One mans trash is a little girls treasure. One day while were shopping Sophia found some garbage on the store floor and managed to talk me into bringing it home. She convinced me that she was going to create art with it. It took a lot of convincing on her part because seriously what mom really wants their child picking up garbage that she finds and sticking it in your pocket. But I agreed and I checked the things over she wanted to grab before she grabbed things off the floor.
That first day she came home with a ribbon, rubber band, a piece of a fake flower and a part of a zipper.
She asked for glue and markers and she was off creating garbage art 🙂
Since then she has been collecting all kinds of things to make pictures with: rocks, dead plants, sand, sequins, sticks, wire fencing, etc.
Creating this type of art work is all about the process and I’ve been happy to have her to explore different textures and things. She even insisted on gluing sprinkles on one of her pictures she made for one of her friends at school 🙂
I just don’t know how to physically keep and store any of these creations 😉 Good thing I can take pictures and save them digitally at least.
I discovered this Pocahontas sand art set the other day. I’ve never seen any sand art sticker boards before so I was a little dubious of the stickiness of the board. I’ve done color and paint by numbers before and this looked fun like them so we decided to give it a shot. This is definitely a parent-toddler-together project.
The Pocahontas set came with 4 5×7 pictures. Sophia chose the one of Meeko to do first.
In the instructions it says you can peel one section at a time and sand it or peel all of the same number to do them all at once. We went with the later option for all except the large blue area we uncovered one side at a time. I got the bigger stickers a little pulled up and then Sophia peeled them off. The small stickers I peeled off.
First you have to match up the sand colors to the color guide with the kit. I would recommend having several edged cookie sheets to work on top of. We poured the sand we were working with in to a cup and used a small spoon to scoop and pour on to the spot we were working on.
TIP: While working we discovered a bit later that the easiest way is to have a piece of paper underneath your project because some sand will go over the edges of the project. It’s easier to funnel the sand off the paper into the cup vs trying to do the same with the cookie sheet.
Instructions say touching the sticky glue with your hands will make it less sticky so we tried hard not to accidentally stick our fingers in them. This is why I did the biggest part (blue) in two sections (you can see in the picture below that the left half of sky is still stickered).
TIP: It’s easier to push the sand to the edges of the picture than try to pour the sand on the edge.
It’s ok to overlap the sand colors once one color is done
This set came with small bags to put the opened sand in when you move to the next color. To pour the sand in the little bags Sophia held them open and I used a piece of paper folded twice as a funnel to guide the sand from the cup into the bag.
We had so much fun doing this project together! We can’t wait to find the time to do the next one. I’m very pleased as to how this turned out the board was perfectly sticky. We framed it so we can enjoy it for a long time (and since it’s behind glass I don’t have to worry about sand falling off from Sophia touching it all the time).
I don’t know about you guys but I’m always on the lookout for awesome books about color. I love vivid brilliant colors and beautiful pictures. You can never have too many colors books(… or books of any kind actually 😉 ).
Here are my top 5 favorites I’ve found for a range of ages from baby to elementary school. I’m not an Usborne consultant (in case you wondered.) I just really love a lot of their large fantastic variety of non-fiction books (which I have had a really hard time finding for my non-fiction lover before I found Usborne) as well as their fiction ones too.
First up is the Usborne Baby’s Very First Touchy-feely Colors Play Book. I love this one so much for many reasons.
I love that there are a bunch of things to feel and do. There are cut outs, textures, finger trails and flaps to play with. I love the vibrant colors and illustrations on each of the pages. This book is age rated for nine months and up. This book and other play books similar to this for sale here https://t4783.myubam.com/252093.
Second, is a book by DK publishing called My First Colors let’s learn them all.
This book features bright vibrant colors and real pictures of objects. This is a fantastic vocabulary building book for toddlers.
I love that this book goes beyond the typical colors and has silver, gold, and multi colored included.
It’s a sturdy board book that will hold up well. It has tabbed corners that are great for little fingers finding their favorite pages. This book is available through Target.com as well as Amazon.com
Third, is Usborne’s The Usborne Big Book of Colors. I think this is fantastic for older kids that have mastered the basic colors.
