Thursday, July 25, 2013

July Day 11 - Starry Night & Vincent Van Gogh

Today was a star themed day as we learned about the painting Starry Night by Van Gogh.  We started in the typical fashion for this month. Calendar, shape on the Easel Poster and pulling out the Resourcefulness feather.  The boys are getting much better at these scenarios.

Next we did the Shoot for the Stars game.  I cut out 4 paper stars, not very well, mind you.  I wasn't sure how to go about making stars.  I should have found a star puzzle piece or something to trace.  Instead I free handed.  They were all small and uneven.  But hey, stars don't have to be perfect, right?  I wrote S, T, A, R on the stars, one letter one each.  Taped them to a string and tied them to a tree branch in the backyard.

"You guys want to play a game?"  NO! Okay, well I am going to go play.  I grabbed the inflatable globe that came in the box this month and started tossing it at the stars hanging from the tree.  It didn't take long until they were intrigued.  Why on earth is Mommy throwing a ball at the tree?  This we have to see.

Lachlan went first.  I instructed him to throw it first at the S, then T and so on until we spelled the word star.  Then brother followed suit.  What a fun way to try to recall letters.

 Lachlan making his first toss. After his turn he showed his brother how to do it and which letter to throw it at.

Next I set up A Starry Night which is the art project for the day.  They are door hangers that the kids paint spiral "stars" on like the stars in Van Gogh's painting.  I chose yellow paint and made it more like a stamp than a glob of paint.  I used a technique where you dampen a paper towel with water and then put the paint on and rub it in.  It works a lot better than just paint for this sort of stamping type art. They had to buy their art supplies for this project, 2 Fly dollars. 

First we had to make the spirals.  So I used their fingers to wrap the pipe cleaners around.  Squished them down, and there we go.  They pressed it in the paint and then onto the door hanger.  Peter was asleep and missed out on this part.  It was just Grant, Lachlan and I.  But they loved it and did great.  I wrote Grant's name on his but for Lachlan I wanted him to try.  He is working on and improving at writing his name free hand but struggled a bit on this day.  So I took a thin pen and wrote his name and gave him a sharpie to write over it.

Little, Little Light Listening Game.  MGT had us give them their door hangers with the stars painted on and raise them up over their head when they hear the word "light".  Again Lachlan wasn't quite sure if he wanted to join in.  So I played along.  Lachlan and Grant were snoozing at this point so it was just him and I.  I really like this concept, of them learning to listen along to the music.  I need to work on a more convincing method of which to get Lachlan excited.  Any ideas?  I think I just need to catch him in a better mood and that might help.

Lastly, we colored.  Haven't done this in a while. Peter and Lachlan sat at the small table and had them color their paper with Van Gogh's Room on it.  We were supposed to glue the paper to some thin cardboard like cereal box thickness.  Then we were to cut it up into a puzzle.  I decided to skip the cardboard step and cut the pictures into strips.  We used to get picture puzzles like this with Funshine Express.  It was a perfect difficulty level for both the boys, even maybe a little too tough for Peter.  But he has gotten better at it since the last time we did it.  So I cut the pictures into strips, mixed them up and let them get to work putting them back together.

Since the crayons were out I grabbed these little Dinosaur Train coloring books we were given by the Amtrak representative at the Albany train station we visited the day before.  Lachlan was really interested in coloring but normally takes the crayon and just scribbles across the whole page.  I don't mind this and thought in his own time he would figure out how to color in the lines.  Today I thought, maybe he doesn't know he is supposed to.  So I grabbed one color to color the dinosaur on the page and showed him how to keep it in the lines and then told him he could pick another for the trees and so on.  He took it from there and did great!  Why I didn't think of this sooner, I don't know. 
Lachlan's beautiful work of art.

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