it’s all the rage in japan. it’s…

  Aluminum foil balls. Perhaps you’ve seen the video tutorials. Well, we’ve got a few balls going, in various stages, so we’re happy to share with you what we’ve learned so far. (Because I have no doubt that we will take this to the next level; being a family who make masks with foil quite…

NIGRUM NOCTUA: THE HONEY OF DEATH

  On the very VERY first day of “back to homeschool” in September of 2017, I told the kids that one of our MAJOR goals was to attend PhilaMOCA’s “Tokusatsu Tuesday” program every month, and to begin filming our own episodic toku program. Even if we only got one done! “Even if we only got…

the flail report (box battles and more)

With some other homeschoolers we hang with in South Philly, a bunch of kids had gotten very deep (at least for a few weeks) into the idea of “Box Wars” — very hardcore, everything ONLY cardboard and tape. (The house behind the mail truck is the house Tuck lived in at the time we met…

tokusatsu helmets: a long and winding road to nowhere (for now.)

We made it through all of 2017 without missing a single Tokusatsu Tuesday at PhilaMOCA. And while the kids had continued to talk about filming their episodic tokusatsu-style drama, it was continually waylayed. They wrote origin stories, but then changed their minds about them. There was lots of costume designing on paper, and friends who…

martenitsi 2018

One more thing that, like Parade of Spirits, we’ve been doing since 2011. This year we just made them for each other and for one other family of friends — but we had found three new tutorials we really liked and so it was no chore at all, in fact it was more fun than…

lend me some sugar — i am your neighbor

Surprise, we aren’t a big sports family and don’t watch a lot of games. But it was exciting that the Eagles were in the Super Bowl and Jason Douglass’ Danceadelphia, which has been the kids’ studio since they were preschoolers, ALWAYS goes ALL OUT for EVERYTHING for Philly kids. Jersey-burning? Yep. Greased pole? Yep. I…

reedy jawns

Usually called “St. Brigid’s Crosses” for those who honor her — and something I’ve made for years, and for which I’ve even written a tutorial before, for a children’s craft column, in 2012. I remember making them last year in the last hours of my birthday, using colored zipties — also a fun way to…

fashion machine

Thanks to a friend, the kids got to participate in a two-week rush of preparation and performance in this year’s Philadelphia Fringe Festival! FASHION MACHINE was a production created by Canada’s Theatre SKAM and in it, audience members could volunteer to be undressed, and lounge about in robes while kids in teams of two and…

a rainy friday of snakes

Thanks to this inspiring and energizing video by Vi Hart, I spent — eh — a little under thirty dollars? — and bought four dozen plastic articulated snakes. Oh, these will get use more than once — with a number of friends, I have no doubt. But our particularly weather-intrepid friends A and Z came…

twelve points

Last Christmas, we did a lot of geometry-related crafts. This year, we are just kinda late with our crafting and not as much of is is geometric. But I did love this one — with a template showing the kids where to evenly place each of the twelve points (they could have used two points,…

latin? check. fire safety? check .

Most people know we are the “Parade of Spirits” family (or, going back far enough, the “Krampuslauf Family”). Costuming, folklore, festal culture… soldering battery packs for LED lanterns… using big X-acto blades for cutting foam props… all part of our homeschooling experience. Claudia appeared this year as an amethyst geode — a costuming departure, to…

RITUAL

Months and months ago, we saw this call for single-sheet zines on the topic of “ritual”. The solicitation included a pattern for folding a single-sheet zine and this is, actually, what we used for the kids first zines — the “Six Simple Machines of Physics” and “Do Crystals Have Minds?” zines. But I really wanted…