Unplugged Garden  

Monday, June 30, 2008

This week's Unplugged Project theme was garden, and I had intended to do some actual gardening with Paige - but then it rained most of the week, and since we heard that we might hear about our house this week (please keep your fingers crossed) we decided to wait and decide about planting some things from my classroom until we know about the house.

So, I went with a back-up plan that I thought sounded like fun, but Paige wasn't hugely interested, even though it involved paint. Imagine that.

I told Paige we were going to paint a rainbow garden, and we were going to collect dandylions, sticks and grass to paint with. She enjoyed the collecting process.

Then I read to her "Planting a Rainbow" by Lois Ehlert, who is one of my favorite children's authors. Paige wasn't really excited to sit down and read a book - she was waiting for the next part of the project. Then I set out some rainbow colored paints, and told her to use what we'd collected to paint with.

She did this for a little bit, but then moved on to getting water from the water table to "water the garden" with. Good concept - but bad for your pad of art paper!

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Thursday List  

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Peanut Butter Milkshakes look good to me.

I also think the popsicles here look yummy!

This looks like a nice, fast project Paige would like. Now I just need to find some metal lids to make tap shoes!

Although I don't homeschool, I've been quite intrigued by lapbooks for some time. Here are some adorable Tot-Books that I might have to try with Paige.

I think Paige is a little beyond Tot School, but I LOVE the idea.

Paige loves to dress up like a princess and I think she'd love this No Sew Tutu. Melissa made it for her daughter at the beach, and she's put the most beautiful pictures on her blog. We will be visiting family at the beach in July - our little girlies might also need to do this at the beach! What a great idea. :)

Another one we might need to try is her Easy Beach Collage idea.

One more from Melissa - I love the Toddler Activity Bags.

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Unplugged Old  

Monday, June 23, 2008

The theme for last week's Unplugged Project was old. For some reason, this theme was a hard one for me to wrap my head around. I looked up recipes using the word "old," thinking we could make old fashioned something or other. But we never quite got to it.

Eventually, Paige came up with a project that I decided fit the theme on her own. We are still in temporary housing, living with my in-laws. I know it must be confusing for Paige why we don't go to the "old house" anymore. Sometimes we talk about the old house and what we will do at the new house. Well, on Saturday she told me she wanted to do a project that we did at the old house. After a little detective work, I realized she wanted to use a stamp pad I'd let her try one day, that had resulted in a HUGE mess. I told her we didn't have one right now, and she came up with another project we'd tried a few months ago, back in the old house - circle painting.

Circle Painting is painting using an "old" cardboard toilet paper or towel roll in lieu of a brush. Of course now Paige calls toilet paper tubes "telescopes," so she said she wanted to paint with her telescope. Since my memory card was full when we did this, I don't have any pictures of the process, just one of the finished creation.

We also dipped the whole roll into the paint and rolled it across the paper, creating the lines. She thought that was fun too. She also seemed to enjoy that we were sitting on the kitchen floor painting, which we used to do at the old house too.

On Saturday Paige also picked a DVD to take out from the library. While not Unplugged, it sure made me feel old, when I realized the My Little Pony cartoons were dated 1986!

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Thursday List  

Thursday, June 19, 2008

This week has been a little crazy because it was the last week of school. Today is my first day of summer vacation! The last two years I took the summer off, but this year, as we will (hopefully) be moving into a new house soon, I thought I might need some extra money, so I am working the summer program. I just completed my first year at a new school, so this will be my first time working this summer camp. It is for six weeks, so I end up with two weeks off before it starts and two weeks off after before school starts again. The camp only goes until 1, so that's not too bad a deal. :)

Anyway, all of this rambling means I don't really have much of a Thursday list this week, but I'll probably have more next week because I'm on vacation!

For right now, check out Boredom Buster Monday for the kids.

Another idea that looks like a lot of fun is Muffin Tin Monday.

So that at least gives you a couple of ideas for fun on Monday, right?

