Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day Themed Lunch

This morning when I asked my son what he’d like for lunch he said, “I wish I could have an Earth Day themed lunch.  Mom, can you think about that?”  At first I thought: what?! I meant do you want grape jelly or strawberry jam on your PB&J?  But this is what I ended up making for him in a pinch.
I mini whole wheat bagel
2 wedges of spreadable cheese (or dollops of cream cheese)
blue and green food coloring
turkey deli meat
Reserve a corner of the cheese to be left white for the arctic and Antarctic.  In separate bowls mix in 2 drops of green food coloring into one wedge of cheese and 2 drops of blue in the other.  Spread one half of the bagel with blue colored cheese and then dab the green colored cheese to look like continents.  Dab the reserved white cheese on the north and south poles.  Spread the other half of the bagel with a little mayo and place a piece of deli meat on top – Pack in a reusable container (it is Earth Day after all)  open faced so your child can see the decorated bagel. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Branching Out With Some Observational Drawing

My son and I set aside a beautiful spring afternoon for some observational drawing.  Our subject: Trees.  Spring is the best time of year for this since the weather is warming up and the buds are just beginning to pop in our neighborhood.  Without the leaves, you can really see the structure of the tree. 
My son chose his artistic media, oil pastels.  I attached a piece of heavy paper to a clip board and we ventured outside with our camp chairs.  If you don’t have folding chairs available an alternative, that also works great for groups, is to put a folded newspaper into a plastic grocery bag and you are good to go!  It’s waterproof, inexpensive and portable!
I sat with my son in our front yard and we talked about what we saw.  Where is the thickest part of the tree?  Where is the thinnest?  Notice how the branches divide and new branches grow?  I keep it light with minimal instruction.  I mostly ask questions to get him started in making his own observations.  I am intentional about pointing out what I see on the tree, not what he needs to do on his paper.  We are not striving for photorealism here.
To celebrate spring, I encourage you to take your little ones outside to observe the wonders of nature and create some masterpieces of your own!