Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ant Art Projects

We've been obsessed with ants lately if you haven't heard! Check out my last post on Ant Explorations here along with a great book.  We've made egg carton ants before, but came across this great post from Adventures of An Art Teacher here.  She made egg carton ants with her students and used construction paper and hole punched eyes that were so cute! Here is our version of her ants crawling across the kitchen floor! So appropriate since we've had ants in our kitchen...but not this large...thank goodness!!!

I cut the egg cartons into three body part sections: head, abdomen, and thorax! Cassie wanted to paint them all black!

After finishing painting her ants, we used the leftover black paint to create fingerprint ants! We used black marker for the six legs!

Working on the ants!

Finished fingerprint ants! So cute! Notice the "one" Queen Bee (the one with the wings!)

After the egg carton ants were dry we used construction paper strips for legs and antennae. Hole punched eyes were added too! She wanted to add a breathing hole on the top of some of the ants! We actually read that ants have breathing holes all over their body! She added this before knowing this fact!

Cassie wanted to make a Queen ant so this one has wings and rainbow legs and antennae.

Ants invading our kitchen!

These egg carton eggs even inspired some imaginative play with the cooties form Cassie's Cootie Game!
Who would have ever thought....?

Egg Carton Ants riding on the Antique Fisher Price Train! Woo Hoo! Egg Carton Ants never had so much fun!

***Be sure to check out our Ant Explorations post here!

***One of my readers (Dawn) suggested another great Ant themed book: Ant Cities By Arthur Dorros.

***Another reader (Mary) suggested the book The Ant Bully by John Nickle.
***Can't wait to check them out!***

***Don't forget the great book I suggested in my last post too:
Two Bad Ants by: Chris Van Allsburg.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ant Explorations and Two Bad Ants

We've been obsessed with ants here lately! From ants in our house because of the substantial rain, observing ants on our peony flowers, watching them carry things, finding them attacking a piece of food,  finding anthills in the cracks over the pavement, and building nests in our sandbox! This book Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg has been a great accompaniment  to our studies of ants! This book is by the same author that has brought many wonderful books such as The Polar Express and many more.  This book takes the perspective of the adventures ants might have while they are in a home! We really enjoyed this book! In this post I will share some of our adventures with ants!

Observing ants on peony flower blooms! Every day Cassie has wanted to check to see if they are there!
The reason why ants go on peony buds can be found here. (great article!)

Close up view!

Ants building hills on the pavement in our garage. We've been checking these too!

Finding ants in our sandbox along with ant eggs! What a SURPRISE! They have been taking shelter from our swampy backyard!

Ants on all the toys in the sandbox! SO many Ants! Yikes!

Close up view of ants in the sandbox! We don't need an ant farm! We have one in our sand box!

*Can't get enough ants? Create an Ant Motel here from Your Big Backyard Magazine! (One of our favorite magazines!)

*Check out 10 Fast Facts About Ants here.

*More Ant Facts can be found here.

*Check out some Ant Science Projects here.

 ***We are working on some artsy projects to go along with our Ant Explorations! Stay tuned...

What nature studies have you been doing with children???
This post is linked to:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tis The Season For a Tornado in a Jar

It truly is the season to create a tornado in a jar. Tornados have been sweeping across the USA and in our area too! Cassie is fascinated with tornados and has wanted to know all about them.  Last week we even drove through an area in the state of Virginia that was torn up by tornados. It was devastating to see houses and businesses totally gone! I can't even imagine this happening to me. My heart goes out to all that have suffered such devastation. Cassie is watching our tornados in a jar here....but you cannot see the action in the pictures! Cassie had a lot of fun making these tornados in a jar! She even asked, "Will these tornados get out of their jars?" I think she sincerely was worried!!!

Materials for Tornado in a Jar:
mayo or canning jar
1 tsp clear liquid soap
1 tsp. vinegar
We followed the directions on making Tornados in A Jar here. The website is called: Weather Wiz Kids and it is a totally amazing site for all things Weather!!! I know I will back to check out more! The first step was to get a mayonnaise or canning jar.  We used a huge applesauce and spaghetti sauce jar. We are not huge mayo fans here! FIrst we filled the jars 3/4 of the way with water.

