Thursday, January 31, 2013

Winter Themed Painting

Little O loved painting snowmen so much the other day that she asked to paint immediately after breakfast this morning. I didn't want to do the exact same painting that we did before because I want to keep it fresh and new for her. Plus, if we do different things with paint, it will keep her occupied for longer.

This time we used blue construction paper and white and blue tempera paint. I didn't water it down at all because I wanted the paint to be opaque.

 While we painted, we talked about winter, snow, and snowmen. I reminded her of the snowmen we painted and the ones we made out of playdough.
 I painted a snowman next to her, and I told her that I made the body using circles. She said he needed eyes (one of her newest words is "eyes"), so I painted on eyes, a nose, and a mouth with blue paint. I added buttons and arms too.
Finally, I wanted her to try a different technique with her paintbrush. She spent most of her time brushing on the paint in smooth strokes. I told her I wanted my picture to look like it was snowing. So I started dotting paint on the background. She started doing the same ( her dots are large in the upper left corner). She decided to liked to brush the paint on better, so she went back to that. Hey, at least she tried it, right?

This was a quick, fun painting activity. Little O seemed to really enjoy it. I'm sure we will be busting out the paints again soon. I think this may be the first time we've painted together on colored paper.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Painting Over Crayons & Markers

Little O is still feeling a bit under the weather, so I've been scrambling to come up with ideas to keep her quietly engaged. We've already explored playdough, although I think I'll pull that out again later this week as she really enjoyed it. Yesterday I thought a simple coloring activity would be a good thing to try during the witching hour (you know... after nap but before dinner time).

We started with simple printable snowman that I found on Pinterest. I added the letter S and the word Snowman on the page. She wanted to use both crayons and markers. She had Daddy add the eyes to hers. Normally, we don't draw on her paper because we want her to feel empowered to create her own work. However, eyes is one of her newest words, so when she said it, of course we indulged her.

She finished with the crayons and markers rather quickly (I didn't even get any pictures of this portion), but she wasn't quite ready to be done with crafting. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to reintroduce paint to Little O. I couldn't wait to see what she thought of the reactions the crayons and markers had with the paint. We used blue and green tempera paint that I watered down quite a bit. I wanted the crayon and marker to still show.

The crayons created a crayon resist (I'm not sure she really noticed), but the markers started to bleed and smear because they are washable. She definitely noticed this.
After she finished painting her picture, she painted Mommy's and Daddy's as well. She enjoyed painting so much that she asked to do it again today right after breakfast. I'll share the Winter Themed Painting tomorrow.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Winter Playdough Fun

Yesterday, Little O woke up with the beginnings of a cold. Ugh. Pete and I decided we better play it safe and stay home so we didn't spread it to all our friends. We needed something to do that would keep Little O quiet and happy. Playdough, of course!!

I whipped up a batch of our favorite no-cook playdough. I decided to keep it white this time since we're playing with all things winter right now (winter sensory bin, snow man counting, snowflake sorting, etc.). So with our white playdough, we decided to make snowmen. I had a whole bunch of accessories to decorate our snowmen up in my craft room. Buttons, sequins, fabric strips, pipe cleaners, beads, jingle bells, googly eyes, and mini bows. I brought them down and introduced them to Little O.

I made a traditional snowman (with a bow because I wanted her to be a girl), Pete made a snowmonster.

Little O made her own version. She used googly eyes at first, but switched them out for buttons later. She also used some brown pipe cleaners and skewered her snowman. They sort of look like arms!

 After a while, we started talking about all the animals that live in the snow. Little O is obsessed with anything animal lately (well, always, really). So I made a polar bear. She said and signed bear. And Pete made a penguin.

We had so much fun as a family with this activity. I've kept all the accessories downstairs so we can create more snow animals with white playdough this week. I'm also thinking we should make pretend sugar cookies and decorate them with sequins and glitter. Check out some of our other winter-themed activities here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Art Party Activities for Toddlers

Little O is going to be 2 in less than a month! WHAT??? Where did the time go? I feel just a few months ago I was planning her 1st Very Hungry Caterpillar birthday party. I can't believe that was a whole year ago.

I showed you the invitations I made for this year's art party last week. I've finalized my plans for the arts and craft projects for the toddlers attending the party, and I created signs for each station.

The plan is to open up all three stations at the same time and let the kids move freely from one to the next at their own pace. Each activity can be child directed with parental support for those who need it.

At the drawing center, I am planning to cover the whole table with white butcher paper and tape it down underneath. Little O has a hard time keeping the paper still when she's coloring, so I thought this would be the best solution, plus, it would keep the table clean. For drawing supplies, I'm providing crayons and markers in assorted colors, stamps and a variety of stamp pads, and stickers.

