16 July 2010

State Quarter Etchings

We are a goal-setting family and this summer, Abby and I sat down a created a summer goal list. There is the daily list; you know, the things she wants to do every day. 1.) Exercise 2.) Read 3.) Do something creative. Then, we came up with a long-term goal that will take the whole summer and maybe even longer: Collect and make etchings of all 50 state quarters (oh, and borrowing from someone who has already collected them is NOT allowed!). I thought it would be a great way to review school skills like sorting, money, and math throughout summer holidays with the bonus of developing art skills and a healthy dose of patience and perseverance. How's that for a summer goal? (I just may have been stretching it with the whole school thing, but it has been fun!) We started by sorting through the quarters in her bank.We saved the eagle quarters to trade with family members (and a few nice store clerks at our local drug store). All we needed to get started was a paper list on which to do the etchings, some quarters and a cute coin purse in which to keep them (an absolute must- the cuter, the better!)
Then we matched our quarters to their names, discussed them in detail, found them on a map (a dollar USA map place-mat from Wal*Mart) and chose a colored pencil for each one. It was so fun to really study each one of them and it led to many questions... oh, so many questions... and even more questions...There is a real trick to etching and I highly recommend practicing on scratch paper until you get a good feel for the pencils and develop a technique. We found it easier to tape our quarter to the table and then orient the paper to where we wanted it. When doing the actual etchings DO NOT use the tip of your pencil, use the side by angling it quite a bit. Then, holding the paper steady and using medium pressure, scribble evenly over the image.
You may need to help hold the paper if a young child is the one doing the etching. You could also tape the paper to the table as well to help with stability.
You will need to go over your image multiple times in different directions. Do not get discouraged if the image is barely discernible the first go-over. By the second and third, things start looking really good. Keep going until you are pleased with the result.
The etcher will experience excitement (seriously; actual excitement) as the image gets clearer and clearer. Abby thought it was like magic and wanted to etch every coin she could find- just wait until she discovers leaves! Here are a couple of our favourites so far although I am sure these will change as the summer progresses: We keep everything in a neat folder and about once a week, we bust it out and fill it in with the new quarters we acquired. It is amazing how she remembers which ones we have and which ones we need. Oh! There's another school skill- memory exercises! Boo-yeah!
Hey! Guess what? I finally learned how to create and embed a PDF file so here is a copy of the list for you:border="0" />Our State Quarter Etchings
I wholeheartedly recommend this activity! It really has turned into such an awesome experience on so many levels for me as well as my amazing, almost-a-first-grader daughter.
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  1. this is great! I'm going to print it out for my almost-second grader. Thanks!

    and thanks for stopping by to view my mural.

  2. This is a fantastic idea for all ages { I think I would really like it too!} Thanks so much for sharing the printable. We will be trying this! Thanks so much for joining the Sunday Showcase. Hope you have a wonderful week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  3. Wow! Cute idea! What a great learning activity. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Hi Bethany, Just wanted to let you know I featured your etchings today. Stop by and grab a featured button if you like. Thanks again for joining the Sunday Showcase Party - I greatly appreciate it! ~ Stephanie Lynn


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