Spinning Colors

Per leggere questo post in italiano, cliccate qui.

Last Saturday’s workshop was all about mixing colors…with your eyes.  One of the first things kids learn is English are colors, but not everyone knows which primary colors to mix together to make second secondary colors.  This is how we did it:

First, we reviewed the colors just to make sure everyone knows them.  Then we went over what supplies we’d use to make our project (in this case, paint, paint brushes, circles (drawn before hand), glue and bottle caps). Everyone painted 2 primary colors into each of the circles in alternating patterns (red/blue, yellow/red and  blue/yellow).Next, the kids cut out the circles.

They glued plastic bottle caps (which we had already punched a hole into with an awl) onto the backside of the circles (we punched a hole into the center of the circle to align with the hole in the bottle cap) and pushed a shish kabob stick through the hole.

After they finished drying, the tops were ready to go. The kids got to spin their tops and discover which two primary colors make each secondary color.

Pumpkin Pie

Per leggere questo post in italiano, cliccate qui.

Pumpkin Pie is a traditional Thanksgiving dessert. This recipe is very long so kids will need lots of help from parents!

(This is not an actual picture of pumpkin pie, it’s from the bingo game…yours will look totally different :o)

The Pumpkin Puree (use a 5 to 8-pound pumpkin*):

  1. Cut off the top of the pumpkin and scrape out all the seeds and membrane (a large metal serving spoon works well).
  2. Carefully cut it into sections with a paring knife.
  3. Cut the skin off the flesh. Steam the flesh until tender.
  4. Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Do NOT boil pumpkin – it will soak up the water and make a watery pie.

The Pumpkin Pie:

  • 1 9-inch unbaked pie crust (like a brisee)
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 3 large eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • Sweetened whipped cream as an accompaniment
  1. Preheat oven to 425*F (220*C). Prepare pastry; set aside.
  2. Combine brown sugar, sugar, flour, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt in bowl. Stir in pumpkin puree. Add eggs and heavy cream to the pumpkin mixture; mix well.
  3. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust (see hint). Bake pie in the middle of oven for 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350*F (180*C) and bake for 45 minutes longer, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Keep refrigerated.
  4. Serve with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

Makes 8 servings.

Hint: To help prevent the pie crust from becoming soggy in a custard-style pie, carefully break one of the recipe’s eggs into unbaked pie crust, swish it around to cover entire surface with egg white and then pour the egg out into your mixing bowl for the filling.

*Small, immature pumpkins provide the most flavor. Pumpkins smaller in size are more tender and less stringy than the larger variety. Select pumpkins anywhere between five to eight pounds.

*Note from Louise: I can’t remember where this recipe is from, I found it on the internet when I first started doing Thanksgiving in Italy.  When (if) I find the original, I will give credit where it is due.

Experiencing Watercolors

Did you know that you can use different things with watercolors, that will change the way they look? The kids at ARTiculation360 got to try several different things to spread the colors around.  They used hard brushes and soft brushes, blew puddles of color around with straws and spattered with toothbrushes.They also got to experiment with  salt, drips of alcohol, wax, plastic wrap, tissue paper and  much more.

The best part was, they did it all in English!  That probably doesn’t sound that difficult if you are reading this, but our studio is located in the heart of Brugherio (Italy). None of the kids speak English as their first language.  All of the kids did some beautiful pieces of art, experimented with water colors, learned some English and most of all had fun.

Per leggere questo post in italiano, cliccate qui.

Feeling a Little Like Playing an Emotion Game?

Per leggere questo post in italiano, cliccate qui.

You’ve now played Build A Monster and Emotions Memory, so you’re probably an expert at body parts and feelings. We’ve now combined the two and kicked it up a notch with The Pumpkin Emotion Game! (Yes, we know we weren’t very creative on the name, if you have a better one, please be sure to tell us)!

Pumpkins for the face:

pumpkins 2

Parts of the face:Your choice of die:or

To get started:

  1. Download and print enough pumpkins for each player.  Cut the sheet in half to separate the pumpkins.
  2. Download and print the sheet with the parts of the face (or make up your own from construction paper). Cut out the parts of the face. ( If you are laminating, laminate the sheet first then cut out the parts).
  3. Download and print 1 die (either the one with pictures or the one with words). Cut out and glue together.
  4. Download and print a sheet from the Emotions Memory (either the one with pictures or the one with words).  Cut into squares.

