Sunday, July 8, 2012

Something New

I said goodbye to Ella last month.  (Well, not really goodbye - more like "see you soon".)  She is off to kindergarten in the fall.  It seems like the year we spent together went by at whirlwind speed.  All of the  mornings spent baking and writing and drawing and painting and building and exploring and adventuring out into our city to see the animals and swing on the swings and smell the flowers.  Oh, am I going to miss her.

In some ways, my year with Ella was also my year to say goodbye to Leslie's childhood and all that that meant to me.  I think both Leslie and I got to re-live her childhood through Ella this year.  Bringing out much loved dolls from the back of the closet.  Remembering the best way to build a house for the fairies in the garden.  Finding the little tea set in the china cabinet and dusting it off for a teddy bear tea party.  Leslie is moving into the world of adult things now and getting ready to cast off on her own.  This year was our goodbye party.

And so - I begin again.  A new job seemed to fall into my lap just as I needed it.  A new school.  Reggio inspired.  A new classroom of littles to love and to nurture and to take my mind off my girl leaving in a year.

Hoping to post more this year.  Not sure why my heart wasn't in the blog last year.  I guess I was in my head too much to be able to share.  See you soon.

Love, Kathy

Monday, April 23, 2012

sticker inspiration

Ella drew a giraffe, using a sticker as her inspiration :)
She's really starting to pay attention to details . . .

collage fish

still in the ocean . . . i found an orange pre-cut fish & we decided to collage on it.
started by cutting up some old water colored paintings.
then it was as easy as gluing them into the fish.
so easy.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Telling Addition Stories with Wooden Discs & Plastic Animals

I found some coaster sized wooden discs at Michaels.  After covering them with fabric, I added some felt number stickers.  Today, Ella and I took turns telling each other addition stories using the discs and a bag of plastic sea animals.

underwater sea life collage

We created a background by painting on bubblewrap and then using it to make a print on watercolor paper.  While that dried, Ella made some fish using old paintings that we cut into fish shapes. I also found some sea life coloring sheets that she decided to paint. Later, she glued torn strips of sandpaper and some real shells on to create a sea floor and then glued on the fish and sea life.

sandpaper sand castle

Ella loved coloring on the sand paper to create a sand castle.  We attached a flag with a toothpick and then added shells and other details after gluing the sand castle to blue paper.  (This is how the project look before the shells and other collage materials were added.)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I Spy: At the Park

The Set-Up:  Took photos of things at the park - some she would recognize right away and some that were a bit more obscure.  Printed them and put them on a clip board with a crayon for recording.

The Play:  Ella led me through the park, marking off items as she found them.

This was so simple but so much fun!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Easter Tree

Ella is a little under the weather this week but she was really excited about making this Easter tree.  She started by painting a trunk with brown watercolor.  Then she used her paintbrush to make big juicy blobs of brown paint on the trunk which she blew around with a straw to make the limbs.  She used her finger, dipped in wet watercolor, for the leaves.  When it was dry she used clear tape to add little Easter eggs to the tree.  I found the eggs at Goodwill but I saw them at the Dollar Tree today so I actually overpaid :(

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Color Book

I found some old paper doll stamps in my scrapbook stash and Ella and I decided to use them to make a color book.  We've added some color words to our sight word list so this was a fun way to use them.

paint chip rainbow

We made a rainbow using paint chips from the hardware store.  Cutting up the paint chips was great fine motor practice.

I drew the lines for the rainbow and wrote the color words at the bottom of each arch.

Monday, February 13, 2012

jewelry wire sculpture

materials needed:  jewelry wire, wooden block (for base), fabric, ribbons (and any other embellishments)

Today we made a wire girl with curly hair :)
The jewelry wire is very easy to bend and manipulate!
Ella loves her wire friend!

Before beginning the project, an adult needs to drill a small hole in the wooden base and insert a large jewelry wire.  Glue it in so it remains in place.  We used plastic coated jewelry wire so it really wasn't sharp on the ends but this project is really for older preschoolers and grade schoolers.

'Hearts on Me' Book

Ella loves making her own predictable readers!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


This morning, while cutting out hearts for a language arts project, we discovered that we were left with something that resembled butterfly wings!  So - of course we got to work creating a butterfly :)
First, Ella used our new crayon stones and rubbed color all over a sheet of white drawing paper.  She then used the same paint colors (purple, red, pink, and orange) to paint a craft stick and a wooden heart for the butterfly body and head.  We placed the white paper under the heart cut-outs, glued on the craft stick and heart and added google eyes.  I love it when we just happen upon an art project . . .

Monday, February 6, 2012

photo collage on wooden initial

Mod-Podge is quickly becoming my favorite art supply.  We used it here with photos of Ella and pink paint on a wooden letter E that I bought at Hobby Lobby for $1.99.  It looks really cool - this photo doesn't do it justice.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Valentine Treasure Box

Ella painted some seashells with watercolor paint and we used Tacky Glue to adhere them to a paper box that I found at Michael's.  She was so excited to fill the box with all of her little nature finds:  seed pods, acorns, pretty leaves . . .

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sight Word Practice

Ella came back from Christmas break with a strong desire to "really read".  She has been sounding out what she wants to write on all of her drawings but we've been practicing some sight words as well.  I wrote some of her sight words on a sheet of paper and placed a sheet of vellum over it for her to trace them on.  She also wrote the words 'I SEE THE' on a sentence strip and then attached drawing of animals that she had drawn and labeled.  The drawings are stapled at the top so she can flip them.  (Note:  She is still most comfortable writing in all capitals most of the time so I go with that.)

Handmade Paper Heart Mobile

Ella was so proud when she mastered drawing hearts this week!  I gave her some handmade paper that I made a few years ago and she drew a few hearts and cut them out.  I helped her attach string and tie them on a piece of driftwood for a cute mobile.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Seashell Candy Bowl

A Saturday spent beachcombing resulted in a Monday spent painting seashells.  This one was perfect as a Valentine candy dish . . .

We used watercolor paint and painted the shell both inside and out.  We let it dry in the sun and then filled it with kisses :)

Contact paper hearts - part 2

We used watercolor paint to fill in the white hearts left by the contact paper . . .

Friday, January 20, 2012

contact paper hearts

This was a double-duty project.  We started by cutting hearts from contact paper and attaching them randomly to a sheet of watercolor paper.  Ella finger painted over the entire paper with red and pink tempera paint.  When it was dry we gently peeled the contact paper hearts off of the watercolor paper and Ella attached them to a piece of wax paper.  It makes a cute window display.  Stay tuned for part 2 of this project . . .

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

print making - circles

Experiments in printmaking -
bottles caps and lids
paint poured onto a paper towel covered paper plate
stamp pads

Valentine's Day cards perhaps?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Beginning Sounds Box

I've always been attracted to tiny things.  Miniatures for a doll house.  Fairies.  Tiny toy animals.  And so  I am excited that Ella and I are making a beginning sounds box.  We started with a plastic Art Bin that I picked up at Michael's with a 50% off coupon.  Then, we found alphabet stickers and labeled the individual cubbies in the box.  Finally, we have begun our search to fill each little box with at least one thing.  Some of the letters are more difficult than others.  For Ii - infant and insect.  For Nn, we found a ninja and a nut.  Still looking for something to fill Uu and Qq :)