Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Toddler Art - Body Tracing and Coloring

We had a lot of fun tracing and coloring our bodies the other day! 

I taped down some left over packing paper and then traced Sweet Girl's little body.  After it was traced, we labeled all of her body parts and then she "colored" them in and "dressed herself". 

It was a great little activity for a rainy little day.  I saved the paper and plan on doing the same thing again when she is a little older.  It will be neat to see how much she has grown and how much her coloring skills have developed!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Drawing and Writing

I am in full cleaning and organization mode at our house so I decided to hold off on our tot trays this week.  Not to mention that Little Man is constantly on the go and I still haven't found the best method for us and our trays.  We've tried the whole "leave them in a drawer" option, but I feel like they definitely don't get used as often as when they were left out on our little table.  Still kinda struggling with that.  Anyway....we have mainly been doing fun art projects, drawing, coloring and playing with stickers.  My little lady surprised me the other day and did some AMAZING drawing and writing!!  It's been so fun to watch her scribbles turn into "people" and letters.

This is a drawing of herself. 

This just blew me away!  This is her name. 

And here is her name again.  (I made her do it again and again because I was just so amazed!!)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Toddler Art - Exploring Papers

If I know we are staying home in the afternoon I try to have some new and fun activity set up for Sweet Girl for when she gets up from her nap.  I found this idea over at The Artful Parent and knew I wanted to try it out!!  Today, I brought out our super fun Crayola Slick Stixs and taped down a couple of different types of paper to her small table.

I used: bubble wrap, tin foil, fingerpaint paper and cardstock.

This activity kept her occupied for quite a while.  She really enjoyed coloring on the different papers and she REALLY loved the bubble wrap.  I'm hoping to try some bubble wrap painting this week!! 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Baby Fun - Discovery Basket

So....this little guy is keeping me pretty busy these days!!  This silly man loves to roam around and gets into everything!!  He will play with a toy for a minute or two, but usually quickly loses interest and moves onto other things....usually things that are not toys.

I put together a discovery basket for Sweet Girl when she was about Little Man's age and she really loved it!  I pulled out the basket recently and added a few new things to it. 

Here's what is in our basket:
Several scraps of fabric with different textures (corduroy, burlap, cotton)
A knotted piece of rope
Empty water bottle
Wooden spoon
Two plastic spoons
Bean bag
Plastic container filled with black beans
Paper mache box
Golf ball
Small tupperware bowl

As with most babies his age, Little Man explores all things with his mouth.  I've made sure nothing is too small for his mouth and that everything is sealed very well (shakers, noise makers).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Practical Life - Washing Baby

Let me introduce you to the new favorite activity at our house.....WASHING A BABY!!  Seriously...Sweet Girl has done this a ga-zillion times this week.  We definitely have the cleanest babies on the block!! 

She's really good at undressing the baby and it's getting easier for her to put her clothes back on.  Her face is priceless when she is able to do it all by herself!!  Little. Miss. Independent!

We actually have this little baby bathtub that she got for her 2nd birthday that works perfectly, but any container or even bowl would work!! 

Try it out!!  I guarentee your little one will become addicted too!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Toddler Art - Contact Paper and Watercolors

Sweet Girl wanted to play around with our liquid watercolor paints the other day so I perused one of my favorite blogs, The Artful Parent, for a fun activity.  Since Sweet Girl isn't able to cut contact paper yet, I cut out different shapes for us and then laid out our watercolor paper and watercolors.

While she was removing the paper backing from the contact paper, we talked about what shape the pieces were, if they were big or little, etc.

Then she used several different types of brushes to apply the liquid watercolors.  She was quite facinated by how the color would only stay on the paper. 

(Couldn't let go of baby long enough to paint, huh?)

Once they dried, I peeled away the contact paper.  It didn't come off as easily as I had anticipated....probably because our paper was pretty saturated, but oh well!!  It was a fun little learning activity!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

DIY Sticker Books

Sweet Girl has a fascination with stickers.  She usually just uses a piece of paper which eventually gets tossed but I thought that sticker books would be more fun and more useful to her!!

For the cover and back of our books we used some of our shaving cream art.  The inside pages are just pieces of colored cardstock.  Then we used the sewing machine to bind them.  Sweet Girl loved helping me sew!!

