Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Star Spangled Project

Since its so outrageously hot out today, why not stay in and create some 4th of July fun??  I used this project to teach the kids a little about American history and the history of our flag.

I started by taking them outside and showing them our flag and pointing out the stripes and stars.  Then we came in and got started.

I began by taking 1/2 a piece of paper and with a white crayon, drew on an outline for the blue area and the stripes (I used white so it wouldn't show if the painting got out of the lines).

Then, I had the kids take the glue and put it in the area for the blue.  They used paint brushes to spread it around.  Once covered in glue, they took blue jello (still in powder form of coarse), and sprinkled it over the glue.  When the glue was covered, they shook off the extra.

 I feel I should state the obvious: This gets messy.... but that is part of its appeal!  And besides, whats more fun than playing with with jello????  It smells soooo good!!  Plus, as it dries, it mixes with the glue and makes the most vibrant colors.

Anyway, when the blue was finished, they painted glue on every other stripe for the red stripes.  Then, we sprinkled red jello over the stripes, and again, shook of any extra.  Now of coarse I know I didn't do enough stripes or stars (it gets a little difficult for the younger ones with that much detail), but I did explain to them how many stripes and stars the flag has and the significance of each.   

The "stars" couldn't be added until the blue was dry, so while waiting, we painted fireworks.  They were done on black paper (for night) and made by painting glue x's.  We covered some in different jello colors and some with glitter.

Now back to the flags:  using a paint brush, the kids dabbed dots of glue on the blue and then sprinkled on glitter. 

And.....  TAH-DAH!  My babies made their first flags!  Pretty good for a 2 and 5 year old :) 

Yep, these will be framed and added to the wall-of-art.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I-See-You Seeds

We had some left-over seeds after planting the garden, so we decided to plant them in clear containers to teach us how seeds turn into plants.  We did a version of this in elementary school, and I still to this day remember how exciting it was when they started sprouting!  So, here is how we did it:

I cut the top off some plastic 16oz soda bottles.  This made a perfect see-thru container so we could catch some root action.  I filled some with wet balled-up newspaper and others with wet paper towels (it was a little easier to see what was going on in the bottles with paper towels).  Then, we stuck seeds down about an inch along the sides of the container.  Since we don't have much direct sunlight in our house, we found a home for them on the back porch (if you have a bright window, that would be a perfect place).

Our seeds started changing after just two days!  I seemed just as surprised by the quick turn-around as my kids did. 

After a few more days, the roots were growing down and the plant was headed up. Before long, the plants had broken thru the top of the container!

Once we were done viewing them, we carefully removed them from the bottle and planted them in the garden, paper towel (or newspaper) and all.  You can see the one in the picture above that we removed from the bottle.  They are super-easy to get out!.  We learned so much from this project and can't wait to continue watching our plants in the garden!  

Oh yea, these are great for show and tell, too!  My son took his in and was excited to explain to his class what was going on..

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Painted Soup Can Flower Pots

I can't believe that the end of the school year is here.  It makes me sad knowing today was the last day my boy will be in preschool.  He is growing up too too fast!  He had the best teachers ever and he wanted to make them each some thank-you gifts.  These are a perfect end-of-the year teacher gift (or would be great for Mother's Day as well).   

Being the outdoor kinda kid that my boy is, he wanted to give them plants.  He decided to grow them some assorted herbs.  And during a trip to the nursery, my girly girl decided to buy flowers for hers.

To make it a more personal gift, we decided to make the "pots" to put them in.  As you know if you read my blog, I like projects that:

 1. Use items I already have (especially ones from my recycling bin)
2.  Are easy enough that my young children can do them by themselves
3.  Are quick enough to hold the attention span of a 2 year old

This met all my requirements.

So for the pots, we dug out some soup cans and painted them.  I decided to spray paint them white to make the colors show better and to prime the metal.  My son decorated with paint and my daughter with permanent markers.

I think they turned out cute, and I'm sure the teachers will appreciate the thought that the kids put into the gifts.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Remember Me?

So yes, it HAS been awhile since I posted.  I've still been doing all the fun projects I always do, but I haven't gotten around to sharing them with everyone.  Since my last post I had baby number 3!  She is a gorgeous, chunky, perfect little addition to our family!  

I decided to take a break from posting after the new arrival mostly because I use to post after Thing 1 and Thing 2 went to bed.  Well, that after-bedtime time of the day has become mommy and Thing 3 time, so Mommy Meatloaf got left behind for awhile. 

It took a little bit to get back into a groove, but we've managed to bounce back.  I hope to be able to start sharing fun projects again!!!  I missed you guys :)