Art Attack: Coloring Fun

In a world of busy-ness and responsibility, it’s just as important to take few moments exploring the creative side of life. Join us as we share ideas on how to get those imaginative juices flowing and explore a world of art!

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Summer_ArtIt’s coming; right around the corner is an entire day (sometimes two) filled to the brim with learning fun and outside exploration. That’s right, the county fair is already in the works and that means art projects and competitions galore!

While to some this might seem odd, the art competitions are our favorite part of the fair experience. We enjoy the research, the planning, the execution, and the award-winning results of our hard work! This year is no different.

There are several competitions we plan to participate in this year, all of them revolving around art. We like to start off simple and then work our way up to the more complex projects. The first competition we are checking off our list: Coloring!

Yup; you read that right! Coloring is an important art form and a competition in-and-of itself. No embellishments may be added, no painting may be done; this project is designed to test your ability to think creatively with the most basic of tools.

Out come the crayons, markers, and colored pencils; the competition page is printed; and now we are ready to get started.

Snail Competition

What can you do with a simple coloring page, besides color? Get creative; think outside the box! Instead of just coloring, discover ways to add shading. Experiment with the blending of colors to create gradients. Use stencils or a calligraphy pen to put names on the sides of the books. We’ve chosen to really think outside the box this year and use pencil rubbings to give portions of our coloring pages texture; the background, the shell of the snail, and the books might be just the place to start.

We are very encouraged and inspired this year to work even harder than previous competitions. Unlike in the past, not all entries will be receiving ribbons nor will all be displayed; only those whose work is well done. (Personally, I think this is an excellent move on the part of the organizer. Hopefully, this will help more people take these competitions seriously and make the prize-winning more meaningful.)

What are we being judged on? Neatness, cleanliness, creativity, and an adherence to rules. It is a Danish form of judging; meeting a standard and not direct competition. However, with stricter guidelines and adherence to rules, this does make ribbon winning more meaningful. (At least in my opinion.)

Time to Chime In: Do you plan to participate in your local fair competitions? Which categories will you enter?

Summer School: Fair Fun

There is nothing quite like the fair; the sights, the smells, the sounds. For schools, this is a time of discovery and learning. A time to get good and dirty. A time to step outside the classroom and have some real fun.

As in most counties and states, the L.A. County Fair comes every fall. Each year our kids eagerly await the opening week and highly anticipate all the fun to be had. For educators though, the fun can start much sooner!

Did you know that as an educator (and yes, homeschoolers are included) you can sign up for the Fair as early as April? There is a vast selection of educational experiences to explore, with curriculum to help your students get the most out of their day. Bonus: it’s free! Educators and their students enter the fair a few hours earlier than the public and the entire event is free. At our fair, they offer free milk and a Read-to-Ride program (free carnival rides for six books read). Not a bad deal!

So what does a fair in the fall have to do with our summer school? Competitions! Once our family has signed up for the Fair, we make sure to  take a look at the competitions available. How many do we want to work on? Which are feasible for the kids to do themselves (the work has to entirely be done by the students)?

We work on one project a week, making sure that we put them in a nice, safe place until they are ready to be delivered. Through working on their projects, my kids have learned diligence, orderliness, cleanliness, creativity, and much more. They have also learned the value of friendly competition.

Come fall, our family has the opportunity to spend the day taking in the sights, enjoyingsome good food, and the excitement of seeing how well they did in their competitions. All together, the Fair has been a wonderful family experience; one that our kiddos will hopefully look back on with much fondness.

A Win-Win Situation

Today, the family braved the heat in order to do our yearly trek to the LA County Fair. This year proved to be especially fun and exciting. There were major prizes won and lots of blessings all around.

After a good night’s sleep and a decent breakfast, we loaded up the car and headed into the scorching heat. (Even at 9 in the morning, it’s hot!) It was well worth the soaring temps as we met several friends throughout the day and enjoyed a day of learning in the field.

2 Pixels

One of the educational exhibits this year; animation.

Aquatic Center

This exhibit had lots of info about ocean life, including sharks.

Brasil

Learning about the natural landscape of Brasil; good music too!

Chickens

Walking through the barn always teaches us lots of neat new things.

Cook Out

This gentleman does all the cooking for those in management.

Emerald City

The Wonderful Wizard of OZ celebrates it’s 75th anniversary next year.

Flying High

Me trying to be funny for my kids; hey, I gotta try!

Learning Centers

Awesome learning centers are set up all over the fair.

School House

This little 1916 school house was very charming. The gentleman inside was very pro-homeschooling.

Susie's Barn

We learned a lot about animals in the barn area; cute, cuddly, and little.

Together

The kids having lots of fun running ahead of us, attempting to get to the next fun portion of our day.

