Sand Art Sticker Boards

Sand art board all done
Sand art board all done

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.

Pocahontas sand art
Pocahontas sand art

The Pocahontas set came with 4 5×7 pictures. Sophia chose the one of Meeko to do first.

pocahontas sand art

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.

Peeling off the stickers
Peeling off the stickers

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.

Scooping little sand at a time
Scooping little sand at a time
Working on getting the sand in the sticker parts
Working on getting the sand in the sticker parts
First color done!
First color done!

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).

On to the blue
On to the blue

TIP: It’s easier to push the sand to the edges of the picture than try to pour the sand on the edge.

Spreading the blue
Spreading the blue

It’s ok to overlap the sand colors once one color is done

Gray sand placed on
Gray sand placed on
After shaking off the excess
After shaking off the excess

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.

Meeko sand art board finished
Meeko sand art board finished

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).

Practice Writing Sheets

Name Practice Writing Sheets
Name Practice Writing Sheets

Sophia started school this week. Some of the other kids in her class already knew how to write their names really well (like better handwriting than me). So I started looking for practice sheets for Sophia so she can start writing her name on her projects she does. I found these perfect ones here: http://tools.atozteacherstuff.com/printable-handwriting-practice-worksheet-maker/

You can chose the font and write whatever you want.

You can even laminate it and use dry erase markers for infinite use πŸ™‚

Color Books Recommended (baby to elementary school)

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 πŸ˜‰ ).

My favorite colors books from 9 months to 8+
My favorite colors books from 9 months to 8+ years

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.

Usborne Baby's very first touchy-feely Colors Play book
Usborne Baby’s very first touchy-feely Colors Play book

First up is the Usborne Baby’s Very First Touchy-feely Colors Play Book. I love this one so much for many reasons.

Usborne Baby's very first touchy-feely Colors Play book
Usborne Baby’s very first touchy-feely Colors Play book

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.

Usborne Baby's very first touchy-feely Colors Play book
Usborne Baby’s very first touchy-feely Colors Play book

Second, is a book by DK publishing called My First Colors let’s learn them all.

My First Colors Let's learn them all!
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.

My First Colors Let's learn them all!
My First Colors Let’s learn them all!

I love that this book goes beyond the typical colors and has silver, gold, and multi colored included.

My First Colors Let's learn them all!
My First Colors Let’s learn them all!

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

My First Colors Let's learn them all!
My First Colors Let’s learn them all!
The Usborne Big Book of Colors
The Usborne Big Book of Colors

Third, is Usborne’s The Usborne Big Book of Colors. I think this is fantastic for older kids that have mastered the basic colors.

The Usborne Big Book of Colors
The Usborne Big Book of 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.

The Usborne Big Book of Colors
The Usborne Big Book of Colors

This one is recommended for age 2 and up. The pages are thinner board, so still sturdy yet slightly flexible.

The Usborne Big Book of Colors
The Usborne Big Book of Colors

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

The Usborne Big Book of Colors
The Usborne Big Book of Colors

Fourth up is Usborne Lift the Flap Colors.

Usborne Lift-the-flap Colors
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.

Usborne Lift-the-flap Colors
Usborne Lift-the-flap Colors

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

Usborne Lift-the-flap Colors
Usborne Lift-the-flap Colors

Last up, is The Usborne Art Book about Color.

The Usborne Art Book about Color
The Usborne Art Book about Color

This book is rated for age 8+. It begins with a history of how paint has developed.

The Usborne Art Book about Color
The Usborne Art Book about Color

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

The Usborne Art Book about Color
The Usborne Art Book about Color

Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters

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.

Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters

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
  • Scissors
  • Wet wipes (for clean up)
  • Baking sheet
  • Googlie Eyes

Set up: I first cut the Ziploc bag completely open (on three sides) so it opens up and lines the cooking sheet.

Ready to Make Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Ready to Make Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters

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.

Pile of paint
Pile of paint

Make a pile of paint, mix and spread it out with your “stick” and place eyes on.

Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters

As always I recommend having wet wipes nearby for when you get paint on your hands.

Making the smiley face :)
Making the smiley face πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

Making Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Making Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Making Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Making Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters

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.

Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters

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.

Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters

The rest of the pictures I took at night so you could see them better.

Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters

This one reminds me of Anger from Inside Out movie πŸ™‚

Dinosaur matching game FREE (3 part Montessori cards)

I discovered this free print out for a dinosaur matching game, 3 part Montessori cards.

