Wednesday, September 30, 2009

U.S. Map

A few months back, the fabric store near my house was closing. I was very upset, since this meant I would have to drive 12 miles to the next one. The up side was that all fabric was discounted, so I stocked up. I came across this great map fabric and got two yards, two maps. I created this wall hanging by sewing the map fabric on to batting and backing it with an unbleached muslin. I put on a channel on the back and hung it on a curtain rod mounted on the wall. I'm not that great at sewing, but the boys love it. It measures about 30 x 40 inches, so it's a good size. They like to look at and identify where friends and family live. Each state is illustrated, so it's easier to remember. Tater is convinced that his grandparents live in tee pees in OK, which is pretty funny. I'm planning on sewing buttons or pins to every state we've visited.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Glass Pumpkin Balls

Shortly after Christmas last year, I picked up some discounted glass ball ornaments at a crafts store. My thinking was that we could use them to make Christmas ornaments with the moms' group kids, but I decided glass balls and preschoolers don't mix. Well, I came across this idea of using glass balls to decorate for Halloween, so I rounded up various orange notions and sundries I had around the house: pom-poms, ribbon, paper, etc. I stuffed them into the globes and hung them from my chandelier with curled green chenille rods. I even cut out some adhesive backed black foam for jack o' lantern faces.

Sticky Trains

I made treats for Tater to share with his preschool class to celebrate his birthday. One of his classmates called them "sticky trains," and I thought that was a perfect description. They are rice krispie treats that I cut out using a train cookie cutter. Very simple. I considered dying them in various colors, but I wasn't sure how that would work out. I like them this way, and they were a big hit.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Thumbprint Art

We did a thumbprint project a couple of months ago with the kids from my moms' group, but I thought I would share the idea hand-out I used (click image for larger size). There are lots of examples of fun things to make out of thumb prints. All you need is some ink, paper, and markers. We had a broad range of participants, from toddlers to elementary school kids. Ed Emberley's works are the go-to for thumbprint ideas, but I found a few online as well. There are plenty more ideas to be had. Create a thumbprint zoo, garden, beehive, whatever!

Here's a beehive that we used (click image for larger). Kids could color the hive with markers, then put yellow thumbprints all around. An adult could add stripes and wings with a black marker to the "bees." This might be a nice gift for an expectant mom to decorate the nursery. Imagine if you had all the guests at a shower add their thumbprint and then present the busy hive in a frame to mom! What a nice keepsake. Another gift idea is for kids to create a thumbprint piece to adorn the nursery of a new sibling. It might be a great way for the other kids to feel helpful and not ignored in the commotion of preparing for a new baby.

I personally prefer to google when searching for examples. This is a great rainy day craft.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Halloween Prints

I'm gearing up for one of my favorite holidays...Halloween! Last year I did these prints for my monthly craft activity for kids. I think my moms' group is going to do these for our Halloween party. They are lots of fun, but a little messy. Even little guys can do this.

Washable paint: black and white
Construction paper

The cat's body is an upside down handprint in black paint. Add a cat's head. Use a template or paint an oval with two small triangles on top for ears.
The ghost is a foot print with white paint. Add dots for the eyes or google eyes for effect.
The spider is composed of two hand prints with the bottom of the hands touching. Add eyes and string/yarn.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Train Cupcakes

Well, I'm preparing for Tater's big 4th. I can't believe it's been that long. Anyhow, he wants a Thomas birthday. Again. Here's what I did last year. Super easy cupcakes. Found the molds on ebay. This year I'm making a cake, but using the candy molds again.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Potty Power

This was a chart that I put together for Tater. He was a bit resistant to potty training, but this did the trick. Kudos to my big sis Amy for giving me the idea. After two weeks, he would remind ME about the chart. For kids who are independent, this gives them the opportunity to participate in the process, not just being told when to go. I mounted clipart on foam sheets and attached magnetic tape on the back of each item. We put it on the fridge within easy reach. The envelope collects each item as we go through the day. Things are arranged into morning, afternoon and evening activities.