This week, our Smock Rock students at TLB Music are creating Carmen-inspired paper fans and handmade castanets while listening to music from Bizet’s opera Carmen (The Habanera) and Flamenco music!

Student Materials:
2 small rectangular pieces of cardboards (1.75 x 5” each)
4 bottle caps, glue, glue stick, scissors
small items for decorating top of castanets (I used small paper circles)
2 pages of Carmen sheet music (with folding lines printed on the back)
Get Carmen sheet music here (pages 30-31) | download lined paper template here
glitter glue sticks (we use these washable glitter glue sticks by Elmer’s)
paint brushes, tape for making fan’s handle

Teacher Materials: -stapler

Teacher Prep: -cut cardboard into 1.75 x 5” pieces
-print sheet music with folding lines printed on back

Project Intro:
Today, our art project is inspired by Carmen! What is Carmen? Carmen is an opera by French composer Bizet and Carmen is also the name of the lead character in the opera. Opera is a kind of theatre where the story is told through music and song. Elements of opera that help tell the story: stage and scenery, costumes, opera singers and a musical ensemble. Today, we’re going to create Carmen-inspired costume accessories: a paper fan and castanets! The story of Carmen takes place in Spain so, while we craft, we’ll listen to beautiful Spanish Flamenco music in addition to our music from Carmen. Ask students: what do we do with a fan? How do we use? What are castanets? Show classroom pair of castanets and demonstrate how to use. Show craft sample and discuss how we can create castanets out of cardboard, bottle caps and glue!

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This week’s TLB Music Smock Rock project theme is Jazz music! We’re creating a Charlie “Bird” Parker-inspired saxophone collage! While they craft, our students are listening to Benny Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing”, Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing”, Louis Armstrong’s “Basin Street Blues” and Charlie Parker’s “Ornithology”!

Student Materials:
a sturdy sheet of white paper
tissue paper in a variety of colors cut into small shapes (mine were rough squares, some pieces I ripped!)
1 yellow paper saxophone (get the saxophone & mouthpiece template here)
1 paper saxophone mouthpiece (can be any color, use about template)
small 1/2” circles for saxophone keys (can be any color)
1 paper oval for saxophone bell (can be any color)
Charlie Parker sheet music (printed 4 per page, links below)
Ornithology Sheet Music | Yardbird Suite Sheet Music
black music notes confetti or small paper music notes
glue stick, scissors

Teacher Materials: scissors, 1/2” circle hole puncher, bird hole puncher

Teacher Prep: -cut saxophones -print sheet music 4 per page and cut
-punch 1/2” circles for keys -cut mouthpieces -cut bell (kids can help cut an oval here if you’d like)

*view hole punchers, music notes and tissue paper used at the bottom of post!

Project Intro:
Today, we’re going to listen to Jazz music while we make a collage inspired by a very famous Jazz musician, Charlie “Bird” Parker. Show picture. What instrument did he play? Does anyone know its name? Now, can kids find the saxophone in the classroom? We’ll include a bird in our collage because Charlie’s nickname was “bird”- isn’t that funny? Several of his compositions reference birds: “Yardbird”, “Ornithology”, “Bird Gets the Worm”, and “Bird of Paradise”.

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Today’s bowl!

Strawberry Raspberry Smoothie Bowl
(makes 1 large serving or 2 smaller portions)

For smoothie, blend together:
3 frozen organic bananas
1/2  cup fresh organic raspberries
1/2 cup frozen organic strawberries
2 tablespoons pomegranate powder (I use Navitas brand.)
1 scoop vegan protein powder (I use Vega’s vanilla protein smoothie powder.)
1/4 – 1/2 cup soy milk (I used Silk’s organic soy milk. You can use any dairy free milk. Use less liquid for a thicker, more ice cream-like texture.)

Toppings:
shredded coconut (I use Let’s Do Organic coconut.)
hemp seeds (I use Nutiva.)
organic kiwi
organic banana
pomegranate seeds
organic raspberries
hemp granola (my favorite is this granola by Nature’s Path Organic.)

