Monday, October 25, 2010

Orange Extravaganza

Today we had an Orange Extravaganza. Say it with's fun!  

Orange Extravaganza!

So, what is an Orange Extravaganza? Well, it's something you might do if you're feeling like I have been lately about homeschooling - overwhelmed with all the possibilities. Instead of becoming paralyzed with indecision, I decided to just pick a theme - any theme - and go with it.

Orange it is. It's amazing how such a simple theme can take you in so many directions: 

Food. We went to the grocery store and picked out all the healthy orange food we could find. Then I made a Muffin Tin Meal out of it. This is an idea I got from one of my very favorite blogs, Counting Coconuts. The boys responded very well to this. I now have a new method for getting my picky kids to eat healthy food! Yay! I'll write a separate post about all the orange food we're eating.


Paint & Color Mixing. We all had a full-body sensory experience with orange paint today. We used paintbrushes, stamps, hands, feet, and more. We painted a cake that we made from clay several weeks ago. We also made orange by mixing yellow and red. 


Wikki Stix. Big Brother pulled out all the orange Wikki Stix, and we made words and pictures. If you aren't already familiar with Wikki Stix, they are so much fun (for the kids and the grown-ups), and they're great for developing fine motor strength.

And that's not all....
  • Baby Einstein Color Kaleidoscope. We played with this long-forgotten toy today, which helped reinforce the color mixing concept (when you press the yellow and red buttons at the same time, it says "orange"). Plus, it helps us practice saying orange in French and Spanish.
  • Scavenger Hunt. We hunted for orange all throughout the toys and gathered them together in the school room. 
  • Jokes. Knock, knock. Who's there? Orange. Orange who? Orange you glad you're not a banana?
  • Music. Roy G Biv by They Might be Giants is a great song for teaching the color spectrum.
Of course, we wore orange clothes, too. As you can imagine, even the tubby water was orange! A very funny end to our day was when Big Brother blew his nose and asked, "are my boogies orange?"

We had so much fun, I'll think we'll continue our Orange Extravaganza throughout the week. There are lots of other things we didn't even get to today, such as:
  • Watercolors and more practice mixing colors
  • Studying the shades of orange using paint sample cards. Any good ideas for this?
  • Practice writing the word "orange".
  • More orange food! 
  • Any other ideas?
Moral of the day:  Themes can help you out of a rut. Plus, they're fun!


    1. I LOVE themes! And this one is a great idea :) Ideas for paint cards with shades of orange: (1) Do a vocational lesson and have the kids decide how they would decorate a room in the house using a paint card as inspiration. Depending on interest and skill level, you could even build dioramas of the room(s) and fill them in with carpet samples, wall-paper, paper furniture, etc. Or at least let them look through home magazines to pick out decorating items. (2) Have a values discussion about moral relativity -- let each child pick their own favorite shade of orange and talk about how it's good for everyone to have a favorite shade of orange and for those to be different; it's not good for everyone to have a different set of moral rules to live by. God gave us all one set of rules, and they apply to everyone equally. (3) Scientific method -- hypothesize which color is most commonly used in (a book, magazine, room, etc.) and then test the hypothesis by comparing the paint cards to every page in the book (or object in the room) and counting up how often each shade occurs. You can even make a pie chart (or some other form of a graph to tie in math concepts) to represent how often each shade was used. Or at a more basic level, just use observation to determine which shade is closest to a given example of something orange so you can label (categorize) it.

      Sounds like fun -- I might have to have an Orange Extravaganza myself :)

    2. Orange Extravaganza! Oh - you're right, that IS fun to say! :)

      This is such a fun post. I love themes in general and color themes are at the top of my list - I find it so pleasing to see that much of one beautiful color in one place. You did so many wonderful things with your theme - well done! And thanks very much for your kind words and for linking back to my blog.

    3. Andi - thanks so much for all the fabulous ideas! We did a number of things yesterday related to "shades", and I used your ideas! Thanks! This is why I love blogging.

      Counting Coconuts - Thank you so much for your comment! I absolutely LOVE your blog and all your creative ideas. Your posts truly inspire me! Yes, I totally agree...I love focusing on the beauty of one specific color. I like seeing it all in one place, and I also like noticing out in the world, as well.