Two Princesses

My two little princesses, trying to avoid the heat and have some fun.

Wet 'n Wild

The kids convinced us to go on The Log Ride in the carnival area; I. GOT. SOAKED!

Which Way?

One of the many fun posts at the America’s Kids exhibit, which is all about literature.

Winner

Every summer we compete in the America’s Kids events. One of the big wins this year was “T’s” writing competition. Congratulations, honey!

As I said, the day was great! We went through absolutely all of the educational exhibits, some twice, and even had some extra fun. “T” won an amazing competition which was very important to her, so she is very pleased.

Part of our fun was due to free rides being earned for reading books over the summer. Even though each of the kids received six free rides (this is a huge cost savor for us, having four kids and prices being ridiculous for rides), some of the vendors actually let the kids ride a few things free! The kids had a blast and we parents even got to enjoy a few too.

After a long day, seven whole hours worth, we finally headed back home. Rest and relaxation were in order, so showers and naps it was.

Now… time for some catching up on my WP friends’ adventures and homeschooling advice.

Is anyone else heading out to their local fair this month?

Summer School: Fair Fun

While the dates for entry forms have changed and the competition entries altered, this still stands true. Every summer we work on our massive list of county fair projects and explore the world of art, history, and literature. It just wouldn’t be summer without it! For a current list of competitions and entry dates, HERE is a link to the 2013 L.A. County Fair.

A Homeschool Mom

There is nothing quite like the fair; the sights, the smells, the sounds. For schools, this is a time of discovery and learning. A time to get good and dirty. A time to step outside the classroom and have some real fun.

As in most counties and states, the L.A. County Fair comes every fall. Each year our kids eagerly await the opening week and highly anticipate all the fun to be had. For educators though, the fun can start much sooner!

Did you know that as an educator (and yes, homeschoolers are included) you can sign up for the Fair as early as April? There is a vast selection of educational experiences to explore, with curriculum to help your students get the most out of their day. Bonus: it’s free! Educators and their students enter the fair a few hours earlier than the public and the entire event is…

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Fair Play

The man and the munchkins

Our family at the start of the day! We had great weather; cool and slightly sprinkling. There were hardly any people there! The best field trip day is always the first day!

Have I ever mentioned that I am task oriented? This is perhaps why I love field trips so much. It forces me to get out of my house, where I would find a million things that need to be done, and allows me to focus on what is important; my kids!

Today we played hookie from our “regular” school work and went to the fair! Every year students are allowed to enter the fair grounds early in the morning and explore the educational exhibits; so, why not take advantage?

There were so many things to do and see. I could spend several thousand words explaining it all; no worries, I won’t!

Odd Creatures

Zorses and Zonkeys… any guesses as to what their parents are?

Rope 'em Cowboy

Having fun at the Dude Ranch; we roped some mechanical calves, made some rope, and rode on large rocking horses!

Pick 'em

The kids were able to do some farming. They planted seeds, took care of sheep, gathered eggs, picked their produce, sold their wares, and then went shopping with the funds!

Yummy

Homemade butter and cheese were available for us to see. We were instructed on how to make our own! The kids and I have decided that will be our next kitchen experiment!

American Girl

They had a new feature in America’s Kids this year; American Girl!! The girlies were very excited and had a blast!Read to Ride

The kids turned in their book reports and each earned six free rides. Hooray, mommy saves money and the kids have fun!

WinnerCan anyone guess who this is? This is just one of many fair competitions that we worked on over the summer. Ben Franklin

The dinosaurs were gone this year, but we did have a new exhibit on Genius’ in Innovation. The special exhibit was Ben Franklin, with a live performer! He was a very charming gentleman and made learning lots of fun!

ElectricityWe learned all about electricity and the innovations of Ben Franklin. Flying Lessons

“T” and JAG were able to try this simulation of the original Wright plane. She did an excellent job!

Play Time

What would the fair be if we didn’t take in a few rides? The kiddos went on a few and decided to save the rest for later this week. (Yes, you read that correctly. We are going back again!) Take me Up

Yes, your MajestyOne of my favorite places to visit is the flower pavilion. Besides the wonderful aroma of flowers, the window displays are simply breathtaking; this year was no exception.

Did you ring?This phone booth was too cute not to take a picture of! Unfortunately, you can’t open the door and there ISN’T any phone. It was pretty though!

All together, we had a blast. The weather was perfect; cool with occational sprinkles. There were hardly any people there, so we didn’t have to wait to see anything. We had free milk, free rides, and took in a great deal of learning!

After all this fun, it is time for a short nap. An hour or so should do it, then we can tackle the rest of the day!

Do you plan to attend your county fair? What exhibits are you looking forward to?