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Unplugged Plastic  

Monday, June 16, 2008

This week's theme was plastic. For some reason the first thing that popped into my head was Discovery Bottles. I wasn't sure if Paige was old enough to enjoy these, but I decided to give the ocean wave bottle a try. You put water into an old water or soda bottle and add a few drops of blue food coloring. Then you put in a little bit of oil into the top of the bottle. In the past I've used cooking oil, which works, but gives the bottle a yellowish tinge. This time I bought baby oil to try, and it gives the "ocean" a much cleaner look. Paige seemed to think this was cool, and said, "I want to make more bottles!" I then made the mistake of telling her about one with glitter in it, and she got all excited. So we went out to the craft store yesterday to find some glitter. While we were there we also picked up some little shells for our wave bottle.

When we got home we added the shells to our wave bottle, and made a glitter "relaxation bottle" by filling a bottle with corn syrup and glitter. I discovered during this process that it would have been easier to just add some glitter to a bottle of corn syrup than to put corn syrup into a soda bottle. So I experimented and ended up putting all the corn syrup back in the corn syrup bottle. Finally we made a bubble bottle by filling a bottle with water and a few squirts of dish detergent. Just shake it up and you have bubbles!

There are tons of ideas for these bottles out there. Try searching for "Discovery Bottles" and you'll come up with lots of ideas.

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Thursday List  

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I'm not sure if I've ever shared this tutorial for adorable little monster bean bags. If I ever get my sewing machine out of storage (and learn to use it) I want to try these.

I am not a big fan of cheesecake, but these cheescake shots are so cute! And I love the idea of using a votive holder for them.

Another yummy looking treat.

Make Me Laugh Mondays look like lots of fun!

The Mommy Song - Way too funny.

This summer I'd like to try and make some strawberry freezer jam.

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A Good Day  

Yesterday was a good day.

I took my last personal day so that I could take Paige for her 3-year check-up. As we are currently in housing limbo, Paige's world is a little crazy and she's having some seperation anxiety issues, so she was thrilled that I was around to spend the day with her. Michelle and I took her to the doctor, where she got weighed on the "big girl" scale that you stand on for the first time, and she also got measured with the little arm that they pull out of the scale. She's 32 pounds and 38 inches, 4 inches more than last year.

Then when the doctor came in, she looked at her and said, "Don't stick that popsicle thing in my mouth," seeing as the last time we were there she had strep. When the doctor asked about how she does eating, Paige looked up at her and said, "I don't eat any junk food." I have no idea where she got that, but it was too funny - like I'd been coaching her or something!

Then she got her eyes and ears tested for the first time. I covered one eye while she read letters from a card, and then Michelle covered the other one for the same work out. Then she got to put on head phones and raised her hand when she heard a beep. She did great, and they gave her a Snow White sticker and a Freezer Pop. When the nurse asked her what color Freezer Pop she wanted, I heard the doctor call out - "She doesn't eat any junk food!" Too funny.

After the doctor, we stopped at Payless to look for some sandles for her. We got her some white Disney Princess sandles that have the lights in them. Right before we left I noticed some Croc type shoes that looked like Lightning McQueen. I showed her and she fell in love with them, so we got them both for her and a new pair of sun glasses for me.

Then we went off to Friendly's for lunch. We ordered some ice cream to take home. I got Paige the Monster sundae, which has Reese's Peanut Butter Cup ears, M&M eyes, and a cherry nose, which she got a kick out of, but didn't like the mint chocolate chip ice cream, so I ate that while she had some of Michelle's orange sherbert. Then we all took naps.

I was having fun out with her - I was thinking that maybe I needed to spend one of my personal days every year hanging out with her like that.

Then last night I watched the movie Enchanted for the first time. I bought it a couple of weeks ago, just assuming I'd like it - and I LOVED it.

I was so happy last night. Nothing really special happened, but it was just one of those feel good, make you smile kind of days.

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Unplugged Sticky  

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Paige loves to paint. It is one of the few activities that she'll do for more than about three minutes. Last week I tried a new kind of painting for the Unplugged Theme of paint, and it didn't go over very well. This week, however, I tried again, and surprise, Sticky Paint was a hit!

