Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mardi Gras Masks

We'll be leaving China this week for India but we'll make a pit stop in New Orleans for Mardi Gras next Tuesday.  In preparation, we made Mardi Gras masks.  I started out tracing this template onto purple card stock and cutting it out.  Then Eva went to town decorating her mask with gems, sequins and feathers.
When the mask was complete, I used packing tape to attach a pencil to the back to make holding the mask easier.  You could also punch holes in each side and add ribbon or elastic but if your child is like mine and hates having anything around her head, the pencil is the way to go.
Now we are ready to start indulging in the Fat Tuesday fun!
abc button

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dinosaur Roar!

You're probably wondering what dinosaurs have to do with China.  Absolutely nothing but Eva has been obsessed with them lately so we're going with it!  No sense pushing something if your child is really digging something else.  Luckily for us, the dinosaur exhibit is back at our local science museum so we spent a few hours visiting with them the other day.  Eva was thrilled that all of her favorite dinos were represented- T-Rex, stegosaurus, apatosaurus and triceratops.  She also got to meet some new dinos that are now part of our pretend play daily.  (Does your child love to pretend to be dinosaurs?  We've been speaking in roars a lot lately!)

We also made a fun dinosaur picture.  I wrapped a cardboard tube with bubble wrap and Eva rolled it in paint and then onto easel paper.
It took her a little while to get used to rolling as opposed to smearing but soon the dots began appearing.
When the paint was dry, Eva dipped dinosaur cookie cutters in black paint and stamped them onto the paper.
I love that it looks somewhat prehistoric, almost like cave drawings.
We've also been reading some of our favorite dinosaur books:
Dinosaurumpus! Dinosaur vs. Bedtime [DINOSAUR VS BEDTIME -OS] How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? Dinosaur Dinosaur Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs An Alphabet Of Dinosaurs   
If you have a budding paleontologist too, be sure to check out the dinosaur activities we did last year too!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Building Creativity

Today I set Eva up with some marshmallows and toothpicks at the dining room table.  I showed her how to push the toothpicks into the marshmallows and connect and let her go to town.
This activity was great for working on fine motor skills and Eva learned about the need for a solid foundation (although watching the tower fall was tons of fun and became the new foundation!).
Eva loved adding the toothpicks and even returned to the sculpture while I was getting dinner ready.
250 toothpicks and a bigger support paper later, Eva unveiled her fantastic creation:
Who would have thought that a bowl full of mini marshmallows and some toothpicks could lead to such creativity!
abc button hands on : as we grow

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Building and Construction

One of the first things that often pops into mind when thinking about China is the Great Wall.  We will be honoring it by learning more about tools, buildings and construction.

Nuts and Bolts Painting- we'll shake these fasteners around in some paint to make some cool abstract art

Scrap Box Buildings- our building supplies will come from our box of recyclables and scraps that we keep in the art center- can't wait to see what we create!

Blocks- you can't talk about building things without playing with blocks!

Marshmallow Structures- we'll use mini marshmallows and toothpicks to build all sorts of things

Exploring Tools- we'll try out hammers, screwdrivers, levels and many other tools to see how they work and what they are used for

Home Depot Field Trip- we'll visit one of Eva's favorite stores

Triple Decker Sandwich- we'll take building to the kitchen and erect a tall tasty lunch

Building Alphabet Under Construction [With Free Poster]   [ALPHABET UNDER CONSTRUCTION] [Hardcover] I Love Tools! Little Dump Truck, The B Is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC The Construction Alphabet Book Machines at Work I'm Dirty! Construction Zone The Busy Building Book 123 I Can Build! (Starting Art) This is the House that Jack Built