Naptime Creation – for older children!

Table Manners
Place Card Holder
I fondly remember making place cards for my mom when guests came over , this simple place card holder can be adapted to any occasion, use a sprig of pine for Christmas, or some glittery berries for new years! Also for the kids table you can make the Foam Turkey and glue a clothes pin to the back! This is also a great way to practice penmanship which doesn’t get much action these days! Even if you aren’t hosting a big holiday dinner making some place cards is a great way to involve your children in setting the table!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some dried grass, or other fall foliage, glue, cardstock, paper cutter if available, scissors, clothes pins, fine tipped marker , gliter glue , hole punch and ribbon.
  2. Start by cutting out an oval with scissors or cheat with a paper cutter like me! I am using brown blank note cards , I liked the color and the weight is perfect for the project.
  3. Using a hole punch , punch two small holes in the oval.
  4. Thread a piece of ribbon through , use a longer piece than you think you will need, trust me it’s easier to cut off extra than re thread it.
  5. Add a little dab of glue where the main part of your foliage will be. If you are making this sans kids use hot glue it will be way faster and sturdier.
  6. Add fall foliage , tie a bow.
  7. Add glue to a clothes pin, don’t add as much as I did, it took forever for mine to dry!
  8. Pop your oval on, let dry.
  9. While that dries cut a 2nd oval out, write the name of a guest and decorate , I chose to do simple dots of glitter glue.
  10. When dry put it together! Remember you can pop different name in for next year, or if you have a change in the guest list. Your placecard will stand on it’s own, i just couldn’t get a good picture!

Turkey Craft

turkey craft
This Thanksgiving turkey craft has stood the test of time. I made it with my son in 2008 and just unpacked it 5 years later and it still looks great! If you are working with a toddler like my son was when we made it do the cutting for them but they can help glue and layer the hand prints. If you are going to make this into a magnet like I did make sure to use magnetic tape or a magnetic sheet because little magnets and little kids don’t mix.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 5 sheets ( some can be scraps) of foam, brown, light brown, red, orange and yellow. Googly eyes, glue , scissors and a marker.
  2. Trace your child’s hand on one piece of foam.
  3. Stack two more sheets under it and cut out.
  4. Cut out a long 8 shape in yellow foam and one in orange that is slightly smaller, I don’t have a picture because I did it in red then decided orange would be better.
  5. Cut out a small triangle for the beak and a small tear drop in red for the gobble ( what is that thing really called ?).
  6. Cut two small rectangles for legs.
  7. Glue the two brown hand prints one on top of the other so the fingers ( feathers ) are staggered.
  8. Add the red one.
  9. Add the yellow body.
  10. Add the orange on top
  11. Glue the beak , gobble and eyes on.
  12. Add the legs and Let dry. If you want you can add a magnet to the back .

Parent and Tot Project !

Pine cone
Pumpkin

I had a grand idea and while it didn’t turn out the way I envisioned it was still fun to make with my son and I will share it here.
  1. Gather your materials. You will need pine cones, paint, a green pipe cleaner and a hot glue gun.
  2. Start by mixing red and yellow together to make orange paint. This craft uses a lot of paint so we took this opportunity to have a color lesson and my son loves to mix paint.
  3. My plan was to use a paint brush but my son found that rolling the pine cones was faster and better than a brush. So roll!
  4. Let the pine cones dry.
  5. This is the parent part of the craft, I used a ton of hot glue ! Lay out the first level and then glue together.
  6. Add another layer or two. filling in the gaps.
  7. When you are happy that it looks like a pumpkin twist the pipecleaner to look like a stem and glue it in.
  8. Try not to hurt your husband when you ask him if he knows what it is and he replies ” Cute Grapes!” .

