A Completed Project, A Craft, and A Recipe!

So due to my procrastinatory nature, I spent most of the summer working on these two canvases for my sweet nephews. But finally…finished!

The lighting is not great, but I got tired of trying to find good lighting on a rainy, cloudy day.

And now a craft. Sesame Street is all new this week (finally!) and so I have a few craft/learning projects correlating with the episodes. Today we learned about camouflage (I also learned I don’t know how to spell camouflage). I should really start looking words up. I’m getting a complex about my spelling abilities.

This craft was very simplistic. We just took red paper and then scraps of crepe red, yellow and green paper and glued them on the paper. Then we talked about how the crepe paper was similar or different from the red paper. And we read the book “The Mixed Up Chameleon” by Eric Carle.

Finally a recipe. For the Auburn game on Saturday I made turkey chili. Here is my easy recipe.

Turkey Chili

Ingredients

1 lb of ground turkey

1 bottle of beer (I used Sam Adams…just don’t use any light beer)

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes

1 small can (I think they are 6 oz) tomato paste

1/2 diced yellow onions

1 15 oz can white cannellini beans

1 tsp lawry’s seasoning salt

1 tbs cumin

1 tbs chili powder

Shredded Cheese

Directions:
Put all ingredients except shredded cheese in a crockpot. Cook for 6-8 hours. Top with cheese!

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Read This…Make That!

I really like the books in Jane Yolen and Mark Teague’s series. Super A particularly likes “How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?” However, our activity is based on the book “How do Dinosaurs Count to Ten?

Right now Super A counts to ten like this “1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14” So he almost has it, but we are still working! I came up with this little craft to go along with the story.

Counting Stegosaurus (And yes in the pictures I spelled Stegosaurus wrong…I fixed it later I promise!)

What you need:

green cardstock, brown construction paper, markers, scissors, glue

What you do:

First draw and cut out a stegosaurus(I got a template on-line and copied it)

Then cut out ten small triangles (they do not have to be the same size)

Then count each triangle with your child…

Ah yes…ten.

Then number the triangles one through ten. Then glue each triangle to the back of the stegosaurus so the front number is facing out and the glued part is behind.

Then put an O where the A is after steg and before saurus. HA!

You can stop here because voila! You have a numbered stegosaurus to count! However Super A likes to color with markers, so we provided the stegosaurus with a proper home on brown construction paper. Like so:

I drew the palm tree and volcano. Obviously our stegosaurus lives in a volcanic tropical climate. And obviously my drawing skills haven’t improved since third grade. Enjoy!

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Read This…Make That!

Our local library branch does a great story time (if you want to know the branch I’m talking about e-mail me!). One of my favorite things about their story time is they always read at least two stories and the kids get to do a small craft based on one of the stories. Super A and I also do several of these crafts at home, so I decided to start a little section called Read This…Make That! I’ll try to keep up with it!

So here’s my first one. Read this…

This sweet story, combines the use of graphic designed heart shapes with a rhyming tale about animals. Plus it has hippos drinking apple juice (Super A’s favorite part!).

Make That…

For this ultra simple craft you need construction paper, scissors, glue, a black pom-pom, markers, and black glitter glue.

Cut four hearts out of green paper (one large and three small). Then arrange the hearts as seen above to make the shape of the seal and glue the hearts on blue (or purple if you want to follow the book) construction paper.

Next, draw a circle for the ball using a marker, let your little one color the paper and seal as they wish and write the line (silly as a seal) from the book.

Finally glue a black pom-pom for the nose and make an eye out of the black glitter glue. And tada!

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Charting the Moon

Super A is slightly obsessed with the moon lately. We have to go check for it every night. Unfortunately it’s been cloudy the past few nights, so we haven’t been able to see it (to Super A’s BIG TIME disappointment). Trying to capture this interest I decided to do a little project with Super A using his new big boy markers, some construction paper, glitter and glue. So here are the pages from Super A’s Moon Book.

Super A believes the moon is always hungry. He says “Poor moon. He’s hungry”. If you ask what the moon is hungry for he usually wants a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

If your child is also interested in the moon, I did this craft with simple circle cut outs and I just wrote the different phases of the moon on either side. We used the crayola pip squeaks markers (which Super A also likes connecting together by their tops!).

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A Summer Project Completed

This summer I have been working with Super A on the alphabet. Granted I realize that he is a little young to start writing his ABC’s, but not to young to start being able to recognize, working on the phonetics, and sing the song! Throughout the summer we would spend a few mornings a week working on our project. My goal was to create an alphabet book at the end. This is a fun project for any toddler and basically gives them their own personalized alphabet book at the end! So here is what I did.

