Friday, June 21, 2013

Animal Making

We love going to the zoo.  Recently we made a few animals out of construction paper.  Mommy is not the best artist, so the animals are not great, but they sure were fun to make!  I got the idea from Simple. Home. Blessings.

We started with the giraffe.  After we finished, we hung the giraffe on our fridge.  Little Guy loved to see his artwork hung up, and often would give his giraffe a hug!

I prepped the animals while Little Guy was taking a nap.  When we were ready to start, I smeared a glue stick over the body where the spots and stripes would go. 

Getting started and adding spots.

This will be a great giraffe!
A few days after making the giraffe, we made a tiger.  This time, Little Guy added stripes, googly eyes (which he really liked), and then we painted grass.

Making sure the stripes are just right!

Add two eyes.

Wow!  I get to paint grass!

Our finished tiger!
I found the tiger project to be more successful because there were fewer things for Little Guy to add.  While he seemed to enjoy putting the spots onto the giraffe, there were too many for his short attention span (he is only 2).  Also, the variety of things to do on the tiger was nice, since he added stripes, put on eyes, and then painted.  I need to figure out what other animals we can make!

What crafts have you done with your toddler?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Kool Aid Scented Playdough

One area I have started working on with Little Guy is learning his colors.   He knows some, but I want to work and play with colors.  One way we are practicing colors is with play dough, so this week we made some new play dough!  However, this is no ordinary play dough; it is scented and colored with Kool Aid!  I wanted to have the primary colors, so since we already have blue play dough, we needed yellow and red.

The recipe:
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/4 cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 Tbls. vegetable oil
1-2 packets of Kool Aid 

Stir all the ingredients together.  Then cook over medium heat, stirring all the while, until a ball forms.  Take off the heat, put on wax paper to cool, then knead!

To make yellow, we used lemonade.  I used one packet of Kool Aid.  As I was mixing, I could tell the color would not be very vibrant, so I also added a few drops of yellow food coloring.  When it was finished, you could tell it was slight scented, but, as Daddy put it, you can't really smell the lemonade over the play dough smell.

The next day we made red.  I made a half batch of play dough and, to make sure it was well scented, I used 2 packets of strawberry Kool Aid.  The play dough came out a very dark red, and smells so yummy!

Little Guy loves to help stir!

Fresh play dough from the pot.

Knead away!

Hmmm, which color do I want to play with?

I love play dough!
This play dough was a big hit!  Not only did we get some great new colors, but the scents add a little something!  I love when Little Guy plays with it, as it is so good for the muscles in his hands!

What type of play dough have you made lately?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

An intro to Shaving Cream

Now that we have more time at home, I have more opportunities to do some fun experiences with Little Guy.  Last week, we got out the shaving cream for the first time!  This is such a great sensory activity.  At first, Little Guy did not seem to understand what it was or what to do with it.

Leaning in for a first look.
 With some encouragement from Mommy, he tentatively touched it.

Huh, it feels kinda funny!
  Then he started to realize it was not too bad.  Look at that smile!


Look at my hands now!

Its not really coming off.

I can write in it!
This was a really fun activity for both Little Guy and Mommy! It worked well to do this on his little picnic table.  It kept a well defined area for the shaving cream and was a small enough area that he could utilize it, while sharing some space with Mommy.

Once we had the shaving cream smeared over the entire table, we wrote with our fingers.  This was an easy way to show Little Guy some shapes and words, including his name, mama, and dada.  I would tell my students at school that we were going to have some fun and I would sneak in the learning.  This was a great example of doing this at home with Little Guy.

Have you played with shaving cream?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Our (new and improved) garden

When we moved into this house, there was a small garden plot in the corner of the backyard.  Over the last few years, we have continued to use this spot as it was to plant a small vegetable garden in the summer.  This summer was to be the same.  You may recall that we already planted pea seeds out there.
Well, Daddy decided it was time for an upgrade to our garden plot!  Over a weekend, he built a raised garden bed out of cedar!  It is beautiful!

Little Guy likes to help Daddy!
Using those tools!
2 clamps are better than 1.
What a good job hammering.
Doing some work on his own!

After the box was built, we had to fill it with soil and compost, then put in our new plants!

Making sure the soil is mixed!
Good thing he has a wheelbarrow!
Mommy and Little Guy digging together.
Putting in a tomato plant!
And here it is!

Our wonderful garden!
Our peas never came up, so we weren't worried about planting over them.  Our garden contains:
  • 6 sunflower plants (that we started from seeds!)
  • 4 different types of tomatoes
  • 3 types of peppers
  • 1 cucumber

We planted Scottish moss in the little inset, as it can handle being stepped on.  The inset is so I can reach all the plants!

Can't wait to see what we get this summer and fall!

What's in your garden?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Thank you gifts

At the end of the school year, the are always thank you gifts to be handed out. This year I need gifts for my wonderful classroom volunteers and for Little Guy's teachers at his school. 

For my classroom volunteers, I put together these water bottles.  In each bottle is a few Crystal Light iced tea packets and a few Snickers bars.   The tag reads "Thank you for helping in our classroom this year.  Your hard work is nothing to 'Snicker' at.  I hope you have a 'tea'-rrific summer!"  I know, a little cheesy, but it has the right sentiment.  I also gave them a framed picture of their child in a graduation cap and gown (finishing kindergarten IS a big deal!).

All lined up for the parents!

I think they came out cute!

For Little Guy's teachers, I put together a little gardening basket. Each basket included a pair of gloves, a transplanting shovel, a seed packet, a small pot, and a small sunflower plant (one of the ones that Little Guy and I started). We also made cards for them with Little Guy's hand prints.

Here are the ingredients!

Ready to go (except the sunflowers)!

Thank you for helping me grow!
 What ideas for gifts do you have? 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Loving airplanes

Ever since we flew to Hawaii, Little Guy has been very interested in airplanes. At one of our layovers, we sat in front of a window in the airport and could see planes landing, taking off, and taxi-ing up to the gates. Little Guy sat there and watched, giving us his own (almost 2 year old) commentary on what was happening.  This consisted of "airplane," "up," "down," and "fly."
After we returned home, Little Guy and I took a trip to the library. There we found a few great books about airplanes. We took two of these books on our next trip, and he loved to look at them in the airplane.

We have read these books over and over.  Our favorite has been Airport by Byron Barton.  The bright, simple illustrations explain what is going on as well as providing many discussion ideas.

For about the first week after were done traveling, the first thing Little Guy would say to me in the morning was "Up!" like he expected us to fly every week. I'm glad he enjoyed the flying, but I am glad to be home for a while!

 Recently, Grandma and Granddaddy A. sent Little Guy a Little People Airplane.  He has really enjoyed this!

Loading the people.

Don't forget the suitcase!




Ready to go.
 What is your toddler interested in and how do you help them learn more about it?