Build Your Own Snowman

Magnetic Snowman

Snowman Kids CraftSnowman Kids CraftSnowman Kids Craft

We have done a few of these projects  before ( robot and haunted house) and they are always a huge hit with my son as well as readers. Although it hasn’t snowed here in ages, I know that many of you are snowed in and thought I’d do one more snow themed craft. Our guy has no arms because we forgot them and by the time I remembered my son just wanted to play with him so they were clearly superfluous.

  1. Gather your materials. I am using sticky back foam, it’s easy to use and mostly eliminates the need for glue. Also scissors, self adhesive magnets ( please be careful and supervise even older kids with magnets, any child that is still putting things in their mouth should not be using the button magnets. Instead use the magnetic strips that do not pose as great a swallowing risk. ),  a marker and some glue if like me you are reusing magnets and their sticky back is gone! You will also need a cookie sheet or a magnetic surface to play. Snowman Kids Craft
  2. Start by tracing the snowman shapes. 3 circles from the white foam. Cut out.Snowman Kids Craft
  3. Trace and cut out a hat , coal pieces and boots from the black foamSnowman Kids Craft
  4. Cut out a nose and arms from the gold foam ( or any color really, we had gold on hand)
  5. Finally cut out buttons from the blue foam. Snowman
  6. Start by assembling the snowman’s face. Stick the nose on. Snowman Crafts
  7. Add the eyes and mouth from the coal pieces. Snowman  Craft
  8. Add the buttons on the other white circles – as you can see my son opted for all on one , which is perfectly awesome.Snowman Craft
  9. While they are adding the features, glue or stick the magnets on. You will want one on the boots, hat, each section of the snowman and arms if you made them. If you can avoid it don’t glue it took hours for ours to dry. I ended up taking these final pics before it was dry and my son didn’t get to play with it until almost bedtime.  Snowman Craft
  10. Let dry and play! Snowman Craft

Books

jacket

The Jacket I Wear in the Snow

written by Shirley Neitzel, illustrated by Nancy Winslow Parker
published by Greenwillow Books
rebus picture book (baby to preschool)
Similar to the story structure and rhyme of ‘The House that Jack Built’, this story builds with each layer of clothes. As a new article is added, it’s given extra emphasis on it’s own page, then beside it lists the other clothing elements already included. The repetitive text and the rebus images make for a consistent and predictable story, great for beginning readers. Children will be able to read parts of the story and enjoy predicting the clothing that comes on next. This is a great way to introduce winter clothing vocabulary too. Be warned, you kids may take to repeating all or parts of the rhyme when getting dressed to go out

( reviewed by Carrie Anne)

Snowman in Paradise

Snowman in Paradise by Michael Roberts is genius. There I said it. I very rarely think that of books. I like the majority of books I read and think there are so many good ones to share but I don’t want to return this one to the library, I want to keep it! The book is about a snowman from Manhattan who is glum after Christmas and wants to go on a vacation too. A magical bluebird grants his wish and he flies first class to a tropical island , with the only rule being he needs to come back in time for Christmas next year. This book is written like the traditional “Night Before Christmas” and although I thought the copy would be too long for my son at first , I was so wrong. The rhymes are unique , my favorite being :

In May after splashing with buckets of paint, He threw down his brush, saying, “Gauguin I ain’t.”

Even if some references are more for the adults reading it than the children listening , both parties will close the book smiling and wanting to start all over again. Grab it and see why I love it so much!

Princess Valentine

heartwandIt’s been a long time since we made a naptime creation. What that is for those new here are crafts for older kids- older being relative of course. This would be perfect for the 5-8 crowd! Instead of candy, cookies or the plain old paper valentine’s why not make your friends their very own princess wand? This valentine will be used long after February 14th! I chose to make a fringe but you could glue on sequins or plastic gems too!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some sparkly sticky back foam, a dowel, a hole punch,double stick tape,  some ribbon, a marker, scissors, some fun card stock and a cookie cutter for a stencil . Princess Valentine
  2. Start by tracing the heart cookie cutter on the back of the foam.Princess Valentine
  3. Cut out.
  4. Punch holes in both foam pieces, make sure they match up!Princess Valentine
  5. Peel the backing off and sandwich the dowel in between the sticky foam.Princess Valentine
  6. Cut the ribbon into short pieces.Princess Valentine
  7. Tie the ribbon onto the wand. Princess Valentine
  8. Using pretty card stock  and double stick tape make a gift tag and write a message.Princess Valentine
  9. Tie onto the wand and it’s ready to be given to your fellow princess!  Princess Valentine

Nest Egg Ornament

Nest Christmas OrnamentMy original idea for this was to have it closed and have jingle bells inside , but I was concerned that if it broke the jingle bells could be a safety hazard. So I went back to the chalk board and decided to cut one side open and make a home for one of my favorite little bird ornaments that is getting old and needs a comfy place to rest. This is not nearly as hard as it looks but it’s finiky and would frustrate young kids, which is why it’s a naptime creation for older kids or adults to do while preschoolers snooze!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need yarn, glue, a dish, water, a balloon, some cotton balls , scissors , ribbon and your ornament of choice.Nest Ornament
  2. Start by blowing up your balloon a little, and tie it.Nest Ornament
  3. Mix your glue in a dish with some water. It’s about 4/5th glue 1/5th water.Nest Ornament
  4. Cut your yarn into manageable pieces.Nest Ornament
  5. Drench your yarn in the glue and wrap it around your balloon.Nest Ornament Nest Ornament
  6. Let dry- I clip it to a wire hanger and hang it over my utility sink.  I dried mine for a few days.
  7. Pop the balloon and pull it from the yarn .Nest Ornament
  8. Cut an opening in the yarn.Nest Ornament
  9. Add cotton balls.Nest Ornament
  10. Glue your ornament on.Nest Ornament
  11. Add ribbon.Nest Ornament
  12. Hang on your tree.Nest Christmas Ornament

