Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Craft with me 1, 2, 3.....Happy Easter

Last weekend Tinkerbell had an overnight at Baba's house (Baba is short for "Babička" which is Czech for grandma) and boy does Baba love her crafts.  Baking crafts, that is.  Luckily for Tinkerbell Baba fills in the gap that I leave in Gracie's crafting life- I am not a baker!  Together Baba and I might get mistaken for Martha Stewart.  Minus the rap sheet.  And the millions of dollars.  But I digress.

Here are some pics of some of the fun things Tinkerbell excitedly showed me when she got home from Baba's house.  Cute stuff- no tutorial, but thought I would share a couple of their final creations.  Perhaps it will inspire if not guide!

 I loved this fun pot 'o flowers.  They made and decorated sugar cookies, stuck them with kabob sticks and placed them into foam in the pot.  Tinkerbell also got to decorate the flower pot and cover the foam with "grass"

Showing off her work!

Scotcheroos on a Stick....YUM (my weakness!  I hold Baba almost wholly responsible for the many months that it took me to lose my baby weight!!!)

A closer look at some of the bunnies

Thanks Baba for the fun "guest post" :)

And a side story about my little Tinkerbell while I'm on the subject of Easter.....we have been trying to be intentional about the way we talk about Easter to make sure she understands what it is we're celebrating.  This morning in the car I heard her explaining to the Bear who Jesus is, that he died on the cross for our sins so we could go to heaven, and how he came alive again on Easter morning.  She said that everyone was so happy that he was alive and that he was the son of God and that is why we say "Happy Easter!"  It was so fun to hear her telling her baby sister about Jesus (and for the record- she came up with that "Happy Easter" theory on her own!) It was one of those times that I wished I had a hidden camera recording the whole moment.  My little evangelist. 

So- a very Happy Easter to you all!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Craft with me 1, 2, 3.....The Very Hungry Caterpillar

* I wrote this post yesterday but didn't publish until today after uploading a picture of our finished product :)

A couple of weeks ago I got a BabyCenter email with an idea for an egg carton caterpillar craft and Tinkerbell happened to be within computer-viewing distance and her hawk eyes immediately caught it.  So after days of patiently waiting for the eggs in our refrigerator to disappear (ok- sometimes not so patiently), she pounced on the empty egg carton this Saturday morning after B.R. made breakfast for the fam.  I thought I'd try to make it more of a "lesson" and we pulled out Eric Carle's classic "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" to read as inspiration before we started.

No step by step photos but here is what we did.

Caterpillar materials:
-Cardboard egg carton
-Paint & paint brushes (today I used normal acryllic paint and added some dish soap to it but only because I was out of Crayola's washable kids paint, which I love!)
-pipe cleaners
-googly eyes
-mini pom pom balls

About ten minutes into painting, Tinkerbell decided that we should not only make caterpillars, but we probably needed to make a butterfly and a cocoon as well.

Additional butterfly materials:
-Toilet paper rolls
-thick paper or thin cardboard (I dug a shoebox out of the recycling bin)
-Sequins, glitter, stickers, etc

I put Tinkerbell to work with painting her caterpillars (one "6 eggs long" and two "3 eggs long") then after the butterfly request, I got to work prepping that.  I found an empty toilet paper roll and used it to figure out what size wings to make with the shoebox.  Cut the wings out, then "sawed" two slits in the toilet paper roll with a serrated knife (for some reason this was easier than scissors...) for the wings to eventually stick in.  After the caterpillars were painted, next up were the butterfly wings.  She suddenly exclaimed that we needed to make a cocoon for the caterpillar (and that is what the attractive brown egg carton lid in the picture is supposed to be...)  While Tinkerbell painted that, I decided I could easily make a little lady bug and since Tinkerbell is game for anything that involves paint, it seemed like a good way to extend the fun.  I just cut one small paper plate in half for the wings and had her paint those red with black spots, and she painted another plate black for the body. 

We took a snack break while the paint dried and read The Hungry Caterpillar one more time.  Then we got to work on getting the details on our creatures.  Tinkerbell was in charge of the butterfly and I was in charge of the other bugs, and even B.R. came in and worked on the yellow caterpillar (and Tinkerbell got a huge kick out of the fact that her daddy couldn't get the eyes to stay attached without my help.)