I love that they are a little "neater".  All those pieces of paper were started to collect in our house!!  I've even stashed one in my purse for when we are out and plan on making some new ones to take with us on an upcoming flight to see family!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Baby Fun - DIY Rattles and Noise Makers

Little Man is actively exploring EVERYTHING these days!!  He will play with an actual toy for a minute or two, but quickly moves onto something else.  He is in love with water bottles and tupperware for some reason so I decided to make him some rattles and noise makers!  They are so simple to make and you can use just about anything!

For ours I used water bottles, small tupperware containers and a spice jar.  In our containers I added: pony beads, wooden beads, sesame seeds and black beans.

These have been quite a hit with Little Man!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Toddler Approved Travel Toys

We have done a lot of road-tripping lately including a REALLY LONG 20-hour trip to Florida!  Needless to say, I have had no choice but to be prepared on our trips with lots of fun travel "toys" and activities.  Here are our top 5 favorites from this summer!! 

Dora Water Wow Doodle Book (Dora the Explorer-Nickelodeon)
Water WOW Doodle Book
These have been a lifesaver for our road trips!  They are completely mess free, color very quickly and dry just as fast!  They pictures and colors are super vibrant!  Sweet Girl has spent hours using these!!

Mudpuppy Princess Magnetic Figures
Magnetic Dress Up Set
This set comes in a really nice tin which is also used as your magnetic surface.  This has also been quite a hit with Sweet Girl!!

Flashcard Fun
Click here for the post on our flashcard rings!!  They are perfect for the car!!

Our homemade I-Spy Book
I wish I would have made more for our road trips!!  It's always nice to see a little piece of "home" when you are traveling!!

Band-Aid - Children's Adhesive Bandages, Disney Princess, Assorted Sizes 20 ea
Band-aids, band-aids and more band-aids
Seriously....I think we have been through about 10 boxes of band-aids this summer!!  I usually save them for when we have finished up everything else and Sweet Girl is bored.  She will peel open the band-aids for hours without looking up or making a peep!!  Yes, I usually have a ga-zillion wrappers to clean up once we stop, but it is totally worth it!!

And some of our other favorites are:
Books (I get mine from the dollar store)
Books on CD
Stickers and paper
Sing-a-long CDs

What about you???  How do you and your kiddos make it through those long car trips???

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fruit Counter Cards - Printable

I received several requests asking for copies of the fruit pattern cards we use for our tot trays.  (Can be found on our tot trays here and here).

These are just pattern strips that I created by photographing our fruit counters in different patterns.  I printed mine on 5x7 photo paper and then cut them into strips, but you could easily print on any type of paper.

We use these fruit counters from Lakeshore Learning, but you could easily print off two sets and cut up one set to use as your pattern pieces.

There are five different pattern strips.  I think they are all together on one file, but if not, please let me know.  I'll try to correct it if I can!!!  And as always, please use my printables for personal use only!  Thanks!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Tot Activities

We were off visiting my family most of last week so I'm keeping the same tot trays from last week out for Sweet Girl to play with.  In addition to those, I decided to add some more "fun stuff" too!!

Tracing lines
I made up this simple little sheet connecting the princess to their "pal".  I laminated them and have included a dry erase marker and little eraser with the sheet. 
(And if anyone wants a copy of this sheet, just leave me a comment with your email address or send me an email and I will forward it to ya!)

Placing stickers on letter A/a
We typically use our Do-A-Dot markers with these sheets, but I thought it would be fun to mix it up a little.  The apple sheet is from 1+1+1=1 and the lowercase 'a' is from Making Learning Fun.

This is a new puzzle for us so I'm only presenting two words at a time.  It looks a little overwhelming if there are more than two words showing.

Drawing on the Buddha Board
This is just for fun!  I'm addicted to this thing!!

Hope everyone has a great week!!

Tot School

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Art Storage

I love keeping all of Sweet Girl's art and projects but they were starting to take over all the corners of our playroom.  And...I was becoming a hoarder...keeping everything she made and did.  Finally, one day I went through and sorted, purged and saved.  I only ended up keeping a few special pieces and took pictures of the rest of them.  I picked up a scrapbook paper box from the craft store, cut out some vinyl letters and art box. 

The size of the box is pretty large (12x12) so it accommodates most of her projects.  Some of the larger paper (like easel paper) I folded in half, but I'm sure there will be some that I don't want to fold and possibly mess up.  We'll cross that bridge when we get there.

I love how compact and neat it is!! 

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