Follow me on Instagram (@thebirdfeednyc) to see more smoothie bowls!

This week, our Smock Rock at TLB Music students are creating Hawaiian leis and grass crowns while listening to some of our favorite Hawaiian songs like “Aloha ‘Oe”, “One Paddle, Two Paddle” & “Lovely Hula Hands”.

Student Materials:

Lei: hole punched flowers in a variety of colors with holes punched in center for stringing
green paper leaves with hole for stringing, string, a variety of colorful straws, scissors, green crayon

Crown: 2 strips of green cardstock paper (3” x 11”) attached
scissors, glue stick, paper flowers

Teacher Materials: -scissors
flower hole punchers (shown at bottom of post), small circle hole puncher

Teacher Prep: -punch flowers in a variety of colors and cut green leaves
-punch holes in flower and leaves for stringing (leaves some flower without holes for crowns)
-cut string to appropriate lengths – cut 3” x 11” green cardstock strips
-glue strips of green paper in pairs to double length -precut straws if using heavy weight paper straws

Project Intro:  Today our art project is inspired by hula dance and music! Hula dance comes from the Hawaiian Islands. Show pictures. What do kids see? Beach, ocean, palm trees, dancers, etc.  The dancers wear grass skirts, flower headbands and leis and dance using graceful arm movements and swaying their hips. Demonstrate briefly. Hula dance is most often accompanied by accompanied by chanting, ukuleles, guitars, drums, puili sticks and other rattles. Today, we’ll make our own flower leis (a necklace of flowers!) and grass crowns while listening to beautiful traditional Hawaiian music!

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This pretty purple smoothie is delicious and packed with antioxidants! If you have any leftover smoothie, pour it into popsicle molds and freeze!

Blackberry Mango Smoothie Bowl
(makes 1 large serving or 2 smaller portions)

For smoothie, blend together:
3 frozen organic bananas
3/4 cup frozen organic mango
1/2 – 3/4 cup frozen organic blackberries
1 scoop vegan protein powder (I use Vega’s vanilla protein smoothie powder.)
1/4 – 1/2 cup soy milk (I used Silk’s organic soy milk. You can use any dairy free milk or coconut water! Use less liquid for a thicker, more ice cream-like texture.)

Toppings:
shredded coconut (I use Let’s Do Organic coconut.)
hemp seeds (I use Nutiva.)
organic banana
organic mango
sprouted organic buckwheat groats (I LOVE Emmy’s Super Cereal!)
organic blackberries

Follow me on Instagram (@thebirdfeednyc) to see more smoothie bowls!

 

This week’s Smock Rock students at TLB Music are creating Beatles-inspired “Octopus’s Garden” collages complete with yellow submarines! This project is amazing for practicing fine motor skills: it includes cutting, pasting, pressing, drawing, bending, threading and manipulating small pieces.  As children craft, they’re listening to some of our favorite Beatles’ songs like “Octoptus’s Garden”, “Yellow Submarine”, “Here Comes the Sun”, “Good Day Sunshine”, and “Hello, Goodbye”!

Student Materials:
ocean scene printed on sturdy sheet of white paper (PDF below)
printed octopus template on sturdy purple paper (PDF below)
2” circles: 1 red (for crab) & a few more in a variety of other colors to create fish
small white 1/2” circles for eyes
2 small red crab claws (precut by teacher)
small paper hearts for fish tails
small paper shells (precut by teacher)
1 paper yellow submarine (precut by teacher, image below)
small tissue paper pieces to create coral
crayons, glue stick, scissors

Teacher Materials: scissors, circle hole punchers

Teacher Prep: -print ocean backgrounds, octopus templates, and yellow submarines
-precut crab claws, shells, heart tails -cut octopus templates out, leaving legs for students to cut
-hole punch 2 inch circles and small circles for eyes (add black dot on eyes for pupils!)

