Friday, March 17, 2017

Great Drawing Marker and Other Stuff

Erin Go Bragh! Happy St. Patrick's Day... the day you can be Irish even if you're not.

1. I share Five for Friday but I start on a bit of a sad note today. My family IS Irish and we used to get together for a good meal and a little jig or two on St. Pat's Day when we all lived closer, but now we are rather spread out. Celebrations are few and far between these days. Also, three years ago on this day my dad passed away... he was born on Valentine's Day and died on St. Patrick's Day. I can't believe it's been three years already. I still miss him very much.

So you see why St. Patrick's Day has become a bit sad for me.

2.  Have you ever combined dry erase markers with water color paints? I find that the kiddos create some pretty cool stuff when I suggest they draw before they paint. I tend to see fewer paint soaked abstract masterpieces, and the placement of paint on paper becomes a little more purposeful. 

The problem is that regular markers bleed when wet- which can be fun sometimes, too, but not for a drawing project. Pencils are too light. And permanent markers need more supervision, and they bleed on the paper all by themselves anyway. What to do?? 

I suggest you use thin tipped dry erase markers. I have used Expo, Lakeshore, and the brand sold at the Dollar Store, The Board Dudes, and all of them work just fine. I buy whichever ones I can find at the cheapest price. They leave a nice dark line that doesn't bleed, no matter how much paint the kids use. 

And of course I use my hacked paint drying rack which is really an under shelf wire basket. I blogged about it before. Click on the photo to know more details. 

3.  Funny how the additions of just a few things can make activities all new. Here are some new items I added to the mix of stuff.

Dollar Store combs for the play dough

Good old fashioned compasses for circle fun

Shower door squeegee for raking up duplos, which makes clean-up much more fun. Clean dustpans work, too.

4.  Speaking of duplos, don't forget them. Lots of kindergartners come to school completely enamored with lego and I, too, personally love lego. However, there are some down sides– oftentimes the kids only want to make the "thing" that the fancy pieces are for. It takes a long time to find the exact pieces, and a long time to make a relatively small thing. Kids usually run out of time to complete the building, let alone play with it.

That's why I always have duplos on the ready in the construction corner. They are easier to use on the floor with fewer tiny pieces. And because they are bigger, they are not only easier to build with, but you get the "thing" a lot faster, so there is usually time to actually play with the creation. Don't let the kids' initial reaction to "those baby toys" stop you from making them available. I actually don't put out the small standard sized lego bricks until the last third of the year, and the duplos get tons of use all year long. Lego makes a great multi-racial sets of people in the duplo scale, too.

5.  And I end with 

I don't know if any of you heard about the BIG wind storm that hit the southeast corner of Michigan last week. Over twelve hours of gusty hurricane strength wind. I think there were something like 800,000 customers who lost power. DTE said it was the biggest power outage in their history. Jonathan and I were lucky, and we only had a little flicker... enough to make me check on what was in the freezer... where I found these! 

Forgotten Christmas cupcakes! Yes! Just as good as ever. Enough to share at school. How is a person to lose any weight if Christmas cupcakes are still around in March, I ask you!!!

Anyway, we lost power at school for two days, giving us a four day weekend. I felt horrible for the families without power, but I can't deny the unexpected time "off" gave me time to do much needed OTHER stuff for SCHOOL. eye roll....

Then this week, we had a snowstorm! The snow came down continuously all day long. After the very spring-like, even summer-like weather where we hit 70 one day, it was rather disconcerting to see winter upon us again. As I told the kids to bundle up for the walk to cars and busses I heard one little guy say, 

"Do you think Santa will come tonight??"

Well.... we HAD pretty much experienced all the seasons again since Christmas break. Maybe it was time for Santa to swing on thru once more!! I mean, I've heard of Christmas in July, why not Christmas in March?

Have a great spring break if you are on one. A much needed and deserved respite. We still have two. more. weeks. to go. Click on back to Kasey at Doodle Bugs to see what else is going on with teachers.

Thanks for stopping by... and don't forget to PIN ideas you want to remember!


  1. Kathleen, so sorry about your dad. My dad also passed away in March, 6years now and I sure do miss him. Thanks for the great drying rack idea! Usually I just line up all the papers on the floor and hope no kiddos step on them.