Mr. Bleakman is ready for a quiet, relaxing weekend of oil painting, but a monkey wrench is thrown in the works when he is asked to baby-sit Clifford for the day. Mr. Bleakman struggles to find a way to keep Clifford out of his way, but soon discovers that the big red dog has much to teach him about being spontaneous and having fun!

Clifford's Big Idea: Be a Good Friend; Be KindClifford's Big Idea: Be a Good Friend; Be Kind

So many life skills depend on strong observation skills—everything from babysitting to painting. Help the child notice and record details—with paint, words, or language—to enrich

  • life skills
  • music and art appreciation

Suggested StorybookSuggested Storybook

101 Things to Do with a Baby by Jan Ormerod

This catalog of activities is also a record of a day in the life of a family with a father, an older sister, a dear baby, and a black cat. The illustrations are colorful and engaging. A great book for siblings of all ages.

Still LifeStill Life

Children love to paint and need time to express themselves creatively. But painting can also be a valuable lesson in observation. Select a plant or simple vase with a few flowers. Place it in front of the child and ask him or her to describe it. Prompt the child to provide essential details by asking such questions as

  • What color are the flowers?
  • How are they alike?
  • How are they different?
  • How do they smell?
  • How would they feel if you touched them?
  • What color is the vase?
  • How would it feel if you touched it?

Provide the child with a large sheet of plain paper. Work with the child to reproduce the plant or flowers. Hang the artwork where the child will be able to admire the work. Provide a weekly opportunity—with various houseplants or flowers—for still life painting and watch how quickly the child grows in the ability to paint an accurate representation!

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