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Pumpkin Printing for Toddlers & Preschoolers

pumpkin printing for toddlers I had the pleasure of having our neighbor over for craft time today and wanted to show how the same craft can be done differently for a toddler, a 4.5 year old and one done by an adult. So often we think toddlers can’t do the same things as older siblings, or vice versa but easy little add ons or subtractions make all the difference. This pumpkin printing project is perfect for fall.

  1. Gather your materials. I totally forgot to take a picture! ( I am beyond sleep deprived , my son is getting 2 year molars and demanding mommy, and ONLY mommy multiple times a night! ) phew I feel better. Okay back to the materials, a plate, a mini pumpkin, some cool fall colored paint, construction paper and markers.
  2. Cut your mini pumpkin in half.Clean out or have your child if they are old enough clean out the seeds.Halloween craft
  3. Spread a mixture of paint on a plate.pumkin craft
  4. Use the pumpkin as a stamp and press onto the paper. Our guest had a great time making prints and carefully pressing the pumpkin down.
  5. My toddler had a blast using the pumpkin more like a brush and pressing it all around the paper.pumpkin craft
  6. After you are done printing you can add stems and leaves to the pumpkins with markers. My toddler skipped this step and his masterpiece looked like this  but my neighbor added a few to his prints!
Hopefully this helps illustrate how even if the outcome is a little varied all ages can participate in the same activity and have fun doing it!

Free Art Friday

Birthday
Style!

My son’s birthday is this weekend, he will be 2, and I decided that I wanted to have something akin to the notches on the door frame to see how he has grown. Each year I will offer up a canvas and see what happens. My husband asked me” What if he doesn’t want to do it one year?” ” Well then we’ll frame a blank canvas, that will be memorable too!” My son had the time of his life doing this, he ended up in the bath after covering himself and my kitchen in many many colors. If you want to have some fun here is what we did:

  1. Gather your materials. We grabbed all our paint, all non toxic , you can see why. Also a 8×10 canvas and a few brushes to choose from. Don’t forget the drop cloth, I don’t often get ours out, I am so happy I decided to today.
  2. Start by asking your child what colors they want, just because you are letting them go “wild” doesn’t mean you can slide some color lessons in !
  3. Switch up colors and brushes.
  4. Or forget brushes all together!
  5. Let dry and frame to make it a keep sake.


Books!

“On The Day You Were Born” by Debra Frasier is a beautiful book . It explains all the wonderful things the earth does every day but explains it through fresh eyes and makes it into a fantastic event. It goes on to introduce things like a sunrise, the phases of the moon and tides in a way that makes old cynical eyes see these as the magical things they are. I love that in this book the baby is born into a circle of familiar people who whisper into the baby’s ear ” We’re so glad you’ve come” it just rings true and gives me a big lump in my throat. Also I love how it doesn’t specify who the baby is being welcomed by, which is wonderful since families are so diverse , it fits everyone!

” Moira’s Birthday” by Robert Munsch is a silly book, most of his books are, but silly is great! Moira is excited about having her birthday and doesn’t know how to say no to all the kids at school when they beg to come to her party. She ends up with the whole school at her house and her parents don’t know what to do! Luckily Moira does. This book at first look may seem like Moira is a spoiled brat who gets her way but really she is problem solving and when she gives away a present to each child who helps clean up, you can see she just wanted a good party, and isn’t a gift grabbing brat at all! Kids LOVE this book, I have never read it to a class that didn’t laugh hysterically.


“If You Give A Pig A Party”
by Laura Nummeroff , this is the only book in this series I don’t own. I read it to my son yesterday while shopping for party supplies at Costco. I love this whole series, I like the cause and effect text and how even younger children start anticipating that the Pig is going to want something else… I love that the Pig’s party guests are the other Nummeroff characters, like the Moose from “If You Give A Moose A Muffin” and the Cat from “If You Give A Cat A Cupcake” . Such a fun book !

