Children’s Fabric and Cardboard Sewn Easter Eggs

Children Learning to Sew!  Easter Projects.

So, I am now back with an amazing workshop I conducted a week ago with Italian children age 4-8.  I can not express how amazing it is for me to teach sewing, especially to children.  At a young age they begin to see the beauty of creating with their own hands.  DSCN5134

Since the children are so young, and for most of the it was the first time to try hand-sewing I used embroidery needles.  Which are perfect with the big eye and not point!  And because we are so close to Easter, I decided to make oval egg shapes!


Using boxes from our local grocery story, I began cutting out the egg shapes.  DSCN5125

I then cut a smaller egg shape, about 3/4 of an inch smaller and used an exacto knife to cut.

The inner egg shape was later used to let each child color a design.  With a large nail I made holes along the design and let them sew along their design.


Using a lace fabric and an open net fabric I hot glued the fabric on the egg frame.  Fabric is perfect because you can stretch and make it taught on the frame.  The idea is to use it as an embroidery frame.  DSCN5129

I then trimmed off the excess fabric after attaching the fabric with the hot glue. DSCN5128I had two choices of fabrics for them to choose from.  Now they ready to have amazing designs stitched on them!

Fabric Egg

Fabric Egg

Sewing Easter Eggs

Cardboard Egg


Continuing with Oz..

Making reference to my previous post, I would like to proved some drawings working on scene design by my students.

Most people in Italy are not familiar with "The Wizard of Oz".  At the entrance of the theater on the night of our show, I presented a quick translation in Italian.

Most people in Italy are not familiar with “The Wizard of Oz”. At the entrance of the theater on the night of our show, I presented a quick translation in Italian.

Poster for Show Designs

Each student completed a drawing to be used for the poster to be posted around town, announcing our show. For the poster, I made a collage with all the images together.

Scene Break-down

After reading the script in English, each student drew images of each of the Scenes.

Scene design

Each scene was designed by the students, not spending time for the them to color each design, but writing the co lours in English.

After breaking-down each scene, each student drew their own design labeling by writing the color of each item.

After breaking-down each scene, each student drew their own design labeling by writing the color of each item.

I am back!

Wow, so sorry I had not posted in a year!  I am now back and serious about keeping current and up to date!

So in my last posting I spoke about the amazing show we were planning in the theater, we just recently had our second summer show with the students of “Theater in English”.  It was amazing, and this year I got to work with a small group to present “The Wizard of Oz” for the show at the end!

This summer I went about it very differently!  First of all I worked with a very small group age 6-10 years of age.  We worked for several months.  First I wrote an adaption of the “Wizard of Oz” by L.Frank Baum, I condensed it and made wrote it to be ESL friendly.  Our lessons took place once a week for two hours which consisted of reading my adapted version, slow enough to translate each sentence/ phrase, the children read it out loud.  Meanwhile they also had work, such as family vocabulary, direction, clothes, feelings etc.  Extending on elements presented in the story.

Then using the story and the English language as a vehicle, each child learned the process of taking a story from a book and making it into a show on stage.  The steps in writing a story, scenery design, measurement taking, and costume design were all included.  I presented them with a script written just for them by me.   We briefly worked on acting elements, such as becoming the character, stage presence, and blocking.  Then the show was presented in the town theater.

It was an amazing wonderful experience.  Elements of a story.. about lion scarecrow book emerald city

More to come….



English in Theatre for Children- Italy

For the Summer of 2013, I thought it would be perfect for me to plan, execute, teach, and direct an English Theatre!  “English in  Theatre?”  you may ask what does this mean? 

Thinking about the “Camp Estivo” I planned, and directed last summer, I wanted to do something similar, but this time incorporating Theatre and the English language.  It was perfect for me!  I have a Master’s of Arts in Costume Technology, my professional experience has been in theater and costume for over 20 years, and English is my mother-tongue.  Therefore I knew it was a perfect plan! 

For months I researched this idea, trying to figure out if such a thing existed in Italy.  I was really happy to find some information!  Here are my top three finds:

1.  Teatro Inglese Per Bambini, Florence, Italy. 

Which contains some helpful information from a native of the United Kingdom, who is an actress and an instructor of the English language. 

2.  Super Simple Learning, Seattle, Washington (U.S.A).

I found some very helpful songs, and flashcards from this site!

3. Polly the Collie.  (Which I now see is a part of Helen Doron education system-“Didi and Polly.) The original site no longer exists, but some of the information can be accessed via the site, Didi and Polly.

I used the above sites and a few others as a starting point for writing my lesson plans.  As a part in my program I also wanted to utilize our amazing local historical theatre.  Image

After completing my bilingual script of the Wizard of Oz.  I had a meeting with our mayor to present my project.  I was given free use of a room in our church for the first month and the theatre for the second month.  I was so very excited! 