Books

One Little Chicken: A Counting Book by David Elliot was a great library find. You count chickens as they dance all different styles, my favorite being the chickens who dance the hula ! The rhyming text is really fun and the pictures will make you giggle, I mean there are chickens in leotards doing ballet! Totally tickled my funny bone. The best part though is that it gets the reader involved after counting to ten, the chickens turn the tables stare at the reader and implore them to dance!  One of my new favorite counting books.

Birds by Kevin Henkes , illustrated by Laura Dronzek is stunning. I love this author but this book is absolutely about the pictures. The cover is beautiful but there are pages that I just wanted to look at the way I look at paintings at a museum. The book is perfect for toddlers and young preschooler, it’s non fiction , simple and has a great flow. The colors are so vibrant I would bet that infants would dig it too! Awesome awesome awesome!

Owl Babiesby Martin Waddell was an instant hit with my son. I knew it would be, much like little Bill the smallest of the three baby owls my son is fond of saying “I want my mommy”. The three birds are distraught when they discover mama owl is not there. I love how they huddle together, and think a lot before mama Owl returns non- challant about the fact that she’d returned. The illustrations of the owls are so expressive , which with very few facial features is impressive. Patrick Benson did a wonderful job bringing all three owl’s personalities out visually as well as making the setting ominous without being frightening to young readers. Great book!

Halloween Wreath

Frugal Friday!

Halloween Wreath 003

I love making something pretty out of stuff I already have. This Halloween wreath was a cinch to make and cost me nothing. Even if you have to buy the materials it’s easily under $5 ! Now that is my kind of holiday decor! As you can see below my son got involved too, although not making the craft so much as playing with it. Have fun and remember cute doesn’t always have to mean expensive!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need scissors, Halloween garland , some black and orange ribbon, and a cardboard round. Our cardboard came from a frozen pizza ( Thank you Mr. Newman) but any sturdy cardboard will do. I didn’t use glue but if you want to hot glue would work great.Halloween Wreath
  2. Start by cutting the middle of the round out.Halloween Wreath
  3. Tie your garland on and start wrapping. Our garland is 8 feet long. Don’t be fooled my son isn’t wrapping it, well he tried but I did the craft.Halloween Wreath
  4. Keep going until you are done , tie the end and tuck any left over garland. Beware of children stealing it and using your wreath as a hat.Halloween Wreath
  5. Add a fun bow- just loop it through and tie it right on top!Halloween Wreath
  6. Pop it outside and get in the spirit! Spend your extra money on more candy, cause we all know the first bag is for us!

Classy Halloween Craft

Sun Print

Halloween Craft

The blue is really all one color- my reflection is wrecking a perfect picture!

My son is fighting the flu, and although his fever is gone he hasn’t asked to do any projects and I haven’t pushed. He has been watching far too much TV though which if the fever is still gone tomorrow will be ending. So today while he sat on the couch enjoying my lax rules about TV when we are sequestered in our house , I made this. I was so impressed with the results. My mom bought me this paper and I think she paid $7 for the pack of 12 in Canada, I would bet it’s cheaper in the states! This is not a craft for little ones but you can grab leaves or other flat objects and use sun print paper with young kids.  Here’s what I did:

  1. Gather your materials. You will need sun print paper kit, some construction paper of any color, a pen or fine tip felt , fine tip scissors and patience !Halloween Craft
  2. Start by reading the instructions in your sun print paper kit. Pull out the frame that is included to make sure your paper cut out will fit. I did not do this and had to adjust later on.
  3. Draw a spooky scene that can be cut out, I drew way too much but edited it down to a tree with an owl.Halloween Craft
  4. Check on your sick child who is overjoyed to be watching a 2nd episode of Dora. Watching too much Dora
  5. Start cutting out your picture. It may take a while… I was thankful Dora was keeping my normally clingy sick son happy, cutting this was not easy.Halloween Craft
  6. Place the cut out in the frame provided before you open the sealed pouch of light sensitive paper. Halloween Craft
  7. Take the paper out, close the frame and place in sunlight.Halloween Craft
  8. You will see that we had a foggy foggy morning , I specifically wanted to try it on a day like today to see how it would work in overcast conditions.1tr 012
  9. It worked but  it took longer than the 2-3 minutes of sunlight suggested ( about 10) .
  10. Rinse in a dish of water for a minute.Halloween Craft
  11. Let dry- colors get darker as it dries.Halloween Craft
  12. Frame and add some classy touches to your Halloween display! Halloween Craft

Note to Readers

I am putting together an educational toy guide for the holidays and would love to include some reader suggested toys or games. My rules are : No characters, no weapons and keep the reviews short . I am aiming to have it done by the end of the month and up shortly after. I will as always link back to your blog in the post. If you are interested send me an email with  “Gift Guide” in the subject.

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