Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Making a Newspaper Nest from JDaniel4's Mom

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today's post is from my lovely friend Deirdre at JDaniel4's Mom.  she's been a bloggie friend of mine for over a year now, due to our connections through a variety of blogging networks.  no matter what the forum, Deirdre always comes with inspiring ideas, fresh perspectives and a supportive spirit.

I am truly honored to be sharing a craft my son and I did on Crayon Freckles. Crayon Freckles is one of my favorite places for visit. I want to thank Andie so much for giving me the opportunity to share it with you.


We actually look forward to getting our local newspaper every Wednesday at my house. It is fun to see that is going on in the community and what it on sale at the various grocery stores near us. Once I have looked the paper over, my son and I use it to craft. Newspaper and store circulars make wonderful crafting material  Recently used the paper to we made a preschool craft I am calling Making a Newspaper Nest. 


The nest is made simply of strips of newspaper and grocery store circulars cut into strips. The strips don't have to be cut in straight lines. They can  be cut with jagged edges and unique bends.  The nest will look more life like if the strips are not uniform.

Cutting is one of the skills my son still needs to work on. I try to encourage holding the paper with one hand and cutting with the other to give his cutting hand some support.

 
Once you have gathered a pile of newspaper strips, you can start to glue them onto a piece of construction paper. I confess that I glued down a few strips before my son did. I wanted to create a bowl shape on the construction paper before my son started gluing. He didn't seem to mind. If you have child that does mind you ʺhelpingʺ with a craft, the nest would look just fine with strips glued down wherever they want them.

The newspaper strips are just layered on top of each other until the area of the paper for the nest is covered. Some nests may end up with more paper than others.

 
After we finished the nest, we decided the nest needed some birds in it. I traced my sons hand and he traced mine to make the bodies of two red birds.


                                
We later added a wing, beak, and eyeball to each of the birds. My son later mentioned that we should have added a worm. He felt the mama bird should have been feeding the baby bird. I think a worm will be added to this when my son gets a chance.


 

Reviews and Giveaways
Deirdre Smith writes/owns JDaniel4’s Mom.  Her blog features ways she and her 5 year old are exploring learning, crafting, creating healthy meals and living life to its fullest. Deirdre can also be found on Twitter as @jdaniel4smom and on her blog's FB page.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

a baby's view of the cry it out approach

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bedtime is my favorite part of the day…  a time for dark, quiet, tenderness as she rocks me in the chair, humming softly.  her hand gently pats my back to the beat of her heart.  nuzzled in the nape of her neck, i can smell the sweet scent of her that surrounded me all those months while i was in her womb.  it is that scent that i can sometimes still smell on my blanket when she’s not near me. 
 
 
but tonight, something is different.
there is no rocking, no patting… no her.  she just places me down, alone in this crib.  what happened?  what’s wrong? i’m scared… where is she going?  terrified, i watched as she walks towards the door, her figure growing smaller, but my panic rising up in my throat.  the door is only shut for a few seconds before i cannot contain it within me anymore.  she must’ve made a mistake.  this isn’t how we do bedtime.  i let forth a cry, knowing that she’ll be right back for me.  she’ll hold me, pat me, love me. 
 
but it doesn’t work. 


why isn't she coming?  i cry out louder and louder.  and still she stays behind that door.  the cold darkness closes in on me as i wail so loud, my throat burns.  my little heart races as my mind struggles to figure out why i am alone. 

i need her.
i need her arms.
i need her smell.
her voice.
her touch.

please.

source: Blogging4Baby.com
 
for more info on Cry It Out, see these sites:
 
 
 
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

how do i know if my child is ready for a pet

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owning a pet is no easy business.  most types require daily care, attention, and love.  we have two cats that have been with us since before my son was born.  however, due to a recent interest in hamsters and mice, we are considering getting Bear a little tiny furry friend.  i will admit, though, that i am somewhat hesitant because i know that, ultimately, i will be the one providing the care, or at least closely monitoring it.
 
all this got me to thinking...
how do i know when my child is ready for a pet?
 
here are some tips to consider when thinking of getting your child a pet:
 
  • Make sure your child is old enough to do some of the care for the pet.  This can include watering, feeding, and playing with the little animal.  Keep in mind that several animals, such as cats, hamsters, birds, etc will likely require you to clean their litter boxes or cages for sanitation reasons. {NOTE: it is not safe for pregnant women to clean out a cat litter box}
  •  
  • Keep track of how often your child asks for a pet.  Does the topic only arise when you're at the pet store or the house of someone with a pet?  By noting when and where your child asks, you can determine if it's a true desire or just brought on by being around the animal and then forgotten.
  •  
  • Does your child understand the concept of being gentle when handling animals?  Pet care often requires a soft touch {especially with tiny ones} to keep the animal safe.
  •  
  • As a family, make sure you have the means and time to care for the pet and give it the attention it deserves.
  •  
  • Give your child some simple, age-appropriate household chores {making their bed, emptying the bathroom trash, taking their dirty clothes to the laundry room}.  If they are able to consistently perform them with minimal supervision and reminders, they are showing that they are responsible enough to care for a pet.
  •  
  • You child should understand boundaries when it comes to other's pets.  While at the park, children should be taught to approach new animals cautiously and wait for the approval from the owner before getting too close or touching it.  After permission, the child should gently and calmly touch the animal.  Such boundaries will help your child handle your own pet in a way that won't startle or anger the animal.
 