Project Intro:
This art project is inspired by The Beatles! The Beatles were a very popular band! Has anyone heard of them? Show pictures. What are their names? What instruments do they play? Today, we’re going to create an Octopus’s Garden in honor of their song “Octopus’s Garden”. What other sea animals do your students know? Other songs we’ll listen to today: “Yellow Submarine”, “Here Comes the Sun”, “Good Day Sunshine”, and “Hello, Goodbye”. To begin, give each student an ocean background. What do they see? (ocean floor, sand, water, seaweed, coral)

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This is my favorite summer smoothie.  So light, sweet and refreshing! Use just a little bit of dairy free milk or coconut water when blending to achieve an ice cream consistency or add more for a delicious drinkable smoothie.

Watermelon Pomegranate Smoothie Bowl
(makes 1 large serving or 2 smaller portions)

For smoothie, blend together:
3 frozen organic bananas
1 cup fresh organic watermelon
1/2 cup frozen organic strawberries
2 tablespoons pomegranate powder (I use Navitas brand.)
1 scoop vegan protein powder (I use Vega’s vanilla protein smoothie powder.)
1/4 – 1/2 cup soy milk (I used Silk’s organic soy milk. You can use any dairy free milk or coconut water! Use less liquid for a thicker, more ice cream-like texture.)

Toppings:
shredded coconut (I use Let’s Do Organic coconut.)
hemp seeds (I use Nutiva.)
organic banana
pomegranate seeds
watermelon stars
hemp granola (my favorite is this granola by Nature’s Path Organic.)

Follow me on Instagram (@thebirdfeednyc) to see more smoothie bowls!

This week, our Smock Rock students at TLB Music are creating watercolor seahorse collages inspired by the art of Eric Carle! In particular, the beautiful artwork from his book, Mister Seahorse.   While we craft, we’re listening to ocean-themed music including “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid, Bobby Darin’s “Beyond the Sea”, Aquarium from Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals and The Beatles’ “Octopus’s Garden”!

Student Materials:
sturdy sheet of white paper with seahorse outline printed on it
blank sturdy sheet of white paper for background (can use watercolor paper for both if you’d like)
crayons: orange, blue, green, magenta, white and black
watercolor paint, paint brushes,water
glue stick, glue, scissors
*all supplies used are listed at bottom of post!

Teacher Materials:
scissors
copy of Eric Carle’s Mister Seahorse

Teacher Prep: print seahorse outline on white paper (download outline below)

Project Intro:
Before starting the craft, flip through the book. Has anyone read this book?  How do you you think Eric Carle created his art?  Eric Carle uses watercolor and painted paper collages to create his distinctive style! Ask children to help you identify colors, shapes, animals and anything else that interests them.

Inspiration:

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click here to enlarge image

I love a day at the beach or sitting by a pool but can’t stand having oily hair, a sweaty face or sunburnt skin so I’m always looking for the most effective summer beauty products.  These are my favorite beach beauty essentials. Hydrating leave-in conditioner, age-defying hand cream, waterproof bronzer, my secret for an oil-free face in seconds, an ingenious underarm product and more! All vegan and cruelty-free, of course!

1. Supergoop! “Forever Young” SPF 40 Hand Cream with Sea Buckthorn
This is my favorite summer hand cream.  The subtle scent is delicious, it absorbs quickly and brightens and improves skin’s texture! The small size is perfect for throwing in your beach bag.
view on www.amazon.com

2. Mineral Fusion SPF 30 Brush-On Sun Defense
In addition to my liquid face sunscreen, I always use a brush-on powder sunscreen for touch-ups and to control shine. This power is antioxidant-infused with sea kelp and white tea!
view on www.amazon.com

3. Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk
This is my absolute favorite dry shampoo. It quickly absorbs excess oil and restores bounce after a long day at the beach. I use the tinted version but they also offer their original clear dry shampoo!
view on www.kloraneusa.com

4. Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Blotting Papers
These are the best blotting papers I’ve ever tried! I always carry a package in my purse during the summer. The sheets are made of 100 percent natural abaca leaf and gold flake. They’re as pretty as they are effective!
view on www.amazon.com

