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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Re-purposed Washer Pendants

Another wonderful idea I got on pinterest.com (find me!) using washers to make pendants. so easy, so fun, and I've worn them many times already!

You need...

Scrapbook paper
Scissors
Mod Podge
Washers (4 pk or 3pk for $0.97 at Walmart)
Triple Thick Diamond Glaze ($1.99 at Michaels)
Beads (optional)
String of your choice (I bought hemp)


Ok,  now the fun part! (and easy part!)  Trace the washer onto your favorite scrapbook paper and cut out--you'll need a front and a back).  Now,  Mod Podge the paper to your washers and trim as necessary. Now, liberally apply the Triple Thick glaze to one side and let dry (about 12 hours--i know, so long when you are waiting on something!) Then,  flip over and glaze the other side (although I did not on the first 2 I made because I was too excited and just wanted to wear it! Once dry,  cut the cord, leather, hemp, string you chose to the length youd like,  giving a little extra room for tying off. Loop the string through the hole in the washer (youll be able to see how I did it in the picture to follow)  I then added a wooden bead,  sliding it all the way down to sit on top of the washer,  and knotted the end. And there you have it! A super cute necklace that costs only a dollar or 2 (well...depending on your string choice--i started with a $2.40 pack of string that I only got 2 necklaces out of,  but today bought a $4 ball of hemp that I should get good use out of!)  I also found today some Shell Pendants on sale at Michael's for $2.99 that the washers will fit inside of,  so Im going to try to pair a couple for a different look! Possibilities are endless! If you try some, please share with me!

Here are the pictures....


Turn a photo into a canvas portrait!

Well...I was on pinterest.com and found this idea. It was instructions on how to take a portrait and turn it into an amazing portrait on cavas to hang on your wall.  It was so easy and I absolutely LOVED it. I can't wait to do more! (again--NOT my original idea)

What you need:

A canvas of any size. (I used 11x14...on sale 2 pk for 7.99 with a 50% off coupon = I paid $3.99!!)
A photo of your choice.  (I took my memory card and brought it to Walmart and printed an 11x14 poster size photo for $5.50--it was a color picture, but I chose to print in black and white)
Glue. (I tried tacky glue--but had to go back with super glue)
Mod Podge
Brush (I used a foam brush--got 20 for a $1 at Michaels)
Black Paint


What you do:

Ok,  first,  paint the edges of the canvas whatever you choose. I used black acrylic paint.  Then put the glue on the canvas and lay your photo down,  pressing gently to smooth out any bumps or bubbles and let dry a few minutes.  Next, check to see if there are any areas hanging over the edge that you need to trim. I did not but it may happen. Now take the modpodge and spread it liberally across the photo with the foam paint brush.  I spread the modge podge going in one direction--across the photo as opposed to up and down.  And it is OK to use a lot...remember, mod podge dries clear!  Now, of course let that dry. Once that is dry,  you can take a sponge, cloth, or another foam brush and apply the color of your choice,  I used black because it was a black and white photo--and dab the corners of the picture to blend it into the sides of the canvas.  The BEST part of this part is, since there is mod podge on the photo you virtually can NOT mess it up--if you put paint down and want to fix it,  simply wet a cloth and wipe it away! its that easy! And ta-da...you have a great portrait on canvas to hang on your wall!!


I was so impressed with this project and fell in love with making these. I made one for my sister for her birthday using a photo of my niece, Kourtney. 


Here is the photo I used....



This is the final product:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Applause Worthy Preschool Science =)

I have been trying to incorporate a science experiment in my morning circle with my students at least once a week & I have tried all kinds!  Some...did NOT hold their attention.  Of course,  they are 3-5 years old. Why would they care to compare the feeling of different items? But others,  had them clapping and cheering in their seats & made me laugh to myself.  Which ones got that reaction? The most simple experiments which had them guessing what the outcome would be. 

