Monday, May 30, 2011

Broken CD Mosaics

My two really enjoyed creating these pieces of art.  I found a huge stack of old CD's (remember when they gave away the free AOL disks everywhere) and wanted to do something with them.  We decided to break them into pieces and create something.  The kids had fun breaking them, after I assured them it was fine.  My son, the puzzler, would break them and try putting them back together.  I just love the way the mosaics came out.  They are proudly displayed on our refrigerator.....until the next project!
Just a word of caution, the CD pieces can be sharp!

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dirt Art

We recently got a big cardboard box that the kids quickly had torn up.  I cut off a few pieces of it thinking the panels would come in handy for some art projects.  For this one, we went and got a bowl full of dirt from outside.  I had wanted to do it outside but the weather changed those plans for us.  Anyway, the kids painted on some colored glue onto the cardboard then sprinkled the dirt on top of it.  We let it dry and then shook off the dirt that didn't glue.  It has a really different texture.  I did have the kids put their dirt projects in containers to "contain" the dirt but it still got everywhere.  Just a word of caution....
When the dirt and glue dried, we painted the dirt creation.  It was quite a different sensory experience and they both noticed that it was much different painted on dirt than just paper. 
 Super cool (messy) project!

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree

I love this song that one of my co-teachers taught me when I was teaching.  Especially now, when all the trees and flowers are blooming.  You can find some examples of it on You Tube.  Here are the words: 

I looked out the window and what did I see,
Popcorn popping on the apricot tree.
Spring had brought me such a sweet surprise,
blossoms popping right before my eyes.
I can take an handful and make a treat,
a popcorn ball that would smell so sweet. 
It wasn't really true, but it seemed to me,
Popcorn popping on the apricot tree.

We have been singing this song for days now, so we did this little project to go along with it.  First, we popped some popcorn...yumm-o.  Then, R painted her hand and arm with her favorite color (try telling her that tree trunks aren't pink).  Then, she made a print of her arm on paper.  She used glue to add popcorn blossoms.  Super cute and an excuse to make popcorn in the middle of the day.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Marshmallow/Shmuzzy Shooter

I found this idea over at Sugar Bee Crafts and knew it would be a hit with my two.  You can find the exact measurements on their site.  Just click on the link above.  It cost a little over a dollar to make.  We just went to the hardware store for the PVC. We laid out the pieces and the kids put their shooters together themselves.  T loved this part, but he is a puzzle lover.  In the past few days he has taken it apart and put it together so many times.  We tried shooting marshmallows but the kids kept eating them so we switched to shmuzzies (pom-poms).  We have been having so much fun.  Go on over and check out Sugar Bee Crafts, so much great, fun stuff over there. 
(Sorry for the fuzzy pictures, my camera was acting up)

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Beans and Shmuzzies

This is what we have in our sensory tub right now.  The different textures of the beans and shmuzzies (pom-poms) is a great tactile and sensory experience. You can use any type of deep container to create a sensory tub....shoe box, large bowl, roasting pan, or storage container.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

The Glue is Melting

"Mom, the glue is melting," is what my daughter said as we were doing this.  Not sure what to call it so "Melting Glue" sounds good to me.  We colored white glue with a couple drops of food coloring.  Then I propped up a piece of cardboard inside a container so the glue wouldn't go all over the table.  We actually all got into this art project.  We took turns making puddles of glue at the top of the cardboard and watched it "melt" down.  It was a good lesson in cooperative play too!  It was so colorful and it dries nicely too.  Next time we will try it on white paper and possibly frame it.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Flower Paintings

We put to use some of the gorgeous flowers from the lovely bouquet my wonderful husband brought me.
We took some of the sturdy ones, carnation and daisy, and cut the stem shorter.  Then, I poured paint into little cups and plopped the flowers in them.  Then I let the kids do what they do best.....create! 

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

She Built Her House of Sticks

My daughter has been facinated by the story of "The Three Little Pigs".  She asked me to help her build a "Piggy House" and brought me the craft sticks.  So, we got out the glue and together figured out a design for the house.  We found these little cubes in our craft drawer and she glued them together to make the piggies.  The big, red one is the big, bad wolf. 
Her vision, her design, her creation, her play.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Coffee Filter Blottos on Wax Paper

These were so fun to do.  First, I put down a piece of wax paper with a couple cups of water down paint.  The kids dripped the paint onto the wax paper to make little drops all over it.  My son was super interested in mixing and creating new colors.  Then they simply placed a coffee filter onto of the wax paper and let it soak up the colors.  They were so excited as the colors appeared.  When they dried, I punched some holes in the coffee filters and strung them up with ribbon. 
So happy and colorful for Spring!

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fizzing Paint

I found this super fun idea at Quirky Momma and knew my kids would really love it. 
We mixed up a container of baking soda with 1/2 cup of cornstarch.  Then we added about a cup of hot water.  I separated the mixture into two containers and had the kids add which color they wanted.  T wanted red and R wanted purple. We poured vinegar into their spray bottles and headed outside.  They got busy painting the cement which was fun all by itself.  When we began to spray the vinegar, it got really exciting!  By the end of our experiment, they were exploring it with their hands and feet.  I kept a tub of clean water nearby for washing hands since my son isn't big on getting messy.  We used the tub of water to clean up when we were done and it simply washed away.  Can't wait to do this again now that the weather is getting warmer.
Thanks Quirky Momma for the inspiration!

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"The Kids Made It" Cake

I found this "no dairy" chocolate cake and had to try it.  I love baking with the kids.  When I do, I try to let them do the majority of the work.  I have found that it works easiest if I pre-measure out all the ingredients and then let them pour and mix. They just dumped all the dry ingredients in the pan first and used forks to "rake" it all together.  Then, they added the wet ingredients and mixed it all together.  We baked it at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.  I didn't hear any complaints from the kids, just requests for seconds.  I think it is a winning recipe. 
Cooking with kids is a great opportunity for measuring, math, science, sensory experiences, as well as a great since of independence and accomplishment. Check out the recipe following the pictures.

What you need:
3 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 2 tsp, baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
2/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 Tbsp vinegar, 2 cups cold water
Pour all the dry ingredients into a 9 x 13 inch pan and stir.
 Pour all the wet ingredients and mix with a whisk. 
 Bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees. 
You can frost it or just serve it without.
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Monday, May 9, 2011

Little Block Houses

The weather has been sunny and warm here the past few days.  The kids re-discovered their summer sand toys and these blocks were one of them.  We made them last summer, and I can tell we will be making more this summer.  I simply painted some scrap pieces of wood with white spray paint.  Then we used markers to draw doors and windows.  I finished up with a layer of clear acrylic paint. 

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Princess Puppet Show

R has been quite obsessed with the Disney Princesses ever since we went to Disney World.  We had this set of "Go Fish" princess cards that I found on the dollar aisle.  We never use them for what they are intended for, so we cut them out and glued them on craft sticks.  Then, R went to town creating a castle puppet box for them out of a shoe box.  We just used scrap paper and she glued them where she wanted.  I cut a slit in top of the shoe box so she could slide her puppets in and move them around.  She has been playing with this for days.  I was envisioning an "Old McDonald Had a Farm" themed puppet show, but who am I to argue?
Great imaginative play at work!

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