Paint Easter Eggs in A Bag! { Color Mixing Too!}

mess free easter eggsI want to say that when you paint Easter eggs in a bag that it’s mess free and for many kids it would be but my little girl loves to get her hands dirty and insisted on reaching in and grabbing the painted eggs herself. Who am I to say no to that? That said, if a fear of a mess is something that stops you from getting artsy with your kids or if they are not interested in getting their hands covered in paint this Easter color mixing activity can be done without any mess . The Easter eggs we are using are artificial and coated with paper so they paint and dye just like real eggs but can be kept year after year.

Gather your materials. You will need some paper or wood craft eggs, liquid paint, gallon ziplock style bags, and something to rest the wet eggs on to dry. You may also want a piece of painter’s tape to hold the bag in place while pouring paint into it. shake painted easter eggs

Start by rolling the edges of a bag down and taping the bottom to the table to keep it all stable.

Pour the paint in. My daughter did every color the first time and was super excited about it!  shake painted easter eggs in ziplock bag

Pop the eggs in. ziplock painted easter eggsIt’s more fun if you pop two in at a time, especially if you shake it because they clang together. If you are doing this with real eggs only do one at a time or you will have shell everywhere. I imagined she’d shake the bag but she liked squishing it more. Which is fine, don’t get hung up on the little details like this. shake painted eggs

She reached in to grab the eggs but you can carefully dump the egg onto the carton for drying without ever touching it, which is what I did with the next four eggs. No need for little hands to get covered in paint unless everyone is cool with it!paint easter eggs in a bag

After the initial every color exploration we decided to make some colors. The first combination was the classic yellow and blue! color mixing and squish painting in a bag easter eggsNext up all the “girl colors” it doesn’t seem to matter how often I say colors don’t have genders, my daughter is think in the stage of classifying things by gender. I know that this is a stage and helps kids make sense of things but I would be lying if I didn’t say I am looking forward to the next phase. Please tell me I am not the only one?! easy painted easter eggs in a bagYou can use the same bag or grab a new one. If you want to reuse the best way to wash them out is to fill with water pour out, turn inside out and give a quick wipe.  Let dry . decorate easter eggs in a bag

 

How To Throw A Great Book Themed Play Date with The Pigeon Needs A Bath

How To Host A Book Themed Play DateI get asked often to host little events for brands or book releases but it’s rare that I find one that I think is a good fit for No Time For Flash Cards. This time when the offer to share Mo Willem’s new book came into my inbox I jumped at it. We love Mo Willems and getting to share his brand new book The Pigeon Needs a Bath! with our friends online and in real life was a perfect fit. I decided to turn it into a fun little after preschool play date to promote not only friendship but a love of reading too. For once I am in some pictures thanks to my friend Catie from Catie’s Photography offering to help shoot the play date for me. This post and party were sponsored by Disney-Hyperion and contain affiliate links.

pigeon needs a bath

1. Get Their Attention

When you are trying to gather kids attention late in the day a great way to do that is to combine snack time with listening. We handed out fruit, cheese and drinks and then mini cupcakes at the table.food pigeon party 3

2. Share The Book In A Fun Way

We had a little friendly competition between two favorite Pigeon books. As soon as we got settled with the food I explained we were going to see if this brand new book was as good or even better than the other Pigeon books. I made a little voting booth and got settled in to read.

The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! was funny. There were some giggles for sure.pigeon reading 2

But it was not as funny as The Pigeon Needs A Bath. The kids were laughing out loud as I read.reading pigeon party

What I love about play dates like this is that reading becomes special.

3. Make Something Inspired By The Book.pigeon craft

We made bookmarks. How appropriate! These Pigeon bookmarks were a cinch to make and the kids had fun gluing them together. I loved seeing all the slight variations. I chose a bookmark because my whole goal was to make reading special. This bookmark can be used for reading or for children this young used to tag a book they want to read that night. My daughter chooses her bedtime books every night and now she can tag which one she wants to read by popping the bookmark in it and setting it on her room.

pigeon needs a bath craft craft

Here is the step by step- clearly photographed by me

Gather your materials. You will need some blue , brown, yellow and white paper. You will also need googly eyes, scissors, a hole punch, some raffia ribbon, glue stick and crayons.

Start by cutting out a blue rectangle and a smaller brown one. Glue them together.
Next cut out a small yellow beak . Then cut out a circle, long skinny rectangle and semi circle from the blue paper. Glue them together on the brown rectangle.how to make a pigeon bookmark

 

Add an eye and a white strip of paper on his neck.
Add legs and a wing with crayon or markers.
Punch a hole in the top for the raffia.how to make a pigeon bookmark for kids

Add the raffia and get that pigeon dirty by coloring all over!how to make a pigeon needs a bath bookmark

4. Send Them On Their Way With More To Read!

I was fortunate enough to have the publisher provide books for all my guests, I don’t think I could have afforded to do that. There are inexpensive ways to send each child home with a book like hitting up Goodwill, the dollar store or asking each guest to bring a book to exchange. I do think that this step is important and such a great way to focus on what a gift reading and books are.pigeon favors

This was our first book play date but I know there will be more in the future. You can learn more about all the Pigeon Series here , check out Mo Willems’s blog here, and yes The Pigeon is even on Twitter!

