Friday, February 12, 2010

A First: Handmade Basket

We purchased a basket making kit at a children's craft fair. It wasn't fancy, it just included a book and lovely rolls of reed waiting to be woven into a basket. Lots was learned with wet reed in hand, ruler sitting on the table just so, trying desperately to get the reed to line up straight and properly. Weaving is the easy part. Measuring, bending, finishing...these all take more time and effort. Wet reed has a habit of inching from side to side and doesn't want to stay put, but she perseveres and the basket comes together. In the end there are some mistakes, but overall the artist is well pleased with her first basket. The reed dries a lovely pale white. I kindly suggest stain, but she just shrugs and says that white is best. And I am reminded that this is her art, not mine. This to me is the hard part of being mom and teacher...letting the children create as they desire. Not trying to make choices for them. Just letting them pick the color, style and art that suits them best. After all, as a child I was able to choose my own art, my own colors, my own projects. This is the part of art that I love, the creative part. So I will learn to be silent and let her enjoy the creativity and the making of art. This is her work and her work is well done and lovely and she is right. White is best for this basket. It is not only lovely but useful and I'm anticipating more baskets in our future.

Nature Study: Digging for Arrow Heads

This summer we found that there was once an Indian campground on a river bed near our house. The folks that own the property allow you to come and dig for a daily fee. We took a field trip there and found several interesting things. Above are some pictures that I snapped with my phone so the quality isn't great. The last photo is my son digging into the dirt with his friend.
First they would dig up a chunk of dirt and then sift it through a sifting screen. Arrowheads and other rocks would be filtered out while the dirt goes through the screen. After a day of digging they were lucky to have found some arrowheads themselves and then to be given some from others who were digging where we were. Those guys dig all the time and had some really nice artifacts to show the kids and tell about them.

Vowel File Folder Booklet

Jumbo Fun with the Alphabet can be purchased from

For my kindergartener, I'm using Phonics Pathways to teach her reading. I also have a book called the Jumbo Fun with the Alphabet. While the latter sounds pretty hokey, it really is a very nice book and I've gotten a lot of use from it. It has several activities for each letter of the alphabet including snacks and crafts. In the file folder book, I've just taken various pages from those two books and let her paste them in. For cut and paste activities, I attach velcro instead of having her glue them and then she can do that activity over and over. It takes her a few days to complete a folder and she thinks it is the best fun. Also, she gets to reinforce learning those letters without the dull moments of sitting in front of flash cards.

Mrs. P