Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Welcome to Summer Art 2012

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I’m thrilled that summer art is back this year! It was a raucous, rowdy, and resourceful morning with twenty plus kids in our back yard yesterday. And boy did I have fun. I think that I have worked out some of the kinks that annoyed me last summer and everything pretty much went off without a hitch!

This year, instead of just two art projects, I’m going to do two projects (one for toddlers and one for preschoolers, but of course both can be done by everyone), some sort of sensory bin for the toddlers (but as you’ll see below, the preschoolers love them, too), and one tactile activity (like play dough). I think that the wider range of activities will keep everyone productively playing a little more.

Don’t worry. There was still a ton of bug, slug, and snail, and spider hunting. There was also a lot of running, playing monster, and pretending of all sorts. Everyone had a great time, I think.

Our activities this time were pool noodle painting, picture frame mosaics, play dough, and water beads.

Pool Noodle Painting
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This project was meant to be primarily for the little kids, but everyone participated. I simply cut up a pool noodle that was shaped like a flower into two inch lengths, put out some bowls of tempera paint, and let them stamp and paint on paper with the noodle pieces. It was simple, easy, and do-able even for those down around 18 months. This idea came from here via Pinterest.
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Picture Frame Mosaics
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For this project I asked everyone to bring a picture frame and then I supplied the glue, foam brushes, and glass gems (found in the flower arranging section of Michaels or Walmart or Dollar Tree). The kids painted glue all over the front of the glass of their frames. Then they added glass gems of all colors to their hearts’ content. When they were done, they let them dry, then took the backing off to create suncatching mosaics for windows. I think that most of them used a sufficient amount of glue that the glass won’t fall out but a little hot glue or super glue may be in order on some. This idea was from Homeschool Mom via pinterest.
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Play Dough
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Next we had our ubiquitous play dough table, which I’ll be mixing up a bit as the summer goes on. I put it up by the snack table and it seems like a good place for some quiet down time in between running games or for a little bit of warming up to the crowd. I used this recipe (as always).

Water Beads
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Finally, our last activity was a sensory bin of water beads. Water beads are a non-toxic polymer that soaks up water and are typically used for floral decorations. They are all over the blog-o-sphere and if you google water bead sensory bin you will have a ton of cool hits. I bought ours at Dollar Tree (pre-soaked) and at Walmart (dry). Then I soaked the ones that needed to be soaked and put all 8 quarts into a storage bin with measuring cups, tongs, containers for sorting, etc. I put a sheet ($2 at Value Village) down on the ground and staked it some tent stakes to try to keep the water beads from bouncing all over the place (they are crazy bouncy) and so that when we were done I could just lift the whole thing up and shake it into the trash can. The kids LOVED the water beads, but unfortunately really also liked smashing them up. So, afterward I spent about an hour fishing the whole beads out of the smashed ones and then throwing the smashed ones away. By the way, make sure that you do not dump these down the drain because despite the fact that they are full of water, they will clog your system. Throw them in the trash! Nevertheless, they were a “smash hit” (I know, I’m hilarious!) and the left overs will show up again later in the summer.

Microwave Puffy Paint

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We had a very rainy spring break, thank you for asking.  It was almost ridiculous and one late afternoon amongst pouring rain, I broke out a fabulous activity that I found via Inner Child Fun, formerly Frugal Family Fun.
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During naptime, I mixed up three different colors of paint and put them into squirt bottles.  They actually lasted overnight and might have lasted longer if Clara hadn’t been obsessed with painting and used them all up.  I don’t keep self-rising flour in my house, as it seems silly, so I adapted the recipe as follows:

1 C. all purpose flour

1 C. salt

1 1/2 tea. baking powder

1 C. water

Food coloring

I mixed all of the ingredients except the food coloring together in a bowl until smooth .  Then I put a few drops of food coloring into each of my three squirt bottles and split the flour mixture among them using a funnel to control the mess.  Then I shook them up to distribute the color.

 
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After naps, we took all the paints and some white card stock over to the cousins’ house and we painted for the whole afternoon. I had the older kids draw their pictures first with pencil and then go over them with paint, while the little ones just squirted at will. This was a very interesting medium for them to use as they had to do at least think about negative space if they wanted pictures to show up–they couldn’t just fill everything in with paint.
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The best part was the puffing, though! After the pictures were painted, we popped them in the microwave for thirty second or so (depending on how much paint was on the paper) and they puffed up and dried immediately! Super cool effect and immediate gratification. I think all in all, we made at least forty pictures over two days. This was a huge hit! 

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Valentines are coming…

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Clara and I have been loving making these Heart Flakes that we found in a Family Fun booklet out of origami paper and also the inside of security envelopes. They got me thinking that Valentine’s day will be upon us soon!  Enjoy those as well as these Valentine’s blasts from the past!

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Merry Christmas, Everyone!

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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

July Blog Vacation!

I’ll be out of internet service (I know, crazy!) for two weeks this month, so I am taking a blog vacation. I’ll be back in August with all sorts of stuff to say and lots of outdoor fun activities! See you then!

I so want to win this…

Jen at Whole Food Kids, 11th Heaven’s Homemaking Haven, 365 Days of TV-Free Toddler Time, Mega-Family Blogs, and life in mexico {and other places} a picture a day, is giving away a Zoku 7-Minute Pop Maker!

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And just in case you don’t know any awesome Popsicle recipes, she’s throwing in THIS book, too!

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This entire package is worth over $60! To enter, go HERE.