Princess Wand

 

Princesses and the color pink are both welcome and well loved in our house. My son’s favorite sippy cup right now is one with Cinderella so we decided to make a princess wand . Using sticky back foam is crucial for keeping this craft in the realm of super easy! I couldn’t believe how well it held up to my son’s abuse this morning, the jewels stayed on, although please only do this craft with kids that will not place the jewels in their mouths, they are a choking hazard. You could use markers and simply skip the jewels and glue.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a sheet of sticky back foam ( sparkly if you can), a dowel, glue, plastic gems or sequins, scissors , ribbon and a marker.ASept9 008
  2. Start by drawing 2 identical stars on the back of the  same sheet of foam. I used a star cookie cutter as a stencil.ASept9 009
  3. Cut out. Do not take the back off yet.ASept9 010
  4. Invite your child to come and glue the gems on. We played with them for a while, pointing out shapes, and colors.ASept9 012
  5. Let dry. This took a long time. I pressed all the gems down a few hours after to make sure that the sparkly surface was stuck to the gem.
  6. When dry peel back the paper on the underside of the star to reveal the stickiness press the dowel into it.ASept9 035
  7. Peal back the paper on the 2nd and sandwich the dowel, press down carefully but with some force.ASept9 036
  8. Add a ribbon and you are ready to rule the kingdom!ASept9 037

Books

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“Princess Smartypants” by Brenda Cole is the antithesis of the classic beautiful frail princess stories, but it still ends with happily ever after.  Princess Smartypants does her own thing and doesn’t understand why her family is so obsessed with finding her a husband. She bends to their wishes but still does things her way. I think this is a great message about happiness and confidence for girls and balances out some of the other princess stories. She was happy just the way she is and didn’t  need a spouse to feel complete.

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“Good Night Princess Pruney Toes” by Lisa McCourt  is a fun carefree book about a happy loving father and daughter. Princess Pruney Toes emerges from her bath to rule over her kingdom before bed. I love that the dad in this story follows along with his daughter’s imagination. I think it’s so important for parents to play with their kids and what’s better than pretend play? This lovely book is another fresh look at what makes a princess and that even princesses wishes can be easy to grant.

“The Paper Bag Princess” by Robert Munsch is one of my very favorite books. Some parents have shared their dislike of Elizabeth’s outburst at the end calling Ronald a bum but I think not only is it justified, he treated her horribly, but people say things when they are angry and you can easily use it to teach your child about anger. I think it’s a wonderful story about a princess taking things into her own hands and saving herself and the prince! My kind of fairytale.

Shooting Star Craft

Wish Upon A Star !

I love stars and the recent meteor showers had me thinking about shooting stars so we made this a few days ago. I like how it turned out and my son loves squishing the center of the star , one suggestion would be to make the star larger, the center bit was tricky to make because it had to be so small. A larger star would fix that. Also don’t skip the sequins if you want to give your little ones an opportunity to work out their fine motor skills and pincer grasp!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a piece of yellow and a piece of black construction paper. Some contact paper, gold sequins, glitter glue, glue , markers and scissors.
  2. Start by drawing ( or tracing) a star on the yellow paper. Draw some tails too.
  3. Have your child color the star and tails with markers.
  4. Cut a small piece of contact paper, peel the backing off.
  5. Add sequins to the contact paper.
  6. Squeeze some glitter on.
  7. Fold in two and press. Cut to size. I made this large for my son to add the sequins to , but then had to cut it so small to fit inside the star. I’d make a larger star next time.
  8. Cut the star and tails out . Cut the center of the star out, make sure the hole is big enough to show off the glitter but not too big so there are any gaps.
  9. Glue the glitter packet on the paper.
  10. Glue the star over it and the tails on. Let dry.

Books!


“Draw Me A Star” by Eric Carle is often not read in classrooms simply because of a beautiful depiction of a naked man and woman. It’s not what most parents expect to find in an Eric Carle book but it is very fitting in this beautiful and really touching book. The story although very similar to a biblical creation story isn’t necessarily reflective only of a christian view point , rather as I read it is was the author’s own creation. It begins and ends with a star , and hits all the right points in between.

“Star Baby” by Margaret O’Hair is a sweet book about the daily happenings of a little baby , his mama . I like that this book shows off all the things little babies can do. We tend to focus on what babies can’t do and this book flips that around and shows off the perhaps mundane to us but new and wonderful things babies do. The super simple rhyming text is a great length for toddlers and young preschoolers and it’s calm enough to make a great goodnight book.


“Our Stars” by Anne Rockwell is another wonderful non fiction book from this author illustrator. The book shares the most basic facts about stars with the reader as well as more complicated facts about constellations, comets and meteors. I love that the facts are shared pretty independently on each page, so if something is above your toddlers head you can simply skip that page, until they are . The illustrations are fun enough to grab attention but detailed enough to help explain the facts being presented.

