Galaxy Homemade Slime

slimeOK if there was ever a pin for galaxy colored hands it should be with my hands in the photo! The other day I had to take Adam for his shots and I was so embarrassed after making this slime because my hands were blue, purple, and pink all over!  Now the slime did turn out really cool and it does stay nice and pliable in a airtight plastic container however the colors do mix up into a robin’s egg blue eventually.  To make the fluffy slime I used two regular bottles of Elmer’s Glue then I layered men’s shaving cream on top and added in contact solution.  I’m including photos and video below.



 




 

 

Georgia O’Keefe Unit

georgia-okeefe

Georgia O’Keefe is so inspiring as a woman and nature lover.  I did this unit as part of an Environmental Art art unit exploring the Enduring Idea of Nature and Art.  It took the better part of the spring to finish, but my students were very familiar with her work and what inspired her afterwards.

 

Art Unit: Georgia O’Keeffe

Grades: 4-6

# of lessons: 3

Art Resources: Artists in Their Time Georgia O’Keeffe by Ruth Thomson, examples of pueblos and adobe homes in photographs, photographs or actual animal skulls, examples of Georgia O’Keeffe’s flower paintings, pictures of flowers (I got mine from a calendar), and teacher products.

Art Materials:1 sheet of white 9”x12” paper per student, watercolors, water cups, pencils, paintbrushes, glue, 2 sheets of 8”x8” white paper per student, 1 11”x14” sheet of black paper, cups of glue and water mixed together, oil pastels, and 1 11”x14” sheet of white paper.

Objectives- Student will:
– create a multimedia southwestern landscape
– create an observational collage and pencil drawing of a flower
– create a painting of animal bones of flowers
– learn about the process of collaging- use various watercolor techniques
– shade using a pencil and create a grayscale
– draw using oil pastels
– learn about the life and art of Georgia O’Keeffe
– work in groups and individually
Interdisciplinary Connections: Science and Social Studies
Vocabulary: Georgia O’Keeffe, still life, landscape, Southwest, grayscale, shade, and adobe.
Lessons: The unit will consist of the following components:
A. Multimedia Adobe Landscape– Each student will paint a watercolor sunset on 9”x12” sheets of white paper. The student will then draw adobe homes using oil pastel.
B. Georgia O’Keeffe Flower Study– Each student will create an 8 square grayscale using pencil on strips of scrap white paper. Student will share a photograph of a flower with a group of 3 students and individually draw/shade a flower composition on 8’x8” white paper in pencil. Then he will redraw the outline of his flower composition on another 8”x8” white sheet of paper and collage with tissue paper scraps. Student will mat his work on 11”x14” black paper with glue.
C. Flower and Bones Painting– Student will draw in pencil on 11”x14” white paper a skull and a flower from studying photographs. Student will paint the picture using watercolors.

Easy and Beautiful Gluten-free, Vegan, and Kosher Gift Basket

For the holidays I struggled with the idea of what to get my parents this year. In years past when I was making a salary I could purchase them anything I wanted but this year was different as I’m a stay at home mom.   I figured DIY would be the way to go this year.  My dad just recently switched to a gluten-free diet. In my home we keep kosher and vegetarian. So as my parents were visiting I figured it would be a lovely hostess type presentation to give my dad a gluten- free gift basket that he could snack from while staying with me.

 

I started with this tin basket that I found at Michael’s. I got it for 40% off with my coupon which turned out to be a great deal. Then I went on to find some cute snowflake tin containers that I could put different food items and as well as snowflake treat bags.

I filled the gift tins and treat bags with nuts and a dried fruit. I included a bag of gluten-free pretzels and a bag of gluten-free granola. I found all of these items at Trader Joe’s.  If you go to their customer service they will print you out a list of all of their gluten-free items which is so incredibly helpful.

This turned out to be a really easy and useful gift for my dad. He didn’t have to go searching in my pantry for something to eat. He had plenty to eat while he was at my house despite all of the very different diets that we have in my home. This would make a great gift to anybody who’s visiting or staying with you. Also this would be a great teacher gift as it was fairly inexpensive and only took about 30 minutes to put together!  For shipping: I would recommend wrapping cellophane around it and tying some ribbon on top before putting it into the box so everything will stay pretty well in tact during the shipping. I also would recommend going with a lighter box, maybe even a wooden crate which they have plenty of at Michael’s and with that 40% off coupon it would be very inexpensive. You could also paint the crates different colors and match them with your tins!

