Ornament Making and Party Ideas!

Today we got together with our homeschool group and it was my turn to plan! We were going to have a Christmas Party, but I really couldnt seem to get into the right theme, until I got on pintrest and saw all the amazing ornaments! Since we are all still preparing for the holiday, I thought making a bunch of ornaments would be a great thing to do together! With some great help from the other moms, we had four ornaments for the kids to make! Some of them were epic! Some were a bit of a flop, but everyone had a great time! And there were priceless decorations made for everyones trees!

Baby Jesus Peg Ornaments
~ Small Peg Doll
~ White Felt
~ Gift Basket Grass Stuff
 (ok..I am sure that it has a name, but I dont know it! 🙂
The Directions are pretty simple really, wrap the peg up in white felt and glue it. Then pull off a chunk of the grass and roll it into a nest shape. Glue the Baby Jesus onto the grass and you are all done! This craft however, was the one that flopped! To be honest, your need hot glue to get this done well, and the craft glue didnt cut it for them! But they are super cute and simple!

Pine cone Christmas Trees
~ Pine cones
~ Pompoms
~ Sparkles
~ Beads
~ And Glitter would have been a great addition too!
This is another really simple craft that everyone loved! It was great for the really little ones! All you do is add some glue drops to the edges of the pine cones and then stick the pretty stuff on! Again, we all thought that some glitter really would have sent this one over the top! Next Time!

Shrinky Dink Ornaments
~ Permanent markers
All you need to do for this is follow the directions on the box! 🙂 This one was the epic one!

Candy Cane Jesus Ornaments
~Poster Board cut out in Candy Cane Shapes
~ Red Paint
~ Felt
~ Yellow paper cut into strips
~ Cream colored paper
The child paints red stripes on the candy cane. When its dried, glue the yellow paper strips on the bottom of the candy cane and add the felt cut into an oval. Finally put a little face on the felt and you are done! This was a fun one too!
All of this crafting got a little crazy, but everyone had a great time and loved their new treasures! After all that thinking, we had some fun Christmas games for the kids! We are talking really simple and easy games for the kids! They had fun and with a bunch of pencils and plastic rings for prizes, the fun was all the better! 🙂

Cookie Flip
~ Two plates
~ Cardboard Cookies
~ Spatula
Each child stands a few feet from the plates that are in a row on the floor. Taking the spatula and placing a “cookie” on it, the child tried to throw it onto the plate! The fun thing about this is that it is really easy and hard all at the same time! 🙂 The big kids did just as well as the little ones!

Ornament Toss
~ Basket
~ Four plastic ornaments
Simply toss the ornaments into the basket! 🙂 An oldie but a gooddie!

So there you have it! I hope that you are having a good time preparing for the holidays! Maybe you will find a fun thing to do with your kids this year! If you are looking for some more holiday fun, check out what we did last year.

A Year of Crafts~ November 2012

Yesterday was our monthly year of crafts day! Since this is November, we obviously chose a Thanksgiving theme! My friend did an amazing job with the planning even with a couple of extra friends! We started off by making shape turkeys! The kids picked a shape and made a body, a head, and feathers all out of the shape they chose! They turned out really cute and kids got a great scissor practice!

We also made some adorable handprint turkeys! I was in charge of painting hands, so there are no pictures of it! Sorry! If you want to see how the craft should look when it is all done, you can visit Little Giraffes. Here they are drying!
After all the fun work, everyone was SUPER hungry! 😉 So lunch was quickly made! And extremely cute! I love how Pintrest allows us to share such amazing ideas! Here is what the kids got to eat:

Yummy! It was a super fun day playing with new friends and old friends! It’s my turn for next month! I guess I need to get planning! I hope you are all enjoying this season and all the fun that comes with it! Happy Crafting!

A Year of Crafts~ October~ Halloween!

Today we had our friends over for our monthly craft day! It was my month to plan it and I of course picked a halloween theme! After a lot of searching on Pintrest, I found a really great project here. I know that I this link is bad, but I cant for the life of me find the blog this came from! I am so sorry. When I find it will let you know! What the lady did was take a profile picture of her daughter with a witch hat on. Then she printed it, glued it on black paper, and cut it out. Then she glued it down with the black side up on a piece of her daughters art! So cute and so easy! So I asked everyone to bring a piece of their costume and I took pictures of all the kids. Then I pulled out some white crayons and let them do a watercolor resist picture. In hindsight, I should have used lighter water colors, but it worked out. When they dried, we glued the silhouette down and added some glitter! The results were rather busy and exciting! 😉 Here is what they look liked:

This is Bunny in her tooth fairy wings.

