Homemade Finger Paint

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Homemade Finger Paint, #finger-paint

My kids were asking to finger paint today. Problem was, we were out of finger paint. Homespun with Love did a wonderful guest post here where she made finger paint using Jello. Problem was, we were out of Jello too. But we did have cornstarch and sugar. When I was teaching, I remember using these ingredients to make finger paint. It worked perfectly! The kids had a blast and I didn't have to spend money on finger paint. Read on to see how you can make homemade finger paint too.

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Yummy Ice Cream Math Games

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Ice Cream Math Games, #math, #preschool

We are still having some summer weather here in our part of California and my kids favorite summertime (ok, anytime) treat is ice cream. I decided to take advantage of their love of ice cream by creating some ice cream math games that reinforce both pattern making, counting and number order. These games are simple and inexpensive to make, but will keep the kids engaged for a long time.

You will need:
  • Felt in various colors
  • Scissors
  • Black permanent marker
  • Felt board or a large piece of felt for a background (optional)
You will be cutting out cones and ice scream scoops from the felt so you'll want to get some fun colors.  I got mine at Joann for $1 each.


I made sure to get some felt in a tan color to make the cones.



I ended up buying a variety of colors of felt even if they were non traditional ice cream colors. The kids enjoyed coming up with flavors for the different colors. The red became watermelon ice cream and green became broccoli ice cream. Sounds yummy huh?

Create an ice cream pattern

The first math activity involved giving the kids a cone and different color ice cream scoops and asking them to create a pattern. You will want to be sure to provide at least 3 ice scream scoops of the same color so kids can make a pattern.

Pattern game


Practice counting and numerical order

One one side of the ice scream scoops, I wrote numbers. Then I gave them to the kids number side up and asked them to stack the ice cream on the cone in numerical order. This really helped them work on their counting skills as they kept counting up to figure out which number would come next.

Counting Game

Ice Cream Math

I only numbered my cones up to 9 but you can number them as high as you wish. You can then challenged your child (if older) to stack only odd numbers, even numbers etc...

Preschool Math Game

If you have a Felt board it will work great with these ice cream math games. But they can also be played on a table. These are the perfect games to bring to a restaurant or Dr's office as they are quiet and easy to carry.

This post contains affiliate links.

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Vicky
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Food Fun Friday: 3 Ways to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

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I don't know about where you live, but here in Northern California, pumpkins at a pumpkin patch are always a lot more expensive than those sold at stores. So even though we have been to a pumpkin patch this season and will visit another this weekend, I bought our pumpkin at the store. 

My daughters were so excited when they saw it because they know that pumpkins mean pumpkin seeds! They love pumpkins seeds and the process to make them is so fun for kids. This year we changed things up a bit by experimenting with seasoning our seeds.
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Scrapbooking Ideas for Kids

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Scrapbooking Ideas for Kids, #scarpbooking

I normally think of scrapbooking as an adult hobby. But did you know you can scrapbook with young children? Even if you have never made a scrapbook before, I will provide some easy scrapbooking ideas for kids.

We recently returned from a vacation to Walt Disney World and we took tons of photos. My kids loved looking at all their pictures on the computer, so I thought it would be fun for them to have all the photos in a book where they could look at them and remember their trip.

You will need:


I found some wonderful notebooks on clearance at an office supply store and picked up a few for this project. I then printed out some photos of our trip for the kids to place in their scrapbook. 

My youngest daughter is 2 so I helped her create her scrapbook. She chose the colors of cardstock she wanted and we used Aleene's Tacky Tape Runner to stick the cardstock to the paper in her notebook.  All she had to do was decide which picture she would use on the page.

easy scrapbooking ideas for kids

Now if you have a 2 year old you know that they would only let you help them for so long. My little one wanted to make her next page all by herself. She squeezed Aleene's Original Tacky Glue onto her paper and gave her little muscles quite a workout.

kids scrapbooks


After adding her cardstock, she adds her photo.

scrapbooks for kids

My four old twins really had a blast creating their scrapbook. One of my daughters doesn't like getting her hands dirty and Aleene's Tacky Tape Runner was perfect for her. She could just roll the tape over her paper and stick on her cardstock or photo.



When she was done adding her photos, I gave her some princess stickers that she added to her scrapbook.


There are lots of ways to have a child personalize their scrapbooks. After gluing her photo, my other twin daughter decided to personalize her scrapbook by drawing with her crayons.



I have wanted to start scrapbooking with my kids, but I thought they were too young to do enjoy the activity. But I discovered that if you keep the options simple and provide easy-to-use products like Aleene's  adhesives, kids can make their own scrapbooks that serve as a memento of a trip or event. Our were such big hits, the kids even brought them to preschool for sharing time.

To learn more about Aleene's products and get some great ideas for creative projects, visit I Love to Create and check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with Aleene's and Blueprint Social. The opinions in this post are my own.

Check out the linky below for more fun Fall ideas from some creative bloggers.