Psychedelic Self-Portraits

On of the most exciting periods of music and art to study when I was a teenager and pre-teen was the Psychedelic era.  It seemed radical, revolutionary, and free.  Freedom is what those pre-teens and teenagers are craving so why not peak their interest with a lesson on John Lennon and Richard Avedon?

 

psychedelic

Title:Beatles Psychedelic Self-Portraits

Grades: Gr 4-8

Art Lesson Plan-4 50 minute sessions

Enduring Idea: Heroes and Heroines

Rationale: Throughout, time humans have created or selected heroes to teach lessons that portray virtuous characteristics and noble archetypes that help an individual, a nation or a culture survive and thrive.  Artists, have often been influenced by heroes and have portrayed real or mythological heroes in their artworks.

Materials: pencils. erasers, markers, 12″x 18″ white paper

Resources: Beatles by Avedon, John’s Secret Dreams: The John Lennon Story, examples of psychedelic art (Peter Max, Richard Avedon, concert posters), self-critique form

Preparation: precut white paper to 12″x 18″, gather examples of psychedelic art, and create an exemplar, create a self-critique form students can use to check their work according to the criteria they were given to complete the assignment

National Arts Standard Anchor (s):

#2. Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
#8. Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.

Objectives:
*Students will learn about the life of John Lennon and the Beatles
*Students will learn why John Lennon is considered a hero
*Students will become familiar with the psychedelic art of the 1960’s
*Students will create a self-portrait in the style of Richard Avedon’s portraits of the Beatles.

Vocabulary:
Psychedelic, Abstract, Self-Portrait, Repetitive Pattern

Interdisciplinary Standards:

  • Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).

Procedures: Day 1:  S will view teacher exemplar. T will review the lesson steps. S will listen to the book John’s Secret Dreams: The John Lennon Story. T “Why did John Lennon stage a bed in?” “What did John Lennon believe in?”  “What can we learn from his actions?”  S will pair up and trace their heads on a white paper in pencil.  Day 2: T will review the lesson steps.  T will review with class the examples of psychedelic art using the Elements of Art and Principals of Design.  S will use a ruler and pencil to add a psychedelic pattern to his/her self -portrait.  Day 3: S will review the steps of the lesson and vocabulary.  S will begin coloring in his/her self portrait with bright colored markers.  Day 4: S will finish coloring in his/her self-portrait.  S will use the self-critique form to self-critique his/her project using the elements of art and principals of design. S will hand in his/her project along with the self-critique form for grading.

Assessment:

S neatly and carefully drew the outline of his/her head on the paper and added a repetitive pattern. 3/10
S neatly and carefully colored in his her self-portrait using bright bold colors to create abstraction.  4/10
S answered all the questions on his/her critique form, demonstrating thoughtfulness as to how they describe their project using the elements and principals. 3/10

 

Make Ahead Pesto with DoTerra Oregano Essential Oil (Kosher, Vegan, Gluten -Free)

make-ahead-pestoAs you know I love essential oils. I am actually not at all advertising for DoTerra -I don’t have a membership anymore and I’m not selling oils. I do believe in the oils and I use them every day.  I use DoTerra products every day. I believe that they do help overtime to make your family a little bit healthier. I have started cooking more and more with DoTerra oils.  This is an easy pesto that you can make ahead of time and freeze in baby food jars and have on hand when you want to make pastas or pizzas or flat breads or avocado toast. I use a Ninja to process all of the ingredients but this can be done in a food processor or blender. I also will be sharing with you how to do this with a pasta and brussels sprouts which is how I’ve been serving it almost weekly to my husband -he loves it!  This recipe is kosher, vegan, and gluten free!
Ingredients:

1 stalk of brussel sprouts

12 oz. of pasta (I used brown rice and quinoa pasta from Trader Joe’s.)