What is sticky paint you may ask? Why it is just corn syrup with a few drops of food coloring added! It is an activity I've been meaning to try forever, so I finally gave it a whirl for this week's Unplugged Theme of sticky.

Paige and her cousin were in need of something to do Friday night, (we are temporarily living upstairs from her cousins now, so often I have more children to entertain) so I gave them each a big piece of easel paper, a paint brush, and three Dixie Cups of sticky paint. One with red, one with yellow, and one with blue. Paige's cousin said he'd used sticky paint in school before, but it was Paige's first chance to play with it. She really loved it, and asked for it again yesterday morning, and yesterday afternoon. The problem yesterday afternoon was that it was stifling hot, and I was afraid that a sticky project was just going to be unbearable, so I told her it was too hot for the sticky paint. Well, wouldn't you know, first thing this morning I got, "Mom, it isn't hot any more. Can I do sticky paint?" So we did it again this morning.

Here she is Friday night. Somehow Paige always seems to be in her pajamas when we do our Unplugged Projects!

Here's the painting she made Friday night. When she made that one cane shaped blue mark, she said, "I made a candy cane!" This is one of the first times she's mentioned drawing something - at least something that makes sense to me. Most of the time she says she's drawing a "Pookie Sun." I have yet to figure out what exactly that is.

This one Paige and I did together Saturday morning:

And here she is this morning, while Momma plays with different camera angles.

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Thursday...um, Friday List  

Friday, June 6, 2008

Between moving and the school year winding to a close, I am exhausted and a little brain dead. There's some sort of event or meeting or whatever almost every day until school ends on the 18th. Then I'm doing the summer program this year, so I've had meetings and whatnot to be prepared for when that starts in July. So, that's my excuse for forgetting to post this yesterday. I hope after school gets out and I get some rest that I can start blogging more often.

I like these chalkboard tablecloths and place mats!

We might need to try these finger paints a la Martha Stewart!

I want to try out these apple chips sometime soon.

Recipes for making your own house cleaners at home!

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Unplugged Metal and Paint  

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I have returned. Miss me?

I have survived a horrible week of packing and moving to a temporary location at my sister-in-law's, but that is for another post. I was without my internet connection most of last week, so I wasn't able to post about my Unplugged Metal project, although I did do it. So, this week you get two Unplugged Projects for the price of one!

As May was a very difficult month for us, and we were in the process of moving, I didn't want to do anything too involved, or make something that I might need to figure out how to pack. So for metal we played a coin game that I found online, called Penny Drop.

photo courtesy of Parents Connect

For this game, you fill a bucket half-way with water. You put a quarter in the bottom, and each player drops a penny in and tries to get the penny to land on the quarter. I got some Dixie Cups and gave Paige, Roland, Michelle and myself each ten pennies in a cup. Then we took turns dropping them in the bucket. The website suggests tinting the water with food coloring to make it more of a challenge, but since Paige is young, I decided to forgo that part. We played this game twice - Paige seemed to really enjoy it. I couldn't get any good pictures, so hopefully the one from the website will suffice.

Now for paint - I tried to do something different than the obvious for this, but as usual, Paige taught me that simple is usually best. I saw "Bubble Painting" in my June issue of Family Fun, and thought that would be a simple thing to do. Basically you just mix a little tempra in with bubble solution and then blow bubbles at your paper. As I threw out all of Paige's mostly empty paints while packing, we went out today and bought paint, bubbles, and paper. On a whim, I grabbed a $5 package of all kinds of different brushes, as we no longer have brushes, there were lots of cool ones in the package, and it was cheap. Win, win, and win.

After dinner we went outside to try bubble painting. I'd mixed some red paint in with the bubble solution, and showed Paige how to blow the bubble paint toward the paper. I thought she'd enjoy this since she likes painting and bubbles. While we were going shopping for the stuff, she kept talking about bubble painting. Well, I blowed the bubbles at the paper, and she wasn't impressed in the least, and asked for a brush instead. So, I gave up on being different and just let her paint the "old-fashioned" way.

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