Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sewing a pumpkin patch

Week two and we started class with a short book. These smart cookies guessed we were talking pumpkins well before the end of the story.

I asked which students had been to a local pumpkin patch and I think everyone raised their hand. And most boasted about veggie gardens at home. So fantastically Portlandia!

With pumpkins in mind, it was time to start sewing. Our activity turned out to be a challenge for many but I hope they enjoyed the process of learning the running stitch, the first step to making these little stuffed decorations. See, we had a mini pumpkin on hand for inspiration.

 With a bit more time I'm sure we can finish our pumpkin patch. Look how cute this felt pumpkin is!

 Thanks to Twig and Toadstool for this idea! Visit their blog for a complete tutorial.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tweet tweet: backyard bird feeders

I'm so excited to have Colorwheel back in session. Welcome to familiar faces from camp and students new to Colorwheel. This term, all of our activities will be inspired by autumn...this makes me think of brightly colored leaves, apples, pumpkins and the kids' favorite, Halloween!

Here in Portland, we have said goodbye to summer (boo) and the air is feeling cooler. If I were a bird, I would be flying south! Instead, fall is the perfect time to help birds prepare for cold weather. Not all birds migrate to warmer temperatures so providing a full feeder now will help those birds who are scouting for food in anticipation for winter. Feed them through fall and you'll continue to attract birds when winter hits and natural food is less available.

With this in mind, our first session had us crafting bird feeders from recycled milk cartons. Add paint, a popsicle stick roof, a dowel for a perch and a few handfuls of birdseed mix and we had a collection of colorful feeders ready for the new season.

 Happy bird watching!  

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Register now for a Colorwheel after-school class!

Red, gold, green. Apples, pumpkins, pinecones. Crisp air and crackling leaves. Autumn is the inspiration for our fall session of art and craft.

Students at Alameda and Beverly Cleary Elementary schools may sign up now and look forward to a range activities including painting, creating with paper and crafting with natural and recycled objects. Cost is $125 for 9 classes and includes all materials.

* At Alameda for students in grades 1-3
on Wednesdays, from Sept 28 through Dec 7
from 3.10-4.10pm

* At Beverly Cleary for students in grades 2-3
on Thursdays, from Sept 29 through Dec 8
from 3.10-4.10pm

Please email to reserve a spot, then complete the registration form to be submitted with payment.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

G'day mates!

We traveled into the Outback today and I loved sharing the many details that make Australia so special for me. I've collected many Australian picture books over the years and we started the morning with one full of fun facts, reading several others throughout the day.

Our first project today was to paint Aboriginal dot paintings. Before getting out the paints, we took time to discuss the significance of this indigenous art form. Each of the different shapes and symbols in a dot painting have a meaning and are used to illustrate Dreamtime stories.

We incorporated Australian animals like the koala, emu, kangaroo and echidna and then decorated the page using the dot technique and adding in some of the traditional symbols.

The children worked methodically through this activity. Look at the looks of concentration!


We got some fresh air during a bush walk around Wilshire Park and the adventurous tried a Vegemite sandwich.

We painted didgeridoos, the ancient wind instrument developed by the Australian Aboriginals.

Using more dot painting and symbols...

Self portraits wearing cork hats to finish the day. Traditionally worn by jackaroos - Australian cowboys - in the outback, the swinging corks discourage insects from swarming around the wearer's head. Ace!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Day two and all the kids came back! Hooray! Tuesday we greeted everyone with a welcoming Aloha to begin our day of crafts inspired by the beaches and vibrant colors of the South Pacific.

First up, seashell mirrors...she loved it. Really.

We soaked up the first day of summer sunshine with a pineapple snack. It tastes even better when speared with a bright floral cocktail umbrella.

A little hula got us moving.The hula dance tells a story and ours was a tale of flowers, sunshine and bubbles...ask them to demonstrate for you!

 Back inside, we crafted bright paper flowers...

to go into beer bottles - ahem - glass jars, decoupaged with tissue paper.

And in preparation for a project to be finished later in the week, paper mache completed the day. Stay tuned to see how this one turns out!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

¡Viva Mexico!

What a fantastic start to the week! Today we learned about Mexico and did a number of fun activities around this theme.

We welcomed 16 campers to our room and each child started the morning by drawing a small Mexico-inspired picture to stick to our world map. They spilled well into the USA and through Central America but you get the idea!

While the younger campers made paper plate maracas, the older children created tin ornaments, a traditional art form in Mexico.

Following an outdoor guacamole making session, we planted jalapeno plants, adding fresh coffee grounds to the soil.

A fun and messy session with paint and sparkly sequins produced a collection of festive sombreros.

We finished with an impromptu dance party...
 and weaving Ojos de Dios.

Whew, I need a siesta! See you tomorrow!