kids craft

Ten Minute Play Dough; Endless Fun

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Play Dough is a daily activity at our house.  We use cookie cutters, rolling pins, toothpicks, and even hot wheels to create, mold, and let our imaginations run wild!

This Ten Minute Play Dough recipe requires five ingredients that you likely already have tucked away in your pantry, requires no cooking, and is easily ready for endless fun in just minutes…

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Hungry ‘Egg Carton’ Caterpillar

 

A fun preschool activity to go along with reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar Book (by Eric Carle) is painting and creating an Egg Carton Caterpillar!

aIMG_1242First, hang on to that egg carton you have in the fridge once you empty it.  You will also need paints, paint brushes, googly eyes, glue, and a pipe cleaner. 

Begin by cutting the carton in fourths.  Use the cover of the book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, as a model caterpillar.  Paint your Caterpillar Carton (we used teal, green, blue & red paint for ours).  After the paint dries glue the googly eyes on your caterpillar and punch two holes in the top of your carton to thread the pipe cleaner through.

These Caterpillar creations are fun to play with and look great on display on a bookshelf.  My little guy loves reading books and as we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar his Egg Carton Caterpillar mimics the story.

Tip:  Empty Egg Cartons do not just come in handy when creating Hungry Caterpillars; they are also perfect when painting – add different paint colors in each pocket; and they are great to have around when working on fine motor skills – add fuzzy balls and other small objects in the pockets for little ones to pick up and sort while working on their finger coordination.

Have fun repurposing that egg carton!
– T

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A Purple Flower; Making My Mother’s Day

 

book - lisa joRecently a blog post by Lisa-Jo Baker, author of Surprised By Motherhood, caught my eye.  The title of this particular post – How Not To Be Disappointed This Mother’s Day.  In this article Lisa-Jo discusses what we as mothers EXPECT; her point on Motherhood being more than a 24 hour period once a year is made clear.  She offers eleven ideas to celebrate and honor Mother’s Day by giving to others without the expectation of receiving.  Lisa-Jo ends with “Because the thing is, we mother because we’re called to it. We mother because it’s a gift.  We mother because God trusted us with these kids. We mother because we can’t not.”

This article really had me thinking.  Thinking of the moments I had been disappointed  without realizing that what I was really doing was putting an expectation on someone, some thing, or some day.  Years ago I read The Five Love Languages and discovered my first love language is quality time and my secondary language is acts of service.  So therefore I naturally want to give others those things that I like to receive sometimes forgetting to consider their love language and how they might like to receive a gift.  Without fail my little guy and I make a homemade creation for my husband each holiday.  In my love language time equates to love therefore it is important to me to teach my little guy this type of giving.

While my husband is a perfect match for me and pretty amazing at a lot of things he’s not so much the “sit down and create something crafty with a three year old type”.  He’s more of a “little blue boxes create smiles so I’m on my way to Tiffany’s after bath time the night before the gift is needed type”.   Thanks to Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog I decided to take matters into my own hands this Mother’s Day.  One day this past week when the time of the day arrived in which I teach my sweet boy a little something & we create with our hands I announced to him that on this day we were going to make his Momma something.  We discussed Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and how we give love, hugs, kisses and hand made creations.  And to my delight he was all-in!  He immediately responded “My make you a ‘fow-yer’!  A purple ‘fow-yer’ and ‘well-wo’ sun!!  Pwease momma.”  (He sometimes refers to himself as “my”.)

aa-photo(24)We started with a white sheet of card stock that my tot painted blue with a paintbrush.  After his nap when the blue paint had dried he used his knuckles and fingertips to create a yellow sun, his finger tips to splotch a stem, “weaves”, & grass, and his hand to create my purple flower.  It’s beautiful.  My first “homemade for me (by my youngest son) creation.”  I framed it!  I love how enthusiastically my little guy agreed to give to his momma.  I love the act of love & time we shared creating it, and I love the smile on my tot’s face and the sincerity in his voice when he announced “All done!  Momma woves purple fow-yers.”  He’s right.  I love my Mother’s Day gift.  Though the real gift in all of this is that I was chosen to be his & his “Bubby’s” momma and that is the greatest gift I will ever receive.

Happy Mother’s Day to you, and to all Mommas and Step Moms, Adopted Moms, Grandmas, Deployed Mommys & Mr Moms, Mothers-in-Law, Aunties and Surrogate Moms, and to all Women who Nurture.  I hope that you know and feel love on Mother’s Day and everyday.
– T

 

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Pine Cone Easter Bunny

After the boys’ Papa & Grandma left this morning to continue on their road trip up to Washington State I decided it was time to do something about those pine cones we collected.  In the words of my tot… “we made bunnies!”

Blog Bunny (2)aWhat you will need:

– Pine Cone
– Mini Pom Pom (or cotton ball)
– Pipe Cleaner for Ears
– Ribbon (or Pipe Cleaner) for Bow Tie
– Wiggly Eyes
– Paint
– Paint Brush
– Glue

Painting a pine cone can be a bit challenging.  My teen didn’t have class this morning and so he joined in on the craft action.  He and I painted ours with more of a splotching technique and dabbed the paint on.  My little guy painted more of his construction paper that his pine cone was sitting on than the actual pine cone but was very proud of his bunny brush strokes & was having fun which is all that matters.

After your pine cone dries, attach your cotton tail and wiggly eyes with glue.  While the glue is setting cut a couple inches off the end of your pipe cleaner and use the larger piece to manipulate into two bunny ears.  The pipe cleaner will attach to the top of the pine cone with ease.  My oldest decided he’d use a pipe cleaner to create his bow tie too.  Rather smart move.  He was able to cut the pipe cleaner to the size he needed, shaped it into a bow and then left a “tail” on the end of the bow to push through the pine cone.  I chose to wrap ribbons around Momma & Daddy Bunny and then tied bows.

If you don’t have a pine cone you could always make a River Rock Bunny.  Get creative.  Add glitter.  Create a bunny hat out of construction paper or a carrot out of foam paper.  Most importantly, have fun and have a Happy Easter!
– T

Note:  Within a few minutes of posting this craft I heard from a friend in Louisiana; she didn’t have available Pine Cones but she did have Toilet Paper Rolls and so TP Bunnies it is for her and her little girl on this rainy Louisiana afternoon.  Creative.  Fun.  Enjoy.