Here is her friend C. as a fairy too!

C.’s brother H is a Knight.

Their little sister G. has a princess crown on.

Here is Pup with her cowgirl hat!

Finally, here is R. with his knight helmet too!
I love that this is project is going to let us remember what they were choosing to be for halloween! It is a really fun project and like I said they were rather busy, but everyone loved every step! 😉
Lunch was all halloween theme too! I found some jack-o-lantern quesedillas, ghost milk, and I bought some bat shaped brownies at the store! The kids loved it and it was pretty easy to make. Just as a side note for the quesadilla, instead of using kitchen shears, I used mini cookie cutters, and since I like both sides of my quesadilla toasty, I toasted the jack-o-lantern face first, then removed it from the heat, and then put the other tortilla, cheese, and the jack-o-lantern. They were all toasty and yummy!

So there we have it! It was alot of fun, the kids got to play alot, and I got to hang out too! It was really great! Are you doing any halloween fun? I would love to hear what you have been up to!

Sensory Playtime

As we all know, sensory play is the best kind of fun for little ones! Since my nephew is still with us, we thought it would be fun to so something super crazy and different! I pulled out some shaving cream and planned a painting day! We had our friends over to join in the fun. My first thought was to set up everything on the fence like an easel. It looked great, but the kids had other ideas! They tried painting, but it was difficult and the 2 year old thought it would be better to play in it instead of paint with it. So I cleared the picnic table and simply dumped all the shaving cream out for them to play in! It was a hit! There was shaving cream everywhere and everyone thought it was great! Even Bunny thought it was fun!

Yes, Pup did cover herself with it! She told me later, she loved getting messy and I was the best mommy ever for letting her! 🙂 So how did the clean up go? Like this….

So…do you want to paint with shaving cream? Here is how to do it!
~ Shaving Cream
~ Tempera Paint
~ Small Disposable cups
~ Popsicle sticks (for mixing)
All you need to do is fill the cup about 2/3 of the way full of shaving cream, then squirt a couple of teaspoons of paint on the top (the more you add the darker the paint). Then mix it all together with the Popsicle stick and paint away! Pretty simple! I will warn you however, this is super messy and the kids are going to want to use their hands! 🙂 Outside it a good place for this project! Happy painting!!!!!

Bunny’s Sewing Project!

Today I finally put some more thread on Bunny’s sewing machine! I really havent done too much with her with her sewing since she was still having some problems, so I just let it go. However, when I remodeled her room, I added a craft area and it was a perfect place for her to have her machine where she could try it out when she wanted. Today was the day she pulled it out! I expected her to try sewing some of the material scraps she has together, but no! She had some big plans! She asked if she could sew clothes with her machine and I said yes, she could sew anything. She wanted to make a skirt! WHAT?!?! She pulled out a piece of what fleece that she wanted to use. It was really short. So I found her a bigger one. She and I worked out where to sew and how to make it fit around her waist. We decided that adding some elastic would be necessary. I helped her sew the elastic in, but she did the rest herself! When she put it on, she was so happy! She made a skirt! It was really hard to let her go once I helped her see what she needed to do. I wanted her to feel like she did it herself. She did a great job and I think you will see alot of it in the photos! It was also a great learning experience for her as she learns to use the machine, control the fabric, and correct the speed of the presser foot. She did a great job and I know she will only get better!

Didn’t she do a good job? I see more sewing the near future! I am afraid I may never see her again! 😉 I am promising you a great tour of Bunny’s room hopefully tomorrow! I have been working on it and I finally think that I have all her favorite things and some of the things that tie the colors together! So be sure to stop by and see what a Montessori inspired room looks like for an older kiddo! Happy Summer!

A Year of Crafts~ July!

On Tuesday we had our monthly Year of Crafts day and it was full of All American Fun! My friend thought that a simple craft would be the best since it was hot and the kids wanted to play in the water outside! She was so right! With the Fourth of July the next day, our craft was all about the fireworks fun! Using some glitter paint and pipe cleaners twisted into spider shapes they were able to make some really pretty fireworks! We also tried a couple of other techniques. One was using a straw to blow the paint out into a burst! Another was to use q-tips and toothpicks to spread the paint! Bunny got really into it and used all three colors on top of each other to give it a really real look! Pup loved dipping it into the paint and stamping it down. HM (age 5) made his very organized. Each color was done in a nice row! CM (age 6) didnt want to get messy, so she used markers to create a story board of how a firework blows up. First she made a line going up and then it three more pictures she showed how it got bigger, and then it was lighter and falling out! 🙂

After the craft it was time for some good old fashion outside summer fun! Kiddie pool, basket ball, and sidewalk chalk!