Then we added 1 teaspoon of the liquid soap in each jar. After the liquid soap, we added 1 teaspoon of vinegar in each jar.

Next we added a few drops of food coloring in each jar. They said only to add food coloring if you want to be more creative! Of course!!!!!!

Then we added gold glitter for the debris that the tornado would be moving around.

Then we shook the jar to mix all the ingredients.

Next Cassie got up on her feet and swirled the jar around to create the tornado. Cassie did it very angrily for some reason? I guess it was a lot of effort!

According to Wiz Kids website the swirling motion forms the vortex and is an easy way to create a tornado! It really works...wish you could see the action! I guess you'll have to try it for yourself!!!

What kinds of Weather fascinates children that you know?

***Check out some great tornado facts, experiments, lesson plans, and other projects at Weather Wiz Kids here.

***Explanation of the science behind this at Kid's Crossing here.

This post is linked to:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Making Lemonade

Since it has been quite warm here lately we've been making lemonade! This is one of Cassie's favorite beverages. Whenever she sees that I have lemons she wants to make lemonade! Everyone Loves lemonade on a hot day!  Here is Cassie squeezing the lemons with our antique juicer from Sunkist!

More lemon squeezing going on here! We have this cheap orange juicer, but it just doesn't work as well!

Now we poured the lemon juice into  a cup for Cassie and one for me! About the juice of one lemon for each glass.

Now we added some water to each glass....very carefully!

Next we added some sugar. Doesn't this girl look like she needs some lemonade? Red cheeks!

After adding the lemon juice, water, and sugar Cassie stirred the mixture about ten or so times. You can see her counting on one hand!

Next add some ice...

Lastly, add some slices of lemon...

Add a straw and you are ready to drink! DELICIOUS!

Here is the drawing that was in the making as we were making lemonade! Family Portrait!

What simple recipes have you made with children lately?
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Spin Art Without The Spinner Creations

Last week I did a posting of Spin Art Without The Spinner and we ended up with some really lovely circular paintings as you can see below! Be sure to check out my post about making Spin Art Without The Spinner here. We didn't make the paintings into anything in the Spin Art Post, but I questioned my readers what could I do with them? There were some fabulous ideas!  Some of the suggestions were flowers, butterflies, a bunting, animals,  and a mobile!  All such inspirational ideas!!!! You will see that we used some of the suggestions!  Thank you everyone for your Wonderful ideas!

We started with cutting the Spin Art into circles and cutting on the edges of the paintings. Cassie really enjoyed cutting the paintings into circles and she was quite good at this! She actually fringed out the circles to create flower shapes!

More concentrating and cutting going on here! She took it all very seriously---even though we were on the living room floor!

So our first creation was a group of flowers and a butterfly!

Next,  we kept thinking they looked like planets...so we created Our Universe!

I created the circles into spirals to create snakes and added grass and detail with the scraps!

So you can see we used many of the suggestions and we had a lot of FUN! The crazy thing is that we thought we had so many paintings, yet ended up using them up so quickly to make our creations! I guess you can never have too many paintings because the ideas kept coming!

***I guess it is time to make more Spin Art Without the Spinner with such great ideas to still create!!!

Check out these posts below for even more reason to create more Spin Art Without The Spinner:
From Putti Prapanacha... Check out her Spin Art Caterpillar Creations here.           
Also, check out her variations of creating Spin Art Without The Spinner with lids and CDs here.

This post is linked to:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Our Local Chalk Festival

Our town just had their Annual Chalk Festival and Cassie was up for it... so we decided to go on such a beautiful Saturday! It was a great community event to bring the importance of Art to the children...since that is who was mostly participating!  First we took a look at all the beautiful drawings and they definitely inspired Cassie and I to pick up some chalk and draw!!! Keep reading to see our drawings!

Here are some of the drawings that inspired us. I love the message here! "Love Everyone!"

Beautiful stained glass effect!

Mountain, Beach, and Ocean scene!


Good old American flag!


More Flowers!

Cassie jumping right in to draw!

Mom and Cassie drawing!

Cassie mostly watching Mom at this point!

Mom having FUN!

Cassie's finished drawing of Beautiful Flowers!

Mom's finished Sun drawing!

What events do you have in your community that promote the Arts?