Saturday, October 29, 2016

Woody, Hazel & Little Pip - Elsa Beskow

I've started teaching a few Art/Handwork classes during the school year for those kids who worked with me over the summer and wanted to keep going. The easiest way for me to share these is to title the blog posts with the title of the book we read each session. The Art/Handwork sessions are always organized around a story.

Our first Autumn session was today. Our lovely little Autumn story was:

Woody, Hazel and Little Pip

by Elsa Beskow

First, we made Pumpkin-Pie Smoothies, leaving out the chai to make it more kid-friendly (chai has caffeine). My student loved it and carefully copied down the recipe on an index card to take home and share with mom.

Next, we took half of the leftover pumpkin in the can and made No-Cook Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Play Clay. (Edible, for those of you with todders.)

Then, we read Woody, Hazel and Little Pip. Some good follow-ups to this story would be fashioning a basket and pulley set-up in a tree outside in your yard, or making leaf boats with large leaves and toothpicks and floating them down a stream. We picked to do a nature walk around the block to identify different kinds of trees and search for their seeds, and to find the oak trees and pick up a bowlful of acorn caps.

Then, we made Acorn Cap Jewels. These are gorgeous and so easy! Simply choose your nicest acorn caps, color the insides with nice fresh juicy markers (we found our Crayola Aged Up Adult Coloring 12ct Fine Line Markers worked better than the ones from our Mindware coloring book sets), set them in a bed of dried pinto beans in a shallow casserole dish (you could also use rice), and fill the caps to the brim with Elmer's glue.

These are supposed to take 48 hours to dry completely and they end up lusciously-colored, glossy and bright.

My Early Art & Sensory Pinterest page

Our photos of this project in progress:

My student came up with the lovely idea of drawing a large oak tree with watercolor pencils, then glueing the finished acorn cap jewels onto the branches of the tree, and framing it to give as a Christmas present. So we got some watercolor paper and chose a frame and cut the paper to size. Then she tested all of the pencils on wet paper and on dry paper (they can produce different shades when wet vs. dry). And she ended up deciding on her preferred drawing/painting techinque, which was ignoring the watercolor brush and simply dipping the tip of the pencil into her jar of water to give an intense pigment layer to her paper. Next week we will glue the acorn caps onto her artwork.

We ended with eating some bell pepper slices for snack, brushing the rabbit, and playing outside on this beautiful day!

This morning, before the Art/Handwork class, Leah and Becca and I went and walked the labyrinth. Then they went hiking at Giant City State Park and stopped and played at Castle Park as well. Really, it was so pretty outside, any activity would have felt special!

Zac LOVES Castle Park and Giant City! We've gotten some great photos!

Giant City State Park is, cooincidentally, a great place to find acorn caps. Right outside the visitor center there stands a group of HUGE burr oak trees, which have the most amazing acorn caps of all time. You can just pick them up off the ground and fill your pockets like a trick-or-treater hoarding candy. Not only do they have the special frilly edges, they are ENORMOUS. Here's a picture. The acorns on the left are the regular size. The ones on the right are from Giant City State Park. And the quarter is in there for scale.

You can get these on Etsy (like at the botanicallampshades Etsy shop) if you love love them.

Quercus macrocarpa

I can't wait to make dolls next week with these amazing acorn caps as the hats!!!!

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