January

Crafts

Styro Sculpture: Two Ways

Children’s sculpture projects can be messy and time-consuming, particularly when using traditional materials such as clay or papier mache. My ‘after-school’ Art Club meets once a week for 45 minutes, and I prefer to complete a project in that time, otherwise it can often happen that one or more children are away for either the beginning or the end of the task. It is also my belief that, with preschool children, the most successful projects are those that hold their attention with quite immediate results.

Styro Sculpture’ is a great example of a project that is simple, fun, educational and can produce impressive results. Many kindergarten art teachers will be familiar with making sculpture from polystyrene packing peanuts and toothpicks or pipe cleaners. The kids construct all sorts of three-dimensional forms by connecting the small polystyrene shapes together. It is so much fun, and really exercises the children’s imaginations. Last time I did this project with four and five year olds, we  had a classroom full of cars, horses, spiders and space rockets.
 

azan-styro-sculpture-3
azan-styro-sculpture-3

press to zoom
antonio-styro-sculpture-2
antonio-styro-sculpture-2

press to zoom
hanako-styro-sculpture-2 (1)
hanako-styro-sculpture-2 (1)

press to zoom
azan-styro-sculpture-3
azan-styro-sculpture-3

press to zoom
1/7
 

However, it can be a little frustrating for the children, as the toothpicks and the polystyrene peanuts fall apart quite easily. I also find myself frustrated with the outcome, as one of my key aims with any kids’ sculpture project is to emphasise the three-dimensional physicality of sculpture compared with painting or drawing. Because packing peanuts are so small, the resulting structures are also rather small and fragile.

I wanted the children to be able to work on a much larger scale, especially after coming across a ‘green art’ blog, Inspiration Green, which reveals the seemingly endless possibilities of polystyrene as an art material. John Powers, Dio Mendoza and Tara Donovan are just three artists making incredible sculptural forms from polystyrene.

Courtesy of hannahsartclub.wordpress.com

Book

The Gift That I Can Give

"Kids don't have to wait until they are grownups to make the world a better place! The newest Kathie Lee Gifford book empowers children to find unique ways to make a difference in the lives of those around them.

The Gift That I Can Give is a heartwarming story that shows how all children can do something today to make a positive impact on others. From simply being kind to giving a loved one an extra-big hug to cheering for a friend, this story will inspire children with countless ways to show God's love, leading them to want to listen to it again and again.

Kathie Lee is a trusted voice who feels like a friend for countless people. With her strong faith, enthusiasm, and playful writings, she appeals to young hearts and encourages them with the message that no one is too young or too small to share their gift with others.

Kathie Lee Gifford is the three-time Emmy award-winning co-host of the fourth hour of the Today show, alongside Hoda Kotb. In 2015, Gifford was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. She has written four New York Times best-selling books. Former co-host of Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee, she is also a playwright, producer, singer, songwriter, and actress. Gifford has a passion for children and has been involved in numerous child-help organizations, including Cassidy's Place and Cody House, named after her two children."

Courtesy of Amazon.com

51QhR4-ms9L._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
 
Crafts

Spiced Chocolate Molasses Buttons

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • For the cookie dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (5 1/8 ounces/144 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

  • 6 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces/36 grams) unsweetened natural cocoa powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 10 tablespoons (5 ounces/142 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) firmly packed dark muscovado sugar

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/4 cup (3 ounces/84 grams) unsulphured molasses

  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces/100 grams) turbinado sugar, for coating the cookies

 For the filling:

  • 2 ounces (57 grams) bittersweet chocolate (60% to 70% cacao)

  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  • 1/2 teaspoon unsulphured molasses

a-cookie-swap-spiced-chocolate-molasses-

PREPARATION

Make the cookie dough:

  1. Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, baking soda, and salt.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, muscovado sugar, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed for about 4 minutes, or until the mixture is noticeably lighter in color, transforming from a dark, gritty-looking mixture to something fluffier and latte-like in color. Beat in the egg until completely absorbed. Beat in the molasses until well blended.

  3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually stir in the dry ingredients. Mix until well blended and even in color. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for about 2 hours.

  4. When you’re ready to bake, position the racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

  5. To form the cookies, pour the turbinado sugar onto a plate. Using a small ice cream scoop with a capacity of about 1 tablespoon, portion the dough into balls. Roll the dough balls in the turbinado sugar, coating them completely. Place on the prepared baking sheets, evenly spacing them with 1 dozen cookies per sheet. Repeat with the balance of the dough.

  6. Bake the cookies until they are set on the edges, but still very soft in the centers, about 10 minutes. Quickly pull the sheets from the oven (close the oven door so as to not let all the heat escape!). Using deft thumbs, a spoon with a very deep well (like a melon baller), or a thick-handled wooden spoon, make a deep indentation in the center of each cookie. Return to the oven to finish baking, about 5 minutes more. Let the cookies cool on the pans set over wire racks. If the indentations have become shallow, press them down again while the cookies are warm.

    ​Make the filling:

  1. Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. Melt in the microwave with 30-second bursts of high heat, stirring well after each interval. Stir in the molasses. Transfer the ganache to a small zip-top bag and work it toward the corner of the bag. Snip off a tiny bit at the corner. Fill each cookie with ganache. Let the cookies set at room temperature until the ganache is firm, about 1 hour.

  2. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Source from : divergentsms.com/spiced-chocolate-molasses-buttons