Best of 2010

#5

Kissing Hand Necklace

My son and I are gleefully attached at the hip most of the time but sometimes I have to go away. This craft was inspired by one of my favorite children’s books The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. It came to my rescue when I went to a conference last year leaving my son at home. It gave us something physical to touch and have close even when we were apart. It’s a great craft for any parent and child who are apart because of work, military deployment, hospital stays etc…

When you are away from your kids what special things do you do with them to make it through the separation?

Handprint Hedgehog

This hedgehog craft was so fun, it’s simple, but we had a great time doing it while Little Missy was swinging in the swing in the morning. What I really loved was his imagination when I gave him the crayons to draw where the hedgehog lived, it’s habitat ( new word for the day). He made me go get more crayons for different things like grass, water and toys. It would be cute to make a whole family of them with your hand prints too!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 colors of construction paper, I used 2 sheets of brown because my guy has insane long fingers and one yellow. Also some crayons , glue, scissors and one googly eye.
  2. Start by tracing your child’s hand. I find it easier to trace once, and fold the paper into layers to cut the number I want out.
  3. Hand your child the crayons and sheet of paper to draw the hedgehog’s habitat.  New vocab word slipped in there!
  4. Cut the hand prints out while they draw.
  5. Cut out a head.
  6. Time to glue.
  7. Add a hand or twoAdd more for the next layer if need be.
  8. Add the head
  9. Add the glue for the eye.
  10. Add the eye and let dry!

Books

Hedgehog, Pig, and the Sweet Little Friend by Lena Anderson is not a book I like. I hate giving bad reviews mostly because I think that every book has something for some child and that may be true of this book . I worry though as a parent about the message about strangers this one gives. A little pig seeks refuge at Hedgehogs house after getting lost, and while I like that the little pig asked for help the hedgehog suggests:

“First fill your tummy, then I’ll make up a bed. We can all sleep together tonight. Tomorrow we’ll find your mama for sure.”

WHAT? Maybe I am just paranoid ( I tend to be a little over safety conscious, especially in the first few months postpartum ) but  really? I immediately started to say something to my son about it and he chimed in saying that he wouldn’t want to stay at someone else’s house. Not saying he wouldn’t but that he wouldn’t want to. I told him that it’s not a good idea and luckily we have phones unlike Hedgehog and we can ask a nice person to call for help or better yet find/call a police officer. Don’t even get me started about the sub plot of the seemingly adult male pig falling in love with this little lost pig too.  The book was originally written in Swedish and I keep thinking that perhaps the story was lost in translation? Perhaps.

Hedgehog (Animal Neighbors) by Michael Leach is a great resource about these spiky little creatures.  My son and I learned so much neither of us knew about hedgehogs. Did you know baby hedgehogs are called hoglets? The book has a good mix of pictures, illustrations and short pieces of text filled with facts. The short paragraphs of text are perfect for little guys who aren’t ready for a full book but want to learn more about the subject, parents can pick and choose which tid bits to share while exploring the pictures too.

Hand Print Monkeys

by Katy
There’s just something so cute about little kids’ hand prints. Here is a fun way to turn them into an easy art project.
First get some brown finger paint. I didn’t have brown, so I mixed red and green together to make brown.
I painted Charlie’s hand and pressed it onto a piece of white paper–this will make the body of the monkey. If your child has fisted hands because of a disability, go ahead and paint your own–you can do the body and then they can help with the next part.
Next, I had Charlie make a fist and I painted the side of his hand. We stamped this above each handprint on our paper (palm side). This will be the monkey’s head.
I then cut paws for each monkey out of beige paper. I cut out four for each monkey and I didn’t have a pattern or anything–I just did it real quick. Once the paint was dry, I put a dot of glue on the back of each and then put them at the end of the fingers. Every finger gets a paw except the middle one–that’s the tail!
The last step is to give each monkey a face. At this point Charlie was starting to melt down a little ,so I did the last one for him.
And there you have monkeys! If your child enjoys playing with paint, you can add green hand prints around the monkey to create a jungle.
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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.

Handprint Fireworks

I am sure there are versions of this craft all over , I haven’t seen any lately but here is our take on a fun 4th of July craft. It’s the first craft we’ve done since the baby arrived and it was awesome to get back to “normal” making it with my little man.  I like it because it’s simple but really adorable.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a piece of white and a piece of black construction paper, red and blue paint, glue,  2 plates, scissors and glitter.
  2. Start by putting the paint on the plates.
  3. Dip your child’s hand in , get it well covered.
  4. Print on to the white paper.
  5. Repeat with other hand and color. We did 2 hands each.
  6. If your child is like mine have extra paper on hand to keep finger painting with the extra paint. This gives the hand prints time to dry some as well .
  7. Let the hand prints dry a little and cut out.
  8. While I cut them my son washed his hands, my sink, and my breakfast bowl… I wasn’t complaining.
  9. Although I ended up doing all the gluing because he was having fun in the sink. So now glue the hands together to look like fireworks.
  10. Add glue for the glitter. If the paint is still wet, you won’t need glue on the hands.
  11. He came back for glitter, imagine that!
  12. Let dry.

Need 4th of July Books? Check these out