Tag

fun

Paper Bowl Animal Crafts

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With all of the snow we’ve been getting, it has been driving everyone a little stir crazy. Mommy has been racking her brain for fun activities to do with the munchkin while we are snowbound. Mai flipped over one of her bowls the other day & told me that it was a turtle shell. She inspired this evenings crafts with her clever observation. We are always painting & crafting with paper plates, but what about paper bowls for a little more dimension?

What you will need:

Paper bowls

Construction paper or foam boards (we used foam)

Glue

Scissors

Paint & brushes

Pen or marker

Directions for the turtle:

Lay your bowl on top of your paper/foam board draw out your head,eyes & your arms to a desired size.

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Cut out your shapes.

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Set your shapes aside.

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Paint your bowl green.

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Draw lines in a darker shade of green over the top to give it a look of a turtle shell.

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Mai painted her own too.

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Let your little artist add glue to the turtle pieces

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Glue your pieces together & watch your little one cheer with excitement at her masterpiece. Let dry well before moving. Use pressure if needed to hold pieces in place while drying.

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Mai’s Turtle

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Mommy’s Turtle

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We had so much fun making our turtle, here are some other animal crafts we came up with.

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High fives for crafts well done.

Related Topics:

http://threefoxboys.wordpress.com/2014/02/19/glitter-glue/

http://getoutthefrontdoor.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/cute-caterpillars/

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DIY Toddler Learning & Playing Cards

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I know most mommies are biased about their children. We all think our children are the most beautiful, the most brilliant, the funniest kids in the world. I am no exception. I find my child absolutely fascinating. She is so bright and continues to get smarter everyday. She is very proud of the new things she learns and likes to tell us and show us how much she knows.

Continue Reading…

Not Just For Cookies Any More – Fun WIth Cookie Cutters

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I am often amazed when I see an idea either on Pinterest or by a fellow blogger that is so simple & genius that I think, “Wow, why didn’t I think of that?” Yesterday, my amazement was directed at my brother-in-law.

My brother-in-law, Pete was babysitting for his favorite niece yesterday. When I came home they were playing in the living room on the coffee table.

For Christmas, I received a 101 piece box of cookie cutters from my mama-in-law. I can not even begin to tell you how excited I was. The box had cutters for every holiday, shapes, numbers & letters, etc.. Our coffee table was covered in my new cutters. Mai saw the box & wanted to play with them, so Uncle Pete obliged & together they played.

Mai has recently discovered her love for Play Doh. I noticed on the table there were shapes formed out of the Play Doh using my cookie cutters. I was shocked that I never thought of doing this. It is such a simple idea. I am quite certain many of you mommy’s out there have already done this, but it never donned on me. My little baker enjoyed this. We used her small toy rolling pin to roll out the dough. She helped press out the shapes herself.

Cookie Cutter Play Doh

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Mai & I wanted to continue our fun with our new toys. Here are some other fun ideas.

Cookie Cutter Art

Tracing shapes

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Paint Stamping

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Cookies aren’t the only food that should have all the fun. Cutters can be used on French toast, pancakes, sandwiches & fruit. Have fun with it. Your kiddos will thank you for it.

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Related Topics:

http://expatfamilyq8.com/2013/12/29/edible-snowman-craft

Mommy’s night out

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As much as I love being a mother, it can be exhausting & sometimes overwhelming. It is not very often that I get a night to myself to unwind, so when my husband offered to watch our daughter for the night, so that I could get a night out with the girls, I jumped at the chance.
It had been a while since I have been away from my family other than going to work. I was looking forward to it all week. Then when the day finally arrived, I found myself feeling guilty for going out. As my work day was ending, I was second guessing my decision to go out with my friends.
I haven’t seen my daughter all day

I have to wake up with her in the morning

What if daddy feeds her Doritos for supper?

These are the things that went through my head. As much as I always complain that I need a break, the truth is the second I leave my family, I miss them. Despite all these excuses, I pulled myself together and went out with a couple of other mommies, for a girl’s night out.

My girlfriend Maura has a knack for finding fun and original things to do. She found a spot called ‘Brush it off’. It is a group painting session, where they serve beer & wine. I might never leave.

They give you a subject to paint & take you through a step by step process to achieve a great piece of DIY artwork. Our subject was the Ferber daisy.

When you arrive, they have you put on your apron & gather your paint & brushes.

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Don’t forget to grab your drink. I made mine a Shipyard Pumpkin Ale.

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They took us step by step through each part of the flower. The instructions were detailed but simple.

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After two hours of painting, a few drinks & some laughs. My masterpiece was done.

