Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Playdough Art

 Instead of sitting at an easel and paint, why not sit at an easel and sculpt? That's what Rachel decided to do today while she was playing playdough.

This is a person (with no body, just legs, mind you). The circles around the head are actually hair. And two of those circles are earrings. And the nose wouldn't stay on. So she's a non-smelling, body-less person. Who is completely orange. And so darn cute!

Once again, playdough entertains!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bottle Caps

So, I'm a bit of a hoarding weirdo when it comes to keeping random things I see a lot of crafting potential in. It probably stems from my obsession of being frugal and using materials around me instead of spending money. Or perhaps it's just a burden that all early educators bear (I'd love to hear your support if you're like me)! Like that big plastic pipe from my last post that we put balls, cars and water down. The instant I saw it, I declared: We can use that for something! And I wouldn't let my co-teacher throw it out and we came up with the fabulous idea that we did, and it was HUGE success! (We've since brought it outside and propped it up on the play structure and run rocks down it as well as spent a good deal of time screaming inside of it. Now THAT'S true pleasure!!!

My latest hoarding obsession has been plastic bottle caps. I read a post over at Silly Eagle Books quite some time ago and always thought I'd like to do that, so I've taken my time collecting different colours and sizes. For a long time, my tea cups on my window ledge were full of them, as I didn't bother to put them all in a baggie (like a normal person would do). One day when Rachel declared she wanted to make a craft, I dug them out.

It really turned out similar to our rock people, but this time, Rachel was able to do a lot more herself, as the surface was flat and she's doing a lot more on her own. I was also brave, inspired by Teacher Tom, and dug out the hot glue gun for the first time and let Rachel squeeze on the glue while I put the eyes in the glue. She got to experience a burn at one point (so did I), and miraculously, she survived. She didn't even cry actually (Teacher Tom is a great one for demonstrating that kids can survive taking risks)!

Monster Cap

It's hard to see past the "Fresh Cap" label on this one, but do you see the little frown paired with the sad eyes and the downturned eyebrows?

All of Rachel's cutie's. She spent a lot of time creating these, then glued that all (with white glue) to the back of a cereal box.  

And lastly, what's the point in craft time if I don't get to have a little fun?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Toddlers + playdough

I have been a slacker blogger. To all of my followers, I am sorry. I haven't posted since August, but I do have a good excuse!

At the end of August, I began working part-time at Touchstone Community School , ignoring the blog world to put all of my energy into this elementary school's new Preschool classroom. This has been a vessel for all of my creative energy. And the best part is that my daughter  joins me every morning for preschool, so we still get to participate together in fun activities!
Such as . . . (Note how easy it is to do these simple activities at home too )
Propping a pipe found in the back of a storage room on a stool and 'racing' balls, cars, playdough and water
Practicing our fine motor skills with poker chips and a baby formula can with a hole cut in the top

More fine motor with chop sticks and pom poms

Making shadows with an 'old-fashioned' overhead that none of the teachers use because the other classes have smart boards!

Then in the afternoon, I get to be at home with both Rachel and my son Micah.

Micah has recently discovered the joys of playdough. Some would be reluctant to let their 17 month old play with playdough, but, you know me (plus, it helps that he's not the type of kid that's very interested in putting much in his mouth). What he's been enjoying the most, since he's obsessed with balls, is rolling playdough balls of random sizes that I've made, off the table.

Recently, he discovered the simple joy of sticking pencils in the playdough, taking them out, putting them back in, etc. etc. ! Who needs fancy playdough toys??????

This is an activity that required intense concentration (as can be seen by the tongue at the tip of his lips)

and created happy results!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Scrap Wood and Rock People

Remember when we did this to my deck?

My husband tore it down this summer (a day after we painted it actually), and is now in the process of creating a new one. What do we do without a deck in our backyard? Build with all the scrap wood of course! All the little pieces are great for making towers and houses, and even for pretending they're pieces of bread (Rachel came up with that on her own). We built a house yesterday, and it was immediately apparent that we needed people for our house. So, we dug out the hot glue gun, googly eyes, and a sharpie to make a rock family.

