Archive for September, 2012

Marble Painting

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This is an activity that I did with Clara frequently when she was little, but never blogged about and then forgot about for a long time.  I finally remembered it because Nancy has been very interested in painting and this is just such a clean way to go about it.  I did blog about a giant variation of this in our first summer art series, here.

To do this, you need a box, marbles, some paint, and a spoon. You put your marbles into the paint, stir them around, then drop the marbles into the paint lined box. Then you tip the box around to move the marbles and the paint around. Not only is this an art project, but it is also a physics lesson as you are experimenting with gravity and its effects on the marbles. Or maybe its just fun.
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They do come out with some fabulous pictures and it is a good use for the massive amount of black paper that I always seem to end up with. And our painting quota was met for the day.
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Sensory Bin of the Month: Colored Pasta!

Sensory bin of the month took a long hiatus over the summer as I made all sorts of sensory bins during summer art. I had enough on my hands getting those together. Here’s a list of those if you would like more ideas, though:

But, now that we’re out of summer and back into something of a normal routine, I thought that the sensory bin of the month should come back.  To start us off, I made some rainbow digitalini by using rubbing alcohol and food coloring, just like I did way back when I made these pasta necklace party favors.  I made a rainbow of colors and let them dry on a cookie sheet in the sun.  Aren’t they pretty?!

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Then I poured all of them into my sensory bin and added some strings, pipe cleaners, bowls, and cut up egg cartons to play with as well.
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Nancy dove right in and started beading on the pipe cleaners, which was not at all what I was expecting her to do. She did it all by herself and was SO proud!
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See her pretty bracelet?
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Sticky Easel

Now that I’ve got some time to spend with the little Nancy by myself, I’m trying to get more toddler friendly activities going for her.  So, watch for more coming here!  Today, I’ve got something that is easy and good to toddlers and older kids as well.  My inspiration came form this sticky wall art post, but since wall space is somewhat limited at my house, I decided that the easel would work better for us.  I just used some painter’s tape to put some contact paper, sticky side out on to our easel, then pulled all of the pattern pieces that came with this fabulous puzzle out and let the kids start sticking them.

It was a big hit with Nancy, who lined up all of the orange squares as she sorted them out of the pile with cousin Chloe’s help:
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And it was an even bigger hit when Clara got home from school and needed some quiet time to herself:
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Back to school, Back to reality

I know that this is going to sound completely lame to anyone who has never been a stay-at-home mom for more than a year, but this whole going to kindergarten thing is rough.  For me, it has nothing to do with “my baby going off to school,” as she loves it and really, I was ready for a little just Nancy and me time anyway.  But, where it gets hard is that I have not had a five day a week schedule for five years.  Five glorious years of calling my own shots.  If I didn’t want to go out, we didn’t go out.  If I wanted to go play at the park, that’s what we did.  And we didn’t need to hurry to get there, either.  So, now we have to be there on time.  At 7:50 in the morning.  With our lunch packed and the kid looking presentable and well-fed.  Sheeesh!  Its been a long week.  But, we’re hanging in there.

Some pictures of the cutie this week…

The night before the first day of school we held a back-to-school feast with our real china plates and also set some goals for the year. For the kids that were going to start school I made crowns and little rice filled fleece hearts to hang on to if they got lonely. Don’t worry, nobody used them, but they can be hand warmers when it gets cold, too.
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The first day of class, I walked Clara into her class and got her settled in. Nancy immediately sat down in a chair and expected to stay, too. Poor thing. Then when we left, Nancy got very worried about us leaving Clara there. Clara just got right down to business and reported that her teacher was like a princess. So far so good. She rode the bus home by herself and that was apparently the best part of the day.
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Finally, our other big first this week was that Daddy started coaching soccer for Clara this week. We had our first practice and game this week. Everybody seems to be having a great time. Go Sharks!
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Summer Art 2012: Play Date #6

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This is our last summer art play date!  In the next two weeks most of our group will be starting kindergarten at various schools in our area.  I think they’re ready.  They get along along together the vast majority of our play time.  They can manipulate and do the art almost on their own most of the time.  They are very interested in reading and writing… So, I guess that I should be ready, too, right?!  While I am looking forward to some alone time with just my little Nancy, it will be strange to not have Clara home with me all day every day.  I’m already looking at the pace of our life changing dramatically as well.  We have to be up early, fed breakfast, lunch packed, and ready to be out the door by 7:45.  Adam is going to be assistant coaching soccer for Clara, too, so our evening schedules will be hectic, too. As much as I run around with the girls and play in the summer, I’m wary that I haven’t spent enough time going slowing in the past five years when I could.   But such is the way of  motherhood… not enough time to enjoy everything and too much time to not fill it up with fun.

This week we did all sorts of fun things, but they were all very simple and kid directed.  I learned my lesson from the fireflies at the last play date.  Our projects were: Birdie pencils, car painting, car bubble washing, and play dough.

Birdie Pencils

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These were super fun and easy to make as a back-to-school craft.  All you need are pencils fluffy pipe cleaners, googlie eyes, orange foam cut into triangles, feathers, and a bit of tacky glue.  First you  hold the feathers onto the pencil, then wrap the pipe cleaner around the pencil and feathers tightly.  Continue wrapping until the pipe cleaner is completely secure, then glue on the eyes and the beak.  Done!

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Car Painting
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This was a very easy project and fun for all ages. I simply set out some paper plates of tempera paint and some little cars from Dollar Tree. The cars drove through the paint, then drove on our painting paper.
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Bubble Car Wash
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Our sensory bin this time was full of bubbles (made just with dish washing soap), water, and sponges. At first we just played with the bubbles and made more bubbles with the sponges, then when we had cars that needed the paint washed off, we brought them over and added them to the bin to get cleaned up!
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Playdough
Finally, we had more playdough! It is always a hit. Some kids start there every time, and others finish there every time. Love it!
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