Thursday, August 30, 2012

We Had Plenty of Fun Today!

I decided last night to do a treasure hunt with my toddler. I had bought chocolate gold coins a week or so ago and they were just sitting in a bag, waiting to be used. This seemed like the perfect opportunity!

So, while the kids we sleeping, I stained paper with cold tea bags and then came up with my clues. This being a pirate treasure hunt the clues had to rhyme!

Once the clues were written I tore the edges of the paper and then burned them with a lighter. All was going well...until I lit one piece, thought I blew it out...and had a mini fire on my hands! The page burned a little more than I intended, but that's OK. I also forgot to add a word or two here and there; so, it's a good thing my toddler can't read.

I hid the clues this morning while Daddy Bee occupied the kids. And then we were off to look for treasure! Let me tell you, if there is one way to excite a toddler it's to let them dig in some dirt to find a box of candy.

Treasure! I threw in some jewellery to make it a little more exciting, too.

I took a granola bar box and turned it into
a treasure chest for our gold!
Simply paint it brown, add some
gold-painted strips and a keyhole...simple!

The Clues:


We played some balloon badminton! I don't have a picture of this one because I was a little busy dodging flying balloons and my toddler whacking me with his "paddle". But, you simple blow up a balloon, hot glue some popsicle sticks to paper plates and get to whacking!

After that we....

Made rain sticks! Typically, this is made with a long tube but I didn't have any that were thick enough, so we used a plastic tube that used to hold disinfecting cloths. We tapped long nails into it with a hammer and then decorated the outside with tissue paper, stickers, paint, and glitter. Then, we filled it with rice and elbow macaroni. I think this would have worked a bit better with a longer tube, but it still makes a nice sound!

What Else We Did:

-We revisited our love of baking soda and vinegar volcanoes (this is a favourite in our house and guaranteed to keep Toddler Bee happy)
-We played "dragon" where we chased each other around roaring like a dragon
-We did dishes! Did you know dishes can be a learning experience? Toddler Bee stands on a chair at the sink (beside me) and I ask him the colours of the dishes, if they're big or small, will they sink or float, etc. 
-And other boring things like sorting out clothes and cleaning bedroom. Hey, the fun stuff can't happen if the house is a mess, right?

Here's to it being almost the weekend!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Acrylic Paint Tie-Dye

A few weeks ago we were visiting with some family and I decided it was the perfect opportunity to try out acrylic paint tie-dying. It seemed simple, which is always a plus when working with young kids. It also seemed less messy than regular tie-dying, which is also a plus when working with kids.

All You Need:

A white shirt
Elastic bands
Acrylic paints and spray bottles (we used squeeze bottles)

What You Do:

In your bottles, mix you paint in your water until there are no chunks left. The more paint the darker the colours will be.

Wet your shirts and then squeeze most of the water out of it.

Tie your shirts whatever way you want to get whatever kind of pattern you want, securing with elastic bands. We found that the best way was the traditional spiral-style, which gave better coverage and design. (Spiral tying:

Then, let your kids spray or squirt their shirts with the paint!

We left ours to dry tied up for a bit, but we became impatient and unfurled them to let them dry on a clothes line.

These seem to be holding up well, even with washing, and if it does fade it's OK because it's easy and cheap enough to be done again!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Let's Talk About What We Did Today!

A day that started out gloomy and cold soon turned to a morning and afternoon spent inside while rain pelted the windows and thunder clapped in the sky. Meanwhile, my toddler was plunked in front of the TV watching a movie while I downed a coffee and tried to pry my eyes all the way open.

Side note: Why is it that when the baby wakes the entire house super early in the A.M. she then falls asleep almost as soon as everyone is downstairs??

I didn't want the kiddos to be sitting in front of the TV all day and because of the thunder and lightning a puddle jumping walk was out of the question. So, I reached into my bag of tricks (aka Pinterest) and planned a fun-filled afternoon! By the time the rain stopped we were having so much fun that we continued our indoor play. I was even able to get some cleaning done while the kids sat at the table focused on their projects!

