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Posts Tagged ‘baby’

On Cloud 9

Monthly Theme: Nature

Weekly Content: Photography

Photo courtesy of Roisin Byrne. http://www.redbubble.com/people/roisinbyrne

For Baby…

For the first time today, my son pointed to the sky and correctly identified a plane (I think he’d been confusing planes and birds a bit up until this point). It seems he’s really into any mode of transportation these days! Can you imagine, though, how incredible it must be to see and hear a plane go through the sky for the first time.  This beautiful photo was taken from a plane above Boston. How incredible to see the clouds from the other side. Who knows, maybe baby will be able to understand that this photo is taken from a plane flying in the sky. Hey, even if he/she doesn’t, it gives you something to talk about! Take a peak at the recent NY Times article, “From Birth, Engage Your Child With Talk.”

For Mommy…

Why do we take photos? Is it to remember? Is it to appreciate? Is it to communicate? Although I am certainly no expert on the art of photography, one thing I do know for sure is the power of a photo to transport the viewer to another time or place.  Whether it’s a personal photo or an image from national geographic, there’s something really powerful about being able to observe a split moment in time through the eyes of the photographer.



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Sky Blue

Monthly Theme: Nature
Weekly Content: French Art of the 19th and early 20th Centuries
Daily Subject: Art History

"Cypresses," 1889, Vincent Van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890), oil on canvas, 36 3/4 x 29 1/8 in., Rogers Fund, http://www.metmuseum.org

For Baby…
Van Gogh’s paintings are full of bright colors. What an interesting way to introduce baby to the names of colors. Associating certain colors with parts of nature will help your baby remember their names. For example, you and baby can point out the green trees, the blue sky, and the white clouds.

For Mommy…
Even though Van Gogh is Dutch, I decided to include his work in this week’s study because his art was influenced by the French Impressionists. It wasn’t until Van Gogh moved to Paris in 1886 that his style as an artist really started to develop. It’s interesting to see, in a time before the internet, how artists were able to appreciate and assimilate the styles and techniques of different cultures. Many of the Impressionists were influenced by Japanese artwork.

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Monthly Theme: Mother and Child

Weekly Content: African American Art & Poetry

Daily Subject: Poetry

Our next poet’s work gives voice to the artwork we observed last week. Please click on the link below to read “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes.

Mother to Son by Langston Hughes : The Poetry Foundation [poem] : Find Poems and Poets. Discover Poetry.

Shared via AddThis

For Baby…

It seems like the mother in the poem is talking to a grown child. However, after thinking about it, I thought it would be a good read for any age group. One of the most important skills in becoming an avid reader is understanding the importance of showing emotion in your voice as you read. This poem is very powerful and will have you bursting with emotion as you read it to your baby. I truly believe that fundamental reading skills can be shaped even before a child can actually read (or talk). I love hearing my 1 year old “reading” his books. I watch as he flips through the pages (often upside down) imitating the intonations he hears when I read to him. Reading to your baby with almost exaggerated expression will teach him/her that changing the pitch and tone of your voice has meaning.

For Mommy…

A successful poet and writer in the 1920s through the 1960s, Hughes’ poetry chronicles the foundations and hardships of the civil rights movement. A social activist, Hughes was determined to use his work to showcase the life of the average African American. Take a peek at his biography at the Poetry Foundation to see how his work caused controversy with other prominent African American figures of his time.

“Mother to Son” reminds me of the concept of genetic memory. I know there is much controversy over whether such a concept exists, but, more specifically, I’m referring to the way in which parents pass along their own life experiences to their children. I’m thinking of that quote, usually attributed to Sir Isaac Newton,  that we are “standing on the shoulders of giants.” Isn’t our job as parents to impart our understanding and experiences of the world to our children?

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Monthly Theme: Mother and Child

Weekly Content: African American Art

Daily Subject: Sculpture

Elizabeth Catlett (see Tuesday’s post) found her true passion in sculpture.  In her 2003 interview with Sculpture Magazine she is quoted as saying her interest lies in “using forms to express some kind of feeling.” The next work of art does just that.

Elizabeth Catlett "Standing Mother and Child," 1978, Bronze sculpture with bronze patina, 16 1/2 H x 4 1/4 W x 3 1/2 D inches/Copyright Elizabeth Catlett/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. http://www.granthill.com/ghc/

For Baby…

Isn’t it just the best feeling to snuggle up with your baby? As wiggly and active as babies can be, we can all appreciate those precious cozy moments.  Cuddling with your little one helps your baby feel safe and secure.  Show baby this sculpture and talk about how much you love holding him or her in your arms.

