Archive for July, 2012

Summer Art 2012: Play date #3

Hooray!  Summer art play date number three was today!  I thought that rain might cancel it, but it turned out that there was only about five minutes of “mist” and that was it.  So far we have had no cancelled play dates, which is amazing!  Today we made bug catcher necklaces and Fruit Loop rainbows and we played with play dough and water beads in shaving cream.

Bug Catcher Necklaces

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When I saw this idea, I knew that the kids would love it.  The idea came from this post and then I later saw it in Disney Family Fun Magazine, but it took me a while to find the right toy capsules to make them. I finally ended up buying 25 from a vendor on Atomic Mall and they were listed under “Empty Vending Capsles” (example here).  To prep this, I poked holes in the tops of each capsule with a push pin, then drilled one big hole in the middle that two strands of my beading cord would fit snugly through.  I also cut the cord to length so that they were ready to go for the kids.  The kids beaded their cords, then we put the two ends through the drilled hole and knotted them together (so the knot is inside the capsule when it is closed) and put the capsule together.  After the kids made them, these were quickly filled with pill bugs, slugs, and other crawly insects!

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Fruit Loop Rainbows

This was a super easy craft.  I got the idea here.  I printed out some clip art of a rainbow and then had it photocopied onto blue paper.  Then I set them out with a big bowl of Fruit Loops, some glue, and some cotton balls.   Much eating ensued!  And a few fun rainbows came out of the fray.

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Water Beads and Shaving Cream

I had a bunch of water beads left from our first play date.  Instead of putting them out and letting the kids smash them to bits again, I decided to try a new tact.  I put the water beads in our sensory bin and them squirted a whole can of shaving cream on top.  The kids really enjoyed this, especially the little ones.  They kept coming over and putting their hands in to play, then running over to the water bucket to rinse them off, then coming back and starting over again.  Super fun and cute!

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Play Dough
Finally, we had our ubiquitous play dough again! Always a hit and I made a new batch so it was extra fresh and squishy! Recipe here.
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Our summer so far…

We have just over a month left of summer!  Can you believe that?  Then my little girl is going off to real school every day… tear.  We have been having so much fun and the girls have been exhausted to say the least almost every day.  Here’s what we’ve done so far from our summer fun list:

    • We camped out in the backyard with our cousins (there were many problems getting to sleep, but once everyone was asleep it went well).
    • We made a water wall with the help of my fabulous brother-in-law,  Andy (inspiration here).

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    • Clara is successfully riding her bike that Grandma and Grandpa got her for her birthday (albeit with training wheels).

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    • We have been to the zoo three times.
    • We are halfway through our library’s summer reading program.
    • We  roasted marshmallows and hot dogs (over the bbq) during our backyard campout.

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    • We went to a fabulous concert in the park and danced our butts off.

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    • We have had two summer art play dates with four more to go!
    • We have had a picnic almost every day this summer.
    • We found a new playground that we adore!
    • We have made popsicle.  Our favorite recipes: are Strawberry Creamsicles and pureed, then frozen watermelon and strawberries.
    • We had a fabulous time at YMCA Camp Silver Creek.

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  • We flew kites with friends at the park on Father’s Day.
  • We have had quite a few fun hikes in the woods.

There are still quite a few things left on our list and I am hopeful to get to most all of them in the next month!

Summer Art 2012~ Play date #2

Yikes! It has already been a week since our last summer art play date and I have not posted anything yet! I guess that I’m still trying to catch my breath after a super fifth birthday party three day weekend for Clara, super fun summer action, and getting ready to take off for camp next week.

We had a fun-filled and low-key summer art play date with about half the number of kids as our first play date had. The more the merrier, but I do have to say that I was able to enjoy myself a little more this time. We had four activities: bubble painting, bubble snakes, pool noodle creatures, and flubber!

Bubble Painting
I’m not gonna lie. This activity was not the hit that I was hoping for. It was very hard for the kids to blow the bubbles through the straw and not suck up the paint, soap, and water solution. Some of the older kids (4-5) had some success, but it had to be well supervised. Nancy had a major issue with sucking up the paint both times she tried and then trying to throw it up… not so fun. Luckily, everything was non-toxic. So, bottom line, if you try this, do it with older kids. In the end, I ended up just getting some paint brushes out for the little kids to use instead of the bubbles.

Anyway, the way it worked was I put some soap, water, and paint into pie pans. Then the kids were to blow with straws into the solution to make bubbles.
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Then they gently placed the paper on the very top of the bubbles and let them pop onto the paper. Fun sounding, right?!
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When done correctly, they look gorgeous, like this:
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Bubble Snakes
This is just a fantastic idea that I can take absolutely no credit for. This came to me via Pinterest from Come Together Kids and I have to say that it is one of the best ideas using recycled trash that I have found lately. You cut the bottom off of a plastic soda or water bottle, cut a circle of terry cloth (I used an old towel that my Mommy gave me–Thanks, Moo!), and rubber band that circle onto the bottom of the bottle. Then you dip it into bubble solution (or just really soapy water) and blow through the top. The bubbles just don’t stop!
I put out a big tub of bubble solution a few of these bubble snakes and some other assorted bubble wands that I had in my shed and I think that the bubble station may have been the most popular of all the activities this time.
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Pool Noodle Creatures

You’ll remember that we used pool noodles at our last summer art play date. Well, I bought four pool noodles with the intention of using them for the painting and for this craft. Both of theses crafts allowed me to joyously cut them up with a bread knife after my kids played with them for a few weeks and a) smacked all sorts of things and each other with them and b) pretended that they were alternatively tails, and phallic body parts. I was not sad to see them go. Both crafts turned out quite well, though.

This idea came from this Pin. When I saw it I thought it was both brilliant and easy at the same time. This craft was easy for both the little toddlers and the bigger preschoolers to do together with little to no help. I cut the pool noodles into about six inch lengths and set them out with a big bag of golf tees, some pipe cleaners that were cut in half, a bunch of googlie eyes in various sizes, some decorative gems, glue sticks, and some dot and square stickers. Then the kids just got to create as they saw fit!
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Flubber
You may remember our obsession with flubber this spring. I knew that it had to be revived during summer art, so our tactile table this time had flubber, scissors, chop sticks, various plastic animals on it. Recipe for flubber here!
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