Monthly Archives: April 2015

Our Imaginations! Groovy Buttons!

Our Imaginations! Groovy Buttons!
Groovy Buttons

Groovy Buttons in different shapes and sizes


Read: Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin.

“Pete the Cat puts on his favorite shirt with four, big, colorful, round, groovy buttons.”

But one by one, the buttons pop off and roll away. He realizes that he doesn’t have any buttons on his favorite shirt:

4 – 1 = 3

3 – 1 = 2

2 – 1 =1

1 – 1 = 0

Pete the Cat’s button less shirt opens up and what does he see? His belly button!

What can you do with your buttons?


Use buttons to decorate…anything! Use your imagination!

List of things to decorate with buttons:

Journal cover



Picture frame


Book bag or any kind of bag



Lots of buttons

Needle and thread (if you know how to sew)


Alternative Project: Make your own buttons


Modeling clay in different colors


Make small balls and flatten them. Poke four holes in the center with the pencil. What will you do with your handmade buttons?


*copyright Art work by Marion Constantinides 2015

Share Button

Our Imaginations! Have a Too Cool Day!

Our Imaginations! Have a Too Cool Day!
Too Cool Sunglasses

Too Cool Sunglasses

Read Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by Kimberly and James Dean.

“Pete the Cat did not feel happy. Pete had never, ever, ever, ever been grumpy before. Pete had the blue cat blues.”

Grumpy Toad usually was grumpy but on the day he met Pete the Cat, he was wearing cool, blue, magic sunglasses which made him look at everything in a new way.

When Pete the Cat tried them on, he saw the world in a whole new way, too.

Walking along with his new attitude, Pete the Cat ran into his friends, Squirrel, Turtle and Alligator and lent them his cool, blue, magic sunglasses. They saw the world in a whole new way just like Pete the Cat and Grumpy Toad!

Isn’t that cool?

Then Pete the Cat fell and cracked his cool, blue, magic sunglasses.

What would he do without them?

The Wise Old Owl told him the truth: Pete the Cat didn’t need his cool, blue, magic sunglasses to see the world in a new way. “Just remember to look for the good in every day,” the Wise Old Owl told him.

Pete the Cat looks all around him and exclaimed, “Too cool!”



Decorate a pair of sunglasses to brighten your day like Pete the Cat and his friends.




Strong glue like gorilla glue


Paint in squeeze tubes or bottles


Make your sunglasses the coolest ever – you don’t have to paint your glasses blue like Pete the Cat’s! You can paint them any color or design.

*Remember: if you paint the lenses, you won’t be able to see through them!

 Additional Reading:
Lizzie Logan Wears Purple Sunglasses by Eileen Spinelli





Share Button

Our Imaginations: It Stinks!

Our Imaginations: It Stinks!

Can you make this sneaker smelly, stinky and just plain awful?


Stink and the World’s Worst Super-Stinky Sneakers by Megan Mc Donald.

In this book, Stink and his friend enter a contest to win the prize for the world’s smelliest sneaker. Stink meets someone

who actually works using his nose at the competition. He asks Stink to be one of the judges! It means that

Stink can’t enter the contest but he accepts. None of the judges knows whose sneakers are whose. It’s a surprise to all

the judges especially Stink about who has the World’s Super-Stinky sneakers.



Everyone has a pair of stinky sneakers (including adults)! Challenge your friends to a contest to see who has the

sneakers that stink the most! First, read how Stink and his friend made their sneakers the worst ever and try to come up

with ideas of your own that are better than theirs! Then using the materials you assembled, make your sneakers stink!



A pair of old sneakers

Substances that will make the sneakers stink (Use your imagination but NEVER use anything that is dangerous!)

A fence or wall to display the sneakers entered in your contest (ask an adult for permission to use the fence or wall)

One or three judges (an odd number is best so there are no ties in the voting)

A trophy or similar prize for the world’s worst stinky sneaker



Make fliers to announce the contest and hang them up all over the neighborhood.

