Thursday, March 31, 2011

Elizabeth's Fairy Wings

What little girl doesn't need their own set of fairy wings? Elizabeth sent me this great craft idea that anyone can make.

I first made these wings when my daughter was about 2 years old. She still wears them!

First, here are the basic things you will need:

Cardboard – I used a plain moving box this time, but I originally used a diaper box. Even poster board would work for this (and be a lot easier to cut!)

Pen or marker

The first step is to draw half of the wings on to the cardboard.

You’ll see in the picture that there is a ‘wing’ and a square piece. You’ll understand the square part later. I lined up the drawing so it went over a fold in the cardboard – this allows the wing to flap!

Now cut it out and trace another one. This is where thin cardboard is better. Corrugated cardboard is horrible to cut but it can be done!

Once you have the pieces – the painting can begin.

Depending on how thick the paint is, the wings may have to dry overnight before you can assemble them. My little one always puts it on thick!

Once the paint is dry, put glue on one of the square parts and glue the two pieces together. Allow the glue to dry a little before moving on.

Now cut some ribbon long enough to go around your little one’s shoulders like a back pack; tie the ribbon into loops and you are done!

If you are wondering about the other side of the wings, this is what my little one wanted to do the next day: She got out her markers and coloured it to look like a butterfly.

If you have a big enough piece of cardboard you can draw the whole wings and skip gluing them together. I never seem to have a big enough piece though!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Welcome...Carrie's Sweet Life

Today we have a great guest post from Carrie's Sweet Life. She creates "art" with let little one but it's not the kind you can hang on your's the kind you EAT!  I dare you to check out her blog and not drool.  I mean really, how does she make everything look so good?  I kinda wish she was my neighbor so I could do some random acts of kindness for her in hopes of seeing those muffins on my porch in return. I hope you take some inspiration from Carrie and bake with your kiddos!

"Hello this is Carrie from Carrie’s Sweet Life.  My favorite hobby is cooking and baking, our daughter Maddy who is 16 months is now old enough to help out in the kitchen, when I saw that Ames was looking for guest bloggers I thought it would be fun and then decided with a little help to do a little baking with our daughter.

This recipe is so versatile that a younger ones can help but also the older they get the more they will be able

Maddy adding the egg. With the older kids I would use a bowl and spoon and let them mix it themselves.

I helped Maddy measure and add the flour.

At Maddy's age she LOVES watching the mixer go around.

It was then time to glaze the muffins, I helped her but when they were older they could do it without as much assistant.

And of course after glazing you have to taste test.

Take some time and get into the kitchen with your child I promise they will have a blast and the end result will be some delicious food. For the recipe for these delicious muffins check out my blog."

Friday, March 25, 2011

I promise I will be back!

Tomorrow morning we (meaning my hubby and his brothers) are loading up the moving truck and heading to a new house!  I am so excited to move but I am NOT excited that we will not have Internet for a week or so.  How will I find the phone number to the pizza place or get directions to the park I have been to 5 times (but can never seem to find)?  OK I am sure I will survive but I don't have to pretend to like it! 

Anyway, I hope you all forgive me for my absence.  I do have a few guest posters ready to go so keep visiting! Once Internet is restored we will be making more Easter crafts, homemade sidewalk chalk, Jell-o playdough, and lots more!!!

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring Trees

It you are ready to see green leaves on trees, raise your hand.  We had a week long tease of Spring weather here in The Mitten.  Now we have dipped back down to brrrrr!  That doesn't mean we can't make a Spring tree to remind Mother Nature what trees should look like in late March. 

Here's what you need:

Put some green paint on a paper plate and mix with a few drops of dishsoap.

Cut out a "trunk" from brown paper and glue it to the paper.  Place the paper in front of the child with the "top" of the tree closest to them.  Dip hands in paint, and let them go crazy!

Ta Da!!!

Idea: Fold the paper to make a card.  Make a mini tree on the front and write "Happy Spring."  Have your child "sign" the inside and send to someone special for your To You Tuesday.

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Easter Egg Magnet

I've said it before and I will say it again...I LOVE magnets.  We made a bunch of these Easter egg magnets to give as gifts this Easter to each of Finley's grandmas.  Last Mother's Day I bought this kit on clearance to make handprint plaques for the previously mentioned grandmas. 

The marble things were not included in the kit
 The kit included ten individual packs of the clay stuff.  Needless to say we had several extra packs...this is what we used them for. I bought this egg candy mold at Hobby Lobby for like a buck (gotta love 40% off)!  Side note: The young male cashier was ringing up my purchase and said "ma'am, you don't want to buy this package, it's empty." I tried my hardest not to laugh and explained that it's a candy mold and was supposed to be "empty."  And why did he have to call me ma'am?  Do I really look that old?

Put a little oil on a paper towel and wipe the inside of the mold.