1. Homemade ice cream. We made this last week and it was such a hit we decided to do it again. The first time, we tried the shaking ziploc bag thing...that didn't really work out for us. We ended up with a hole in the bag and salty ice cream....This time, I added some half and half to a container, a splash of vanilla extract, and some sugar (to taste). Then, I just stuck it in the freezer, shook it every so often...and then forgot about it and went to bed. When I woke up this morning it was rock hard, so I put it in the fridge and in no time it was smooth and delicious. YUM!

2. Oobleck. Amazing. We had so much fun with this. I remember doing this when I was a kid and it has not lost any of its appeal! We did 1 cup of corn starch and 1/2 cup warm water with green food colouring in it. We sat and played with this for over an hour. I'm not sure who had more fun with this one. We even added different colours to make marbled oobleck!

3. Baking soda and vinegar volcanoes. My toddler loves this one and made me redo this multiple times in different colours.

4. Ice cube painting. Simply mix acrylic paint with water, freeze, and paint. It gets a little messy. We then used remaining ice cubes in a tub of water to watch the colours swirl as they melted.

5. Coloured pasta. My toddler ate some for lunch and then I gave it to him and the baby for some sensory play. Sure, there was pasta flung around my dining room, in my hair, and in the baby's ear....but you should have heard the giggles!

6. Rain clouds. Since it was a rainy day I decided to try to explain rain clouds to the toddler. You take a glass of water, top it with shaving foam, and a little puddle of blue food colouring. I made a little divot for the food colouring to help it sink into the foam.

7. The Arctic Ocean. Did you know that blue food colouring, some ice cubes, and shaving foam make the Arctic ocean? Well they do! I used my Beaba silicone baby food container to make the ice cubes, which we dubbed icebergs. For this one, I just used the leftover water/shaving foam from our cloud demonstration. Later, we added in hot water to show that hot would melt our icebergs.

Arctic explorers! 

All of these were crafts/projects that didn't take a lot of time or prep and used materials that we had on hand. It was a great way to beat the rainy day blues...and make a mess!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Splat Painting Room Art

On our summer bucket list was to do splat paintings on canvas. I decided that this would add a nice touch to our son's room and there had been a Dr. Seuss quote that I'd been wanting to hang in his room anyway. This was like killing two birds with one stone (not that I would ever kill birds with stones...)

So, we headed onto the patio with our paints, a paper plate, a brush, a piece of cardboard, newspaper and a canvas from the dollarstore.

I put the newspaper under the canvas so we didn't get the stones covered in paint.

Then, we placed our chosen paint colours on a paper plate and I gave my toddler a brush while I held the piece of cardboard and showed his how to hit his brush against it to get it to splat on the canvas. We then tried just flicking the paint covered brush at the canvas for bigger blobs. Of course, if there is paint at the ready my toddler can't resist sticking his little fingers in it and doing some hands-on work. So, there was some finger painting involved, too.

That was set aside to dry and in the meantime I printed off the quote I wanted to use:

The more that you read,
The more things you'll know.
The more you learn,
The more places you'll go!

Then, I thought to myself, "How the heck am I going to get the words onto the canvas?" I didn't want to spend potential hours using an exacto knife to cut each one out; I didn't want to try to make a stencil and I didn't want to just glue the entire thing on.

Then, inspiration struck.

I taped the piece of paper with the quote onto the back of the canvas and used the flashlight app on my phone to shine the light through the canvas (from behind). By pressing down a little on the canvas the words came through clear and I was able to trace it in Sharpie and then in black paint.

Tip: If your smallest paint brush is still too big
 to cleanly paint your letters simple wrap some
 masking tape around the bristles to make it tighter/smaller.

The print is a little smaller than I had intended it to be, but that just means more of my son's artwork is visible!

I used a lazy simple way of hanging it by using two push-ins in the wall. It is now hanging by the reading chair in his bedroom with enough room underneath for another picture (undecided at the moment).

I love the way it turned out and I adore the quote!