First one....Layering liquids to make a "rainbow" in a jar.
I took a small glass container and brought in 4 plastic cups filled with my mystery rainbow ingredients.  First,  I poured into the glass container some Karo Light Corn syrup with which I mixed in blue & red food coloring to make purple.  I then asked the children what they thought would happen if I poured in some blue dish soap.  Most guessed it would sink or mix.  To their surprise, I poured it in, and it floated on top! So next up,  some green water. Again,  I asked them what they thought would happen and they all shouted out similar sinking & mixing answers....waiting impatiently for me to pour it in.  While waiting I noticed they all were sitting right in their seats in circle,  fixated on the jar. It was nice to see them all focusing and involved! So,  in went the water...and it sat right on top of the dish soap. So now I had 3 layers.  Lastly some yellow vegetable oil!  that went in and I held up or rainbow (missing some orange and red) and they all cheered and clapped and asked me to walk around and show them.  It was a great activity for them because they did not know what would happen and were so excited to find out what was to come. I loved it, they loved it and I was so happy it went well!

Second one....Exploding Milk!
For this one I poured some milk into a shallow round pan,  maybe half an inch worth.  And dropped in various colors of food coloring spread out throughout the milk.  Then I took out my milk exploder....my dish soap. I asked the children what they think would happen if I dropped some dish soap in. I got lots of answers! Many about sinking, floating, disappearing.  So....I had them all lay on their bellies and get ready to watch....and dropped a drop in,  right in the middle of the pan.  As I did the food coloring drops flew across the pan and started swirling around.  They never mixed, the colors stayed very distinct and it looked great! They loved it and even asked a very scientific question "Kristin! What will happen if we put in ANOTHER drop??" So we tried it,  observed, talked...they all cheered and clapped and were all smiles. It was a great experiment because they  had no idea what to expect and the element of surprise kept them right with me the whole time!

These are great because not only are they great for school, but they are both using things that can be found at home!   Here are a couple of photos....(not from mine unfortunately, just google images to give you an idea.)

Test = T-shirt Headband Result= Success!

I had previously posted about this....Re-Purposed T-shirt Headbands <3 and said I would give it a try,  given the rainy cold New England day I see outside my window,  I finally gave it a shot.  And....drum rollll....I love it! This is such a GREAT project and it is so EASY! It did not take very long and the directions were fabulous and followable for any skill level. I would however, recommend you do use a thick, smooth, classic t-shirt.  I tried to use a black, finely ribbed, thin shirt I had laying around and it came out great, but I dont think it looks as great as a nice thick, smooth tee would have! Here are pictures of mine....I cant wait to try more!

      

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Great Advice.....

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be
it.

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by
scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
than my own meandering experience.
I will dispense this advice now:

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.
Oh nevermind. you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.

But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and
recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really look.

You’re not as fat as you imagine.


Don’t worry about the future. or worry, but know that worrying is as
effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing
bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.


Do one thing everyday that scares you.  Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts.
Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy.
Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.


Remember the compliments you receive....forget the insults, if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they
wanted to do with their lives. some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.


Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children,maybe
you won’t. M
aybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky
chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.


What ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for
good.
Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the
people most likely to stick with you in the future.


Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you
should hold on.


Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will
philander, you too will get old. And when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.


Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you.

Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will
look 85.


Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it.
Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen…


"always wear sunscreen"--Mary Schmich

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Modpodge....

Today I was feeling kind of tired and lazy....so for my craft project of the day I took a magazine,  an old picture,  a piece of paper, & some modpodge and went to town! I made a collage and loved every second of it! I love using 1 product that can both be an adhesive & a finishing gloss.  It is one of the single most awesome products you can use when doing arts and crafts.....a must have! I even used a 50% off coupon at Michael's Craft Store so I only paid $3 for the whole container.  My question of the day is....What do YOU like to use modpodge for?? I would love some other ideas as to what I can do with it! Please share your thoughts, ideas, & experiences! Id love to hear from you =)

Friday, September 23, 2011

You watched what?

I spend all day just about everyday conversing with 2-5 year olds.  So naturally,  what they watch in their free time at home comes up quite often.  It also is evident in their play quite often.  It general involves "hex girls",  "power rangers", "buzz lightyear" & Miley Cyrus...and lots of running, yelling and fighting.  I occasionally hear "My mom & dad dont let us watch Sponge Bob...they dont like it!".  I kind of have to laugh to myself and think back at our play as children. 


How different it was! Our mom would send my sister, my neighbor and I outside all the time. We rarely ever ever got to play inside.  And we of course immitated what we watched. But,  I can't say I remember myself,  or anyone I knew...playing like I see now.  And this is not a stab at parenting,  this conversation has nothing at all to do with parenting.  It is just what children's television has come to now.  It amazes me the adult jokes, underlying meanings,  weapons, violence, and "snotty-ness" I see & hear about on the shows geared towards younger children!