After lots of playing, there were some very hungry kids! So we had a really awesome All American Lunch! It was perfect for summer!
Hot Dogs, Potato Chips, and Red White and Blue Fruit!

And Root Beer! 🙂

For dessert we had homemade ice cream sandwiches! Yummy!

It was a great day in the sun! I love that there is so many days of fun with our Year of Crafts! I cant wait for next month! It is my turn to plan and I am going to hit Pintrest here to find some awesome fun! 😉 Did I mention I love this?! Happy Summer Everyone!

A Year of Crafts~ June

Today was our year of crafts day! It was my turn to host and I chose to do a pool party/ beach theme! I was so excited to do a bit of summer decorating around the house and to pull out the kiddie pool for the first time this year!

For the craft I pulled an fun idea I found on Pintrest! We used some empty bottles to make an ocean! We used some water (dyed blue), some sea creatures, glitter, and baby oil! Simple! However, we had some issues with the glitter not sinking to the bottom. I’m not sure why it happened. I think we used too much!  😉 I never thought I could say that about glitter! I think that the kids had fun with it though and they are pretty when you shake them up!

After the project, the kids got their suits on and got into some water fun!!!! When the sun is warm and the water was cool! There was alot of splashing and alot of fun!

And of course I had to go all out for lunch! Since everyone was having so much fun in the water, I thought that eating outside would be the best idea! So I packed them their summer lunch in a pail! It was just awesome to see them wandering around with their own lunch in a bucket! We had ham starfish shaped sandwiches, Goldfish crackers, Strawberries on Skewers, and juice drinks! We followed this up with some really fun seashell shaped cookies that I served on crushed graham crackers sand!

We had a ton of summer fun today and I hope that this is something we can do again soon! I have to say that this Christmas gift idea was really the best one ever! Not only do we make time each month to have fun together, we also get to be creative too! Our friends are the best, and we are so blessed to have them in out lives!

Oceans of Fun!

Today I suggested a project idea to the girls and Bunny thought it was a must! I suggested that they use crayon to draw ocean animals and then we could use blue water color over it to make the water! Bunny loved the whole idea, Pup really wanted to paint! 😉 So, this afternoon, I pulled out all the materials! Both girls worked really hard on their oceans and they turned out really well! Bunny really drew so many great animals. It was a fun way to see what she had learned from all the things that we read about! Pup drew a fish all by herself and colored in some that I drew for her. They had a great time!

Here is Bunny;s painting. She included a crab, starfish, sea turtle, fish, sea dragon, and dolphin.

Here is Pup’s. She made a rainbow fish and the orange fish all by herself!
This art inspired more art and they needed to make another one too! 🙂 After that they just painted! I guess its been a while since did a project!

Bunny’s other art!

Pup’s Art work!

This is the painting Pup made after all the other painting! She did it completely on her own!

Here is Bunny’s free art! This is another ocean scene. Seaweed, octopus, crab, seahorse, etc!
After all of this, Pup got interested in doing some school work! Hmmm…who knew? So I pulled out the shell matching work from a while ago. She really wasnt interested, but both girls loved looking at my shell collection! They each wanted a shell to “keep”.  I let them and the next thing I knew, they were getting all the materials out for scrubbing a shell! Bunny helped Pup and showed her how to do it right! They scrubbed shells for a while and then cleaned up all by themselves! I am rediscovering how Montessori isnt about the materials, but about real learning from the child!

So that was our day! Despite all that we did today, it was relaxed and happy! Both girls learned and I was peaceful! Learning at its best! I hope you are all having a GREAT weekend! Happy Schooling!

