Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Solar System Project & 4th of July

We actually had a super chill Fourth of July, spending the day at home. I asked Dean what he wanted to do when he woke up that morning and he said "make a Solar System". I asked him how he wanted to make a Solar System and he said "a Solar System Project", in a tone that suggested I was a complete idiot. I asked him what kind of project and he thought about it for a minute and said "maybe a poster", just like that, all on his own. I think he might have had something different in mind than what we ended up doing, but he LOVED his Solar System Project!!

I ran to K-Mart and bought a couple of black poster boards and then let Dean dig through my gigantic stash of cardstock to pick out the colors he wanted to use for each planet. I pulled out my Big Shot die cutting machine and a bunch of different sizes of circle dies and a glue stick and we got to work! Dean actually did pretty much everything himself - only needing help with drawing the "islands" on Earth (Daddy did that) and punching out shapes for the asteroids. - he picked out which size each planet should be and put them in order all by himself.

We started with the Sun - obviously this isn't to scale! I did draw the half circle for him, tracing around a paper plate, but Dean did all of the cutting and gluing himself. Then I showed him how to use the Big Shot and the dies to cut out the circles for the planets -he thought that was REALLY cool! (and if you look closely you can kind of see our new furniture in the background).

Once we got the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars glued on and I was trying to move him along to Jupiter, Dean had a minor meltdown because "NO!! Jupiter isn't next Mommy!" First we needed to do the Asteroid Belt. Great. The Asteroid Belt. Now what the hell am I going to use for Asteroids?? I ended up using a little flower punch (failing to mention it was a flower punch to Dean, instead calling it an Asteroid Punch), which worked PERFECTLY and Dean happily glued on a bunch of asteroids while telling me all about Ceres and how it's the smallest dwarf planet, but it's actually in the Asteroid Belt and not in the Kuiper Belt like the others. (um, OK, sure. I had to look that up later, but it turns out he's right. I hate it when my 3-yr-old makes me look dumb and talks about stuff that I'm pretty sure I've never even heard of).

So anyway, Dean proceeded to glue on the rest of the planets - getting creative with Jupiter and Saturn (I did help him cut the ring for Saturn and the strips for Jupiter, although the concept was all Dean's). The only other time Dean got a little upset was because Jupiter was missing the Great Red Spot, which was easily fixed with a small oval die and some red cardstock. Dean insisted on adding the Kuiper Belt after Neptune and making it the same color as Pluto, because technically "Pluto isn't a real planet, it's just a dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt like Eris". Duh.

And finally after about 2 hours, we were done. Dean was SOOOOO proud of himself!!
Dean was about ready for a nap after all that hard work, so we had some lunch and he went into his room to read for a little while and then took his nap.

After naptime, we had a fun 4th of July picnic in the front yard, ending with some yummy summer cupcakes from Whole Foods! Dean LOVES those cupcakes!!
Making 4th of July shakas!!
We finished the night sharing a giant watermelon with the neighbors and watching the neighborhood shoot off fireworks all over our street. Dean did one sparkler and threw a few of those Snap Pop things on the ground that pop when they hit the ground. But other than that, he was content to just sit in the grass and watch all the craziness in the rest of the neighborhood (thank goodness!).

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