We had lots of fun with this craft- Tinkerbell loves anything that involves paint- and I felt like I earned my mom points for the day with the pre-project book research :)  Later this afternoon I was browsing through some "Mom Blogs" and learned that coincidentally today is in fact the 41st anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar (enter Twilight Zone music!)  How weird is that??

Thanks Allie at No Time for Flashcards for Eric Carle info.  And a side note: there are SO many good ideas on Allie's blog- it is busting at the seams with good stuff- definitely worth checking out if you are a mom of little ones (Kandinsky-inspired preschool art, anyone??)  It is amazing how quickly one can feel inadequate as a mom when clicking link after link to Mom Blogs from around the world.......ahhhhh, I have so much to aspire to.  Apparently there are higher standards than reading a few library books to your kids and toasting yourself for a good day......but nevermind......where's the wine??

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Craft with me 1, 2, 3.....Celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday!

Monday morning Tinkerbell and I were reading the Dr. Seuss classic "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" and later I heard on the radio that this week would have been his 106th birthday.  Tinkerbell was asking to do a new craft so I decided to throw something together to honor the great Dr. Seuss.

This craft started with what I realized retrospectively were some lofty goals.  My idea was to draw, cut out, and paint "fish bowls" and then use an apple to make prints of fish on the fish bowls.  Easier said than done. 

Before the girls did anything, I got the apple ready:
(This took some creative knife work as it was a really good apple and I wanted us to be able to eat as much of it as possible :)

Then I gathered some supplies.  I like Crayola's washable kid paint...it seriously washes out of clothes, off hands, tables, etc, without much effort.

Next I drew a fishbowl on some construction paper and Tinkerbell was happy to work on her skillz and cut out her own; I of course did the cutting for the Bear's.  Then we painted the fish bowls blue.

Yes, Tinkerbell's fish bowl was made out of blue paper, and she still needed to paint it blue.  Because painting is fun.

This is where my organized craft activity took a turn toward chaos.

The Bear finished painting her fishbowl and we moved onto the apple printing portion of the program.  I dipped the apple in red paint and showed the Bear how it worked, then turned to help Tinkerbell get the last of the blue paint out of the jar.  As I was explaining to Tinkerbell the trick to scraping the bottom of the jar with her paintbrush in an effort to not waste any last drop of paint that might be remaining, she suddenly yelled


Before I had time to react, Buddy-the-friendly-dog, who until then was napping quietly under Tinkerbell's bench, startled and jumped up, hitting his head on the bench and tipping it enough to now startle Tinkerbell enough to fall off the bench with blue-paint-covered paintbrush in hand.  (Blue paint scattered about the kitchen but- referring back to previous Crayola plug- I was not worried about the damage this might cause.)  Tinkerbell is now screaming on the floor and in tears- due in part to the fall itself and in part due to worry over being in trouble about the splattered paint, and the Bear is in her chair, paint-dipped apple fish in hand, paint-dipped apple fish TAIL in mouth, and bright red evidence spread all over her mouth and chin as she laughs at the scene that has quickly unfolded around her.  You may be curious about the order of operations that took place next, so I'll just say that the phrase "non-toxic paint" flashed through my head and I decided to help Tinkerbell off the floor before I fished the contaminated apple out of the Bear's mouth (pun intended).  Ahhhhh, such is life.  The most unfortunate part of this story is that I did not think to take a few seconds to snap a few pictures of the chaos to share with my beloved R&P readers (all four of you).

BUT- after the little bump in the road, there was still a Dr. Seuss craft to complete.  We considered having tail-less fish but Tinkerbell didn't love the idea (because fish have to have tails, mom, or they can't swim), and we considered starting fresh with a new apple but I didn't love the idea (because, quite frankly, they were organic and expensive, only 2 left, and 2 days before next planned grocery trip!) so we settled with a much less exciting option B of making construction paper fish.  Tinkerbell got on board when I pointed out that she would get to use scissors and glue (and after I promised that she could fly solo on this without any interruption from me.)

So here is the Bear's first fish bowl, and the only evidence of the apple print:

And the Bear's fish bowl #2 (I let her paint another fishbowl while Tinkerbell went to work with her scissors and glue) with fish contribution from mom.

And Tinkerbell's finished product.

This craft was a good lesson for me, and a reminder that I have an 18 month old whom I am attempting to include in these projects.  Goal for next time: come up with crafts that are similar in nature but appropriate to different age levels.  Hmm...

Anyway, happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Linked to:
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