5. Sun Bum SPF 30 Lip Balm
This vegan lip balm is made with moisturizing cocoa butter and comes in so many yummy flavors. Flavors pictured: key lime, pink grapefruit, coconut, banana, mango & pomegranate!
view on www.amazon.com

6. Tarte Matte Waterproof Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess
If you’re protecting you’re face like me, you’ll need a bronzer to give your cheeks and forehead that perfect summer glow. This bronzer contains vitamins A, C, and E and even contains water to help your skin retain moisture!
view on www.amazon.com

7. Supergoop! SPF 50 Defense Refresh Setting Mist with Rosemary
This three-in-one mist controls oil throughout the day, sets makeup and provides UV photoaging protection. I love the fresh rosemary-mint scent!
view on www.amazon.com

8. Sun Bum 3-in-1 Leave-in Spray
This lightweight leave-in spray smells amazing. Like one Amazon reviewer put it: “this product smells like your childhood summer at the beach”! It conditions and protects with coconut oil, argan oil, sweet almond oil, sunflower seed oil and banana leaf.
view on www.amazon.com

9. Coola SPF 30 Piña Colada Sunscreen Spray
This hydrating sunscreen is made with organic ingredients like cucumber, algae extract, strawberry extract and red raspberry seed oil. It sprays on evenly and smells incredible! Want higher SPF? Try their unscented SPF 30 sport sunscreen spray!
view on www.amazon.com

10. MyChelle Cucumber Cooler Soothing Spray
Soothe, cool and hydrate your skin after a day in the sun with this cucumber and aloe spray! Made with all-natural, non-GMO ingredients.
view on www.mychelle.com

11. MyChelle Replenishing Solar Defense SPF 30 Anti-Aging Cream
This is such an amazing anti-aging sunscreen for your face.  It protects, moisturizes and reduces lines with plant-based ingredients like zinc oxide, red algae extract, kukui oil and macadamia nut oil!
view on www.mychelle.com

12. Pacifica Underarm Deodorant Wipes
This ingenious product by Pacifica wipes away underarm sweat, neutralizes odors and soothes with coconut milk and essential oils.
view on www.amazon.com

This is the most delicious smoothie bowl! It tastes just like chocolate peanut butter ice cream but so much better because it’s good for you and cruelty-free!  I’ve made variations of this amazing nice cream before but using Peanut Butter & Co.’s white chocolate peanut butter made it extra special.

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl
(makes 1 large serving or 2 smaller portions)

For smoothie, blend together:
3.5 frozen organic bananas
2 tablespoons peanut butter (My favorite: Peanut Butter & Co. White Chocolate Wonderful!)
1 scoop chocolate vegan protein powder (I used Vega’s chocolate protein smoothie powder.)
1/4 – 1/2 cup soy milk (I used Silk’s organic soy milk. You can use any dairy-free milk!)

Toppings:
shredded coconut (I use Let’s Do Organic coconut.)
hemp seeds (I used Nutiva’s organic shelled hemp seeds.)
sliced banana
cacao nibs (I use Navitas!)
hemp granola (my favorite is this granola by Nature’s Path Organic.)
pomegranate seeds
sliced strawberries

Follow me on Instagram (@thebirdfeednyc) to see more smoothie bowls!

Today’s bowl!

Strawberry Mango Smoothie Bowl
(makes 1 large serving or 2 smaller portions)

For smoothie, blend together:
2 frozen organic bananas
1 cup frozen organic mango
3/4 cup frozen organic strawberries
1 tablespoon Goji powder (I use Navitas. Extra boost of beta-carotene & antioxidants!)
1 scoop vegan protein powder (I use Vega’s vanilla protein smoothie powder.)
1/4 – 1/2 cup soy milk (I used Silk’s organic soy milk. You can use any dairy-free milk!)

Toppings:
shredded coconut (I use Let’s Do Organic coconut.)
hemp seeds
sliced organic banana
pomegranate seeds
strawberries
hemp granola (my favorite is this granola by Nature’s Path Organic.)
sliced organic mango

Follow me on Instagram (@thebirdfeednyc) to see more smoothie bowls!