Matching the names
Matching the names

I personally love dinosaurs and was fascinated by them growing up. I wanted to introduce more dinosaurs to my daughter and this was perfect.

Fun new matching game!
Fun new matching game!

Sophia loves to do matching games and this has different options on what to match, which I love and so did she when I introduced this game to her this morning.

All I did was made a free log in for the website Teachers Pay Teachers, link for it here. Then after you log in you can print out the free ones or purchase ones if you wish. They have Spanish card sets as well for free.

I printed them, cut them out and “laminated” them in contact paper.

Matching the names
Matching the names

After a few times of playing by looking for a matching picture Sophia wanted me to ask her to find them by name only, and she would find the two matching pictures. She got most of them right with out me showing which dinosaur I called out.

She loved this game so much that I already have printed out a marsupial and a vegetable set also. I just need to cut and laminate them as well. There is a free template for the three part Montessori cards so you can make your own too if you wish.

Glittery Valentines Sun Catchers

I decided that with our painted doilies we would make glittery Valentines sun catchers.

Glittery hearts in the window
Glittery hearts in the window

What you will need:

  • Scissors
  • Black cardstock
  • Glitter
  • Contact paper
  • Pencil
  • Doilies of your liking
  • Wet wipes (for clean up)
  • Baking sheet

At first I was thinking we would glue the glitter to the frame but then we decided to put the glitter all over the contact paper instead.

Materials (we didn't end up using the glue stick)
Materials (we didn’t end up using the glue stick)

Cut out a suitable frame for your doilies.

TIP: If working with a toddler you may want have some extra space in the frame for placement of the doilies.

Sizing out the opening on the first frame
Sizing out the opening on the first frame

After you are satisfied with your frame, if you are making multiples like we were, use the cut out frame as a stencil and lightly trace it on to the remaining cardstock.

Once you have one frame sized to your liking, lightly trace it on the others with a pencil
Once you have one frame sized to your liking, lightly trace it on the others with a pencil

I chose to have the contact paper pieces not cover the whole frame. I wanted it about half way on the frame so I measured it out as shown below, leaving roughly two edges out.

Measuring out the contact paper
Measuring out the contact paper

The front piece of contact paper I wanted to be even smaller (as at this point I was still thinking of gluing glitter on the frame). I used one cut out piece and measured a slightly larger piece for it.

Measuring out the smaller piece of contact paper. I didn't want it to be much larger than the opening
Measuring out the smaller piece of contact paper. I didn’t want it to be much larger than the opening

Once you have all your cutting done place the larger piece over the opening, as shown below.

TIP: If you aren’t planning on doing anything to the frame it is easier to make them the same size for the front and back.

Place the contact paper over the opening
Place the contact paper over the opening
Ready to place hearts
Ready to place hearts

Let your little one place the hearts as they desire.

Hearts all set in their frames
Hearts all set in their frames

For glitter portion you want to place the frames in to a baking pan or tray of some sort to contain all the glitter.

Ready to glitter
Ready to glitter

Sophia wanted to show the kids how to glitter πŸ™‚ Video below

Glitter fun
Glitter fun

After glitter has been placed you will want to shake or (rub with a finger) the excess glitter around so they aren’t in big piles.

Place the smaller piece of contact paper over the top opening
Place the smaller piece of contact paper over the top opening

After you are done, place the remaining piece of contact paper over the top to seal it in.

Finished glitter hearts
Finished glitter hearts

It is ready to stand up on a window sill πŸ™‚

Primary color mixing experiment with coffee filter snowflakes and heart-flakes

I love the color wheel and love seeing what colors you get from mixing paints. This was the perfect project to let Sophia experience the wonder.

Finished snowflakes
Finished snowflakes

This is a project I’ve been dying to try out with the liquid watercolors… you can substitute food coloring or even cake watercolors (you would need paint brushes for this option).

What you will need:

  • Liquid watercolors/food coloring
  • Cups for your watercolors
  • Pipettes
  • Coffee filters
  • Scissors
  • Wet wipes (for clean up)
  • Baking sheet
  • Tinfoil
  • Oven (not necessary)
Heart-flakes and snowflakes cut out
Heart-flakes and snowflakes cut out

Flatten, fold and cut out your snowflakes to your liking from the coffee filters.