So....as I am thinking about these stories and seeing this play (which we strongly discourage at school....we tell our children to use their own brains,  come up with their own superheroes or their own games & ideas) and I have to think back to all of the shows we watched as kids. Of course in their own way can be argued as bad influences,  especially when referring to disney (which i personally LOVE...but am well aware of all of the controversies involving the disney films)....but I just think about how DIFFERENT they were.  Fun, Musical,  Light hearted.  As I gave this some thought....I few old favorite of mine came to mind.  Do these bring back memories for anyone?  What is your opinion of this on going arguement?   Let me know!  (and i hope some of these bring you back to you childhood moments!)


Rainbow Brite

The Popples




David The Gnome


Eureka's Castle

Lady Lovely Locks


Fraggle Rock!!

Ok, Ok....so really,  they are obviously shows I watched as a little GIRL...boys may have seen some different shows in the early 80's....what were your favorites!! I want to hear all about them!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Big Boy Voice

This is just a super quick story from my day in preschool....it made me laugh and figured someone else out there may get a laugh out of it.

I was on the play ground and a group of 4 year olds went tearing by me...2 laughing and having a grand time,  shouting out instructions to one another with 1 in tow,  crying and shrieking and whining the whole way,  kicking his legs out to the side as he ran.

I call to the last 1 in the line and asked him to come over....I tried to explain to him that his friends may not listen to him if he was whining and he should use a big boy voice...no more screaching.  I concluded this conversation with "Ok,  so where is your big boy voice?" 

He stared at me for a moment blankly....the in low, whiney voice and a huge scowl on his face he looks me in the eye and says "but I cant find itttttttttttttttt!!"

haha. oh my was I not expecting that at all.  It took all I had not to laugh...instead I simply instructed him to look in his pockets and see if he left it there when he was getting ready for school.  Sure enough,  he found it....and off he ran. haha...made my whole day!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I Love Chalk Board Spray Paint

I have a new love.  Chalk Board Spray Paint. Throw in some fake flowers & ribbon...oh my word. So cute! I took some empty mini wine bottles & sprayed them with the chalk board spray paint & thought I was done.  They were cute, stuck 'em on the shelf,  end of story.

But....today,  fake flowers were on sale at Michael's for .99 a bushel. Beautiful fall colored flowers, leaves, berries, etc. And ribbon was on sale for 50% off....so I had to get some for incase purposes!

Well...I am so glad I did. I came home,  cut off a few flowers and stuck them in a vase i bought...a face that is way too long for little cut-off fake flowers. Bummer. Then....I remembered! My chalkboard wine bottles!!!

And well,  they fit absolutely perfect.  But...were missing something.  Yes,  my just-in-case ribbon!!! Put the 3 together? And I got a pretty fabulous little fall centerpiece for my coffee table! It may just be my new favorite thing in my apartment.  I am contemplating spraying a bigger wine bottle tomorrow and putting the 2 together on the table as I really am a fan of the various size-look.  So simple, cheap & festive!  Here it is....












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Fall Wreath Project

Today I was determined to create a fall wreath.  So I went to my favorite weekend destination...Michael's Craft Store.  They had soooo many excellent deals today! But for the purpose of this story...I will only discuss items related to this project...other wise I'll babble forever =)

Well...I purchased a straw wreath for 2.99,  brown yarn for just under $3 (which I only used a fraction of....so that $3 will last me many more projects!) and felt was an amazing 5 for $1!!  What a deal! So I picked up a hunter green,  cranberry red,  brown,  and 2 different shades of yellow.

Ok, ok...got it, now what did I do? Well...prepare yourself for about an hours worth of yarn wrapping.  Yep,  I sat there for over an hour watching the Kardashians & wrapping yarn.  When I got to the end, all I did was tie it off with a simple knot. 

As for the flowers,  I really had no plan.  I had just bought sunflowers & really liked the layered look,  so figured Id mock that using 2 colors per.  I found some great glue called "Craft Smart Tacky Glue" for 1.99 that specified felt as one of the items it works for. It worked really really well to hold together the flowers.  I also found a 3 pack of buttons at Michael's for a dollar or so and secured each one to the center of a flower using super glue.   Then,  attatched the flowers to the yarn of the wreath with super glue. I plan to play more with the felt and try different "flower" techniques and see what other styles I can come up with!