Roll the clay into a ball and press into the mold. If you don't have this stuff, you can use Plaster of Paris (but you would pour the mixture in, not roll it in a ball).

Once they are dry, glue a magnet to the back (I started with the glue in the picture but I ended up using hot glue).

 Some we painted with water colors.

 Some we painted in ziploc baggies. 
And yes even 3 month old Sidney can do this!

One of our magnets.  I already put him to work holding up our project from last week's playgroup.

Sidney's creations

Happy Crafting!

To You Tuesdays

Yes, I know it's Wednesday and I should have posted this yesterday.  Oh well...

Sometimes just a few words can change your life.  I have been following this blog (Warning: Sad) since I stumbled across it when they lost their beautiful baby girl, Maddie.  It reminds me to appreciate every single day with my girl.  Yesterday Kellie said something so simple but it touched me deeply.  "Tell your family, and friends you love them often, and enjoy life." 

Starting next week Finley and I are going to make a special project every Tuesday and send it to someone we love.  We always send special painted cards for holidays but telling special people in our lives that we love them out of the blue will be so much more meaningful.  With nothing but devastation on the news and nothing but bills in the mailbox, I think everyone will enjoy a happy finger painted surprise.

I hope you join us in spreading the love! 


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Peeps Magnet

I love me some Peeps!  The crunchy sugar coating followed by gooey marshmallow goodness...what's not to love?  Have you ever put a Peep (or is it a Peeps?) in the microwave...they get huge!  Not only are they delicious...they are entertaining too! The first time I see Peeps peeking at me through the cellophane wrapper on a "seasonal shelf" at Target...I know Spring is here. How can we honor the beloved Peeps?  A magnet of course!

I mentioned yesterday that I made waaay too much shaving cream/glue mixture.  So we ended up with this afternoon craft too! (Since I didn't know if it would even work...I didn't take pics...sorry.)

Cut a Peep shape out of cardboard or thick card stock. Paint with the goo.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Add an eye (I cut it out from a brownish colored coupon that was sitting on the counter). When it's dry glue a magnet to the back.

The same suggesting apply as's made with food coloring and will stain...use a paint shirt. Shaving cream is NOT "non-toxic" so use caution!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fluffy Chick

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  Today we made a super cute chick...our first Easter-ish craft of the year.  It's not completely dry yet, but Finley is napping and this is most likely my only blogging opportunity today.  Plus I couldn't wait to share.  The "finished" picture is still kinda wet...but you get the idea.

You will need:

Cheap shaving cream
Yellow food coloring
White glue
Paint brush
Card stock (or construction paper chick...I printed a coloring page)

Mix equal parts shaving cream and glue.  Add food coloring. Mix well. It's been a couple years since I have done this I made waaaay too much. 

Tip: Mix in a disposable container

Please note that shaving cream is not "non-toxic."  Use with careful supervision.

Put a glob (technical art term) on the chicky and let the artist spread it around with  the paint brush.  Since it's made with food coloring it will sure to use a paint shirt.  If you are terrified of the stain, cut the chick out of yellow paper and keep the glue/shaving cream mixture white.

Let it dry for 24 hours (just to be safe).

I cut out 2 eyes and a beak from a coupon that was on the counter and happened to have the right colors and added then to the wet goo.
 This one has been drying for 2-3 gets cuter when it's completely dry.

Happy Crafting!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Everything in the mouth!

I know it's "normal" for kids to put things in their mouth.  They are exploring their world, blah blah blah. Most toddlers quirks I can handle, no problem.  Toys in the mouth...not so much. All I know is that when I see Finley (across the room) pick up a toy at playgroup and pop it in her mouth I want to gag.  It's not really a "germ thing" as much as I just think it's gross.  Of course I would have a kid that (no matter what I do) puts everything in her mouth.  This habit carries over into crafts but I refuse to let that keep me from doing crafts with my girl.  Here's what I do to keep Finley from eating her art projects.

  • For toddlers, high chair = eating.  If you put something on that tray, they don't care if it's a hamburger or a crayon, they are going to eat it. So, don't do crafts in the high chair.  Most of the Paint & Prozac crafts are "contained" in a box or in a bag.  Why? Because it can me created in the living room without ruining the carpet.  What if we are doing a project that isn't "contained"? I lay down a large blanket in the living room (just make sure your little one sits down and doesn't run off the blanket).  Cookie sheets are excellent to use as a table for painting or play dough on the blanket.  Plus it can just go in the dishwasher...bonus!
  • If you must do a project in the high chair (like finger painting) let your little one have their pacifier.  Usually I only allow binkies at bedtime or when I can't stand the screaming anymore or when Finley finds a long lost binky under the couch.  Sorry, tangent.  In theory I only allow binkies at bed time.  But if that beloved thing is in her mouth it's not coming out...not even to lick a paint brush. 
  • Plan crafts for just after a meal or snack.  We usually do crafts right after breakfast or morning snack.  If they are full, they seem to be less likely to put stuff in their mouths.
  • RELAX (don't you just love how I always throw that one in there?)!  Everything is non-toxic (right?) but it certainly doesn't taste good.  If your little one has a couple tastes of paint and it's awful they are probably going to stop.  If you react by jumping up and yelling it's probably going to encourage the behavior.  How fun is it to get mom all worked up?  Toddlers love to get a big reaction so don't give them one. Just calmly remove the art supply from their mouth and clean it up. 
So far I have showed you that babies are never too young for art, helped minimize the mess, and given tips to keep crafts out of little mouths.  What else keeps you from doing crafts with your kids???

