Introducing Michelangelo to Kids

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**This post may contain affiliate links.  Please read my disclosure page. **

Leading the Child

Our weekend was filled with exploration! 

It started with an announcement: “We are going to learn about the famous artist Michelangelo.”  

And then the questions:  “Michelangelo??”  “Ninja Turtles??”

I saw those questions coming.  Frankly, they were great opportunities to introduce key vocabulary like

  • Renaissance
  • sculptor
  • artists

 

We spent the morning watching kid friendly you tube videos about Michelangelo. I found some great biographies!

Letting the Child Lead

We also veered a tad to answer questions about the Renaissance period itself.  Christopher Columbus was mentioned. PJ has a wonderful pop-up book about Christopher Columbus that I read to him.  “The Voyage of Columbus In His Own Words” has quotes from the journal of Columbus.  It allowed PJ to see how people dressed and spoke during the period Michelangelo lived.


We searched for Michelangelo’s art work.  I focused on the works that most interested PJ.

  • Sistine Chapel
  • Pieta
  • David

Looking at various artwork by Michelangelo was extremely helpful in teaching PJ to recognize the famous artists artwork!!  This upcoming week we will most likely ‘play’ with pictures of Michelangelo’s artwork in a sensory bin, investigate pictures with a looking glass, or discover a tray filled with pictures of art…or maybe all three depending on how interested PJ is.

First, we talked about the various biblical paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  

On day two, we discussed the material (marble) the statue David was made of and how very difficult it was to carve out.  Day two was a Sunday so we recovered one of his favorite stories from the bible “David and Goliath” by pulling out his sticker book.

I told PJ how long it took Michelangelo to finish these three pieces.  PJ was very interested!

Since we are learning biblical stories for lent, I thought it would be a good idea to invite PJ to paint his own pretend chapel.

We learned that Michelangelo actually painted the Sistine Chapel standing up rather than lying on down.

To make a pretend Chapel, I used wrapping paper taped to our porch corner.  I made two walls and a ceiling for him to be under.  You could see the pattern right through the underside of the paper but he loved it!!

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I also made this paint easel out of heavy card stock for him to authenticate the experience of what it must of been like to be Michelangelo!

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Then I invited him to paint like Michelangelo!  

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PJ painted the ceiling of his chapel with acrylic paints.  He painted clouds (heaven) and the sun.

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He was experiencing what it must of felt like for Michelangelo to paint above his head.  After 20 minutes  PJ started to paint the walls of his pretend chapel.

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PJ surprised me by painting stories of the bible like Michelangelo did without my leading him to!  He painted the crucifixion,  Jesus walking on water, and the birth of Jesus.  Now I know what to focus on during lent.

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Although PJ will be doing extensions of homework and working on academic goals after school,  I’m thinking of ways to include Michelangelo.  

  • Formulating and writing complete sentences – Facts about Michelangelo
  • Addition/Subtraction math facts- using a printable the has fun art graphics
  • Speech- matching and labeling artworks, 
  • Fashioning a puzzle from magazine clippings of Michelangelos work
  • Making a time line of  Michelangelo’s life
  • Using the fore mentioned ideas- Montessori artist tray, a sensory bin, ect.

 

Im very proud of my son!  He has already learned the definition of  many new vocabulary words like sculptor and artist. Though he can’t pronounce “Michelangelo” or “sculptor” well he does a great job of describing both!!  In just one weekend he has asked dozens of questions like “Does this look like God?”  and “Michelangelo wear shoes?”

Are you covering Michelangelo this month?  Let us know how in the comments below!

 

Thank you for reading,

Crystal 🙂

 

 

 

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Dollar Store Valentines Day Slime

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Valentines Day slime made from dollar store ingredients!

I don’t like the feel of slime and neither did my son!

For some reason he repeatedly asked me to make snow slime.  

My only guess is that he liked making things and mixing concoctions.  I knew if we made slime he wouldn’t want to play with it so I put the activity off, enticing him with other fun things to do.  Still, he asked to make the slime every week.

Pretty soon we started searching Valentines activities to do together.  We look for eye catching pictures of super fun activities from our favorite blogger mommas and their children. 

This time he spotted Valentines Day Slime from Little Bins For Little Hands http://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/valentines-slime-sensory-play-science-activity/ .  

The pictures of the slime were AWESOME!  The mommy of Little Bins for Little Hands posted pictures of different colors!  She had the amazing idea of adding fun objects to add texture to the    stuff!!  AND there were pictures of kids just like my son PLAYING happily with it!  Oh, he was determined to make Valentines Day Slime now….even though he didn’t want to touch it.  OR did he?