This week at TLB Music, our Smock Rock art students are creating handmade maracas while listening to Cuban music!  These maracas are easy for little hands to make, help students practice fine motor skills and they sound great to play!

Student Materials:
masking or duct tape, in a few colors or patterns
2 plastic spoons, 1 plastic easter egg, about 1-2 tsp of rice

Teacher Materials: scissors

Teacher Prep: -place a small of of rice in a cup for each child
-cut strips of tape for students or help students cut

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After running errands today in the oppressive NYC heat, I made this anti-oxidant rich smoothie bowl to cool down! So simple to make, loaded with healthy ingredients and tastes like dessert.

 
Cherry Pomegranate Smoothie Bowl

For smoothie, blend together:
2 frozen organic bananas
1 cup frozen organic cherries
1/2 cup frozen organic strawberries
2 tablespoons pomegranate powder (I use Navitas brand.)
1 scoop vegan protein powder (I use Vega’s vanilla protein smoothie powder.)
1/4 – 1/2 cup soy milk (I used Silk’s organic soy milk. You can use any dairy-free milk!)

Toppings:
shredded coconut (I use Let’s Do Organic coconut.)
black chia seeds (I use Nutiva.)
organic banana
pomegranate seeds
Rainier cherries
sprouted organic buckwheat groats (I use Emmy’s Super Cereal.)

Follow me on Instagram (@thebirdfeednyc) to see more smoothie bowls!

This might be my favorite smoothie of the summer so far!  The color is the most beautiful mint green and the taste is absolutely delicious. The matcha tea gives an extra boost of antioxidants and balanced energy (caffeine!) to this bowl.  Here are just some of the health benefits of matcha tea:

*extremely high in antioxidants (over 60 times that of spinach!)
*contains high levels of cancer-preventing catechins
*combats inflammation, oxidation & aging
*improves brain function with L-theanine
*detoxes the body with Chlorophyll
*lowers bad cholesterol
*helps with weight loss
*provides energy boost without jittery feeling!

3 Brands to Try:

DōMatcha Green Tea
The Republic Of Tea Matcha Tea Powder
Jade Organics Matcha Tea

For smoothie, blend together:
2 frozen organic bananas
1 cup frozen organic mango
1/2 fresh organic kiwi
1 handful organic kale (can use spinach)
2 tsp matcha powder
1 scoop vegan protein powder (I use Vega’s vanilla protein smoothie powder.)
1/4 – 1/2 cup soy milk (I used Silk’s organic soy milk.  You can use any dairy-free milk!)

Toppings:
shredded coconut (I use Let’s Do Organic coconut.)
organic hemp seeds (I used Nutiva!)
sliced organic kiwi
sliced organic banana
organic blueberries
sprouted organic buckwheat groats (I use Emmy’s Super Cereal.)

Follow me on Instagram (@thebirdfeednyc) to see more smoothie bowls!

This week, TLB Music‘s mini camp theme is Little Artists!  One of our campers craft activities is creating a water lily pond using Monet’s famous series Water Lilies as inspiration.

Student Materials:
a large green paper plate, green lily pads, pink tissue squares, crayons (green & white)
a glue stick, sponge brushes, paint (purple, dark blue, light blue, green & white)

Teacher Materials: scissors

Teacher Prep: -cut lily pads out of green paper in a variety of sizes
-cut small squares of pink tissue paper (I used 1” and 2” squares)

Project Intro:
Claude Monet was an impressionist painter from Paris, France. Impressionism is a 19th century art movement. (ask kids to try to say “Impressionism”) This movement was actually named after one of Monet’s paintings, Impression, Sunrise! Small, thin brushstrokes are one of the main characteristics of these paintings.  Look at Monet’s works of art. What do kids see? Monet’s most famous series of paintings is Water Lilies, which depicts Monet’s garden in France.  There are approximately 250 paintings in this series! Today, we’re going to create our own water lily ponds using the technique of Impressionist painters.

Inspiration:

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