Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

The porch light is off. The candy bowl is empty. The kids are in bed. Halloween is over. My little bear and my little witch had a great time wandering the neighborhood with Daddy while I stayed behind to hand out candy. By the time they got home, their excitement had gave way to exhaustion. 

Tomorrow is November and all the Halloween fun gets put away until next year. It was a blast and we made many good memories. Hope your Halloween was fun!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Card Making Basket

I recently set out a little basket of card-making supplies for the girls to make Halloween cards. I kept it simple with pre-folded card stock and a variety of stickers. Sticking stickers is always a popular activity with my girls, so I knew they would be excited to see the basket.

The girls had a great time and made quite a few adorable cards, which will soon be in the mail to surprise a few folks. They enjoyed this activity quite a bit and I plan on doing this for many more holidays in the future.

The card-making basket could be quite adaptable for any age of child or any occasion. Here are some other ideas for items that could be included.

Card Basket Supplies:
glitter glue
paper punches
construction paper, scrapbooking paper, etc.

Have fun with the supplies and let your kids be creative. You never know what wonderful ideas they may come up with. Plus, think of all the people that would be thrilled to open up their mailbox and find a homemade card. I know I would be!

Linking up to Halloween Traditions Link-Up  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Painting on Wet Paper

I was recently inspired to pick up a copy of the book Science Arts by MaryAnn Kohl at the library. It was a well-used copy and it's no wonder. The book is full of fun, interesting and creative activities designed to combine science concepts with art. There are projects for all ages of kids. In fact, I don't think you could be too old to have fun with this book. 

The project we decided to tackle first was painting on wet paper, which was designed to demonstrate the concept of diffusion. I waited until AJ was napping before starting the project. On hindsight, even at 2, she could have had fun with this project. 

The first step was wetting your paper. I had watercolor paper on hand, so that's what we used. The book suggested construction paper, but almost any paper would work as long as it wasn't too thin (you don't want it to disintegrate when wet). 
We then placed the paper on a tray and got to work. You'll want your paper on something that will not soak up the water (cookie sheet, tray, etc.). Lizzie picked out a couple of colors of tempura paint and I thinned them out quite a bit with water. I wanted it to be thin enough that she could easily drip it onto her paper. 

She dripped and smeared the paint while we talked a bit about diffusion. I loved having the example of the spreading drops of paint. It was quite fascinating to see the paint spread out so quickly. Lizzie had a lot of fun exploring her wet paper.

In the end, we had a really cool piece of art. We've also got several more projects marked in the book to try. Do the ideas of baked drawings, invisible designs, floating sculptures and shake pictures tempt you to pick up a copy of Science Arts? I hope so!

Linking up to It's Playtime, The Play Academy, The Sunday Showcase, Monday Madness and Fun Sparks  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Feeding the Birds...

We had a beautiful autumn day yesterday and we decided it was the perfect day to tackle #19 on our Fall Bucket List, feed the birds.

Set up was easy. I put together a bowl of cereal and a couple of lengths of string. I then tied one Cheerio to the end of each string so when the girls started stringing the cereal it wouldn't fall off the other end. 

We settled in and started stringing. It's an easy task once you get started, so I took the opportunity to read a few of the Halloween books we found at the library while the girls were stringing. Do you notice the dog paws? Charlie, the dog, decided to join us for this project. Not because he thought it looked fun, mind you, but because he loves Cheerios. LOVES Cheerios.
Don't despair, we did give him all the broken Cheerios... he was too cute not to!

When we were done, we took them outside and hung them on the branches of one of our little trees. I hope the birds love them!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fun With a Circle...

We went outside with the intention of creating another driveway obstacle course. But, this time, we only got as far as the circle... the one large circle. The girls started running and giggling and decided all they needed was a circle to have fun.

They ran the circle by themselves. They chased each other around the circle. They giggled. They stopped to catch their breath and sometimes their balance. They laughed and ran and laughed some more.

They even tried crawling the circle and jumping in and out of the circle. It was amazing how much fun they had with a simple chalk circle.

Other ways to use the circle:
Skip, tiptoe, march, etc. around the circle. 
Work on directional words (on top, below, beside, etc.)
Work on counting (run around the circle 2 times, etc.)
Play Follow the Leader... in a circle
Drive toy cars around the circle

What are some other ways you can use this simple chalk circle?

Linking up to Outdoor Play  

Friday, October 21, 2011

Five Little Pumpkins...

