Archive | August 2012

Papercraft, Prime and Pteranodons

kitchen counter dusty with icing sugar
perfect recipe of vanilla buttercream swirled in the mixer
gobs of tissue paper, piled up toothpicks of Wilton deep red and royal blue
kids bent over with laughter and giggles
sugar highs from too much cake
late night papercraft ventures and conversations with your lifelong best friend
of how you will never attempt such a crazy thing again
yet knowing full well that you’ll go ahead and do it anyway and crazier the next time round

three hugs a day for long life
three cheers each meal for birthday celebrations


and three glorious reasons and persons to celebrate life with for life.

Bookmark Monday: Medieval Math

So sue me, I like corny math story books. But with a title like Sir Cumference and the King’s Tens, you’re not just that wee bit curious of the content?

Noticing that the King has been rather gloomy of late, Lady Di of Ameter suggests to her husband, Sir Cumference the idea of hosting a surprise birthday party for the King. Which is a great idea, except now the castle is burgeoning with guests and more are arriving by the minute, and Lady Di needs a way to figure out how many lunches she needs to tell the cook to prepare.

With the help of the Knights of the Round Table – Sir Kell, Sir Tangent and Sir Lionel Segment, Sir Cumference and Lady Di of Ameter must quickly figure out the most time-efficient and accurate method of counting the total number of guests.

How do we do it?

Line them all in a straight line and count?….Too slow….

Form small circles and total the sum of parts? …Too exhausting…

What next?

Cindy Neuschwander cleverly introduces “place value” in an entertaining and engaging way as the story makes use of tents to illustrate the concept by separating the 9,999 guests that show up for King Arthur’s party into nine groups of one thousand, nine groups of one hundred, nine groups of ten and nine single guests, divided into four tents or number neighbourhoods.

I’ll be keeping an eye out for the rest of the Sir Cumference series now.

Huzzah for more corny math storybooks!

Preschooler Art: Recycle Art

I had no idea what she had in mind on Sunday afternoon when she asked me if she could recycle the empty tissue pack from which she’d removed the last sheet of tissue paper to blow her nose with.

What can one reuse a plastic tissue paper pack for?

Oh, unimaginative me!

Trans-four-m!

He squares his shoulders
Walking tall to school in his new shirt of blue
So much like his father
So much his own little man too

The children sit in a row
Reciting their lesson with their teacher on tiled floor
And I catch his face light up aglow
As we sneak him a wink round the frame of the door

It’s a wonderful day for a birthday
All together now, smile for a picture
“How old are you now, God bless you today”
It’s a great month to turn a grand four!

Copyright – iwonderbee.wordpress.com

Bookmark Monday: Old Mother Goose used to fly through the air

First there were the original rhymes, and then came the all-new rhymes recounting the latest adventures of best-loved Mother Goose characters.

And although I have a deep appreciation for the originals, some of the “updated” versions in Mary Had a Little Jam and Other Silly Rhymes, written by Bruce Lansky and illustrated by Stephen Carpenter, are laugh-out-loud funny and preschooler pleasers in their own right.

 

Mary had a little jam;
She spread it on a waffle.
And if she hadn’t eaten ten,
she wouldn’t feel so awful.

Notwithstanding that fullest appreciation of the underlying joke in each rhyme is best supported by knowing the originals to begin with, the collection of short rhymes with fairly easy words makes it an accessible and achievable to beginner readers, and as Christine Clark, editor at Humpty Dumpty’s Magazine put it, it is well and truly “a kinder, gentler Mother Goose…and funny, too!”

I’ll leave you with one more reason why I like this somewhat over the originals, and let you check out the book yourself. 🙂

Rock-a-bye, baby, on the treetop.
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock.
When the birds sing, the baby will smile,
and fall asleep happy in a short while.

Gotta love that over the horrifying original, what kind of baby falls asleep to thoughts of falling out of a tree?

Preschooler Art: The King’s Breakfast

 

The King’s Breakfast

By A. A. Milne 1882–1956, from The Complete Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh (Dutton, 1998).

The King asked
The Queen, and
The Queen asked
The Dairymaid:
“Could we have some butter for
The Royal slice of bread?”
The Queen asked
The Dairymaid,
The Dairymaid
Said, “Certainly,
I’ll go and tell
The cow
Now
Before she goes to bed.”

The Dairymaid
She curtsied,
And went and told
The Alderney:
“Don’t forget the butter for
The Royal slice of bread.”

The Alderney
Said sleepily:
“You’d better tell
His Majesty
That many people nowadays
Like marmalade
Instead.”

The Dairymaid
Said, “Fancy!”
And went to
Her Majesty.
She curtsied to the Queen, and
She turned a little red:
“Excuse me,
Your Majesty,
For taking of
The liberty,
But marmalade is tasty, if
It’s very
Thickly
Spread.”

The Queen said
“Oh!”
And went to
His Majesty:
“Talking of the butter for
The Royal slice of bread,
Many people
Think that
Marmalade
Is nicer.
Would you like to try a little
Marmalade
Instead?”

The King said,
“Bother!”
And then he said,
“Oh, dear me!”
The King sobbed, “Oh, deary me!”
And went back to bed.
“Nobody,”
He whimpered,
“Could call me
A fussy man;
I only want
A little bit
Of butter for
My bread!”

The Queen said,
“There, there!”
And went to
The Dairymaid.
The Dairymaid
Said, “There, there!”
And went to the shed.
The cow said,
“There, there!
I didn’t really
Mean it;
Here’s milk for his porringer
And butter for his bread.”

The Queen took
The butter
And brought it to
His Majesty;
The King said,
“Butter, eh?”
And bounced out of bed.
“Nobody,” he said,
As he kissed her
Tenderly,
“Nobody,” he said,
As he slid down
The banisters,
“Nobody,
My darling,
Could call me
A fussy man—
BUT
I do like a little bit of butter to my bread!”

 

Singapore National Day Craft: Aerial Flypast

Each year, the number of planes and models used for the aerial flypast varies. This year, nine fighter jets will execute the enhanced aerial flypast.

We chose to make five airplanes in our craft to represent the five stars on the Singapore flag, which stand for the nation’s ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.

That was the plan. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 😛

Okay, fine…

The plain truth is that was all we could wrangle from the kids, the rest they wanted to fly all over the room. Sigh.

But I digress. What I really wanted to say is that this craft allows you the flexibility to make as many planes as you like and arrange them in any formation you choose. 🙂

So –

You will need the following materials: Artblock sheets, blue watercolour paint, paintbrush and palette, water, cotton wool/pads, old magazines, craft glue.

1. In the palette, mix the blue watercolour paint until you achieve a very watery consistency.  This is to create a watery watercolour wash to cover the artblock in light sky blue.

2. Apply the watercolour wash to the entire artblock sheet.  Leave to dry.

3. In the meantime, tear the old magazine sheets into little rectangles, and fold tiny paper airplanes.

4. Paste the paper airplanes in whatever formation you desire, we did this in a fan out formation. (Tip: When you paste the airplanes down, hold it down for a short moment, pinning the centre flap of the paper plane between two fingers, so that the wings don’t spread when drying)

5. Tear up the cotton wool/pads and paste  a cloud trail pattern of your choosing.

And you’re done!