And that was that! Super cute,  super easy & a great fall accent for your home! 




Thursday, September 15, 2011

Extreme Couponing??

Ok,  so I have seen the couponing show with the people spending $850 and saving $820 and I am sort of intrigued.  Im always a fan of competition & a good challenge.  I don't see myself however,  shopping OR standing in line for hours with a color coded, 3 ring binder full of coupons for 1876 things that i am buying just because I can.  Id like to give it a try and see what I could do with things I want AND need.  So....I'm wondering if any of you out there do this couponing business I hear so much about? If you do...where do you look for your coupons? Any tips? Suggestions?


One of these days I'll be ambitious enough to give it a shot and try it out! Results will follow! :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Re-Use Old Shirts =)

Got some old shirts or tank tops laying around?? I just found this project and I can not wait to try it this weekend! I will post pictures when the project is done.  Myself & Josh have quite a few old shirts I could cut up.  I am thinking I may try to find little accessories at Michaels that I can attatch to them.  I will keep you posted as to how it works out & if anyone else gives it a try,  please please feel free to report your experience!

Click here for directions as to how to use that old shirt to make a cute headband!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Who Doesn't Love a Glow Worm?

My niece Kourtney Elizabeth turned 1 this past August.  And I figured after hearing the stories about her love of my gift...I should do a product review.  If anyone is wonder what toy a 1 year old child may love--my suggestion to you will be something even my sister and I had as children and loved.  A GLOW WORM.  Dont know what a glow worm is?? Well....here you go....


This is the one my sister and I had as children....

 


Here is the one I bought Miss Kourtney....


My sister (her mother) has told me this glowing-lullaby-playing adorable little bugger is her most favorite thing out of the spoiled little princess' birthday gifts! She lugs that thing around like there is no tomorrow! and I could not be happier.  Even better? 9.99 at walmart! You can not go wrong! And with a great brand at that!

Her Birthday is in SPRING

This is my first fall at this amazing preschool I am so very lucky to be a part of.  So,  I am learning what happens as new students start and what not.  I am the artistic one of my teaching team so most bulletin boards and such I gladly volunteer for.  This fall one of my duties I took on was the birthday wall.  My wonderful co-workers told me that a few years ago they had a board that was divided by the 4 seasons and a way to distinquish the 3 months within that season with the children's birthdays on it. 

So...I made(pictures will follow, but I do not have any tonight)

Fall--a tree with red apples (september birthdays),  yellow apples (november birthdays) and little orange pumpkins at the base of the tree (october birthdays)

Winter-- a snow man with top hat (december birthday--yep, only one--me!) a scarf (with january birthdays) and boots (with february birthdays).

Spring-- a pink flower, yellow flower and purple flower--i dont know specifics but march, april & may--each on one color

And last but not least--Summer--a sun,  orange rays (june birthdays) red rays (july birthdays) yellow middle (august birthdays)

Ok,  lovely...the things are hung up in the room where we do meeting.  I didnt think the kids payed attention,  but it looked darn cute.  So out on the play ground today,  I'm chatting with a 4 year old. "Her birthday's in winter,  Her birthday's in winter,  My birthday's in winter, Your birthday is in winter...." he tells me.  I say yes, and point to another girl, and she will be 4 in winter too! i tell him.  Oh, no! Was I wrong and did he let me know it! "NOOOOO!" he shrieks at me! "Her birthday is in SPRING!" i of course disagree because obviously I should know everything and kindly tell him,  no, it is in winter! He screeches at me again.  and again. AND AGAIN.  Finally I'm wondering...why the heck is he so insistant on this and how the heck does he know her birthday is in spring???

Good one Kristin....the gosh darn birthday wall clearly tells him that her birthday is in spring. her birthday is not on the silly snowman,  its on the darn flower!!!!

haha....i am so glad my birthday wall display has served is purpose....the kids learned,  and kristin...was proven wrong again!

