Thursday, August 30, 2012


Mongolia: Land of the Horses

One website I was reading referred to Mongolia as the Land of the Horses, I don't know if this is official or anything but I can see why it would be true!  If you counted closely there are almost as many horses as there are people in Mongolia! That's about 2.8 million people and horses ("aduu" in Mongolian)! A traditional saying says "a Mongol without a horse in like a bird without wings" and if you understand the Nomad way of life you would quickly understand.  Sure it would be easier to have a vehicle to cart your stuff around, but vehicles need gas and don't always perform well in extreme temperatures.  Vehicles can't give you milk or be used for meat when they're no longer useful.  Horses (and in some areas camels) are much more useful and practical. They are the most respected animal in Mongolia and are treated with great care as good friends.  Children are taught to ride and treat the animals with respect from an early age, and in fact, children as young as 5 are used as jockeys in the horse races commonly held in summer.

Horse racing is the second-most popular sport (after wrestling) in Mongolia and while they race all year long, the festival of Naadam, usually held in July is the biggest race of the year.  During this festival 3 games are played- Mongolian wrestling, archery, and horse racing.  Unlike other races where the horses sprint around a track, Mongolian horse racing is about endurance and stamina.  The horses are divided up by age and race anywhere from 10 - 17 miles, ridden by a child between 5 -13 years old.  As the parent to a 5 year old, I would have a hard time letting my child do that, especially when the horses are trained to keep going even after they lost their rider!  I can just picture all these little kids chasing after their horses for miles and miles - LOL!!   

I've ridden one horse in my life (and I only did that recently), plus my daughter is still in a cast, so going horseback riding wasn't going to happen this week, so we came up with our own version of horse racing.

Horse Races (jenny-style)

For the project you will need:

  • cardboard or heavy card stock
  • wooden clothespins (4 per horse)
  • string
  • pens or crayons
  • cleared off table that's not all sticky from breakfast :)
1.  Either draw a picture of a horse body or download one from the internet and trace it onto cardboard (minus the legs)
2. Cut it out and color however you'd like your horse to look
3. Cut slits about 3/4 inch where legs would go on a horse and insert a small piece of cardboard- y'know like "tab A" into "slot A"
3. Clip clothespins onto spot where legs would be and try string around neck or staple it to front of horse.
4. Tie other end of string to a pen or pencil or stick - whatever
5.  Line up horses and have the kids twist the pencil to wind up the string and make the horses "race"
6. Repeat many times OR make little paper hats for the horses like we did :)

Actually she tried to make it a unicorn but I thought it made a great party hat!! This was fun and easy and cute.  Enjoy :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Nomad Way

A Nomad Way of Life

In Mongolia there are two kinds of people - city dwellers and nomads.  Even the capital city used to be nomadic- moving wherever the leaders moved.  The nomads make up about half the population of the country.  They live with, and for, their livestock, moving across the vast country looking for greener pastures or sheltered areas to spend the cold winter months.  There are  5 types of animals raised, called the 5 muzzles, they are:
  • Horses- raised for riding and racing, used as wealth and status, and also used to make a favorite beverage "airag", or fermented mare's milk
  • Cows and yaks - used for meat and milk
  • sheep- used for meat and wool
  • Goats- regular goats used for meat and cashmere goats produce one of Mongolia's main exports - fine quality cashmere
  • Camels - the two-humped Bactrian camel is used for transport across the Gobi desert because of their ability to handle the extreme temperatures of the area.
The Mongolian nomads typically move 2-3 times a year and therefore need a home that can move with them.  Winnebagos are the answer :)  No, although they would probably love one, they live in large tents called "gers". If you are familiar with a yurt they are just like that, but apparently the term yurt reminds the people of the invaders from the "west" (where the word yurt originated).  So don't call it a yurt.  The gers are made with a wooden frame and a felt covering- the whole thing can usually be put up or taken down in about 2 hours. They stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer and are able to resist the strong winds that are common.  Similar in concept to both the Zulu huts and the Native American tipi, the elderly get the warmest area away from the door and the stove (or fire) is in the center.  It is there, in the center of the home, that the women prepare the meals. Aaah, the food, that brings me to our next project....

Mongolian Food ?!

