## Flower Math Activity

We have giant daisies in our backyard and thank goodness we do because all my son has wanted to do for art lately has been firetruck or dirt related. Not that most of my readers can’t appreciate that but it’s nice to squeeze some prettier more genteel themes in with the diggers and sirens. This was fast but substantial and after making it we picked a few daisies and counted their petals too!

1. Gather your materials. You will need 4 colors ( white, yellow, green and blue)  of  construction paper ( really you only need one full piece , the others can be scrap) , a marker, glue , scissors and a circle paper punch if you have it.
2. Start by punching out some yellow circles, for the center of the daisies. My son adored this step and I had to get him some scrap paper to keep going.
3. Cut some stems from the green paper. You can make leaves too, we just chose not to.
4. Cut out petals from the white paper.
5. Ask your child for numbers to put in the middle of the flowers. Alternatively you can write in the numbers you know your child is struggling with , if you do that write a few they are consistently successful with as well. By setting them up for success with some of the numbers you will boost their confidence and they are more likely to take on the challenge of a “trickier” number.
6. Glue the stems on.
7. Add glue for the centers.
8. Add the centers.
9. Add the petals. I had my son read me the number, then he counted the petals as he added them. Then after he was done we “checked his work” by counting them again.
10. Let dry.

## Song

I’m a little daisy
tall and slim.
Here are my petals and here is my stem.
When the sun comes up and the rain comes down
I grow and grow up from the ground.

## Books

by Kevin Henkes is a lovely book about having confidence, loosing confidence and regaining it in the end. Chrysanthemum is a little mouse who loves her name until she goes to school and is picked on for it being out of the ordinary. Who can’t relate to this? I know I can . Thankfully my son  has yet to experience this all too common, but still so heartbreaking experience . I love that I have a book like this to share with him and open up about it before it happens. Ultimately Chrysanthemum learns to love her name again and regains the confidence she once had. Another fantastic book from a consistently wonderful author

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart Is a really touching book that I would happily recommend for school age children. It’s a beautiful story about a little girl during the depression who is shipped to the city to work in her uncle’s bakery because both her parents are out of work.  She is obviously nervous but knows that it’s something she has to do.  She takes a little of the country with her in seed packets which she plants in the city while she learns about baking and becomes friends with her uncles employees. This is more a story about making the most of hard times, and would be a great way to talk about the great depression with your child. There are so many little things in the illustrations by David Small to talk about , from a picture of FDR to traveling by train and  the general sense of sadness .  In the end it’s a warm hearted book that I can’t wait to share with my son in a few years.

The Boy Who Grew Flowers by Jennifer Wojtowicz is one of those books that stays with you. Rink is a little boy who’s family is strange, Rink is no exception, with every full moon he sprouts flowers , from his head. At school he is an outsider and only when a new girl comes to school does he make a friend. He reaches out to her because she too is an outsider, not at school, in her own family. In the end the kindred spirits celebrate their uniqueness. This odd romantic story will warm your heart and serves as a great lesson about how we all feel different and like an outsider sometimes. The illustrations by Steve Adams will stun you, they were so vibrant and paired so perfectly with the story. Wonderful!

## Fine Art Activities

Going to the art museum, a local gallery or even an exhibit at a community college are all great ways to expose your child to fine art. Most have free days if they aren’t always free to visit. Here is a collection of fine art activities we have done here at No Time For Flash Cards.

Make Your Own Play Museum

Need some books about fine art too ? Check these out.

## Handprint Fireworks

I am sure there are versions of this craft all over , I haven’t seen any lately but here is our take on a fun 4th of July craft. It’s the first craft we’ve done since the baby arrived and it was awesome to get back to “normal” making it with my little man.  I like it because it’s simple but really adorable.

1. Gather your materials. You will need a piece of white and a piece of black construction paper, red and blue paint, glue,  2 plates, scissors and glitter.
2. Start by putting the paint on the plates.
3. Dip your child’s hand in , get it well covered.
4. Print on to the white paper.
5. Repeat with other hand and color. We did 2 hands each.
6. If your child is like mine have extra paper on hand to keep finger painting with the extra paint. This gives the hand prints time to dry some as well .
7. Let the hand prints dry a little and cut out.
8. While I cut them my son washed his hands, my sink, and my breakfast bowl… I wasn’t complaining.
9. Although I ended up doing all the gluing because he was having fun in the sink. So now glue the hands together to look like fireworks.
10. Add glue for the glitter. If the paint is still wet, you won’t need glue on the hands.
11. He came back for glitter, imagine that!
12. Let dry.

Need 4th of July Books? Check these out

## Paint Chip Flowers

Now that school is out for most of you I have been brainstorming crafts that are a little more challenging but that can be adapted for younger kids as well. This was fun to make and by no means do you or your child have to make flowers, the sky is the limit with these fun vibrant colors. Also you can take this opportunity to talk about shades and hues ! Don’t miss the matching activity after the craft for younger kids either!

1. Gather your materials. You will need some paint samples, scissors, paper and glue.
2. Start by deciding what to create, or deciding to make an abstract creation.
3. I started with some grass and glued it on my paper.
4. Next I made flower stems and leaves, and added them.
5. Time for some pretty colors, I chose to make pink and purple flowers.
6. Cut out the petals and glued them on.
7. Now was the more creative part – the “extras” I decided to make some clouds with a dusty blue.
8. Then my favorite a butterfly!
9. As it dries the glue will stick but the paint samples will pull away some. I personally LOVE this, I like how 3 dimensional it makes the craft. If you don’t like this just pop a piece of wax paper over it and lay a heavy book on top for a few hours.

### Paint Color Match

This activity is not just a color match it’s also a wonderful fine motor challenge for toddlers and preschoolers.
Here are the instructions.