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I credit and thank Little Bins for the AMAZING visuals that gave PJ a boost in courage he needed to actually play with the slime.  

I used her formula for the slime as a starting point but used a different brand of glue.  The dollar store version is much thinner than Elmer’s glue.  Here is a link  to her    slime recipe if you are using Elmer’s glue.  http://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/liquid-starch-slime-easy-sensory-play-recipe/.   Sorry I’m having trouble with links again but I will fix it soon!

Our Slime required …

  • 2 Bottles of Imagine dollar store brand glue
  • 1/4 c. of water
  • 1/2 c. of liquid starch

Other optional dollar store ingredients

  • Foam Valentine counters
  • Glitter
  • Food coloring

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 I let PJ help make the slime just like he had seen from one of his favorite sites.  Glue then water and stir-stir-stir.  

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He added red food coloring. The swirls of red against the white glue were mesmerizing!!  (We really need to do a milk color mixing experiment of some kind soon.)

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I let him add all the glitter of his choice and he stirred again.  The color was beautiful!  PJ kept poking his finger in it half wondering if it was slimy yet and half  captivated by the shimmery glitter.

 

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I poured the water glue froth mixture into a larger container then we added the liquid starch.  This time PJ poked it with a spoon.

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 Then he stirred the blob of starch around a bit and left the heavy mixing to me.  Yukkk-o!  No wonder he didn’t want to mix it by hand.  It’s very stringy and sticky in the mixing stage.  After you let it sit a bit the mix becomes a whole blob of slime.

And sit it did.

The slime formed air pockets that rose to the surface.  This intrigued PJ so that he tried to pop the bubbles by throwing the foam valentine counters in the bowl.  He still didn’t want to touch the slime.

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I encouraged him, “Try popping it with your finger.” But slime bubbles are tougher than say soap bubbles.  He tried once then again and that was enough ‘grossness’ for him.  So I sat the bowl of slime on the kitchen table and started in making brownies.  PJ headed for his LEGOs and started building.  Oh well, we had fun making it I thought.

After a few minutes he came to the kitchen table and peered into the bowl.  Legos in one hand, he shook the bowl a little and walked away.  

10 or so minutes later he came and shook it again.  

This coming to explore the slime and leaving again went on for over an hour.  

Until finally he reached in and popped that bubble!!!  

He got a bit of slime stuck on his finger.  He rolled it around on his hand, explored the feel of it, and put his whole hand in the slime.  I was excited for him!

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PJ enjoyed playing with the foam pieces and pretending that the ladybugs could talk to each other!  He made them fly high in the air and splat back into the slime:)

He even went as far as to tell me to take pictures of the slime.  My future blogger?

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I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our experience making and PLAYING with slime!  Does your child like to play with slime?  Please comment below.  We’d love to read about it!!

Thanks for reading!

Crystal 🙂

Places I may link to and share with

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Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy Book Craft

 

Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy Book Craft

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy Book Craft for the Monthly Crafting Book Club.

I’m very excited to be a part of this months Crafting Book Clubs book series choice Ladybug Girl! The Ladybug Girl book series is one of PJs favorite set of books that he owns!!

Have you heard of the Ladybug Girl books?

Let me introduce you to our favorites!

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Ladybug Girl is an adventurous character who is very active and great at using her imagination!  In this book Bingo, Ladybug Girls dog goes camping with Ladybug Girl and her family.  As she explores their campsite with Bingo, she casts a spell on an old tree wizard, rides a giant turtle rock, and sips tea in a secret garden.  In the mists of their play with mermaids and fairies Ladybug Girl is called into action after Bingo gets lost.  Then, she herself is lost.  How will they find their way out of the enchanted forest?  You will have to read to find out!

 

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Ladybug Girl and Bumble Bee Boy by David Soman and Jackie Davis is the book my son relates to best!  It’s a story about a visit to the park where Ladybug Girl meets up with a fellow classmate.  The two friends want to play together but can’t agree upon what to play .  A common super hero interest is discovered when Ladybug girl asks her friend if he wants to play Ladybug Girl.  Soon, the two are rescuing Bingo from a scary monster, stopping a mean robot from crushing the play ground and more! In this adventure there are 4 total super insect heroes each with their own imaginative powers!!

 

Monthly Crafting Book Craft

Now comes the fun part.  After reading Ladybug Girl and Bumble Bee Boy (Alot!),  PJ and I did this fun craft together.  

What you will need

  • Broken crayons (yellows, reds, blacks of sorts)
  • Aluminum foil covered baking sheet
  • Preheated oven set at 200 degrees

Thats all you need!