Ok, so when my daughter picked Mongolia I was excited for the food.  I pictured going to the Mongolian Barbeque place or ordering Mongolian Beef from the Chinese food place....well, No and No.  Apparently these things are about as Mongolian as I am.  Real Mongolian barbeque is cooking a young goat or a marmot (!) by placing hot stones inside the stomach cavity to cook the inside while a torch is used to burn the fur off and cook the outside, this is called Boodog.  Or you can have Khorkhog where the meat is cut up and put with some vegetables into a pot with hot stones - sounds a little better but I still understand why there are no real Mongolian restaurants.  That and their favorite beverage is fermented horse milk. Definitely one of those things you need to grow up with to enjoy.  My picky American kids (and me) aren't quite that adventurous so I went a different way.  There any many different variations on the filled pocket in Mongolian food.  They can be boiled (bansh), fried (khuushuur), or steamed (buuz).  These recipes are all basically the same.  Only the cooking method changes - makes deciding what to have for dinner pretty easy, huh?

Buuz - meat-filled steamed dumpling
 For the recipe you will need:

  • Beef, minced - I chopped up a steak in the food processot
  • onion - again in the food processor (almost pureed) and I used 1/2 since my husband doesn't really like onions :)
  • garlic - 2 or 3 cloves minced
  • salt and pepper
  • a couple mushrooms (not in recipe but they sounded good)
  • flour
  • warm water
1. Dissolve a pinch of salt in about 1 1/2 cups of warm water,
2. Add enough flour to form a dough.  It was sticky and messy and probably about 3 cups?  I didn't measure and recipe was vague.
3. Knead dough and let rest about 30 mins.  Then knead it again and make little balls.  Sprinkle with flour so they don't stick (mine did anyway) while you make filling
4.  Chop everything up in a food processor or with a knife (I'm sure the nomads use the knife) and combine.  Filling done

5. Roll each dough ball out (use lots of flour) into a circle and place a spoonful of filling in center.  My daughter was pretty good at this
6. Take a side of the dough and bring to center then repeat on all sides until the filling is covered.  Or don't, we made them all different.  The recipe said each family has their own signature folding technique - ours looked like this...

7. Now steam them for about 20 minutes.  If you have a vegetable steamer or one of those cool bamboo steamers that's great.  I don't have either so I poked holes in an aluminum pie plate (be careful - I sliced my finger pretty good) and put the pie plate on some wads of foil in a few inches of water.  It worked pretty well :)

They were ok, not great.  The adults ate them, my daughter ate the dough off of hers, my son completely ignored them.  They were fun to make and I think with a different filling they would be a little better. I think they would've been really good deep-fried but then, isn't everything?


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Land of Blue Skies and Horses

Welcome to Mongolia!

I let my daughter pick the next country we are going to visit.  I wanted it to be an Asian country so I gave some minor directions and let her decide.  Mongolia is what she chose, know why? It was colored purple on the map so she thought it looked pretty :)  Good enough reason I guess.  Mongolia is a  landlocked country with Russia to the north and China to the south.  It has been part of both countries at different times throughout history and, in fact, "Inner Mongolia" is considered a Chinese province.  We will be talking about "Outer Mongolia", found on the world map at 47.5ºN/106.5ºE. (If your map is like ours it's the pretty purple country!) A land of very high altitude, the average altitude is 5800ft above sea level, and a land of extreme temperatures, anywhere from -30C to 30ºC.  Mongolia is home to the coldest capital city in the world, Ulan Bator (aka Ulaan Baatar) and the oldest national park in the world, Bogd Kahn National Park, established in 1778.

Mongolia has a rich history and was once a vast empire ruled by Genghis Khan, notorious and so ruthless that China built the Great Wall of China to keep his armies out.  It is a country where horses outnumber people and where half the population are nomadic shepherds.  These nomads move around the plains raising livestock and living off the land in felt tents called gers.  Mongolia is also a country rich in prehistoric history, the Gobi desert in southeastern Mongolia is so full of dinosaur fossils that tourists can pick them up themselves.  Long,long ago what is now a desert was a sea and many dinosaurs and marine creatures lived there.  If you want to find dinosaurs fossils - this is the place to go!  The first finding of dinosaur eggs was in Mongolia and my kids (like most) love dinosaurs so that was what I decided to do for our first project. 

