Wednesday, July 6, 2016

perfect activity for "Perfect Square"

a good lesson for the future mathematician and artist -- and perhaps a skill-building antidote for a trending perfectionist -- comes through Michael Hall's "Perfect Square," a picture book about a square whose life takes many unexpected turns.

It was a perfect square.
It had four matching corners
and four equal sides.

And it was perfectly happy.

But on Monday,
the square was cut into pieces
and poked full of holes.

It wasn’t perfectly square anymore.

this is sort of like Lego blocks. the girls get these amazing sets, build them according to the directions, and then play with them in their storytelling adventures -- great, great, great (or should I say awesome?). but just as great: them tearing it all apart and creating whatever wacky invention they can think up.

my youngest and i used the "Perfect Square" for some literal hands-on lessons. i took square sheets of paper, cut them up into random shapes, then challenged her to see what she could create out of them.

 her favorite was a rocket ship.

she also created a mountain scene.

and then she convinced me that we didn't need a background page at all and constructed a paper sculpture of a river. (now that's thinking outside the box!)

it was a fun activity. and now that i think of it, i might just add it to our Summer Cups list of indoor fun. or save a large box and make it an outdoor patio activity. maybe even use a different shape...

i'm starting to think like my kiddo rather than a rule-following adult. how perfectly awesome...

Monday, February 29, 2016

whiskey tango... from adult stocking stuffer to travel story toy

my husband appreciates a good whiskey, and happened to mention it once. so inevitably at Christmas time an in-law gets him a bottle or two. last year, a trio of The Glenlivet came to his "stocking" in a gift box. being a good Pacific Northwestern'r, i endeavored to take the box apart for the big green bin, but the cool magnetic closure didn't seem very recycle-friendly. meanwhile, i also had noticed how much our girls loved playing with a fold-up storytelling box picked up at a garage sale. but there was only one, for two girls... hmm...

so, to spark your own DIY imaginings, here's the transformation from container-for-tasty-adult-beverage to travel-ready-storytelling-toy, the perfect size for small princess characters, super heroes, mini ponies, or green army men.

Step 1 - Acquire Box

remove contents, drink, and enjoy (responsibly).

Step 2 - Detoxify

in this case, i had a can of gold spray paint ready to redeem the exterior of this box so no nosy nannies might wonder about my fitness for parenthood. you could also Modge Podge with some cool paper.

Step 3 - Set the Scene

i cut out nature scenes from magazines, traced the shapes, and cut and pasted them to fit inside. if i were to do it again, i would also mount several additional scenes on cardstock to fit snugly over top so that the girls can switch out scenes.

Step 4 - Pack Up & Go

stash your chosen characters inside the box, close 'er up and hit the road. perfect for hotel rooms and plane rides. if you do lose it, hey, you're not out too much, right?

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