Thursday, March 31, 2011

crayon resist watercolor painting

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using white crayons and liquid watercolors, Bear and i explored cause and effect by creating crayon resist watercolor paintings.  it’s fairly simple.  we drew on a piece of white paper with the white crayon.  of course, he made the standard “It doesn’t work" comment.  always makes me laugh when little ones say this.

after we were done, we used the watercolors to paint on the paper.  once i pointed out that the paint didn’t go where the crayon was, Bear painted even more to see it again.

here is my elementary attempt:

                (yes, it does look like it was done by a 2nd grader...
                                                                             and i think Bear's looks better)
 
 
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Friday, March 25, 2011

my little

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if you've never used picnik.com, it's wonderful for photo editing.  i am not the most computer-literate person and will probably never have the strength to attempt photoshop.  it's completely frEE too!  take a look around and try out all the fun stuff they have!  there's some more tools accessible if you pay the annual fee of $20 some dollars.  i've signed up for this, but you don't have to to get access to lots of the features. 



try it out and let me know what you think!

 
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

repetitive messages

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this song by kutless keeps popping up everywhere i go...
it's in my head when i wake up
                    and sporadically throughout the day.

i guess the Lord is trying to remind me.


 
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babies love baby faces

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i found this darling Baby Face Photo Quilt Playmat on GeniusBabies.com.  it almost makes me wish that I had another baby just so i could buy one!  (not ready to give up my full night’s sleep, i just got it back!)  right now they are on sale for $19.95, marked down from $29.95.  it’s 4 square feet, crinkles, has a safe mirror and links on it to clip toys to.  here's a pic from their website.

when Bear was little, he used to love those baby face books they make.  i bought some inexpensive mini photo albums from Wal-Mart and made my own word books for baby.  filled them with pictures cut out of magazines.  he loved them so much i made more with other pictures of everyday things (cars, food, household items, etc).  then i used sticky labels to write out the item’s name for some exposure to written words (which helps baby when they get older).  he loved them sooo much…if you look closely, you’ll see that the top right one is quite wrinkled and a bit torn.

another fun thing that he enjoyed was when i put images of babies on an empty oatmeal container. i “laminated” it with clear contact paper.  he would look at it and turn it over in his hands.  when he started to cRaWL, he would even cHaSE it across the floor.  right now it’s buried in a box of baby stuff somewhere….will i ever need to dig that stuff out again?  hmMMm…..
 
 
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

preschool "woodworking" activity

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Bear adores borrowing my tOOls when i’m working on a project around the house.  after a recent visit from mr. handyman, his newest fixation is wanting to haMMeR nails into the wall.  so on our latest trip to the store i purchased a small bag of goLF tEEs and a 3-pack of floral fOAm bLoCKs (the kind you arrange silk flowers in).  the total cost was about $6.  once we got home, i had Bear get out his little plastic hammer and have at it. 

he thought it was the greatest thing! 


once the original block gets too many holes in it, i’ll flip it over.  after that, it can throw out and replaced with a new one.

not only was he having fUn in his imaginative play, he was also practicing fiNe mOtOr sKiLLs and haND-eYe cOOrDinATioN! 


literary connections
A Day in the Life of a Construction Worker…Heather Anderson
Alphabet Under Construction…Denise Fleming
Bob the Builder Series…Annie Aurbach

 
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

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or each season we’ve started decorating our glass front door.  since St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow we made up some fun decorations to try to trick a leprechaun into coming to our house.  We made shamrocks, rainbows, and a pot of gold.


for the shamrocks, we used leftover heart-shaped doilies from Valentine’s Day. i cut out crescent shaped pieces of green paper for the stems. 


i put some of the green from our new Color Splash Liquid Watercolors into a small travel-sized spray bottle mixed with water and let Bear spray away. 


i placed them on the countertop to dry.  if you like your countertop, i'd suggest laying down a plastic tablecloth first as the watercolors tend to stain a bit.  i don’t care about mine as our new one will be ready in a few weeks.  once the hearts were dry and laminated, we assembled them into a shamrock shape by placing the points of the hearts together and taping the stem on.  

we also made rainbows using our new Do-a-Dot markers.  they’re similar to bingo markers except they are washable.  i let Bear do what he wanted while i made a typical rainbow as i wasn’t quite sure he remembered what a rainbow was since we covered noah’s ark a while ago.  after the markers were dry, i laminated them and labeled them with a permanent marker to preserve them for following years. 

we also used the Do-a-Dots to create a pot of gold.  




Then all the projects were ready to be taped on the front door to make our house festive for St. Patrick's Day.



Side note: As a bit of an extension, we listened
to bagpipe music and visited websites about Ireland. 