16 oz. of fresh basil

6 oz. of Olive Oil plus 2tbs. For the brussel sprouts

2 tbs. garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

6 drops of DoTerra Oregano Oil

Directions:

Set the oven to 350°F. Remove the brussels sprouts from the stock using a serrated knife and then cut each of them and have removing the outer petals. Wash all of the brussel sprouts. I did this by placing on my brussel sprouts in a colander and then rinsing them off.  Set out a large pot of water with lots of salt and placed on the stove on high heat.

While you are waiting for the water to boil put all your brussels sprouts on a cookie sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix it up with your hands.  Put the brussels sprouts into the oven for 30 minutes.

By now the pasta water should be boiling add your pasta and cook according to the instructions on the box. While your pasta is cooking put the basil,  6 ounces of olive oil, garlic and oregano oil into the blender or food processor and blend until you see all the ingredients are completely combined.  Add salt and pepper to taste and blend one more time.  I only use 2 ounces of the pesto each time I make my pasta or pizzas so I put them into baby food jars and store them in the freezer.  They store nicely for about six weeks. If you really want to give your pesto a healthy boost you can add one or two more drops of oregano oil once it has defrosted on the countertop. The defrosting usually takes about an hour and a half at room temperature.

Ice Fishing Sensory Activity

ice-fishingWe don’t get a winter vortex in Las Vegas-and I don’t miss the 23 years I scraped windshields in Buffalo.  I do miss the beauty and quiet of snow.  Snow insulates sound.  I grew up next to a busy four lane street and when it snowed there was hardly any sounds from the traffic.  It’s peaceful and there’s nothing more fun as a kid than playing in the snow.  I went sledding and snowman making every winter. My friends and I threw snowballs at each other in the school yard.  My boys will be growing up with palm trees instead.

Since the boys won’t be seeing much snow or feel bitter cold I thought it was time to try some cold sensory art experiences out.


We did this activity with the My Petite Picassos Playgroup and t was a hit.  I used Swedish fish silicone trays from Ikea and filled them with water. After, I added a drop of gel food coloring.  I mixed it using a baby foods phone. You can also use a toothpick or straw.  I pop them in the freezer for about an hour and a half and they were all set. We used it on card stock so the paper wouldn’t buckle. The kids had so much fun!  One little boy painted for an entire hour!

Homeschooling:Our Schedule

When I decided I wanted to stay home with my boys one of my big reasons was that Ben was outgrowing staying home everyday  with our nanny.  She was more than perfect and still remains a close friend, but he needed to be socialized.  Adam at the time had just been born and would, of course, benefit from being close to his mom.  So I have created a class schedule for the week that introduces the boys to several subjects and experiences.

homeschoolingSunday: Ben has swimming class.

Monday: Both boys go to Open Gym at Gymboree.

Tuesday: Both boys go to music class at Gymboree

Wednesday: Play date/play group day.

Thursday: Both boys go to Toddler Time at our local science museum.

Friday: Both boys go to storytime at our local library.

Saturday: Ben attends the Sabbath program at our synagogue.

Adam learning about African music at Gymboree.

The boys having fun at Lego Club.

Once a month the boys have our My Petite Picassos play group on a Wednesday at our home.  They also attend Lego club at our library. Depending on the weather we hike pretty often with a babywearing group and we attend Attachment Parenting International play groups and meetings. We also are working on completing the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program at our local library. Language skills are really important in our home because the boys are learning two languages:English and Hebrew.  Ben is fluent in both.
The boys get a lot of socialization and exposure to a variety of interests.  I’m able to help them navigate these early experiences which is such a blessing.

Shakshuka Pizza with a Beer Bread Crust

shakshouka pizza.jpg

One thing about cooking is that I like to use an ingredient or leftovers to make something new. Last week I shared with you my recipe for matbucha.  Which you can find here. You will need to make it in order to complete this recipe-as it becomes the sauce for my pizza.

