Clay Ornaments -made with stamps & cookie cutters

This year I have cut every corner there is to cut. My daughter has me chasing her , making sure she hasn’t swallowed any of my son’s Legos that may have escaped his room, I have much more grey hair this year… but a more full heart too.  This project isn’t ground breaking but using stamps and cookie cutters with the air dry clay was a great way of making this project attainable for both my kids. Air dry clay is not as easy to manipulate as say salt dough or play dough that little hands are used to so using tools like these help make it a fun successful activity.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some air dry clay ( although you could do it with salt dough or ready to bake clay too), cookie cutters, Christmas themed rubber stamps, a toothpick . Once dry you can paint with all sorts of paints, we used water color.
  2. Start by just playing with the clay. Then cut out with cookie cutters. Both wanted a star .
  3. Using stamps you can make designs on the clay. My daughter loved this and unlike when she uses stamps on playdough the clay was stiff enough that the impressions stayed.My son cut a second and started creating his own shapes … he still hasn’t painted it but if he never does that’s ok too, it doesn’t have to be painted.
  4. Add holes for hanging using a toothpick.
  5. Let dry for a few days.
  6. Time to paint.I loved using the water color because it was a great opportunity to have a lesson about colors with all in front of my toddler without a huge effort.
  7. She explored the paint… make sure it’s non toxic especially if you are doing this with a teething toddler like I did.
  8. I was impressed how vivid the colors stayed on the clay.
  9. Let dry and hang up.

 

Book

The Little Christmas Elf (Little Golden Book) by Nikki Shannon Smith is a sweet book not just about Christmas but also about perseverance, attention to detail and hard work. In this story the littlest elf is working hard but just sin’t fast enough to get her teddy bear finished in time to be in Santa’s sack for Christmas. Santa delivers the bad news but encourages the little elf to keep at it and they will use the toy next year. She still doesn’t give up doing her best work even knowing Santa is already off to children’s homes everywhere. Right after she is done Santa comes back, a new baby was born and he needs that teddy bear! I loved the message and my son did too. Very sweet book.

 

Sensory Alphabet Activities

by Katy
Sensory Alphabet Activity
One of the best ways to help a child learn is to have them use more than one sense at the same time.  I’m guessing that’s one of the reasons why Allie is so passionate about doing crafts with kids–all kinds of senses are engaged, which makes learning easier and also fun. It can be hard, though, when your child has issues that prevent them from participating in crafts.  Today I’m sharing three ways to do the alphabet with kids with limited motor skills although I think they would be fun for all kids.
Alphabet StampsSensory Alphabet Activity

I bought a pack of foam letters at Walmart for one dollar and turned them into two activities.  First, I used them as stamps and let Charlie stamp on a sheet of paper.  As we’re stamping out the letter, it’s good to name it and tell your child the sound it makes.
I then took the foam pieces and glued them to a piece of cardboard to make an alphabet puzzle.  Since Charlie’s aim is rough, I put all the letters in and then let him pull them out.  I let him decided which letter looked good and then I would again, name the letter he was touching and say it’s sound aloud.
Big LettersSensory Alphabet Activity
This activity is also great for improving fine motor skills–I don’t completely understand the relationship between big motions and improving fine motor, but multiple therapists have told me this, so I’m going to believe them.  Take a sheet of paper and put it up on your refrigerator. Give your child a crayon or marker and help them make BIG letters on the paper.  I found that Charlie was able to make some c-like motions, which is pretty impressive for him.  Children with poor neck control often do better when activities are propped up in front of them because it requires less head control.
Sugar Writing
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You can also use sand, but sugar is easier for me to find.  Pour about half a cup of sugar into a baking pan.  If you can find one with a dark finish, then that will work great.  Help your child form letters in the sugar with their fingers.  This was probably Charlie’s favorite activity of the bunch–probably because it was one of the few that he was allowed to taste!
As always, don’t be discouraged if you try and activity and your child doesn’t like it.  All children are picky and special needs kids can often be intimidated by new experiences.  Experiment with different ideas, try activities multiple times, and remember that not every activity is going to be a hit.
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Katy is a mom of one who loves art, mystery novels, and anything involving peanut butter–she blogs about raising her little miracle at Bird on the Street.