Can We Paint? I hear this question at least 10 times a week if not more! My kids love to paint, they are natural born creators and I make sure to keep them equipped with the tools to quench their desires. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood for the mess (like I mentioned in my previous post), but when we have the time I remind myself that once they are done the mess gets cleaned up and I am left with such beautiful art work. My home is their gallery, their pieces hang throughout it. It brings me such joy when I see them. For this painting session I gave the girls large drawing paper from the dollar store. I use whatever I have available. You can use a paper bag, even news paper or card board. The kids don’t care as long as they are painting. I brought out our bin filled with paint. I have all different types of paint, Finger paint, Acrylic and Tempera paint. I keep all of our paints and brushes in a large bin so it makes it easy to have everything ready when the kids ask to paint. It also makes it easy to bring the paints outside when weather permits. We have these fun foam cube stamps the kids love to use them with paint. You can find them at any craft store or online. They had fun experimenting with each shape and mixing them to create their own personal piece. They are so easy for little hands to use! Oh and I always make sure to play classical music. It’s relaxing and the girls enjoy it!
This year for Mother’s Day we took a nice long ride out to the Montauk Point Lighthouse. This is where the girls discovered and took home these beautiful rocks. My daughter Lia is always asking me if she could paint, some days we have time for it but some days we just don’t or I just don’t feel like cleaning up the mess (which was the case on this day)! However, I was able to satisfy her urge by having her use plain water and a brush to paint onto these lovely rocks. I simply gave her a glass of water, some paint brushes and a paint roller and of course a bucket of rocks and she got right to work. She loved applying the water and watching it dry up and starting all over again. This kept her quite busy and I have to admit it kept me quite busy too. It was so relaxing and so fun to watch the effect of the water on the rocks. I left the rocks set up for the whole day. My 4 year old loved it and jumped right in as soon as she came home from pre-school and so did my 7 year old when she arrived home from school. It was definitely something they all enjoyed!
Every time I download pictures from my camera I find these amazing images taken by my daughters Isabel and Melina. These photos were amongst the ones that literally made my jaw drop when I discovered them on my camera! They captured such beauty in places I never would have looked. I just had to share them. Melina loves taking photos of her shoes and her cute little face. Isabel loves to take closeups of objects and she took a great one of her sister! Lia is starting to get a hold of the camera but her photos are of the wall or my back side or me trying to grab the camera from her…they would probably give you all a good laugh!
This was a fun way to celebrate Earth Day especially after a long winter of snow. I could not wait to start doing some planting and Earth Day was the perfect excuse. I went to our local nursery and bought these cute little plastic planting pots. The girls and I picked out some seeds we wanted to grow. My daughter Melina loves watermelon and picked watermelon seeds to plant. I honestly do not think I have enough space to grow one but I made her happy and we bought a pack of watermelon seeds. We will see what happens! After we got home I took out our craft box which always has some sort of foam stickers and they decorated 3 pots each.
After we finished decorating the pots we put them aside and waited for a sunny day to plant them so that we can make the mess outside. I provided the girls with a tray of dirt, little Dixie cups so they can scoop the dirt and tiny little containers to put their seeds in so that if we had any left over we could just save them in the containers. We made sure to label each container and each pot so that we could keep track of the seeds and what we were planting. The girls really had a great time with this project and they can’t wait to see what sprouts!
Don’t forget to water your seeds and plant your new sprouts into your garden! We can’t wait to see what grows!
Here is a very simple and fun way to help your child get familiar with site words. First I created a list of site words I wanted my child to learn. There are pre-primer, primer, first, second and third words. You choose the appropriate level for your child. Melina is working on the pre-primer words. I have a paid membership with http://www.education.com (this site is so awesome and so worth the membership) which is where I printed the site word flashcards you see in the photo, but you can search for a list anywhere online. I found one at www.createdbyteachers.com. Just click on the Site Word List tab once you access the site. You can simply print and copy the list onto index cards and make your own flashcards. To have her practice the words I bought an individual Dry Erase Board at the dollar store and I have her go through the words and write them onto her board. She loves this so much and at the same time she is learning!
I also created a site word practice book for her using a composition book I bought from the dollar store. I made copies of the site words and glued each word onto the top of a page ( you can simply write the word at the top of the page with a marker ). Every week she practices writing a different word. Sometimes I let her look through magazines to find the letter she needs to make the word and I have her glue it down onto the page. This allows her to practice the words in different ways, which keeps it exciting and the repetition helps her to remember the words.
Its been a long rainy week! Instead of feeling gloomy I decided to embrace it! I had the girls create and design their own rain gear, boots and an umbrella! I took out our handy art bin (filled with stickers, pom poms, glitter, googly eyes, etc) and we got right to work. For a print out of the boots I went to http://www.thebestkidsbooksite.com. Go to Craft, Coloring Sheets and search for rain boots. For the umbrella I outlined the shape onto a large piece of white paper ( you can use colored paper if you like) and let the kids decorate however they pleased. Then I outlined the shape of the handle onto scrap paper, cut it out and had the kids tape it to their umbrellas. The girls really enjoyed making their personalized rain gear and we almost forgot about our rainy day!
For this simple project I went to http://www.firstpalette.com/tool_box/printables/seaanimals.html and printed out the sea animals. I had the girls color the sea animals of their choice. They used markers, crayons and glitter glue. This took a few days to complete, as they colored a few at a time. Once we had all of our sea animals completed, the girls and I cut them out and put them aside. I bought a large piece of poster board at the Dollar Store and we used colored tissue paper to lay down as our Ocean water. Once we had our Ocean Water the girls each took their time and placed the little sea animals into the ocean.
Playdough is a MUST in our house. The girls absolutely love it and so do I! I make sure to have some on hand and if I don’t, I simply go online and find a simple recipe. Below is a recipe I found at http://theimaginationtree.com. We have several accessories but they just love using household items like bowls and baking pans and utensils. They pretend they are Chef Giada (from the Food Network, Everyday Italian) and they create some wonderful dishes and desserts. When I’m in a really good mood I let them each have a little bowl of flour to play along with. This is definitely an activity that will keep them busy for the entire afternoon! Great summer activity to set up outside!
- 2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup salt
- 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
- Up to 1.5 cups boiling water (adding in increments until it feels just right)
- food colouring (optional)
- few drops glycerine (optional- adds more shine!)
- Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl
- Add the boiling water
- Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky, combined dough
- Add the food coloring and glycerine (both optional)
- Allow it to cool down then take it out of the bowl and knead it vigorously for a couple of minutes until all of the stickiness has gone. * This is the most important part of the process, so keep at it until it’s the perfect consistency!*
- (If it remains a little sticky then add a touch more flour until just right)