I cut out 3 filters on top of each other in the heart shape and 4 together on the snow flake. For painting them I placed them on the baking pan 2 on top of each other (I didn’t think Sophia would have the patience to repeat the process 7 times and 4 seemed just right). One of the heart ones was on the pan singly (for the math minded πŸ˜‰ )

Ready to experiment with primary colors
Ready to experiment with primary colors

I diluted the liquid watercolors quite a bit. I put about a 1/4 inch of water on the bottom of the cups and then added the paint to my liking.

Below is a time lapse video of Sophia having fun squirting and mixing the paints together.

So much fun mixing colors
So much fun mixing colors

All done with the first set.

Snowflakes ready to dry
Snowflakes ready to dry

The second set got more brown as she liked putting all the paint in one spot.

Heart-flakes ready to dry
Heart-flakes ready to dry
Drying in the oven with the light on for heat
Drying in the oven with the light on for heat

I placed them 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 snowflakes 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.

The colors dry a lot lighter
The colors dry a lot lighter

It’s crazy how much less vibrant the colors are after they dry.

TIP: If you want to get some of the wrinkles out, place them in side a book. Each snowflake on their own separate page and then place a weight (or more books on top). Let sit over night.

Love how these snowflakes turned out
Love how these snowflakes turned out

Once dry they are ready to tape to your windows.

My favorite one
My favorite one
Snowflake and heart-flake in the window
Snowflake and heart-flake in the window

Liquid watercolor doilies

Red hearts ready to dry
Red hearts ready to dry

I received liquid watercolors for Christmas and have had this project in mind ever since. I’m so glad we finally got to try them out and it was an instant hit πŸ™‚

Finished hearts
Finished hearts

What you will need:

  • Liquid watercolors
  • Cups for your watercolors
  • Pipettes
  • Doilies of your liking
  • Wet wipes (for clean up)
  • Baking sheet
  • Cling wrap
  • Oven (not necessary)

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.

materials
Materials

Set up: Place a cling wrap on your baking sheet.

I chose to use red liquid watercolor for our first batch. In one cup I put about a 1/4 inch of water and added a bit of the watercolor in. The second cup I poured undiluted watercolor in (as you can see above, in a lot smaller quantity).

Too excited to start
Too excited to start

Separate the doilies so you only have one in each spot. Our pan fit six nicely.

Got the doilies separated
Got the doilies separated

I let her have one of the paint cups at a time. It fits nicely on the baking sheet to help keep mess down. I had her do the diluted one first since it is easier for her to get the paint in the pipette by herself.

So exciting to squirt paint :)
So exciting to squirt paint πŸ™‚
Mid squirt
Mid squirt

After she got done with the diluted version of paint I let her have the undiluted cup. With that she asked me to help her a few times to fill it up.

Red hearts ready to dry
Red hearts ready to dry

It’s ok if the hearts have white spots on them. There is plenty of paint underneath the doilies that will soak up in to them.

Admiring her hearts
Admiring her hearts
Blue hearts
Blue hearts

We repeated the process with the blue liquid watercolor.

Already a pro
Already a pro
Mid squirt
Mid squirt
Blue hearts ready to dry
Blue hearts ready to dry

You can see the darker blue spots in the picture above (the undiluted paint)

Ready to dry
Ready to dry

After sitting out for a while you can see the doilies absorbed the paint underneath them.

I placed the hearts to dry in the oven
I placed the hearts to dry in the oven

I placed the hearts 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 doilies. It took about 5 hours for the hearts to fully dry.

TIP: You can remove the doilies 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.

Finished hearts
Finished hearts

You will notice the color variations on all the hearts. I love how they turned out πŸ™‚

TIP: After you are done and cleaning up you can put your undiluted paints back in the original container. I saved the 2Β  diluted paints in the spill proof containers to use in later projects.

Coloring Page Stained Glass Valentine (easy with contact paper)

This is a great project for boys and girls. This can be done with any free coloring pages you find to your liking online. I found some cute teddy bears, Pooh characters, even a super cute Ninjago one (link here). Just Google for free Valentine coloring pages.

Hello Kitty Stained Glass Valentine
Hello Kitty Stained Glass Valentine

What you will need:

  • Printer and computer/tablet/or smart phone and a sheet of printer paper
  • Find a free coloring page online you like and print it out
  • Clear Shelf liner (Contact paper)
  • Scissors
  • Tissue paper in at least 2 different colors
  • Heart paper punch (size about 1 inch)

TIP: You don’t need a heart paper punch. Other shapes will work as well and you can even forgo it completely and just tear pieces of tissue paper for a more rustic look.

