Posts Tagged “summertime”

Avoiding the Dreaded Summer “Brain Drain” with Art & Edgar Degas

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So the Summer Family Fun Series continues, as does our art exploration. Last week we looked at Jackson Pollock thanks to a favorite little pig, Olivia. Since the story also contained “Ballet Rehearsal” by Edgar Degas, we figured why not explore Degas a bit further.

The same Classical Baby: The Art Show that we mentioned last week, also features the famous Edgar Degas painting, “Ballet Rehearsal” in a cleverly animated way.  Animation is a wonderful tool for introducing and engaging children in fine art. Here’s another example:

Another trick is using texture.  We love Make Van Gogh’s Bed because it showcases the artwork with a “touch the art” feature on each page. Check out “L’Etoile” below with the tulle skirt.

Touch the Art feature in Make Van Gogh's Bed

Touch the Art feature in Make Van Gogh’s Bed

Again, there are many great resources on Amazon or in your local libraries, these include: Degas and the Little Dancer, Junior Edgar Degas His Life and Art, and a personal favorite board book: Dancing with Degas. The Junior Edgar Degas is of particular interests as it is an ebook with geography, vocabulary and critical thinking built into its interactive format. It also features a quiz and free supporting materials.

Art is a great summertime topic because it combines so many fun elements.  Take this Edgar Degas Coloring Book, something the littlest ones and older ones can enjoy together, especially if combined with the Dancing with Degas board book as mentioned above. Older siblings can use both of these to engage younger siblings.  Art projects are great for rainy summer days or as a distraction from the heat… check out this Edgar Degas idea from The Crafty Crow.

For more Degas fun, visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art for the Dancers and Degas interactive online exhibit and tool kit.  We conclude our Edgar Degas round-up with a word search by

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Avoiding the Dreaded Summer “Brain-Drain” With Art & Jackson Pollock

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Finally, the summer has arrived and as much as we’ve all anticipated and waited and waited and waited for it… we dread the much feared “summer brain drain” syndrome.

At Homeroom At Home, we feel the summer offers the perfect time for crafting and art exploration. Many stores stock up on inexpensive crafting supplies and kits, so be sure to check out what is available and of interest. Perhaps, keep a small bin full of “rainy day projects” or add-on crafts.

In terms of introducing and exploring the mystery and fascination of fine art, consider the following fun example:Art Appreciation for Kids

My four year old loves the character Olivia… you know the adorable pink pig always dressed in red and black doing most adorable things. Well in the story titled Olivia this little pig takes a family trip to the art museum whereby the author/illustrator, Ian Falconer depicted two famous pieces of work – “Ballet Rehearsal” by Edgar Degas and “Autumn Rhythm #30” by Jackson Pollock.  So right there in the middle of a children’s story is the perfect opportunity to lightly discuss two very famous artists.  Now take this one step further with tools like Classical Baby: The Art Show, which also highlights a famous Jackson Pollock piece: “Number 1A”.  Sure this DVD is designed with babies in mind but seriously it is perfect for a backdrop while doing a simple craft or coloring. The art comes to life with classical music… and has been a favorite ever since we popped it in. Relaxing, inspiring and just amazing.  Now that we’re on a roll… let’s look at another favorite: Picasso That’s Who by Hope Harris.  We love this CD that highlights many famous artist and holds an underlying message that anyone can be an artist.  Be sure to check out the first track A-C-T-I-O-N which is all about Jackson Pollock, but the entire album is upbeat and inspirational.  You can check out our previous review here.  And then there are other resources for children, check out your local library or Amazon for the following cool titles: Jackson Pollock (Life and Work Of…), Jackson Pollock (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists), and Action Jackson, not to mention this awesome book of activities called Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects, which offers a DIY Jackson Pollock activity. So many options, so much fun… and learning all the while.

This of course is only one example. Look to do the same with Edgar Degas or Picasso. This was not a sponsored post, although we do have an affiliation with Amazon. These suggestions and opinions are strictly my own. Enjoy and have some artistic fun this summer.

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Summertime Block Party & BBQ Blogger Link and Giveaway

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So finally, the much anticipated, much needed summertime is on its way.  After such a hard winter… how are we to enjoy our summer?  If your family is anything like mine, ideas have been flying around for weeks – picking strawberries, swimming at the lake, going on a picnic and yes we have a family reunion on the horizon too.

For some, school is letting out soon.  For others – well weeks are left on the calendar after make-up days are calculated but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the warmer weather and the lingering daylight.  To that I say…

Welcome to the Online Block Party, hosted by Open Hands.
We have teamed up with several other great bloggers to bring you ideas that will help make your summer BBQ or Block Party a huge success! We also have a great giveaway with a retail value of over $400 that one lucky winner will receive!
Enjoy our post for this event & then enter the giveaway below. You also will want to be sure to check out the other great blogs participating in the event.
Block Parties and BBQs are popping up everywhere.  In fact, just this past weekend my daughter and I stumbled upon an Italian Festival.  Talk about a perfect opportunity to fold in some cultural learning.  We enjoyed music, cannoli, pasta and the Italian Market feel.  It was wonderful and we highly recommend world cultural festivals for learning fun.
  DSCN0518Here are four more ways to turn barbeques and backyard parties into educational worthy moments:
1.  Take advantage of the outdoors and especially if you are in someone else’s backyard.  Prepare a simple scavenger hunt, or using magnifying glasses have children scope out different habitats (like this hole in our tree). One afternoon in our front yard we saw plenty of unexpected insect, plant and small creature habitats.
2.  If having a bonfire – take a moment to talk about the cool properties of fire.  Here’s a cute diagram of the science behind the ever-famous s’mores. Does chocolate melt faster than marshmallow?
3.  Have your son or daughter take food or drink orders for a small group or table.  This will help in sequencing skills (who ordered pickles, no pickles, tea with lemon, water w/ no ice, etc?).
4.  Make a new variation to Hop Scotch… whereby using a die and multiplication.  Toss the stone, roll the die and only move if you correctly know their multiplied product.  Or for harder multiplication problems – use 2 dice and 36 squares.
There are lots and lots of ways to have a great time learning outdoors – the important part is to have fun and learn as you go. Enjoy this beautiful weather and much luck on the giveaway!!

Be sure to check out the other participating bloggers for great Block Party ideas:
Open Hands – Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
Momma Lews Blog – Root Beer Ribs and more
Raising Family on A Budget – Smoked Brisket
Princess Among Superheros – Make your own Bubbles
We’re Parents – Strawberry Lemonade

Mama on the Brightside – Easy Coleslaw

A huge thank you to our wonderful sponsors : Daddy N Company , Brylane Home & Wildtree with Kelly Velasco.


One winner will receive: Hickory Smoked Grapeseed Oil, Herb Grilling Marinade & Cactus Pete’s Agave BBQ Sauce from Wildtree ; a Chef Daddy Apron from Daddy N Company and a Grilling Gazebo from Brylane Home.
Head on over to Open Hands to read more about these great companies.


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