Thursday, September 27, 2012

Web Weaving

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This was a busy bag that I made for a Halloween Busy Bag Swap that focuses on fine motor skills, pattern making, and coordination! L and I had done WEAVING BEFORE and I thought I could turn it into a Halloween themed busy bag by tweaking it a bit and calling it "Web Weaving."  
Coordination comes into play when the child must hold the cardboard base with one hand and weave the string in the groves with the other hand.

what you need
for the web
black acrylic paint or spray paint
white yarn
for the friendly spider
pom pom
fuzzy craft stick
googly eyes
hot glue gun

to make the web
1. Cut a circle out of the cardboard about 10-12 inches in diameter. Cut the circle out and then use scissors to cut triangle groves around the circle.
2.  I then used a nail to pierce a hole in the middle, then thread some white string through the hole and tied a knot in the string on the other side of the cardboard to hold it in place. Make sure you leave a few feet of string for the kids to work with. You can always cut it a bit if it's too long for your child to work with.

to make the friendly spider
1. cut your craft sticks into 1 inch pieces and hot glue them onto the underside of a pom pom.
2. add googly eyes
 The kids can play with them and put them in their webs after they are done, OR a parent can hot glue the spider to the finished web to keep as a halloween art keepsake!

To see ALL of our Busy Bags, click the photo below!

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Toy Imprints in Clay

We had some extra clay left over from making nature prints in clay with our art group, so I thought we would do something similar and make some imprints using toys, then turn them into Christmas ornaments and gift them to friends and family. L loved the idea of using his toys for prints, even more so than he did when we used leaves, sticks, rocks, etc. with the group.

You can make these using homemade Salt Dough, which is inexpensive and can be air or oven dried. However, since we had storebought clay left over, thats what we used.

To make the clay disks I formed a ball with a chunk of clay then put a piece of wax paper over the ball and flattened it with a flat bottomed cup. The wax paper keeps it from sticking to the cup. I then used a straw to make holes in the disks so I could put ribbon through them for hanging on the tree.

We then hunted for some toys that we thought would make great prints.

Pretty neat huh?! L pressed them all!
I didn't worry about how well each print came out, they are all totally unique and made my him :)
We then set them outside in the summer heat to dry.

Sadly, I totally forgot these were outside and it rained. They were ruined. SO, we will be doing this activity again with homemade Salt Dough and drying it in the oven this time. It was a bummer that these were ruined BUT it was a fun project so we don't mind doing it again.
I think we may try painting some of them too!

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Baby Sensory Bin: Colored Sand and Blocks

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I used colored sand and some colored wood blocks to create a very simple sensory bin for B (13mo).
I get a lot of comments on my baby sensory bin posts about the safety of the materials I use. The questions I most often get is "Is that safe?" "Won't they try to eat it?"   Most babies will more than likely at least once try to eat some sand, noodles, rice, beans, etc,  but the point of a sensory bin is not to set it down in front of your child and then leave. Sit right in front of your child and watch them play! If they try to eat it, give them a gentle but firm "no" and return the material to the sensory bin. Then perhaps show them another way to play with it to distract them from wanting to put it in their mouth. More than likely, they will eventually stop trying to eat it and explore the material. They may try to eat it a few more times, but in between those times they may explore and have fun with the sensory bin. This is still a win! B tried to eat the sand a few times, but I gently told him "no," put his hand away from his mouth and he eventually got the point and started exploring with the sand...picking it up and running it through his fingers. I'm not saying this works with all babies. As with most things there are exceptions and if your child just continuously tries to eat it, then yes your child may not be ready for sensory bins with smaller material or maybe just that particular material. but I recommend giving it a chance! Don't take your eyes off of your baby and be ready to intervene at the second they try to eat it.
 I just firmly believe that with a watchful parental eye,
sensory bins can be explored by most babies from an early age.

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Our Life in Pictures

A Picture Post About Our 
Life Between the Activities

 discovering new trails

 And visiting an old favorite place
but always discovering it in new ways!

Fun at the farmers market with friends

Girls Night In
I hosted a Girls Night In on the Patio Party with a do-it yourself quesadilla bar. I love spending time with my friends and planning mini just-because parties :)

discovering a new favorite outdoor restaurant

special "just because I love you" lunches for L

Spending the last warm days enjoying our favorite creek spots

and parks

Boating on Beaver Lake

Starting a nightly journal routine, which I'll post about later.
We've really been enjoying this!

fresh eggs and homemade cookies delivered
personally by a wonderful friend :)

Funny Suprises
My husband and I like to leave notes or things for the other to find. Sometimes the "thing" is funny, sometimes it's romantic...and this time I opened up the medicine cabinet and found "The Annoying Orange" (from YouTube) on the shelf. Totally made me laugh!

Super Silly Suppers

the cutest sad faces ever!
This particular sad face was being made simply because lunch was "all done."

embracing the curl
FINALLY accepting and embracing my naturally curly hair and am almost wearing it curly all the time. When I asked my Play Create Explore Facebook friends for curly hair advice, I was so suprised by the response! I have been putting your great curly hair tips and advice to use and I have never been happier wearing my hair natural! So thank you again to all my Curly-Q's out there!

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