Archive | April, 2012

Mother’s Day Mural Project, Part 1: How to Paint Eric Carle Style!

30 Apr

Day 1:  Visual Textures!

The thing I love about Eric Carle is the way he uses a variety of textures.  I love his use of vivid colors and patterns.  So today, step one of our mural is going to be to create some new visual textures!  You can do one a day for art time, or just sit and do a bunch of textures all at once.  For younger kids, probably one or two a day would be best.

You can incorporate this with a lesson on textures by having your child find different textures around the house.  Have them find things on a list; soft, scratchy, rough, smooth, etc.  Then tell them that they can paint textures, too!

Also, you may want to have SOME ideas in mind, but don’t focus on what you’re making the textures FOR.  That’s part of the fun, finding the right textures for different parts of your murals LATER.

use a plastic bag to make texture in watercolor, tempera or acrylic.

salt wet watercolor and then brush off when dry for a fun texture

The styrofoam "Print" done with washable markers (work fast!)

For the first day, you’ll want to play around with some textures.  Here are a couple of ideas for you:

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Here are some “Eric Carle” inspired paintings that my girls did years ago:

We used paint and marbled some paper for this book project when the kids were little.

Here's a cute frog


Friday Funnies!!! Paris Thinks Bean is Real (we don’t use the word Muppet or Puppet!)

27 Apr

Yesterday we were trying to get the new camera set up to film, and Paris was sitting on the chair with Bean getting ready to film.  She was trying to fix Bean’s toes, when Bean piped up and says, “What are you doing?  Are you massaging my FEET?”

Paris and Bean counting all "16" of his toes!

Then they progressed to toe counting, and as anyone who has been around little kids knows, sometimes they can be very determined about being right, even when they’re not.  The adorable hilarity that ensued is a must see!  Watch Paris and Bean hilariously trying to learn to count his toes.

Do you have any silly family videos?  Please share… we LOVE to laugh!!

Reading Time: Paris and Bean Read Aloud with Mo Willems “We’re In a Book”

25 Apr

Naptime or Story Time?

Okay, first thing, I have to say that Mo Willems is a genius.  My kids LOVE the Piggie & Elephant books.  And we just discovered them!  Seriously.  Even my 20 year old was CRACKING up at her first book.  The other day we went to the library and I had to fight Paris NOT to get ALL of his books again.  She finally relented and only got five.  Five.  The librarian probably thought we were nuts.  Oh, wait, she already knows us well enough to know that we are!

In the beginning of the video, Bean is supposed to be taking a nap, but he’s way too excited!! (we all know how that can go!)  Paris offers to read him a story to help him calm down.

Anyway, in this adorable story, Piggie and Elephant discover that SOMEONE IS LOOKING AT THEM!  It is a hysterical book and Paris and Bean have a great time reading it.  If your child likes read alouds, I definitely recommend checking out these books.  Just watch how much fun Paris and Bean have reading Mo Willem’s “We’re In a Book”!

I found this story just totally adorable.  How about you?  What are your favorite books to read aloud?

BIG Spring Mural Project, Inspired by Eric Carle’s artwork, and his Book “Draw Me A Star”

25 Apr

Fun Mother’s Day Spring Art Project for Kids and Families

For this project, we’re going to work on a different art project each week and add each one to a large piece of paper or posterboard to make one giant, colorful mural.  It will look wonderful hanging in you child’s room!

What You’ll Need:

  • Paints (tempra or acrylic AND watercolor, oils are optional)
  • Assorted colors of tissue paper that you’d use in gift bags.
  • Decent quality watercolor paper
  • Assorted patterns and spring like colors of scrapbooking projects
  • Crayons or oil pastels
  • Markers
  • An old tooth brush, assorted paint brushes and scissors
You won’t need all of these at once, but we’ll use one type of medium for each separate art pieces.  
The first step of this art project will be up Monday, May 30th, and we’ll do a project at least 3 times a week until Mother’s Day.  

This would make a wonderful Mother’s Day Gift!  

It would also be great to do with several siblings contributing to ONE mural!!

Paris used this concept a little with her first Lonely Monkey Illustration!

Learn How to Paint a Handprint Tree for Kids with Bean’s Monkey Business and Grandma Sue!

24 Apr

It’s Painting Time with Grandma Sue Again!

The Finished Picture!

Free Art Lesson!! Let’s learn how to paint a handprint tree with Bean.

Today Grandma stops by to paint a tree with Bean. Its a fun lesson that kids from toddler to elementary school can help with!

For this project, I recommend tempera paint or acrylic… have FUN!!!

What is your favorite art project to do with your kids?  

What is your favorite medium to work with?

Our First Official Public Outing!

23 Apr

Saturday morning Paris, Abyni and I took Bean to the Great Diaper Change in Tulsa.  There were a LOT of moms, babies and younger kids there.