After all these points to contemplate, you're ready to get {or not get} a pet.  Just please remember: 
A pet is not a gift.
It is a commitment for the length of their life.
 
 
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mixed Media Art for Kids

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The end of the school year is fast approaching.  Even though Bear will have only been in his preschool class for 2 months, we still plan on making end of the year gifts for his amazing teachers.  They welcomed him into the classroom and made his first school experience an exciting and happy one.  Each day, they practice saying Matthew 5:16, as a guide for how we should spend our days. 
 
I love to create mixed media art when I am inspired or need some stress relief.   Bear has come to love doing it as well because it allows us to be free and create with no rules as the piece takes form during the process.  As a thank you gift, I thought it would be a great idea to make a special mixed media plaque for each teacher with Matthew 5:16 on it. 
 
 
For this project we used:
  • a 4" square wood canvas
  • Apple Barrel Paints in Pool Blue, Banana, Candy Pink, Lime Tree, and Petunia Purple
  • Mod Podge Washout for kids
  • scrapbook paper
  • various paint/ink stampers and textured items


To start off, Bear painted the entire wood plaque using the Pool Blue paint.  Once the paint was dry, we ripped up pieces of patterned scrapbook paper and he coated the plaque with the Mod Podge.


After the plaque was coated, he stuck down the paper wherever he wanted.  You'll notice that the papers around the edge are straight (or as straight as he could make them).  When we ripped up the paper, we left some with straight edges on one side so that the edges of the plaque could be clean.  Then the whole plaque got another coat of the Mod Podge Washout to make sure it was fully adhered.

When creating this type of art, we generally go over it with paints, stamps, and ink to create depth, texture, and an overall mix of the media used (hence the name).  To do this, I set out Apple Barrel paints (colors listed above), paint and ink stampers, as well as various items with texture.  Then it was up to Bear to experiment and add as much or as little as he chose.

 
For the final step, I printed off the quote onto paper and tore the edges to make it fit more with the piece.  I rubbed the edges with an ink pad to give it a little bit of character so it didn't stand out on the piece.  Bear used the Mod Podge Washout to adhere it down.  Then added a bit more texture using the stamps.  Once it was all dry, he put a final coat of the Mod Podge Washout on it to seal it all up.
 

Mixed media art is a great way to allow children to explore using various materials, techniques, and tools to creatively express themselves with out guidance or adult interjection, giving an end result that is purely their vision.

 
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Monday, April 22, 2013

Kids Spell It Out: my best friend is...

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welcome to the Kids Spell It Out series! every monday will be a post filled with funny and adorable answers that kidlets give to questions. this week's question is:

Who is your best friend?

Noah.  He's Spider-man too.
Monkey {3} All Done Monkey

Dad, cuz he does awesome stuff for me. {he's deployed right now, so this is pretty sweet}. And L {pictured above} because he does a lot of fun stuff with me.
Bear {4} Crayon Freckles

Anna {the baby}
Lily {3} MamaSmiles
 
You right now, but later it will be Daddy.
J {3.5} Rainy Day Mum

Nana and Papa.
Tristan {5}

Irene and I love playing with her in the merry-go-round and the monkey bars.
Putti {5}

Lexi.
Audrey {5} True Aim Education
 
Scout and Mitchell... but Mitchell more because Scout does like me but sometimes doesn't play with  me but I can always play with Mitchell.
Maddie {4} Learn With Play at Home     

D from school.
Big Brother {4} Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails {FSPDT}

Logan...he loves me so much.
Jossi {2} True Aim Education
 
K. {a girl from school}
Emma {7} MamaSmiles

Sissy {her 2 yr old sister}

A cat.
Royal {3} Royal Baloo

Ummm.... Daisy {from In the Night Garden}
T {2} Rainy Day Mum

My brother.
Peanut {5} There's Just One Mommy

Madison.
Baloo {6} Royal Baloo
 
Carter.
Aikman {6} Montessori Tidbits
Daddy.
Emma {2} True Aim Education

Anna {the baby}
Johnny {5} MamaSmiles

My sister.
Goofy {7} 123 Homeschooling 4 Me
 
The services, the firehouse, hospital, and police.
 