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cinnamon Bear

I wrote last week about ice cube painting being an excellent sensory experience for little ones.  Here is a way to throw another sense to the mix!

You will need:

Card stock (or cardboard) cut into a teddy bear shape.
2 Cinnamon ice cubes (water with 1/2 tsp of cinnamon mixed in, frozen)
Ziploc type bag. 

First you will need to make a couple cinnamon ice cubes. Fill ice cube tray with water.  Mix 1/2 tsp of cinnamon in each section (you only need to make 2 ice cubes per bear).  Freeze.

Your cinnamon ice cubes should look like the cubes on the left and right.  The middle one is empty :)

Add bear and 2 ice cubes to the bag.

Zip up and shake it! ( you know the drill)

Let it dry.  You can add a face if you want.

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Foot Painting

I know it's Wednesday and many blogs do "Wordless Wednesday" but I just can't.  I talk too much in real life so why wouldn't I talk to much on my blog? I tried to be wordless today but sorry, no luck.

I feel like this is the perfect activity to follow up yesterday's "mess" post.  It's the epitome of messy but even this wasn't too bad and it's so fun.

You will need:

Large piece of paper
Adorable toddler feet

Mix paint to your desired color and mix in a drop or 2 of dish soap (for easier clean up).

We only have red, blue, yellow, and white paint. I can mix just about any color I want from those. No need for a dozen bottles of paint.

Lay a piece of paper on the floor. 
 (You can use the white side of leftover Christmas wrapping paper or even a paper grocery bag.)
Dip toddler feet in the paint.

Walk, dance, and jump on the paper.

When you are done painting carry the artist to the nearest sink and wash those feet off.

I think this turned out great.  I just might frame it and hang it in the playroom in our new house.

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Shameless request for your vote

Can you take a second to vote for Finley?  Go here, "like" Modern Bird Studios, and "like" her picture!  Thanks a bunch :)

Who's afraid of the big bad mess? (edited)

Edited because I forgot some!

When I taught preschool (pre-Finley) I had 20 three year olds painting, gluing, and making creative messes 5 days a week.  Compared to that, one toddler painting is nothing to stress about.  I find that many parents shy away from doing crafts because of "the mess." Here are some of my thoughts on THE MESS!

  • Start with Mess-Free projects until you and your little one get comfortable with crafting. (see Ziploc painting, ice cube painting, marble art, coffee can painting)
  • Use a paint shirt.  I use old t-shirts. They work perfectly and they are free :)
  • Make sure you use WASHABLE paint/markers/glue.
  • Add a drop or two of dish soap to paint before finger painting. It makes it much easier to wash off.
  • Do messiest projects on bath days.  I am going to assume that you bathe your child on a regular basis.  So, if you are already planning on a bath, who cares if there's some paint, marker, or glue to wash off.
  • I am going to make another assumption. You mop your kitchen floor on a regular basis, right?  If you are planning to mop at nap time (that's when I mop) anyway, who cares it there's a little paint to mop up.  In fact, I find paint much easier to mop up than spaghetti sauce and with a toddler spaghetti sauce inevitably ends up on the floor regularly. For the record I very rarely have a big paint mess.
  • Do projects on a blanket. Rather than messing with high chairs I often just lay a blanket on the living room floor.  If it gets messy I either shake it outside (for food based projects) or throw it in the washer.  Much less labor intensive than sweeping or mopping. 
  • Keep cheap baby wipes handy for quick clean up of hands and tables. 
  • The most important tip: RELAX! Seriously, what's the worst thing that can happen?  In my opinion...this picture makes any little mess well worth the effort.

We do a craft every single day in our house and I almost never have a huge mess to clean up...I promise! You can do it!

Happy (mess-free)crafting!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jello Painting Shamrock

This was so much fun (messy but fun)! I would suggest doing this project on a day you plan to mop the floor.

You Will Need:

Paint shirt(aka old t-shirt)
Green Jello
Card stock

Plop some Jello on the paper and let the kiddos have at it.

Let it dry for 24 hours.  The larger chunks won't dry so just shake them off or cut around them.  The smaller pieces dry 3-D and shiny! Then just cut into a shamrock.

Proudly display on the fridge gallery!

Happy Crafting!