Monday, September 12, 2011

myfitnesspal.com

As someone who is always trying to find weight loss aids,  tricks, tools, programs etc....I was very excited to find this very helpful, easy,  fool proof site.  I came across someones post on Facebook mentioning how they were using myfitnesspal.com.  So naturally,  I checked it out. 


http://www.myfitnesspal.com/ is a 100% free website...which,  can be great....unless you get bogged down with 137 emails a day claiming you have messages, offers, tips, etc etc etc.  When thats the case,  I get so annoyed I don't bother with the site anymore.  But I have not found any of that with this site.


next on my list...is it going to tell me what to eat? I am so picky and don't like anything, so once I get to that step, I usually bail.  The answer? NO! Infact...this site just tells you what your daily calorie intake should be, fat intake, etc.  That's all. Your goal?  To stay inside that guideline. 

I know, I know...."How??" you are asking.  Well....that make this easier than anything I have ever seen, tried, heard.  There is a "Track Food" tab.  Your job?  Enter what you ate & drank. What it does? It actually has an enormous food encyclopedia with just about anything you can imagine.  Size, Flavor, Brand...you name it.  So...you type it in...the amount, and it calculates for you all the information you need to enter! I even went as far as to try "pizza with a bisquick crust" (we had no food in the house that day) and they had it!   Calories, Fat, Protein,  Carbs...its all there, right infront of you! Tells you how many you have used,  how many you have left.  Its so easy.


It also has other trackers...like excersise,  same idea as food.  Walked briskly for 30 minutes? It will calculate everything else for you!  Weigh ins, message boreds, tips, tools, friends,  forums, tools.  It is an amazing resource for anyone out there who is looking to try to make some life changes.  It is so easy, quick, and best of all screw-up-proof! I would easily recommend this to ANYONE with goals to reach--no matter how big or small!





I loved going to the gym,  but do not have time in my day to travel back and forth to one.  I plan to combine this amazing tool with the EA Active Personal Trainer for the Wii and get my butt in shape.  I will keep you posted on progress and any other tips I have & would love to hear from anyone out there trying to do the same.  And if you sign up for myfitnessplan.com....find me! kristin1219.  =)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mouse in the house?

This does by no means apply to paint or preschool....but it is part of Kristin's World.  We had a mouse. I hate mice. I hate anything breathing in my apartment that is not myself or Josh.  So...I paniced.  Could not sleep for days & was petrefied anytime my foot brushed against something while walking down the hall.  I found the most amazing mouse trap I could have ever asked for and thought I should share the tip with anyone out there who may have the same fear of a very small unwanted guest in their home.  I was at walmart...gazing the shelf and saw a package that said "Kill & Contain--Simple, Safe, Clean" And I am sorry for anyone who may be offended by the death of a mouse,  I really am....but I just could not bare to even see it,  touch it,  hear it...nothing.   Well,  I bought this $4.99 trap and went on my way home.  Instructions were simple enough,  open trap door,  apply bait such as peanut butter (which I did use), close trap door and turn lever to "trap set"......well....low and behold, 3 days later the lever was now pointing to the middle option "MOUSE CAUGHT!!!" in red writing.  And let me tell you....I did not hear a thing,  could not see a thing,  just a white container that said mouse caught....I picked up the trap,  threw it away...and that was the end of the mouse issue.  I would without a doubt recommend this amazing, simple, clean, no-mess, no sight trap to anyone who may feel the same way I do about these little creatures!!!!  Here it is incase youd like one for yourself.....

Miracle Mouse Trap For Those Intimidated Like Me!

9-11

Before I even mention my american flag craft project....I think everyone should just take 1 extra minute to watch this video.  It is the perfectly done Budweiser commercial that aired today.  I think it is a great example of how sometimes using no words can say even more than if there were.  I have re-watched it at least 12 times since I saw it & everytime I just think about how great I think it is...




http://youtu.be/cRclMgMoUn0




it is 1 minute that everyone in the United States should take time for. Just 1 minute to see, to think, & most importantly just remember. 




I did do a patriotic art project for the 9-11 anniversary.  I found a wooden heart at Michael's craft store for .99,  but once I got home I could not think of what to do with it.  Josh then suggested I add a 9-11/US Flag piece to my building collection of crafts and immediately I thought of the perfect use for it.