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It was a fun night with good friends . All of us, off duty mommies had a great time & don’t all of us moms deserve that once in a while.

Thank you as always for stopping by. Please follow us on Facebook as well.

PUPPET THEATER part 1 DIY felt puppets

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It can sometimes be exhausting finding activities to fill your toddler’s day, especially when they are as curious as my busy baby. We try to fill her days with fun activities and books but sometimes (and don’t think me a bad mom) it is a nice break to sit her down in front of Disney Junior or a Baby Einstein video, so I can fix dinner or just grab a moment for ourselves.

Lately she has been requesting to watch television far more than I want to accommodate. Mommy created a bad habit. This worries me. She has a particular fondness to ‘Little Einstein’s’. “Stein, Stein” she asks, when she wants to watch them. She loves these characters. I came across a few different ideas for puppets the other day & it made me think, maybe I could give her those characters she loves without having to turn on the dreaded t.v.

Tonight’s inspiration… ‘Little Einsteins’s’ felt puppets.

If you have been following us, you know that I love working with felt. It is easy & fun to work with & fairly inexpensive.

                                                                                  What you will need

Felt

Glue Gun

Markers

Scissors

Needle & thread

Decide how large you would like your puppets. Trace out the shape of your characters. I used a white marker, so lines would be less visible if missed after cutting. Cut out the body of your puppet (front & back).

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Use scissor to cut out facial details such as eyes and mouth & hair if needed.

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Use your glue gun to secure details to the body of the puppet.

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Use markers to draw in fine details such as eyelashes or eyebrows.

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Sew around the outside of the body to secure the front & back of the puppet together.015

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Repeat this process for all characters.

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Here is our finished ‘Little Einstein’ collection…

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Up next…Puppet Theater part 2 the stage

Fun Food Art

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Meal times are a stressful time in our house. My daughter is not the most cooperative eater and it is often a high point of anxiety for myself and my husband. She goes in phases. Sometimes she will surprise me & eat well for 3 days in a row. I get hopeful and think maybe we have had a breakthrough and then she will go into the next 3 days without touching anything on her plate again.
We try to make meal time as entertaining as possible for our finicky daughter. She is a busy little girl and is not a fan of having to sit still for a meal. We often do meal time dinner theater, where we read to her as she eats. She has a favorite selection of books reserved just for mealtime.
When possible, I serve her food in muffin or bite sized form, which she shows a preference to. We make her dips and sauces because she enjoys dipping her food. Unfortunately lately, she has realized that she can keep dipping the same piece of food without actually biting it and she just licks off the sauce. “What did your daughter have for dinner, tonight?”… “Ketchup, why what did yours eat?”

I am always trying different ideas to make meals more appealing to her.
In my Pinterest travels, I have often come across different example of toddler food art. The meals contain different healthy foods arranged to form pictures of animals, cars, cartoons, etc on the plate. This always looked interesting to me. The meals looked cute, but would cute be enough to win over our daughter. Let’s find out.

For snacktime we went with owl. The owl’s head was formed using wheat bread with peanut butter. I used american cheese, raisins and Cheerios for the eyes and a raisin for the nose. The body is made with a half of a graham cracker. The wings are formed using a heel of wheat bread and banana & the feet were slivers of carrot.

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Mommy gave this to Miss Mai . She laughed and pointed and said “bird, bird” and then very promptly looked up at me and said “phant, phant, phant” “Ok honey, an elephant it is.

I told you she was picky.

I recut and rearranged some of the pieces and added a fruit roll up for the tail.

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The elephant is served.

The verdict…

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She did like the fun shape of her snack but all our little snacker was interested in was the fruit roll up tail.

The moral…

The shape of your snack has no impact on whether they will eat their meal or not but it will sure make them smile.

Bearing that in mind, this was still a fun project & I wanted to give it one more try.

Thanksgiving is nearing, so I thought a turkey would be a suitable choice.

The turkey’s body & head are again made of bread, but this time I toasted the bread. The turkey’s wattle is made from a red pepper and the feathers are fish sticks with pieces of cheese & green pepper.

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My daughter likes fish sticks and peppers, so this one worked much better for her.

Like I said before, this was a fun project. Mai did enjoy the funny appearance of her food & I enjoyed creating them. I will continue to practice this interesting art form.

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Up next…Chick Pea french fries

Treasure Hunt Bottles

Sensory bottles for kids made out of colored rice & Dollar store toys. A great sensory activity for toddlers

A few weeks ago, we had to bring our daughter to the emergency room. She had what was called nursemaids elbow, a common toddler injury, which is basically a dislocated elbow. With a quick movement the doctor snapped Mai’s elbow back in place & within seconds, she was back to her happy, smiley, mischievous self. I was relieved. It is a nerve wracking couple of hours.

