Wednesday, December 28, 2011

An Overhead Projector Christmas Tree

Probably anyone who owns an old-school overhead projector knows how much free play they get. Sure, we use the projector for map tracing, copywork of all sorts, and all sorts of math and science activities, but with just the clear plastic sheets and a nice set of overhead markers, the kids dream up all sorts of fun play--during a playdate a couple of weeks ago, one little girl drew at least a dozen scenery pages on the plastic sheets and then projected an entire play that she'd just made up, using her fingers as all of the characters.

If you have any other accessories, such as translucent pattern blocks, then you're perfectly set up. I bring out the overhead projector as an actual party activity, especially for little siblings or friends on the younger side of the guest list, but my own girls will still spend entire quiet mornings or afternoons engrossed in play with the projector.

Only rarely, outside of helping out with some academic activity related to one of their areas of interest, do I set up an actual "activity" involving the overhead projector, but I was so delighted to see on Play at Home Mom that some other parent besides me is ridiculously fond of a projector that I invited Syd to create the overhead projector Christmas tree from that site.

She drew a tree on a clear plastic page:


She set the page on our projector, and decorated it with translucent geometric shapes:


She enjoyed its projection on the wall--

 --before taking it all apart and doing it again!

Unfortunately, we only have a small amount of wall space suitable to using the overhead projector in our living room, although as wall space it is ideal, since you can tape a large piece of paper onto it and copy from the projector:


One day, however, the finished basement playroom will become a place that the children do not fear to tread (something about a monster with lots of arms, and one of them is really long and has a pincher on it...), and therefore a place where it gets more use than as a dumping ground for out-of-favor toys, and then, I tell you, THEN we'll have tidy shelves of art supplies and books and toys, and plenty of room in the middle for active play, and a TV so that I have room to use my old-school workout videos...

...oh, and a much larger wall space for the overhead projector.

For this project, we use:

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