I took out my navy blue and crimson red water color paints and painted the top corner of the heart blue, the rest the red.  I then found a off-white, sort of rustic looking scrap paper and measured 1/2 inch strips.  When the paint was dry I think glued the strips onto the red portion of the heart,  1/2 inches apart, trimming the edges.  I then cut out stars from the same paper and glued them into the blue portion of the heart.  Spraying it with the clear gloss. Very simple & an easy way to display the American flag in your home in memory of those lost in the 9-11 tradgedy all year long.  I hope to find a way to put "9-11 never forget" or "always in our hearts" on it to complete the look.  Although I am not sure how I want to approach that! Any suggestions are welcome :)








(still needs some cleaning up & of course some words to represent its meaning)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Scrapbook Paper & Bird Houses

This past weekend,  I was searching for new art projects to try for myself to do at home.  A few weeks ago I had bought these miniature $1 wooden birdhouses at a craft store and set them aside for a rainy day.  Although--the most creative thing I could think to do was paint them with watercolor paints.  As I was scanning through online articles and art blogs one evening a week ago,  I came across a page that used scrapbook paper for different crafts other then scrapbooking...and ah ha! THAT is a creative idea to use on mini bird houses!

So from there,  I had to collect my super glue, scissors, tape measure, and water color paints. I measured around the bird houses and from top to bottom and cut out the piece.  Instead of measuring the opening and the little peg on the bird houses,  I rubbed the part of the paper that lay over those spots a little and it left an inprint...perfect as a guide to cut out those spots without any annoying, time consuming measuring.  I then set aside the cut pieces of paper and dug out the water colors,  coloring the roof, base and the stand.  I chose water colors because they glide really really well and they dry super fast! A few minutes later I was ready to use some super glue and place the paper I had just cut over the bird house....although,  super glue was a huge pain because even the slightest shift or skin contact and it was a mess.  Its hard to get the paper accurate using such a quick adhesive.  After that was on...I gave it a quick spray with some glossy sealer and that was it! They are a great little decoration for any home,  I put them on a wooden shelf in my kitchen and they look so cute!  Not to mention they are quick and easy!  Here's a view of 3 I made.... 







(you should check out * www. massauthentics.com *)

The Mixed Up Chameleon

Today during circle time in my preschool, I did the routine....we stretched our muscles, we talked about the calendar, we talked about the letter "A" and built a great list of A words together. The next thing we did, made my day. It left me smiling and remembering why preschoolers are so great and why I love teaching them so much! It also showed me the importance of books and how they can open up all kinds of learning opportunities for little ones!
 


We started by reading the book "The Mixed-Up Chameleon" by Eric Carle. I read the book out loud, showing the pages and describing the animals this chameleon wishes to become in a very in-awe fashion, all of them sat quietly watching, shouting out any "a" words they heard. Then came the giggles as the chameleon added more and more parts from various animals at the zoo, attempting to be all of them combined....for he felt he was VERY boring just being himself. As we came to the last page they even began telling me what they thought Eric Carle used to make the great pictures..."paint!", "markers!"....everyone had an opinion.

As the suggestions rounded out, I then asked the children...."Was the chameleon happy when he was all of those different animals?"--Nooooo! they called out to me. "Did the chameleon wish to be back to his old self?" Yessss!!! They cheered. "If you told the chameleon YOU wanted to be something else....what do you think he might tell you?" and surprisingly....a few of them called out, "To stay YOU!", "Be yourself!", "Don't change!" I was so happy they were finding meaning in this silly, mixed-up story!

I took it another step further and asked them if they could choose ONE animal to be mixed-ed up with, what would they choose and why? I got some amazing answers such as:

A lion so I can roar!
A cheetah so I can climb trees and run fast!
A fish...because I can NEVER catch them!
A bear so I can eat meat.
A donkey because they can kick.
A whale because they spout water out of their HEAD!

....every single child had a different, creative, fantastic answer that had me running for a piece of paper to write it all down. I was so proud of these little ones. They followed along with me and took this story from just a story to a discussion of art, animals and their traits, and morals of the story. I could not have imagined anything better from a group of 13 preschoolers. I dont think parents often realize just what might come from some simple questions you can ask your 3 year old. It is so important to not only read, read & read more....but to talk, discuss, question. They will surprise you! They will give you amazing answers you might never expect! I know I enjoy it....I know their parents would've too!

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