Friday, January 29, 2010

kooky info on the states...

Go, Go America Go, Go America by Dan Yaccarino

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a fabulous picture book to introduce the United States to your tots1 Filled with fun and quirky facts, I do believe we'll be using it for the BIG road trip! Thank's Dan!

(and yes, I did pick it up because it had Go-Go in the title, who do you think I am? oh and I LURVE Yaccarino's illustration style. Always have.)

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

inside the box

This super easy painting activity looks super pretty when it is all finished. You can prep the board and paper ahead of time or you have your kidlet draw their rectangle stencil before you do the cutting.

*heavy sheet of paper
*paint of your choice
*cardboard square, larger than paper (food boxes work)
*painters tape (the blue stuff)
*paint friendly area

scrumdilly-do it:

Cut your cardboard down so that it is about two inches larger on (two opposite sides) than your paper.

Plop the cardboard on top of your paper. If you are using a cereal box or other printed material, place the printed side down so as not to distract your wee artist. Flip the two pieces over so that the paper is on top and the cardboard edges are exposed. Fold those edges over so that they "hug" the paper. Trim the other two edges so that they match the remaining width.

Flip the whole thing back over and now you have a blank piece of cardboard the same size as the paper. Draw a rectangle in the center or have your kidlet draw their own rectangle. Make is fairly large, you are impersonating (shhh!) a matte here and want the impression of the finished work to look framed.

Carefully cut out the inside of th rectangle. This part if for grown-ups only! No super sharp objects should be wielded near the kidlets. Tape off the rectangle to keep the edges straight and to create a seal so the paint doesn't slip under. Flip over your paper/board and tape the folded edges down as well. Blue painters tape is sticky enough to hold everything down but not too sticky so that it tears the paper. You can use masking tape but it might tear things up.

Flip the board/paper back over and set out the paints and let your kidlet paint, paint, paint!

and paint....

and paint some more...

Set aside to dry and once it is dry(ish) peel off the tape and board and admire! You can make this even more funky by cutting out all sorts of shapes and squares. Use the paper more than once (ooh, how about their name?), just cut a stencil of a different size and let them paint in the new shape. Compare how the paint looks when it is painted colors mix when they are dry? Can you see the brush strokes from the first round? Have fun and let me know if you have a finished dilly project you want me to post about or link to!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hooray! It's Hat Day!

Okay...there are simply too many nifty ways to make hats out there but since I'm only one person with limited time, I bring to you Bolwers-a-la-dilly-do!

You will need:
*paper bowls
*paint, markers or crayons
*happy gluable things
*splat mat
*hole punch & yarn (optional)

Gather yer supplies and set them out in a mess friendly area. I dumped all my supplies into a muffin tin for easier access. My assistant today is (almost) 2 1/2 year old Bea and she likes to have things ready.Give yer a kidlet a paper bowl, flip it upside down and let them go at it....and go at it...and go at it...You may need to set it aside to dry and if that is the case, grab some more paper and don't let yer supplies go to waste.Once dry, put hat on top of head and take as many photos as possible before your assistant decides she would rather wear a plain blow on her head. Punch holes and attach yarn straps if you wish. Have fun!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Andrew Clements does it again!

Extra Credit Extra Credit by Andrew Clements

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have to say I am quite fond of Andrew Clements. I have yet to read one of his books that I didn't like. This one was just as delightful as the rest. Maybe I best relate to the twelve year olds of his world?

Last night I began reading and as I crawled into bed to finish up the chapter I was on I found myself turning page after page until I was done. Finished! I finished the whole book in one reading. I know it is a kids book and all but the story was sweet, and telling. Andrew Clements has a way of putting the reader into the character's very worlds. Both Abby and Sadeed are bright and a bit too into themselves. Just like most twelve year olds I have known, myself included. And while I may not be a twelve year old anymore, he took me back to those very real feelings in a very real way.

I would recommend this book for any child age 10 to 13. Though you may get an eyeroll or two from the older set. But I think secretly, they will be glad they read it because they will know they are not alone.

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Big hair, a blue cooler and a good read

Camille McPhee Fell Under the Bus ... Camille McPhee Fell Under the Bus ... by Kristen Tracy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What is with all the quirky titles in kid's literature these days? I have to admit that I picked up this book purely based on three things.

1. The Title (Camille McPhee1)
2. The cover art (I lurve Ms. Dardik's art)
3. I've been missing kid's books

Other than those three things, I had no idea what to expect. There are a lot of intermediate reads that are told in first person. And there are probably more than I can count that are about quirky girls and clever statements, but from the first paragraph to the last, Camille McPhee stands out. She is real and the writing of this ten year old matches what I know and remember about a fourth grade year.

Camille isn't perfect but she isn't troublesome either. She is simply a ten year old girl who desperately misses her best friend, her cat and her parents before they began fighting about being "in the hole".

A delightful story about a delightful girl...even if she has big hair and carries a blue cooler full of cheese.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

hat day is a-comin'!

This Friday is National Hat Day here in the states, so to get you started, I thought I would remind you of previous Hat Day projects with a new one coming soon!Paper HatsCoffee Filter HatsPaper Plate Hats