Saturday, May 19, 2012

In The Garden With Van Gogh

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Mini Masters Art Series.  Collections of art & rhyming poems, with each board book highlighting a particular artist.  In The Garden With Van Gogh is the first we read in the series.  It features beautiful pages of... (you guessed it)... Vincent Van Gogh's work!

*  StoryIn the Garden With Van Gogh by Julie Merberg & Suzanne Bober
Age:  7 months
*  Activities/ Experiences:
          1. Floral nursery.
          2. Sensory bin.
Mmm, fresh blossom scent in the floral nursery

1.  Floral Nursery It just seemed logical to surround ourselves in a bunch of flowers for this book, as Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" and "Irises" are on the first couple pages.  We went to a local floral nursery for the aroma, sight, & feel of pretty, bright blooms.  And Baby Girl was really checking things out!

2.  Sensory Bin We've been playing in a sensory bin of colorful silk flowers while reading this book.  Throwing, feeling, tickling, & listening to Tchaikovsky's "Waltz of the Flowers."  This book is as beautiful as the petals we tossed around!

flower child

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Orange, Pear, Apple, Bear

The simplicity of this book is great.  Ordered it through Better World Books, and I highly recommend checking out their website.  Not only do they have great selections of new & used books for kids & adults (with no shipping cost), but the site also gives a portion of each sale to literacy campaigns around the world. They donate books to charities, help build schools, promote global literacy. Great organization!
*  StoryOrange, Pear, Apple, Bear by Emily Gravett
*  Age:  7 months
*  Activities/ Experiences:
          1. Fruit sensory bin.
          2. Homemade baby food.
          3. Fruity painting.

1.  Sensory Bin.  Played with bumpy oranges, smooth pears, & shiny apples to examine the fruit mentioned in the book.  As it turns out, Baby Girl was mostly attracted to the oranges.  Maybe because they're ball-shaped???

2.  Homemade Baby Food.  I love making K's baby food.  This easy concoction seemed to please her taste buds.  In fact, I think it could very easily be her favorite combination!  Again, we focused on the book's fruit:

Apple Pear Baby Food
Peel & core an APPLE & PEAR.  Steam them.  Whirl them in a blender with expressed milk (or formula) & cinnamon.  TA-DA!  Its a delicious snack.

3.  Painting.  Remember Tang?  My husband evidently has fond memories of drinking Tang in Kindergarten.  He's been reminiscing about it so much lately that he finally bought some!  So we actually had Tang already on hand for this painting project.  Blended it with greek yogurt, and Baby Girl finger painted that gritty mixture onto paper.  The aroma of ORANGES certainly filled the room! 

Bubble Trouble

You'd think since we've been reading this book for quite some time now... I could do it without blubbering the words.  But nope, its quite a tongue twister!  I double-dog ya to finish it without messing up!

Here's a sample: 
"Oh, what calculated catchwork! Baby bounced into the patchwork,
where his grizzles turned to giggles and to wriggles of delight!
and the people stared dumbfounded as he bobbled and rebounded,
till the baby boy was grounded and his mother held him tight.

*  StoryBubble Trouble by Margaret Mahy & Polly Dunbar
*  Age:  infant 
*  Activities/ Experiences:
          1. Bubbles.
          2. Alkaseltzer sensory bottle.
    2 months old.
    1.  Bubbles!  The Gazillion Bubbles Machine is tons of fun.  It spits out A LOT of BUBBLES!  And I just can't help myself.  I usually play Don Ho's cheesy rendition of "Tiny Bubbles" while doing so.  :)

    bubbles in action

    2.  Alkaseltzer Sensory Bottle.  Plop some crushed-up alkaselter in a bottle of water with a few drops of food coloring.  Quickly get the cap on, and watch the bubbles appear!

    Sunday, May 13, 2012

    Pop Warhol's Top

    A board book of modern art!  How fantastic is that!!  It's from the Touch The Art Series, with each enticing page offering a form of interaction; like lifting the lid on Andy Warhol's "Campbell's Soup Can."  --A FANTASTIC introduction to art for little readers!

    We celebrated Mr. Warhol by focusing on the soup can he is so well-known for.  (The book says he painted that tomato Campbell can because his mother made it for him every day as a child.  -Who knew!) 
    *  StoryPop Warhol's Top by Julie Appel & Amy Guglielmo 
    *  Age:  7 months
    *  Activities/ Experiences:
              1.  Playing with soup cans.
              2.  Making a soup can vase
          1.  First off, we played with SOUP CANS!  This simple activity actually held Baby K's interest for quite some time.  We stacked them, rolled them, & tipped them over in a sensory bin.

          2.  Soup Can Vase.  Used strips of newspaper dipped in a glue/water mixture to paper-mache the soup can.  (Well, I did this as Baby K supervised my work, ripped paper, & sent it flying across the room.)  Painted the can with pink acrylic paint.  Made green EDIBLE PAINT that Baby Girl rolled the can in.  Added a ribbon, water, & flowers from our garden. 

          paper-mache the can
          Edible paint recipe from The Imagination Tree:
          -2 c. corn starch
          paint the can
          -1 c. cold water
          -4.5 c. boiling water
          -liquid food coloring

          soup can vase (Mother's Day gift)
          Andy Warhol quote

          Saturday, May 12, 2012

          Look Look

          Probably the most read book since Baby K's been born.  The pictures in Look Look have long-since captured her attention!

          We've had some "BLACK & WHITE PARTIES" centered around this board book, since babies tend to like contrasting patterns.  (A simple celebration, mind you.  Not the lampshade-on-your-head kind of shindig.  --Oh wait.  On second thought, I should try that.  She'd burst out laughing!)
          *  StoryLook Look by Peter Linenthal 
          *  Age:  infant
          *  Activity/ Experiences:
                    1.  Black & White Parties!
          pretty in pearls- age 7 months
          checking out patterns- age 2 months

          Here's what we do for our "black & white parties:"

          playing dress up- age 3 months
          1.  Dress The Part.  Of course one must wear black & white to a "black & white party."  --Pearls seem to be Baby Girl's favorite "white" accessory these days!

          2.  Decorations.  You could go nuts with black & white decorations.  Fabrics, streamers, pillows, feather boas, whatever is lying around.  (There is a free, printable, visual stimulation card at Babystrology.)

          3.  Appetizers.  Get messy!  Vanilla pudding is great fun painted onto black paper. 

          4.  Music.  We've boogied to Billy Idol's "White Wedding," AC/DC's "Back In Black," and Paul McCartney's "Ebony & Ivory."  (I swear, Baby Girl LOVES my silly exaggerated dance moves!)

          our hand project
          5.  Craft Project.  During our most recent party, we traced the hands of mommy, daddy, & baby on black & white patterned paper.  (Inspired by hand pictures in Look Look & a craft project at Easie Peasie.)  Cut them out & positioned them in a frame for a cute keepsake.

          The creativity in this theme is endless!