Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pink Snowmen: No snow necessary!

So, on those really cold days when you don't want to brave the outdoors, or the snow won't pack to make snowballs, but you REALLY want to make a snowman, you aren't out of luck!

Now, the ideal situation is to use white playdough, either the kind that you buy or just make playdough at home and don't add food coloring (you can even get fancy and add white sparkles), but I didn't have white playdough or time to make another batch (even though it is really easy to do. Maybe it wasn't time, but motivation. Why make playdough when I already have some?). I grabbed whatever supplies I had to make these snowmen work. Jewelry beads, googly eyes, and popsicle sticks. I just used orange playdough for the nose and blue playdough for the hats. I pre-made carrots and hats so Rachel could just stick it on, because she's not at the stage where she knows how to make that stuff yet, and I have to admit that I wanted it to look pretty for the picture. Tomorrow, I'll let her make her own hat and carrot, and maybe we'll make a snowman family. These pink snowmen really excited her!

Here's another snowman a little boy I babysit made. His snowman has more than just buttons, perhaps simply because he's a boy :o)

Then there's the option of letting your child have fun with glue.

Rachel loves to use a paint brush, so I let her paint on her glue. This snowman coincided with a special snack time, as we used marshmallows for the snow and chocolate chips for the buttons, eyes and smile. I drew the snowman and cut out a black hat, and helped with the smile, but the rest is her work. If I had been thinking, we could have stuck marshmallows around the snowman for falling snow too. Just make sure that when you display your artwork, it's up high so your toddler doesn't eat the hard, glued on marshmallows, like Rachel started to do before I hung it up higher and explained they were yucky now (that's why there are white spots with no marshmallows)!

And finally, the salt snowman:

More painting on glue (I drew the snowman for her, simply because she doesn't know how yet), and she sprinkled salt all over her glue to make him snowy!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Marshmallow Fun

What kid doesn't love marshmallows? Since we can't enjoy roasting them over the outdoor fire pit at this time of year, I came up with some ways to 'roast' marshmallows indoors!

We made 'fire' out of orange construction paper and stood it up by sticking it in a few playdough balls. We made playdough rocks to create the fire pit, and put playdough marshmallows on popsicle roasting sticks.

Another fun way we roasted marshmallows came to me one evening when Rachel came upstairs with her little toy lantern and wanted to turn all of the lights off. If you don't have a lantern, dig out a flashlight, or even some glow sticks from the dollar store. I grabbed a little basket and scrunched up orange construction paper, then stuffed it inside to look like the fire. If you don't have a little basket, a bowl would work for this. We only had little marshmallows in the house, so I stuck two of them on a toothpick for our roasting stick and we let our imaginations soar! Below is a short 30 second clip of what we did!

Fun is at your fingertips!

Sensory Activity: Cranberry Scoop

This is a picture of Scooping Cranberries. Fresh Cranberries in water are fun because they float! We used large spoons to scoop them out of the water into a bowl, then dump them back in the roasting pan, and do it all over again! This provided a good 30 minutes of fun. You can add different kitchen accessories to enhance the fun, like measuring scoops, or large slotted spoons. To reduce the wet mess, put a large towel underneath to soak up all the spills, and cover the kids in an apron (I discovered this AFTER the picture was taken). When you're all done playing, you can stick the cranberries in the fridge to play with again tomorrow, or use them to make cranberry sauce, or yummy cranberry-apple muffins!