Can you believe we've never read the Five Little Pumpkins before? I decided not to let another year pass without reading this book and added it to our story time this week. Of course, we needed to have a little bit of fun with it. So, I made jack-o-lantern finger puppets.

I simply drew five pumpkins on card stock and cut them out. The circles on the bottom are finger holes. If you don't want to draw your own, there are plenty of clipart pumpkins you can enlarge, print and cut out.

Meet four of the five little pumpkins.

They're a wee bit silly and tend to giggle a lot.

These two are good friends who like to hide and scare each other.

Catch me if you can!

If you haven't picked up the Five Little Pumpkins, you should. It's perfect for even the smallest child and it's even more fun when you have your own little pumpkins to play with.

If you want more ideas for activities to do with this book, Toddler Approved has a great post about it here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Making Monsters...

They're googly-eyed, wiggly-armed and just about the cutest monsters I've ever seen! After seeing these Purple People Eaters on Toddler Approved, I knew Lizzie and AJ would have fun making their own monsters.

Materials Needed:
Empty cardboard rolls
Craft paint
Google eyes
Pipe Cleaners
Your imagination!

First we painted. I had set out two colors of paint, so they could use both on their monsters, but both girls decided to go with just one color. After painting came the tough step of letting them dry. We decided it was the perfect time for a bath.

Next, I took a sharp pair of scissors and poked two holes in each side of the tube. The girls laced pipe cleaners through the holes so their monsters looked like they had two long, wiggly arms on both sides.

The last step was gluing on the google eyes. The more google eyes, the better! At this point, Lizzie decided her monster needed a little something extra, so she got out the markers. 

So there you have it, a couple of googly-eyed, wiggly-armed monsters! Don't they make you smile?

Linking up to It's Playtime, The Play Academy, Link and Learn, The Sunday Showcase, Monday Madness and Kids Get Crafty 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Leaf Garland...

Remember the leaves we gathered on our leaf collecting trip? After being pressed under heavy books for a few days, we got them out to do rubbings and turn them into a pretty fall garland.

I gathered the leaves, several sheets of our drawing paper, yarn and our recycled muffin tin crayons. (Crayons turned on their side with the wrappings off will also work well.) We laid out the leaves, put the paper on top and started rubbing.

There's something so magical about seeing the shape and texture of the leaf appear, that I had to join in myself! Once we used up all our paper, it was time to cut out all the leaf shapes.

Once they were cut, we made the garland. It was a simple process. We just taped each leaf to the yarn. We turned the leaf to the backside, laid the yarn across the middle and applied a couple of pieces of tape. We left a spacing of a couple of inches between each leaf. 

In the end we had a beautiful fall garland to display with all of our Halloween decorations. It was simple and Lizzie enjoyed making something that turned out so beautiful.

Linking up to The Mommy Club, Fun Sparks and It's Playtime  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Bucket List - Revisited...

We've been working hard on our fall bucket list the last couple of weeks. Work is not quite the right word for what we've been doing, maybe I should say play hard instead!

We made pumpkin bread using this recipe from Everyday Food. Yum!

We went leaf collecting and did some apple stamping.

We made apple pie play dough using this recipe from Mom To 2 Posh Lil Divas and we played with it for days. It smelled heavenly!

And last, but not least, we made our spooky spider masks!

What's next? 

We're going to do our leaf rubbings and turn them into our fall garland. We'll feed the birds this week and make our crock pot apple sauce. And of course, anything else that suits our fancy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Leaf Collecting...

We've been working on our fall bucket list a lot this week and decided yesterday was the perfect day for leaf collecting. But first, we needed something to put those leaves in.

I took brown paper lunch bags and cut them in half. We were only going to use the bottom half. I used a pair of my craft scissors to get the zig-zag pattern on the top. Then, we got out the markers and the girls started decorating.

When they were finished, I opened up the bags, punched a hole in each side and added a long length of yarn. It was a windy day, so I wanted the girls to be able to wear them messenger-bag style.

And then, we were off!

We went to one of our local parks. It is full of trees and has several walking paths. I knew it would be perfect for leaf collecting.

We walked and picked up leaves, then walked and picked up leaves some more. Most were already brown and on the ground, but we found a few treasured yellow and red leaves while we were out.

We also stopped and examined the mossy wall. AJ loved touching it!

After a lengthy playground stop, we brought our treasures home. They're now being pressed under heavy books, just waiting for us to have more fun with them!

Have you been doing any fall activities? What sort of fall fun have you been having?

Linking up to The Play Academy, The Sunday Showcase, Monday Madness, Best of October Linkup and Show and Share Saturday