What you need

8x 11′ Paper

Crayons

Stickers

Something to dot around the letters (I used Crayola’s toddler markers and stampers)

Letter Stickers

Patience! (A lot of patience)

Here’s what you do….

First write the upper and lowercase of each letter (give each letter it’s own piece of paper). Then we “dotted” our way around each letter (I helped him dot his way. I took his hand and we would dot with a crayola toddler marker or stamp…the one’s that look like round little animals).  I made up a song to go with the dotting as this helped Super A get into the process. By the end of the summer he would sing “Dot, Dot, Dot your way…dot your way through K!” and so on and so forth. Then I would let Super A color the picture, put stickers of the particular letter on there and basically any other stickers or stamps he wanted to use. We would also write a few of his favorite words along with the letter.  So here is our finished project (in collage form):

Then I took a picture of each page. I sent them all to Walgreen’s and they are making a photo book for me. That way I can keep his little handmade project and he can have his very own alphabet book, made by him!

Hints: Do not try to do this in one sitting. I would do one, maybe two each time we worked on it, and that was about all the attention Super A could provide to the project.

Keep it to crayons, stickers, and simple items. I tried to introduce pasta, glue, etc. in a few of the pictures and it was just a mess!

After we finished the project I found that another blog I read (Under the Sycamore Tree) had a DIY for alphabet books, so if you are looking for more ideas you can access it here!

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Updates, Super A’s Phrase of the Day, and The Recipe I am Trying Tonight

So here’s what we did for ten hours over two nights this weekend…

New paint. Finally. I can stop being the woman crawling the pale yellow walls of our house (have you read that short story? I think it was meant to terrify those of us who spend a majority of our time at home).

By the way the paint is a Sherwin Williams knock-off of Benjamin Moore’s Gray Horse color. I got the color idea from this post on Urban Grace Interiors Blog. I couldn’t be more happy with it. In fact I was so excited by the new color I decided I needed to do some other (yet far less expensive) re-do’s. I got super inspired by this post. And from that I created…

Blah.

Fabulous! All with bottles found around the house.

So now that I have discussed all those items…it’s time for Super A’s phrase(s) of the day:

“Pick-e- Up Please” (when he wants to be picked up)

“Where ‘bastian? Where Paddington? I really miss them” (when he is thinking of his doggies at my parents)

“Spider, right there! Spider, right there!” (he has a meticulous eye that is able to catch the tiniest spider…or piece of fuzz. Guess it’s time to vacuum.)

Right under where Super A is sitting there is a clear statement on the truck that says…DO NOT SIT ON THIS TOY.

And finally…

Must Try Brownies.

It’s from Giada at Home. You can find the complete recipe here. It combines raspberry, brownies, and white chocolate. I’m thinking this will go over well when it’s my turn to bring snacks at Bible Study this fall! 🙂

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Finger Painting Craft

A month and a half ago a cold day turned into a finger painting project. I occasionally take the art projects of our mini cupcake and turn them into part of the decor of his room and bathroom. For this particular project I had a spot above his towel rack in the bathroom in mind for the completed canvas. So after a morning of painting back in March this…

Became this…

It matches the safari theme of his bathroom that I started and have added to since he was first born. This was a wide edged canvas, which I really like for two reasons; one I painted the sides, so it ties into the painting and the room, and two because it’s easy to hang!

If you haven’t tried canvas when finger painting I highly suggest it if you are interested in hanging the art work of your own little cupcake. It stands up really well to the paint (i.e. it doesn’t wrinkle and dries well) and makes it easy to create a piece of art for your own home!

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Spring Craft: Lace-Up Rainbow

I have been trying to figure out a craft to do for St. Patrick’s Day. I found that there are not a lot of crafts out there, especially for toddlers for St. Patrick’s Day. I made this craft myself, and basically the end product is something that can be played with. Right now my mini cupcake is very into strings and laces, he loves to poke the laces through the holes in our sneakers. I figured this would be a fun little item for him to play with and it also helps him learn his colors!

So here’s what you will need:

Foam paper (I got a huge stack of multi-color foam paper at Hobby Lobby for around five dollars…good for future crafts)

A one hole punch

Scissors

A four leaf clover cookie cutter (Unless you are good at drawing, then you can just make it yourself!)

Shoe string, or cord ribbon

Some sort of arc tracing object (I used a 8×8 round cake pan…again I do not succeed with doing any sort of free hand drawing)

And here’s what you do!

First gather roygbiv foam paper (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet). I did not have a true “indigo”, so I used a lighter purple instead.

From the paper cut out arcs from each color, and then trace and cut out two shamrock shapes (I used a darker green for the shamrocks).

