Saturday, August 15, 2009

I LOVE this Song!!.....The Sun is a Mass Of Incandescent Gas...

This extremely educational and catchy tune was written by Lou Singer and Hy Zaret in 1959.
Hy Zaret(who cowrote Unchained Melody)became interested in educational children's music in the late 1950s.
He collaborated with Lou Singer on a six-album series called "Ballads for the Age of Science".
The albums covered the subjects of space, energy and motion, experiments, weather, and nature.
The records were quite successful, and the song "Why Does the Sun Shine?" aka "The Sun Is a Mass of Incandescent Gas"(I love that title)was even covered by They Might Be Giants in 1994 on a cd of the same name.

I first heard this song at a summer camp and not only did the kids love the song but it was a favorite among the counselors as well!
It is fun to sing and can even be put on as a sort of mini musical
(costumes and all).
The spoken parts are wonderful when said by one child or a counselor in an "announcer" type voice.

The sun is a mass of incandescent gas
A gigantic nuclear furnace
Where Hydrogen is built into Helium
At a temperature of millions of degrees

The sun is hot, the sun is not
A place where we could live
But here on Earth there'd be no life
Without the light it gives

We need its light, we need its heat
The sun light that we seek
The sun light comes from our own sun's
Atomic energy

The sun is a mass of incandescent gas
A gigantic nuclear furnace
Where Hydrogen is built into Helium
At a temperature of millions of degrees

The sun is hot...

The sun is so hot that everything on it is a gas
Aluminum, Copper, Iron, and many others

The sun is large...

If the sun were hollow, a million Earth's would fit inside
And yet, it is only a middle size star

The sun is far away...

About 93,000,000 miles away
And that's why it looks so small

But even when it's out of sight
The sun shines night and day

We need its heat, we need its light
The sun light that we seek
The sun light comes from our own sun's
Atomic energy

Scientists have found that the sun is a huge atom smashing machine
The heat and light of the sun are caused by nuclear reactions between
Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Carbon, and Helium

The sun is a mass of incandescent gas
A gigantic nuclear furnace
Where Hydrogen is built into Helium
At a temperature of millions of degrees

The tune on midi can be found at
Why does the sun shine?

Here's a fun (short) Sun song if the first one is too much for you!

Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me.
Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun,
Hiding behind a tree
These little children are asking you
To please come out so we can play with you.
Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun,
Please shine down on,
please shine down on,
Please shine down on me.

Well, that was fun! Now on to the sun activities.

I've made a very short list of some of the activities you can do and included links.
I will only give a little detail on one craft and that is Sun Painting/Printing.

Make a Sundial
Make Sun Tea
Make Sun Catcher
Make a Sun Pinata

Sun Paint Picture/Info from Dharma Trading

Sun Printing/Painting

The very simplest way to sunprint is to use Dark colored construction paper, Natural objects such as leaves, twigs and pinecones; and also household objects such as scissors, keys and old cutlery.
The Process:
Place the construction paper outside somewhere in the direct sunlight.
Give the child/ren the freedom to arrange the objects in any way on the paper.
Allow the objects sit for at least two hours in the sun (time depends on strength of sunlight)
Remove the objects to discover what the sun has painted.

You can also purchase Sun Printing Kit which come with photo-sensitive paper.

Another method that can be done with older children or adults:

The easiest method of sun printing is actually sun painting, not dyeing. You saturate fabric with any transparent fabric paint, arrange objects on the damp fabric, then expose the assemblage to the sun or any hot lamp. It is actually the infrared light (radiant heat) which does the trick. It is not the ultraviolet in the light which does the work, as is sometimes claimed, but instead infrared, so a halogen lamp is more suitable than a fluorescent sun lamp. Exposed areas dry first, in the hot light; the exposed fabric, as it dries, sucks additional wet dye out from under whatever you have placed on top of the fabric. The result is lighter-colored 'shadows' wherever you placed the masking objects. The color is deeper where the light from the sun, or the hot lamp, was able to reach. This procedure has been widely popularized for use with Seta Color brand fabric paint. Other brands of thin, transparent fabric paint will work, as well; for example, PRO Chemical & Dye provides instructions for "Sun Printing using PROfab Textile Paints", and Jacquard includes instructions on their online "How To" page for Dye-Na-Flow fabric paint. Sun painting is a highly suitable project for children and beginners.
Quote from All about Hand Dyeing pburch