At first they had me standing behind the desk, but most of the kids couldn't see.

Bean had a great time meeting all the kids!  The kids of all ages just LOVED playing peek-a-boo.  I couldn’t believe it, but even after an hour, if we didn’t do a countdown and peek-a-book the older kids would ask for it again and again.  It was awesome, because even the little babies knew to cover their eyes and say “BOO!”  It was just adorable!!

The two older kids in this photo were right next to Bean almost the entire two hours!

There were about 4 kids who stayed nearby, a couple RIGHT next to Bean almost the entire two hours.  I couldn’t believe how long they stayed interested!!  They just sat there and chatted with him, played games and just chattered on as though I wasn’t even there!

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It was a bit chaotic, since we had never done this before AND my husband wasn’t there, but I think it went well.  There were a few times when I had to make the bigger kids back up so that the younger interested babies could step up.  I also had to keep a few young kids from pulling on Bean’s ears and tail.

Mostly, though, it was just a positive experience.  I was surprised that hardly any of the kids paid ANY attention to me.  As a matter of fact, they would always look surprised if I talked to them in my normal voice.

I’m glad we went, and we learned a lot for next time.  Now I need to get a hold of some libraries and different local places so we can do more live shows, as well as some special filming.  I’m hoping to do a tour of the library with my favorite children’s librarian and a tour of Safari Joe’s Reptile World.

Any other ideas for good, child friendly tours?  What would your child enjoy seeing?


Meet the Misfits: Hi, I’m Byn from Bean’s Monkey Business… Getting to Know You, Getting to Know allllll About You…

23 Apr

Meet the Misfits!

Hey guys!  Today I’m doing a little something extra.  I’m part of a group of bloggers called the Misfit Bloggers.  We all met through a SITS 31 Days to a Better Blog challenge that I found through the Blog Frog forums.  Most (if not all) of us don’t really ‘fit’ into your typical blog categories.  

Today you get to meet the misfits!  

Who Am I?  Me?  I’m writing a blog about a purple monkey, for Pete’s sake.  (Who IS this Pete guy, anyway?)  I talk like a cartoon monkey (when I want to, anyway) and I’m random.  Just a little.  Okay, a lot.  And I sing.  A lot.  Here is my intro video for us Misfit Bloggers.  Its just 3 minutes long, go ahead, watch it and get to know the REAL person behind Bean the monkey!

I am married to an amazingly supportive husband, who has not only supported me through a lot of BIG projects because that’s just what I wanted to do, but he has also supported tirelessly for the last 18 years through a lot of struggles with depression/bipolar and other issues (I’m a veritable alphabet soup of issues, I’m telling you).  I love him and appreciate him… and sometimes feel sorry for him.  Yeah, because I’m really REALLY high maintenance.  He says its all worth it, but… eh, I think he’s a little bit biased because he loves me that much.  Oh well, I’ll take it.

My honey and I at the park with the kids last night. Photo courtesy of our new camera and Paris' mad picture taking skills:)

What do I do?  I am a puppeteer, I do the voice of Bean for Bean’s Monkey Business, a new children’s educational web series. I am a mom to five kids that I love more than I could have imagined.  They are 11, 14, 15, 16 & 20 at the moment and they are SO freaking entertaining… I will show you with pictures.  Our oldest recently moved away from home and out of state, so she wasn’t here last night when we took our epic spontaneous family night at the park.  Have I mentioned that my family is super competitive?

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Why do I blog?  To share my show and so much of what I’ve learned raising and homeschooling my five kids.  I loved doing projects and learning with them when they were little, and I love sharing that with the new ‘little ones’ without having to have more kids myself!  I’m going to turn into an internet Grandma!

Misfit Monday Blog Hop

Just a few of the "Misfits"

A few of my Fellow Misfits:

  • Cari from Nighlon writes… well, I would call it a pink sparkly techie blog.  She’s probably the last person I’d expect to be a techie geek, but that lady knows her business, glittery stillettos or not!  

There are more of us, but I’m going to stop there for today.  

Each week I’ll highlight a few of my friends so you can check them out!

I had a hard time condensing things down.  How do you introduce yourself?  Tell me a little bit about YOU!  If you blog, please leave a link to your blog in the comments and tell us a little about your blog so maybe we can all make some new friends.

RULES for joining this hop:

1. You must write a post relevant to the topic for the week.
2. The link added with the widget below must be a direct link to your relevant post.
3. You must visit each link and leave a comment to show your support (over the span of the week and before the next Monday topic is posted).
4. The Misfit Bloggers reserve the right to remove any links deemed by ourselves as “unfit” to be a part of the hop (i.e. irrelevant, inappropriate, etc.)
5. You must post the “Misfit Monday Blog Hop” button as provided in the text area below somewhere on your post.

This is a Blog Hop!  Join us HERE!

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