Friday, July 23, 2010

Fly a kite!

We now have a giant butterfly kite that my eldest daughter picked for a prize at her school dance-a-thon. Last week we finally had some awesome, if somewhat unpredictable, wind and went to try it out at a nearby park. It was such a satisfying exercise in patience for my 8 year-old, and myself, to train our butterfly to fly - we came home from the park feeling relaxed and totally in tune with the wind...the little ones however ran around like crazy kittens chasing the kite tail. They really needed their own mini-energy kites to run around with and have their own high energy fun that day... so with that in mind, and since my friend Maylynn asked, I've quickly cobbled together some super links to kite instructions:

I've done these quite a few times. ..when my eldest was 5, 6 and also 7 and the little ones were 3. They are super fun and complicated enough for skill building and for Mom or Dad to enjoy helping to make.

While the big kids craft these, you can try one of the kite ideas here for the little ones(3-5 yrs. old). You want to find simpler projects that offer happy results, made from things around the house. You can never have too many dangling things - the more streamers and shapes hanging from the end and blowing in the wind(or flying behind when there is no wind) the better. The plastic bag one is super simple and fun although bags are hard to find these days!

We also had hours of fun with these... from activity village although technically more a windsock. This template is awesome:
We followed the instructions from activity village, first printing the template, so we could: "Color in and decorate the kite then cut around the dotted line and roll the kite into a tube, joining the short edges with a little glue or sticky tape. Attach streamers and tie with a ribbon to a pole, if you wish!"

We did these last year(with both preschoolers and 7 year-olds) out of kraft paper and paint and just stapled/taped them into cylinders. We used tissue paper for long streaming tails and simple string attached at the mouth with more tape. We played for hours and still have them as decorations. I guess you could really make any creature you can imagine flying through the air using the same principles - just lay it out in a similar position as in the template--Draw or paint your own!!

Truly, I love this version!! It is however for the super crafty or when you have more time to spend on an art project. It also leaves more room to be creative in the materials and painting and will teach more about the wind when it's actually up and flying.

Lastly, this link gives really solid instruction for an older child, with or without a parent, to learn the fundamentals of kite-making using simple materials.

Enjoy! And please comment or send me a picture of your finished work!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Quotes for a day of thinking

You have learned something. That always feels at first as if you had lost something. ~H.G. Wells

Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one's self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily. ~Thomas Szasz

You don't understand anything until you learn it more than one way. ~Marvin Minsky

People learn something every day, and a lot of times it's that what they learned the day before was wrong. ~Bill Vaughan

The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn. ~John Lubbock

“Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the mind. As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life.” ~John Lubbock

“It's never too late if you put on your skates and go skating...” ~Mary Walsh