Tuesday, January 10, 2012

There's no business like snow business!

We've been busy over the past few days, studying Winter and Snow, as well as Geography, and I thought it overdue that I make a post with new ideas for you.  We've also got a great 'Rock and Roll' idea that we got from our trip to Toddler Time today at the museum, so we'll share that, too.  But, first, I'd like to start with one of my favorite poems by Shel Silverstein out of his Falling Up book, page 11:

I made myself a snowball
As perfect as could be.
I thought I'd keep it as a pet
And let it sleep with me.
I made it some pajamas
And a pillow for its head.
Then last night it ran away,
But first -- it wet the bed.

Also, in the last post, I listed a must-read for any Winter curriculum.  Well, here's another one -- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.  (It's also great combined with the 'Snowball' poem I just added for you!)
Now, on with the crafts!  The first craft idea today was taken from our Toddler Time class at the museum, with the theme, 'Rock and Roll,' which included a reading of the book, Pigs Rock! by Melanie Davis Jones (image below), and the making of 'Rock and Roll Marble Art,' using a white paper bag, marbles, paint, and some music!
Once we had finished our reading, we went down to the Art Studio and started our craft.  First, you add a marble to some paint.  Then, place your painted marble in a white paper bag, close the bag so the marble can't fly out, start some Rock and Roll music, and dance to the same, making your marble jump around inside your bag.  (Here, Mags is listening to her teacher, Ms. Jessamy, leading the kids in a dance.)
 Lucy, Mags, and Leah, waiting for the next song, with a new marble dipped in a different color of paint in their bags.
 Dance, dance, dance!
 Shake it!
 Here, Mags is taking a peek at her Rock and Roll art.
 Looking good!  Now, let it dry before you cut it open to reveal your work.
Maggie's 'Rock and Roll Marble Art!'  A masterpiece!  
Later, in continuance of our Winter studies, we made a 'Growing a Crystal Tree,' as seen in our Family Fun magazine, December/January 2010, page 93.  For the same, you will need some thin cardboard, scissors, a deep saucer or small bowl, a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, 1 tablespoon table salt, 1 tablespoon bluing (see below), and 1/2 tablespoon household ammonia.  Using your scissors, cut two tree shapes out of your cardboard, about 4 inches tall and 3 inches across at the widest point.  Then, cut a 2-inch slot in the top of one of your trees, and in the bottom of the other, like in the picture.
Join the shapes at the slots and stand your tree in your bowl or saucer.
Here is the bluing, an old-fashioned laundry whitening product that isn't too easy to find.  Their website says you can find their product at Winn Dixie stores, but after checking two locally, and several Publix locations, I finally lucked out after checking out our Lewis Jones store (not listed on their site as carrying their product).  
 Waiting to make the solution ...
 Next, in your jar, combine 1 tablespoon water, the salt, bluing, and ammonia.  (Be sure not to let your children handle the ammonia part!)  Fasten the lid, and shake well.  
Finally, pour your solution into your dish and leave your tree undisturbed.  Your crystals can take as little as an hour or as long as a day to being to form, depending on the humidity in your home.  (They grow better in drier air.)  The tree will keep growing over the next few days, until all of the liquid evaporates.
Here's our tree after just a few hours.
 This is the magazine's photo of how your tree will look!  We'll keep you posted on ours!  :)
Happy crafting!

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