Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lets Make Some Bracelets

What little kid wouldn't love to make some jewelry??  This project is easy and f-r-e-e!!

Start out by taking an empty toilet paper roll and cut it into 1 to 2 inch wide circles, and then slit each circle open.

Next, give it to your child and let them go crazy decorating.  They can use markers, paint, glue, whatever they want.  My son decided to take some shells he found while we were at the creek and glue them to his bracelet that he had painted blue.  The shells made his a little heavy, so I glued a little piece of velcro to it to help keep it closed.  My daughter finger painted hers.  My niece painted hers with glue, and then rolled it in glitter.  And of coarse, I had to make one :)  I painted mine white & blue and then dotted some glitter in the glue. 

So fun, so easy, so cheap, so entertaining!!

Hello, My Name Is....

My son has been spelling his name for what seems like forever now, but writing it and identifying the letters as individual letters (and not just one big word) is a little foreign to him.  So, we decided that this would be our focus for the last couple of weeks.  I wanted to make it fun as well as educational, and of coarse it had to hold the interest of a 4 year old.  We have been using a few different methods; some methods worked a little better than others, so I'll just highlight our two favorites.

1.  My children both have their own notebooks to draw and write in.  Each day I write my son's name with pencil 4 times on a page.  He takes his markers and traces over each of the letters so that he can get the hang of forming each letter.  For added reference, I wrote his name on an index card, laminated, and velcroed it to a wall in my kitchen (we use the same wall for keeping up with daily weather, date, day of the week, and a daily color).  This card can be pulled down and placed in front of my son while he is writing in his book.

After he has traced his name 4 times, I give him blank index cards, and he free-hands his name once on each card.  Now, his motivation for doing this:  we take each card that he has written his name on, put it in an envelope, and he mails it to a different family member each day.  He is soo proud of himself for being able to mail these to whomever he chooses. (And if you are a family member who is wondering where your "Russ Card" is, don't worry, its coming).

2.  I took 4 index cards, and on each card, I wrote one letter of my son's name (I also did this for his last name, but haven't started using them with him yet).  I did the same for the 4 letters in my daughters name. 

I take the 8 index cards and hide them all over the living room.  After a big "Ready, Set, Go!", the kids are set loose to find all of the index cards with their name's letters.  Once found, they arrange them in order on the coffee table so that they spell out each of their names.  Now, my 1 year old hasn't completely gotten the hang of putting hers in order (although I have to brag that she CAN spell her name now and does recognize which 4 letters are hers), so this is a team sport.  The team does not win until both names are spelled correctly and then each name must be spelled out-loud by both of them.  This game has become a surprise hit!!  I can't wait for next week when we add our last name into the mix.

I think I have managed to trick my children into learning something without them realizing it.  Thats always a good thing   hahaha  

I would love to hear the ways you have made spelling fun for your little ones.  We are always looking for new ideas!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sooo Flubbery

This is a great recipe for the kids to make and play with; its flubber!!  It feels just like the stuff you get in a little jar at the dollar store or wherever that makes fart noises...  hehehehe

Combine 1/3 cup Elmer's glue, 1/3 cup water, and some food coloring.  I decided to put mine in a jar so that I could just shake it all up for the final step, but you can also use a large bowl.  Mix it up with a fork until the glue is all dissolved (takes about 1 or 2 minutes of stirring).
Next, take 1/3 cup water and pour it into a SEPARATE cup or mug.  Add to tablespoons of Borax to this water and let it set for a minute or two without mixing.  You are just waiting for the Borax to settle to the bottom of the cup (the water on the top will be white and cloudy, thats fine).  ***Oh, if you don't know what Borax is, its a laundry additive that you get in the laundry detergent isle at the grocery store.  Its great stuff.  We use it in our washing machine, for removing smells from trashcans and liter boxes, and a bunch of other stuff.***  Once the Borax has settled, pour the water out of the cup, leaving just the wet Borax.  If you still have a little water left in the cup, its fine.
Now, take the cup of wet Borax and pour it into the glue mixture, scraping the remains out of the bottom of the cup.  Now either shake up the mixture or stir it up til it starts to flubberize.
It will be kinda wet still when mixed, so just take the mixture out into your hand over the sink, and squeeze it and work it from hand to hand.  Doing this will cause the extra moisture to fall out and get worked in.  Do this for about a minute and it will be finished!!  Just set it to the side, wash the leftovers off your hands, and DONE!!

This stuff is sooooo funnnnn and easy!!

Time to Play with Our Food

Time to combine two of my kids' favorite things:  finger painting and spaghetti.  It adds a fun twist to normal everyday finger painting.

Next time you break out the finger paint, just boil up some spaghetti noodles (or use leftovers from last nights dinner) and add it right into the paint.  Since its summer, we decided to take ours outside into the grass.  I put a couple of big pieces of paper on the ground with some bowls of different colored spaghetti paint.  The kids had so much fun painting with this mixture.  They experimented with making fun shapes on the paper by rolling it and throwing it (and my daughter even found it amusing to paint herself with the spaghetti).

When they were finished with the painting (which was a good hour after they started), we decided to make some spaghetti art.  I cut off little pieces of aluminum foil and placed them on the table. Then each kid took handfuls of spaghetti and arranged (or threw) it onto a piece of foil.  I had to join in on this part and make one too :)  When they were finished, I placed the foil with the art in a spot where it wouldn't be bothered and let it set for two days until it hardened.  Then, I gently pulled away the foil, added a piece of ribbon, and hung them from the kitchen window for us to enjoy!  I think we may make some more around Christmas for the Christmas tree.

This project was double the fun.  And the advantage of doing it outside during the summer, when they were finished they just jumped in the baby pool and washed themselves off.