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Posts Tagged ‘art’

Hard for me to believe that I haven’t posted on the blog for nearly a month.  We have been finishing up our homeschooling for the term and in the midst of it all, we have been dealing with a lot of illness.  First, Pookie was sick, then we all took turns with variations of illness.  Hubby had bronchitis, Little Miss and I had bad colds with a lot of congestion, then Pookie ended up going to the ER due to sinus infection and upper respiratory infection.  It was the only time this winter season when we were all hit with illness like that.  Thankfully, we have all recovered except the residual cough that is hanging on.

We ended up getting out tax returns filed and am thrilled that we don’t owe anything.  The refund we receive will be a welcome blessing.  In the middle of all this, we also found out that Pookie is once again eligible for full disability and that will be starting up soon.  I am SO happy about that.  We will now be able to get him some therapy equipment to use here at home in between his weekly sessions.  There are many things that they use in the sessions that we cannot get through the medical insurance.  This is where his disability check will be a blessing for him.  I can set up an area for a small gym to help build up his strength and aid him in developing his core muscles.  He also struggles with gravitational issues that the equipment that promotes balance will help to overcome.  One item is a rocking board that requires him to balance while doing simple activities on the board.  A small indoor trampoline will help build up muscles in his legs.  Not to mention, there are many occupational therapy related activities that I will be able to buy the supplies for.

I have been working on purging the house of excess a little each week.  The end goal being that we only have the most essential of items remaining.  Living in a small house, storage is a premium.  Especially when the house was built without any built-in storage of any kind.  The goal is to have the purge done before we begin our new school term in May.

I have been writing a little about the purge in my Simplicity by Choice blog.  It is taking longer than I would like, but going at a speed Pookie can handle.  Make too many changes, too soon, and he has trouble coping with it.

One change that he is doing very well with is communication.  Over the past couple of days, he has been using sign language spontaneously and without any prompting.  This happens mostly at meal times, but I am thrilled with what we are able to get.

Little Miss and I are working on new projects together.  She is wanting to learn to do an art journal, so that is now becoming a daily part of life.  We are practicing various art techniques as backgrounds for her to doodle and journal on.  She absolutely loves it!  I am just pleased that she finally found a way to enjoy writing.  LOL

 

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DIY Art Supplies

It is that time of year again when families are getting sticker shock at the prices of Back to School supplies for their kids.  Just like those in public or private schools, children who are homeschooled go through a LOT of supplies each school term.  One thing that I notice in homeschooling Little Miss and Pookie is that we go through more supplies than when my older kids were in public school.  Items like paper and pencils are about the same as when the older children went to school, but art supplies is a whole different matter.

It is amazing how much paint and other basic art supplies we go through.  I like to encourage the kids to be creative in their play as well as art.  In order to do this, I sometimes have to be a bit creative myself when it comes to obtaining supplies.  The best thing I ever did was search for recipes to make homemade supplies.

Now, I know that children who are not homeschooled wouldn’t be able to take the homemade art supplies to school.  They can use them at home for their fun projects.  For families who homeschool, the homemade versions of art supplies can be a huge blessing to the budget.  We also see it as a great way to teach our children to be more frugal.  By making the supplies at home, we are able to get the supplies much cheaper.  In winter months, it is especially helpful to have the recipes so that I am not having to travel to the city to buy supplies we have run out of.  If we run out of a specific color of watercolor paint on a pallet, then I can make more of that one color instead of having to buy a whole new set of paints.

There are two resources that are my “go-to” places to find recipes.  I strongly suggest that you test a few out.  One recipe may work better than another, depending on the type of project you are doing.  I finally began recording the recipes which gave me the best results in a small notebook for quick reference offline.  Some recipes seem to work better than others.  It all comes down to your own preferences.

The first site that I recommend is Make, Create, and Do.  This page has some very good recipes for the basics that a young child or preschooler would use.  I have used several of them with good results.

The second site, Artists Helping Children, has a larger number of recipes to choose from, included some that are better suited for older children.  Overall, they have a wide range of supplies that you can make which would benefit children of any age.

I know that there are many more websites with recipes for art supplies.  Of all that I have looked at and tested recipes from, the two listed above have been the best.  If you know of another website that has recipes that you have tried and had good results with, I would love to know about them.