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Princess and the Pea.......with lots of craft ideas

THERE was once a Prince who wished to marry a Princess; but then she must be a real Princess. He travelled all over the world in hopes of finding such a lady; but there was always something wrong.
Princesses he found in plenty; but whether they were real Princesses it was impossible for him to decide, for now one thing, now another, seemed to him not quite right about the ladies.
At last he returned to his palace quite cast down, because he wished so much to have a real Princess for his wife.

One evening a fearful tempest arose, it thundered and lightened, and the rain poured down from the sky in torrents: besides, it was as dark as pitch. All at once there was heard a violent knocking at the door, and the old King, the Prince's father, went out himself to open it.

It was a Princess who was standing outside the door. What with the rain and the wind, she was in a sad condition; the water trickled down from her hair, and her clothes clung to her body. She said she was a real Princess.

"Ah! we shall soon see that!" thought the old Queen-mother; however, she said not a word of what she was going to do; but went quietly into the bedroom, took all the bed-clothes off the bed, and put three little peas5 on the bedstead. She then laid twenty mattresses one upon another over the three peas, and put twenty feather beds over the mattresses.

Upon this bed the Princess was to pass the night.

The next morning she was asked how she had slept. "Oh, very badly indeed!" she replied. "I have scarcely closed my eyes the whole night through. I do not know what was in my bed, but I had something hard under me, and am all over black and blue.
It has hurt me so much!"

Now it was plain that the lady must be a real Princess, since she had been able to feel the three little peas through the twenty mattresses and twenty feather beds. None but a real Princess could have had such a delicate sense of feeling.

The Prince accordingly made her his wife; being now convinced that he had found a real Princess. The three peas were however put into the cabinet of curiosities, where they are still to be seen, provided they are not lost.

Wasn't this a lady of real delicacy?

written by Hans Christian Andersen in 1835

For something a little different go to youtube and watch Faerie Tale Theatre's version of The Princess and the Pea

Why not make your own Princess bed with "mattresses" and Pea included?

You'll need:

A doll bed
A "Princess" doll
(if you want to do the whole story why not find a Prince and a Queen?)
Pieces of colorful polar fleece (large enough to be cut to fit the bed)
A Piece of Paper or Cardboard to make a pattern
Tape Measure or Ruler
Marker or Tailors Chalk
A dried Pea or a green bead

1)Measure your doll bed to find out the size your "mattresses" will be.
You can fit them to the frame or have them overlap more like quilts.
2)Make a pattern using your paper/cardboard.
3)Place the pattern on your fabric and use the marker/tailors chalk to trace it.
4)Cut out as many "matttesses" as you would like. The more the merrier.
5)Place your "pea" on the edge of the bed and then cover with your "mattresses".
6)Use your dolls (or puppets or action figures whatever works for you) to act out the story of the Princess and the Pea.

This activity will work with children as young as preschool age if they are carefully monitored and you use safety scissors.

For an older child upgrade:
You might consider making "mattresses" by using fabric and quilt batting to make small puffy quilts.
Cut a front and back out of your pattern and hand sew them together, leaving an opening at the top. Cut a piece of batting with the same pattern and insert into fabric. Slip stitch mattress/quilt closed.
(this pic found at

More Craft Ideas:

This craft can be found at the

The directions for this fabulous cake can be found at

Here is a wonderful rendition of the Princess and the Pea story by author/artist Lauren Child, author of the "Charlie and Lola" and the "Clarice Bean" books.(you can find the book at