 
 
 
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Thursday, April 18, 2013

tuesday book activities for children {free printable}

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the book Tuesday by David Weisner is one of our favorite books.  what makes it so great for children is that there are only a few words at the beginning and the end of the book.  and the only function of those words is to set the stage for what time it is. 
 
sink & float science activity
i found these small little plastic frogs on ebay for just a few bucks.  they are a bit larger than a quarter's size; perfect to use for learning activities.  for this activity, we used the small frogs and pieces of green craft foam cut out in the shape of lily pads.  then i filled up a small plastic shoe box with water and let Bear explore.  here are some questions that i asked during this activity:
 
  • Do the lily pads float? 
  • What about the frogs?
  • Will the frogs float if they're on the lily pads?
  • How many frogs can you fit on one lily pad before it sinks?

Bear seemed to enjoy experimenting and having playtime with the frogs in the water.  he did quite a bit of imaginative play until his fingers were all wrinkly and pruny.  as you can see in the picture below, he also had an assistant for his exploration.
 
 
when pigs fly physics activity
the fun image at the end gave us inspiration to try and make a pig actually "fly".  so we used the same setup that we did for our playdough catapult.  but instead of a playdough ball, we used a little plastic pig.  boy did that thing fly! 
 
 

paint the piggy bank
at the end of the book there are pigs, so painting a piggy bank seemed like a good fit. of course, the frogs supervised.





other learning activities we did for this book {but i didn't get pics} were:
  • exploring shadows with flashlights
  • talk about the units of time.  you can use this free printable below to do an activity.  to save, right click on image and click "save as"


 you can find our other book-inspired posts here
 
 
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

what a 4.5 year old wants to tell the world {Bear writes a post}

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Bear wanted to write a post, but wasn't quite sure how to start, so i gave him a little help. 
 
What do you want to tell people who read the blog?
That I love them.  And I want to say hello because they're so friendly.
 
Anything you'd like to say?
I can't wait to... um... type them some words.

gvreds  
cat hxghhhhhhdgwtfddgqwtrwtfdrereqfddddddddddcdqfqtdrdttttttttdq

 
 
Photobucket

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

for Boston

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i had planned on another post for today. 
but it can wait until tomorrow.   
 
in honor of the tragedy yesterday
in the beautiful city of Boston.
 
i just want today to be quiet..
 
 
 
 
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Monday, April 15, 2013

Kids Spell It Out: my favorite family activity

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welcome to the Kids Spell It Out series! every monday will be a post filled with funny and adorable answers that kidlets give to questions. this week's question is:
 
What's your favorite thing to do with your family?

Play outside and play together.
Bear {4.5} Crayon Freckles

Playing snakes and ladders and going to play park.
Putti {5}

Go out and eat.
Audrey {5} True Aim Education
 
Going to the park.
Monkey {3} All Done Monkey

Play cars.
Big Brother {4} Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails {FSPDT}

Go outside.
Jossi {2} True Aim Education
 
Saturday. Playing together.
Emma {7} MamaSmiles

Go out and ride bikes and also have them watch me play gymnastics.
Baloo {6} Royal Baloo

Go on a date with Daddy.
 
Playing and sharing.
Tristan {5}

Take care of Anna {the baby}
Lily {3} MamaSmiles

Movie night and playing at the park-both! I just can't choose one!

Play Star Wars.
Johnny {5} MamaSmiles

Everything!
Aikman {6} Montessori Tidbits
 
Talk about stuff and eat chips.
Royal {3} Royal Baloo
 
[playing] Tag!
 
 
 
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Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Kids Spell It Out: the most important rule

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welcome to the Kids Spell It Out series! every monday will be a post filled with funny and adorable answers that kidlets give to questions. this week's question is:
 
What's the most important rule in your house?
 
Not hitting people.
Bear {4} Crayon Freckles

Never trash food.
Putti {5}

Tidy up after yourself, put one thing away before you take out another. {this answer as he was standing in the middle of a very messy room}
Tristan {5}


Honor your mother and father.
Audrey {5} True Aim Education
 
When there is a fire, get out fast.
Big Brother {4} Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails {FSPDT}

 
The really 'portant thing is to listen.
Maddie {4} Learn With Play at Home     
 
To clean up your toys.
Emma {7} MamaSmiles

Not to be scared of what's not real.
Baloo {6} Royal Baloo

To be nice and don't throw.  And don't ride your bikes inside.
Royal {3} Royal Baloo

No hitting.

Uh...Clean up my Lego Police when I'm done with it.
Johnny {5} MamaSmiles

Do your chores.
Aikman {6} Montessori Tidbits
 
The rules to follow in a fire emergency.

