Finger Paints and Stamping Fun!

I LOVE painting, and Caleb has been talking about painting a lot the last few days. First thing this morning I made a batch of my edible finger paint, and when my sweet boy woke up I surprised him with this painting station.

I really wanted to do more than just finger painting, so I grabbed straws and toilet paper rolls (two things I obsessively collect which drives Corey crazy) and stuck one of each into each of the six colors I made. I got Caleb naked, and gave him some paper. Then (last picture) I created examples to show him how the stamps work, and also to show him with the straw you can blow the paint around. He LOVED blowing the paint.

He really focused on the color red today. I was surprised. I made two purples and pink for him because he’s been so into them, but red was the cool color today.

After three of the toilet paper roll stamp paintings and one of the straw paintings I gave him a paintbrush. That’s what led to the second picture, and I loved watching him paint lines and then smack the brush against it like a stamp. It was cool to see that the concept we were working on really stuck with him. Lastly I took a straw and drew his name into his painting! I think once it’s dry we’ll put it on his bedroom door.

Originally I planned to do more. I was going to “stamp” his hand to make some Valentines Day cards, animal prints, etc… but he wasn’t having it. My normally messy loving boy really didn’t want to get his hands dirty today, so I didn’t force it. The paint only takes a minute to create anyway, so if he seems more willing later on, we’ll just do it then. I want to get some actual stamp pads and stamps. I think he’d love that, and he liked stamping his hand last Friday.

Advertisements

Loving Hand-Print Crafts

This weekend was really peaceful for my little family. We all had it off of work and school, so it was the perfect time to work on some crafts and cooking! I was inspired to do some loving crafts.

The first was the hand-print tree with heart leaves coming off of it. How cute is that? Very simple too. I just traced Caleb’s hand and arm, cut it out and taped it into place. Then I cut out a bunch of different sized hearts, and Caleb helped me put them into place. I was quite impressed with his choices, and only guided him if there were too many overlapping. Then I cut a piece of green paper to look like grass, and fanned it out to make it 3-D. Lastly, I pinned it up onto our butterfly wall, and it looks completely adorable.

The next project was the hand upon hand project (picture three). Super simple, but I love the way it over laps. Blue for Corey, Purple for me, and Orange for Caleb. This one, believe it or not, was the biggest pain because Corey’s hand is so big! I had to trace it three times because it kept fitting weirdly. Eventually we fixed it up to fit on the background with ours. Imagine having it with a teen, elementary aged kiddo, toddler, and new born… Someday my friends! That would be so cute though.

Lastly was the middle project; family hands making hearts. I loved this idea! All you need to do is fold a piece of paper, then trace the hand you want to use with the thumb and pointer touching the crease. As long as you don’t cut the crease in those two places, when you unfold, you’ll have a cute heart! I taped ours together and pinned it above a painting of a heart I did many years ago. It’s a good addition to our living room I think.

Valentines day is coming up soon, and these would be some fun crafts for any age. Caleb prefers stamping his hands compared to having them traced, but he loves picking colors and placing items. I’m a big fan of tape, because you can move things around if it’s not “just right.” I hope y’all enjoy these, and if you try them out, please share them with me!

Puzzles Gallore: Day Five of Pre-school Home-schooling

12171676_960685147327125_2001122395_o

Today went better than every other day this week. The big problem I was having is that I hadn’t prepped the “class” before we started. I would set him up with a coloring sheet, and I’d sit besides him cutting and gluing. Of course what mama was doing was SO much more interesting. Frustration would ensue, and it would take a thousand times longer to get everything done, and Caleb would have a harder time getting interested.

The big difference today, is I made sure before we even tried to start that everything was ready to go, and we didn’t start at his desk. We sang Old McDonald, and I signed it for him. We went over what a cow was a few more times, and how they live on farms. Then we moved onto the Nursery Rhyme of the week. I made up a little fold book with the characters to “Hey Diddle Diddle.” As I recited the rhyme I pointed out the Cat, Fiddle, Cow, Moon, Dog, Smile/Laugh, Dish, and Spoon. Caleb loved that he had a book to identify the things from.

Once we had danced and sung, and he was calm, we moved over to the desk and I pulled out a cow puzzle I made for him. First he had a completed one where he matched the cut out spots to. Then he had a blank cow shape to “add the spots to.” I got the idea for it from a bus version our Families Read instructor made for him. This was a fantastic Fine Motor activity. Placing the pieces, matching sizes… Another thing, which you’ll probably notice is, rather than a normal or round cow, it’s square/rectangle based. I decided on that because of our focus on squares for the week.

