Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Week 2010

It was an awesome Easter week at the Koller Home :)


Planted some herbs to grow in the kitchen.

Planting our veggies! Carrots, 2 types of squash, watermelon, beans, catnip, and cucumbers, strawberries, and tomatoes!

My Crafts

This craft is super easy! Take a paper egg carton and tear a few of the "cups" off. Paint the inside and the outside with white, beige, or tan, and then after they dry you fill them with yellow candy to look like yolk. This one makes me smile :)

Hollowed Eggs
I wanted to make some really cute hollowed eggs. It was kinda fun blowing the eggs out. Even Joey liked this and did some of his own. I did this because I wanted to put a piece of paper inside each one that contained a piece of the Easter Story. I kept it simple for now, because Lawson is still so young.

They turned out super cute!

I also took on the project of making heirloom eggs. These are Hollowed Easter Eggs that I want to eventually pass down to my children for Easter decorations. Since I'm not the worlds greatest painter, I stuck to my hot glue gun! I also wanted to make eggs that were "pretty" and not exactly "silly," but also not too feminine in case I have all boys! SO, I blew 10 eggs and decorated them with nuts, dry beans, rice, oatmeal, and spices.
I was pretty pleased with the outcome. I still have to spray them with some sort of sealant so the beans, rice, etc. don't turn to dust after awhile.

Easter Tree: Making the Eggs

Painting the eggs for the tree:

I bought some sponges for a little sponge painting :)

Sprinkle Eggs and Confetti Eggs

Let Lawson paint the eggs with glue and then sprinkle candy sprinkles all over them. Also bought those confetti eggs that are out right now for easter. Hollow real eggs filled with confetti. So then I just broke the seal of the hole they already made and let lawson shake the confetti out of the egg onto his construction paper egg. He LOVED this!

Our Easter Tree on Easter Morning

Lawson's Other Projects:

Easter Bake Dough
My friend Tiffany gave us her extra Easter Bake Art dough and so Lawson Painted away :) I glued magnets on the back and they were on the fridge all week, along with his Easter Coloring Pages.

Decorating Easter Cookies

Joey and I decorated sugar cookies. I tried to let Lawson do it but all he wanted to do was eat the cookie. We'll try again next year! haha! Joey really liked this activity. He loves anything that lets him be artistic.

My cookies

Joey's cookies

Lots of Outdoor time. This week has been absolutely gorgeous!

Don't have a sandbox yet so I took some feed corn and let lawson play in it. He was lovin it! Redneck Sandbox! haha

Lawson's Dirt Table: He loves getting dirty and I love letting him!

Easter Egg Hunt with the WFSG

Easter Morning

Brian Suprised me with my own Easter Basket! No wonder he was so late coming home on Saturday :) LOVE THAT MAN! I especially liked what was hidden under the Easter Grass! haha!

Joey's on the hunt for Eggs

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ooey Gooey Craft Recipes & Messy Art Ideas!

Ok, so I have a little boy who is really into getting messy..which I love! He LIKES craft time, but he LOVES craft time when he can really get his hands into it and get dirty. HE'S ALL BOY! So, our craft time usually consists of lots of clean up time and bathtime afterwards. I think this just comes along with being a mom...and letting your kids express themselves through art and playtime. The mess in no way deters me from doing craft time...which I've actually renamed Creative Art Time, because our "craft time" often doesn't consist of doing what you would call a traditional "craft." Sometimes our projects are more about exploring the world around us..textures, colors, etc. Often, these are really messy projects. FUN of course, but messy. These are often my favorite projects as well.

In looking for more Messy Art Ideas, I have come accross some really great ideas. I am all for making homemade things for lawson to play with. I can easily find many recipes for lots of the things I would buy at the store...except these are NON TOXIC! If I make them...then I know what the ingredients are! That makes me feel better when Lawson decides to EAT a huge bite of playdough! Well... since i'ts homemade, theres not much in there that doesn't also go into a homemade cookie ya know!

