Wednesday, June 29, 2011

DIY Recycled Crayons

One of the activities on our Summer Fun List is to make homemade crayons.  Sweet Girl and I tackled this project over the past week and had a lot of fun!  There are tons of tutorials out there in blog-land so I read a few and followed the basic directions.

First, you peel off all those little pesky wrappers.  This took quite a few days.  It was actually quite relaxing.  Sweet Girl helped a little, but I did most of the work since it was a little tedious.

Then, we broke up all the crayons and separated them by color.  

We baked them in the oven at 225 degrees for about 15 minutes until they were melted.  Once the pans cooled, I popped them in the freezer for about an hour.  The crayon blocks came out very easily once they were completely cooled. 

We made both small and large crayon blocks (using a regular muffin tin and a mini muffin tin).  They have been great for crayon rubbings and just drawing in general.  They are very easy for little hands to hold!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Homemade Beads

Sweet Girl and I made homemade beads following the recipe from MaryAnn Kohl's book First Art: Art Experiences for Toddlers and Twos.  We had a lot of fun making them and then painting them.  The recipe is pretty simple and I had everything we needed in our pantry.  Basically you make a playclay using flour, salt, cornstarch and water.  Sweet Girl helped me mix up all the ingredients (she LOVES helping in the kitchen).  And then once they were dry (which took several days)....she painted them and decorated them with glitter. 

We ended up making our beads a little on the large side so they would be easy for little hands to handle.  And they did start out round, but Sweet Girl enjoyed "squishing" them all to make them flat.

After they dried, Sweet Girl made a pretty (and very heavy) necklace!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Toddler Art: Painting on Canvas

Michael's had some large canvases on sale (2 for $5) a few weeks ago so I picked up some to use for some simple art activities.  Sweet Girl loves to paint, but has never painted on canvas before! 

She had such a fun time painting and made a couple of beautiful masterpieces. 

We did the majority of the painting outside since I knew it would end up pretty messy.  I loved to watch her explore with the paint.  First she began the typical way of painting, then moved into splattering the paint around on the canvases, followed by finger painting and then eventually body painting.

Luckily, she also enjoyed cleaning up herself and our deck!  It turned out to be quiet a fun little afternoon and kept her occupied for over an hour (which I think is a world-record for toddlers!!).

And now we have some super colorful art in our kitchen!!  Don't you just love toddler art???

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!!

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful fathers out there!!  We have an amazing dada and had so much making all his father's day gifts!!  He loved them all and even got a little teary-eyed!!  (You'll see why when you scroll down!!)

Here's a quick look at our homemade gifts/cards for our dada!!

We also went to our pottery place and painted a coffee mug and duck (Sweet Girl insisted dada needed a duckie!!)

Happy Father's Day Dada!!
We love you so much and are so thankful for all you do for us!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Toddler Art: Marble Painting with Shaving Cream

Sweet Girl and I have discovered the neatest way to make marbled paintings!  Shaving cream art!!  That's right....using shaving cream to make fun swirl-y pictures!  It's really so simple and fun to do and the end result is beyond amazing (in my and Sweet Girl's opinions!!)

All you need is a shallow dish large enough to fit your paper, shaving cream and food coloring.

First, you want to cover the bottom of your dish or pan with shaving cream (fyi...I get my shaving cream at the dollar store).  You really don't need too much, but just make sure the bottom is covered.  Then add a few drops of food coloring and let your tot swirl it all around.  Sweet Girl is using a popsicle stick in the picture above, but in other times we've done this activity, she used both chopsticks and her fingers (note...the food coloring does discolor fingers and takes a few washes before it is completely gone).

Next, lay your piece of paper on top of the shaving cream and push down gently to make sure the shaving cream is covering all areas of the paper. 

Then lift out your paper and let it dry for about 10 minutes.  After about 10 minutes...scrap off the shaving cream and marvel at your amazing picture!!  (I recommend using a popsicle stick or something of that nature to scrap off the shaving cream.)

Here's a couple close ups of the incredible marbling! 

I loved them so much I framed two of the marbled prints and hung them in our guest bathroom!

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

DIY Pinecone Bird Feeders

We made the neatest bird feeders last week and I thought I would share with you all!  They were so simple and so much fun to make!  It's one of the projects on our summer to-do list! 

All you need is a few pinecones, some peanut butter and bird seed.

I rolled the pinecones in the peanut butter and used a knife to "smooth" it out a little.  Sweet Girl tried to roll them, but they were a little to prickily for her!  After they were coated, she sprinkled bird seed all over them.

Then she ran (literally) down to the tree to hang them up! 

It's been fun watching the birds (and deer) come and nibble off of our bird feeders.  I have a feeling we will have to make at least one a week to keep up with the demand!! 

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Tot Trays

Here's a peek at our trays for this week!!  I'm kinda in "summer mode" already, so I didn't really have a theme in mind for these.  I just threw some things together that I know Sweet Girl enjoys!

Tonging colorful pom poms

Matching alphabet letters

Putting erasers on the end of pencils

Pouring pony beads

Lacing wooden objects

Counting cars, trucks and planes
(The counting sheet is from here)

Tot School

Friday, June 10, 2011

Playdough Monsters

Sweet Girl and I made playdough monsters today and I just had to share!!  I saw the idea here and knew we just had to do this activity!!  We both had a great time making them!  I always love finding new things to do with our playdough collection!

All you need is some playdough, googly eyes and crafts sticks.

I just set them all out for Sweet Girl and told her we were going to make some monsters.  I flattened the playdough for her and then she made them "scary" (or so she said!).

Looks pretty scary to me!!

What's your child's favorite thing to do with playdough?

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gum Ball Machine Craft

Sweet Girl and I had the most fun making our own gum ball machine today!!  I saw an old post from Valerie over at Frugal Family Fun and couldn't wait to make one for our house! 

All you need to make one for yourself are some paper bags and sticky dots.  To make it some what of learning experience, Sweet Girl and I talked about the different shapes that the gumball machine was made of, as well as the different colors of gum balls!  This has been a big hit in our house.  Last night before bed, Sweet Girl gave it a hug and said "I wube you so much"!

Check out the Frugal Family Fun post for most detailed instructions!!

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Tot Trays

We're slowly getting into "summer mode" so I just threw some trays together for this week!  No particular theme in mind...these are just things that Sweet Girl really enjoys!!

Matching mini farm animals

Tonging fruit from one container to another

Teddy bear game
(Click here to see how I made our game and to get your own printable)

Pouring beans

Placing pick-up-sticks in a container
(Sweet Girl actually made this activity a little harder by placing a pony bead on top of each stick!)

Tot School
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