Speaking of buses and our Families Read instructor… We also worked on this awesome name puzzle today. Caleb loves buses, and he’s a big fan of his own name. He liked mixing up the letters and putting them back together. He loves telling us that, “C is for Caleb!” I started by asking him what it said. Imagine my surprise when he said, “Caleb.” This is an awesome example of sight words. Then I pointed to each letter, said the name, and told him to please say it. It was kind of interested. For “A” he said Ah. For “B” he said AB. We repeated the activity a few times, but he kept saying them that way. C, L, and E he had no problem with. Then I mixed them up and just put C and B where they belonged. He took the reigns and put them back in order, though a ended up upside-down. All around it was a good activity for him though.

12185990_960685143993792_683501427_o

Autumnal Paper Chain: Home-school Pre-school Day Four

12180922_960236644038642_1330236384_o

Caleb had a very productive day of learning. We were supposed to focus on the letter A and number 1, but he knows those pretty well. We did a coloring page of the letter A, and talked about “one crayon at a time,” but then we moved on to something way more fun, because I kept looking out the window and seeing the beautiful colors of Maine in fall.

I took him outside to go learn about, and pick, leaves. We talked about how they start on trees, and then fall to the ground as it gets cold. Then I showed him all the colors they come in. I asked him to pick a bunch for our craft. I wanted to grab some of the incredibly beautiful and bright leaves… but I’m short. So we ended up with some cool gradient leaves instead. Orange and yellow, green and yellow, and red and yellow are what we ended up with.

Before we went I cut up a sheet of green, yellow, red, and orange construction paper, then when we got home I showed him the papers and how they matched the leaves we collected. Next it was time to talk about patterns and practice our color recognition while building a cool autumn leaves paper chain. I had him hand me ONE green, one yellow, one orange, one red, etc, etc, until all the papers were gone. He would hand them to me sometimes, and other times he would slide it through the last chain. We clothes pinned it up, and Caleb chose which chains would have leaves hanging from them. So much fun!

Even though this wasn’t originally on the curriculum, figuring it’s cow week not seasons week, I decided I couldn’t pass the chance up. We still got to talk about green (the color of the week), read a few books, and the fine and gross motor skills used to identify and say colors, as well as threading the paper through the previous chain, was a great practice, and covered what was planned. Oh, and while we were reading I pointed to a piece of broccoli. I asked Caleb what it was, because he loves broccoli and can say the word, but instead of identifying it he said, “Green.” I was really pleased. It was a fun day of learning for the both of us, and really nice to bring nature into our learning.

Day One, Two, and Three of Home-school Pre-school

11259971_959782424084064_1415463741622518385_o

I’m so sorry for the lack of active pictures. It’s really hard to do school and get pictures without someone to work the camera. I’m also really sorry I didn’t post day one or two. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about this anyhow!

Monday was really simple, but a total blast. We started by introducing the learning board, and more specifically introducing the theme of the week. This week we are focusing on cows, the word calf, the color green, shape square, letter A, number 1, and nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle.”

I woke him up with this poem:

Little Calf by Katrina Lybbert

“Good morning, little calf,” gentle mother cow said.

“It’s time to get up from your sweet hay filled bed.”

Little calf jumped, stamped his feet, swished his tail,

And followed mama past a shiny milk pail.

Out into the barnyard, holding his head high,

Little calf look up to the blue, blue sky,

Birds flying past chirped a joyful song,

Little calf smiled, and felt happy all day long.

Then we watched a few YouTube videos about cows, and then we started talking about calves. We’re still breastfeeding occasionally, so I explained to Caleb that calves drink their mom’s milk the same way he drinks mine. As the day went on we sang “Old McDonald” over and over, but just talked about him having a cow. I had him get on all fours with me, and we moo’ed like a cow. It was a lot of singing and moving for the first day.