I absolutely LOVE that this book goes into shades of colors, naming them like magenta, turquoise, lime green, saffron, etc so it has tons of fabulous new vocabulary.
This one is recommended for age 2 and up. The pages are thinner board, so still sturdy yet slightly flexible.
Two special features this book has are a color wheel you can spin (not super sturdy, pictured in the first picture of this book above) and an acetate page where you can see color mixing (shown below).
I love that this book shows color mixing as well as moods and meanings of colors. Plus each color page has fun facts too. This book is available here https://t4783.myubam.com/252093
Fourth up is Usborne Lift the Flap Colors.
It is recommended for age 4 and up, however I think it would be fabulous for younger kids as well for building vocabulary, learning counting, and small motor skills with the flaps. The games and activities of this book are geared for pre-k.
I think this is a great early reader book. Flap books are very engaging and create a hands on learning experience which promotes decision making and critical thinking skills. This book is available here https://t4783.myubam.com/252093
Last up, is The Usborne Art Book about Color.
This book is rated for age 8+. It begins with a history of how paint has developed.
It then goes on to explain how colors are used to achieve desired effects. Then finishes with how our eyes actually see color. I love all the art in this book. I only took pictures of some of the pages (it has 48). This book is available here https://t4783.myubam.com/252093
For a while I’d been wanting to make the snowflake puffy paint window clings that I’m sure a lot of you have seen. Sophia and I tried those out as instructed on wax paper. I’m not sure if the paint or the wax paper wasn’t good enough quality but they stuck to it badly. I figured we’d give the window clings another shot and try it out on a plastic Ziploc bag. I decided to change it up and we made some monsters instead. I love them and Sophia absolutely loves making them! There’s no guidelines to follow just mixing paint as we pleased. Way more room for creativity and exploration just perfect for a toddler.
What you will need:
Puffy fabric paint
Coffee stir sticks (or some other “stick”, long tooth pick would do as well)
Gallon size Ziploc bag
Wet wipes (for clean up)
Set up: I first cut the Ziploc bag completely open (on three sides) so it opens up and lines the cooking sheet.
I had Sophia put on her painting smock because it is after all paint for fabric. I felt it to better be safe than sorry.
Make a pile of paint, mix and spread it out with your “stick” and place eyes on.
As always I recommend having wet wipes nearby for when you get paint on your hands.
First I demonstrated one to Sophia on how to mix the paint by swirling with the mini straw. And sticking googlie eyes on after I was happy with my paints.
And off she went. Mixing paints and adding googlie eyes as the pleased 🙂
The dry time is pretty long with it being on a plastic bag. It’ll dry to the touch within a few hours however under the googlie eyes it will still remain wet for a lot longer. I let them dry out three days. You can check on the back side by pushing at the paint under the eyes, if you feel paint move give them more time.
Once you’re certain they are dry you can peel them off. Gently using your fingernail peel the edge up. Once you get the first little bit up they peel off really easily. They are ready to stick on your window.
The rest of the pictures I took at night so you could see them better.
This one reminds me of Anger from Inside Out movie 🙂
I’ve been wanting to do something festive for the fall season. Originally I was thinking that we could make the pumpkins in to Jack-O-Lanterns by cutting faces on them, but then decided against it since Sophia’s scissor skills aren’t up to that task yet.
What you will need:
Liquid watercolors (can be replaced with food coloring)
Cups for your watercolors
Pipettes (you can get ones from your pharmacy)
Wet wipes (for clean up)
Oven (not necessary)
Set up: Place a cling wrap on your baking sheet.
I chose to use red, orange, yellow, and brown liquid watercolors for our pumpkins. For each of the colors in a cup I put about a 1/4 inch of water and added a bit of the watercolor in.
First I sketched a pumpkin shape in pencil on to a filter that I wanted to use as a template. Cut out several filter pumpkins at the same time to with the template until you have cut out as many as you want to make. Place pumpkins on top of the cling wrap on the baking sheets. I put 2 pumpkins on top of each other (one pile had 3, we made sure to put extra paint on that one) since I only had 2 baking sheets to use and didn’t want to try to transfer wet filters.
