First Art Lesson

Mr. Bluesky is an artist, I’m not saying that as a bragging Mom, that is what he says. Not only what he’ll be when he grows up, it’s what he is now. His favorite thing is to create art. Now, a lot of the time I don’t get his art but hey, I can say the same about a lot of art I’ve seen.

We do a lot of art and craft projects here but while I come from a family of artists, I myself am not very art knowledgeable and I wanted to have a little more guidance. After reading different reviews I decided to get Home Art Studio Kindergarten for us to use this year. While I was deciding, Mr. Bluesky saw a video about the program and was very negative about it. He was already an artist and didn’t need lessons, doing her art would mean he couldn’t do his art, on and on with his complaints. I went ahead and ordered the program anyways.

He was still really complaining about the program even as I was about to play the dvd for the first time. And then all complaints were gone. We watched the lesson once, got our supplies together, and then watched it again, pausing as necessary as we did the lesson.

Painting
Painting the background.

 

The first lesson is about primary colors. I did have to help him some, his ability to trace his own hand wasn’t great and when it came to painting he wanted me to do the part directly around the hand so that it wouldn’t get damaged. For the background paint the lesson has you mixing two primary colors to make a secondary color. Instead Mr. Bluesky chose black for the background. Once the painting for the lesson was done, he spent the next hour or so making different monster paintings and he was mixing colors for those.

Primary Hands
Primary Hands

He LOVED the lesson! I mean jumping up and down and shouting LOVED it! Can’t wait to do the next one. It was so nice to hear and I was so relieved that it was something he will enjoy and learn from (and not money down the drain!).

 

Creepy Carrots!

MBS just loved this book!

Creepy Carrots written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown.

It really was just a hit with him. The story is about a carrot loving rabbit who starts seeing “creepy carrots” everywhere. While it is a “scary” book it didn’t scare my almost 4 year old and it has a wonderful twist at the end.

I decided since MBS loved this book so much we should do a craft to go along with it. I had all the supplies ready for him when he woke up one morning, he was thrilled! (3 cheers for prepared Mommy!)

Supplies:

  • Orange foam sheets, I pre-cut carrot shapes and stalks but an older child could do this on their own.
  • Foam glue
  • Googly eyes
  • Orange pom poms
  • Marker to draw mouths
Supplies
Oh, that glue was hard to squeeze!
Smile carrots!
Beware… the creepy carrots!

Just be warned, not only are they creepy and may show up anywhere around the house they also…

make nice swords!

I’m linking up to Link and Learn at No Time for Flashcards, Read, Explore, Learn at JDaniel4’s Mom, and Tuesday Tots at In Lieu of Preschool. Please visit their sites to get more ideas of activities for your preschooler. Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Spiders

We finished up our spiders. MBS had fun doing this craft with my help. He has had even more fun playing with the finished spiders.  The ones with googly eyes are his favorites.

 

Spooky Crafts

We spent some time today making some Halloween crafts. We made puffy pumpkins that I saw on I Can Teach My Child and started (the paint needs to dry before we can finish) some hanging spiders I found on Let’s Explore. MBS had so much fun doing these, he always loves painting but this is the first time he’s really shown interest in lacing. We had a funny moment when I said that we would hang some here but the rest we’d mail off to relatives, and MBS– who usually LOVES to send things to people– freaked and screamed, “Nooooo! They’re MINE!!!!!!”

Adding the fiberfill really fascinated MBS. We talked about what it was used for and then he went around testing different stuffed animals to see if they were filled with fiber fill or little pellets.

I can’t wait for the paint to dry on our spiders so we can finish them!

Scissor Practice

Mr. Blue Sky had fun using his new scissors. He just wants to cut and cut and cut. I’d tried regular beginner scissors with him before but he couldn’t use them one handed. With these ones he really can cut!

 

I also decided to let him use a roll of tape, that was fun but frustrating for him. And he “earned” a sheet of stickers by picking up after himself– a few times of rewards and he’s really gotten back into doing it on his own without much fuss (mostly– still the occasional meltdown). He’s been making all sorts of monsters and creatures, cut up and taped or stapled together— really being creative and having a blast!

 

Homeschooling Preschool Article

I enjoyed this article about preschool. I do find it odd that so many parents feel the need to send their kids to preschool. Not that they want to send their kids to preschool for some reason, I can understand wanting to give your toddler more time with other kids and totally understand Mommy wanting a break from all toddler all the time. What I don’t understand is that some parents feel that they need to send their child to preschool, as if their toddler will be ruined if they miss this opportunity. It makes me feel sad that so many parents feel that they aren’t capable of providing the education, especially preschool education, that their children need. (The parents that don’t want to homeschool is a completely different subject.) At this age most of what a child needs to do is PLAY, and be read to, and talked to.

Not that I don’t have doubts about myself as a teacher (especially when MBS is insisting that everything is green!), I think that it is  completely normal to question your abilities, but I truly believe at the preschool age most of what your child needs is your time and attention. And possibly your being tough and saying no to the question of  “watch Toy Story?” and your letting go of the thought of the huge mess and saying yes to the request to paint.

So today we’ve turned the tv off (after one episode of Thomas) and we’ve got the paint out. MBS is having fun painting (and splashing the water everywhere!) and calling every color green.