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Vicky
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Pumpkin Art with Torn Paper

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What I love above creating art with torn paper is that it doesn't need to be perfect. In fact, the less perfect it is, the better it looks. This makes this medium great for kids. They can just tear the paper in various ways and still achieve a work of art.

I decided to have the kids make a Halloween themed torn art picture. Tearing the paper really gives kids a wonderful opportunity to practice their fine motor skills. The pieces of black construction paper that are used for eyes and mouths have to be torn pretty small.

You will need:

  • White, black, orange, green and yellow construction paper
  • Glue

I don't know about you, but I love a supply list that has two items on it. Most people already have construction paper and glue, so the set up for this Halloween project could not be easier.

Start out with a white piece of construction paper that will serve as the background. Have your child tear some green construction paper for grass and glue it to the bottom of the white paper. How they tear the paper is up to them. The paper may end up looking like a hillside or like tall blades of grass. There is no wrong way to do this. Be sure to save a little bit of green construction paper for the pumpkin stems.



When the grass is glued down, have your child tear a circle or oval shape out of some orange construction paper. Having tried this, I can say this is pretty tricky for an adult to do. But it didn't matter that our pumpkins weren't round, they still looked cool. So no matter what shape your child's pumpkin comes out, they can glue it on the grass to add to their fall scene. 



For some kids this will be enough. If your child is older or wants to go further, you can add green stems and use some torn black construction paper for a jack o' lantern face. 




We even added a sun using some yellow construction paper. I bet a tree would be fun to make from torn paper and would look great in this fall scene too. What other items do you think you could add?


Can't get enough pumpkin ideas? Check out Coffee Filter Pumpkins and Paper Bag Pumpkins.


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Vicky
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Stackable Sensory Boxes - Guest Post from Little Moments to Embrace

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Today we have a guest post from Heather who blogs at Little Moments to Embrace. Heather is a mother of two with a background in early childhood education. She blogs some wonderful ideas for children's learning and play. I am excited to have her here today sharing a wonderful activity for babies. My kids have outgrown this stage so I don't offer lots of baby ideas here. I know this post will be helpful to my friends and readers with little ones. Please welcome Heather!

Devin has been busy lately; busy wiggling and rolling around, busy putting toys in his mouth, and busy eyeing things up he wishes he could put in his mouth.  At six months old he is able to explore a little bit more of his world now that he has wiggle room.  Sensory bottles are the perfect option for him at this stage, they allow him to explore objects that are too small for him, safely.  We don't have plastic bottles in the house often, but we do have a lot of plastic baby food containers, the perfect size for little hands to grab.


I simply washed out the containers, added some odds and ends from around the house, and sealed them shut.  Brightly colored items are eye catching, and items that make noise when shaken are even more irresistible to a baby seeking new discoveries.  I used a hot glue gun to seal the lid on, and then wrapped clear packing tape around the whole box for added security.

Sensory box
Sensory box, #babies

There is so much investigating to do with sensory boxes...

Sensory Boxes

Tasting...


Looking, touching...


Knocking them down over and over...


And listening to the interesting sounds they make when shaken!


Did you know this investigating, this busy play, is really a simple experiment?  Sensory boxes, and other objects Devin comes in contact with are used over and over again to better understand his world. 

What is your baby's favorite thing to experiment with right now?

Like Little Moments Facebook Page to stay up to date on all our moments and more!

Thank you so much Heather! I have to start by saying Devin is SO cute! The pictures of him are darling. I love that this idea is frugal and reuses things we already have at home. I can't imagine how many of those baby food containers we went through. 

Here are some of my favorite posts from Little Moments to Embrace:

On Your Markers...Get Set...Go!
The Secret Box
Reptile Invasion

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Vicky
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Food Fun Friday - Applesauce Experiment - Guest Post from The Pleasantest Thing

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Please welcome Carolyn from The Pleasantest Thing who is here today to share an easy applesauce recipe that you can make with your kids. The bonus of this recipe is that it is also an experiment that will encourage kids to start thinking scientifically. There's so much to learn in the kitchen!


Homemade applesauce is one of my favorite fall treats. My kids, ages 4 1/2 and 1, also love fresh applesauce. My older son and I set up an experiment to see what happens when we boiled apples. Question:
I asked my son whether he thought the apples would mash better before we cooked them, or after we cooked them.
Set-up:
  • Apple chunks (I cut up 2 apples)
  • Measuring cup filled with water (we used about 3/4 cups)
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Pot
  • Masher
Test:
My son poured the apples and water into the pot, and then sprinkled as much cinnamon as he wanted into the pot. (note: it was a lot of cinnamon, so if that's not your thing, you may want to put some cinnamon on a measuring spoon). Then he tried mashing it.

I carried the pot over to the stove, and heated it until the water was mostly gone (Note: please make sure the kids stay well away from the hot pot!). Then I let the pot cool, and brought it back for round 2 of mashing.

