Tissue Layering & Paper Plate Crafts

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There are many reasons that I love craft projects with my toddler. One of the big ones is that it keeps her mind & hands occupied. I do many crafts side by side with her, but sometimes it is great to have her work independently while I cook supper or get chores done. Arts & crafts are a far better alternative to sitting in front of the television. This is why I love tissue paper crafting. It can keep her content for long periods of time.

Tearing the tissue into pieces is fun for her destructive little hands. Layering the tissue in different colors & patterns is a great creative outlet for my little artist.

What you will need:

Different colored sheets of tissue paper

Paper plates

Vinegar

Elmer’s glue

Paint brush

Mix 3 parts vinegar with 1 part glue & stir. The vinegar will cause the colors to bleed together & the glue will adhere the tissue to the plate.

Cut or rip the tissue paper into several pieces & colors. Layer the tissue pieces & paint on the vinegar/glue mixture. Do a few pieces at a time. Let dry & then trim the excess that hangs over the edges.

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Mai said that she wanted to make a fish. We picked two colors & layered the bottom of a paper plate. Let it dry & trim around the edges. Cut out a triangle for the mouth & set the triangle aside. Cut out a triangle using a piece of construction paper. Glue the triangle mouth cutout to the inside of the construction paper cutout & glue to the opposite end of the fish’s mouth. Glue a small black circle inside of a larger black circle & glue above the mouth to make an eye.

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Mai wanted to make more animals. She asked for us to make animals that live on a farm. Since Thanksgiving is coming, I suggested a turkey.

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Layer & brush one color of tissue to the center of a paper plate.

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Form another layer around the yellow in orange & then add another layer in red. Let dry. Cut the excess paper around the edges.

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Cut out a shape for the turkey body & glue to the bottom center. Cut a piece for the turkey waddle & glue into place.

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Add a beak & some googly eyes. Finish off your turkey by adding pipe cleaner legs & feet to the bottom.

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Enjoying The Silence, But Missing The Noise

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Everybody has heard of the terrible twos. We have all been forewarned about this stage in childhood. Our daughter was such a colicky infant that when she turned two I thought that it was going to be a breeze. It turns out that two is not as terrible as everyone says. In fact it is much much worse.

The past few months have been difficult. She has grown so much physically & mentally. She has acquired her own tastes & opinions and she is not afraid to be vocal about them. She talks non-stop now. My mind can barely contain all of the information. Every day is a battle. Every day brings a fresh set of challenges. There are days that I don’t know if I will be able to make it to her bedtime. I sit down & take deep breaths before tackling another meltdown, but it is hard to clear your head when there is never any silence.

Last week my husband took our daughter for the day. I had our home to myself for longer than I think I have since she was born. I cleaned the house, I relaxed, I watched Netflix & I enjoyed our quiet house. The thing is once the silence was there, I missed the noise. True, there were no meltdowns or sounds of screaming objections, but there was also no laughter, no sweet little voice singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. There were no tears to wipe away or noses that needed blowing, but that also meant that there were no comforting hugs or snotty nose kisses. Although it was nice to have the couch to myself, I could not wait to cuddle with my family again.

Some days are hard. Some days I want to pull out my hair until I am bald, but mixed in with all the tough times are the moments that make it all worth it. The day will come when our little one will grow up and leave the nest, until then I will embrace the chaos and the madness because once it is gone I will want it back.

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Pine Cone & Play-Doh Turkey Crafts

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One of my favorite parts of my daughter’s days at daycare are receiving her daily reports & seeing all of the craft projects that she brings home. I love seeing her beautiful crafts, even the ones that she does with someone else.

This week she brought home a lovely fall one.  It was branches bound together & decorated with Play-Doh. Miss Laura said that Mai worked on it for 2 hours.

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This weekend there was a sale on Play-Doh at the supermarket, so I stocked up. Mai was so excited when I came home with a box filled with 24 different shades of it. She dove right in & started creating.

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She is becoming quite the little artist. Her imagination is developing so quickly. I watched her as she kneaded & forms different shapes & put them together. She explained to me as she molded her creation what she was making.  “Look mama, a frog! He has a blue fly on his tongue.” I have to admit, I was very proud.

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She did not stop there. “Look Mama, I made Dukey’s poop.” Oh dear! It does look like Dukey’s poop.

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Since we already were in such a crafty mood & had a table full of Play-Doh, I thought we could make something together.

