Thursday, December 17, 2009

recycling broken crayons you have as many broken crayons as we have? we tried this last summer (and just put our crayons out in the hot sun.) they melted perfectly, but we had only put them in a bowl, so the only way to get it out was to scrape it into a million pieces. this time, we did it per the directions. they turned out like they were supposed to, and the boys have already colored with them. i would love to figure out a way (with some type of mold) to turn them into an actual crayon shape. the discs are a little awkward to color with. guess we'll have to try again another day...

step 1: remove all paper from crayons
caution! children only last so long for this part, and you
WILL find yourself left alone for this fun task

step 2: divide broken crayons however you wish into paper-filled
muffin pan

step 3: put in the oven at 275, let them melt for 10-15 minutes,
remove paper and voila!

**something to remember: save some of those broken crayons!
they are great for practicing correct pencil grasp!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

craft ideas

...i really need to write these down somewhere i won't lose them. oh! my blog!!

crafts for me to do:

no-sew fleece pillows
silhouettes of boys' profiles
chalkboard plates for above kitchen tables
frame the boys' art and hang in their room
recycled magazine gift bows
make memory game card holders

crafts for j to do (with or without help):

tie-dye play silks
recycle broken crayons

Thursday, December 10, 2009

creativity at play

...the artist contemplates his next color choice...
(i caught him posed like this)

"next, we mix it all up..."

my current challenge? placing all of our arts and crafts supplies
at easy access for this one and keeping them OUT of the little guys' reach! hmmmm...


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

a day in the kitchen's not very often we make jello around here! needless to say, the boys were excited. of course, t would not even touch the stuff, since it looked "different." j loved it, and i thought it was pretty tasty, as well. we had planned on using our cookie cutters to cut out some christmas shaped jello, but it was a little too messy. j said, "that's okay, mom! i can just eat it like that! i don't care!!"

on the menu for our red and green lunch was (green) steamed broccoli, (red) apple slices, (green) grapes, (green) lime jello, (green) kiwi, and (red) raspberries. i had planned on adding (green) pickles to the meal, but i forgot until later. talk about a SUPER lunch ;) (i shudder to think about changing diapers later!!)

e inhaled his broccoli...and j's broccoli, and t's broccoli....AND then my broccoli once he joined me on my lap. he also ate his green grapes and his raspberries...along with some kiwi and shredded mozzarella cheese. (i don't know where this child came from b/c he is certainly not like my other two.)

(my plate...excuse the bite out of my apple...they were honeycrisp, and i couldn't resist!)

while our broccoli was steaming, j helped me prepare some chocolate chocolate chip cookies for a cookie exchange i am going to tonight. he loves "those little brown things," so he was allowed to eat four after we got our batter all mixed up.

what a fun morning. i must say, i am tempted to do a "color schemed" lunch/snack more often after the fun we had preparing and eating our lunch today.

Monday, November 30, 2009

colors are everywhere!!!





rainbows of color...

...let's look for colors all around
let's see how many can be found
which ones can you see with your little eye?
look around! give it a try...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

goodnight, sleep tight's time to say goodnight
and then blow out the light
the day is done
i love you, son
tomorrow, we will have more fun...

kitchen day

...a few days ago, j and t and i put together some homemade clay for painting and spent time cooking all kinds of make believe food for each other out in the garage/play room. we tried two different recipes for the clay, and only one worked for us. they had to dry longer than expected, but today we were able to paint our creations!! here is the recipe and a picture of the clay prior to shaping...

No-Bake Craft Clay


  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups cold water
  • 2 cups baking soda (1 pound)
  • Saucepan
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Plate
  • Damp cloth
  • Tempera or acrylic paints (optional)
  • Clear shellac, acrylic spray, or nail polish


  1. Combine cornstarch, water, and baking soda in saucepan; stir over medium heat for about 4 minutes until mixture thickens to a moist mashed-potato consistency. (For colored clay, add a few drops of food coloring to the water before it is mixed with cornstarch and baking soda.)
  2. Remove from heat, turn onto plate, and cover with a damp cloth until cool.
  3. Knead until smooth.
  4. Shape as desired or store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.
  5. Dry sculptures overnight, then paint with tempera or acrylic.
  6. Seal with shellac, acrylic spray, or nail polish.

...looks just like mashed potatoes, doesn't it?...

...we used cookie cutters and knives to make our designs...

...things we learned - make the clay very thin before shaping
(might have made the drying time much shorter.)
- use a straw to put
holes in the shapes for christmas ornaments

...we painted the shapes but did not seal them. next time, perhaps we'll make
a few more elaborate shapes to use for decoration in the kids' rooms...

Friday, November 13, 2009


...this is really helping j learn how to write his numbers...

1. straight line down and then you're done. that's the way to make a one!
2. around and back on a railroad track. two two!
3. around a tree and around a tree, that's the way to make a three.
4. down and over and down some more, that's the way we make a four.
5. straight line down, then around. hat on to and five's a clown.
6. six is found by going down and around.
7. across the sky and down from heaven. that's the way to make a seven!
8. make an "s." don't be late! back to the top and that's an eight!
9. a loop and a line and that is nine.
10. straight line down, it's fun, it's one! with zero beside it makes ten more fun!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

art day

...we got out the "create" box this morning, and j and t went after it.
after they did some roll painting with autumn colors,
we cut out some leaves from their paintings and made this display...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

painting with ice of us just felt like observing today...

collecting ideas

...activity ideas for day-by-day learning...
outside play
art (paint, rubbings, paint with mud, paint with spray bottle)
baking (bread, muffins)
create (clay; pictures with rocks, beans, rice, corn, seeds, sand; play dough)
body awareness and responsibility

...different items to paint with...
asparagus tips
pine branches
cotton balls

*all ideas are gleaned from other homeschooling/unschooling moms, the imagination of my boys, and yet many come about by chance discoveries...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

it's fall in texas

Red, orange, yellow and brown
Leaves falling all around
Red, orange, yellow and brown
Leaves are falling on the ground

...this morning, we danced in the falling leaves, collected items for our autumn nature table, and observed a colorful fly (as well as a wasp, an unidentified shell of a bug, and a moth.) once again, getting outside of the house lifted our moods and gave us many opportunities to enjoy each other's company. j even asked me to take a picture of him with his brother. the love they have for each other is evident in this shot...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

corn, rice, and a ladybug

...little fingers could not wait to touch the mini indian corn...

...making taco soup, chicken, and salad... was a difficult day. j and t went to mother's day out, and i was left to a quiet house. what was supposed to be a refreshing day left me with uneasy knots in my stomach about sending my sweet boys to school. j cried this morning (again) when i left him, and t was crying on his nap mat when i picked him up. no decisions have been made yet, but i am attempting to distinguish between what might be mother's intuition with what might be a struggle to work through.

it all made for a difficult afternoon. mood swings for everyone, tired boys, and a confused mommy do not bring about much fun. thankfully, getting outside offered fresh air and a chance to create things with rice and indian corn kernels. a little ladybug even insisted on joining us and did not want to leave. the tiny thing was even trying its hardest to climb into j's shirt...
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