Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Flowers

So Mother Nature decided to tease us with one gorgeous day and then slap us with below normal temperatures! She can be so cruel!! So I decided to get alittle flower garden started inside. We started this last week and we've already got very nice progress.

We started with 2 little egg 'pots' that we found in the $1 section at Target. One had Daisy seeds and the other had Zinnias. The instructions tell you to only put 10 seeds in each pot so we spread the rest of the seeds into cups.
H didn't care for getting dirty much but she did like watering the seeds. Once we were all planted everything got put into the sunny kitchen window.
I've done most of the watering but every couple of days I have H use her little water pitcher to water them. She was amazed when they started sprouting.
After only one week the Zinnias are going crazy! The Daisies (middle cup) are alittle slower but they're starting to pop up too now. It's hard to see the Daisies but if you look really close you can see tiny leaves popping up. 
Here they are after 16 days. They're going to be ready for transplanting soon!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Paint with water

I remember the paint with water books when I was little. I LOVED them! What I love even better is today's reusable version, Water WOW! by Giddy-Up. H has the Giddy-up Princess Water Wow Book Activity Book
and the Dora Water Wow Doodle Book (Dora the Explorer-Nickelodeon)
H is kind of heavy handed with the 'brush' the first time we tried it which resulted in the coating on the pages getting scratched alittle bit.  Instead we use a sponge brush now which works beautifully.

H loves 'painting' each page and seeing what's hidden. Each page has activities like counting the fish or find 3 circles which makes it educational as well. The only down side is that each book only has like 5 pages. Still H loves them and I love that their reusable!!

Bunnies, bunnies, everywhere bunnies!!!


When H saw the pages I printed out laying on the table in preparation for this weekends crafting she immediately wanted to 'do project'. I didn't have all of the things I needed to complete the windsock I had planned on making so I changed gears alittle bit.

Daddy grabbed some paper plates and the glue stick while I cut out the bunny pieces as quickly as I could.  Gluing is her favorite thing right now so this was a big hit. We love the Crayola 2ct .29oz Glue Sticks


I punched a hole in the top of each, strung some fishing line threw it. Now their ready to be hung up. At this rate I won't need to get any of the Easter decorations out of the attic, H will have the whole house decorated in no time!
 Once she was done with the paper plate bunnies she wanted to do more. So we moved on to the next project. More cutting for Mommy and more gluing for H.
She moved the arms and feet around a few times until she got them exactly where she wanted them. I am so impressed with the end results! Ok so the bow was supposed to go on the head and the flower was supposed to go on the dress. I love her version so much more!!!  Not bad for a 2 year old
Find these and more printables over at http://www.dltk-kids.com/
Here's a direct link to the bunnies http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/bunny/index.htm

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Matching Game

An alternative to the Memory Game for smaller kids. We started the Matching Game when H was about 18-19 months old. I'll use anything that's handy. In this case it's a Memory Game. I've also used Uno cards. Here's a little video I shot at age 23 months.

video

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Butterflies

With Spring officially here I wanted to do some crafts to make it feel like spring. So I decided we were going to make butterflies.

You will need:
  • Coffee Filters (2 for each butterfly)
  • Crayola Washable Markers
  • Sponge brush
  • Water
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Towels for cleaning up the water
  • Fishing line or yarn to hang

Start by letting your toddler color the coffee filters with the markers. Since the filters are so thin you want to be sure to protect the surface your toddler is coloring on.  I used paper towels over her laminated placemat.

Once they're done coloring then put the coffee filters on something absorbent and let them 'paint' over them with the sponge brush and water. Don't over brush them or most of the color will end up on the towels. (Again I used paper towels)

Set them aside to dry. They're so thin it doesn't take long.

Cut your pipe cleaners in half. Bend in half and set aside.

Gather your coffee filters down the middle forming a bow tie shape. Stack two together and slide them onto the bent pipe cleaner. Twist the pipe cleaners together about 2 inches from the ends. Curl the ends around your finger to form the antennas.

I attached some fishing line and hung them in our front window.
Have fun crafting with your little ones!!

More Easter crafting

Paper Easter Eggs

Using the center pieces that were cut out for the frames to out 'Stained Glass' Easter Eggs we simply glued yarn. You could also use markers or crayons to decorate the eggs.  I wanted this to use different textures than plain old colored eggs.  I prepared ahead of time by snipping different sized lengths of yarn in varying colors.  Then I handed over the glue stick and let her go to town.

Easter Crafting - 'Stained Glass' Easter Eggs

'Stained Glass' Easter Eggs
This project can actually be made using any shape you want.

Here's what we did.

The night before I used a pencil sharpener to shred up a bunch of old crayons. I stored each color in a left over plastic cup.

Spread out wax paper, twice as long as a regular piece of paper.

Lay the wax paper over a paper with the outline of your design (in this case the Easter Egg) to give your toddler a target.

You don't need piles of crayons, actually less is better.
Once they're done fold the wax paper over and fold the edges to keep any wax from escaping. I layed a tea towel over the wax paper and used my iron on a medium to medium low setting. Press the design for about 10 seconds. DON'T OVER HEAT!!! Wax will burn.

Once your stained glass is done set it aside to cool for a couple of minutes.

I used 2 pieces of colored construction paper for the frame. I traced my design on one page. Then holding the 2 pages together cut out the design (save the cut out section to craft with later). Glue your stained glass between the two frames. Punch some holes to string your yarn through. Hang up and admire.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Birthday Time!!!

I can't believe H is 2 already!!!

Last year I did a massive Caterpillar cake for H's 1st birthday. It was amazing!! Three different flavors (chocolate, yellow and strawberry).  We also had a small cake just for the birthday girl.  So how was I going to out do that masterpiece?!  Well I wasn't going to try. The party this year was going to be much smaller than last year so 1/2 a sheet cake would be fine. I decided on trying something new. I found my inspiration here http://www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com/toy-story.html#c6 (which is actually the same site I got the inspiration for the last year's cake!). 
Now to decide on the subject......Dora! That's it! H loves Dora and Boots right now so she'll love it.  

Here's how I did it.

I've never done anything like this before so I was a nervous wreck!!  I started by printing coloring book pages that I found on the internet. Dora, Boots and some balloons. I taped the images to a cutting board, then stretched plastic wrap across the cutting board and secured it with tape. It's very important to make sure the plastic wrap is very secure and pull it tight so you don't have any wrinkles!! Also make sure to free up some space in your freezer before you begin.

Mix up your buttercream icing. I used Wilton Icing Colors
and colored small batches of icing as I needed it.

Begin by outlining the images using black or another dark color. Put it in the freezer for 15 minutes or so to set.

I used milk to thin the remaining icing down a bit before I continued (you could also use corn syrup but I thought that would make it way too sweet!). Don't worry about it not being perfect. Remember you're looking at the back side of the work! The plastic wrap side is your finished side. I piped the icing in to color each area then went back with a small rounded knife to smooth everything out. You want to be sure you don't leave any air pockets on the plastic wrap side! I popped it back in the freezer for a few minutes to set after each color.

Once all the coloring was done I left it in the freezer over night. The next morning I finished putting the final coat of icing on the cake building little mounds where I was going to put my images. Then one by one I CAREFULLY placed each one on the cake and pealed back the plastic wrap. Boot was alittle hard to handle because his arms and legs were so thin. I saved the left over icing for just this reason. So I was able to go back and repair Boots.

For my first attempt I was pretty happy and my daughter loved that Dora and Boots were on her birthday cake!

Last year's cake
Last year's caterpillar cake