{Art} : Walking a Line

If you should know anything about Thing 1 it is that he loves to draw.  He will look at pictures and reproduce them with pretty amazing accuracy and detail.  He is also known to create stuff from his imagination.   I carry a clipboard with blank sheets of paper and a bag full of pencils and crayons everywhere we go, just in case he gets inspired.

Due to this great love of drawing, I thought he would jump at the idea of an art class.  However, he has been reluctant to join one.  He says that he only wants to draw what he wants, which I totally understand.

Although he says he only wants to draw what he wants, I thought I would do an art class for him that would still allow him to do what he wants, but he can start learning some technique along the way. So from now until the end of the year we are going to focus on drawing.

Today we started with just a basic line.

Walking the Line

Materials:
pencil
computer paper

Activities:
The first activity was super simple, but slowly got Thing 1 moving in the right direction.  Thing 1 was to draw an abstract work of art without picking the pencil up from the paper, except to stop the drawing.

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This basically became a scribbling activity, because he just wasn’t into the activity yet.

The second activity was to draw an object using the same principle as above.  You use only one line, only taking the pencil off the paper when the drawing is done.

When we started, I could tell he wasn’t feeling it.  However, after a little discussion of which object to draw he got to work.  He managed to create 15-20 drawings depicting the various characters of Super Mario Brothers.  Yes, he went old school.  It could be that he had been playing Super Mario Brothers 3 on our old Nintendo before we started our art project.

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Overall, once I got him going it was great to see his creativity to come to life.  I was also pretty impressed with what he created today.

Hopefully, over the next several months Thing 1 and I will be able to keep this up and I will share future projects.

{Science} : Index Card Tower

One day while searching Pinterest, I came across this STEM activity using index cards.  I was intrigued because it is building things, which my boys love, but it was also a cheap science activity that could be used in a larger group setting, like the  homeschool group we started.

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Index Card Tower

Supplies:
index cards

Directions:
The children were divided into pairs, and were given a stack of index cards.  They were told to build the highest tower they could only using the index cards.  They could manipulate the cards in any way they needed, but they could only use the cards I had given them.  We had the pairs move to different areas in our house so that they could not see what the other groups were doing. After a given amount of time the kids walked around to see, analyze and learn from the different groups.

This activity was a lot of fun with a large number of kids, because you were able to see so many different thoughts when it came to building the tower.  We would not have seen the different building ideas, had it just been the boys and I.

 

Thing 1 and his partner’s tower

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Thing 2 and my creation.  (I was Thing 2’s partner, but I really didn’t help much because I was off taking pictures.  I just came back
a couple of times to talk to him.

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Thing 3’s tower.  In order to keep him from messing up Thing 1 and his partner, I gave Thing 3 his own cards so he could create.

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Thing 3 also built this dog after the activity was over.

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Have you ever built with index cards?

{Science} : Paper Airplane Design

One of the things I have wanted to incorporate into back into our homeschool is some “just for fun” science.  We love our science curriculum, but at times I miss some of the more random, fun science stuff we used to do.  So each week I plan to have one fun science activity.

This week it was to have the boys design paper airplanes and determine which design flew the best.

Paper Airplane Design

Supplies:
Paper (we used printer paper)

Activity:
Make a bunch of different paper airplanes.  Experiment by folding that paper different ways.  Which design goes the farthest?

Easy Peasy.

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My ultimate goal with this was to get the boys, especially Thing 1 to realize that it is OK to have failures. Thing 1 is very much a  perfectionist, and I want to help him realize that failure happens.  However, you can learn so much from your failures and make something better the next time around.

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As suspected, Thing 1 was disappointed that his first attempt didn’t work.  However, after a little bit of coaching, he kept trying until he built the airplane that went the furthest.

This was a simple and safe way to challenge him, without him really realizing it. I am such a sneaky mommy.

What fun have you had with paper airplane?

 

{Art} : 3D Hand

A couple of months back the boys and I went to an art studio for a painting class.  While we were there the boys saw a hand that looked like it was 3D.  Of course, they really wanted to try to make their own.  So a couple of weeks back, they boys attempted to make their own.  However, the patience required left our attempt somewhat unsuccessful.

First we started by tracing our hands.  Next, the boys were to draw straight lines until they reached their hand.  Once inside the hand, they were to draw arched lines until they reach the other side.  Needless to say, the boys lost patience pretty quickly.

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However, this is what Thing 1 was able to accomplish before he was done with the art project.

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Thing 2’s.

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Here is mine.

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Have you ever done a 3D handprint?

{Science} : Fingerprinting

One thing I wanted to do with our school this year is to have more fun.  One area it is easier to have fun while learning is science.  A couple of weeks ago (yes, I’m that far behind), we learned about the uniqueness of fingerprints.

First, I showed the boys pictures of fingerprints on the internet.  We discussed how fingerprints are used to identify people and talked about how there are three different types of fingerprints.

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Next, using black ink, we fingerprinted everyone in the family, even Daddy Cameron.  I think everyone had a whorl except Thing 2, who only had arches, if I remember correctly.

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The boys thought it was pretty cool to see what their fingerprints looked like.  I thought it was interesting to see how the boys’ fingerprints were so different, especially since they have the same parents.

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Have you ever done any fingerprint studies?