Thursday, April 29, 2010

Obstacle Course

I love this activity, because the possibilities are so endless. We did this with a friend of Rachel's over and over again. They didn't always get it right, but they ran around a lot! I've left this up in the front yard so we can do it again another day!

This is what ours looked like: Go under the chairs, around the car, jump over the broom. Then run to the little tree and touch it, run under the branches of the big tree, walk over the bridges (I for some reason have boards and bricks under the deck from the previous owners), then run to the finish line! Finally, fall asleep in a chair from sheer exhaustion ;o)


Please tell me that you make goo? This is a staple activity in our house. It requires few materials, and cleans off clothes with just water. I do it outside so that the rain takes care of any mess! Just add cornstarch to a bowl or container or pan and add enough water to make it runny but still a little thick. Add food coloring and sparkles if desired. Give the kids utensils and bowls and have fun!

Cardboard Pizza: Oldie but goodie

This is a post I had made on my Facebook page, which is what motivated me to start a blog, as many people expressed interest in the activities I did at home with Rachel.

Start with the cardboard bottom from your frozen pizza. Cut out 'veggies' and 'cheese' from construction paper. Use an empty baby food bowl for your glue

Colour your red tomato sauce first with a marker. Then paint glue all over your pizza and get to work with those toppings!

Voila, a yummy pizza and a little girl that is entertained while mommy makes a salad and sets the table for supper!


So, Micah never makes it into the blog, since he's really not into crafts yet. But Rachel included him one day a while ago, and I wanted to post his picture so that he could be included:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blog Inspirations: Filth Wizardry Coral Reef Livingroom

One of the blogs I love to check out on a regular basis is Filth Wizardry. This Mom and her girls REALLY love a big mess. They do BIG messy projects! I tried their Coral Reef Livingroom, only I made mine in the playroom downstairs! This was a project that we took our time on, as the mermaid tails were added about 3 weeks after we originally started, and we could very well continue adding to it if we come across the perfect materials!

We started with coloring the fish available on the Filth Wizardry post, and making fish out of white labels. We added a few of our own favourites, like Squirt from Finding Nemo. We used tape to stick the paper fish on our bed sheet, as I plan to use it again for it's original purpose :o)

We then moved on to our own idea of creating sea shells by coloring very firmly on sandpaper. We then made duplicates by ironing over the back of the sandpaper when it's pressed onto white paper to transfer the wax.

In theory, this turns out much darker, but we had used a no name brand of crayon that was a funny wax. Normally, this craft turns out quite stunning (you may need to copy over your child's original with crayon again before ironing it just to make sure it's dark enough). But our sandpaper originals were really neat anyway.

I then took out the eye dropper paintings we had made a few weeks previously out of paper towel (and I didn't know what to do with them then) and cut them into starfish and shells.

I added the coral using streamers and the green bottom was just some gift bag stuffing I had laying around that I bunched up and wrapped with pipe cleaner.

I found a Nemo Pinata on clearance one day at the Bulk Barn while we were still working on our mural and snatched it up to hang by the ceiling. We will someday fill this with candy and beat it to pieces. My older sister can attest to the fact that this is one of my favourite activities (sorry Nemo. we really do love you!)

Instead of adding a scuba divers legs to our mural, I opted for a mermaid's tail, as I knew it would excite Rachel.

She had a friend over the day we made it, and we painted such a large canvas that I also cut out two 'baby' mermaid tails.

I just covered the table in paper, squirted it with green paint and let the girls finger paint, and use sponges.

We added some glitter to our mermaid tails when the paint was still wet, and once dry, I cut out the tails.

I'm not too impressed with them (It's not my greatest artistic achievement to date by any means), but the girls thought they were great, and that's what matters!

Who knows how long our mural will stay up (until the baby gets his hands on it I suppose), but it's a great addition to the playroom! I can't wait to try more inspired projects from Filth Wizardry!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Recyling formula cans into fancy and educational fine motor toys!

I have all these empty formula cans in the house that I can't bear to part with, as they're so sturdy and I believe will come in handy for storing knick knacks. So far, they're all empty and taking up space in my storage room, but I did find an immediate use for one of them recently, as well as an empty tin for Poppycock we had received at Christmas time.

First, we began using them for an 'occupy the child while Mommy gets things done' activity that occupies children's attention for as long as your pile of elastics will last! I gave Rachel a pile of elastics, set them beside the two cans, gave her some smaller containers turned upside down, and she stretched the elastics over the cans (this is a great fine motor activity if you want to develop your child's handwriting skills).

Then it dawned on me that the flexible plastic lids could be easily cut to turn them into coin banks (picking up small coins and placing them in a bank is also a great fine motor activity)!

But these coin banks were just too ordinary, so I covered the first one with paper and covered it with (the Despised and Annoying) Dora stickers.

The second, I covered with paper, then layered with many elastics, horizontally and vertically.

I would have picked this idea up from a book or something along the way I think. I'm pretty sure it didn't come from the top of my head. Then I gave Rachel a variety of colors and some glitter, and this is the beautiful piece of artwork that was created!

So, I've now used two of maybe 10 or more cans. Any suggestions on what to do with the rest of them???????

Friday, April 2, 2010

Play dough Monsters

Everybody loves play dough. You can do SO MANY things with it. You could probably find a blog out there on JUST play dough. What's great about it is that it helps kids develops many skills (fine motor development, hand-eye coordination, story telling, creativity, imaginary play, etc. etc.), and it allows Mommies a little stress release (who needs a stress ball?). This activity is one I adopted from my friend Andrea when we worked at the preschool together (for those interested in Sewing and Cooking, check out her blog at Laundry on the Line). We used googly eyes and pipe cleaners of different colors and lengths. If we had buttons or feathers, I would probably have included those too. Then we made MONSTERS!!!!

Six Eyed Monsters

Flat Monsters

Sad Monsters!

We'll keep the supplies for our monsters in an ice cream tub and pull it out with our playdough probably for the next month.