Thursday, June 28, 2012

Marshmallow Sculptures

I set this fun little activity out for the kids the other day and not only was it fun, it was tasty!  My kids never pass up a yummy marshmallow, so this was definitely a hit to them!

Basically I just cut up a few straws and put some marshmallows into a bowl.

And they got right to work!

Anna want to make some letters so we tried out a couple!

It's a fun (and tasty) way to play and learn!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rainbow Rice Fun

Like most toddlers and preschoolers, my kids love playing with anything that can be poured, scooped or shoveled (beans, rice, pasta).  So the other day, I decided to make a super large batch of rainbow rice and rainbow pasta.

I added some shovels, rakes, watering cans, bowls and little cups and let them have some fun.

I used the neon food coloring drops and the colors turned out so beautiful and so vibrant!

I also added some rainbow pasta too, but I think they really just loved playing with the rice.

Lots of scooping, pouring and shoveling for sure!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Fun - Table Top Tin Foil Painting

This is another fun little art activity from our Summer Fun List.  

I decided to change things up a little for the tin foil painting and covered my daughter's little table with tin foil.  I used painters tape so it was easy to remove and it worked really well.  We've done something similar in the past but we covered the table with a variety of different papers.

I also read somewhere to mix the paint with a little bit of dish soap, so we did.  I'm not sure it made much of a difference.

My daughter, Anna, really enjoyed painting "on the table".  It was something fun and new for her!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Father's Day: Back Rub Road Map Shirt

I know Father's Day has come and gone, but I really wanted to share our special Father's Day gift!  It would make a great birthday present too!

I originally saw this idea on Pinterest and knew I wanted to make one for our Dada for Father's Day.  The kids and I had so much fun making the shirt and playing with it before we gave it to Dada.

It got a lot of use on Father's Day and I'm pretty sure my husband wasn't too disappointed with the "Daddy, will you lay down so I can play with your shirt" questions.

I pretty much followed the tutorial in the link above, but I used fabric paint pens rather than fabric paint and a paint brush.  The paint pens were soooo easy to use and the drying time was great!  I also let the kids color and draw all over the front of the shirt after the back was dry just to give it a little more "kid character".

Dada sure loved it! 

And so did the kids!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Invitations to Play - Week Wrap Up

Nothing too fabulous about our invitations to play this week, but the kids sure enjoyed them!  We spent a lot of time outside early in the week since it was so nice and then some time at the pool once it got too hot to do anything outdoors other than swim!

Here's how we spent some "down time".  

I must say that beans and rice are a huge hit in our house.  Basically anything that can be poured, dumped or pushed around is super fun for my one and three year old.  

If you've never tried playing with dried beans, pasta or rice, I highly recommend giving it a try!  Your kids will thank you!  Some tips, though, for your first timers...

1. Start with a larger dried bean or colored pasta (they are much easier to pick up than rice)
2. Place a large blanket, shower curtain liner or something under your container to help with clean up
3. Set some ground rules with your kids.  Mine know that the beans stay either in the container or on the blanket.  And that there is absolutely no throwing, slinging, etc.  We've had a couple of warnings, but no real issues in this department.
4. Be sure to monitor your kids while playing to make sure they don't "taste" any.
5. Offer lots of cups, bowls, spoons, shovels, trucks, etc.
6. Get in on the fun too!  It really is quite relaxing to run your fingers through beans and rice!

To find out more about the idea behind Invitations to Play, visit The Imagination Tree.
Want to see more of our Invitations to Play?

Click here to see them all!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Fun - Our Mud Pie Kitchen

One of the super cool things on our Summer Fun List is to make a mud pie kitchen!  

We were all really excited about this one!  And the kids have had a blast making mud pies, food for the doggies, flower soup, etc.

We have a little shady spot in our backyard and it's the perfect spot to play when it's hot and sunny out.

Our mud pie kitchen is essentially an old nightstand.  It was pretty beat up and I didn't do anything to it other than add a few "fun" kitchen things for the kids.