Easy Handprint Bat Craft For Kids

 

It’s October so let’s get ready for Halloween! This easy bat craft for kids doubles as fun Halloween decor. For families that choose not to participate in Halloween this craft can still be useful, simply leave out the red fangs and change up the color scheme.
  1. Gather your materials. You will need black, red and orange construction paper, glue, some crayons, scissors and googly eyes.
  2. Start by having your child draw a bunch of fun night time things on the orange paper, stars, a moon, even and owl would be great! If you can help or little one is still young, or skip it like we did. I added the stars etc… after we were done just for y’all.
  3. Trace your child’s hands on black paper.
  4. Have your child color the hands with a white crayon.
  5. While they are coloring draw a bat head Don’t worry about making mistakes we’ll use the opposite side.and cut out small red fangs.
  6. Cut everything out.
  7. Put two globs of glue on your orange paper for the hands.
  8. Pop the hands on, don’t worry about what sides are up, one of ours is upside down , but make sure they meet in the middle .
  9. Add the head
  10. Glue on the fangs. I usually add the glue then help direct him where to put them, saying things like ” Can you point the triangle down” but if I wasn’t blogging it I wouldn’t be so concerned with how it “looks” . A good tip is to talk about what you are adding saying ” Fangs are big teeth, where should the bat’s teeth go” .
  11. Add the eyes! If your child is still eating things, you can draw eyes on with a white crayon instead.
Song!

5 little bats5 little bats went on a flight
by the light of the moon one night
Mama bat said squeak squeak squeak swack!
but only 4 little bats came back.

4,3,2,1

No little bats went on a flight
by the light of the moon one night
Mama bat said squeak squeak squeak swack!
and 5 little bats came flying back!

Books!

“Stellaluna” by Janell Canon has long been a favorite when teaching about bats. I will warn you it’s a little long for fidgety toddlers but they will still enjoy it even if you skip a few pages. The story follows a little bat who looses her mother and is adopted into a family of birds. She never really feels like she belongs even though she is happy. and likes her bird family. That’s not the end though, there is a surprise reunion and Stellaluna saves the day before the end of this book!
“Where is Baby’s Pumpkin?”

by Karen Katz. This lift and flap book is the newest addition to our Karen Katz collection. My son adores these books. I read this in the check out line 3 times and he was asking for more before I could get my groceries in the fridge. I like this book because it’s a cute and gentle introduction to HalloweenBat  and all the creatures that go along with it. Also there are fun textures to many of the illustrations which help keep little hands busy! 


Acorn Craft For Toddlers

My love of all things autumn continues with this ripped paper acorn. This is a cute craft that can be adapted easily for various ages. We used markers but paint or crayons would work well too.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, a brown paper bag, a darker brown and light brown marker / crayon or paint, and glue.
  2. Have your child color half of the brown paper bag with the dark brown, then the other half with the lighter brown.
  3. While your child is coloring draw the outline of an acorn on a piece of construction paper.
  4. Start ripping. Rip the colored paper bag into small pieces, keep the two colors in separate piles. Little ones may need help ripping the paper if it’s thick, I had to get the rips started for my son.
  5. Add the glue to the bottom half of the acorn. As you can see my little guy doesn’t always follow my directions!
  6. Glue on the ripped pieces.
  7. Repeat with the top half. You want a lot of glue so that no matter where your child places the paper it will stick.
  8. Let dry
  9. Cut the acorn out and glue to the 2nd piece of construction paper.

Books!

” Leaf Jumpers “ by Carole Gerber is a beautifully illustrated , informative book that all all about leaves in autumn. It’s not the most exciting book but is a good teaching resource and tool when you are teaching your child about the changing seasons. I can’t say this is a must read, but it’s useful and worth a look at your local library.
” T is for Touchdown : A Football Alphabet” by Brad Herzog is a beautiful book that will delight even those of us who are never happy to see football season start. I admit even being an anti fan this book was fun and really full of information that even a football scrooge like myself can appreciate. Also it’s easy to read simply the letters and look at the pictures for little ones and has genuinely interesting blurbs for each page for older children.” Every Season ” by Shelly Rotner is a keeper. The text is simple, but the pictures really capture all the wonderful things that each season brings to make up a whole year. The photographs can be used as ice breakers about things children love about each season, are looking forward to or even don’t like. Either way this book is full of possibilities.