Independence day is fast approaching and this is a cute craft to do with kids. It can teach them about recycling, history and decor. For centuries people have been decorating their houses by hanging plates on the walls. They were special plates that were often deemed too special for actual use. Remember wonderful Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter and her wonderful kitten plate collection? This time we skipped the cats (you can do that craft on your harry potter themed bday instead) and decided to stick with more American theme.
Trying to get organized for the holiday I found that my collection of plastic and paper plates have reached gigantic proportions and needs to be stopped. I guess I could throw out all the extra plates or make Lacing Cards.
Instead we took some brushes, acrylic paints and started painting.
You can create anything you wish from fireworks
to date specific plates
Making plates that copy the American flag are especially fun for older kids since you can discuss the importance of stars (50, one for each state) in a blue square (representing the union), stripes (13 representing original 13 states of the union). A little History in Crafting never hurt anyone.
Hopefully by the end of the day the kids will at least know how to spell Independence day and what is the significance of 4th of July and will have cool wall decorations to show for it.
This is a fun simple game to play with your toddlers. You can play it at home or make it even more fun outside. Kids will enjoy trying to find their stuffed animal by following a string.
Tie one end of a long string (we use knitting yarn) to a favorite plush toy such as monkey or teddy bear. Trail the string around the room, back yard that leads to the monkeys final hiding spot.
Weave the string around the room, over and under the furniture, outdoors, in out of rooms. You can make it as easy or as hard as you wish. You can also expand it to the back yard or to final hang out area. The kids can be following the monkey trail to lunch or bath or nap time.
When finished with the set up give the other end of the rope to a toddler and have them follow the animal, track the animal or just look for monkey or teddy. They may need some help with rolling up the yard and may have to rely on a parent to help.
Our monkey was taking a nap in the bedroom but others often hide behind closet doors.
I am not sure if my kids had more fun finding the monkey or doing tricks with the monkey holding on to a string.
They were pulling and giggling.
the monkey looked like a little home made puppet
or a silly version of Cirque du Soleil
My daughter is still trying to get this silly monkey off her back.
It is officially summer and unless you belong to a pool which allows your toddler for constant gratification you are probably thinking of ways of entertaining your young ones at home. Maybe your school aged kids are looking forward to sleeping in for a week or two before starting their summer camps and that interferes with your toddlers activity/nap schedule. Maybe you want to have an easy day when you do not need to pack everyone and head somewhere for once. Well this is a perfect activity for all of those days.
You will need a blow up pool or even a bathtub. We have purchased our pool this year for 10$ and it is large enough to fit all the kids in. For this larger pool I used 6 packages of spaghetti (total cost 2$), 2/3 cup of oil and food coloring (optional).
Cook the noodles until just softened, you do not want them too mushy
When cooked toss in about 1/3 cup of oil per 2-3 packages of spaghetti. I am using canola but you can use whatever you have on hand
I have added optional food coloring into mine just for fun. It does not stain your clothes or fingers (I was pleasantly surprised) and it is so much fun to play with
Now the great part about this game is that it is lunch at the same time. All these noodles are edible
The kids will have a blast and they will also get very oiled moisturized so you can think of this as toddler skin/hair spa.
You have to try it your little one will thank you. To see what we did with our noodle pool click here.
In case you are looking for a fun project to do with the kids after spending day in the amusement park or Disney this is perfect. Why not build a roller coaster? Hey why not? Pick a theme, take a drill and lets get going, shell we.
You will need a MDF board, wooden dowels, and metal wire, paint and play dough for design. Cut the wooden dowels to desired various sizes. Drill in holes in the MDF to support the dowels. Attach short pieces of wire into the dowels and twist around to support the rail.
Use pliers to attach the rail tighter
Continue with the rest of the wire making sure it has a nice even slope
Now this is the right side of the roller coaster
this is the view from above
Now it is time to add the ponds (play dough) and the greenery
Now all you need is some extra tweaking to make sure the cart can actually roll on it. As a part of this assignment my daughter had to work on other projects also.
Here is a list of amusement park projects options she had to choose from:
-making a map of the amusement park
-making promotional poster
-making a promotional tshirt
-making a monopoly game based on the amusement park
-making a video commercial
-making a bingo game including elements from the park
If you can think of other projects or crafts based on amusement park experience leave me a comment.
Object match up is an easy, fun game that can be ready in minutes. It is fun to play and just in case you are running out of ideas there is no special equipment needed. So if you find yourself rained/snowed or sunned out you can make this anywhere anytime. I am sure that if you really need to you can make it with all the objects found in your car; and if your car is as toddler infested as mine I am sure there are a lot of napkins to use as tracing paper.
