.

I Ain't Gonna Paint No More!, by Karen Beaumont, is a hilarious book about a child who breaks out the paint when Mommy isn't looking.  colorful images of him painting himself in all different colors and designs are accompanied by bouncing and whimsical rhymes.
view our activity for this book here

A Piece of Chalk, by Jennifer A. Ericsson, follows the drawings of a little girl with a brand new box on chalk.  But when a rainstorm interrupts and ruins her drawings, a new revelation is found.

Crafty Chloe, by Kelly DiPuchio, gives a great example on how the best gifts truly come from the heart and that good can prevail.  Chloe wants to buy the latest trendy doll for her friend's birthday, but when a snooty girl beats her to it, Chloe is at a loss as to what to give.  That's when she realizes that she can use her skills to create the best present of all.

Art & Max, by David Weisner, is a brilliant piece of work featuring two reptile named Art and Max.  Art stands at the easel, painting a masterpiece while Max looks on, longing to paint.  Art's invitation to Max to try painting leads to an explosive problem that little Max must solve.
view our activity for this book here.

Bridget's Beret, by Tom Lichtenheld, encourages children to rely on the artist within.  Bridget loves her beret and thinks that she's only able to create with it.  When a gust of wind blows it away, Bridget must find a hat of some sorts that gives her that same creative feeling.  It isn't until her little sister needs help with a lemonade stand sign that Bridget finds her artistic mojo.

I Absolutely Must Do Coloring Now or Painting or Drawing by Lauren Child is perfect for young readers who are fans of the Charlie and Lola series and also love creative endeavors.  Illustrated in all black and white, the book gives many prompts for readers/illustrators to add drawings or colors to the pictures. 
 
 
 
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Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Monday, March 25, 2013

kids spell it out: if i had a million dollars

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welcome to the Kids Spell It Out series! every monday will be a post filled with funny and adorable answers that kidlets give to questions. funny enough, this week's question goes quite well with the massive lottery winnings of some lucky people this past weekend.  kids were asked:
 
What would you buy if you had a million dollars?


 
I would buy my own restaurant.
Savannah {8}
 
I would buy a new picture for you since I'm caring about you, and then a new toy from Hobby Lobby.   The toy would be a model car.
Bear {4} Crayon Freckles

I would buy a super duper Mario toy.
R {5} Childhood Beckons

I would buy lots of candies, dolls, and toys!
Tessa {4} Little Artists

A Wii U with Nintendoland and all the Wii games I like.
Henry {6.5} Play Dr. Mom

The Hulk hand.
Aiden {4} True Aim Education
 
Lots of jewels and gems... so many they wouldn't all fit in the house.
Bud {4} Making Boys Men 

Legos.
Carter {6}

A really expensive motorcycle.
Big Brother {4} Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails {FSPDT}

Buy toys, monster trucks, tractor trucks.
Monkey {3} All Done Monkey

Juice.
Jossi {2} True Aim Education
 
Buy a house.
Emma {6} MamaSmiles

Popsicles.
Honor {3.5} Play Dr. Mom

A million pieces of food, and a million pieces of toys, and 1 dog.
Baloo {6} Royal Baloo
 
A 100 piece puzzle!  NO- a 159 piece puzzle!
Aiden {4}

Potatos and bread.
Tristan {5}

Loads of toys.
Champ {3} Making Boys Men

Food.
Emma {2} True Aim Education

Buy whatever I want.
Johnny {5} MamaSmiles
 
Every toy in the world.
Aikman {6} Montessori Tidbits
 
Buy something like a toy cat.
Royal {3} Royal Baloo

A gigantic chocolate mud cake!
Char {7} Kitchen Counter Chronicles

A real doggy.
A tow truck.

A house and food.
Ma {9} Kitchen Counter Chronicles
 
 
 
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Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

apparently momma needs some wine

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i don't know where his comment came from.
i don't drink... we don't have alcohol in my house. 
my only guess is that he thought the bottles were small and cute? 
i have no idea...
but the other lady in the aisle was snickering away and trying to pretend she didn't hear anything. 
this is one of those for the scrapbook, that's for sure.
 
 
what's a funny quote from your kids?
 
