This month has been art themed. What an amazing experience to explore different types and styles of art with Wes. Here are some of our favorite highlights.
We had a lot of fun making a Monet-inspired impressionist water lily art masterpiece! What I loved most about this particular activity was the variety of steps it took to complete it. We started with using glue to attach our water lily pads onto our "canvas". If you have kiddos that are great with cutting, you can have them cut out the lily pads, too!
Second, we scrunched up some scrap paper to dip and stamp our water on.
We then stamped green to add texture and dimension to our lily pads.
Wes didn't have enough "stamping" so I allowed his to extend this activity on another piece of paper. Practice makes perfect!
Next, we glued the bridge on!
Last, we added our crumpled purple tissue paper to finish our lily pad flowers.
Another favorite of ours was the framed flowers project inspired by Monet's Chrysanthemums. This is another multi-step project that allowed Wes to work on a variety of fine motor skills, like cutting, manipulating small objects and squeezing the glue bottle.
We started out by cutting circles from our pink hued papers. I couldn't snap photos because I'm still doing hand over hand, but you know how to cut circles, right?
Next, Wes glued his flowers were he wanted them. He's getting so good at controlling the glue bottle.
Next, Wes "stamped" chrysanthemums all over the page with a pokey ball using white paint.
Last, we attached our "frame". Masterpiece complete!
Giving More than Money
I really enjoyed the activity where we talked about giving. We talked about some times we choose to give things like our time, our heart and things we don't need any more. Wes and I decided that we were going to go through his toys and give some of the ones we aren't using to those who may find more joy from it than we are right now. I explained that some children don't have toys like we do and it would be kind to make them happy.
We also talked about how some times just giving hugs is something we can give to make others happy. We are really starting to encourage the boys to think of random acts of kindness for others. Starting small like holding doors open for someone or buying someone a cup of coffee are ways we will begin to model this for Wes.
Flag of France Collage
We started out by finding France on the world map. I explained to Wes that people who are from France are called French and so is the language they speak. He immediately asked about French Fries! Hey, he's making a connection so I'll take it!
We started our collage project by tearing up pieces of red and blue paper. What a great fine motor activity in disguise!
Next, we glue a line of blue paper on one side of the map to serve as our guide. We filled in the remaining space with blue paper as well.
Next, we did the same thing on the other side but with the red paper. Wes gets so proud of his art pieces!
The Answer is No
Wes and I talked about some times Mommy and Daddy have to say no to his requests for toys. I explained that some times we need to use our money for other things that are important and that we cannot always get things we want at the moment. We talked about the things we can do when this happens. One example we focused on is how we can make a plan to save money for a toy. Another example is maybe thinking of a way to use something we already have instead. I love that we are able to discuss and role play scenarios while driving home an important life message for Wes.
Dot the Painting
We also made a dot painting of rain on an umbrella. We started out the project by picking out the perfect blue for rain drops. I modeled for Wes how to dot instead of drag a q-tip to make drops. We made "plop" sounds while we dotted to represent rain falling on the umbrella.
Now, Wes wants to carry an umbrella everywhere! But, with no rain in our future, I let him have the umbrella, headed outside and turned the hose on! That on-the-fly activity was actually quite the blast!
Too Much Stuff
I really love some of the end of the lessons Mother Goose Time includes in our days. We spoke about what having too much may feel like and how we can deal with those feelings. We started out with a bag of rocks. I had Wes put the rocks in a cup. I asked Wes if he had a lot of rocks or not enough. Of course, he said he didn't have enough (perfect segue, kid). I explained to him some times we may see we have too much and a lot of the time we don't. I asked him to close his eyes and hold the cup. I poured water over the cup until it overflowed and dripped on his precious toes. While he found it funny, I explained to him that some times when we don't SEE we have enough, it'll eventually overflow our "cup" and run over making quite the mess for us to clean up. Some times when we don't SEE we have too much, we will eventually FEEL it.
We went back to our discussions about Falco and our lesson of being content. We talked about even if we SEE someone has more than us, we should be content with what we have.
This is definitely a discussion we have revisited over the last week. Whenever he starts to throw a tizzy about not getting something at the store I ask him these questions:
"Do you have toys at home?"
"Do you NEED this or do you WANT it?"
"Maybe we can go home and do something to earn it"
"Or maybe we can go home and pick out a few toys to give away so that we don't have too much"
I realized that I never explained to Wes how to use a dropper before. So, it was quite interesting breaking this task down step by step. But, now he's a pro!
Wes punched out his paint palette. We decided on the color blue. I had Wes add water to our cup to thin out the paint.
Next, we went through the step of using a dropper. We came up with a sing-songy script of "Squeeze then dip" to fill the dropper and of course, he totally got the squirting the paint onto his palette!
He loved making "bubbles" on the page and of course popping them!
We talked about how even on our palettes, we can find art!
I cannot believe that we are now at the end of July! Next month's theme is Inventor's Lab and I cannot wait!
Wes and I really, really, really enjoy the art projects this month. But, what I really enjoyed and appreciated were the lessons about financial responsibility and Falco's dilemmas. I think that while Wes is far from mastering skills like being disciplined or making choices with integrity and contentment in mind, it is definitely the foundations for life long characteristics that I want him to embrace.
I have one more review post of the last week of our Art Studio coming soon!
If you would like more information on Mother Goose Time and their curriculum, please visit their web site at http://mothergoosetime.com/.