Archive for March, 2007

fun with art

March 30th is the birthday of the ear-ily talented (HA!) artist Vincent Van Gogh.  Celebrate his birthday by looking at his famous sunflower paintings, and then make your own sunflower craft.  All you need to make your own sunflower is some yellow and orange paint, some paint brushes, and a few paper plates.  Encourage your child to mix the two colors together, as well as use them separately to make a  sunflower on the paper plate canvas.   Beautiful!  You could even plant a garden of your own sunflowers! (from seeds of knowledge.com)

Be sure to send me a picture of your sunflowers (both painted and garden-style), too!

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kid stuff

During Toddler Tales playtime on Thursday, a few moms and I observed one of the youngest kids playing, not with one of the many toys I put out each week, but with the box that some of those toys are stored in.  It’s just a simple, medium-sized, plastic storage box that anyone could purchase at Target or a home improvement store.  The child’s mother commented that the favorite toy in her home is a plastic bucket!  In that vein, The Simple Dollar (a “blog for those of us who need both cents and sense”) posted a list a few months ago of free and/or simple homemade toys that kids just seem to love.  My favorite on that list is the old cell phone.  What fun!

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web review

The Guardian has a craft site filled with some great, if a little sophisticated (some would say work-intensive or even odd), ideas for parents and kids.  Project ideas for kids include a box kite, sock puppets, and even a willow wigwam.  Projects for adults include a small table, a cushion made from a shirt, and a clothes peg rug.  Fun stuff!

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the letter U

Hi preschooler parents! This week’s letter is the letter U. Help your child find objects around the house that start with the letter U, and then do a show and tell. Need some ideas? How about an umbrella, a unicorn, or even (gasp!) underwear?  You could even do show and tell under the dining room table!

Talk about how the letter U sounds, and how it looks.  Then sing the alphabet song together. Read a book with your child, and look for words that have the letter U in them.  Take advantage of the lovely sprong weather, and go outside to jump up (and down)! This week’s craft is all about the USA.  Look at a map of the USA, and talk about it.   Be sure to point out our state and city, and places where family members live.  The print out the map and color it in together.  You could even mark all the places that your child has been with stickers!  Then print out the letter U homework and do it together.  Have fun! 

Isn’t the letter U useful?

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poetry Friday

Animals, Animals by Eric Carle

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This diverse collection of animal poems is brought to life by Eric Carle’s vivid torn paper collage illustrations.   Seals, butterflies, purcupines, pelicans, yaks, birds, horses–you name it and the animal has probably found a place in this book.  Distinguished poets like Lewis Carroll, Ogden Nash, Jack Prelutsky, and more are featured, along with Japanese haiku, Pawnee Indian proverbs, and biblical verses.  This is a great book for adults and kids to share, and all readers will enjoy the plethora of animal poetry and fanciful illustrations in this volume.

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book review

When You Were Small by Sara O’Leary

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A bedtime story with an old-fashioned look and feel, this is a fun read for kids with a sense of humor.   A small boy named Henry wants to know what happened when “he was small”, a silly question that his father happily answers with silly stories.  “When you were small you used to have a pet ant and you would take him out for walks on a leash” is an example of the father’s replies to Henry’s question.  The illustrations show a tiny Henry acting out his father’s stories and are done in very soft colors with an almost sepia tone and with lots of white space, giving them that old-fashioned feel.  This book is a sweet and fun readaloud that parent and child will both enjoy, and could even inspire a family to start their own tradition of “when you were small” stories at bedtime

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book review

Carlo Likes Colors by Jessica Spanyol

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This bright and cheerful book for the youngest readers features Carlo the giraffe and his cat Crackers having colorful adventures.  On two page spreads, readers see objects depicted in a certain color; for example, the red page shows a large firetruck, along with peppers, strawberries, a rose, and even a ladybug.  Nine other colors are done in a similiar fashion.  Many of the objects are labelled with tags, so that kids can begin to associate words with a concept.   Ilustrations are, of course, colorfully done, and are also simple, if not a little busy.  Kids will readily relate to Carlo, from his pool floatie to his love of pink ice cream and messy artwork.  This is a fun introduction to colors, and also functions well on another level as a vocabulary builder.  Be sure to check this one out!

–Miss Tracey

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