My son mashed up the applesauce, and then we shared a delicious applesauce snack.


Observations: 
I asked my son which set of apples was easier to mash, and he responded that the apples that were cooked. I asked him why he thought that might be, and he said because cooking made them soft. He also commented that this was funny, because sometimes cooking makes things harder (like muffins). 
This was a fun way to involve my son in cooking, and work in a little science. It didn't take that much longer to have him help, and it was a fun way to connect over food.

Carolyn is the writer at The Pleasantest Thing blog, and a mom to two boys, ages 4 1/2 and 1. She believes play is critical to child development. Her blog focuses on learning and developing imagination through adventure, play, reading, and nature. You can also join in the fun by following her blog on Facebook or Pinterest.

Thank you so much Carolyn! I love how this simple experiment yielded yummy results and got your little one in the kitchen and cooking. Here are some of my favorite posts from The Pleasantest Thing.

Backyard Superhero - Missions and an Easy Cape
Watering an Alphabet Garden
Lego Learning

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Vicky
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Pumpkin Tie Dye Shirt - Guest Post from We-Made-That

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Today, Tracey from We-Made-That is here to share her idea for a cool pumpkin tie dyed shirt that you can make with your kids. There are lot of Halloween shirts in stores right now but I don't buy any for my kids because I don't want to spend a lot on a shirt they will only wear a few weeks. What I love about Tracey's shirts is that you can use a shirt you already have at home and include your kids in the creative process. That's a win-win in my book!

We Made That

Pumpkin Tie Dye Shirt


Can you believe that I have never tie dyed a shirt before?  It was always something I wanted to do but just never got around to it.  Then I finally decided to give it a shot and was going to do a heart tie dye pattern, when I thought hey it is Halloween why not try to do a pumpkin.  I mean if you can tie dye a heart shape why not a pumpkin right?  And I have to say I really LOVE how it turned out.  And my daughter is super proud of her creation!

I did learn a few things though; the shirt above is actually our 2nd shirt.  Our first one had a LOT more white on it.  You really need to soak the shirt with the dye because it is hard to get it in all the nooks and crannies and the more dye you apply, the more likely the color will soak through.

Another great tie dye tip we learned is not to worry so much about the dye mixture. The dye packs say it makes 3 gallons but you do not need to make that much.  Just boil water, pour the water in your squirt bottle then add dye till you are happy with the color.

The most important thing to remember when doing tie dye is that it is pretty hard to mess it up.  The first shirt we did, even though it has a lot more white, I still like how it came out and think it is pretty cool.  So don’t worry if your colors bleed between the rubber bands (because they will), no matter what happens to the shirt you will end up with an original piece of art that you and your kids can be proud of.

Supplies
White shirt
Washable Marker
Orange Rit Dye
Black Rit Dye
2 Plastic Squeeze bottles
Rubber Bands
Rubber Gloves
Brown Fabric Paint
Yellow Glow in the Dark Fabric Paint

Directions

The easiest way to mix your dye is to boil water and pour it in to your squeeze bottles.  Add some of your powered dye to the bottle.  I did not measure; I just poured it in till I liked the color.  Let the dye sit in the bottles to dissolve while you get your shirt ready.

Start with a washed slightly damp white shirt.  Fold it in half length wise.



Draw a half pumpkin shape on the crease of the shirt with your washable marker.  (If you cannot free hand it, then you can print out a good picture from doing a Google search for pumpkins, that way you can get the exact shape you want!).


Start pinching the shirt on the line you just drew.  You want to follow the link all the way around and keep the line straight while doing it. (Feel free to move the rest of the shirt around to make it easy for you).


Once done make sure your line is straight then rubber band the shirt starting with that line (this will be your pumpkin when done).


                                 

Color your shirt starting with orange then black and keep switching off with each rubber banded section.

Leave your shirt somewhere to dry for about 4 to 24 hours (We did one at 4 hours and one at 7, the colors were much brighter on the one we left for 7 hours).



When you have left your shirt to dry long enough, rinse it off under cold water then remove the rubber bands. (The shirt on the left is our first one, a little too much white)



Let the shirt dry then put your shirt over a board or place a sheet of paper inside so the paint does not go  through to the other side then trace your pumpkin face and stem (if you choose to) onto the center orange section using a washable marker or pencil.


 

Paint in the face and stem using your brown and glow in the dark yellow paint.  Leave lying flat for at least 24 hours to dry.  You should wait another 24 hours before you wash the shirt.



Once washed and dried, wear your shirt and impress all your friends with how talented you are for making a Jack O Lantern Tie Dyed Shirt!


And if you choose to use the glow in the dark paint like we did then when you go out at night your Jack O Lantern will really GLOW!

Thank you to Tracey for this wonderful idea. I would have never thought about making it glow but it certainly takes the shirt to another level. This would be fun for parents to wear as they accompany their kids trick or treating. 

Here are some of my favorite posts from We-Made-That:


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Vicky
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