Monday, June 30, 2008

Index Cards Part two

Because there is always room for more index cards projects...this one goes back to my early college art days. I took a two dimensional design course back in the 80's and we did this project first on index cards then on large sheets of paper. Ours were done in black, white and gray but your kidlets may want to use all of their crayons and/or markers. If you do this with crayons or oil pastels and then have them fill in the shapes with water color you will get a nifty collection of textures and colors and it will be that much easier for your wee one to keep the color in the tiny shapes. Remember, this project is best done with your kidlets six and older. You may enjoy it also as it is very soothing to focus on.

What you need:
*index cards any size
*markers or crayons and/or watercolor

scrumdilly-do it:

Set out an index card for your wee one to doodle on. The idea for this is to doodle first one large swirl like line with a loop or two in it. More lines may be added to break up the first and to create more pockets to color in.Next up, start filling in the "pockets" with color. We decided to try using only one color scheme or maybe just five colors. Pick your first color and randomly color in a few of the shapes.Select your next color and do some more.Repeat until you are finished and viola! A nifty colorful stained glass looking piece of tiny art! You can of course do this on larger sheets of paper, the insides of brown bags, back of gift wrap, etc. The larger your paper the more you may want to use paint instead of markers to color in the shapes. Drawing large circular lines in great for those motor skills. Filling in small pockets with color is perfect to perfect those fine motor skills and helps strengthen hand to eye coordination. Have fun!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Boredom Busters-index cards to the rescue!

Howdy all! Here's a quick boredom buster for your wee ones seven and older though some of the younger kidlets may totally be up to this. Remember, YOU know your kidlet best so if these following projects are too much or too little for your kidlets, feel free to adapt them as you will.

Project One: Crazy Creatures

What you need:
*index cards, any size, though the bigger, the better (4 for each creature)
*markers, colored pencils or crayons

scrumdilly-do it!

Each creature should have three or four parts. We used four parts last week but you can easily omit the legs card and turn it into legs and feet. Have your kidlet draw a head on the first card, as centered as they can. The next card gets the torso drawn on, including arms. Card number three is for the legs (or legs and feet if you are only using three cards) and the final card gets feet.Create at least four different creatures so that the mixing up part has more options. On the back of the cards, write out which body part they represent. For example; head, body, legs and feet. Place cards face down on the table top mixing them up. build a creature by randomly drawing 1 of each body part. Flip the cards over to see what you made. For added fun, create a story for each creature with a one or two line sentence for each body part (This is Martin. Martin is afraid of ice cream, He loves to roller skate, his favorite food is toy cars). Place those cards face down, with the body part written on the back and select one from each section. Flip your cards right side up next to the corresponding creature part and read your creature's story out loud. Each time you play, you can create a new story for your creature.

We started with ball point pen but moved on to markers so that the colors would pop. Sometimes we would flip all the cards over and try to rebuild the original creature. I added additional feet and bodies to mix it up a bit. We didn't write our stories down but we did create super powers for them. There are oodles of variations you could do. Try making each creature a specific color and then play a memory version of the game. The first person to create the original monster ends the game. This activity acts as an imagination booster. It includes sequencing skills, small motor skills, hand to eye coordination, memory skills and reading and writing practice. It is also portable! Throw all the cards in a small fabric bag, envelope, tin box, etc and you have a creature lab wherever you go. Add some blank cards and markers and your wee ones can add to the set while you are waiting for an appointment, out to eat or at a friends not-so-kid-friendly home. Have fun!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Thank You

Thank you kindly for all the sweet and thoughtful words. Like I said, I'm getting back in the swing and will have a boredom buster post later today or early tomorrow for you. If ya wanna get a head start, fish around your home for a stack of index cards, any size, lined or unli8ned. Happy June!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Almost back in the swing here...

Please accept my apologies for the absence of posts here at scrumdilly-do! The month of May proved to be a difficult time for me as my dear Grandmother passed away. I had been her caregiver for the last eight years and a large part of my life revolved around her. The loss, though expected (she was 95!), swallowed me up and from there I got sick and then sicker and then sick again followed by the start of a summer job.With that put out there for you, I would like to take a moment, a single post to encourage you to introduce the topic of death and dying to your wee ones. It doesn't have to be done in a lesson plan kind of way but don't shy away from it. Children have an enormous capacity for empathy and understanding. Keep your mind and your heart open to discussing it when it is appropriate and when the topic comes up. Look for those "teachable moments" whether they include the loss of a pet, an encounter with a dead bird, a squashed bug, a dying plant or a playmate's loss. I once had a young child in my care suddenly start crying on the drive to school. when I asked what was happening she told me she didn't want her mother to die. Since I was driving I had to figure out a way to comfort her with words and so I acknowledged her sadness and asked her why she was thinking of it at that moment. From there we discussed ideas of death and dying. she told me all about her idea of heaven and what she wanted and after a while the tears went away, though I think mine began after I dropped her off as it was a wonderfully beautiful moment. If a child brings the topic up first, listen to them and ask questions. Figure out where the worry is coming from. Don't explain too much, embrace the moment. If you are interested in book titles dealing with loss and grief, you can find a listmania list here. The picture above is the cover a recently read title that I stumbled upon a few months ago. Is Grandpa Wearing a Suit? is a beautiful and melancholy story and I think some children will respond well to it. I always tend to lean towards the "have your books ready BEFORE you need them" route. It takes the mystery and some of the scariness out of the topics.

I hope to add some fun soon to the blog. I've got some more strawberry basket ideas kicking around in my head. Now I need to find the time to DO them! Thank you for hanging in there with me!