As mentioned above this post and party were sponsored by Disney-Hyperion

 

Crafts and Activities For Kids { Link Up! }

kids activities

You would think that with as many fantastic blogs out there that we would stop seeing new ideas but creativity breeds creativity and that is why I love sharing my crafts and activities for kids.  You may not decided to follow my tutorials step by step but the ideas might spark something new for you and your family. That is exactly why I blog.  So browse through these great ideas below and see if you get any sparks!

If these hundred or so ideas aren’t enough at last count I have pinned over 14 thousand ideas on Pinterest and share multiple times a day on Facebook.

Of course as always if you are  a blogger please feel free to add a link or two! Anything that you think our readers might love.



Simple Earth Suncatcher – Earth Day Craft

earth day craft

Taking care of the earth is a big job and it requires teamwork. In the spirit of Earth Day and working together a bunch of rad kid bloggers and I decided to share Earth Day crafts today in a blog hop. There are so many fun Earth Day projects from us , Marie over at Make & Takes, Holly at Kids Activities Blog, Christine at Childhood 101, Stacey at Kid Stuff World and Becky at Patchwork Posse. You can find the links below our super ( like seriously super) easy earth suncatcher craft tutorial.

Earth Day Kids Craft Blogs

Gather your materials. You will need a plastic lid, some glue, blue and green glitter, ribbon, a plate and hole punch. Oh and a q-tip that was my daughter’s addition on the fly.earth day sun catcher craft doe kids

Start by pouring glue on the inside of a recycled plastic lid.easy earth day suncatcher craft

Spread it with a q-tip.earth day craft for kids

Cover it with glitter. We talked about how much water there is on earth and how it breaks up the land. Depending on the age of the child you can get really detailed with this step. The nice thing is that it doesn’t have to be detailed and works for all ages.super simple earth day sun catcher

Let dry. For days.glue and glitter earth day craft for kids

You will know it is dry when it peels off the lid. Shake off any excess glitter.easy earth craft for toddlers

Trim.earth sun catcher craft

Punch a hole and thread some ribbon through.earth day craft glue glop sun catcher

Hang up and enjoy the sparkle. It can be a reminder of how the earth should be and a nudge to do out part to make it sparkle.earth day suncatcher

Now go explore these other awesome ideas and fantastic blogs.

earth day crafts

Found Things Collage on Kid Stuff World
Recycle Paper Tube Train on Make and Takes
2 T-shirt Cinch Sack on Patchwork Posse
Make a Planet Earth on Kids Activities Blog
Paper Mache Pots on Childhood 101

 

 

Earth Day Books

earth day books Earth Day is April 22nd but these books work year round. They focus on real ways kids can change their habits and help the environment, on how and why we should recycle and provide cautionary tales about what could happen if we don’t. Earth day books ? Yes but they are everyday books too.

All book lists include affiliate links.

Don't Pollute (anymore)

The Berenstain Bears Don’t Pollute (Anymore) by Stan and Jan Berenstain provides an excellent overview of a whole bunch of concerns for our world. It touches on recycling, deforestation, air pollution and more. The text would be far too long for the younger crowd but Kindergarten on up would be an appropriate age range for an unedited reading.

plasticbottle

The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling by Alison Inches is awesome! I only wish that my son was old enough to enjoy it as much as I did. It’s not aimed at 2 year olds at all, but he did like to open it to the page with the recycling truck and point out all the parts to me. The book itself takes the reader through the complete process from crude oil, to bottle and then to synthetic fleece. I am not too proud to admit I learned s a few new things and had a few good laughs along the way with the books little bits of humor too. I think most 5 year olds would enjoy this book, and it’s easy to break it down for those unable to sit for this much text. Also the book was printed on 100% post consumer waste paper.

why do we recycle

Little Pirate: Why Do We Recycle? by Innovative Kids is a really fun book about recycling with a pirate theme. Yes a pirate theme. Readers learn about recycling, composting and garbage along with two young pirates who need to clean up their ship. The pirates ask questions about different waste and the wise parrot fills them into the facts like the best bag to use while shopping is a cloth one, and what happens to the metal, glass and paper after we put them in the recycle bin.

