Eva Marina Homeschools

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Earth Day | Follow-Up 1

We love to craft.  So, when I saw this project shared by A Mommy’s Adventures I knew I wanted to try something similar.  She in turn got the idea from Itsy Bitsy Learners.  Isn’t the internet wonderful?  Be inspired! 

Our version was done using watercolors, oil pastels, and construction paper. 

Ignacio loves geography.  We have many maps and globes.  I found this tiny globe in the Dollar bin at Target.  It comes in very handy, especially when we don’t have much room left on the table.  Ignacio wanted to draw the outlines for North and South America.  He was afraid that if he didn’t, they wouldn’t be recognizable.  He had to decide where to start.

He did a really good job.  He drew it all himself.  He only asked for help in deciding how wide to draw South America.  (I should mention that we used a thick watercolor paper.  I traced a Frisbee and cut out the circle for him.)

He then colored it all in by layering two shades of green oil pastels.

I love Prang watercolors, you can’t beat their vibrant colors.  Ignacio chose to mix blue and turquoise blue for his water.  In all honesty, I was too lazy to go upstairs and look for our good brushes.  We used the brush included in the set and as you can see, we had quite a few loose fibers left behind.  No worries, they come right off once it dries.

I brought out some of our multi-cultural construction paper and Ignacio chose the paper he thought best matched him.  It is hard to tell from these pictures, but he did choose the best match.

For obvious reasons I traced his hands for him.  Using a 9x12” sheet of construction paper I had him place one forearm on each corner then position his hands towards the middle, almost touching each other.  He cut them out himself, only asking for help cutting where the fingers meet.

I cut out a heart to use as a template.  He then traced it onto red construction paper and cut his heart out.  I like using heavy bond double sided tape, rather than glue.  It forms a strong and immediate bond.  I especially like that the edges do not lay perfectly flat.  I love the texture and dimension.  We matched the corners in his arm cutouts to the corners in his background paper, perfect fit.  He loved this project!

A few close-ups:

Next post I’ll share a few resources we’ve been using this week to learn more about our Earth.

Earth Day!

Did you do anything special for Earth Day this year? Now that Ignacio can read, he likes to look for upcoming holidays in our family calendar. He has been looking forward to Earth Day for some time now. We decided to celebrate Earth Day the entire weekend by just getting out there and enjoying the outdoors. Ignacio and I started the weekend by volunteering at a local nature reserve. We pulled enough Garlic Mustard to fill half a garbage bag. We then went on a mini hike and bumped into a naturist. He took the time to talk to Ignacio about different plants and share ideas for future visits. On our way back, we met an astrophysicist! Turns out he shares Ignacio’s love for both Pluto and Betelgeuse, how awesome is that?! We enjoyed the rest of the weekend in our backyard and a local park. This is by no means a complete list of our activities, but I thought I’d share a few highlights.

Upon arriving at the nature center, we were asked to pull Garlic Mustard. It is invading the area and not allowing native plants to grow. I really liked how thoroughly everything was explained to Ignacio. They showed us pictures of what the plant looked like and explained why it needed to be pulled. The importance of pulling the root was also stressed. Ignacio was a natural! There were a few times that we found a worm within the root. We always set it free.

Afterwards we decided to enjoy one of the paved trails.  Ignacio decided to do this while walking backwards.  I have no idea what he is doing with his hands, he kind of reminds me of Frankenstein here!

He thought this was the perfect spot to rest.  He plans on bringing a book with him to read here next time we go, he claims it is very comfy.

The fun continued when we returned home.  We hula-hooped, played with bubbles, jumped rope, and enjoyed our swing set.  Francisco is determined to climb up the slide, he has yet to do so…

So much fun!

Sunday was full of fun times as well.  Ignacio loves to “fly like Superman”!  We tried to play Frisbee, but Francisco thought it was more fun to play keep-away. 

We decided to go kite flying, but once we got to an open field the wind just wasn’t strong enough anymore.  Good thing we brought our boomerang!  

I’m a sucker for beautiful flowers…

We also enjoyed the sunset…

Stay tuned, more Earth Day fun to come.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Shedd Aquarium | Follow Up

I thought I’d stick with the aquarium theme for a few days after visiting the Shedd. Nothing big or formal. We borrowed Life-Size Aquarium from the library before our visit. Ignacio read his Dive into the Ocean issue of Chirp Magazine on the way to the aquarium. Back home, we saw Dolphins: IMAX on Netflix the next day. I also left a stack of ocean related books on the kitchen table, Ignacio was free to read from them as he pleased. I took care of my three year old nephew for a few hours that week, Ignacio had a good time “teaching” him about the ocean.