 

Literary Connections
The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day…Natasha Wing
St. Patrick’s Day…Gail Gibbons
Jack and the Leprechaun…Ivan Robertson and Katy Bratun

Kid-Friendly Sites
 
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

diy colored glue

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we have Elmer’s Glitter Glue Pens, but the little tubes they come in seem haRD for Bear to manage at this point.  i’ve seen this in the stores and figured it would be fairly easy to do-it-myself.  at our local Dollar Tree, i found packs of 2 bottles of white glue.  (since everything in the store is $1, i generally use my trip to stock up on craft supplies.  they have pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, pompoms, etc).  

later on, we dug out the fOOd cOLoRiNG from the back of the spice cabinet and went to work.  we made the glue in standard colors: yellow, orange, red (which turned out pinkish), green, blue, and purple.  in the future i would like to experiment with putting glitter in it too.

i put a couple drops into each bottle and shook until my arm felt like it was going to fall off.  in hindsight, it may have been easier had I dumped some of the glue out to give room inside the bottle to mix up. i’m sure if someone was looking in my window, i had the face of a mAd sCieNTisT as i created (what was to me) something sooooo cool that i was uber-excited for Bear and i to try out!  the resulting colors looked like this:

i labeled each bottle with a permanent marker in the corresponding color.  i think that i will eventually end up add a paper wrap around the bottles for easier identification.  a few days later, i set out the bottles on the table along with pom poms, colored popsicle sticks, large flat sequins, googly eyes, foam stickers and let Bear go to town!  he had a blast.  the pride was just bursting out of him about his creation. 


he did use quite a bit of glue that took 2 days to dry.  (i placed it on top of the microwave where it wouldn’t run or have anything stuck to it.)  here is the final product:

 
 
 


 
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

diy preschool stringing activity

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this winter is dragging on forever.  we keep getting what i call “teaser days.”  y'know,  the nice days when you can go outside with just a sweatshirt on and enjoy the warm sunshine-y day.  days like those are usually followed by a week of bitter cold.  right now we’re in the throes of another week like that.  some days are deceptively nice (from the inside of the house).  the sun is bright, the trees gently sway, you step outside and BAM! get hit with a stinging chill that sticks in your bones for hours.  this leads to cABiN fEvER in my stir crazy toddler.  so here’s our recent creation to help keep his mind stimulated and hands busy. 

practicing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination is important for little ones.  fine motor skills are movements that require dexterity and control of the smaller muscles in the body.  examples of these movements are seen when watching your infant pick up a dry cheerio with her thumb and index finger or observing your son scooping up yogurt from a bowl.  for young children who are learning their colors, this can also act as practice in naming the color bead they are stringing.  a favored activity of preschoolers and early education teachers alike is threading beads.  here’s how to make your own stringing activity using shoelaces and colored sheets of foam. 
i got the idea for these hearts from a darling book entitled
The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond.

i created these for Valentine’s Day, but Bear doesn’t care that the holiday is over.  you could also cut out flower shapes, clouds, or standard shapes (squares, circles, triangles, etc).  i cut out the hearts freehand, so some of them are oddly shaped, smaller or bigger than others, etc.  

after they were all cut, i punched a hole in the center of each heart for the string. 

next time we use them, i think i’m going to mix them in with the lacing beads we already own.  i found a wooden set at Target awhile back for $2.50.  i’ve also seen plain wooden beads at stores like Hobby Lobby that would be ideal for personalized decorating and stringing. 
 
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

painting with toys

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this project was inspired by Bear's excitement at seeing a picture of his footprints in the snow.  we identified several diFFeReNT fOOtpRinTS in the picture: his, mine, a bird’s, and some sort of animal.  we talked a little bit about how different people and animals leave different marks, tracks, or prints when they walk.  with the changing seasons, this could also be related to wet footprints left from spring rains.  i try to look at everyday items that can be used in unique ways to create art that is relevant to Bear's life as a 2½ year old.

i set out pAiNT, paper and a variety of plastic tOy aNiMaLS and pEOpLe.  i set up all the different choices in front of Bear.  he chose which one he wanted to stamp with and then chose which color paint to use and let him stamp away. 


the result was a paper entirely covered with different tracks. 


happy stamping!!!


Literary Connections
Big Tracks, Little Tracks…Millicent E. Selsam and Marlene Hill Donnelly
Follow Those Feet! Dora the Explorer…Christine Ricci
Footprints in the Snow…Mei Matsuoka
Tracks in the Snow…Wong Herbert Yee

 
 
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Sunday, March 6, 2011

mr. potato head and playdoh

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if mr. potato head and playdoh had a baby, this is what it would look like:

being at home with a 2½ year old during the winter can get monotonous…for him and for me.  Bear and i played with playdoh today.  but after only a few minutes, he was bored and ready to move on.  so i dug out the Mr. Potato Head accessories and put them on the table.  this extended play for quite some time.  Bear had fun making different creations out the different facial features.  good times. 

plus, it stimulates creativity, aids in developing hand-eye coordination, and provides a great sensory experience.

 
 
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