I wanted to build on one of the themes of the Ladybug Girl books and that is to Make the best of what you have.  I think it is important to lead children by example so we used supplies we already had at the house and a little imagination.  Just like Ladybug Girl!!

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We gathered all shades of yellow, black, and red crayons.  It’s ok if they are broken.  

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Peel the paper from the crayons.  This is great fine motor practice!

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I covered a baking sheet in aluminum foil.

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I helped PJ fold the foil into inch wide strips.  He made two of these strips.

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We turned the foil strips on their sides and formed a ladybug shape out of one strip.  We made a simple oval for the bumblebee shape.  We trimmed the strips length down a bit, too.

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We placed the insect shapes on the foil covered cooking sheet and filled them with shades of red or yellow.

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The different shades of each color made the final craft so much more beautiful!!  I placed the cookie sheet in the oven at 200 degrees for just a few minutes to melt the crayons.  

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We added gray stripes to the yellow bee and black dots to the ladybug last.  Then returned the crayon bits back to the oven to melt but not too long.  Otherwise the colors will run into to each other and not appear to be dots or stripes at all.

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It does not take the NEW crayons long to cool.  PJ wanted to peel the foil off.  His craft insects were warm and brightly colored!

 

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They are appealing to the senses..rough on one side from bubbling heat and smooth on the other.  Best of all they are so beautiful don’t you think!?

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I REALLY hope we have inspired you to read a Ladybug Girl book soon!

Thank you for reading,

Crystal 🙂

Places I may share with and contribute to:

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Practical Mom

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Quick and Easy Math or Literacy with Don’t Break The Ice Game

 

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**This post may contain affiliate links provided for your convenience. Please read my disclosure and privacy page.

One of the best family games at our house growing up was Dont Break The Ice.  I remember getting this game for Christmas one year and playing it with my siblings.  It was sooo much fun to strategically tap out the blocks of ice without letting the red man fall off! We were allowed to get a little more rowdy in the house with this game as there was no real way to play it quietly:) All these reasons make the game perfect for play when the weather didn’t allow us to go outside.

Now a days the game uses a red bear in ice skates to stand on the ice, but it is still fun even at my age! 

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I just had to get it for my kids as my mom had gotten her childhood favorites for me.  

It’s a bit noisey granted but when you and the kiddo are stuck indoors it’s a super fun game to pull out!  My son loved the hammering and was able to follow the simple goal of keeping the bear on the ice. There’s only one step- tap out the block of ice of your choice-before the next persons turn.  I’d highly recommend it for teaching children turn taking.

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After PJ learned how to take turns I thought it would be fun if he could use the game to practice numbers and the alphabet.

One school holiday in his Kindergarten year I tried adding capital and lower case letters to the Don’t Break The Ice Game using dry erase markers. I tested one block first to see if the dry erase marker would wash off and wallah!  A baby wipe took it right off!

These pictures are a few years old but this is how we “played” by adding letters of the alphabet.

I  wrote about 10 or so upper case letters on ice blocks and the matching lower case letters on the remaining blocks.

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We played as you usually would but each player recorded the letter of their knocked down ice block.  For this I drew columns on white paper and added the names of the players at the top.

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Whoever can make the most Upper to lowercase matches after 5 games is the ABC Don’t Break The Ice champ!

We practiced Number Identification, too. 

I dotted the each ice block like the side of a die.  PJ practiced writing the numbers 1-6. Below, I’ll let the picture do the talking.

Quick and Easy Math or Literacey with Don't Break The Ice Game

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More ways to use Don’t Break the Ice

  • You can have your child practice addition: Each player adds up all the blocks they have.  Whoever has the largest total wins.
  • Practice word families, CVC words, or Nonsense words for letter sounds.
  • Write numbers instead of dots on the blocks and have them match numbers to the corresponding amount of dots.
  • For older children, practice multiplication: Group blocks by the number of dots they have. Three blocks of three dots make 3 x 3 = 9

What other ways can you think of to put a new twist on this old classic??  I would like to read about your learning fun so please comment below!

Thank you for reading!

Crystal 🙂

Places I may share with or contribute to:

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7 Days of Gratitude and Resources to Teach Kids

www.educents.com

7 Days of Gratitude and Resources to Teach..

7 Days of Gratitude and Resources to teach kids

 

 

 

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please read my discloser page.  Links are provided for you convenience at no cost to you. However, your purchase from any of my links is greatly appreciated by our little family!

Teaching my son gratitude is one of my top priorities this year.  Thankfully, there is an aboundance of resources out there this Thanksgiving!

And its not that I don’t think he doesnt know what being truly Thankful feels like.  

