Road Trip !

Cereal Box
Gas Pump!

We are on vacation ! Don’t worry there will still be something new every day , I have been saving up and have some super fun guest posts from amazing bloggers lined up as well. We’ve been prepping our son for the trip , we have made up songs , talked and read about driving and Sunday we made this! He played with it all evening and had to gas up every single car today.

  1. Gather your materials . You will will need a cereal box, some tape ( any will do),2 pieces of construction paper, markers, some stickers with letters and numbers, a pipe cleaner, a bendy straw, and a picture hook You will Also need a hot glue gun, which wasn’t pictured .
  2. Start by having your child color the construction paper.
  3. Next wrap and tape the paper around the cereal box. I used painters tape because my son was excited to help tape. The painters tape lets him help and when the tape folds on it self it’s not the end of the world because it doesn’t stick too hard. It also doesn’t pull out hair when it ends up in it. I left access to the inside of the box but NOT covering the bottom.
  4. Add your signage and amount per gallon. When I asked my son how much he said 1.99 , earlier in the day we went past a sign for 1.99 milk and he asked me about it.
  5. Time to make your hose. I wish I had one of those bumpy straws from kids cups at restaurants , they would have been perfect for this , but I didn’t have one. Cut your straw into small pieces .
  6. Thread the straw pieces onto your pipe cleaner. I was so excited when my son was able to do this. It’s awesome fine motor and hand eye coordination practice!
  7. The last piece should be the piece of the straw that bends to make a spout. Bend the end of the pipe cleaner around the end of the straw.
  8. Poke a hole in the side of the cereal box.
  9. Thread the bottom of the pipe cleaner through the hole and tape inside the box .
  10. Using hot glue add a painting hook to the side.
  11. Hang up your hose and gather some cars to play !
  12. Get your gas now before the price goes up!

Books!

“This Is The Van That Dad Cleaned” by Lisa Campbell Ernst gave me a good chuckle, I only have one child and my car seems to multiply sippy cups, cheddar bunny crumbs and a mess on it’s own! This book is about a dad with a van, a clean van and 3 kids who ruin that very quickly. The siblings act like siblings teasing and fighting while making a growing mess in their poor dad’s clean van. The book is a poem that keeps growing and growing like the mess. In the end the kids are the ones that clean up the mess and I like that, in our house like the book even the baby helps clean up.

“Trucks Roll” by George Ella Lyon got a huge compliment from my son today when we read it. When he really really wants more of something not only does he ask for it with words but the sign language he learned so long ago comes out. This book got the “More Trucks!” out loud and the frantic more signs! The book is the perfect length for 2-4 year olds who like my son love anything you can drive. It also explains well what trucks drivers do and how so many things make it from one place to the next. Cute book, worth a read for sure!

” Truck Driver Tom “ by Monica Wellington is one of my son’s picks. The story is simple, Tom and his puppy drive produce from the farm to the market and see the country side and much more along the way. The best part of this book are the fun bright and detailed illustrations, there is a wide variety of trucks, cars , emergency and construction vehicles! Also it’s a great lesson about how our food gets from the farm to us

DIY Art Museum

 

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 .

  1. 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.
  2. Start by cutting your foam into rugs.
  3. Draw some fun squiggles to make the foam look like oriental rugs.
  4. Cut out a door.
  5. Cut a runner from the other color of foam.
  6. Add glue for the rugs and runner
  7. Pop them down.
  8. 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 .
  9. Add them to your box. The Mona Lisa is from the cover, I’d already used the sticker, I just taped it on.
  10. Add the furniture- I used a few blocks.
  11. 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!
  12. Time to play.

Books!

“Brush Mona Lisa’s Hair” by Julie Appel and Amy Guglielmo is the inspiration for this post and my son’s new found love of Renaissance Art. The book is a board book with touch and feel aspects to it. The text is cute but not a story, each page asks the reader to do something with the touch and feel item . The real gem is bringing the art to young eyes. The book includes wonderful masterpieces : Girl with A Pearl Earing , Birth of Venus, The Arnolfini Portrait and more!


“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.

Play Post Office!

