Thursday, October 27, 2011

peel-to-reveal crayon sticks delight LC

We are so excited that it's almost Halloween! We are going to have a ton of fun this weekend and on Monday.

LC broke out the new set of Melissa & Doug jumbo triangular crayons this week. She calls this drawing "Black Fish":

I might buy LC a magnetic, wooden figure dress-up set for Christmas, because now she is enjoying dressing up the Melissa & Doug stickers.

LC loves drawing happy faces:

For years, we chose not to watch a lot of TV, since it's such a passive activity and wastes so much time. Then, the TV broke down and it has been 3 months now that we have survived without a TV. Life is great! We enjoy so many activities, inside and outside the home.

Winding down before bedtime yesterday, LC and I decided to sit across from each other in the living room and draw for an hour straight. I brought out a new set of crayon pencils that do not require a sharpener...they are "peel-to-reveal" crayon sticks. You just pull the string and unwrap some of the paper to sharpen the crayon. They are the shape and size of jumbo pencils, which will help LC learn proper pencil grip. I bought these at a cool toy store in Park Slope called Toy Space. I can't find this set online yet at places like Amazon. But a place called Paper Source has them:

"Color Appeel" is touted as being "ridiculously awesome" and LC agrees. They will last a long time. We barely made a dent in the crayon sticks after an hour (and LC presses hard). LC presented me with (5) 11"x14" drawings and here are the top 3:

I managed to complete one random 14"x17" drawing (and it helped clear my mind at the end of a long day):

Thursday, October 20, 2011


LC was absolutely delighted by the intimate stage performance of White at The New Victory Theater in Manhattan. The 40 minute live show was amusing, sweet, bright and magical. She sat in the front row, on a mat (I set next to her on a bench) and she laughed and intently watched the show. A perfect hit for the intended age range of 2-5 years well as the parents lucky enough to join the kids for this show. After the show, LC interacted with the two performers.

LC posing with Cotton:

LC sitting next to Wrinkle:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

stringing make some jewelry

LC had a blast making jewelry, at home. She felt very proud choosing the wood beads, charms and strings for each necklace or bracelet that she made... & stringing the beads together...all by herself. Yes, it helps improve fine motor skills...and it's something she can do solo for an hour straight (after I make the knot for her, so the beads don't fall off)....but it also gives her great joy to make gifts.

The necklace she made for herself (doggy charm + pink & purple beads + purple string):

The necklace she made for her friend V's upcoming birthday (cat charm + blue, green, orange, purple beads + blue string):

She wore it so I could take a picture...then she helped wrap it in some silver paper...and she found a little purple ribbon.

Then, she wanted to make something for I asked for a bracelet with the cute red & black creature and only red beads...(I wanted a color combo that would work with something from my wardrobe, so I could actually wear this outside...proudly telling folks my 3 year old daughter made this for me!)

She is excited that we have enough beads leftover for like 8 more necklaces...she is telling me that she would like to make some jewelry for Christmas gifts. She said "I love making jewelries. Thank you getting these forever. I want to get these again next time, mommy."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Letter Z, a witch, inspired drawings, 12 books

LC wanted me to buy her a composition book. She turned to a page and then wrote the letter Z, all by herself...without tracing or copying from anything.

LC (describing pic below): "I drawing a girl walking to see fishes and named L."

Then, she described another picture she drew (I forgot to take a photo of it)..."This is a picture people getting pretzels." But here's another picture (shown below) with the full description given by LC: "I made a superhero and that superhero is going save squirrel stuck in tree. Squirrel going fall in water. SuperL is going to save squirrel. SuperL has cape on."

LC drew this picture and she said "I know what color I and red line make purple! That's water in a lake":

Then, she wrote this on the back of the picture (shown below)... and she said "'Thank you for making this beautiful picture'...I write that on picture I made." (She hears me say that to her when she hands me a drawing. She sees me writing on the back - but I'm usually writing the date and a it's funny she "wrote" those thank you words on the back of the drawing.)

LC described her drawing (shown below) "I draw a man and he has a hat on him. And he has a flower on him. And he is in a party with lots of pink and purple decorations. And he saying hurray because he is going to have a party."

Here's a painting, on canvas, that hangs on my dining room wall:

LC loves that painting. And she came up to me with a recent drawing of hers (shown below)...and said: "This is the painting on the wall".

LC took a break from her draw-a-thon at return to another favorite activity...building with her legos.

Then she told me she had a "few books" she wanted me to read to her. I fell for that trick...she gathered a dozen books for a midday reading. She likes to clean she returned all the books to the shelves afterwards. I have her books, puzzles and board games accessible now...not just her toys...and she has learned to keep things organized, so we don't lose anything.

LC (describing her drawing, shown below): "This biggest planet...Jupiter. It has rings. I drew an astronaut, too."

It was fitting, since we went to a couple of pre-Halloween 2011 celebrations together...that LC drew "a witch!!" (it does look like a witch form... flying through the air...the colors capturing the mood - a forest, sunshine etc.):

As a side note...I didn't realize that $6 mini snow globe we bought at the NY Aquarium store glows...LC found the tiny switch and it looks magical in the dark...when shaken, with the glitter floating.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tricks & Treats at the NY A-scarium

Another early Halloween celebration for us...this time LC dressed up as a robot and we visited the NY Aquarium, which was transformed into the A-scarium. Two weeks ago LC dressed up as an ice cream cone for the "Boo at the Zoo" at the Bronx Zoo (4 posts down).