The Whole Green World

The Whole Green World by Tony Johnston was an unexpected hit with my son.  Today reading it he learned that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, he saw the book in our pile to read and wasn’t taken with it, but I suggested maybe just reading the first page and he was hooked. The book is really about appreciating the whole world, from the view point of a little girl who grabs some seeds, plants them , waters them and savors the beauty all around her. My son loved the sing song text and the ultra detailed illustrations by Elisa Kleven. Which my son would study with every turn of the page asking me ” Mommy which bird? Which book? Which cake is your favorite?” making reference to the illustrations . It was a wonderful book to snuggle up with !

it-s-earth-day

It’s Earth Day! by Mercer Mayer . In this book in the Little Critter series, we follow along as Little Critter tries to make a climate change machine to reverse the effects of global warming. Along the way other green choices are explained like taking the school bus instead of each child being driven in their own cars, not letter water run, and the three Rs.

dinosaur woods

Dinosaur Woods by George McClements was my favorite pick from our latest library trip. I laughed all the way through this book because of it’s snide remarks and funny asides . I made a huge mistake though, I told my son how hilarious it was and oversold it to him. The humor went right over his 5 year old head. Oops! Luckily the story is great on it’s own . It’s about a bunch of forest friends who are trying to save their home from developers and get a great idea to make a dinosaur since no one would ever take a home away from a dinosaur. It’s really a book about conservation but it’s funny ( I stand by that) and sweet and a new favorite of mine.

EcoMazes

 EcoMazes by Roxie Munro is a book that was sent to me by the publisher for review. The idea of this book is to showcase different ecosystems like wetlands, the tundra, desert and more through both a maze and search and find game. This book is not designed for preschoolers although my son loves it. We do the maze together as that is far too complicated for him, but he loves to find the animals on each page and has learned a lot about them too. What is awesome for older children ( 7-10) is that along with an answer key to the maze and pictures there is a full page of information about each ecosystem in the back of the book. This doesn’t talk down to the reader and gives great information using sophisticated vocabulary.

the earth book

The EARTH Book by Todd Parr is a great Earth Day book for preschoolers and young elementary aged kids. It focuses on small everyday steps kids can take to help the environment as well as how these little everyday measures help. The way the text is written it begs for discussion whether you are reading it to a class of 25 or in bed with your only child. Add om Parr’s wonderfully whimsical, bright, bold illustrations and you have a super Earth Day book.

Seuss Activities - The Lorax

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss is a classic book about conservation. The rhymes will enchant you but it’s really not a book for preschoolers. Some preschoolers will sit for it but it’s a long book and a great pick for school age kids. If you aren’t familiar with it has a dark beginning and then as the story progresses it’s cautionary tale takes shape. It’s hard to try to explain to young kids how protecting the environment isn’t just a nice thing to do but a responsibility we have and this book helps get that point across.

love your world

Love Your World by Dawn Sirett is a how to manual for kids who want to be good environmentally responsible citizens of the earth. The text is lack luster at times but the message , tips and overall presentation is still worthwhile . It is a little longer and doesn’t have a warm fuzzy story book feel but would be great to kick start a unit of teaching for 4-8 year olds about conservation.

barbapapa

Barbapapa’s Ark by Annette Tison is a childhood favorite of mine and has a definite vintage flair to it but the bones are strong. The story is about how the gentle Barbapapas protect sick and hunted animals providing them with refuge eventually taking them on a rocket ship to another planet until Earth can be cleaned up.

Trash and Recycling

Trash And Recycling by Stephanie Turnball is a great book ! I learned more about garbage and the recycling process reading this to my son over lunch than I ever knew! He loved it and despite being a pretty sophisticated book for a 3 year old immediately asked to read it again as soon as I closed it. It explains the whole process from curbside pick up, land fills, incineration and recycling. The idea for today’s activity came from the sorting of  recyclable garbage from this book!

Gabby and Grandma go green

Gabby and Grandma Go Green by Monica Wellington is another wonderful book from one of our favorite authors. In the book Gabby and her Grandma spend a day together  dedicated to going green. First making a great reusable bag and then using it all around town. I love that they go to the library and that is portrayed as a way to go green as well as a place to learn more about environmental efforts. Also showing ways to make a difference at the grocery store is perfect for young kids who are often tagging a long with parents on these errands. I can’t end the review without also mentioning the baby sibling who is sleeping in a sling at the end of the book , I love seeing baby wearing in books!  This is a great environment themed book that works all year round not just for Earth Day.

earthdaybigearth

Big Earth, Little Meby Thom Wiley is a cute introduction into an environmental theme for toddlers. The book is a lift the flap format and the pages are extra sturdy for fumbly toddler fingers. I love the illustrations by Kate Endle they bring the super simple text to life, and get across the point that even little kids can help the earth. I read this last night to my almost four year old who loved it still.