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Tuesday, April 7 2020

Hey Everyone! Today on the MRASP LFH Blog we have a Matisse Inspired Art Project, a Presidential Card Game, and a DIY Lava Lamp! Remember to check out our Zoom Schedule to see what kinds of activites and meetups we are offering this week over Zoom!

Tracing Shadows- Matisse Inspired Drawing

Drawn Up By Charlotte

Enjoy a sunny day making art by tracing, coloring, cutting, and assembling an abstract collage!

This project draws inspiration from artist Henri Mattise’s simplistic and stunning paper cutouts. Matisse played with color, composition, and scale (size) in his cut-out creations. Below is an example that shows his interest in plants and shapes found in nature, which is what we will be using to create our drawing.

Grade: 2-5


-2 pieces white paper (construction, drawing, or computer paper )


-crayons, markers, or colored pencils


-sunny day

-house plants (if you do not have house plants, you can trace shadows from windows or other interesting objects)


1. Search your house for a place where a plant is making a cool shadow on a table or floor.

2. Place your white paper underneath the shadow and trace the shadow with a pencil.

3. Choose one color to color in the lines of what you traced. Note: I chose for all my colors to be cool colors (green, blue, purple) and one warm color (yellow) similar to what Matisse did.

4. Next, cut your second piece of white paper in half. Then divide that half into thin rectangles. 5-8 strips is enough.

5. Trace plant shadows from different plants or different parts of the plant onto these pieces.

6.Color these small drawings in with one color for the plant, and another color for the background! The object is the positive space, and the background is the negative space.

7.Once done coloring everything in, arrange the small drawings on top of the bigger drawing and glue down!

“Presidents” Card Game

Brought To Us By Brendan

Grade Level: 2-5

Individual or multiple people: 3+ players

Theme: Practicing memory and basic math with a “trick” (rummy) style gameplay and point calculation as well as counting cards.

Materials: 1 standard 52-card deck of cards

Location: Any flat surface to play a card game.


The player to the dealer’s left starts by leading (face up) any single card or any set of cards of equal rank (for example, three 5’s). Each player in turn must then either pass (i.e. not play any cards), or play face up a card or set of cards that beats the previous play.

Any higher single card beats a single card. A set of cards can only be beaten by a higher set containing the same number of cards. So for example, if the previous player played two 6’s you can beat this with two Kings, or two 7’s, but not with a single King, and not with three 7’s (although you could play two of them and hang onto the third).

It is not necessary to beat the previous play just because you can - passing is always allowed. Also, passing does not prevent you from playing the next time your turn comes around.

The play continues as many times around the table as necessary until someone makes a play which everyone else passes. All the cards played are then turned face down and put to one side, and the player who played last (and highest) to the previous “trick” starts again by leading any card or set of equal cards.

The first player who is completely out of cards is awarded the highest social rank - the “President.” The last player to be left with any cards is known as the “Donkey.” (Note: If you are playing with 5 people or more, the second player who is completely out of cards is awarded the rank of “Vice President” and the second to last player to be left with any cards is known as the “Vice Donkey.”

Further instructions or accommodations: There are a few rules you can add to this game to make it more interesting and fun!

  1. Anytime a set of triples, doubles, or even a single card is played, if one person has all the other cards and are quick enough to act before the next person takes their turn, they can put their cards on the table and say “completion.” (For example, if one player plays two 5’s and another player has the other two 5’s, they can place them down quickly and clear the table of all four 5’s and the cards underneath them and set them aside, even if it is not their turn to play next. If they succeed, they skip everyone else’s turn so it is now their turn to play the lowest card in their hand. Also, if a player has all four 5’s in their hand, on their turn ONLY they can clear the table and start with the lowest card in their hand.)

  2. If the same card is played twice in a row (for example, one player plays a 9 and the next player also plays a 9), the next person in line is skipped.

  3. The “2” cards and the “10” cards can have special powers! If you play with this rule, when you have a 2 in your hand you can play it during your turn to start the sequence over - for example if the person before you played a Jack, you can play a 2 on top of that and the person after you can start with their lowest card, such as a 3. A 10 card can function as a “completion” as well if you play with this rule - during your turn ONLY you can play a 10 to clear the table of all cards and then play the lowest card in your hand.

  4. At the end of the first round (and every subsequent round), when all the cards are dealt for the next round, the “President” and the “Donkey” of the last round each trade two cards - the President gives the Donkey what they consider their worst (probably lowest) two cards, and the Donkey gives the President what they consider their best (probably highest) two cards. If you are playing with the “Vice President” and the Vice Donkey,” they can do the same type of swap, except with only one card each instead of two.

DIY Lava Lamps

Do It Yourself Science By Chloe

Grade Level: K-5

Individual or multiple people: Individual

Theme: Science fun!


– Plastic Bottles (VOSS water bottles work well)

– Vegetable Oil

– Water

– Food Coloring

– Alka-Seltzer

Location: Kitchen or bathroom sink

Further instructions or accommodations:

Step 1:

Fill the water bottle a little over half way with vegetable oil. Fill the rest until about one inch from the top with water.

Step 2:

Add 10 drops of food coloring

Step 3:

Break your Alka-Seltzer into quarters. Add one piece at a time and watch the lava go!! Be sure to wait until the bubbles settle to add another piece of Alka-Seltzer or the bottle can get pretty cloudy.

We'll be back tomorrow with more fun activities!

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