Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Q-tip Painting!

Today was a sad-gloomy-rainy-stay-indoors type of day! Perfect for some painting! We did some Q-tip painting with acrylic! I just squirt a little paint in a plastic egg carton and add a Q-tip for each colour. When we're done it can all go in the garbage... no need to wash anything! My intent was for Yules to create dots with the paint and Q-tips, but she had her own ideas... which was fine by me! We did this on the floor... which I would not recommend! Yules stepped in some paint a couple times... so next time we will be doing our painting on a table or wall.
 
 
 
Here's her finished masterpiece!! Haha everything looks better in a frame!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Play Dough!

I feel like I've posted about playdough before... but my memory is disintegrating with motherhood combined with my old age... so I'm not quite sure! Any who, here is potentially another post about playdough or a new post about playdough!

This is my go to recipe for Kool-Aid Playdough! I've tried quite a few and this one is the BEST! It will also last a good few weeks stored in a ziplock in the fridge. I've also attached a sheet about the awesomo benefits of playing with playdough. I created this handout a couple years ago and since I went through the hassle of making it, I might as well share it with you folk!

Here are also a couple tips on making the playdough or even baking/cooking in general with your little monsters!
1. Break down your recipe! So if your recipe calls for one cup of water- use a 1/4cup measure and let them do it 4 times! This allows them to practice measuring, scooping, pouring... all that good stuff! Some recipes have a lot of adult steps, so it makes them feel like they are doing lots! This is especially important if you have more than one monster helping you. This gives everyone a chance to help do something!
2. This playdough recipe calls for boiling hot water... which is obviously an adult step. But I always use it as an opportunity to teach the monsters about hot/cold. I like to point out the steam which is a good indicator that something is hot. I tell them it's very hot and take their hand and quickly tap the side of the kettle so they can actually feel that it is hot. Once the playdough comes together, it is still a bit hot to the touch... so I will encourage them to poke at it so they have that sensory experience!
3. Since this playdough is made with Kool-Aid, it not only becomes a nice color... it smells sooooooo good!! Encourage your monsters to smell it!!



Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bubbles!!

I have yet to meet a kid that doesn't like bubbles! Yules is obsessed with bubbles! Bubbles is also one of the few words she can actually say!

One of my super mom friends (actually ALL of my mom friends are super moms... but this lady is extra super) told me about Gymboree Bubbles! Who even knew Gymboree sold bubbles? Well they do and their bubble solution is pretty spectacular! This stuff comes with a crazy wand that blows a gazillion bubbles and the bubbles last forever before they pop. You also only need a tiny little bit! The monsters can even catch them without them popping! These bubbles are crazy mutant bubbles that are super amazing! But be forewarned, these super awesome bubbles also cost an arm and a leg... so they are only "sometimes bubbles"!! Haha!

"Sometime" happened to be today! Husband was going to clean the floors today, so why not get them dirty before he cleans them! These amazing bubbles leave an icky soapy film wherever they land... so it's best to play with them outside or right before mopping the floors!
 
 
 
 
 
 
These bad boy bubbles were still lingering around half an hour later! Eeek!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring + Easter Activity

I wanted to do a non-bunny-not-too-craft-like Easter art activity with Yules.... but there aren't too many good ones out there... so I made up this one. Actually I made this one up a couple years ago and did it with the school kids, but it still works for her age level. I like it because it's not too "crafty" and still a little open-ended, which gives her some creative control. It's also great for fine motor practice, which is awesome! But most importantly, it gives me an opportunity to talk about what Easter is really all about... not bunnies!! And you also end up with something that looks half decent! Oh yah, did I mention that it is super EASY too!!

All you need are a couple foam floral blocks, toothpicks and some faux flowers. I had most of this stuff kickin' around but you can find it all on the cheap at the Dollarstore!


Attach the floral blocks together with toothpicks. You can hot glue them together if you want it to be more sturdy and last a little longer. I didn't because we will probably dismantle it after and use the pieces for another activity!


Give your monster some faux flowers and let them go to town. I cut the stems down quite short which makes it a lot easier for their little hands to hold and push in. I showed Yules how to stick the first one in and then she got to work. Occasionally I moved away a few petals to show her an empty spot, but other than that she did it all by herself.


Here is the finished product!

Monday, April 14, 2014

My new cleaning lady!

Check out my new maid!! Ahaha she looks so stinkin' funny!!


Here is my tip of the day: If you have one of those Swiffer sweepers kickin' around... remove a couple of the stick sections and it becomes the perfect length for the little monsters! And then of course put them to work cleaning the floors!!


 
 
 
 


Not a box!

I love the idea of playing with cardboard boxes!! Everyone knows that little monsters usually love playing with the box rather than the gift... and there's a reason for that! The humble ol' cardboard box has even made it to the toy hall of fame... best toy ever! It sparks imagination, resourcefulness and creativity! It can be just a box or way more than a box... the little monsters get to build, explore, transform, invent, reinvent etc. etc... the possibilities are endless. Oh yah did I mention that cardboard boxes are FREE! You don't need to worry about the monsters destroying it and when you're done with it, you don't need to feel guilty about chucking it into the recycle!

A great book to read with the monsters to get their inner box creative juices flowing is this one:
It's super cute and not too long!! Keep in mind that this type of book is for little kids...I would say Kindergarten and younger! And it is not a great read aloud book if you don't do anything afterwards. A discussion about imagination would be great followed by an exploration with a cardboard box! This author also came out with a book called "Not a Stick". I haven't read it, but I'm sure it is equally cute and would be great for exploring sticks!
 
So anyways, my Yules has gone through her fair share of cardboard boxes. She is still a little too young to do anything crazy with them so far but she still enjoys them! Here is her latest "Not a Box!"
 
Step 1: Save the box from Husband and the recycle bin!!
Step 2: Let Yules go to town decorating her box! Remember how I said that large boxes were great for playing with markers... contains the monsters and reduces the potential of getting marker everywhere! She spent a good week coloring inside that box... until there was barely any surface area left!


 
Step 3: Ask Yules what she wanted to do next! She was indifferent and didn't respond haha! So I got to decide this time! I decided that we would turn it into a car... that seemed like the simplest option!
Step 4: I helped her cut out the hole and make it look more car like! (Just for the record... it was not me who drew those special looking wheels... just sayin!) We also added a string so Husband could pull her around or she could pull around her stuffies!
Step 5: Have fun driving around town!!






Thursday, April 3, 2014

A day in the life of a Princess...

Today was a dress-up like a Princess kind of day!
 

Today was a dress-up like a Princess and play with dinosaurs kind of day!


 
Today was a dress-up like a Princess and tidy up a 'la Cinderella kind of day!



Today was a dress-up like a Princess and have a tea party with her brother kind of day!!

 

Today was however NOT an exempt from time-out kind of day!!