We went on a super cool field trip this morning. We went mushroom hunting! We did not find a lot of mushrooms, but we had a blast. We had an excellent guide that knew every plant that we came across on our hike. Here is the fungus that we saw on our hike:
Unidentifiable little brown mushroom:
Rhizomorphs which kills trees, so this is bad news for our forest:
We have been continuing to work on our bluebird studies. I
decided to take a big leap and have us attempt paper mâché bluebirds. For me this is a big step in our homeschool
because I am not particularly artistic, and this is a very messy multi day
project. I was nervous to say the least, but how could I turn down trying the
beautiful paper mâché birds as seen on Art For Small Hands? Little BBQ had been requesting more three dimensional
projects, so I thought this would be a nice creative project to attempt. Our
birds came out surprisingly cute even though we forgot to use card board for
the tail feathers.
We used regular all purpose flour and water for our paper mâché,
and we attempted to fill in some of the holes left by the newspaper with dryer
lint pulp mixed with our mâché paste. The dryer lint pulp was also good for forming a
beak. We used Crayola washable tempura paints to paint the birds which did not completely
cover the newspaper which really bothered me at first, but then I realized that
seeing the newspaper under the paint gave the bluebirds a Jasper Johns feel. We
did not put wire legs on birds because I did not feel that Little BBQ had the
coordination to bend wire right now without hurting himself. Instead we opted to put our bluebirds on
nests made from paper Easter grass.
1.Wrinkle the whole sheet of newspaper into a ball
to form the body of the bird. You can shape the ball into more of a tear drop
shape which is close to a bird shape than a ball.
2.Cut the wings and tail feathers out of cardboard
using the scissors. Use your bluebird pictures for inspiration. We cut a
semicircle for the wings which was probably not the best shape to use. Next
time I think I would cut each wing individually.
3.Tape the wings and tail feathers to the
newspaper body of the bird with the masking tape.
4.In a bowl, make a paper mâché paste with flour and water.
We used 1 part flour to 2 parts water for our paper mâché paste. You can make your
paste a little thinner or thicken depending upon your preferences.
5.Dip the newspaper strips into the paste and wipe
off the excess paste. Drape the newspaper strip on the bluebird.
6.Continue with step 5 until the bluebird is
7.Dip the dryer lint into the paper mâché paste
to form clay like substance.
8.Use the dryer lint putty to fill in holes in the
and to form small details like the beak.
9.Allow the bluebird to dry. We dried our
bluebirds on a plate. We dried the bluebirds on their belly which was a mistake
because we ended up tearing a little bit of the paper mâché when lifted up the blue birds
after they dried. Net time I would have let them dry on the flat surface of
10.Paint the bluebirds. We made male Easter
bluebirds using photos for inspiration. In general, male Easter bluebirds have
a blue head and wings, a white stomach, an orange neck and a black beak.
11.Place the bluebirds in a cardboard box. Spray
the bluebirds with spray polyurethane while wearing goggles or safety glasses. Follow
the directions on the spray can for best results. I did this part for Little BBQ outside because
I was not comfortable with him using the polyurethane. Allow the bluebirds to
12.Display the bluebirds on a nest of Easter grass.