Archeology- kid style :)

We went on a little field trip to see an exhibit called Plantosaurus Rex at the Conservatory of Flowers - it had huge dinosaur models surrounded by plants that might have lived at that time - kinda cool.  Anyway in the gift shop (always have to stop at the gift shop) they had little kits where you could excavate your own mini dino and another one where you could hatch your own dino egg.  Eesy-peesy, ready-made project well worth the $4 and $6 price tag :) 

But for those of you who don't have a cool science store available or don't want to spend $$ on basically a toy with compacted sand around it - you can do it yourself.  I did 2 versions of this this in my preschool class and they were both really fun.

Dinosaur Egg - paper mache version
I know I said I wasn't going to do paper-mache for awhile but I did this a long time ago when I was teaching 2 year olds and it was really easy.  For the project you will need:
  • balloons
  • mini dinosaurs
  • paper mache
  • paint
 1. Stick a mini dinosaur inside a ballon and blow it up however big you want your egg to be
2.  Paper-mache balloon "egg" and let dry
3.  Paint eggs whatever color you want - after all no one really knows what color they were
4.  Introduce them to the kids and tell them that you found some old dino eggs and that in a few days they will hatch and you can find out what kind of dinos are inside! The anticipation is very exciting!

Dinosaur Excavation

Put out this sensory/science project with some hammers and brushes and let the kids unearth some dinos!  You will need:
  • Mini dinosaurs or dino skeletons if you can find
  • recipe for sand dough or salt dough (available on internet everywhere)
1.  Make dough and stick the dinos/bones inside
2.  Let dry for a few days so its hard
3.  Give the kids some hammers, toy screwdrivers(picks), and paintbrushes and let 'em make a mess!!

Sorry I don't have any pictures of the last 2 projects but I did them many years ago!  The kids really enjoyed them although a little muscle was needed for the excavation.  Have fun!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


A South African Feast!!

By now you might have noticed that my favorite part of these adventures is the food.  I have always enjoyed trying food from different areas and now I have a great reason- educating my kids!!  So really I can blame them for the extra weight I'm gaining eating all this wonderful food ? I wish!  Let me tell you this- if you like flavorful food  South African food is awesome!! Because Capetown was a main port for ships going around the horn of Africa on their way to the West Indies for spices, there is a lot of interesting spice mixing going on.  It's spicy but not hot spicy.  My husband, brother and I ate this food all week and really enjoyed it.  My adventurous son ate quite a bit, my daughter ate the bread and fruit I served with it.  The cuisine of South Africa is heavily meat-based and a common form of cooking is barbeque or "braai", so I made a steak kebab dish called Sosaties - so good I used the marinade on some chicken and we had it again the next night.  Another staple dish is yellow rice, which was spiced with tumeric, cinnamon and raisins.  It was a little too strong for me but I think with a little less cinnamon I would've like it better.  The third dish we made was our favorite.  It was called Chakalaka (!) and was a real surprise.  The ingredients sounded really weird but it all came together well- much to my surprise :) It was good on the rice, it was good with flatbread dipped in it, it was good cold on a sandwich.  Chakalaka is as much fun to say as it was to eat. Chakalaka.
I will share the recipes for the sosaties and chakalaka- if you'd like the yellow rice recipe it is available online at

Sosaties (South African Kebabs)

For the marinade:
  • 2 T butter or olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
  • 2 T curry powder
  • 2 T sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 T cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 T mustard
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil
1.Heat butter in frying pan and cook onions until soft.
2.Add wine, water, vinegar,curry powder,cayenne,black pepper,bay leaves and sugar
3. Bring to boil and cook for a few minutes then remove from heat and cool til warm.
4. Blend in the rest of the ingredients.  Your marinade is done.

For the kebabs:
  • a few pounds of beef cut into chunks
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 T crushed or finely chopped fresh ginger
  • onion chunks
  • dried apricots
Mix all ingredients in bowl, pour marinade over the top and let sit overnight.  Thread onto skewers alternating meat, onions and apricots and barbeque until cooked through.  If you're using wooden skewers make sure you soak them in water first so they don't burn.


  • 4 T oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped (almost pureed if you live in my house)
  • 4 - 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 T fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 T curry powder
  • 1 (14oz) can of whole tomatoes
  • 1 green pepper finely chopped (I don't like green so used red)
  • 2 carrots, coarsely grated
  • 1 (8oz) can pork and beans in tomato sauce (I used chili beans in sauce)
  • salt and pepper to your taste
1.Heat oil in pan and cook onions until soft.
2.Add garlic, ginger and jalapeno. cook for a minute or two and add curry powder.
3.Add vegetables and beans, bring to a boil then turn down heat and simmer for 15-20 mins.