Rather,  I wondered how well he could explain what being thankful IS.  So, I asked him and he told me a list of all his favorite toys and activities.  Close but not what a mom wants her child to remember most about gratitude.  He did try:)

That afternoon we watched videos of kids answering questions like “What are you thankful for?” and looked up Graditude Activites for children.  I asked more questions trying to reword them so that he could give better answers.  I could tell we needed to work on connecting the feelings and emotions of being thankful with acts Gratitude, too.

 

Day 1 Making Connections

Books are one sure fire way to connect with PJ.  So, we headed to the library to check out books about Gratitude.  That night we read 3 great books!

 

Books to teach Gratitude

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Garfunkle’s song was made into a children’s story book here.  We read the words and were able to talk about so many other words that describe being truly grateful.  This book tells how grateful thoughts can make you feel happier than keeping score of  what you want.

 

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“Thank You, Thanksgiving” is a simple story about a little girl’s Thanksgiving Day.  She makes a trip to the grocery store pointing out all the simple things we take for granted from day to day like clouds, wild animals, warm clothing, and even whipped cream!  It was perfect for reminding us to be grateful of the simple things in life.

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“A Thanksgiving Wish” by Michael Rosen was sniff* sad.  I’m glad we read this together because it covered another topic I’ve been wanting to teach PJ about and that was grieving the loss of a family member.  How many of us miss a lost loved one during the holidays??  Perfect book for reflecting upon how grateful we should be for family!

For a list of more helpful books…

10 Gratitude and Thanksgiving books for Preschoolers Totschooling.net

 

Teachers first give yourself the gift of gratitude with 35 Ways to Celebrate Your Children ABountiful Love

More Ideas to help Teach Kids Gratitude..

 

Thank you for reading!!

Crystal 🙂

www.educents.com

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Practical Mom

Meaningful Gift Giving

 

Meaningful gift giving

This post contains affiliates links at NO cost to you.  Should you decide to help support our little family by purchasing from the links provided, we would be so very grateful!  For more info about this, visit my disclosure and privacy page.  Thank you!!

 

I can’t believe it, but the holiday shopping season is upon us: I’m seeing holiday deals in my inbox already and it’s not even November! A lot of you might agree that holiday gift giving has lost some of what made it special in the past, and the expectation of material goods has gotten out of hand. Just google Walmart + Black Friday + injury for some of the worst.

But despite negative news, there is something really special about getting together and giving loved ones gifts that have meaning. So before you get anything to just check someone off your to-do list, take a moment to model thoughtful giving for your children, family and community. Give them a gift that will last.

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Experiences create the memories that bond us.

Consider taking loved ones on a local adventure, a music show, committing to an exercise routine with the kids , learning a family recipe , or even just setting up time for a special day with just the two of you. This can be inexpensive for your pocketbook, and rich in meaning.

Education is also a gift that lasts a lifetime.

For youngsters in your life, how about a set of blocks for your little engineer, science experiments they can do with friends and have a sleep over.  How about teaching a love for music?  Try gifting a product that will start by building on the classics.  

Whatever their passion as a young learner, stoke those coals!!

Your gift to them could not only last a lifetime, but positively influence their community!

Make sure you don’t overpay – if you’re new to Educents.com you can get $10 off your first order with my referral link:  #Thankfulmama

 

Thank you for reading!

Crystal 🙂

International Festival Crafts For Kids Part 2

Part 2

Folkmoot festival crafts for kids

I’m happy to be writing about one of the best days of summer around here!  We have attended the Folkmoot Festival for three years in a row.  If you missed my last posting about this cultural peace festival, you can read about it HERE or click the picture.

Folkmoot Passports and Cultural Peace Festival

 

 

 

 

Today I’m going to share with you more fun crafts from The Festival Day that you and your children can make at home.

Please join me under “The Childrens Tent” where my son PJ learned about countries from around the world by making simple yet beautiful arts and crafts at stations.

 

To get started you need:

Passports And Flag Stamps

Upon entering the tent PJ received a children’s passport  to stamp as he completed each countries craft.  This passport was made by Folkmoot.org s supporters and employees.  You can find similar products on Pinterest or at Living Montessori Now.  And you can also help your child create a book of their own with a little imagination! 

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The stamps can be wooden with ink or a sticker stamp set.  PJ used the wooden stampers.

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Printable Maps And Flags For Each Country

At each country station or center area there was a global map that marked the country on the map. A mini replica of its flag was placed on the map.

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First stop was the United States of America station of course.