Fold the tissue paper over several times so the punch makes multiples with each punch
Fold the tissue paper over several times so the punch makes multiples with each punch

TIP: You could have your little one color the picture too

Cut out the heart
Cut out the heart

Cut out the heart on your coloring page. Also cut two pieces of the contact paper large enough to cover that area.

Place one piece of contact paper over the front side of the picture over the heart cutout
Place one piece of contact paper over the front side of the picture over the heart cutout

Place one piece of contact paper over the front side of the picture over the heart cutout. Place face down on table.

Excited to craft
Excited to craft

It’s ok if the pieces aren’t perfectly placed. Some of the ones she put on were crumpled and folded up and that’s ok.

Almost done
Almost done
Admiring hanAdmiring her handy-work dy-work
Admiring her handy-work

Note: the left edge has some overhang from the contact paper. Trim off any overhanging contact paper.

Place the other sheet of contact paper over the tissue paper
Place the other sheet of contact paper over the tissue paper

Place the other sheet of contact paper over the tissue paper. Start on one edge, line it up as close as you can. Then pull back the rest of the backing paper and set it down like in the picture above.

She loves her Hello Kitty Sun Catcher Valentine!
She loves her Hello Kitty Sun Catcher Valentine!
What it looks like against a window
What it looks like against a window

 

Love Bugs 3 versions trials and tribulations

You may have seen these cute critters on Pinterest. We made 3 different versions since we kept having glue issues. I’ll show you what we all did. With pro’s and cons as they appeared.

Toddler approved
Toddler approved

1. First we tried to make them with Elmers glue as a post on Pinterest had suggested. I found it very flimsy and not toddler friendly as I had to hold the pieces on for a long time and the pom poms sucked in all the glue I put on. However this is a great version for older kids with patience and enough skills to do this on their own.

Things for the Elmers glue version
Things for the Elmers glue version

What you will need:

Put glue on the clothes pin
Put glue on the clothes pin
We wanted our Love Bug to have legs so we cut a pipe cleaner in 3 and folded little feet at the ends
We wanted our Love Bug to have legs so we cut a pipe cleaner in 3 and folded little feet at the ends
Placing pom poms
Placing pom poms
As you can see the 4 pom poms didn't fit all that great and were having trouble drying nicely
As you can see the 4 pom poms didn’t fit all that great and were having trouble drying nicely

2. The second Love Bug we tried Removable Clear Mounting Squares instead of the Elmers glue. This version is great for toddlers as a sensory and exploratory experience, as there is no messy glue to work with. However, the end product is not stable to hang up and the mounting squares don’t grip very strongly. So we ended taking it apart and using the pieces in the final version.

What you will need:

  • Elmers Glue
  • Clothes pin
  • Googlie eyes
  • Deco Tubing ribbon for the legs
  • Red and pink pom-poms
Removable clear mounting squares trial
Removable clear mounting squares trial
Sticking on the legs
Sticking on the legs
Great art material  exploring experience
Great art material exploring experience
Toddler approved
Toddler approved
Love Bug with removable clear mounting squares
Love Bug with removable clear mounting squares

3. The final and most successful version, we used hot glue. As I mentioned we used the pieces from the second version so the googlie eyes are already attached. This method will give you the most durable end result. Not as toddler friendly unless they know how to use a glue gun. Sophia is good about listening to instructions so I don’t have problems with her putting pieces on to the hot glue dabs I place. Plus I’m like a hawk with 100% attention on what she does when we are working together. I think in a few months (if I can find a suitable glue gun) I’ll let her practice holding it.

What you will need:

  • Hot glue gun and glue stick
  • Clothes pin
  • Googlie eyes
  • Deco Tubing ribbon for the legs
  • Red and pink pom-poms
  • Glitter foam sheet (for cutting feet from)

Plug in your glue gun and let it heat up before starting.

Hot glue version we added little feet on to the ribbon
Hot glue version we added little feet on to the ribbon
I hot glued the feet on to the ribbon before hand
I hot glued the feet on to the ribbon before hand
Love Bug hot glued
Love Bug hot glued

Since we were working with a hot glue gun I didn’t get any action shots. But I would put a dab of glue and Sophia would stick either a leg or pom pom into it, as she wanted.