Mommy Rock

Rachel Rock
Micah Rock
Daddy Rock, snoozin' on the bed (he lost his eyes early on). 

Sitting together on the couch, watching the giant. . . 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Painting with cars

Nothin' like another 'classic'! Even the baby can do this one. This is definitely an outdoor activity *grin*

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Basket sleeping?

I went to wake Rachel up from her nap and found her like this:

I have no idea why, but one can never understand the mind of a 3 year old!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Snake day!

We made a couple of snakes simply by chance when we had some snipped straws as well as some corrugated cardboard from a fan box. 

When I saw the cardboard 2 weeks prior come out of the box I knew we would be able to use it for something, so I put it on the counter and just waited for the perfect opportunity. When Rachel started snipping a green straw I had visions of a green snake, and I knew we could turn the cardboard into another snake!

He even has a little smile!! Hee Hee!

Here's our straw snake:

And a green necklace:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bowls on our Head

It doesn't get better than a bowl for a hat, right?
When in doubt, grab a bowl and have fun!

Mommy maybe had a little too much fun . . . 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Drawing on Kitchen Tiles!

I bought Rachel Crayola Whiteboard Crayons this May for her birthday (I got them at Michaels). They're this new thing, and I loved the concept because no matter how hard I try, she always forgets to put the caps on her whiteboard markers and they quickly dry out and it's hard to keep them on hand.

We've been enjoying them on her whiteboard,
but one day Micah discovered that they also worked on the kitchen tiles, so we had fun drawing on the floor (Rachel made the above picture, not my one year old. Ha ha)!

They cleaned up easily with a damp cloth with no residue behind! Now Rachel has been asking me if she can draw on the floor :o)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What was Barbie doing?

I swear to you, one morning I woke up, and found Barbie exactly like this, behind the bathroom door.

Please note that she is wearing Princess Belle's dress, but this is not Belle. Not wearing her own clothes, sleeping on the bathroom floor. . . .  looks like Barbie had a little too much to drink while we were all sleeping . . . Tsk tsk!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sidewalk Chalk Games

Okay, so I'm quite proud of this game I created. It came out of nowhere one day when we took out the sidewalk chalk. It's supposed to be a game about feelings. However, two of my 'feelings' ended up being 'Hairy' and 'Sunny,' and I know those aren't real feelings, but we had fun, and Rachel knew which was which, so whatever, right? So it started with me drawing a couple of 'feelings' faces, like this one.

He's actually looking a little more worried than angry, but it's a bumpy driveway, so what can you do? Anyway, the idea is to ride your tricycle to the faces I say (Ride to the happy face! Now ride to the angry/worried face!). Then (more genius on my part), I drew lines in between them, like this:

Each face had a different kind of line attached, so Rachel followed the lines (with feet, not her bike) AS WELL as learned the names of different kinds of lines (wavy, straight, zig zag, spiral). Nothing like adding a little vocabulary lesson to your physical movement, eh? Here's some more of my delightful artwork for you:

As you can see, I wrote 'Hairy' on the left top of the picture. Rachel wrote it on the right in Rachel writing. Looks a little Arabic if you ask me. She's probably a genius. Here's her picture:

 I don't remember what feeling it was. I just remember that she told me. Sorry. Mommy brain!
Maybe it was a picture of someone throwing up? The feeling would then be, 'Sick' I guess!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Hee hee! Isn't Rachel's 'self-portrait' adorable! 

It wasn't until AFTER I took the picture that I realized the colors she was wearing matched her portrait (and that her pants are on backwards). Her hair is actually usually as messy as her portrait. *grin*

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pine Cone Painting

We love collecting pine cones when we go for a walk. Rachel told me when we got home: "Mommy, we need to paint these." The glitter was my idea, as well as shaking the pine cones in this box when they were done (but not dry) to make it into a gift box. So she can't take ALL the credit for this one ;o)

The pine cones are now in a vase in the middle of the table as a decoration, and I think she's rather proud!

P.S. - I'd love to hear if you've tried any of our activities on the blog. Feel free to leave a comment on the ones you've tried at home!