Thanksgiving Turkey Craft

This just require pine cones & Play-doh. I used craft pine cones only because they were handy. You can use ones from your yard as well.

Form & mold the turkey’s head to the fat part of the pine cone. Show your child how to do it & let them do it to their own.
(If your pine cone is wobbly, place a chunk of Play-doh underneath to keep sturdy.)

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Form long oval shaped pieces to use as the turkey feathers.

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Insert towards the back between the pine cone scales.

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Again, show your little one how to do it.

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Add the beak. Older children may be able to do this step, but the smaller hands might need the help. Mai asked mama to make her turkey face.

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Add the eyes next.

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Add the turkey’s waddle & you are done.

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What A Mommy And Her Dog Have In Common

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Before our daughter was born, it was just me, my husband and our dog Duke. Duke was our first baby. We cuddled him, took him for walks, played ball with him & bought him toys every chance we could.  Life was good for our furry boy. Once our daughter was born, life changed dramatically for all of us. Duke received less attention & got scolded more often. This morning I watched our pup anxiously waiting outside of his little sister’s room. He laid on the floor patiently. His ears would perk up when he heard her stir & he whimpered until I opened the door. Even with all the harassment and abuse she puts him through, he still cannot wait to see her in the morning. He & I have that in common. Even how exhausting or frustrating of an evening I had with her the night before. I still cannot wait to see her face in the morning.

I came to the realization that there are many things that Duke and I actually have in common when it comes to our little monster…

Barking at her: There are days that our pup gets pushed to the limit, you would too if you had someone pulling your tail & trying to stick things in your ears.  Lord knows I try to remain calm & level headed, but even the most patient of mothers or dogs can lose their cool when dealing with a cranky toddler.

Eating her leftovers: Being a mother is like being a human garbage disposal. I have involuntarily been fed a half of a soggy bagel with a sprinkle of snot on it many times. Luckily, Duke does not mind a little bit of snot & drool in his food. I think he actually prefers it.

Sniffing her butt: My dog must get very confused when I scold him. He has watched me do this now for close to 3 years. If only he could help change her diapers.

Playing horsey: Our daughter loves to pretend that she is Sheriff Callie & the good sheriff doesn’t go anywhere without her loyal steed Sparky. I often let her play horsey with mommy. Duke does not so willingly saddle up, but he is a good sport.

Clean up her messes: Spilled milk, smashed banana & random crumbs are just some of the messes that wind up on our floor. Duke has saved me a paper towel many a time. Our methods may be different, but our results are the same.

Knocking her over: When our daughter first started walking I was so scared of our dog knocking her down. He is so energetic and always running around and jumping. I would get so angry with him for rushing past her and knocking her on her bottom, but the truth is I have knocked her over, hit her in the head with the door and inflicted many other unintentional injuries on my daughter. Maybe the dog should be yelling at me.

Overprotective: I took a Facebook quiz recently. It told me that I was a helicopter parent. There was no surprise there. I am extremely over protective of my precious little one. If I am a helicopter mom, then our pup is a helicopter dog. When UPS man comes to the door or if he hears a noise, his first instinct is to run to her side to guard her.

There is one more thing that we have in common, we both love her. No matter what the day brings or how difficult she might have been, we both can’t wait until the next time that we can be with her again.

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Pasta Jack-O-Lantern Craft

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As much as fall is my favorite season, Halloween is my favorite holiday. Halloween is next week & we are looking forward to taking Mai trick or treating. I wanted to let her choose her own costume this year. I asked her several times & her answer has always been the same. “I want to be a Jack-o-lantern, mama.” Our daughter loves pumpkins & Jack-o-lanterns, so next week our daughter will proudly strut the streets as the cutest Jack-o-lantern ever to say “Trick or Treat”.

Until then, we can have a little fun making our Halloween crafts in anticipation.

Pasta Jack-O-Lanterns

You will need:

Jumbo shells (as used for stuffed shells)

Farfalle

Ziti
You will need 1 piece of each of these pastas for each Jack-o-lantern

Orange & green paint

Black Sharpie

Glue gun

Directions:

Paint the jumbo shells orange & the Farfalle & ziti green.

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Let the pieces dry.

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Glue the ziti piece into the shell as shown.

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Glue the Farfalle piece over the ziti.

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With a black sharpie, draw on your Jack-o-lantern face.

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