Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Oldest made me a dot-to-dot today. There were 14 numbered dots. To me it looked like a sunfish. She responded cheerfully that she had been trying to make a bird.

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Symmetry Her art has been very symmetrical lately.

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This can be done in 3 minutes.

I can hear it happening from the other room and I probably have the strangest smile-grimace expression on my face.

I have a love-hate relationship with theses blocks. They are amazing. We have so much fun with them. But the clean up…

We do have a system for picking them up. After so much trial and error you realize how many you can safely carry without your stack disintegrating.

They don’t always end up in chaos. Most of the time they are actually used to build trees and thrones and houses and castles and forts. Their favorite things to build, however, are scooters. They put one foot on half of a large block and build a short tower of small blocks, use another large block for the handles and then scoot around on the wood floors.

There are so many ways to play with blocks in general and with interlocking blocks on this scale they get the benefits of learning and exercising the patterning, creative, spacial and social (its always a team effort) skills in a gross-motor context rather than a fine-motor context as with the smaller lego-size blocks.

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“Mommy,” I heard my just-turned-5-year-old come up behind me, “I made a picture for you.”

“You made a picture for me! And it says Mom!”

She paused and took it back for a second and handed it back after adding the ‘E.’

“Now it says, Mome!” I said and when she gave me a puzzled look I realized my mistake, “Oh wait, no, I continued, “It says ‘Mommy!'”

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We followed this recipe. I didn’t have the cream of tartar on hand, so we used baking soda and a tablespoon of oil (instead of a teaspoon). It worked great! If I had more salt in the house, we would have made yellow and purple and orange too. 

Dad is gone for the weekend and I am dieting. My brain is slow and I am tired, but we are still managing to have some fun, even though my $6 smoothie spilled all over the driveway and I managed to make everyone angry at once a few hours ago. We’ve since made up and have had a nice, quieter afternoon. 

The theme was nests. These are starfish and a starfish nest.

“Nest, nest, nest!” Pat, pat, pat.

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We’ve been sick now for almost two weeks. Its been rough at times, but we’ve found plenty to keep us busy. On the toughest days when we’ve been stuck mostly on the couch and in bed that has included quite a bit of Dora, Diego and Bob the Builder. I’m trying to be okay with that.

We’ve also played dress up. Here is our 4yo in one of daddy’s old beanies, bunny ears, finger-less gloves, with a tutu (off camera) and a flower tail (also off camera). She’s also fully accessorized, as you can see. I think she was combining Christmas, Easter and Halloween into one outfit.

Our 2yo has set up several picnics over the last couple weeks. She is very fastidious about it and guards her set up from her siblings even though they are invited to her party. She’s very particular about what they touch and what they “eat.” She remembers exactly where something goes if someone, say a 1yo who’s learned to tease, snatches an item without permission.

After beginning this painting, I found our 2yo sitting on the floor in the playroom with her head between her knees. I asked her what was wrong and she answered, “I can’t paint anything lovely.” I asked her if she wanted to come try again and walked with her back to the craft table where we sat down, got a fresh paper and tried a different brush. She ended up being much happier with her second, third and fourth attempts.

She wants to give these to specific people for Christmas.

This is how I kept sane with paints. I was even able to place another sheet of wax paper over the remaining paint and save it for the next time (which was later that day and then again the next day). We had a lot of fun discussing and trying out how to combine colors to create new colors.

The girls like to use the barstools for their pretend cages. Lately we’ve been on a Dirty Jobs kick in the evenings and their favorite episode has been one where Mike Rowe visits an animal sanctuary with kangaroos, camels and lemurs. There has been a lot of lemur activity and a lot of lemur questions around our place this week.

We’ve also decorated and redecorated the tree, made several batches of scones, made giant snow flakes, read many books, danced quite a lot of stories, wrapped gifts, learned how to spell new words. Of course, the list would have been longer if we weren’t so sick, but life can still be full during these down times.

We’ve taken care of each other over the last couple weeks. Yes, these girls even take care of me by bringing me water when I cough even though I’ve never asked them to do this. They pat my head when I’m laying down. They share their favorite blankets with me. They hang up their art to cheer me up. 

We’ve also had a lot of practice being kind even though we don’t feel well. Sometimes that is hard to do even for adults. But we’re learning and practicing and getting better at it.

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The Christmas tree has become a bird’s dream downtown high-rise apartment building. The beaded strands (my “tinsel”) nests are moveable, and these bird families like to move. The night we put the tree up, our 4yo asked me to move the nests from branch to branch for her and when she had trouble with the little wire bird feet, I was asked to move those too. Eventually, rather quickly I think, I tired of that and she taught herself how to do all of these things herself.

The next day the girls got out one of their craft bins and worked determinedly at decorating the buffet drawers. It was their surprise for me. We were able to keep this up for a few days until I needed to get into the drawers and one of the strands of tiny green beads snagged and snapped.

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