Then, make your sneakers the ones that stink the most! Bring them to the place where you will hold the contest. Make

sure the judges write their choice of a winner on a piece of paper so that the judging is secret. When the contest is over,

display the sneakers for everyone in the neighborhood to see. If you use a chain link fence, tie the shoelaces on the

fence and let the sneakers dangle. If you use a wall, keep the pairs together by tying the shoelaces together.

Wheew! Displayed together the sneakers really do stink all over!


Additional reading:
Want to know what else you can do to a sneaker or shoe?

Read: Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin and James Dean.


Share Button

Art That Flies: Winter Mobile

Art That Flies: Winter Mobile


What is a mobile? A mobile is a construction made up of lightweight parts suspended by threads to fine wires.

Now take the banner designs and use them to make mobiles. See how they change when you go from a flat design to a three-dimensional design.

Scroll down to the Winter Banner tutorial below this info.


Here are some basic supplies that you will need on hand for all the mobile designs:


Wire, sticks, pencils, etc for arms


Thread, light and heavy weight

Poster board

Colored pencils and pens



Pencil and ruler

Recyclable materials

Tracing paper

Whole puncher (optional)


Making a circle and a cone:

Technique #1: use a round object and trace.

Technique #2: Use a pencil compass to allow you to make a large or small circle. To find the diameter, measure circle from one edge through the center to the opposite side.

Technique #3: Cut out a circle. Cut out a section like a slice of a pie, from the edge to the center. Remove the section. Bring one edge over to the other side. Glue the overlapped edge. The larger the section you cut out, the taller and thinner to cone.

Technique #4: How to attach a thread: Thread objects by using a large needle. Push the needle through the shape at the balancing point and pull the thread until a small length is left. Then make a knot at the top of the shape. Cut off excess thread. When attaching the thread to the wire, tie it tightly.


Holz, Loretta. Mobiles You Can Make. New York: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Company, 1965.

Zubrowski, Bernie. Mobiles: Building and Experimenting with Balancing Toys. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1993

Winter Mobile

Winter Mobile


Ages: 5 – 12 years

Time: ½ hour – 1 hour


Construction paper or Fun Foam in 6 colors

Silver glitter pen

Ball of jute or string or wire

2 dowel rods cut to 12” each Scissors

Tacky glue or glue sticks


Whole puncher

1. Ask an adult to cut the dowel rods so that you have two. Cross them in the middle and tie them tightly with a piece of string or jute or wire. Lay aside.

2. Select the paper or Fun Foam. You can use craft papers or Fun Foam or both. Trace and cut shapes from the patterns used for the winter banner: Mr. Snow Man and Mrs. Snow Woman. Adorn them with scarves, hats/berets, noses that look like carrots, buttons, and a pipe for Mr. Snow Man. On a separate sheet of fun foam or construction paper, draw snowflakes with the glitter pen. Cut them along with the Snow Man and Woman. Draw eyes and mouth with a black marker.

3. Poke a hole towards the top of the paper or Fun Foam shapes with a pencil or use a hole puncher.

4. Then, lace a piece of string, thread, jute, or wire 6” to 8” in length through the hole at the top of each shape. Tie the shapes to the dowel rods. To balance the mobile, place two or more shapes to each dowel rod and be sure that some of the shapes hang lower (or higher) than some of the others.  Ask an adult for help.

5. Tie a piece of string on the ends of the dowel rods and hang it up. Does your sculpture move? What makes it move? How is this design different from the banner design? What are the differences? What are the similarities?


How to make wire arms: Make loops on the ends. This will make it easier to tie on shapes. Use needle-nose pliers and wire with a gauge of 14, 1, 18 or 20.  Cut the wire to the desired length and bent until it is slightly curved. This will make the objects look more graceful as they balance from the wire. The curve also makes them look more graceful as they move in the air.

How to make a smooth curve: Grip one end of the wire with one hand and gently pull its length between the thumb and forefinger of the other hand, bending as you pull.

How to make a loop: Grasp the end or the wire with the needle-nose pliers. Hold the wire as you twist to form a circle. If you are tying on the objects, close the circle completely. If you are slipping on a loop into the circle, leave it barely open. Close the loops when the mobile is complete. Hold the wire so that the eyelets or circles are on the under side of the arm when attaching the shapes to the mobile.


Share Button