Tuesday was a little harder for us. Caleb wasn’t a huge fan of sitting. That’s okay with me though. The focus of the day was on green and squares. Because Caleb didn’t want to sit still, we decided to just walk around the house pointing out all the square and green things we could find. I figured we could just do the other activities on Wednesday…

Wednesday, today, was wonderful. We woke up with the Old McDonald song, and an awesome green outfit which to my surprise he could identify. After we got out of school we went to the library. I found a ton of great books today. The best was, “The Great Big Green” by Peggy Clifford. Everything is green until the end, and it ends up being the Earth. We also went through books about farms (to talk about cows), a letter book which we focuses on the A with, and a number book where we counted up to three, because Caleb can count to three and wouldn’t stop at one. When we got home I sat him down with a few worksheets I printed off. One had a tree dropping leaves with dotted lines showing the fall pattern. I showed him how to draw lines based on the dotted lines. He said, no. Instead he drew lines from the bottom of the paper to the top. Totally acceptable to me. A line is a line. Then we colored a square green. It’s part of a set of shape cards we’ll be working on through the weeks. He helped me glue the name (square) to the back of the card, and we moved on. I cut out the template for a cow cube, and he glued… some of the spots that we were instructed to. It came out really cute though. We talked about how there was only ONE cow cube, how a cube is made of squares, and that it was, obviously, a cow. Totally the perfect project for this week!

12105747_959782427417397_6260671885531169079_n

Two Quick and Easy Fall Crafts

WIN_20151016_203837 (2)

Every other Friday Corey and I go to a parenting/parents financial/life skills class, and afterwards Caleb joins us for a play group. Today we read Brown Bear as a group, and then did a few activities the instructor had set out for us. My favorite, and one that Corey and Caleb spent a lot of time on, was painting with cinnamon! It was just a little water mixed with cinnamon. It looked really cool. The water turned the paper a light brown, and the cinnamon gave the bear’s fur some really great texture. The best part was how great it smelt. I have a ton of pumpkin spice in my pantry that I’ll be doing this with on a fairly regular bases.

The other activity only took a few minutes, but made Caleb very happy. I was working on his curriculum tonight, and that involved a ton of cutting and gluing. While I was working, he asked to help, but I had to say no. As soon as I was finished, however, I threw this second craft together. I ripped a piece of purple paper in half, cut out two pumpkins, two stems, then let Caleb make a few cute in the orange paper left over. While he was cutting, I glued my pumpkin down (the one on the left), and then asked him to do the same. He put glue onto the pumpkin and laid it in the corner. I smoothed it out, and then he glued down the stem. I grabbed us a couple of green markers, and he drew some scribble “vines” on his while I worked on my pumpkin’s vines.

Using a paint brush, gluing things down, placing the stem… these are all great motor skill practice. The more things you do, especially with little pieces, the better your kiddo will get at it all. I wouldn’t have thought to let him cut something a few months ago. Now, after watching how careful he is with everything else, I can totally trust him to be capable. I love watching this little man growing before my eyes.

Reduce, Reuse, and Craft!: Turtle Drink Holders

WIN_20151015_180612 (2)

Corey has a slight soda addiction. Very often, aka every day, he runs to 7-11, and brings home his soda, as well as a snack and drinks for Caleb and I, in a drink holder. I’ve been keeping them all pilled up in my pantry for a few months now, because I knew eventually I could use them for something. Last night a friend of mine was telling me her nickname used to be Shelly. This led to a conversation about turtles, and the creation of this craft!

Walking by this afternoon, I spotted my pile, and instantly thought, “Turtle shell!” I grabbed a bunch of green, orange, and yellow markers. Caleb and I sat on the living room floor going to town on the drink holder. I colored one of the triangles green, and he copied. Then I outlined everything in different colors, and had Caleb cover everything else in his cute multi-colored scribbles. He really went to town on it and I’m completely in love. He learned about some pattern recognition, we talked about colors, and I told him about turtles while we colored.

Once the shell was done, I just grabbed a piece of paper and drew a quick head, tail, and legs onto it. I’m sure one of you awesome readers can do something even better with it, but Caleb was anxious to rip the cup holder apart. There was a little rip, and he had started picking at it. I asked him if I could get a picture first, and he said, “Okay mom. One.” After I handed it back he ripped it to pieces, and then colored more on the pieces. Silly, silly little boy.

Let me know if you try this! It was a ton of fun for Caleb and me. I think the next craft will be turning one into a cow.

Color my Life

Chalk

I’ve always been a very critical person when it came to myself. I like to call myself artistic. I play piano and guitar, paint, draw, crochet, make jewelery and bows… I’m certainly not a master in any of it. Knowing that whatever I was making or playing wasn’t perfect would always make me feel low. Eventually I’d stop doing whatever it was other than at home by myself or with Caleb.