 
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Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

5 Tips to Prepare Your Child for the First Day of Preschool

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Bear started preschool this week.  He's 4.5 and aside from church nursery for 30 minutes a week, he's never been in a group care setting.  Bear has also not been watched by non-family members {aside from our grandma-like nursery worker}  so you can imagine the nervousness I felt. 

Despite the urgings of others, I've waited to put him in a program because I enjoy spending time with him and because I didn't feel that he was ready. During our church service, our pastors do a "kids time" where all the littles go up for a mini-lesson based on the larger sermon.  for over a year, I've had to go up with Bear and sit on the floor by the stage so he could see me.  Right there by him.

Then something unusual happened a few weeks ago.  They announced kid's time, and he tore off up there without a second thought about me.  I knew then that he was ready.  I contacted our church preschool and just as God would have it, they had a spot for him. 

And so, in preparation for his big day, I asked others for tips on how to prepare your child for the first day of preschool.
 
Explore through books and classroom visits
Carolyn, from Mama's Little Muse, suggests reading The Kissing Hand "and then before leaving your child at the school, kissing his hand and saying if he ever misses his mommy, your kiss will be in his hand and he can touch it to his cheek to feel mommy's love."
 
You can also visit your child's room during non-school hours like Deirdre and her son at JDaniel4's Mom did. 

Make a countdown
Make a countdown so that your child can tangibly see how close the big day is coming.  You can do this by making a colorful paper chain or printing out a calendar from online and placing stickers on it as each day pass. 

Buy a new backpack
Create excitement for your kiddo by letting them pick out a new backpack to take with them on their first day.  Not only is it handy for keeping spare clothes in and bringing papers home with, but your kidlet can also tuck a special stuffed friend inside for support.  Or you can do like Kim from Kim's Kinder Academy did: "I made a little felt heart that my daughter could carry in her backpack.  If she felt she missed me, she could carry the felt heart and know that I am always there with her."

Create a routine
Kim, from Learn, Create, Love, suggests "getting everything ready the night before {backpack, clothes, snack}.  That way in the morning, all they need to do is eat, brush teeth, and get dressed."

Also, make your drop-off easy.  Try to maintain the same order of events everyday.

Take a break
Rebekah from The Golden Gleam suggests keeping time after preschool unscheduled. She says, "Just come home and relax and play. Try to do this until your child has settled into the new routine."  




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Monday, March 18, 2013

kids spell it out: what are you good at?

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welcome to the Kids Spell It Out series! every monday will be a post filled with funny and adorable answers that kidlets give to questions. this week's question is:
 
What are you good at?


 

Umm...Legos.
Bear {4} Crayon Freckles

I'm really good at dancing, singing, loving, and friending.
Savannah {8}

Playing the Wii.
Henry {6.5} Play Dr. Mom

Drawing.
Sweet Pea {3.5} The Iowa Farmer's Wife
 
I'm really good at video games and board games.  I'm pretty good at all kinds of games.
R {5} Childhood Beckons
 
Making my wrestlers fight.

Running, legos, and snowball fights.  And crafting!
Carter {6}

Playing cars.
Big Brother {4} Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails {FSPDT}

Playing trucks, garbage trucks, police cars, tractor trucks, fire trucks...
Monkey {3} All Done Monkey

Playing with toys.
Tessa {4}

Bricks.
Jossi {2} True Aim Education
 
Star Wars light sabers.
Emma {6} MamaSmiles

Drawing.
Honor {3.5} Play Dr. Mom

Preschool!  And I'm very nice to people.  Oh! And puzzles!
Aiden {4}

I'm really good at acting.
Ma {9} Kitchen Counter Chronicles
 
Being myself.
Aikman {6} Montessori Tidbits
 
I can love my mommy.
Aiden {4} True Aim Education

I'm good at my homework. I'm good at sharing sometimes. I'm good at sleeping in my own bed all night.
Tristan {5}

Making train tracks.
Baloo {6} Royal Baloo
 
Playing with my brother.
Emma {2} True Aim Education

Jedi gifts.  I'm good at Star Wars.
Johnny {5} MamaSmiles

Taking care of my dog, my baby, and my cat...oh, and I'm good at writing, too. 