Turkey Baster Painting

Thanksgiving arts and crafts for toddlers Before you gather all your tools to make the perfect turkey , grab your bulb baster and some paint! This was a ton of fun, and a huge mess. A tip for after you are done, pop your child and the turkey baster into the bath that way you wont have the tedious task of cleaning the paint out of it before using it next week. All the paint will come out in the bath and you can pop it in the dishwasher after that!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need paint, a little water, something to hold it , a dish towel, paper, a piece of construction paper and of course a turkey baster.
  2. Thin the paint a little with water, just a tiny bit though if it’s too thin it will splatter everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Test it out before handing it to your child.
  3. Dip the baster in and start. I showed my son how to do it once and off he went, he alternated between actually using it as a baster and just dipping the tip in and onto his paper.
  4. Try a second or third color! I only made 3 colors because it uses a fair amount of paint up, but there is no reason to not use more if you want. Keep going !My son made 5 pictures- although by the end his fingers were used a bit more than the baster.
  5. Let dry and tape to a piece of construction paper for the complete masterpiece look!
Books!
“I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More!”by Karen Beaumont is guaranteed to entertain your child, even my toddler was laughing and anticipating the rhyming text which tickled me to no end! Now I have had some parents in the past not be happy about the use of “ain’t ” and the little boy in the story painting everywhere, I would counter that by saying people do use “ain’t” and kids do paint on things they aren’t supposed to you can use this as an example of what you aren’t supposed to do, and ask your child what they think should happen if they painted all over the house? As far as using “Ain’t” I would play the traditional “It ain’t gonna rain no more” and explain that the author used that song as inspiration for the book.“Willow” by Denise Brennan Nelson is another wonderful book about artistic spirit. Willow doesn’t follow the rules in art class, instead she paints what she sees when she closes her eyes. Her teacher’s rules are unfair, restrictive and she is just plain mean! It’s hard as a teacher to read stories with mean , repressive teachers in them, and this one takes the cake. Willow doesn’t stop painting blue apples and is confident in her individuality and isn’t as bothered by her mean teacher as I am. This story is really worth a look!

 

Multicultural Thanksgiving Craft For Kids

thanksgiving wreath

 

Learning about the world outside their comfort zone is a essential lesson for children of all ages. Blending geography lessons into art projects is just one way to do it. Although my son is still a little young to get the full objective of this project, he had fun with the art work and we have been saying “Merci” and “Mahalo” all day instead of “Thank You”. With older children you can pull out a map and choose countries from it, then look up how they say thank you for your own wreath.
  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate , multiple pieces of construction paper, scissors, glue, a permanent marker, and your choice of water colors or crayons.
  2. Start my tracing your child’s hand or having them do it themselves. I traced mine first thing this morning and as he was eating breakfast I use it to trace all the other hand prints I needed. Trying to get him to stay still for one hand print was hard enough!
  3. Trace out at least 4 but more is better!
  4. Find all different ways people say thanks. If you have a toddler you will probably want to do this yourself, but I encourage parents with children able to understand to grab a map and explain that in that country children don’t say “Thank you ” in English, instead they speak ______ and say ______ . ( Edited to add Navajo word for Thank You = Ahéhee’)
  5. Write the “Thank Yous” in permanent marker in the middle of the hands.
  6. Have your child decorate the hands. We are using watercolor crayons but plain water color paint works wonderfully and crayons work in a pinch, as would light colored paint. You just don’t want to cover up the words.
  7. Have your child decorate the paper plate.
  8. While they work on the plate cut out the hand prints.
  9. Cut out the middle of the plate.
  10. Time to glue! I put a few globs on where the hands needed to go to guide my son, older kids obviously can do this themselves.
  11. Let dry and add a ribbon!

Book Suggestion

Our book titles are linked to Amazon.com via affiliate links.


Whoever You Are by Mem Fox gives me goosebumps and brought me to tears when I was a homesick Canadian teaching in St. Louis. The book is simple and talks about the differences of little children all over the world, but focuses on what they all have in common. There are beautiful illustrations that show children in all different cultures from around the globe with a sing song story to carry you along. It is a wonderful companion to the activity today.