Now, that’s the thing. Caleb doesn’t know that his artwork wouldn’t be considered perfect. He doesn’t know that his finger paintings would be considered anything more than some splashes of colors. He is proud. He has fun making things. He takes pride in presenting his colorful art work and you know what? That makes it the absolutely most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. He makes art, or strums his guitar, because it makes him happy. You should see him go at it screaming a little song and strumming his guitar for us. It’s just the sweetest thing to watch.

We can all take a lesson from Caleb. Don’t take life so seriously. Don’t do things you enjoy for other. Do it for you. If you like to draw, do it. You don’t have to make a masterpiece as long as you have fun along the way. Kids are so smart. Let’s let them color our lives.

Mixing Colors!

end of mixing colors

When Caleb was 6 months I first posted about this edible finger paint I like to make for him. The other day we were feeling a bit creative (aka Caleb was trying to draw on everything in site) so I pulled out the paint, stripped him down (well, I threw this pair of boxers my nana gave him over his diaper so it wouldn’t get dirty), and plopped him into the high chair. I had some paperwork to fill out so while he was painting, I let him have at it so I could get my work done. He started out like any other day, pushing the paint around with his fingers and spoon. Then my curious little boy decided it would be so much more fun to toss the paper away and dump the paint right onto the tray to play in. This, was the first step to a great educational activity.

Mixing Colors

He started to mix the colors together so I put the paperwork aside and we talked. First we named the three main colors. Red, Blue, and Yellow. I asked him to mix together the blue and yellow. Once he saw the green, he shocked me by pointing out the fact that it was, indeed, green. He wouldn’t say the other colors but he would point to the correct one when asked. We mixed up orange and purple as well.

This simple activity, that didn’t take more than a few moments to transition into, was so much fun for the both of us. I could have just pointed to colors in a book or shown him a video. Instead though, he was able to see in front of his own eyes, using his own hands, how mixing two colors would create something completely new. I asked him today, totally to show off, not going to lie, what blue and yellow make. He said green. That’s so awesome to me.

11377293_895449140517393_8071595240489581995_n

We made a little keepsake for this cool activity.

So now just because I can’t resist, here’s some of the paintings he ended up making after our little color mixing lesson. They were all created by him smacking (booming) the paint and then smacking the paper.

11390034_895449070517400_5243990380847345827_n 11392986_895449020517405_5305995510238477510_n 11393045_895449053850735_2663143116221931856_n 11412401_895449090517398_2040997416012180984_n 11427216_895449040517403_4942252702332934945_n

Easy Sharpie Crafts for Parents and Kids Too!

Well on this dreary, rainy, stay home day, Caleb and I have really made the best of it! Tons of cuddles, bible stories and songs, and games being played here. While he napped though, I had some fun of my own with these awesome Sharpie crafts!

Tie Dyed Onsie

Sharpie Tie Dye

 

This is a GREAT way to Tie Dye because not only is it cheap and done with something most people already own, but it’s also mess free and relies on your own decision of design and color. All you need for this is a couple of Sharpies and Rubbing Alcohol. To make circles like the onsie kind of had you will also need a cup and rubber band.

If you go with the circle design, place the shirt over the cup and wrap a rubber band around it to stay in place. Next just draw your pattern. Try to avoid complimentary colors next to one another because when they blend it will turn an icky shade of brown. Once you finish drawing, dribble the rubbing alcohol over it and watch the magic happen. You can do this until the whole thing is covered or just a little are. I saw someone who made “firework” shirts for her dance students who were dancing to Firework from Katy Perry and she had three circles on each. Once these are air dried, I recommend throwing them in the dryer for a little while, then hand washing them to get the alcohol out, then drying them again.

 

Custom Coffee Cup

Cups

I’m wrapped around my little man’s finger so of course I had to include him in these. I love how simple it is though. Next time I do it, I’m using white cups and I’ll be putting some more effort into the design, but for a test this worked out fairly well and it’s a cute little keep sake. This also makes an amazing gift for things such as Birthdays and Mother’s Day. All you need is an oven, coffee cup, and Sharpies.

It’s really this easy. There is no real trick. Draw on the cup, try to avoid the top or just draw on the opposite side you are sipping JUST IN CASE IT RUNS, then pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the cups in for about half an hour more so they cool with the oven. Then take them out and let them cool completely. You now have a permanently personalized cup.

These are both wonderful activities for toddlers. What mom wouldn’t want a personalized cup from her two year old? Play around with it. Use it to teach shapes and colors. There are so many uses and it’s so easy that much planning isn’t needed. Good luck, have fun, and thanks for reading!