LC was so excited to see a magician, for the first time. She kept trying to go on stage whenever he requested help. She wanted to see his show twice. Here she is posing with Mike Maioni, AKA The Silly Magician:

LC (and I...and just about all the kids and grown-ups) were mesmerized and entertained by Lu Ann Adams, an incredible storyteller. Here's LC posing with her:

LC loves music...and a very talented pair of musicians provided LC with the opportunity to be an enthusiastic 3 year old dancing robot for almost half an hour straight, no fear of the audience watching her. (She would have gone on stage, if I didn't instruct her to dance in front of the stage, not on the stage please!) Here she is posing with lead singer Alastair Moock, kneeling next to LC (it appeared that one of his sweet, twin, 5 year old daughters, dressed in pink, danced next to LC for a bit) and standing above LC (the guy who saw us in the cafe earlier and asked LC if she was a "space robot") Anand Nayak. By the way, LC replied "no, I a regular robot."

A lunch break. You can see that I clipped old, Christmas, silver, curly wrapping decorations onto LC's hair, last minute, to try to make the robot costume a little bit girly.

It was the aquarium we visited, after all, so we did get a chance to see lots of fish, sharks, sea turtles, seahorses, electric eels, sting ray, sea lions etc.

When we got home, LC was thrilled to play with the mini treasures she chose at the aquarium store: a fish ink stamper & bubble wand, a frog glitter snow globe, a stuffed, she still had the fish sticker on her hand (compliments of the storyteller), the pretend giant one dollar magic bill (compliments of the magician) and the rubber octopus & eel and the ghost spinning top (treats given out by the aquarium).

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Art of Bookmaking

LC on the subway platform, spotting the train...we were heading to the Children's Museum of Manhattan for The Art of Bookmaking Festival.

They had 4 tables to visit at the CMOM event. LC was immediately drawn to the Eric Carle table featuring one of her favorite books The Very Hungry Caterpillar:

The blank paper was folded up accordion style, at this table. Similar to Eric Carle's picture books...such as The Grouchy Ladybug, which LC also liked a lot. Carle has a unique illustration style...hand-painting, cutting and layering, using a collage technique. So, they had scissors, glue, lots of different solid papers...various patterns, well as some shredded paper. LC was drawn to the shiny paper and instructed me to cut out 3 animals, with no guide: "a pink horse" (good luck with that shape), "a blue pig" (close enough) and a copper "caterpillar" with gold feet (nailed that). LC glued the animals to the white paper. Then, LC decided to glue "mud" for the pig, "grass" and "flowers" for the horse and a "pink bush" for the caterpillar.

Then, we headed over to the next table...where we found the picture book Anansi the Spider.

At this table they had a lot of stamps, each with a unique symbol. A nice variety of symbols...and 3 large pads of ink - purple, blue and red. LC was stamping away on the little sheets of colorful paper, having a blast...and she drew with some markers too (each sheet had 3 holes punched into one could put the pages together...weave a colorful string through the holes and tie it up, to bind the book).

LC was thrilled to see The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss sitting on the next table.

This project was above her head, it was for older was intended to be a "flip book", they said...but not a book that appears to be animated when you flip the pages. They meant more like one of the books she has at home...where you have illustrations on each page, a similar size of body...and all the pages are cut into 3 you can flip the top (head), middle (torso) and/or bottom (legs) portion of the create a different creature. They felt the kids could sketch some of the Dr. Seuss characters they printed out as examples...or create their own creatures. I suppose it would be best if the pages were precut into 3 sections first, before one begins to draw...just to keep the drawing terms of three portions to flip and match up with other pages properly. But none of this concerned LC, she just happily drew lines and circles with the crayons and told me "I make my own flipbook with circles."

The last table featured a book called Go Away, Big Green Monster!

I think they were supposed to make monsters out of the black paper and decorate them with shapes cut out of the colorful foam, using safety scissors, add some raised gem and star stickers, happy faces...and glue on flowers and sparkly things...and write their names with letter foam. None of that mattered to LC...once she saw the stickers nothing else was in the room...she is very serious about her stickers...please do not disturb LC.

She was still working on it, when it was time to leave (staff had to take a lunch break, so they asked everyone to leave...we went to explore the rest of the museum). Thankfully, we found a bench afterwards to sit on, so she could stick a few remaining stickers on her yellow foam. They had no chairs in the bookmaking session...1 1/2 hours we were standing up, hunched over the tables.

LC was spending so much time on her sticker art...I decided to get in touch with the little kid inside of me...and I played around with the black paper, shiny shape cutouts, alphabet letters and glue.

We did many things afterwards...but she very much enjoyed one workshop in particular...they had mural wall painting, using hands and fingers. They focused on mixing the colors red and yellow to create orange.

I told a staff member the significance of palm trees...and she drew a palm tree for LC, which was nice.

Thanks to the smocks and the washable paint...LC could get as messy as she wanted and then we cleaned up easily at the sink and enjoyed the rest of our day.