St Patrick’s Day

We don’t pay attention to boring things.  Sometimes I forget this maxim.  In preparation for St. Patrick’s Day I read
my kids a couple of children’s books about the holiday.  Check mark. 
Reading is done.  And then I asked
them some simple questions.  “So who is
St. Patrick?” “A guy with snakes.”   Hmmm…
I decided to make a little lift-the-flap book to perk up their interest.  I picked six representative pictures–
shamrock, Saint Patrick, map of Ireland, Irish flag, corned beef + cabbage, and
Leprechaun (I found free pics on google) and under each picture I wrote down
what I considered the most important points.   If they asked questions, I provided more
information.  I loaded my brain up with a
lot of information on this subject, while putting their little book together.  Did you know that Northern Ireland is actually
England?  Somehow I missed this…  And that St. Patrick’s name is actually not Patrick
at all?  Real name – Maewyn  Succat (try to remember this, I will quiz you later).
 We read my book together only once
before they could answer every single question I could possibly come up with.  So now if you come to my house on St. Patrick
’s Day without wearing something green, they WILL pinch you!  They will consider it their duty.  Just a warning, you know.   
Bits and Pieces 

Our favorite book on this subject is Anne Rockwell’s St. Patrick’s Day.  The font on my little
book is actually copied from this book. 
I searched the internet for some St. Patrick’s Day crafts but I couldn’t find anything that kids were excited about.  So I decided to spend some time learning how to draw a perfect 3-petal shamrock, to play with color green and make a
shamrock pinwheel, if they still feel like it at the end of the school time. 
How to Draw a three-petal Shamrock
For the shamrock I found fantastic instructions on youtube by Jonathan
Harris.  He is great.  
This is pretty much the jinx of the instruction
I made this one on the first try

My 6-year old made this one on his first try
Playing with GREEN
In my painting classes no matter what is a composition we always start with a few basic colors that we mix in different
ways to create the colors that we really need. 
So I decided to employ the same concept in playing with color
GREEN.  First kids got green and white
and created a couple of different shades of green.  Then they got green and yellow and played
with that.  Finally they got green,
and white and went to town with new color combinations.   I think color experiments and concentrating on one color at a time really fosters  color awareness and color appreciation.  And playing with colors in such relaxed, non-judgemental way is a really fun approach to learning color principles.  There is a whole science behind color principles actually.  Do you know that Google engineers tested 41 shades of blue to see if different shades encouraged people to click more?  They found that bluish blues resulted in more clicks on the webs links than greenish blues!  So, if you find yourself spending more and more time online, reading, clicking, looking at Google ads perhaps, beware, it’s all a plot of talented color engineers.  Color really, really matters!    I actually got so fascinated with the subject of Color that I’m currently putting together a really cute Colors Unit Study for kids. 
I like using parchment paper for this purpose

Girl said that this is her favorite shade of green


Pinwheel is very easy project and kids can blow
on it for hours.  I cut out a four-petal
shamrock out of a scrapbook paper and then used a pin (from a new shirt) to
attach the shamrock to the top (eraser part) of the pencil (don’t push it all
the way or the flower can not spin BUT also don’t let it be too loose or it
will wobble). 
Pencil with eraser, pin and shamrock is all you need
This is how it looks when assembled

Boy can make it go really fast
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 

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