Just see for yourself.
Gather several toys, common household objects, cookie cutters, keys, animals etc. Other then that all you need is a pen and a piece of paper. I have cut my paper into smaller pieces just because they are two trouble makers in my house and I did not want them to fight for one piece of paper.
On the other hand this can become a fun game for older kids. Give each child a piece of paper with 10 items traced a bucket filled with stuff and see who can match it the fastest.
Since my kiddos are not even in preschool yet I placed each item on a separate piece of paper and traced around them.
I made some pieces easily recognizable and some really tough to recognize
Once finished the kids were ready to match. Well actually they were ready way before and one was spying on me.
The fun started and it was interesting to see how fast the kiddos found some items
and how long it took them to find others.
This is also a great time to discuss the objects with kids. You can put all the items in the box and have kids search one at a time to be more focused
Some items were very tough and rhinoceros’ feet looked indeed like a butterfly and the fish could look like an airplane. Why knew?
I decided to eliminate the cards with the items found just to make it a little bit easier
At the end with a little help from each other
and a lot of pondering we matched every object to its outline.
You can store the objects and their outlines in a box when not in use, or you can just make some when needed. You can always use recycled brown bags, birthday paper etc.
Continued from Part I here.
Our Tadpoles were surviving nicely until about two days ago when I found one lifeless flowing on top of the glass container. Yes the tadpoles have moved on from the martini shaker to a larger glass flower vase. Just in case you want to know the tadpoles do not swim belly up instead they just float there stiff. I know this is the exact information you were missing all day long. You were not able to fall asleep last night until you figure out what happens to tadpoles when they croak. Or to be exact what happens to tadpoles when they never ever will get a chance to croak. So now that this question is answered lets move on.
The next day a couple more have passed and that send me into depressed state. I must feed them more. I must give them fresh water. I must take them away from these dead waters since maybe the idea of loosing their friends is what causing them to take their own lives.
So I packed the kids up and headed to the closest creek.
Armed with kitchen measuring cups and an old milk bottle we gathered enough water to clean and refresh any water container found at our house.
My daughter is so animated she was signing and making faces in every turn
What do you think you are doing buddy? Don’t you even dare splash around here
Yeah that’s right…. go over there
Survival Man, the toddler years
or more like Here comes Trouble
The water did arrive safely at home and the tadpoles were refreshed.
The water on the right is really nasty looking. It did make sure that the creek water stayed at room temperature for at least an hour. Then I removed 1/2 cup from the dirty water and replaced it with a fresh one. I repeated the process two more times by removing more and more water each time. Finally I fished tadpoles out with a spoon into a different container, rinsed this one, filled with new water and then place the tadpoles back in. So far, day after the transplant they are doing great. We loved the creek so much we may go there even if we don’t need anymore water.
For the Final Chapter in Tadpole Trilogy click here.
Have you ever seen a black rose or a green/blue carnation for St. Patty’s Day. Have you wondered how do they do that? It is easy since petals have little veins that carry the water through them. If you just color the water the flower will change colors and your children will discover the function of stems and/or roots. Either that or they can spend the rest of the afternoon wondering why you colored all the petals with markers or like my toddlers keep asking for blue flowers not realizing that there is anything particular or interesting about them. Aren’t all flowers amazing after all?
You can use any colored flower but white ones are the best since they are like a blank canvas after all. Carnation work well but save your money and send your children hunting for daisies in the nearby fields it is almost summer after all. If your kids are toddlers be prepared for broken stems and mushed up flowers. Don’t worry this is what we are working with here. If all fails you can use a celery stalk with some leaves on it and it will do a trick. Not as pretty though but definitely just as cool.
Just for the sake of experiment I kept one batch of flowers in clear water while the other two were placed in water tainted with food coloring.
red, white and blue… umm I wonder where I got that idea?
This is the blue daisy after about 10 hours.
I just love these photos and the detail in which they show the petals. They really look like they were smudged with a marker. Wait was my daughter coloring again?
The reds were incredible also. Thank goodness I did not have to choose between the two. The white on the other hand has been discarded a long time ago. Who needs a white daisy?
I am actually thinking of printing this photo and hanging it somewhere not sure where. It also makes me think of buying a better lens so I can get even sharper detail. We are 6 months away from Christmas.
Check… Check… Is this Mike on? Hubby are you reading this?
Even the buds changed their respected colors. Beautiful.. well now I have to run. Need to go get myself a bucket full of Daisies, nice ones not mushed up by chubby dirty fingers, and color myself some flowers. I think a red bucket filled with red colored daisies would make a splendid addition to any summer.