I am really good at washing my hands.  Actually, I'm really good at drawing.
Char {7} Kitchen Counter Chronicles

I'm good at playing, and lots of other stuff like air hockey, and crafts, and spelling.
Riding a bicycle downhill really fast.
Royal {3} Royal Baloo
 
Digging and tying string.
Champ {3} Making Boys Men
 
 
 
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.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I Am a Teacher {free printable}

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today i wanted to share with you words that i've held close to my heart for over a decade.  i've created a printable with them that you are free to save and print for yourself, your classroom, or as a gift for a teacher dear to you.  {not for resale}
 
 
to save, right click on image and choose "save picture as".
 
 
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 11, 2013

kids spell it out: why do people get old?

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welcome to the Kids Spell It Out series! every monday will be a post filled with funny and adorable answers that kidlets give to questions. this week's question is:
 
 
Why do people get old?

Because of years and their birthdays.
Savannah {8}

Because it is part of life.
Henry {6.5} Play Dr. Mom

Because they walk with a cane or need help walking.
Sweet Pea {3.5} The Iowa Farmer's Wife

Because they grow up and it never stop.
R {5} Childhood Beckons
 
Because they eat and drink lots.

Because they have kids. {laughing}
Big Brother {4} Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails (FSPDT)

Because they smoke sometimes.  And birthdays.
Carter {6}

Because they don't eat so much food.
Tessa {4}

Because they die.
Royal {3} Royal Baloo

Because they get boobs and have babies.
Honor {3.5} Play Dr. Mom

Dees are hard qwestions.
Aiden {4}
 
Well...I don't know. Maybe we should just ask Grandpa that.
Aikman {6} Montessori Tidbits

Because they are getting older and getting bigger.
Tristan {5}

They got to.
Emma {2} True Aim Education

Because.... so they learn more about stuff.
Johnny {5} MamaSmiles

Because they lived a long time.
Emma {6} MamaSmiles

I don't know why they get old. Maybe because they keep getting their birthdays?
Ma {9} Kitchen Counter Chronicles

So they can get birthdays!  If you don't get old, you don't get birthdays.
Baloo {6} Royal Baloo

 
 
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Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

what's in your craft drawer?

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Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes

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it's day 2 of Pete the Cat activities.  yesterday, i shared activities for Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons.  today's activities are based on Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
 
we did activities based on each of the colors that Pete's shoes turned.  the first thing that Pete steps in are strawberries.  so i set up a painting activity with plastic strawberries similar to the shake-ball art we've done in the past.  Bear was able to pretty much do this activity all on his own.  he placed the paper in the plastic shoe tub, squirted red paint on it, and tossed in the plastic strawberries.  after he snapped the lid on {with a bit of help}, he shook away.  the result was a super fun piece of art.  he did this with several papers {i waited until he was done to move on}
 
the next thing Pete steps in is a bunch of blueberries.  to incorporate this, we made blueberry muffins to eat the next morning.
 
lastly, Pete steps in mud.  the picture in the book shows Pete with his brown shoes drinking a cup of coffee.  Bear was so excited when i pointed out the coffee because he knew that it meant one of his favorite sensory tray materials was coming up: coffee! i generally use coffee from the dollar store to be thrifty since much of it gets swept up.  {sorry for this old picture, i didn't take one this time}
 
throughout the book, Pete is depicted playing his guitar.  what better opportunity to try something i've wanted to do with Bear for a long time... we made a box guitar.  here's how we did it: i cut an oblong hole in the long side of a rectangular box. {this step is for adults to do... common sense, but i have to say it}.  then Bear decorated it with stickers.  after that, all he had to do was pick which rubber bands to put around the box the long way.  i did have to help him with this as he was a bit shy of getting snapped by one of them.   
 
i think that the activity did that both of us enjoyed the most was painting with our shoes.  we used sandals that were easily washable.  Bear chose the paint colors, we poured the paint in a box lid, and stomped away.  one tip if you decide to do this, make sure there is something to hold onto.  walking with paint gooped to the bottom of your shoes is quite slippery.
 
vocabulary words for I Love My White Shoes: red, mud, no, and wet. 
 

other Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes activities:
paint a pair of white canvas shoes 
make fruit salad using strawberries, blueberries, and other fruit
play in the mud
 