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While we were there, a very nice nurse brought us a cylinder like toy, filled with sand and different assorted shapes and objects. She gave this to Mai to play with as we waited for her x-rays. The toy worked in distracting our little miss from her injuries. I thought this was a wonderful idea, but in all the stress and anxiety of the situation, it was quickly forgotten, until yesterday when I saw a pin for a treasure hunt game.

This reminded me of the cylinder and all of its’ random objects. I thought this should be easy enough to recreate and would have to be more fun to play with, without a big ouchie.

What you will need…

An old soda bottle 20 oz or 32 will do

rice or sand

food coloring

assorted plastic toys small enough to fit into a bottle top

I originally made this with a 2 liter bottle, but found that it was too heavy for Mai to play with, so we transferred it to a 20 oz bottle. This worked much better for her little hands.

Directions:

Peel the soda label of the bottle. Clean the bottle & let it dry thoroughly

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Pour rice & food coloring into a ziplock bag & shake

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Pour rice onto paper plate to dry

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Insert mini toys into bottle. I went with assorted insects, bugs, butterflies and reptiles. I bought these at the Dollar Store.
Use a funnel & fill the bottle 3/4 of the way with rice.

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Seal top using super glue.

Shake the bottle to mix up the toys

Let your toddler shake & play & point out all of the objects

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With all the left over rice we had, we also made a sensory box.

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The verdict: She loved the bottles. She was shaking it up and pointing to birds and butterflies and laughing. The sensory boxes are always a hit in our house. It was a fun day for Mai. It was a messy day for mommy.

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Drop cloths, mommy..drop cloths. Some one hand me a broom.

 

Cool whip finger painting & more messy play

Cool Whip Finger Paints - edible paints & messy fun for toddlers
As any mother of a toddler knows, toddlers have a short attention span and like to keep busy constantly. They are discovering and learning something new every day, every minute, every second. It is an incredible to thing to watch. It can be uplifting, amazing, funny, heartwarming, frustrating and oh so tiring.
It can be extremely difficult finding activities that will engage & hold my daughter’s interest. She, like her father is a runner. She does not like to stay still even for short periods of time, which is the reason I think I have such a hard time getting her to eat her meals.

One thing my daughter does like is finger painting. Like most children her age she also likes to put everything in her mouth. I found this recipe for edible finger paints last year on Pinterest.

Edible Finger Paint 
2 Tbs. corn starch
4 Tbs. water
food coloring as desired
 
Combine and mix well.

I have made these several times. Here is Mai hard at work.

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The verdict…
This is a great recipe but I found that with this and with other finger paint recipes that they were too soupy.
She would pour out her paint containers within minutes, and that would be end of that.

I saw another idea for playing in shaving cream and I thought this was a great idea but I didn’t want her eating it.

The image of the shaving cream brought to mind Cool Whip. Lucky for me I always have a tub of Cool Whip handy.
I portioned out the Cool Whip into 3 containers and added food coloring and stirred until I achieved the desired color.
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Mai was curious about it right of the bat. I set up her painting area by putting down a drop cloth under her chair and set a piece of poster board down for her at the kitchen table.
Let the paint fly, Mai!

She, of course, had to start off with a taste test.

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It passed with flying colors, now she is ready to paint.

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I gave her a cork and a paintbrush to work with. I was impressed with my little Picasso. She used the brush to paint the cork and then used the cork to stamp the paper.

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Mai’s finished Mess-terpiece.

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The verdict…
The Cool Whip paints worked wonderfully. The denser texture made for a better contained mess & it was much easier to mix than regular finger paints. It tastes better too.

WATER PLAY
Mai loves playing with liquid. One of my daughters favorite things to do is to take her sippy cup and pour her juice, milk, etc into anything she thinks will hold it. I have caught her taking random toys and putting them in her play pots and making soup out of them.

Here is another simple activity. Leave the splash mat out.

I used a small Rubbermaid container and filled it halfway with food colored water. We added some play cups and bath toys. She held on the the paint brush, too. She became really attached to it.

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I also gave her a pump bottle filled with the same colored liquid. She loved this.

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The verdict…
This one was a winner. I was able to cook a whole dinner while she enjoyed her water play. Thank you, baby.

Thank you as always for stopping by. Please follow us on Facebook as well.

Cool Whip Finger Paints - edible paints & messy fun for toddlers