I found these spill proof paint cups on Walmart.com and I’m happy to say they worked great. I love that they come with lids so you can store paint in them as well.
Let your child explore and mix colors to their hearts content.
The colors will be more vibrant when wet. You want to make sure there is plenty of paint on the filters unless you are looking to have very muted colors.
I placed the pumpkins in the oven to dry, with just the oven light turned on for a small source of heat. I wanted the end results to be as vibrant in color as possible, so I wanted all the paint to dry on to the coffee filters. It took about 5 hours for the hearts to fully dry.
TIP: You can remove the pumpkins off the cookie sheets and set to dry on a dry surface. Note that the colors will not be as bright if you do this though.
Once the filters have dried you can tape them on to a window and the sun will light them up beautifully.
I’ve been wanting to do a stamping project with Sophia for a while but I didn’t have many stamps and I know they can get expensive fast. However, yesterday I scored a ton of stamps off of a garage sale app for only $10 for it all.
Luckily I had bought an ink pad at my last outing to Hobby Lobby, so we got right into to stamping first thing this morning.
What you will need:
White card stock
Stamps of your liking
Wet wipes (for easy cleaning)
I picked out several stamps I thought Sophia would like to stamp with. I found a pink ink pad that had come in an art kit Sophia had received as a Christmas present. The purple on is the new one I got on sale. We folded the card stock in half.
TIP: Test the ink pads before hand. I should have tested pink one but we found out it was a bit dried out so it wasn’t really working well.
It took her a little bit to get the hang of the process. She wanted to just keep stamping with out grabbing more ink on it in between.
I told her to push the stamp all the way down since she was only pushing half the stamp, so then she pushed on it with all her might 🙂
TIP: Have the wet wipes with in easy reach for wiping off ink from little fingers 🙂
After the first card was all stamped up, Sophia wanted to make another one.
Finished cards 🙂
This is a great activity for exploring new vocabulary, a new multi-step process, listening skills and learning to follow instructions.
Depending on the stamps you use, these can be modified for any occasion or holiday. Very quick easy fun to make.
After the first mold was all done to her liking we moved on to the next.
TIP: In case of glitter spills, wet wipes and also play doh are great fast ways of picking up the strays
Once she was satisfied with all the glitter and sequins in the mold. We mixed up a batch of plaster. I didn’t think we would need a full one pound (It comes in one pound bags in the box), so we mixed first a half a pound and halved the recipe on the box.
TIP: Instead of using a bucket and a stick as the instructions on the box say, use a gallon ziplock bag to mix in. Sophia demonstrates how to mix in the bag below.
Once mixed just cut a small hole in one corner of the bag and pour it on the molds. I found that we were a little shy so we made another 4 oz (with the recipe quartered for water amount).
We were left with 1/4 pound of unused plaster.
I did remove the ornaments out of the molds after they had set for about an hour, so they would dry better. In the process I did break two of the Moomin Trolls arms off. But glue them back on once they dried with mod podge.
After the ornaments were dry I took a larger paintbrush and mod podged the tops and sides of them to seal in the glitter and sequins. I set them to dry on a sheet of tinfoil.
Sophia was happy to cut up all the ribbon pieces we needed. I hot glued them on. You have to let the glue cool before touching it or they do peel off pretty easy when wet yet.
The recommended age for perler beads are 6+ according to the packages you buy at the store. However, I feel that in a supervised setting toddlers can benefit greatly from practicing with them. It is great for fine motor, hand eye coordination, concentration, and following directions. Also, it provides for great talks about color, patterns and provides opportunities for learning new vocabulary.
We did this fish together as she wouldn’t have the patience to do one by herself.
I would recommend to do this in a tray of some sort as the beads do roll away easily. We love doing projects like these in her highchair 🙂
She’d knock some over and I would just comment about it being OK and I’d knock some over too. I felt that this is a good way to show her that it’s not bad and not to get frustrated when some fall over.
She learned a great technique of flipping the fallen ones back up on to the pegs all by herself by just experimenting. (I was working on the tail, the rest were hers.)
I didn’t let Sophia assist in the ironing process, since she had just spent a lot of time concentrating on the project. I felt that her attention span would be too short to be safe for her work with the hot iron.