For Mommy…

The mother in this sculpture seems to be soaking up the incredible feeling of snuggling with her baby. She has this look of pure bliss on her face. I’m in awe of Catlett’s ability to convey such intense emotion through sculpture. The mother and baby seem as though they are a unified form. Isn’t that the meaning of a true bond, that we give a part of ourselves to our children and that a part of our children becomes a part of who we are?

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Monthly Theme: Mother and Child
Weekly Content: Japanese Art of the Edo Period, 1600s – 1800s
Daily Subject: Poetry

As stated earlier, the Edo Period was a prosperous time in Japanese history, a time when much focus was on the arts and literature. During this period, several new forms of poetry came into being. The haiku, now a very popular form of poetry, has it roots in the Edo period. Short, but powerful, these poems are meant to strike a chord with readers. Another form of poetry that came about during this period was the senryu. Similar to the haiku in format, the senryu is unique in its use of humor to emphasize a point. Take a look at the following senryu:

Enjoying the cool of the evening

A mother comes out with her child

Smothered in powder 

Anon. Senryu (pub. 1765)

(R. H. Blyth, Japanese Life and Character in Senryu (Japan, Hokuseido, 1960), p.18)

For baby…
Poetry such as this is extremely fun to read to baby. Perfect for the short attention span, the haiku format lends itself as a quick but meaningful way to entertain baby. Take some creative license to change a few of the word in the poem so it’s more fun for baby. For example, add the word “breeze” to the first line and make the sign for breeze by waving your hands side to side. Changing the word “powder” to something like “kisses” or “tickles” might make a fun game for you and baby.

For mommy…
So, as stated above, there must be some satire in this poem. The use of the word “smothered” seems to insinuate that the mother is going a little overboard. How do we succumb to this in our own lives? Doesn’t modern day society force us into thinking that we need the best products, the best education, the best EVERYTHING for our child? Keeping up with all the latest trends and products could drive even the savviest mom mad. Maybe the author of this poem is trying to remind us to, more often, just simply take in “the cool of the evening” without all the other hoopla!

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Monthly Theme: Mother and Child

Weekly Topic: Japanese Art of the Edo Period, 1600s – 1800s

Daily Subject: Art History

This next work of art may look like a Japanese woodblock print, however, it is actually by Mary Cassatt (see last week’s posts).  Many artist of the 19th Century were inspired by Japanese prints of the Edo period. For more on Japonisme see the following link:

http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/jpon/hd_jpon.htm

Maternal Caress, 1891, Mary Cassatt (American, 1844-1926), Drypoint and soft-ground etching, third print, printed in color, 14 3/8 x 10 9/16 in. (36.5 x 27 cm), Gift of Paul J. Sachs, 1916 (16.2.5), http://www.metmuseum.org

For Baby…

Nothing beats getting a big hug from your little one. Show baby this work of art and say, “The baby  gives his mama a big hug! Can you give your mama a hug?” If your baby understands, expect a big squeeze. If not, scoop her up and spin her around, giving lots of hugs and kisses!! See yesterdays post for more ideas on how to use artwork to encourage language development.

For Mommy…

Cassatt appreciated Utamaro’s study of the daily life of women and mothers. What similarities do you see in the two works of art that we have viewed this week? Differences? Although she was obviously naturally gifted, Cassatt had the advantage of studying the art of different cultures.  How does a multicultural education serve to enrich the experience of the individual?

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Monthly Theme:  Mother and Child

Weekly Content: Japanese Works of Art during the Edo Period, 1600s – 1800s

Daily Subject: Art History

Developing a multicultural perspective is the goal of a good education. Looking at the same theme through the eyes of different cultures highlights their similarities, reminding us of the qualities that make us all human.  The beauty of a mother’s love is treasured across time and place. The following woodblock print by Kitagawa Utamaro was created during the Edo period, a peaceful time in Japan when the arts flourished.   For more on this period in Japanese history, cut and paste the following link:

http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ht/?period=09&region=eaj

Midnight: The Hours of the Rat; Mother and Sleepy Child, Edo period (1615-1868), ca. 1790, Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806), Polychrome woodblock print, H. 14 3/8 in. (36.5 cm), W. 9 5/8 in (24.4 cm), Rogers Fund, 1922 (JP1278), http://www.metmuseum.org

For Baby…

When you share this work of art with baby, continue to encourage language development by introducing new vocabulary.  Remember to emphasize beginning and ending consonant sounds so that baby can better imitate your words. Of course, make sure to also say the words the way you would naturally. This piece of artwork is great for introducing or reinforcing the names of body parts.  For example, say, “Where are the baby’s toes?” and help baby point to the correct part of the body.  

For Mommy…

Both Mary Cassatt and Kitagawa Utamaro appreciated the beauty of a mother’s daily life. In our hectic world, we sometimes forget the preciousness of our everyday acts as mothers.  Take a moment to reflect on how the little things you do each day for your baby are examples of living art.

 

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