So, here are some of the things I have found so far!
(Click their titles to find their recipes and how-to's)

A cross between paint and dough, this delightful concoction is fun to squeeze out into puffy, colorful designs. As it dries, the salt in the dough crystallizes, leaving behind a glittering abstraction that, like a Rorschach inkblot, is open to interpretation. Here's how to make enough for 2 bottles.

I actually did this today. L loved it! I suggest adding a bit more water to make it easier to squeeze out of the bottle if you have younger kids. I actually had fun with this one too. Its like raised paint.

You don't have to have sun drenched beaches and warm sand to make sand castles. No matter where you live this activity can supply a less messy opportunity for making sand castles. If sand castles don't excite your young architect this material works just as well for forts or just tracing letters in the sand. This tactile experience helps build important skills while little ones play.


This is a cool one for moms bc its ooey gooey for kids but not too messy!
Get inventive and find out what you can and can't do with flubber. Try to pull it in half making two pieces. Can you bounce it? Does it stick to the ceiling if you toss it up? Will a cookie cutter cut through it? How far can you stretch it out? What happens when you drop marbles onto it? Possibilities go on and on.

I made this with my2 year old and my 11 year old stepson. They both had lots of fun with it.

 First, you make the Coffee Dough which in iteself is a neato project, however, then you can turn it into dinosaur eggs or treasure rocks! I did a dinosaur themed playdate for some friends and their kids and made these. They were a big hit!
Coffee dough looks like a rock when it dries, and breaks open easily.

Other Ideas:

Marble Painting
Place some paper in a cheap metal roasting pan (which you can buy at the dollar store.) Toss a few marbles into the pan and let the kids squirt paint onto the paper. Then, they move the pan around and the marbles create neat patterns on the paper.

Fly Swatter Painting
As a fun outdoor summer project, take cans of shaving cream and cover a large sheet of butcher paper with it. Then, give kids a fly swatter and let them pour paint all over the shaving cream OR onto their fly swatters and then let them swat the shaving cream!

Body Art
This i'm considering for a fun outdoor activity this summer. Lawson is usually covered head to toe in paint anyway when we do projects so this may be fun.
Get a TON of paint and put it into a LARGE container (like a kiddie pool) and let the kids just go crazy in it! Then supply feathers, glitter, paint brushes, etc. and let them become their own works of art. This is especially fun for kids a bit older (3-5) You can make this a PARTY and then they could decorate eachother! I think I may bravely take this on this summer! Cleaning up would be part of the fun too bc they can just run through the sprinklers!

Pop Art
This one is fun for older kids but I think i'll try it with Lawson!

Spread a large sheet of craft paper on the ground. Measure one tablespoon of baking soda into the center of a square of toilet paper, fold it into a bundle, and tuck it into one corner of a sandwich-size zip-top bag. Help your child mix one-third cup of white vinegar with one tablespoon of tempera paint; pour into the opposite corner of the bag. Seal quickly, leaving a little air in the bag, and shake slightly to mix. Set it on the paper, then stand back. The bag will quickly puff up like a pillow, then pop, leaving an inkblot-style masterpiece.

Another Variation on Pop Art:
Another outside project

Take a ziplock bag and fill it with paint. Then, let the children step on it (or jump on it to release the paint and SPLAT!

Pudding Paint
Simple...pudding and food coloring! Paint, EAT, PHOTOGRAPH! haha!

As a parent to a young child, your JOB is not to make sure that child is totally prepared for his/her first day of school. ABC's and 123's ARE important, but the BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR CHILD, is to let them grow and learn and experience the world creatively and at their own pace. Don't hurry your child into growing up. Projects like these foster creativity and learning, without pushing the "fundamentals" that we so often think are the most important things to be teaching our children. This is my soap box BUT my grandmother has also given me this advice and she is the smartest person I know. She has her doctorate in Early Childhood Special Education and I look to her for spot on advice.

HER ADVICE THAT HAS STUCK WITH ME THE MOST: Let children explore their world at their own pace. Don't hurry a child into growing up. 

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