Parent and Tot Projects
My son and I are often together. He doesn’t cry when I leave him at preschool, or with family but by bedtime he wants one person only. Mama. This week I am going to Nashville for Blissdom, a social media conference for women and it will be the 3rd time I have been away from my son in his life. I hate leaving him and this activity was as much for me as him. His hand will be for me to wear when we are away and mine for him to wear if and when he misses me. * I wanted to add an idea that a Twitter follower had which was using this for military families during deployment! Fantastic!
- Gather your materials. Today we are using Shrinky Dinks- yes they still exist! I got ours at Micheal’s, as well as colored pencils, scissors, a baking sheet with parchment paper, a hole punch and some ribbon or plastic thread. My son picked his out, honestly I would use ribbon if I were you, the plastic thread doesn’t lay flat when you wear it.
- Start by tracing your little one’s hand with a colored pencil.
- Ask them to dictate ( or write if they can) what they want to say.
- Have them color it.
- Make your own hand as well. Remember your hand will be worn by your child so write them a note.
- Cut out.
- Punch a hole in each.
- Watch them shrink.
- Don’t take your eyes off them when they lay flat it’s time to take them out.
- Let cool and thread the ribbon and thread through.
- Pop it on and when you miss each other you have a message to remind you of the bond and love you share! He is showing me how he will kiss it when I am away !
This is the book that inspired this activity and it would be wrong not to include it!
The Kissing Hand by Audry Penn is an absolute favorite . Chester is a raccoon who like most of us doesn’t like change. In his case it’s starting school. He wants to stay home with his mama and play with the friends he already has instead of going to school away from her and his friends. So his mama explains to him the magic of the kissing hand . The real magic is the message that we have to do things that scare us sometimes but that the love of our family is always with us to help us through. Go get this book. See how perfect is this, mostly for me this week, I hate leaving my son, letting go is good for me but man I miss his snuggles when I am away!
Flash Card Garland
See flash cards are good for something! When a friend asked recently if flash cards were good for anything, I jokingly replied with ” You could make a craft with them!” and so this idea was born. Flash cards aren’t inherently bad, if you play, create or need them to accommodate disabilities they can be fun or even crucial. However sitting and teaching the average preschooler with them just isn’t the best way, rote memorization and learning are not equal. So if you have some don’t throw them away, make this and dress up your playroom or kids bedroom .
- Gather your materials. You will need flash cards, some card stock ,double stick tape, scissors , ribbon, and a hole punch.
- Start by deciding on a pattern for your paper. My son helped me and we took the opportunity to talk about patterns.
- Cut the paper to size.
- Attach the flash card on the paper with the double stick tape.
- Punch two holes at the top.
- Repeat 25 more times.
- Time to start lacing the cards on. I used just over 9 feet of ribbon. I left extra on both ends just in case. This is not a fun part of the craft, I forgot G and had to re-lace H-P.
- Tie bows at the end of the ribbons once all the letters are laced on.
- Put it up. My playroom is too small to allow me to get a good shot of the whole thing!
For another fun alphabet activity check out what I posted today at
- Gather your materials. I used Benjamin Moore chalkboard paint, a roller, paint tray, painters tape, an old picture frame, an old sheet, 4 nails and a hammer.
- Start by deciding where you want the chalkboard. Have your child show you how high they can reach so that it’s all usable space. I’m no good with measuring tape so I just eyeballed it and thumb tacked it to the wall to decide. You may want to measure where on the wall you put it.
- Tape off the area to paint.
- Apply your first coat. Wait 4 hours or more and add a 2nd. Let dry.
- Take off the tape.
- Place your frame on the wall so the painted area is centered, and secure it to the wall. I nailed mine but depending on your walls you’ll want to use the appropriate fashion. I particularly liked using a frame because it creates a ledge for the chalk as well.
- Add chalk and child!
Today is Canada Day and Fourth of July is just a few sleeps away . What is a holiday without treats? Last year we made these adorable flag cupcakes and this year we made the Star Treats that were gobbled up at church. Do you have a favorite treat? Leave a comment and share! To all my fellow Canadians, Happy Canada Day!Star Treats
- Gather your materials. You will need 5 1/2 cups of marshmallows, 5 1/2 cups of rice crispy type cereal, 1/4 cup of butter, some non stick spray , a large sauce pan , a baking sheet and a star cookie cutter, and red , white and blue jelly beans.
- Make your rice crispy squares by melting the butter over medium heat, add the marshmallows melt them add the cereal. Spread onto your baking sheet and cool just enough for them to be comfortable for your child to touch.
- Time to add the jelly beans. We counted them as we put them in , and surprisingly few ended up in his mouth.
- Pop them in the fridge and cool completely.
- Grab your star cookie cutter and cut out.
- Gather your materials. You will need your favourite ( another Canadian spelling, not an error) cupcake recipe , some jelly beans and white icing.
- Bake your cupcakes and let them cool completely. Your kids can help but mine had his fair share of jelly bellys while I was making the batter, so I did this activity alone.
- Ice the cupcake completely.
- For the Maple Leaf cupcakes start by making a maple leaf with 6 red jelly beans. You can also use licorice or another red candy.
- Next add 3 red jelly beans lengthwise on either side of the maple leaf! Sing O Canada before eating
- For the Stars and Stripes Start with a horizontal row of 4 red jelly beans , repeat.
- Add 4 blue jelly beans in the upper left.
- Add 2 rows of 2 red jelly beans , sing The Star Spangled Banner before eating
I love museums, specifically art museums. My son has been really into the Mona Lisa and Birth of Venus since I bought him the first book in the reviews at the Vancouver Art Gallery. He also keeps asking to go to the Louvre after seeing an episode of Little Einsteins, don’t I wish! So while he was napping on Sunday I made him a museum, kids could be a part of this for sure – instead of using masterpiece stickers you could make your own art! It’s been played with multiple times since making it .
- Gather your materials. You will need a shallow card board box, some foam or construction paper in 2 colors, some markers, glue, scissors, art stickers, little people blocks and little people.
- Start by cutting your foam into rugs.
- Draw some fun squiggles to make the foam look like oriental rugs.
- Cut out a door.
- Cut a runner from the other color of foam.
- Add glue for the rugs and runner
- Pop them down.
- Time to add stickers- here is a close up of the stickers we are using. I found them at the St. Louis Art Museum ages ago but have seen them at the Vancouver Art Gallery .
- Add them to your box. The Mona Lisa is from the cover, I’d already used the sticker, I just taped it on.
- Add the furniture- I used a few blocks.
- Add your doorway. My son has been saying “Please pay for museum here” when he plays. If you have time you could make a little desk!
- Time to play.
“Babar’s Museum of Art” by Laurent de Brunhoff is one of my favorite art books for kids. My son has recently decided he hates it because he doesn’t want to see the elephant versions of the art. All the art in the museum are masterpieces that you will recognize redone with elephants. He slams the page in the way only toddlers with a definite sense of justice can and says ” No elephant paintings Mama, real ones!” Trust me though this book is awesome and he loved it a few months ago. The story is about how Queen Celeste wants to change the abandoned railway station into a museum to house all their collected art . The museum itself looks just like the Musee D’Orsay in Paris and the story also explains art for children.
“In The Garden With Van Gogh“ by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober is a little board book filled with easy rhymes and great art. The book doesn’t really have a story so much as a theme but it works. My son enjoyed it and asked to read it again after we were done. I like that books likes all these bring art into little hands for them to explore.