Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall Party

Owen had his "Fall Party" today! Not to be confused with a traditional "Halloween Party" you may have heard of in days gone by. This new modern kind of party is aimed at being non-offending, and trying their very hardest to have no good treats of any kind but offering "healthy choices" instead.

(I would insert a food rant here about how I think "healthy choices" are meant for the lunch menu, not for the special occasion class parties they have only three times per school year, and how this sort of thing proves Michael Pollan's theory of America's unhealthy obsession with healthy eating, because we are making kids feel bad about eating a pumpkin-spice cupcake in the classroom once during the fall quarter--yet the cafeteria serves "breakfast cookies" to the early morning kids once a week. . . but I won't talk about that because I took responsibility for party activities instead.)

I planned three activities for the kindergartners: Leaf Rubbing, Pasta-necklace Making, and Pumpkin Bowling

I sent Jeremy on a leaf hunt to find me a nice variety of different-shaped leaves.  (That's putting his fancy Masters' degree and three years worth of student loans to good use!)

Then I made some crayon disks.  It's a great use for your buckets of old broken crayons.  Just put your oven on it's lowest setting and set the timer so you don't forget they're in there. 

Leaf under paper, rub on top with the crayon discs that are perfectly suited for this project.  Almost the cheapest and easiest fall craft project ever. 

If you don't have any actual fun fall pasta at your local mega mart (like I don't) you can color it to add a little more interest.

 It's easy, I can explain it in one sentence.  Put some medicine cabinet alcohol in a large zip top bag, add food coloring, dump in the pasta, shake it around, then dump out on a paper towel-lined sheet pan to dry.  It dries really quickly because of the alcohol--but it stinks--so I put it on the back porch to dry.

I made the stringing a part easier by hardening the ends of the yarn.  I took the whole bunch of cut yarn pieces and dunked them about an inch and a half into Mod Podge.  Then  hung them up on the shower curtain rod to dry.

Stop whining-- it took like five whole minutes from yarn ball to drying, then just leave them till they are hard and dry.

The kids liked it--though they averaged a mere one pasta piece strung per minute.

 I'm most proud of my pumpkin bowling game.  I used a nice round pie pumpkin and cut the stem off.  Then I bored three bowling-ball-type holes with an apple corer.  Using toilet paper rolls was the idea suggested to me, because they make a nice grand reaction to being bowled over.  But as I was contemplating the ghost-white paper while working on the pumpkin ball I knew I had to add the faces.

Take that "Fall Party"!  (At least it's bowling over the mischievous spirits as opposed to glorifying them right?)  I'll probably be the shortest-term room parent in the history of public education!

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