 

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Story Stones

I have been finding the cutest idea on Pinterest lately. They are called Story Stones. These smooth stones are small enough for preschoolers to handle, yet too big to be a choking hazard. Buying a set of story stones can be pricey. Today, I found a preschool blog called Pre-School Play that tells how she made them herself. She also shows a good number of examples of the ones that she made. I am thinking of so many ideas for using this idea.  Alphabet letters, numbers, stones painted like dominos, and of course the story elements.

Here are some more story stone idea links that I found that are very inspiring.

Easter Story Stones includes the story

Fairy Dust Teaching has a photo tutorial on making the story stones

Adventures at Home with Mom has a great post about the benefits of story stones along with examples of the ones she has made.

Crafty Mom Share has a blog post about the Nativity story that includes a picture of the Nativity story stones she made.

Thrive 360 Living has a great example of story stones they made for the book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

My Small Potatoes has a great picture tutorial on hand painting story stones.

 

I am so excited to give this craft idea a try.  I am always looking for new ways to incorporate pictures or other hands-on elements into story time with Pookie.  I can see so many uses for this, including using them for story sequencing activities.  These websites were very inspiring.  Making a set of story stones for the Nativity would be a great gift idea for the little ones in the Children’s Church class.  Maybe make some for other Bible stories using elements of each story to paint or decoupage onto a stone.  The ideas are only as limited as our imaginations!

Enjoy!

 

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Today, we took our weekly outing to the library.  We have to drive 45 miles to get there, so usually end up spending the afternoon.  The library has a large children’s area with a play section, computers with educational games, and of course a wide selection of books.

The first thing the kids do is to get on the computers.  We typically will arrive during school hours so that the kids have more uninterrupted computer time.  This is definitely a benefit to homeschooling!  Pookie realized 2 weeks ago that the computers have touch screens.  Now, he is beginning to try to navigate the games himself.  Little Miss has fun playing the games at her level.  Once she is done, she often will aid Pookie as he learns to use them.

A big advantage to coming during the quieter school hours is that Pookie handles it well.  Once school lets out and the children’s area starts filling up, the activity level is often too much for Pookie.  That is generally when we end up heading back home.

We are allowed up to 60 books at a time, so we generally will go home with a tote bag full.  It is wonderful!  I read so much to them that we go through books quickly.  Easy readers for Pookie are always fun.  Little Miss is really getting into the chapter books, such as Little House series.  Those have been a favorite of hers for quite a long time.

It is such a fun way to spend an afternoon.  Tonight, we are making ornaments for the tree.  We are making gingerbread characters from brown card stock.  Tomorrow, we make more clay designs.

It is a busy time.  On Wednesday, we go to my eldest daughter’s home to make cookies with the grandbabies.  I can’t wait!

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Speaking Through Art

As many parents of a nonverbal child, we have prayed for our son to find a way to communicate.  Teaching him sign language can help, of course.  It does take time however for the child to not only learn the sign but make the connection between the gesture and it’s meaning.

This morning, Pookie was just having an “off” morning.  He was moping and watching out the kitchen window.  At that window, he is able to see the dirt road in front of our home.  I took him to the rocking chair and trying to comfort him as I endeavored to figure out what was bothering him.

Not having any luck, I asked if he would like to paint.  Painting is always a favored activity for Pookie.  If he is stressed or over stimulated, painting will calm him.  I set him up to the table with a palette of various colors of Tempura paints to choose from.

At first, he did simple broad strokes to make a background in purple.  When he kept going back to the paints, I would guide him to the lighter colors, but he knew exactly what he wanted.  He kept going to the purple.  I tried guiding his choices to see if he was making a true choice or painting aimlessly.  His insistence in color choice proved it was a definite choice on his part.

Next, he went for the red paint and began brushing it into the purple, which darkened the red further.  After a few moments, I began to see an image appear in his painting.  He was showing me what was on his mind.  Below is the painting that he made.  I took a picture of it as it hung to dry in the window.  The backlight from the sunshine makes the focus of his painting really stand out.  Keep in mind, he is 4 yrs. old.

What was on his mind?  He is missing his Daddy, who is a truck driver.  He painted Daddy’s truck.

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