I'm really excited about the sculpting table. I'm making homemade playdough (since some of Little O's friends still like to experiment by tasting things). This is my favorite no cook playdough recipe from The Imagination Tree. I like to add the color to the water before adding it to the dry ingredients. I found this keeps my hands clean. In addition to the playdough, I'll provide a selection of cookie cutters, rolling pins, and other playdough toys. For an extra element, I'm planning to add pipe cleaners and feathers so the kids can make some interesting creatures.

The last table is the painting table. I was going to make homemade paint, but I haven't found a recipe that I love yet. So I opted for washable tempera paint. I found some really awesome bottles that have glitter mixed in. And of course I'll have the basic primary and secondary colors as well.

Earlier this week, I went shopping for some of the supplies for the stations. I was really excited when I discovered cute little smocks (just the right size for toddlers) at the Dollar Tree. I had been planning to make smocks for each child as the party favor, but there was no way I could make them for $1. So I went ahead and picked up 12. We may not have all 12 kids attend the party, but I'll keep the extras for play dates at our house. While the invitations did say to wear "art clothes," I'm sure most of the parents will be happy to have a little smock for their kiddos to wear.

I'm getting really excited about Little O's art party. She's going to love it!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Versatile Blogger Award

I have been selected for a Versatile Blogger Award by T'onna @ Navy Wifey Peters. Woohoo! This is my first blogging award, and it feels awesome. I first discovered T'onna when she made these adorable Florida Gator Sock Monkey Hats. If Little O didn't have such an enormous head, I would snap one up so fast!

Anyway, back to the award...

Here are the rules:
  1. Thank the person who gave you the award (of course)
  2. Include a link to their blog.
  3. Select 15 bloggers that you've discovered recently or follow regularly.
  4. Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award (include a link back to your post).
  5. Finally, tell the people you nominated (and other blog readers) 7 things about yourself.

7 Things About Me:

  1. I'm a third generation Gator. My grandpa went there, my dad went there, and I went there. I truly do bleed Orange & Blue.
  2. My baby is about to turn 2. I can't believe it.
  3. I have too many pets. 3 cats, 1 dog, and 1 bird (who just turned 20).
  4. My favorite color is orange, and I have an orange SUV.
  5. I am only truly happy when I'm busy, but I complain about being busy a lot.
  6. I recently joined our local chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild, and it's helping me to learn a ton of new sewing techniques. (I recently learned to sew a zipper).
  7. I get ridiculously excited when people comment on my posts. Nerd alert!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Valentine's Advent Calendar for Toddlers

Last year I made my husband a Valentine's Day Advent Calendar to count down the days to Valentine's Day. I decorated 14 white craft bags with paper, stickers, stamps, and other crafting supplies. Inside each bag, I included a note about why I love him and some candy. It was great. He thought I was really romantic, and it gave him two whole weeks to come up with something awesome for me!

I saved the bags because I really love how they turned out, and I'd love a chance to reuse them. This year, I'm going to give them to sweet Little O. I won't set them all out at once because at almost two, she isn't old enough to understand waiting to open one each day. I'll just give her a new one every day. And instead of candy, although I think a piece here or there is ok, I'll fill them books about Valentine's Day, supplies for small Valentine's crafts, and other Valentine's Day related activities we can do together as a family.

I will have to make three new bags, as #1, #10, and #14 are definitely geared toward a husband.

Once I get them filled, I'll post what I put in each one and what the new #1, #10, and #14 bags look like.

Have you made any

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Art Party Invitations

I can't believe it. Little O is turning two next month! She's really into arts and crafts right now, so I decided to throw her an art party. It will be at a local community center because I really don't want to have 10 toddlers crafting in my house!

Here are the invitations I made for her party.

I was inspired by some I found on Etsy. I added the little poem at the top, and included all the pertinent information. Except the RSVP date. I can't believe I forgot that!

To make these I designed the palette on my computer with all the text. Then I printed them out four to a page on 8.5x11" brown card stock. I like that the card stock resembles cardboard.

I used scissors to cut out each palette, including the outside notch. I used an exacto knife to cut out the hole. I just free-handed it. Actually, my mom did the first one (pictured below), and then I took over.

After all the invitations were cut out, I used glitter glue pens to make blobs of paint. The one that inspired me used cut out glitter card stock, but I didn't want to cut out all those pieces. Plus, I didn't have glitter card stock. But I did have glitter glue pens left over from my felt Christmas tree. I like the way the glitter glue looks anyway.

I let the glitter glue dry overnight. I was pretty blobby, so I wanted to make sure it was completely dry before gluing the palettes on the background and stuffing them into envelopes.

Once they were dry, I used rubber cement to attach the palettes to some cute polka dot paper I had on hand. I used a piece of red card stock 1/4" larger to frame up the polka dots and give the invitations some much-needed sturdiness.

Here they are. The finished product. I'm really pleased with how they turned out.

I'm not sure which I like better, these or the Hungry Caterpillar invitations I made last year for Little O's first birthday party. What do you think?
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