Shakshuka is basically matbucha with basted eggs on top.  It’s a really popular breakfast food in Israel. Every restaurant has their own version and it’s incredibly delicious along with some pita bread or some Israeli salad.  I saw a video last year on how to make this pizza but they just used tomato paste, onion, and some spices. Tomato paste has such a strong flavor and such a richness that I think it would be overwhelming. I believe using the leftover matbucha makes for more complex flavor.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 c. of flour, plus a little extra for rolling out the dough

1 c. beer

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. salt

6 tbsp. matbucha

2 c. feta cheese crumbles

4 eggs

Directions:  Pre-heat oven to 350 F.  Mix flour, salt, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl with either a standalone mixer or hand mixer on medium for a minute.  Pour in a cup of beer and mix until a dough is formed on medium, scraping the sides down. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and transfer onto a baking sheet.  Spread the matbucha out over the dough and crack four eggs over different areas of the pizza, nesting the eggs throughout. Then sprinkle your feta crumbles all over.  Bake for 25 minutes and enjoy!!!

Envelope Animals

envelope-animalsThis was a simple rainy day activity.  It’s gotten to be pretty cold here in Las Vegas believe it or not. This morning it’s 39° out -i’m from Buffalo,  New York that’s cold to me. Even though it’s called the sun is out and shining and it’s a beautiful winter. It even snowed a couple days ago. So as the kids have been inside more we’ve been doing more arts and crafts activities.  The other day as I was paying bills I put some envelopes inside and took out construction paper. I cut out different shapes and show them to Ben and we talked about with the shapes were.   He repeated after me triangle an oval. Then I helped him glue them onto the back of the envelope to create years. I took out some googly eyes we glue those on to the top of the envelope to make guys. Then I added some details to create the face so he could see the animal. I told him what type of animal it is in English and in Hebrew because he’s bilingual.  Then he had fun playing with his new markers and coloring them in.  You could easily include a book like Where the Wild Things Are to this activity.  You can make a whole zoo!  It’s a really cute, fun, cheap art activity with supplies you already have around the house!

Matboucha Recipe

matbouchaMatboucha is a warm tomato and bell pepper salad eaten commonly in Israeli and Moroccan cultures.  It’s one of my husband’s favorite foods.  Typically, in a Moroccan home the first course of a meal has several cooked and raw salads which are followed which a chicken/fish/beef course.  My husband’s grandmothers used to make 12 salads for the sabbath meal every week I’ve been told! That’s a lot of vegetables to chop!  I typically do four or five vegetable dishes for the sabbath dinner and this is one of the regulars.

Ingredients:

8 beefsteak tomatoes

1 c. of water

1 red and 1 green bell pepper

2 red chili peppers

6 cloves of garlic

1 onion

1 beef bouillon cube

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 tbsn. cumin

Rinse all the tomatoes and cut and X into each one of them on the bottom. Fill a large pot with water and place of tomatoes in.

Boil the tomatoes about 30 minutes -you should see them peeled start to shrivel up on the tomatoes. Then place them into a bowl with ice to cold shock them. Once the tomatoes are cool enough to touch peel off the skinfrom the bottom where the x is.  Add 1 tbsp. of olive oil into a pan.  Dice both of the bell peppers. Dice half of the onion. Place the peppers and onion into a large pan and cover with one couple water. Allow the water to soften the peppers on medium high heat, partially covered.


Peel the six cloves of garlic, dice the tomatoes and place them all into the pan along with the peppers and onion. Fill up a coffee cup halfway boiling hot water toss the bouillon cube, the salt and pepper with the cumin in to the cup. Break up the cube of bouillon with a fork, stir and blend the spices with the hot water and pour over the vegetables.  I use a vegetarian beef bouillon cube but you can use the real thing. Rinse  and add the two chili peppers, whole, with the salad. Allow everything to cook on medium heat partially covered. Use a potatoe masher to mash the vegetables down a little as you go.

Stir about every five minutes making sure nothing is burning on the bottom of the pan and then smooth over the mixture with the large spoon to see if there still liquid in the mixture. You’re looking to see that all the liquid evaporates out enjoy left with this sort of soft melange of vegetables and spices. Once all the liquid has evaporated turn the heat off and enjoy with a side of pita bread or challah bread. It’s delicious to make a sandwich with it with hummus or with hard-boiled eggs. I’ll be teaching you how to use it in a pizza in a future post.