Fun with Fungi !

Mushroom Prints!


I love painting and printing with fun things you can find while grocery shopping , when I saw this huge mushroom at the market I knew half would be eaten and half was going to be sacrificed for art!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a large firm mushroom, make sure it’s fresh so it can stand up to a beating, which means no gills showing. Paint- as many colors as you want , a plate and some paper. I am using the brown paper bag from the store. * You could also use multiple veggies- potatoes, onions, and zucchini make cool prints.
  2. Spread a thin layer of paint on the plate.
  3. Start printing!
  4. Add 2nd and 3rd color of paint and keep going.
  5. Don’t worry if your younger child doesn’t stamp the mushroom so that the outline is clear, they are still having fun and painting with a new tool. Older children should be encouraged but not pushed to do it carefully so that they can see the outline. It’s more important to have fun and be open to learning than making them do it “right” .
Book!

Just one book today, it’s such a gem it deserves it’s own day!


” Eating the Alphabet”
by Lois Ehlert is an alphabet book extrodinare! Wonderful paintings of fruits and vegetables seem ultra simple and it is but somehow the way the author has pieced this simple book together is brilliant. Maybe it’s that children learn about food at the table multiple times a day and feel proud being able to identify not only some of the letters but some of the pictures too! From a teaching standpoint I love that there are both upper and lower case letters on each page! This book will grow with your child, and beware it will also make you hungry!

C is for Cookie

Letter C Cookies !

What better way to introduce the letter c than with cookies?!

1.Gather your materials. You will need some cookie dough, some wax paper for your child’s work surface, an oven preset to your recipes specifications, and a cookie sheet. I am using packaged dough even though normally I prefer healthier home made dough, the reason being that the eggs in packaged cookies are usually pasteurized making the risk of salmonella and other food borne nasties lower. It’s still not healthy for them to be eating the dough, but I am personally more comfortable with them handling it than home made stuff with raw eggs. Please check your package to check if it’s safe.

    2.Have your child make the letter C c with the dough, or if like my son they are only interested in eating it, take it away and do it for them. Like I said please use caution with raw dough even if it’s pasteurized. I have done with with preschoolers and we had fun using sugar cookie dough and decorating them after!

      3.Arrange your C cookies on the baking sheet and pop them in the oven. Make sure the C is really skinny looking , or else you will end up with a blob.

        4. Let cool and if desired decorate them, if my son was older we would definitely be adding some sprinkles and maybe icing too!

          5. Enjoy your letter C cookie!

          Books!

          ” If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” by Laura Joffe Numeroff is a contemporary classic, and if you have ever read it to a group of children you will know why. The story builds as one thing leads to the next when you give into the whims of a silly little mouse! This is a great book to recall and recount with your child, after reading have them retell you what happened by asking ” What happened next?” this is a really easy and important tool in early literacy!

          Mmm Cookies” by Robert Munsch is a loud and silly book, that preschoolers love! The main character loves to play jokes but eventually the joke is on him.

          Onion Prints

           

          I love using things I have on hand for art! Now if only I can find something to do with half eaten Annie’s Mac and Cheese!

          1. Gather your materials. You will need an onion , or large shallot would be great too! Some paint, a container to mix the paint in and some paper.
          2. Cut the onion in half – I started with ours in half and after it absorbed a lot of paint I cut it into quarters because it got slippery and harder for my son to handle. Also if your onion is really fragrant you may want to let it sit after cutting it, this will help avoid any crying or onion juice getting in little eyes!
          3. Pour some different colors of paint ( or just one) in a small dish and have your child mix it, this has become my son’s favorite part of art time!
          4. Dip your onion into the paint and go for it! I did the first few prints on the page to show my son what to do.
          5. Add a new color and if you want cut the onion into a different shape!


          Books!

           

           

          ” Babar Learns To Cook” by Laurent de Brunhoff is an okay story for preschoolers, the story itself is not too special, but I love the end! When you read as many children’s books as most parents do sometimes finding something that tickles your funny bone is a breath of fresh air. At the end of the book everyone is given chef’s hats, well all the male elephants, much to the dismay of Flora who proclaims this unfair, and her mother Celeste backs her up! As I was reading the book for the first time I too declared this unfair out loud, so I was happy when it was worked into the story. The funniest part though is that the old lady decides against wearing the chef’s hat because she doesn’t think she’d look good in it. You can tell this is a French book!

          ” One Hungry Monster” by Susan Heyboer O’Keefe is a fun counting book that is great for all ages of young kids. My son will sit for the first 5-6 pages, even though the whole book is too long for him now. The book is a counting book and kids who are learning their numbers love these sorts of books, it also has a small lesson about manners since the monsters really lack any!

          Shape Pizza Craft

          This activity is wonderful for all ages, older children can draw their own toppings and to complete the fun you can make your own pizzas for dinner!

          1. Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper, markers, scissors and glue. That’s it!
          2. Draw some shape toppings , with younger children stay simple, with older ones the sky is the limit. Don’t forget one big circle for the crust!
          3. Color the toppings- wait to cut them out, the small pieces are too hard to color for little guys!
          4. Color the crust!
          5. While your child is coloring the crust , cut the toppings out.
          6. Grab your glue and start putting those toppings on.
          7. Remember throughout the activity to talk about shapes, colors and all that other fun stuff. As always if that is interfering with your child’s creativity, chill they are learning by doing we don’t always have to be “teaching” !
          Book!



          ” The Princess and The Pizza” by Mary Jane and Herm Auch is really a cute re telling of the classic Princess and the Pea. They have modernized it and made it a little more feminist in the process, exactly my kind of book. The text is a little long for toddlers but my son sat through about half before wanting to go back and look at the illustration of the horse on the first page. The message is sweet, saying that a woman doesn’t need a man or marriage to attain her goals! Beware though it will make you crave pizza!

          Apple Print Valentines



          Valentine’s is only days away, so I thought I better get to sharing an activity that can be made into a special Valentine’s activity. Apple printing is great any time of year, just skip the last step of cutting the paper into the shape of a heart!

          1. Gather your materials. You’ll need an apple, some paint, a plate, and some paper. I am re- using a paper grocery bag. Whenever I use paint I like to put an extra layer between the project and the table surface, so I cut the paper bag in two and used half for an under layer and taped it to my table using painters tape.
          2. Cut your apple in two lengthwise, this way you will get a heart shape when you print it!
          3. Pour some paint on to your plate , you don’t need much at all. If you put too much you will just get a blob of paint instead of a nice print.
          4. Print !!
          5. Let the prints dry before drawing a heart and cutting it out!

          Books!



          All of these books have love as a theme , ” Daddy Hugs” is a great counting book for young toddlers, “The Kissing Hand” is a wonderful story and great for kids experiencing separation anxiety at school, and ” I love you forever” will make any mom cry, and most dads too!


          Daddy Hugs” by Karen Katz
          I love you Forever “
          by Robert Munsch
          “The Kissing Hand”
          by Audrey Penn