Archive for August, 2011

Balloon Yo-yos

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We love parades.  Is there anything more joyful than watching a bunch of fun people march by you, catching candy by the handful, and feeling the beat of a marching band invade your entire body, down to your toes?  I didn’t think so.

When we were at the Grand Floral Parade earlier this year, balloon yo-yos were everywhere, and being sold for at least three dollars a pop.  Of course, my immediate thought was a) no, you don’t need one of those, they’re too expensive, and b) I can make those for pennies!  So, when it came time for our favorite parade of the year, the Multnomah Days Parade I knew I could and would make some.

We invited a bunch of friends to join us on the bridge to watch the parade and I brought along chalk and a bag full of  balloon yo-yos to play with while we waited for the  parade to start.  To make the balloon yo-yos, I just took a bunch of water balloons, filled with about two ounces of water, blew a little air in them, and tied them.  Then, I looped a rubber band around the tied part of the balloon.  Voila!  Instant toy!

Everyone loved them, the babies included.  But, it was a little surprising to them when they suddenly would pop.  Luckily, it was a hot day and there is so little water in these that they dried out easily and were able to forget any incident quickly.
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Summer Art Play Date #7

This week was our final art play date of the summer.   While, I really, super enjoyed planning and executing these play dates, I am also ready for school, routine, and a little, tiny break for Momma.  I am hoping that I will be inspired to do summer art play dates next year as well.  I’ll keep you all updated if I do.  If you would like to see a list of all of the projects that we did this summer (fourteen!), click here.

Beaded Bubble Wands

I got this ideas from the blog Kleas via a post on The Crafty Crow.  This was super fun and was actually quite easy for all of the three and four year olds here.  I started them off by making the first loop in the florist wire and adding the first bead (which I wound the wire through in both directions).  Then they added beads and little fake flowers to their hearts’ content.
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Then they dipped them in bubble solution and tried them out!
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Recycled Jar Candle Holders
This is a project that I stole from preschool, as I got one from my dear daughter for Christmas. It is a super easy and fun project. You take a recycled jar, some small pieces of tissue paper (left over from making rainbows for us), and some watered down glue (homemade Modge Podge). The kids just paint some glue on the outside of a jar (any size will do) and stick the tissue paper on it. Then they add more glue on top to ensure that everything lays flat. These actually dried super fast and most were completely dry by the end of the play time.  You could add glitter to the gle and other sparkly things to stick on if you had them easily available, too. 
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Add a tea candle inside when you’re done, and light up the night!
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Water Balloon Fun!

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Clara pulled another stick out of our summer fun jar yesterday. After half an hour at the kitchen sink, she had an incredible amount of fun! Who knew that an afternoon could be so fun: water balloons, Jimmy Buffet on Pandora, and a whole lot of splashing.

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Art Wall Update #7

Here is our art wall right now!  Mostly it is full of crafts we did this summer, but also, notably, Nancy’s first piece of art is up here!  I am going to have to figure out how to get more art up at one time and I need new frames soon.  It turns out, you get what you pay for, and Dollar Tree frames do not last forever.  Who could have predicted such a thing?!
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Left to right, top to bottom:

1)  Rainbow Mobile

2) Spray Bottle Painting

3) “Cow” puppet made at Camp Silver Creek

4) Nancy’s first painting!

5) Fly swatter painting

6) Popsicle Painting

Super Heroes!!

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When I saw this post on The Craft Crow, I knew that I had to make a super hero cape.  Or five.  Whatever.  I chose this pattern due to the sheer simplicity of it and then fact that I love fleece and hate to hem.  I pretty much followed the pattern, but I did not add the collar, instead opting to just put the velcro right on the cape itself.  The only sewing I actually did was to reinforce the velcro and to sew on the name letters that my lovely sister cut out for each kid.  Other than that, it was all just cutting.
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I made five capes total: one yellow big kid cape from 1/2 a yard of fleece, one blue big kid cape from 1/2 a yard of fleece, and three pink toddler capes from 1/2 a yard of fleece.  Then we added the letters cut out of felt.  I have a little blue and a little yellow left for another undetermined project.  The big kid capes are about 36 inches long, and each toddler cape is about 20 inches long.
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But, most importantly, here they are in action!
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Summer Art Play Date #6

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Sometimes, art projects just do not turn out the way you want them to.  This was one of those weeks.  While everyone had fun, dressing up in princess clothes and pretending that monsters were chasing them seemed to be much more the theme of this play date than art.  Oh well.  If you want to see some of our more successful art play dates this summer, go here.  I had two projects planned.  The sponge balls, while they were made, were not all that fun to throw sans water, since it was too cold.  The spray bottle painting was fun until frustration set in when the bottles kept getting clogged.  We’ll try something different next time.
Sponge Balls
I have seen this project in many different places, but first here and then at Frugal Family Fun. Its super easy. All you do is cut some ordinary sponges into thirds the long way, then tie six of the pieces together in the middle with either a zip tie or some dental floss. We used floss because it was more readily available at our house. Then, you’re supposed to use them for water fighting. But because it was so cold, we just practiced our target practice into the baby pool and everyone took theirs home to try out in the bathtub. Nancy loved hers.
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Clara was obsessed with getting hers full of bubbles and them wiping the tub or Nancy’s head with it. A good project, but just not what I had wanted for SUMMER art. Because it was supposed to be hot out.
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Spray Bottle Painting
This project seemed great in theory, but was super frustrating in reality. I followed this recipe from Disney Family fun and thought all was well. I mixed tempera paint, a lot of water, and some dishwashing liquid together in some Dollar Tree spry bottles. Then I set the kids loose with them and some big paper on the line. But, after about five minutes of squirting, all of the bottles seemed to get clogged or somehow stop working. This led to a constant chorus of, “Danette! Netters! The pink isn’t working! The yellow stopped working! It’s not working!” Oye. Finally, my brilliant sister figured out that if you squeezed all of the air out of the bottle, creating somewhat of a vacuum, they would work for a little while before you had to do it again. This was a cool project and super fun in size and for the power of being able to use a squirt bottle, but I’m never doing it again.
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Summer Art Play Date #5

Hello everyone, and welcome to summer in the Pacific Northwest!  Its finally here!  To kick off our actual hot weather art projects, we did art involving ice for our play date this week.  In case you missed them, this is our fifth art playdate of the summer and if you would like to see all of the others, check out this link.  Besides our two art projects this week, we also had a bonus ice water table with regular ice cubes and rainbow colored ice cubes (which melted into a lovely dirty brown water).  As usual, we also had a play dough table.
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Popsicle Painting
I have seen this project everywhere, it seems around the web, but I followed the directions from Disney Family Fun magazine (I love this publication!). The only modification that I made was that I used about a tablespoon of regular tempera paint, not dry. It turned out fine, not too watery at all. Clara helped me make the popcicles the night before and we let them freeze. Then we pulled them out during the playdate and painted big sheets of paper with them. They were much better for painting about twenty minutes after they came out of the fridge.
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Ice Cube Slide Painting

This project idea I got from this blog. We have a giant ramp in our backyard that enables us to get our lawn mower up and down from the backyard. Normally, the kids are not allowed to play on it because it is a) slippery in the rain (which is pretty much year round) and b) too hard for the babies toddlers to navigate. But, for art, we embraced it. I made more tempera ice cubes just in trays, put out more big paper, and we slide the cubes down the paper on the ramp. Again, letting them get a bit meltier was better.
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It was a little crazy with all of the ramp watching that I was doing to get good pictures of this and they were all working too fast for me.

Then I brought out the real popsicles for eating and that was fun, of course, too!