I served our food with some leftover Naan from India week and we really enjoyed it all.  Really.  I'd tell you if it was bad.  I'd love to hear if anybody tries it - I know there were a lot of ingredients but none were very fancy and it didn't take too long and as you can see it all looked delicious!
A fitting feast to bid farewell to South Africa!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A little Zulu and a project you should NOT do!

Do you Zulu?

Raise your hand if you know anything about the Zulu tribe? Anyone?  Well, good, we'll both learn something new.  As I mentioned before, South Africa has more than 30 different ethnic groups, but the Zulu tribe is one of the largest and possibly the oldest.  The tribe was first documented in the 1620's, it was a bunch of different groups who all lived peacefully but separately, until Shaka, their most famous king, joined then together in the 1800's to become the powerful Zulu nation.  Nowadays, most Zulus live modern lives, but traditionally they lived in beehive shaped huts made of saplings and thatch mats.  Men on the right, women on the left and a hearth in the middle.  They raised livestock and lived off the land.  We WILL NOT be trying some of their native foods because they didn't sound appealing - charred meat, sour curdled milk that would give you courage (I bet) and boiled beans, one recipe had the nickname of "thundering buttocks"!  Umm, no thank you.  So since we're not trying the native food let's learn the native tongue.

Zulu ,or isizulu as it is sometimes known, is one of the most widely spoken languages in South Africa.  It has over 19,000 words and one of the most complex grammars of any language.  It also uses many clicking sounds and tones that we (I mean Americans) don't normally use.  The website I learned these from had the pronunciations if you really want to go into great detail, but we just said them how they looked like they would be pronounced and were pretty close :)

Hello - sawubona     goodbye - sala kahle     friend - umngane
thank you - ngiyabonga   monkey - inkawu   elephant - indlovu
lion - ibhebesi    giraffe - indlulamithi-thutlwa 

Learning the Zulu word for giraffe leads me into our next project...

The Giraffe that almost wasn't...

We had such a good time making our Statue of Liberty paper-mache project (week 1) that I thought a paper-mache giraffe would be fun.  Well, it wasn't.  On paper it sounded easy, but unless you have: 1. a lot of patience  2. a lot of time  and 3. a degree in engineering, this might not be the best project to undertake.  But we (mostly me) muddled through and finished.  To make the project you will need:
  • 3 balloons for body (big), head (small) and one uninflated with something heavy in it for the tail
  • paper towel tube for neck
  • cardboard or tubes for legs.  We were out of tp tubes but I think they would've worked better - our legs kept bending!
  • Flour, water and newspaper for paper mache
  • paint - yellow, orange or tan and brown
  • tape, plenty of tape
  • PATIENCE.  this was in short supply for some reason this week :)
1. Tape the paper towel tube to big balloon to make the body and  neck.
2.  Take small balloon to tube to make head.  Tape some ears and horns on too. 
3. I would recommend using tp (toilet paper) tubes for the legs.  We used heavy cardboard and the weight of the neck and head made our giraffe super tippy and hard to stand up. So...
4. Put a small but heavy rock in a balloon and use it as a tail and also to counterbalance the head/neck.  Kinda worked.

5.  Cover the whole deal with paper- mache.  Kids abandoned me at this point so Steve (my husband) helped.  Big mess since it kept falling over!!  My daughter posed with it like she helped though.

6. When the big mess has dried, paint it tan or yellow and put some brown spots and eyes on it. 

 You are now the proud owner of a giraffe.  Would love to hear about your adventures making it and maybe some helpful hints I could've used.  Could've , should've, whatever ... I'm laying off the paper-mache for awhile!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Take a trip...

