First grade art ~ paper mache robots

art for kids using paper mache

This was no easy project.  I only do art with the kids on Fridays so this one took us three weeks.  The kids rose to the challenge and created amazing paper mache robots.  We also had a fair amount of parents helping (especially on paper mache day). Here is how we did it.

  1. We asked parents to send in boxes about the size of mac and cheese boxes or granola bar boxes as well as lids to milk, water, juice, etc… drink caps.
  2. We used our recylcables and painters tape or gaffers tape to tape the lids and cut up paper or cardboard to our boxes.  They were thinking about eyes and noses and mouths and how they wanted the faces to look.  We also added pipe cleaners to this step.
  3. The next week we did the paper mache.  I ended up making batches of goo with flour and water.  One part flour to two parts water.  I think I ended up using a whole 5lb bag of flour.  We had parents send in newspaper cut into strips.  Small strips were best with the detail the kids had to achieve in their designs
  4. We let those dry for a week (no photos because I was busy that day) and the last step was paint.  We used acrylic paints.  I told them all to start with painting their whole robot one color (you know how kids like to just paint their favorite parts). In hindsight, I would only do that if we had a chance to let them fully dry and then paint the details.  So they painted the whole thing one color and then added their colors for eyes and mouths, etc.  The colors got a little mushy for some of them with the wet base coat.

The surprising things were that some of the kids were thoroughly grossed out by having their hands in the flour/water goo.  It took them awhile to get used to the idea of having constantly gooey hands.  I had a towel for each kid to wipe their hands on while they worked.  The paper mache process was the hardest and I was grateful for all the parents helping.  The kids really liked this project overall and got a chance to use a new medium for them.

I think it’s important for kids to try all kinds of art so they can see what they really like and recognize the parts they don’t like that much and the parts that they do.  Usually the furthest we make it in assessing things we participate in is IF we like it or not.  That’s it.  I think art projects are a great way to start thinking past did I or didn’t I like it.

I plan on talking to them more about their own personal process and let them verbalize on each project what they liked, thought was hard, thought was easy, thought was torture, thoroughly enjoyed etc.  Kids need a chance to talk and be acknowledged not just about how their day was (which always gets answered with “great” of “fine”) but about how they experience things.  This gets them thinking about who they are in detail.   I think these art projects are a perfect place to start exploring their preferences and I am looking forward to talking to them more about each of them than just doing projects.

art for first graders
art for first graders
art for first graders
first grade art
art for first graders

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february 2013 instagram

Recapping February with Instagram:  Heidi’s 40th birhday, a visit to see Allison in Idaho in the winter, park day for Slater with school friends, new hot tub, outtakes because it’s the only way to get Dallon on here, slater starts karate and LOVES it, visiting with Christianne in San Clemente for a day, Slater’s school field trip, teens hanging out at our house, Slater’s creativity with magna tiles, valentines, annual ski trip with neighbors and friends (15 kids and 11 adults in one house), cooking more, kite day, and kitty who likes to fit in small uncomfortable places.

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Update on no starch diet and AS (Ankylosing Spondylitis)

It’s been just about three months that I went no starch for my diet.  I decided to try the no starch because I really didn’t want to be on anti inflammatory drugs forever and ever.  Maybe one day I will have to but it was worth a shot to see if I could get rid of my inflammation through diet.  You can read my intro about starting a no starch diet here.

It took two full months for me to start to notice I was feeling better.  During the first two months, the pain seemed to move to different parts of my back and hips that I hadn’t even had issues with before.  It felt like the inflammation was cycling through my system.  I thought I was getting worse at times.

And then all of a sudden I noticed I was sleeping (on the couch) in all positions.  I even caught myself sleeping on my stomach which I haven’t been able to do for seven years (realized that in hindsight).  I decided to move back into my bed and see if I was able to tolerate that.  There were a few iffy nights but I am back in my bed with minimal stiffness in the morning.  I have had a few hard nights in the last month but now I am almost certain it must be something I ate because it goes away throughout the day and then the next night is better.  It’s weird to think that diet could “fix” the pain I was enduring.  But it certainly seems to be helping.

I’ve added back cooked vegetables and I still have too much sugar… but not nearly as much as I was having with all the bread products I used to have.  There are times that I miss bread/cookie products.  But, I have slowly been figuring out alternatives and I actually really like them.  One surprise is squash cut like spaghetti (used this tool) and used with meat sauce.  SO good and I don’t have that heavy feeling I used to get after eating pasta….even rice pasta.  I’ve found a great chocolate chip cookie recipe that is so good. And I recently made coconut flour strawberry shortcake which was really good.  That recipe can be found here.  It was a tricky one but I think I was 90% successful.

There are so many alternatives now and so many good cooks have figured out ways to make grain free alternatives.  I’m so grateful for people who have paved the way and figured things out because it is a radical change.  I am so happy to be feeling better and have actually been able to start working out again.  I will continue with the no starch diet and continue to figure out and add to my alternatives.  It’s definitely not easy but it certainly not as hard as I thought I was going to be.   It’s a process.  grain free dessert

Max - Monday | August 4th | 2014

Hi Alison,

How are things going now with the NSD? Your posts on this are so helpful!


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