All of the rules.
Lily {3} MamaSmiles

Don't jump on the bed or couch.
Monkey {3} All Done Monkey
  
 
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Saturday, April 6, 2013

colors of faith Christian bracelet

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i've made these bracelets in so many different programs throughout the course of my life.  i've heard them called so many things: Colors of Faith bracelets, Witness bracelets, etc.  and i love them.  they are simple to make and an easy way to strike up conversation with people about Jesus Christ. 
 
we made them with our kiddos in preschool Sunday School a few weeks ago.  the only supplies needed are pony craft beads in each of the colors below and pipe cleaners or leather thread to string beads on.  each child got their pipe cleaners after i twisted the end to keep the beads from falling off.  we gave them a bead at a time.  as they got the color, we talked about what the color stands for and what it means to our lives.  once they were done, the kiddos were able to wear them. 

one of our littlest gave his bracelet to his junior-high aged brother {who then wore it to school and talked to his friends about it}.  my heart was so happy when i heard that!  these bracelets are great ways for children to be disciples and teach others about Christ.

 
here are the cards that i created for the kids to take home and share with their families.  under each color meaning is a Bible verse that relates to it.  please feel free to save the card and print it out for yourself, your children, or your class. 
 

the bracelets Bear and i made are in our car.  they make me smile when i see them because of all that their colors stand for.   
 
 
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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

10 easy ways to have fun and bond with your child

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1. Make a fort under the dining room table.
 
 
3. Go out wearing two different color shoes.
 
4. Eat dinner without silverware.
 
5. Take a stuffed buddy to the store and push it around in a cart.
 
6. Read a favorite book backwards.
 
 
8. Use the self-checkout lane.
 
9. Camp out in the backyard.
 
10. Choose silly outfits for each other and go out to dinner.
 
 
 
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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Planning a Butterfly Garden from The Home Depot Garden Club

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Spring is here!  Waking up to the sun shining in the bedroom window and the birds tweeting makes for such happy days.  And now that all of our snow has melted here in the Midwest, Bear and I can head outside.  This year, we've got plans to get our hands dirty while we fill up our barren planters and rehang all of our bird and squirrel feeders.  We also need to spruce up our play area and the backyard space so we can use it for play dates and picnics.
 
To do this, we're partnering up with The Home Depot Garden Club for a Spring DIY program to help get us inspired and motivated

The other day, Bear and I went exploring on the The Home Depot Garden Club website and saw several projects that really interested us.  All the projects on the site give step-by-step directions and are geared for all types of DIYers, from novice to expert.

One the projects that seemed to really suit us was a how-to guide on creating a caterpillar and butterfly friendly garden.  We've got a lot of dirt beds at our house... places where I've tried to grow plants, but haven't exactly succeeded. Up until now, they've served to provide great areas for Bear to get messy.  Transforming them into a Butterfly Island Bed would make for the perfect environment to transition our next groups of butterflies to after we let them go. 



I'm are super excited about the projects that we are going do around the yard with the help of The Home Depot.  I can't wait to share them with you!  What's on your spring to-do list?

 
 
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It’s home improvement time, and The Home Depot has everything you need for spring. No matter what projects you want to tackle, The Home Depot has you covered.

Spring is the perfect time for all your outdoor home renovations. Shop The Home Depot for terrific values on new patio furniture, landscape supplies such as fertilizer and potting soil and outdoor grills. Keep your lawn and garden looking great, too, with the huge selection of lawn mowers, edgers and trimmers, and garden tools.

Visit The Home Depot Garden Club for product ideas from kick-starting your Spring with seed starter kits to building a window birdfeeder.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Home Depot.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Kids Spell It Out: what are you scared of?

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welcome to the Kids Spell It Out series! every monday will be a post filled with funny and adorable answers that kidlets give to questions. this week's question is:
 
What are you scared of?
 

Monsters.
Putti {5}
 
Monstrous big trucks and when the tornado sirens go off.
Bear {4} Crayon Freckles

Snakes and skeletons.
Tessa {4} Creative World of Varya

I'm scared of monsters and sometimes when people wake me up in the morning time I get a little bit of a fright and that's a bit scary.
Maddie {4} Learn With Play at Home 

Shadows scare me because sometimes I think they're people.
Big Brother {4} Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails {FSPDT}

Bees.
Audrey {5} True Aim Education

Lions.
Jossi {2} True Aim Education
 
I'm scared of big dogs.
Emma {6} MamaSmiles

Red eyes. The guy with red eyes.
Baloo {6} Royal Baloo

The dark.
Tristan {5}

Giants.
Emma {2} True Aim Education

Dinosaurs and robots that can kill you. And monsters. And police, they can trap you. They're bigger than me!
Royal {3} Royal Baloo

Monsters. I'm scared of robbers.
Johnny {5} MamaSmiles

Nothing because I'm a courageous boy.

Big dogs, dinosaurs, and some people.

Mom, I don't want to tell, because then everyone would know...
Aikman {6} Montessori Tidbits

Robbers.
Lily {3} MamaSmiles
 
 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.
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