The top of the kitchen has two "stove eyes" made from cork trivets, a cutting board and a timer.  I also pulled our little wagon out beside the kitchen and filled up a large Tupperware container with water to act as our "sink".

On the back, I attached a towel rack and some of our play kitchen toys.

The dollar store has some perfect pots and pans for our kitchen!

Nothing like playing in the dirt!

Off to cook!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Squirt Bottle Chalk

This was a fun outdoor experiment.  The chalk didn't seem to work as well for us as when we did corn starch paintings on the driveway, but Sweet Girl enjoyed spraying from the squirt bottles...(what kid doesn't like squirt bottles???)

I got the directions for mixing our chalk here.

I think ours ended up a little too watery.  Once dried, it was pretty light.

If we make this again, I think we would double the mixture so we could have more colors and hopefully more vibrant dried chalk.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kid Approved Chicken Nuggets

I pinned these chicken nuggets on Pinterest a long time ago and kept meaning to make them for my kiddos.  I'm not sure what took me so long...but I'm really glad I finally made them.  And my kids are really glad I finally made them.

They have definitely been quite a hit in our house.  My kids love chicken nuggets but we rarely have them since they contain so much processed foods.  

I love that I know exactly what is in these chicken nuggets.  

They were really easy to make; there were just a few steps involved (boiling chicken, grinding the cooked chicken, forming shapes, baking).  An older kid could definitely help out after the boiling and grinding stages.

I used two pounds of chicken, which made quite a bit.  I froze most of them and they seem to reheat without any problem!

Here's what they looked like prior to baking.

I used some of my heart and flower shaped cookie cutters to make cute little shapes.  
And I did drizzle a little bit of butter over the top to help them brown.

Yum!  They are a hit in our house!!

Click here for the full recipe!

And are you following Playing House on Facebook?  Click here to "like" us and follow along!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Invitations to Play - Play Dough Fun

I participated in the play dough challenge this week with Anna from The Imagination Tree.  It's probably no surprise that we love play dough around here, so this was a great challenge for us!

My kids loved playing with play dough in all these new and creative ways.

Here's a wrap up of our week!

To find out more about the idea behind Invitations to Play, visit The Imagination Tree.
Want to see more of our Invitations to Play?

Click here to see them all!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer Fun - Bubble Painting

This is an oldie, but goodie to us!  Sweet Girl loves bubble painting and usually asks to do it whenever I say "what do you want to do today?".

Since it's been so nice outside lately, we decided to take this one outside so we could be as messy as we wanted.

All you need is some cups, straws, paint and dish soap.

And then start blowing!

We also did some "splatter" type painting by taking our straws out of the cups and blowing them onto our paper.  That was pretty fun too!

Loving our Summer Fun List!!

And are you following Playing House on Facebook?  Click here to "like" us and follow along!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

FREE Summer Fun eBook (Recipes, Crafts, Activities & More!)

I am thrilled to be a part of this years Summer eBook!  

It is slam-packed with super fun activities, yummy recipes, delicious desserts and cool crafts!

Be sure to download your free copy!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Simple Watercolor Activity

This is a super simple watercolor activity that I did with my daughter (3) and son (1 1/2) the other day.  My son just liked playing with the watercolors and jar of water, but my daughter really enjoyed and requested to do more and more.

I saw the idea over at Hello Bee.

I printed off my daughter and son's names using this free font.  The font is an outlined font so my daughter (and son) were able to use the watercolor paints to color in their name.

I also spelled out the word rainbow using the colors of the rainbow and had my daughter match the paint color and the font color.  She reeeeealy enjoyed doing this one!  Rainbows are all the rage at our house right now.  The hubby and I were actually lucky enough to see an entire rainbow over our house the other night.  It was the first time I've ever seen the whole entire thing and it was quite breathtaking!

Download your font and get your watercolor paints ready!

This is a fun one!!

And are you following Playing House on Facebook?  Click here to "like" us and follow along!

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