Field Trip:  Photo Safari

I don't know about you, but I would love to go on a safari in Africa.  See the animals in their real environments and not just hanging out, bored at the zoo.  I have a friend that went to Africa  as part of a missionary group and spent a few days on Safari.  I think it changed her life.  But, my reality is that I have 2 small kids, very limited funds and no prospect of getting to Africa anytime soon.  Plus, my friend had to get like 15 shots and take malaria pills so that kinda turns me off too.  So for our little field trip we went to the Oakland Zoo.  The zoo in SF is a good zoo but pretty generic, the Oakland zoo has an African theme throughout most of it and a replica of an East African hut.  Now I know we are learning about South Africa but I figured the kids wouldn't be able to tell the difference :)  So lets pretend we are visiting Kruger National Park, the oldest wildlife sanctuary in Africa (started in 1898) and one of the largest at 6.2 million acres.  While Kruger has over 500 bird species and 147 different mammals, we found a good variety ourselves (except for the lions who were hiding)!!
Replica of East African Women's Hut
and (below) some interesting taboos

Reticulated Giraffe

Common Eland

Grant's Zebras


African Elephant

 and this bad boy- a fossil of a croc-like dinosaur that used to live in Africa 112 million years ago! The sarchosuchus!!

All those animals and I didn't have to fight off malarial mosquitos and spend $$$$ (well except on snacks!!)

Week 5!! South Africa

Week 5 -  Welcome to the Republic of South Africa!

Wow, I can't believe we're already on week 5!! I hope people are enjoying our adventure as much as I am- please leave me some comments or suggestions on projects, recipes or countries you'd like to visit.  This is all go-with-the-flow and if there's stuff you'd like to see I'm there!!  This week we decided to go south, South Africa that is.  Interesting country, lots of different ethnic groups (30!) so lots of different influences, 11 different official languages, and a history of deep racial prejudice :)  South Africa has a lot to talk about!!

Located at the very southern tip of Africa, the capital city of Pretoria (there are actually 3 capital cities) is located at 29º12' S/ 28º10' E  on your world maps.  Archeologists have found human fossils in the area of South Africa dating back 3,000,000 years, making it considered by some as the Cradle of Humankind. It is also sometimes called the "Rainbow Nation" due to the 30 different ethnic groups that are living in South Africa.  The democratic government includes all of the different ethnicities but it has not always been so.  Between 1948 - 1990, the practice of Apartheid was the cause of much racial division.  The segregation among the black Africans and the English-speaking whites and Afrikaaners (descendants of Dutch settlers) meant that the native black population was living in poverty while the white colonists were getting rich off the county's wealth of diamonds and gold.  Since President de Klerk abolished apartheid the country has worked very hard and successfully to regain a peaceful equality.  The flag of South Africa represents that idea.

The green band is said to represent the joining of seperate ideas as they begin a new road. I admire the attitude and the willingness of the people to join together as one. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Lesson in Fluency and Flamenco

A lesson on Castilian Spanish-

Unbeknownst to me, there are many.many different dialects of the Spanish language.  There is the spanish that is spoken in Central and South American countries, the spanish spoken by people from Mexico, and the spanish spoken by people from Spain.  There are 4 different dialects spoken in Spain- Basque, Catalan, Galician and Castilian (or castellano).  Castilian is the most widespread so we will learn a few words in that. 

They have a lot of the same familiar phrases:
Hasta Luego - See you later   Hola - hello    Por Favor - please
Gracias - thank you    Como esta usted? - how are you?

And some different words :
Castilian                Latin American Spanish              English
vale                           de acuerdo                                  ok
patata                           papa                                       potato
coche                          carro                                         car
conducir                     manejar                                    to drive

Interesting the differences in the "same" language but not at all surprising if you go back and read the post about the English language from England week.  

One word that is the same in both languages?  Baile (or dance)!!!

A lesson on Flamenco -
Flamenco dancing is a genre of dance, music and song from the southern Spain area of Andalusia.  It includes "cante" or singing, "toque" or guitar, "baile" or dancing, and "palmas" or handclaps all done in a fast rhythm and in beautiful costumes.   It can be found in Spain in many forms from the informal juerga, where dancers are accompanied with table banging, to the theatrical show, where a large band is playing and the dances are very choreographed.  It has also become popular around the world - Japan has almost as many flamenco schools as Spain! 

My husband's mother's family has some roots in Spain.  Her aunts used to travel the U.S. putting on Flamenco shows and became quite well known.  Unfortunately, they are no longer with us to give us a lesson so we resorted to watching a youtube video for lessons. There were many to choose from or you just stomp your feet and clap you hands to the music!  My Aunt went on a trip to Spain a few years ago and brought back a cute Flamenco dress and shoes so we had the costume.  With the internet (and the right shoes) anything is possible!! 
Aunt Ariel and Rita Chavez doing the real dance!
My little dancer strutting her stuff
Ole !
The shoes make the outfit!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Toro! Toro!