So I set a sign-up deadline, spoke with local parents and waited.  A few days before the deadline I was getting concerned, only three children had signed up! 


The weekend before we were to begin, I was contacted by other parents letting me know they were planning to bring their children.  On our first day, we had 19 children!  Which was wonderful.  But as our days continued so did our enrollment.  By our second week, we had 30 plus enrollment from the age range of 3 to 10 years old. 

It was wonderful but I had to revise my lesson plans, and I had to change the Wizard of Oz, (not many children in Italy are familiar with it) I had to change it to a story every Italian child would be familiar with, so for our show we would be doing Little Red Riding Hood! 

My favourite part of starting on a new project is the beginning research part!  For this reason I have fallen in love with Pinterest, it is great for gathering visual from around the web!  I began a Wizard of Oz board, then later, Little Red Riding Hood.  Click on each to take a look at my images!

My adventure and story continues…..







Camp Estivo!!!

I hold a Master’s of Fine Arts, previously I have taught in a University level (draping class in the Fashion Department).  As an American girl growing up in a small Texas town,  I grew-up with Girl Scout Camp.  Now looking at the town in which my our two boys are growing-up I see it  is completely different.  All we have is a park with a slide, some swings, and a see-saw.  For some reason this park always seems to be dirty with trash, or dead birds (as my oldest found twice last year)!

At the beginning of the school year I began researching lesson plans, and reading as many books on education and homeschooling.  I felt my oldest was lagging a bit, so I began to have mini classes with him in the weekends.  Before I knew it , I now have files on lesson plans, activities, etc. on every subject.

With the summer break arriving soon, I wanted to make sure my boys had an exciting, educative summer (the oldest is not six and the youngest two and a half.)  Taking into consideration all we have available in our town is the ‘Park’.  I took it into my own hands to plan a ‘Camp Estivo’ a summer camp for the children of our community!  I thought it would be something nice for the parents as well as the children of our town!

It took some time being that I was doing it all on my own, and all the expenses were out of my pocket.  I also struggle with the issue of the language.  It was sometimes frustrating talking and doing things with the children when on the spot I wanted to say it in English.  All my lesson plans and activities were first drafted in English, I then translated it into Italian. But in the end all my work, and all my expenses were definitely worth it  for the children of our community to learn something, enjoy time together, and enjoy their summer break!

Here is my program or syllabus:

Camp Estivo 2012

LUGLIO 4 – AGOSTO 22 (9:30 – 11:30am)

Prima Settimana- Luglio 4 Mercoled


L’oceano/mare e gli animali

Dove ci incontriamo: Parco

Seconda Settimana- Luglio 11 Mercoled

Tour- Museo di Storia del Calcolo “Mateureka”


Dove ci incontriamo: Museo di Storia del Calcolo

 Terza Settimana- Luglio 18 Mercoled


Leggo un libro -Usando le parole in inglese e italiano . Lavorare con le parole.

Dove ci incontriamo: Caffe’ Della Nina

Quarta Settimana- Luglio 28 Sabato

Tour- Parco Naturale Sasso Simone e Simoncello

Animali- Creazione di animali con articoli trovati

Dove ci incontriamo : Parco Naturale Sasso Simone….

Quinta Settimana- Luglio 31 Marted

Tour- Church

Costruire una chiesa miniture, o disegnare e dipingere.

Dove ci incontriamo: La Cattedrale di Pennabilli

Sesta Settimana- Agosto 8 Mercoled


La lettera e colori.

Dove ci incontriamo : Parco

Settima Settimana- Agosto 15 Mercoled

Tour- Il Teatro Vittoria

Maschere italiane- conoscere melio il Carnevale.

(Ariecchino,Pucinella….) Fai la tua propria maschera.

Dove ci incontriamo: Teatro Vittoria

Ottava Settimana- Agosto 22 Mercoled

All’aperto- Parco

Costruire e progettare un aquilone.

Dove ci incontriamo: Parco

Partire da un anno e mezzo fino a cinque anni

I fornire gli elementi da utilizzare se non notificate prima sessione.

Io sarò lì ogni incontro seconda del numero di bambini che frequenta

e si sono certamente i benvenuti con il vostro bambino, o se ho un’altra madre per aiutare i bambini possono essere

lasciati con noi ad ascoltare, creare e giocare!

Orario- 9:30- 11:30

Per favore fatemi sapere entro il 25 Giugno se il vostro bambino sarà presente e che settimana saranno presenti. Si prega di notare, ogni bambino è invitato a partecipare ad uno o alcuni degli settimana avrei solo bisogno di sapere che per avere i materiali pronti per ogni bambino.

Tutti incontro sono ad ingresso libero.


Now, since at the time I was also working on my own projects, I could only allow myself to conduct the meetings  once a week in the morning.  Each meeting focused on a different subject each session would begin with a presentation of the subject followed by a hands own activity.  I utilized local locations in our community!  I was surprised that many of the children who have grown-up here had not visited some of the museums in town.