Native American Dream Catcher

  • Paper plate
  • Hole punch
  • Rainbow yarn
  • 3 feathers
  • Scissors and pencil
  • Pony beads 
  • Tape

To make his dream catcher, PJ was given a paper plate with a hole cut out of its center.  The plate rim had already been punched and numbered.  So, you’ll want to do a little prep work to set up your stations or centers before hand.  Children can help with some prep work but we were at a festival; No scissors were given to children.

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PJ used the rainbow yarn to lace the plate rim in numerical order.  He secured the remaining end of the yarn with tape to the plate edge.

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He had help tying 3 feathers to the end 3 short pieces (about 3 to 4 inches long) of yarn. A few pony beads were added to the yarn strings. The opposite end of the yarn was secured by tape to the back of the plate rim as well.

So Beautiful we almost forgot to get his passport stamped!

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French Stained Glass

  • 4×6 Heavy Plastic Sheets 
  • Slightly Larger Piece of Cardstock
  • Markers
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Printer to print designs ex: birds, sunflowers,ect. OR permanent marker to draw your own design on the Heavy Plastic.

The station for France was a bit more involved but not an activity we wouldn’t do again at home.  PJ was handed a preprinted heavy plastic sheet with a design.  That maybe a bit difficult to make at home but you can always just draw a pretty design yourself on the sheeting with black permanent marker.

He colored his plastic sheet with marker.

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 Next, cut a 4×6 piece of aluminum foil.  CRUMPLE the foil ever so gently.  Then,  UNCRUMPLE  and FLATTEN it.  This took us both several attempts to achieve a piece of  foil that was NOT TORN.

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PJ put his foil over the card stock and taped the foil edges to the back of the cardstock. 

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With a little team work we added his colored plastic sheet over the foiled card stock and taped the edges together.  I gave him the scissors to trim the edges so that all the pieces would fit together neatly.  He repeated as needed.

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This turned out to be one of the most stunning art pieces PJ has ever done!  Plus, I loved the way he really concentrated on finishing it. A well earned stamp in his passport!

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Ghanaian Mask

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  • Black Construction Paper
  • A Toilet Paper Roll
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Pastel Chalk

These masks were very simple to make.  Most of the supplies were precut.  Again you will want to do a few steps before your child can start at the point in which PJ started at the Ghana station.  They Are::

1) Cut a toilet paper roll in half width wise to form two tubes.  Then, cut one of the sides of a small tube in half length wise. Simply cut the corners of the tube at an angle to look like this.

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2) The black construction paper was already cut to fit the size of the TP tube as well.  So, measure and cut a piece of black construction paper by tracing the cut out tube pattern on black paper. Easy peasy!

PJ started with putting his precut mask together.  He tucked the over lapping black paper to match the shape of the TP tube. (As shown above.)  Flip the mask over so that the back paper side is showing.

Next, he used colored pastel chalk and a premodern example to draw his own Ghanaian mask.  It was his first ever try at this sort of craft, but he was VERY CREATIVE!  

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When he was finished, he just taped the open edges of the mask together and he got a stamp for his passport.

 

Mexican Maracas

  • Dried Beans
  • Plastic Eggs
  • Dollar Store Tape with bright colors or designs
  • 2 Plastic Spoons

If you are doing a study on Mexico you can’t go without making Maracas! The kids will love it!  Here is how PJ and I learned a new way to make them.

At the Mexican station, PJ was asked  (by two very nice adolescent twin girls) to fill a plastic egg with dried beans.  

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Then he used two spoon to steady the filled egg between  his spoons.  They gave him small strips of the tape to wrap around the spoons and egg.

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He continued to wrap (from top to bottom) the spoons and egg together until he reached the spoon handles.  

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At this point, he decided to use a different color of tape which turned out nicely against the color of the egg itself! Crafty!

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Japanese Lanterns

Four crafts later, my son was ready to call it quits.  The rest of the Folkmoot Festival Day was left to be seen and a nearby bubble machine had caught his eye.  We didn’t stop to make it long enough to make the Japanese Lantern but I found a really neat take on the Chinese Lantern at 

Relentlessly Fun Deceptively Educational

 

More ideas…

Syncopated Mama-  Passports To Fun Italy 

Creative Family Fun-  Mapping The Olympics

The Educators Spin On It-  Exploring Cultures With Kids

 

PJ and I always look forward to this festival.  There’s so much to learn each new year it comes our way.  I  hope we’ve given you some good ideas to help your child     have fun learning about cultures of the world!  Maybe you can have a festival day at your own house.

Special thanks to the staff at The Festival Day, from the Coordinator (for helping Pj in the childrens tent) and volunteers imageright up to the drivers (GREAT Uncle) for making this happen in our part of the world!  We love it! We thank you.

 

 

 

Thank you for reading!

Crystal 🙂

 

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