DIY Jar Lid Stamps


I was inspired to make these after seeing a post on another blog using wax on jar lids, I have just spent over an hour trying to find that post again and can’t. I will keep trying, I feel so strongly to cite any place I get inspiration from and am beyond frustrated I can’t find it. It’s now a quest! ** Found it thanks to Laura : Here it is Bottle Cap Stamps These were so fun to make, easy and worked so well. We will be making these again for sure. There is something amazing when kids see something they helped make work so well.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some recycled jar lids, foam, double stick tape, a marker, scissors, a stamp pad and some paper.
  2. Start by drawing shapes on a piece of foam. My son chose a star and a car , while my choice was a flower.
  3. Cut the pictures out.
  4. Layer a square of foam on the jar lid , using double stick tape to secure it.
  5. Add your shapes , using double stick tape. Make sure it’s as flat as possible.
  6. Press it into the stamp pad.
  7. Print onto your paper.
Song

Do you know what shape this is?
What shape this is?
What shape this is?

Do you know what shape this is I’m holding in my hand?

Books!


“Ship Shapes” by Stella Blackstone and Siobhan Bell is a bright, colorful and engaging book all about finding shapes. The text is simple and serves really only to support the reader’s efforts finding shapes throughout the book. What I like is that these illustrations are challenging, and not really illustrations at all. They are fabric collages that are so detailed and layered that some of the obvious shapes are easy to find but many are hidden. So if you are reading this with an older child there is still some challenge.


“So Many Circles, So many Squares” by Tana Hoban is a picture book that is all about shapes in our environment. There is page after page of pictures of daily life, food, signs etc… with the simple question of finding the shapes in the photos. It’s a great book to use as a launch pad into a shape hunt in your own home or around town and worth a few looks because you will be surprised at the shapes you missed the first time.

 

Down Home

Shape Banjo


There is a guitar store in our local mall and all I have to do to keep my son happy is to tell him that we are going to make a trip to see the guitars and banjos and he is calm ( for the most part). The last banjo was recently sold and he was crushed, he still shows me where it hung in the store saying “No more banjo, someone took it” so to appease his loss we made one. This was so similar to the guitar we made a while back , I decided to make this one out of shapes to vary it.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper, a cereal box, a marker, glue , scissors, tape, and 2 pipe cleaners.
  2. Start by drawing the following shapes on your construction paper. We used all different colors but there is no reason to follow our lead, do whatever you wish! A large circle, a rectangle, a square, 4 small triangles, and a smaller circle ( not pictured)
  3. Now trace the shapes on your cardboard , we did this because we wanted a sturdy banjo for him to play with. If you are just making one to display you could simply glue it on paper and not worry about tracing and shape matching.
  4. Add your glue
  5. Start adding the shape pieces
  6. Keep going!
  7. Let dry
  8. When the banjo is dry, cut out.
  9. Poke two holes in the neck, two in the circle
  10. Thread your pipe cleaner through both, bend it towards the back and tape down.
  11. Voila!

Books

“Ben’s Trumpet” by Rachel Isadora is a simple but profound book about one little boy’s dreams. Ben loves jazz, his favorite is the trumpet and he spends much time alone playing his imaginary trumpet and listening at the door of a local jazz club. When other kids make fun of his imaginary trumpet he stops playing, that is until the trumpeter himself steps in. I like this book and as a mom of a little boy who plays an imaginary trumpet often I love that it gave him something to relate to and confirm that dreaming and imagining is good for the soul.

“Zin Zin Zin ! A Violin” by Lloyd Moss is a big hit at our house and if you have a child into music or musical instruments this is a great book. You count the instruments as they come on stage for a performance and not only is this a great counting book, but it introduced musical instruments in it’s rhyming text and super fun pictures. I am biased though my little man is really really into instruments and loves this book. The day we bought it I had to sit in the back with him on the way home from the bookstore because he couldn’t wait to read it .


“Max Found Two Sticks” by Brian Pinkney is a great book for any kid that likes to drums or stick, or drum sticks. So that pretty much means all kids. Max isn’t a talker but he can express all sorts of things by thumping and banging the sticks he finds on different things. I like how he imitates the changing sounds in his environment and my son loved the marching band . Great tool for teaching about sounds, music and self expression.

Learning Outside

Hose it Down !

My son is a little obsessed with the hose. Maybe it’s that he loves firetrucks, or that he sees his dad using it or maybe it’s just because kids are attracted to water like bees to honey! This game got created because my son refused a nap. It was hot, I was cranky so we went outside. I didn’t stay cranky long, we had a blast!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a garden hose ( or squirt bottles) , some sidewalk chalk and a future sharp shooter to play. Don’t forget your sunscreen either!
  2. Start by Drawing letters on your fence ( or patio) I asked my son which letters he wanted .
  3. Hand then the hose and call out the letters.
  4. Spray!!
  5. After the letters we moved to another piece of fence and did shapes!
  6. Spray!!

The sky is really the limit, you can use numbers, sight words for older kids, colors for younger… have fun !