First Meeting Focused on Art and the Ocean/Sea animals Collage. It was held in the park each child created their own collage using plates as the canvas!

My son's collage.

My son’s collage.

I was so very happy with the outcome and to see the enjoyment of my boys and their friends!

Some Robot Fun!

First off, sorry I have been away so long, I am back!  The beautiful weather is finally here!


It is so beautiful outside, I began running again!  Here is my view on my way home, beautiful! I am so excited because the boys can play outside now!  The oldest is six, the youngest is two and a half.  Just like normal children, they have so much energy!

So, when they can play out in the open, it is alway good for them (and for me)!!  This weather also gives me so much energy!  I began making lesson plans of activities, games, etc..

I noticed that recently the boys are really interested in robots!  So we made some robot soldiers!  They are simple, fun, and quick to make!

Robot Soldiers

To avoid fighting, one troop is in red and the other in blue!

Are you ready to make some Robot Soldiers!


– Wine Corks

– Card board (I used the card board of the yogurt packs.)

– Clear Packaging Tape (Wide clear tape.)

– Glue

– Scissors

-Print out of Robots

Doing a random Robot Google search, I discovered this amazing blog:

To Do:

– Print out robots.  Instead of printing them in varying colors, you can print them out normally and have your little one’s color them!

– Glue the robots to the card board.

– Cut out the robots.

-Take a piece of tape long enough to overlap, this will allow for it to hold better.  Place the robot on the cork and attach!  The same is done for each one!

Now your little one’s are ready for some Robot Fun!!



The Four Seasons- Le Quattro Stagioni

Our walk to my son’s school in the morning is a pleasant ten minute walk!  On the way we love to look at the trees and the leaves that have fallen.  My five and a half-year old continues to ask me when summer arrives, or what season are we in.  I decided to have a day lesson of the Four Seasons!

Le Quattro Stagioni

We then spoke of the cycle of the seasons.  I first speak in English, then say the same thing in Italian.  My son is at school most of the day, so at this point when he learns something new, such as the seasons, he is more comfortable speaking about it in Italian.  When I speak to him about the same topic I speak to him in English first then reiterate it in Italian.

We then spoke of each of the seasons as in “The Seasons” PDF:

The Seasons

Identifying items in Italian and English.  We then drew the items or visuals and attached them on our board in the appropriate season!

Here is our board:

I made sure to also include my two year old!

Hope you have as much fun with the seasons as we did!!

Italian Anyone??

My mother and I were always active from Kindergarten to High School.  I always knew I would one day become a mother, and now I am a mother of two amazing boys.

But, I have been struggling to be active in my child’s school.  What’s the problem one may ask?  I live in the country-side of Italy.  My struggles only  begin with the language.

Arriving here only speaking english and spanish, and not knowing anyone only made me want to hide-out.  Now I have realized I need to be more open and and completely re-learn everything not only in a new language but also in a completely different society half-way around the world.

I have begun to quasi-home-school my boys.  I do not have an education background (my Master’s is in fine arts as a costume technologist)  so I have begun to study and learn on-line.  I love how much information is available on-line and most of the information is pretty budget friendly!

Did I mention that in our home we only speak English, or we try to, now that our oldest is almost six years old he uses a English-Italian slang.

My lesson plans began in English, then I realized they also needed to be in Italian.  In Italy most children attend an Asilo, which is almost like a pre-school at the age of three.  It really surprised me how easy it is for our boys to fluently speak both languages, sometimes it seems to be so much more difficult for me.  When my oldest began Asilo I was so worried for him, previous we had only spoken English at home, once he began going all day, he began speaking fluent Italian.

This past summer I decided to organize and run a first every “Camp” for the children of our town!  It was very enjoyable but very challenging for me.  Recently we tried to have our second annual Halloween party, I grew-up celebrating Halloween and even though it is not celebrated to extent I am use to, I want to make sure our boys grow up celebrating it! (Take a stroll through our town.)   Unfortunately because of weather, we had to reschedule and later cancel it this year.

In my posts I would like to share my experiences with others, I would also like to provide free worksheets, activities, etc.
Here’s the first of many!  Take a look!  Pumpkin/Zucca anyone?

Where the road leads you…

and where you arrive.

Thinking about my life, I had always felt to be a pretty adaptable person.  Almost six years ago I arrived in Italy without speaking a lick of Italian.

“I was born and raised in Texas”, (saying this with a Texas accent).

ImageI originally began writing of this adventure on another blog platform.  Now for several reasons I began writing it again, but here!

Take a look of my first post here.

This time I plan to use it more as a diary, provided information about activities, and even post PDF downloads!

For those loyal readers here I am now, for the new readers, welcome and enjoy!!

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I am a Texas Gal who lives in the country-side of Italy.

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