Friday, April 10, 2009
A good Friday
In my Art 2 class today, we studied pastels and of course had kind of an Easter theme. We painted and drew as we always do, and then for our snack we had honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon (the most pastel snack I could think of, without resorting to Jordan almonds!) and read this beautiful book The Egg is Quiet... oh yes, we also played with cascarones, and then we made Ooblek. Sometimes I just hate mixing it up on these toddlers who are quite content with the playdough that we almost always make at the end of each class but luckily everyone seemed to enjoy the Ooblek, which for those of you don't know is a very freaky and fascinating (and non-Newtonian) substance... all it is is cornstarch and water, and it's so cute to see the parents also can never resist getting in there and playing with it too ( I need to have a toddler art class for parents, someday!)... Ooblek is almost always an ace in the hole, so keep a box of cornstarch in your pantry and whip it out on one of those groggy and grumpy afternoons for an exciting and entertaining diversion.
Of course my own children are immune to my tricks, how unfair is that?? Jack was home from school today, so after the class I invited him and Bruno back to play with all the fun stuff I had out. I'm still struggling with figuring out how to do art and have fun with my own children. Jack especially seems to like to up the ante quickly beyond my comfort level for mess and destruction. I think I did pretty good today... I felt relaxed and present (probably calm and centered from being with my sweet and gentle and attentive little toddlers) and I rolled with it as we moved quickly from Ooblek to adding baking soda to splatter art to foot painting. Probably all within about ten minutes. Sigh. Still, I'm just glad we were doing art at all. It's a big struggle for me that my kids aren't that interested in art... and that they're just so much about action, energy, movement. Even ten minutes when both our interests collide... that feels good to me. I'm aiming for more connection through making and creating and playing together in the future... I'm going to try some of these projects from Future Craft Collective... I'm really grateful to them for acknowledging that it's not always easy-breezy to art or craft with your own children... as some people might have you think... yet still are saying yeah it's fantastic when it DOES happen so here's a cool innovative way to edge towards that end.
In other news, I found this awesome book at Terra Toys, Treehouses and other Cool Stuff: 50 projects you can build. I am a voracious consumer of books like these, any books brimming with exciting ideas and projects for kids, and just when I think I've exhausted the oeurvre, a book like this turns up. Those of you who have been to my house know we have no need of a tree house, but a go cart, exploding cannon, and zip line? Yes, please!
This book is a great companion piece to Howtoons, which to my mind is the perfect book to give any kid between the ages of 5 and 17. The projects are smaller and more accessible than in the one I just told you about, and it's written in a comic book style so the kids just devour it.
Hmm, I'll have to share with you all some of my favorite books for the kids and the activities, especially with summer on the horizon. I'll save it for another post. To bed!
I also watched Demetri Martin: Person last night and laughed quite a lot. Recommended. Kami seal of approval.