Now you are ready to play!  The object of the game is to complete a jack o lantern with the correct emotion on his face. The Instructions:

  1. Put the pumpkins and facial parts into the center.
  2. Put the emotions squares face side down and each player chooses out one.(The extras can be removed while the game is being played).
  3. Decide who goes first. The first player rolls. She must say what she has rolled and then may take 1 of the according piece from the center pile.  (i.e. if she rolls an eye, the she takes 1 eye).
  4. The asterisk may be played in two ways – if rolled, that player gets nothing or if rolled, that player may choose a piece of his choice.
  5. The first player to complete a whole jack o lantern face with the correct emotion wins.

Have fun!

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything is a fun and not too scary story, just right for Halloween.  The little old lady is followed by various articles of clothing, but she is not afraid!  She comes up with a good compromise when they realize they just can’t scare her.  It’s a great books for ESL, because it teaches clothing and there is a lot of repetition and  fun sounds to make.

You know we love our dice games, so here is another one for you.

 First you will need to cut and glue the die together.You play just like the Five Little Pumpkins game, but this time we’ve gotten a little more clever, you can just print off the sayings and rules all together. If the sentences are too hard for your child, you can always modify them to the basics.  For example tou can say just the article of clothing with the movement or just the sound with the movement, eventually building up to the whole sentence. You will need an orange and a black face painting pencil to play this game.

Per leggere questo post in italiano, cliccate qui.

Yummy Mummies

Making Mummy Dogs is not only fun, but yummy too!

You will need:     hot dogs     filo dough     pine nuts      toothpicks

1)  Cut the hot dogs along the length and width (so they will be half as long and then flat on one side).

2) Cut the filo dough into thin strips

3) Wrap the strips of filo dough around the hot dog.

4)  Poke the pine nuts into the hot dogs for eyes (make sure you poke them all the way in or they will pop out when they bake).  If you don’t like pine nuts, you can always just use the flat end of a skewer to make eye holes.  Then use the pointed end of a skewer or tootpick to draw a little cut for the mouth.

5) Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper.  Place into oven at 375° for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

5) Let cool and serve with a plate of blood (ketchup).  Moan Apetito!

What Could It Be…Halloween

This time you know what it could be…pumpkins and ghosts. Can you draw in some scary faces? You can either print this out and draw in the faces with a pen or you could save the image to your computer and then open it up in some sort of drawing program (like Paint- which we bet you either didn’t know you had it (ours is under accessories) or didn’t know what to use it for.  If you draw on the computer, you can our illustration again and again and draw different faces every time.

You probably recognized the background from the 5 Little Pumpkins Video we did or from the Halloween flier.  You can see we like to recycle.  Do you know how we made the ghosts and pumpkins?  If you guessed gauze bandages and old bottle caps, you are correct! Good Job!

Happy Drawing!

Per leggere questo post in italiano, cliccate qui.

Halloween Memory

It’s not a trick, it’s a treat: it’s the Halloween Memory Game!  This was made a while back and for some odd ball reason, there are 23 cards instead of 24. Perhaps you can draw something to fill in that blank space? How about an owl? or a zombie?  As you know, art is our thing here, not math, so we hope you can forgive us and have fun anyways.

Make two copies of each card, cut into squares and you are ready to play!

Per leggere questo post in italiano, cliccate qui.

Spider Cupcakes

These are the perfect treat for Halloween! The cupcakes can be made in advanced and can be stored for 2 days, if kept in a cool place, . Makes 12 cupcakes.


  • 200 grams melted butter
  • 200 grams sugar
  • 200 grams flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 tsp

To decorate the cupcakes:

  • 2 packages of liquorish spirals,
  • 12 tbls of chocolate frosting
  • liquorish candies with white centers
  • red gelatin candies for the mouths

Preheat heat the oven to 180°C and line the cupcake tins with papers.  In a large bowl beat butter, sugar, flour, eggs, baking powder and vanilla extract until the batter is smooth.  Add in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the 12 cupcake liners.  Bake for 25 minutes and let cool on a rack.

Unroll the licorice and cut into pieces about 3 cm long.  Make 8 small incisions on each cupcake with a knife and put a piece of licorice in each cut.  Using about a tablespoon of frosting, frost the center of the cupcake to make the spider’s body. Cut the pieces of licorice with white centers to make eyes and then use the red jelly candy to make the mouth.  Draw pupils with black decorating frosting.

Recipe from Jane Hornby, “Muffins, Cupcakes and Petit Gateaux,” Larousse, France.