 
 
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 6, 2013

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons activities

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we love Pete the Cat.  he's oddly cute and has an incredibly upbeat and optimistic outlook that i think sets a great example for young readers.  Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons is one of our favorite books {we have so many}.  i've wanted to do a learning activity on this book forever.  when i finally got it together, Bear {4.5 yrs} was so excited! 
 
while we read the book, Bear acted out the story with some storytelling props.  he used: a small cat figure, toy skateboard, construction paper shirt, and four buttons.  as each button popped off, he took off a button from the shirt.
 

for math practice, i created sticker buttons out of circle tags.  i wrote the numbers 1-6 on the stickers and put them in the bottom of a muffin tin.  Bear then got to practice identifying the numbers on the buttons and putting the appropriate amount in the spot. 

another math activity that we did was pattern practice.  i got out several craft pom poms that were the colors of Pete's buttons.  Bear then practiced creating patterns out of them. this could also be done with buttons using a simple ABAB pattern or a more intricate ABBA, ABCABC, ABCC, etc pattern.
 
i'd always sang my own version of the "my buttons, my buttons, my 4 groovy buttons" song from the book {to the tune of the my buddy theme song}.  then one day, we found a video of the story on YouTube by Harper Collins that shows how the author {i'm guessing} imagined the song as sounding.  you can see it here.  the actual Harper Collins site has a Pete the Cat page that has info, ideas, etc on all the Pete books. 
 
at the end of the book, Pete the Cat is left with only his belly button.  this was a great opportunity to explain and explore why people have belly buttons.  my explanation seemed to be sufficient to him, but i also found a great technical explanation at KidsHealth.org.
 
 
other activities for Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons:
  • practice buttoning on a shirt or jacket
  • do addition and subtraction practice using buttons as manipulatives
  • create collages with buttons glued on paper
  • play a button toss game by trying to toss buttons into cups a few feet away
 
make sure to pop back tomorrow for
Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes activities!
 
 
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 4, 2013

kids spell it out: what is love?

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welcome to the Kids Spell It Out series! every monday will be a post filled with funny and adorable answers that kidlets give to questions. this week's question is:


What is love?

Love...love is what we read in the Bible.
Sweet Pea {3.5} The Iowa Farmer's Wife

Caring about somebody or being nice to somebody.  That's what I think.
Aikman {6} Montessori Tidbits
 
When I kiss you [mommy].  That is love.
Big Brother {4} Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails {FSPDT}

A hug.  Can I get one now?
Bear {4} Crayon Freckles

Love is when you like somebody too much.
R {5} Childhood Beckons
 
A heart.
Honor {3.5} Play Dr. Mom

Something where a person likes the other person a whole lot.
D {5} The Usual Mayhem

When you like someone.
Johnny {5} Mama Smiles

Love is Jesus.
Aiden {5} True Aim Education

Hmm...it's something when you like someone.
Emma {7} Mama Smiles

Love is Jesus.
Aiden {4} True Aim Education


Love is a kind way to say how good of a friend you are and how you care about each other.
Savannah {8}

It's something you have in common.
Char {7} Kitchen Counter Chronicles

It's when you love someone.
Royal {3} Royal Baloo

When Mommies and Daddies get together and kiss.
Henry {7} Play Dr. Mom

Giving your heart.
Carter {6}

Love is something that you have and it helps you.
Ma {9} Kitchen Counter Chronicles

Giving kisses and hugs, holding your hand across the road, tickling you, playing with you. Love is sharing.
Tristan {5}

I don't know.
{Mom asks: What does it feel like?}
It feels like you!
Aiden {4}

If you love someone, you want to marry them. 
Baloo {6} Royal Baloo
 
I love you. 
Jossi {2} True Aim Education

Mommy, daddy, baby brother.
Monkey {3} All Done Monkey
 
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 2, 2013

intro vlog: meet andie

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hello all... there are more of you stopping by these days... facebooks likes have hit the 1200 mark.  pinterest followers are at 4200... and you're all awesome.

so i thought this would be as good as a time as any to do a video post so you could sort of see and hear who i am...awkwardness, nerdiness and all.
 

 
 
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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