Friday, May 22, 2009

Art History: Leonardo da Vinci

For our final AIS (Art in the Schools) kindergarten lesson of the year, we studied the work of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). I showed the kids a portfolio of his work and talked about how he was a true renaissance man best known for his art, scientific inventions, and engineering. One of the most talented people to have ever lived.

I asked each of the children to draw:

1. A portrait (self or a friend),
2. An animal study (a drawing looking at plastic animals I brought in),
and 3. Draw your own invention.

Afterwards, we went back to the carpet and shared our inventions with one another.
I loved the ideas the kindergartners came up with!!

Here's a list of some of their inventions:

A Pancake Maker
A Bug Feeder
A Stinging Box that Zaps Bad Guys
A Dog Feeder ("so you don't have to remember to feed your dog")
A People Lifter (to reach stuff)
A Planter Waterer
A Clock that Traps Bad Guys
A Snake Feeder
A President Dress Maker and a Coin Maker
A Time Machine
An Elephant Bomb Sucker Upper

FYI: Leonardo da Vinci conceptualized: a helicopter, an armored tank, concentrated solar power, a double hull, and outlined a rudimentary theory of plate know, in his spare time.

At home, ask your own mini-Leonardo to draw an invention, or make something out of your recycling box or scrap pile. It might just be the start of something really big!


Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Play House Curtains - Fluffing the Nest

We added some curtains to the girl's
plastic outdoor play house last week.
It adds a bit of coziness and has
been fun for playing new games.

So easy,
anyone can do it.
I just put a tension rod up across the
window opening,
(the same kind I use for impromptu puppet shows!)

Added a few leftover clip-style curtain rings
from my kitchen junk drawer
(you know we all have one!)

Clipped on some dish towels...
Viola, easy home-made,
no-sew curtains.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Homemade Gazing Balls for Your Garden

The Frog Princess and I just completed
our favorite craft of the year this week.
We made yard gazing balls
that we found the directions for
in the May 2009 issue of
Family Fun Magazine
(they have the best craft projects!)

What more could an artsy mama hope for?!

Frog Princess painting our
3/8" dowel rods
with metallic acrylic craft paint.
We used red, teal, blue, and purple.

While the sticks dried in the sun,
it was time to paint the balls.

We modified the magazine directions a bit.Instead of painting the inside of the plastic keepsake balls
(we found ours at Michaels craft store)

We did a poured paint technique of
drizzling craft paint and tipping the ball to make
it swirl and marbleize.

It looked nicer and the paint brushes
made it too streaky.

Drizzling paint...

Swirled paint...
So pretty!!
It was fun because you never knew
what you were going to get.

Drying in the sun.

Note: that they are bowl side up....
We dried them the other way
and the condensation from the water in the paint
and the heat of the sun washed off half our paint
We had to start over.

Our gazing balls wired up and
ready to go in the garden.

Note: We substituted our own 16 guage copper wire
for their suggested 6-8 gauge copper wire
(too hard to bend and expensive!!)

So here you have them...

Love them!!
They "go" beautifully with my
vintage bowling balls I have scattered
in the flower beds.

We may have to make more to give as gifts!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

* Backyard Fairy Garden In Container On the Deck

Someday, when we retire the sand and water table
from our deck... we shall have a tiny place where fairies dwell.

Until then, we'll have to play with the one at
Grammy and Grandpa's house!

My dad built this fantastic fairy garden on their deck last year.
It is a magical place to visit. The girls LOVE it.

We all had great fun re-visiting the tiny garden on Mother's Day.

Thank you grandpa.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Teacher Appreciation Gifts -- 7 Days of Fun

The Frog Princess and I spent Monday afternoon
making this little goody box
for her two Kindergarten teachers.

A small token of our appreciation
for all of their hard work.

I got the idea (once again)
from Skip To My Lou.

I picked up the days of the week pill boxes at Walmart
(less than a $1 each and in the favorite color -- purple!)
Each compartment contains a small note
and a little trinket.
I printed the notes off of Skip To My Lou.
(Check out her free downloads!)

Sunday - Gum
"You Were "Mint" to Teach!"

Monday - Home Made Monogram Magnets
"We are Stuck on You"

Tuesday - Cute Polka-dot Binder Clip
"Thanks for Holding Everything Together!"

Wednesday - Mini Thank you Note & Drawing
by the Frog Princess
"A Note To Let You Know That You Are a Wonderful Teacher!"

Thursday - Little Lady Bug Push Pins
"You Are Sharp As A Tack!"

Friday - 3 Quarters
"Soda You Know that we Think You are a Great Teacher?"

Saturday - Tiny Pencil
(I snapped off a pencil by the eraser and sharpened it to make a tiny one!)
"It's no Tiny Mistake...We Think You're Great!"

You could adapt this gift idea
for a babysitter, a grandma, your mail carrier, etc.

She has more great
Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas here!

If you're a teacher...
(or you were in your past life like me...)
What's your favorite appreciation gift?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Art History: David Hockney Calendar Collage

So this week I was in my daughter's Kindergarten Classroom to teach another AIS (Art in the Schools) art lesson. This month we looked at the work of David Hockney. He is best known for his swimming pool paintings and funky photo collages. 
Heads up, if you go looking on-line for David Hockney art work to show your kids...
some of his paintings and photos contain adult nudity. Make sure you preview and screen before you have little eyes looking over your shoulder.

We made our own photos collages by recycling old calendar photos and glue-sticking (yes it's a verb) them to black construction paper (because everything looks more sophisticated on dark paper.)

(This is the one my daughter made - she says it's a cherry tree! -- Her mama loves it.)

The kids liked the project so much, most of them made 2 or 3 different pictures.
Some had fun combining more than one photo.

You can re-create this lesson at home with catalogs/magazines/or old calendars.
You could even cut up old drawings.

Happy Collag-ing!
(yes, that's another word I just made up)

Check out more Great Artist Lessons HERE! 

Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea

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