Toro!  Toro!!

One of Spain's oldest traditions, and it's national sport, is not one of it's nicest-  it's bullfighting, and many see this as more animal cruelty than sport.  Yet still it goes on, as it has for over 1000 years!  Each year tens of thousands of people watch as the Matador and the toro (bull) fight to the death (the bull's death) in bullfighting arenas all over Spain, I however, am not about to reinact something so violent at home.  There will be no blood shed on my watch!  So we will, instead, reinact something just as traditional (and pointless) - the RUNNING OF THE BULLS!!

The Running of the Bulls (encierro in Spanish) is a crazy act of bravery (and show of stupidity) where men and women (mostly men) run alongside bulls that are let loose in a sectioned off area of town.  Encierros are held in towns and villages all across Spain and Portugal but the most famous one is in Pamplona Spain.  They originally started when bulls for the bullfights were being brought from the ranches to the bullfighting arenas in town.  Young men would show their courage and move the herd along by taunting them and running with them.  More and more people started doing this (I'm sure against their wives and mothers' wishes) and a tradition was born.  Runners must be over 18 and traditionally wear white shirt and pants with a red belt and neckerchief.  They carry a newspaper to whack the bull and taunt it (make it mad is more like it).  A herd of 15 bulls is released and they run through the town to the bull ring.  In Pamplona it is only about 903 yards and is over in about 5 minutes.  As short as that is though, every year between 200-300 people are hurt, mostly from falls, and since 1924, 15 people have been killed.   Knock on wood, but hopefully our reinactment will be much less dangerous!

For this game you will need:
  • 1 set of bullhorns for the "bull" we made ours from foam sheets
  • belt or sash with strips of paper or ribbon taped or velcroed on (like flag football belts)
  • as many runners as you can get
  • big grassy (or not) area to run in
  • designated areas for start and home base
How to play:  Decide who is going to be the bull and put on horns and belt. Runners disperse around designated area and yell "Toro" as the bull starts to run towards home base and avoid the runners who are trying to get the ribbons off the bull.  If the bull can get to home base with his ribbons intact he/she wins and gets to pick either to be the bull again or who will be the next bull.  If a runner gets the ribbon he/she wins and gets to be the next bull or pick who is the next bull.  Sound like fun?  We're off to the park to find out...

The Bull (note the foam horns)
The runners trying to get the bulls tail (we had 2 tails)
They each "won" so they got to pick who was next...guess who?
Lucky Daddy gets to be the bull again!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The next Picasso?

Project 2:  The next Picasso...

Pablo Picasso is undoubtedly one of the most famous artists to ever come from Spain.  Sure there were others, Goya, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, but Picasso was the most influential and well-known.

Born in 1881 in Malaga Spain as Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisimo Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, or Pablo for short, he was a prolific artist from a very young age.  According to his mother his first word was "piz" short for lapiz (pencil in Spanish).   He soon became an artist in many different areas - oil painting, sculpture,drawing, and even architecture.  He was one of the first artists to achieve worldwide fame and wealth while he was alive to enjoy it and he inspired many artists with his unique spin on art.

He is credited, along with Georges Braque, with co-founding the Cubist movement in art.  In Cubism, artists "take apart" and analyze objects in terms of the shapes they are made up of.  A branch of Cubism is called Synthetic Cubism and in that art form the artist uses bits of paper or other "real" objects to make compositions.  It was the first use of collage as an art form.  It is something that my kids and I can totally do :)  Maybe...

For the project you will need:
  • Something "inspirational" >
  • Misc. bits of craft paper
  • glue
  • paint and paint brushes
  • scissors
  • willing artists
Tell them they should look at the shapes and colors they see and try to make that on their paper.  My daughter got it, she's 5 and pretty artistic.  My son cut up confetti for awhile and then left :)
But if you check out the final masterpiece I think you'll agree...
Well, I might be a tad biased.  She had fun, we have lots of confetti, and they sat there and listened while I talked about Cubism and Picasso for 5 minutes straight - so I'm calling it a job well done.
My budding Picassos !!