A Year of Crafts~ April

Well today we had another really great craft day! Our theme this month was birds, and it was my turn to plan!!!! I had alot of fun planning lunch and finding a craft! I have to say, this month came directly from Pintrest! There are a million ideas there and I just had to try them! This month, we started with lunch which was super fun! I found this great idea where they had an Easter egg hunt for their lunch! I modified this by putting their lunch in some white Easter eggs I found and serving them in baskets nests! The kids were not sure what to think when I set it in front of them! I think that HM thought I had lost my mind! 🙂 Hahaha! I love that! It was fun to watch them open each egg and be surprised by each part of lunch! I also tried making some egg Popsicles for dessert. I found the idea here. They sort of turned out, but they did leak before they froze. So if you try these, make sure your eggs don’t leak! 😉

For our craft, we made some lovely and colorful nest kits for the birds! This idea is one that has been bopping about pintrest and it was just too easy and so great for all of the ages we having crafting! Here is a link for the yarn nest kit! We had a great time with this and when the kids were all done, we made some simple bird feeders with pipe cleaners and Cheerios! (Here is a link).

I think everyone had a great time and these crafts will be so great for the birds! I cant wait to look around and see if we can see some nests with flair! 😉 With all the pretty yarn, I think we will have some awesome nests in the area! Happy Spring!!!!

Work Time and Winter Watercolor!

Well today was a day of work time! I really wanted the girls to get in one more good work time this week! So we headed downstairs. All in all it was a really good day, but there were some moments where I may or may not have screamed like a crazy woman (hey Bug and Pup left the bathroom door open again and Tadpole stuffed my hand towel in the toilet which, of course, hadn’t been flushed)! I am very happy though that the girls got some good work done today! In fact Bug really got into a great place of concentration for a bit. Tadpole also had some more moments of work. He is getting older and its interesting to watch him change into a big boy! He will be two soon and I can see the change from little baby to older toddler! Bunny worked on some new letter sounds, and Pup tried some sound cylinders today that she hasn’t tried in a while. We also did a water color project today that I saw on Amongst Lovely Things. The kids loved it and even Tadpole did one! Here are some pictures I was able to get!

Bunny got an early Birthday gift yesterday evening of a Lego set and she had to build it this morning! She did almost all of it on her own (there was a point where she needed to move a piece over, and I helped her with that and with sticking the decals on)! I was amazed at her focus and concentration. She did a great job! I see more Lego’s in our future!

All Built!

Today Bug discovered the glue stick! She wanted to just smear it on. Then I told her that it was for sticking things down and I gave her some paper to make things to stick in the glue! Well she went to work sticking piece after piece down on the same paper! She was so happy with it! I think it was defiantly a learning moment and it was all about the process, not the product!

Pup keeps trying this work, but it is really hard for her. I keep thinking I should take it away since most of the water ends up on the table and the tray, but she works so hard.

Tadpole again tried a few trays. He really feels big when he is working! 🙂
He put it away too when I asked him to!

He also wanted to do the pouring work. The pitcher was way too big. So I gave him a tiny pitcher and a tiny cup only half full of water to try! And try he did! I have to just let him go, but he gets water all over! However he did stick with it! When he ran out of water, he tried to go upstairs to get himself more. I love that he wanted to be independent, but him alone in the bathroom never ends well (read above incident)! So I got it for him! 😉

He is thinking so hard!

Victory Dance! 🙂

Her shook some sound cylinder too! Right now he just thinks its great that they make noise. He isn’t at a point where matching them is something he can do.

Bunny showed Pup how to do the Binomial Cube. She didn’t try it again, but Pup keeps trying to do it.

When Pup abandoned the cube, Bug took over! She is really been trying this alot! Bunny obviously is doing the trinomial cube! She built it outside the box today!

This is Pup’s “math”. She loves to try it. Again, she just isn’t there yet, but I sat with her and asked her to get the “next biggest one” and she was able to do it.

Then she very carefully put them all away!

She also did the sound cylinders

Pup worked on matching her colors.

Here is the letter we worked on!

We wrote words with each sound.

And now for the project! It was really simple. All we needed  to was use some painters tape to make a tree shape, and then use water color all around it! Easy Peasy!

After they dried we just peeled the tape off to reveal the tree! I talked about cool colors and how they make us feel cold. I showed them the warm and cool colors. Since we were making winter trees I encouraged the kids to use the cool colors! They used some of those and some of the other colors as well! Here is what their masterpieces turned out like!

Here is Bunny’s

Here is Pup’s

This one is Bug’s

And this one is Tadpoles!
So it was a good day and I am hoping that tomorrow is a good one too! I will probably not be posting for the next couple days as the Birthday fun will be kicking into high gear! Dont worry, there will be plenty of pictures! I hope you have a great end of the week!