Painting in pajamas.
Switched from using the brush to his fingers. So much fun!

Why homeschool preschool? Cause I don’t want to miss one bit of this adventure!

Mommy and Socks

MBS got his magnetic drawing tablet and brought it over to where I was sitting and drew a picture, talking all along about what he was drawing.

Mommy and her socks.

I’m the figure on the left and to the right are my socks, which were on my feet not sure why they were drawn separately. He’s talked some while drawing other pictures but this was the first time he really said this was “Mommy” and those were “socks”. Of course he had to draw it on a non-permanent thing, sigh. At least I was able to get a photo before he erased it.

Spring Planting…

with no actual planting due to rain, rain, and more rain!

We are planning a garden in our yard and while I know that Mr. Blue Sky will love to help out with it I thought he’d also enjoy having his own little planter boxes. So two of our Earthboxes, leftover from our apartment years, are going to be his own little garden area. In one we will be planting some seeds, (lettuce, kale, radishes) but I also wanted him to have some instant gratification so we bought 4 strawberry plants (two different varieties) and 2 mint plants. The plan was to get everything planted so I’d have photos for this post but it has been pouring down rain for days so the little plants are just sitting  outside waiting for sunshine (or if not sunshine at least no rain).

rain, rain go away

We’ll be putting the planters on our side patio. I don’t have any recent photos because of the rain but it looks pretty much the same as this, though MBS is older now (nearly 27 months!) and there is a fence along the end to keep the dogs and chickens off the patio.

So wobbly on his feet back then!

MBS had fun walking around the garden department choosing plants. Okay, so actually he had fun racing around playing chase while I did the actual plant picking, he is only 2. I chose strawberries because he just LOVES them so I knew they would be something he’d enjoy growing and harvesting.

To celebrate spring and start our garden project we read a few books.

garden books

It’s Spring by Samantha Berger and Pamela Chanko & illustrated by Melissa Sweet is one of my favorite books. It has lyrical text and charming illustrations. It isn’t a non-fiction book teaching you anything about the change in seasons but a cheerful poem welcoming the spring.

My First Garden by Wendy Lewison & illustrated by Miki Sakamoto is a cute little book about a young girl and her mother planting a garden and then harvesting the vegetables. The book is shaped like a basket and as they harvest the different plants the basket gets filled up. They harvest a “big GREEN cabbage!” and “pretty PURPLE turnips” etc… making this a nice book to talk about colors. Plus my toddler just likes carrying it around by the basket handle!

Ten Seeds by Ruth Brown is sadly out of print. This wonderful counting book is about a little boy planting 10 sunflower seeds. One by one the seeds get eaten, some make it to seedlings, and to plants, but in the end all that is left is one sunflower and the boy harvests 10 seeds. The illustrations are fantastic, showing the seeds sprouting and sending their roots into the ground, becoming a beautiful sunflower, but being from the Pacific Northwest my favorite illustration is the slug eating the seedling.

To go along with our garden project we are making some flowers out of an egg carton. So far we’ve only gotten the painting done but I’m hoping to finish them this weekend. MBS loves painting and had a blast with this craft.

Painting is serious work

Linking up with the Garden Challenge and  the Picture Book Challenge, follow the links to see what other families are doing. Thanks for stopping by.

Put Me in the Zoo

Ryan and Mister Blue Sky reading.

MBS loves to be read to and the other night he brought this book over to Ryan. Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire is the first book I was able to read all by myself when I was little!

It’s about a leopard who wants to live in the zoo but the zookeepers don’t want him. He tries to convince some children that the zoo is the place he belongs by showing them the wonderful tricks he can do with his spots. I still love the story and am so happy that MBS loves it too!

The next day MBS and I read the sequel I Want to Be Someone New

In this book Spot is back and now he’s tired of being in the circus and wants to change himself. I like the ending idea that the best thing is to be yourself but on the way as he changes into an elephant, giraffe, and mouse he’s told that being fat, tall, and small are all bad things. It just strikes a negative tone that I don’t care for.

After reading the books I printed out a coloring sheet that features a Spot like leopard and MBS had fun drawing.

Happy boy!
Z is for Zoo

To see what other people are reading visit

Homemade Play Dough

Our Playdoh had gotten pretty gross and instead of buying more I decided to mix up some homemade stuff. I used the recipe from  First Art by MaryAnn Kohl.The same recipe can be found on Dinosaurs & Trains. Kneading the dough while it was still warm felt wonderful, and the oil in it really helped my dry hands. But, I had too much food coloring so I had lovely pink hands for awhile! (oh, and if your dough has enough excess dye to color your hands it will also color your table– just a warning!)

I made the homemade because I liked the idea of making different colors to fit the season/theme. I’m really, really glad I did because today I was reading an article about using Borax in making green cleaners and the danger of Borax/boric acid (Borax: Not the green alternative it’s cracked up to be) only to read that it is an ingredient in Playdoh! The stuff is used as a pesticide and it is in Playdoh! How does Playdoh get to say that it’s nontoxic? So that freaked me out a little and I was so glad I had already made homemade dough and knew how easy it was to do.

Homemade is the best!