Put a hole punch in the center of each shamrock, and then a hole punch within each arc at each end. In addition put a few hole punches throughout each arc and on the shamrocks.

As you can see from the picture above, after you have created your hole punches, you then string together the rainbow. Now here’s the trick to keep it all in place. Tie the cord on one side of a shamrock with two to three double knots (one right on top of the other). Then string through all of the colors on one side. On the other side tie another double knot and then leave string hanging. Repeat with the other side…it should look like this…

And this…

And your knots should look like this…

See how there is cord hanging off of the other side? That’s the lacing cord for the finished product. To finish the ends so they don’t fray you can do one of two things. You can simply cut the ends, you can place a quality tape around them (I wouldn’t recommend this for toddlers as it can fall off and they might try to eat it…mine would!), or you can do what I plan to do and that is to get my Dad to torch the ends so they stay tight and will not fray (you’ll need a quality blow torch and oh yeah someone experienced to do that!)

Once you are finished, get practicing on that lacing! Or wear it as a hat. That’s what my mini-cupcake did. HA!

Tip: This should only be played with under supervision as it does have long strings and several pieces.

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Make Your Own Crayons

My little cupcake loves to color. He loves to color so much he insists upon coloring every day, at least twice a day. We color construction paper, we color pictures, he has even tried coloring his beloved bunny (as discussed in previous post!). Since coloring on the floor tends to lead to running around with crayons, our normal coloring spot is a booster seat at the table. Which unfortunately is the perfect place to not only color, but toss crayons onto the floor. Even my numerous sayings of “keep your crayons on the table”, I am ignored (by a one year old? Unheard of, I’m sure!).

This has lead to broken crayons…many, many broken crayons. It saddens my heart each time I hear one snap as it crashes to the floor. So I was delighted when my sister showed me how she had made chunk crayons out of many of her house of broken crayons (not by my son. Well, probably some of them.) So after looking at various places on-line I came up with a combination of several different ideas, and this recipe seems to work well for us.

What you will need…

A bunch of broken crayons in various colors

A muffin tin

Paper cupcake liners

An oven

What you do…

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.

So here’s your crayons….

Here’s the only survivors I could find…

Why do you think purple is the least broken crayon? Could it be the super crayon?

Remove the paper from your crayons and break any larger pieces into smaller pieces so all the pieces of crayon are “similar” in size (they definitely don’t need to be the exact same size, just small enough to fit in cupcake wrappers).

Place the paperless, broken crayons in the cupcake wrappers. You can mix and match colors as I did. We made St. Patrick’s Day crayons and Auburn crayons, in addition to several other combinations.

I only put between four and six pieces in each. It’s up to you how many pieces you put in…the more pieces the fatter the crayon (and the longer it takes to melt).

Then place your cupcake wrapper crayons in a muffin tin as so…

Then pop them in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes. Watch to see that they are all melted and then carefully remove them from the oven (they will be very sloshy…so handle with care!)…

Let cool in the muffin tin until the crayons have hardened. Mine took less than an hour to cool, but it depends on how many broken crayons you placed in the wrapper. Once the crayons have cooled peel off the wrapper and…

Tada! Crayon circles. Quick, easy, and back to coloring in no time (Well a little time. But not much.)

*Hints: I dusted off the edges of the circles after removing them from the cupcake wrappers to prevent flaking.

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Valentine Craft

I had searched a few different craft books and sites for a Valentine’s Day craft that would be age appropriate. Since we are doing quite a bit of coloring lately it seemed to be appropriate to do something with coloring and construction paper. So I came up with the idea for a heart wreath. It is simple, and the older your kids are the more they can do to help complete the project!

So here is what you will need….

Red and Pink Construction Paper

Crayons (We also used stamp markers)

Heart Stickers

Craft Glue

Glitter

Large and Small Heart Cookie Cutters (If you are talented you can cut the hearts out yourself, I am not, so I used a set of cookie cutters I got from target).

Here’s what to do…

I let my mini-cupcake color, marker, and add stickers all over the construction paper before I cut the hearts out. I cut two large hearts and eight small hearts. Here is the large heart…

Then I arranged the small hearts in wreath like pattern…

And then added stickers to the edges (just to hold it together before you glue down the large heart)…

And then I glued one large heart on the front and one large heart on the back of the wreath. On the heart on the front I traced glue around the heart’s edges and let my mini cupcake go to town with the glitter…

I used the other side for writing a message (or to put their name and date for a keepsake)…and tada!

You can also add ribbon to the top if you want to hang your heart wreath. See…simple, easy, and very Valentine’s Day!

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