 

This was a spur of the moment activity. My son kept pretending to put a card into a kitchen cabinet saying “Into the mailbox” , I jumped on this , and so glad I did. I say often that following your child’s interests is key and if I had a video stream of my house today I could prove my point even better. My son played with this from the time we made it until bed time. He kissed it goodnight at nap and bedtime. If you have half as much fun as he did with it, I’ll be happy.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a rectangular box, some craft paper, markers, tape, scissors , envelopes, stickers and a piece of white paper.
  2. Start by cutting off one end of the box.
  3. Cut a slot ( make it wider than I did if you don’t want to be saying “Try it the other way, turn it around” 300 times between frustrated 2 year old almost tantrums)
  4. Wrap the box like a present in the craft paper.
  5. Cut the paper where the slot it and tape it on the inside.
  6. Time to color, let your child go nuts. I just let him go for it.
  7. Make a sign ( if you child can do this have them do it!)
  8. Tape it on.
  9. Time to make the mail- I used blank envelopes. Have your child add addresses, if they can write letters, do that too. No matter what stage they are at have them add the address, if it’s scribbles cool, if it’s a full address that’s great.
  10. Add a “stamp” we used stickers.
  11. Play! My son filled the mail box then declared ” Delivery time!” knocked it over took the mail and delivered it around the house. Then repeated this many many times.

Book!

“Delivery” by Anastasia Suen is a recent favorite at our house. Although it doesn’t fit the mail theme perfectly it does fit in with the theme of transporting things, via trains, plans and automobiles… well and boats! This is a great book for kids like mine who love trucks of all shapes and sizes but it also explains how things get from one place to another simply by observing. I really enjoy the illustrations by Wade Zahares are done from interesting a differing perspectives and there are so many details I find something new each time. The first night we read this book at bedtime my son chose it for his, mine and my husband’s book choice, so we read it three times in a row.

 

Computer Craft

Cereal Box
Lap Top!


Kids love to imitate adults, I will be the first to admit my son has said a “bad” word or two ( or three) and that always serves s a reminder that we need to watch what we do because they are. It also serves as a great opportunity to play, pretend and create. When I saw these letter stickers I knew I had to do something with them, this is what evolved.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a cereal box, some letter stickers, markers, glue , scissors and a piece of white foam or paper.
  2. Start by cutting your cereal box so that it’s two main panels and one side panel only.
  3. Have your child color their lap top how they please. My son was all into gray when we made this and I admit to coaxing him into using some purple so you all could see he did some coloring.
  4. Next start adding the “keyboard” We had fun doing this, even though my son’s 2 year old fingers couldn’t get the tricky stickers off we sat down next to each other, he pointed to a letter or number, identified it and I peeled it off for him. Then he decided where it should go. With older kids you could make a space bar, and enter key etc… I kept it simple so my son could do it as independently as possible.
  5. Next hand your child the foam sheet or paper and have them color it. I couldn’t resist writing No Time For Flash Cards on ours.
  6. Glue it on.
  7. Let dry.
  8. Play!

Pig Nose



A lot of young kids do not like masks, they are frightened by them, so this is a fun alternative. By making just a snout you can still enjoy the dramatic play a mask encourages but without any fear. We’ve been playing with it all afternoon acting out the story of the 3 little pigs .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a washed out clear food container, some black foam, white and red paint, a paintbrush, 2 popsicle sticks ( or a tongue depressor would be awesome), scissors, glue and a hot glue gun.
  2. Start by pouring a small amount of white and red paint into the container. I like doing this instead of pink to help teach color mixing in an authentic way.
  3. Mix. Let dry.
  4. We painted a scrap piece of paper with the extra paint while we waited for the cup to dry.
  5. Cut out 2 small circles from black foam or paper.
  6. Glue them on the bottom of the container. Let dry. * you can glue these on before the pink is all dry and just set the cup “nose down” on a plate.
  7. Heat up your hot glue gun.
  8. Glue the popsicle sticks on. Let cool.
  9. Go play !

Books!
I decided on 3 different copies of the tale of the 3 little pigs!

“The Three Horrid Little Pigs” by Liz Pichon was a great read! My son loved that the wolf wasn’t big or bad in this version of the story and seemed to enjoy that the pigs were so rude and horrid! Of course there is always a good ending to this story and this one was the best! No one gets eaten in this book, the wolf is a friendly builder and the lazy pigs learn their lesson. The illustrations are bright, fun and my son loved them. Check this one out for sure.

“The 3 Little Pigs” illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay is a classic telling of this story. I am not really a fan of the story itself , the wolf has always really disturbed me the way he pursues this pig! But that’s my adult take on it, not a kid’s! My son loved it, he even smiled at me as he pointed out the fact that the wolf was scary, he didn’t get that from me! The illustrations in this book were really fun and I loved the details she put into them.


” The Three Little Pigs” by James Marshall who you may know from the wonderful George and Martha series. This another classic version and the illustrations are adorable! I love the three pig’s houses in this book, all three make cute houses even if only one survives the big bad wolf. Like the previous book the pigs and wolf do get eaten so if you are weary of that stick to the first book!