Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Week 1: GO USA!

Week 1: GO USA!!!

Are you ready for the Olympics?  I'm not a huge fan of sports (as my waistband shows) but I love cheering on my country.  When I originally was thinking about starting this blog I was going to start in January, thinking that a logical beginning to the 52 weeks....BUT the Olympics starting on Friday July 27th got me excited and ready to start a little early!!  So here we go.  Our first week of the great adventure is what you'd call a "staycation", the good ol' US of A.

Get out that world map and/or globe and find it. We are located at 38' N latitude and 97' W longitude. Our neighbors are Canada to the north and Mexico to the south.  The population is (give or take) 311,591,917 people.  This population is made up of people from all areas of the world which is one of the reasons why America is called the Great Melting Pot!

I think most of you know the story of Christopher Columbus sailing the ocean blue, blah blah blah, I don't want this to be a history blog so I won't fill pages with the colorful and.actually, very interesting story of how our founding fathers started this country to escape the control of the British Empire. Instead, I will share some of the projects that I did with the kids and some of the fun facts we learned while we were doing the projects.  

Art Project: Lady Liberty

When I think of the ultimate symbol of America one image comes to mind first - the Statue of Liberty.  Designed by Auguste Bartholdi as a gift to the US from France to celebrate our 100th year of indepedence, the statue took 9 years of almost nonstop work to complete!  Ours is of considerably smaller scale and took us about a day, including drying time :)

Start with a soda bottle (half full of water for weight), aluminum foil, tape, bendable sticks (we used large cakepop sticks but popsicle sticks or a tree branch would even work), newspaper, flour and water to make paper-mache paste and green paint to give Lady Liberty her patina.

Make a head out of a wad of foil and cut 7 spikes off of the stick and poke them into the head.  They will probably keep falling out and you'll think you're doing it wrong but keep at it :)  BTW, did you know that her seven spikes represent the seven continents of the world?

Give the lady her torch by taping another stick with a wad of foil onto the bottle.  Add another arm to the side because ,well, she should have two arms.

Recruit two adorable kids to rip newspaper into small pieces or strips.  I happen to own these two but you may borrow them if you need to.  They are really good paper rippers.

Mix flour and water together to make a paste the consistency of cake batter.  Dip paper in paste and apply to form.  Cover completely and layer where you need thickness. Try to use strips coming from different directions to make it stronger and hold together during drying.  Let dry - ours took from about 2pm to noon the next day.

             Paint and Enjoy your very own Statue of Liberty!!

                                                        Give me your tired,your poor,
                                                        Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
                                                        The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
                                                        Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
                                                        I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
                                                                             -Emma Lazarus

The above is a portion of the poem by Emma Lazarus that is engraved on a plaque at the base of the Statue.  The statue is a symbol of welcome for all the immigrants coming to the US and has become a universal symbol of freedom. 
 Here are a few fun facts: 
  • There are 354 steps to climb to the top of her crown.
  • Her green color comes from the chemical reaction between her copper coating and water.
  • She is a very large lady weighing in at 450,000 pounds. Her 25 foot long feet would wear a size 879 sandal!


  1. Very cool! I love how Lady Liberty came out. And just love all the history too! Can't wait to see what you all make next!

  2. oh my. that is so cute. and no, I had no idea about the spikes!

  3. Don't feel bad Stephanie my mom thought there were 16 spikes to represent the 16 original colonies (there were 13 colonies). I think we are all in need of a refresher course :)

  4. Great project! That statue came out really good!!