Books we read:

Usborne’s First Encyclopedia of Seas & Oceans by Ben Denne
Usborne’s 1001 Things to Spot in the Sea by Katie Daynes
Usborne’s See Under the Sea by Kate Davies
Life-Size Aquarium by Teruyuki Komiya

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Field Trip | Shedd Aquarium

We recently spent the day at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.  We had a great time.  I thought I’d share a few highlights.

1. This adorable turtle has a spinal injury.

2. Rainbow fish… isn’t it beautiful?

3. Ignacio had just read a magazine article about Rainbow fish. It said that they are usually about the length of your finger. He was checking to see if it was true.

4. I love the way Stingrays swim, they look like they are flying.

5. Stingray smile!

6. Francisco, waiting for the show to begin.

7. I love seahorses, but they are so hard to photograph. I’m glad I was able to get some good shots.

8. Ignacio comparing his size to that of an Emperor penguin.

9. What an end to the Aquatic Show, four Pacific White Sided Dolphins jumping out of the water. You should have heard Ignacio the first time one of them flew out of the water. All he kept saying was “wow!”.

10. Pacific White Sided Dolphins.

11. The dolphins really like swimming upside down.

12. My beautiful boy. He wanted to have a puffin painted on his face, like The Mighty Sven in Happy Feet Two.

13. He just turned five in November and already he is 3’10” tall.

14. Veteran’s Memorial at Soldier Field.

15. Beluga whale.

16. Francisco, shortly before he had a meltdown. My husband ended up having to take him out for a walk and missed the end of the show.

17. They have workers blowing bubbles for the kids waiting in line, it was a huge hit!

18. A Beluga swam by to say hello. I love Beluga whales’ expression; something about that constant smile feels so sincere to me. I swear they make eye contact!

We don’t go to the Shedd as often as we’d like to, unfortunately it is just not in our budget.  The cost adds up quickly, but it is definitely worth it to go at least once or twice a year.  You should definitely plan a visit if you find yourself in the area.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

stART | What Makes a Rainbow?

Although Ignacio is now reading, I make it a point to still read at least one book a day to him.  He usually jumps in and we end up reading the book together.  We moved while I was recovering from surgery and I have yet to finish unpacking.  I like to bring a few books out at a time as a surprise.  I took advantage of Francisco’s nap and brought out “What Makes a Rainbow” by Betty Ann Schwartz. 

We read this book when he was younger, but he didn’t remember it.  When he first saw it he complained that I had brought out a “baby book”.  That all changed once we opened it and began reading.  He loved the way the ribbons formed a rainbow.

I love the colors used in the illustrations.

As Ignacio would say, “The happy ending”.

Ignacio has been very interested in collages lately.  When I saw a blow post showing how to make a rainbow collage I knew we had to try it.  I have some rolls of kraft paper that measure 13.5x30”, I began by taping one to the floor.  I purchased back issues of National Geographic magazine at a thrift store and piled them next to the paper.  Once I was ready, I showed Ignacio the blog post over at Art Projects for Kids using my NOOKcolor.

This project was a joint effort.  I cut out some of the more elaborate shapes, but he had a great time finding pictures we could use.

We began by simply placing the pictures into groups.  I’m glad I decided to wait until the end to glue them down.  It was like building a jigsaw puzzle.  It was interesting to see how the perception of color changes with its surroundings.  We thought we had too much orange, but once we started putting it together we realized it was actually the opposite.  Some of the orange pictures were really more of a red, others yellow.  We ended up having to go back and find more true orange.  Ignacio’s favorite color is green, of course we had more than enough of that color.

By the time we finished cutting everything, he needed a break and asked me to glue it all myself.  Once I was done I covered the entire collage with contact paper.  It was surprisingly easy.  There were a few air bubbles, but I find that in this case it actually adds to the appeal.  Here is the finished collage.

A closer look:

We really had a great time.  Ignacio wants to make another collage.  It was a very affordable project.  The roll of paper cost me .50 and the magazines were .20 each.  I should point out that I did finish an entire glue stick, glad I always have a few on hand.  What a great afternoon!

On a side note, while at the library the following day I came across “Ruby, Violet, Lime: Looking for Color” by Jane Brocket.  While it is more of a concept book than a story book, I think it is also a great choice for this project.

Make sure to check out more stART projects at A Mommy’s Adventures.