Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Fun: Toilet Paper Roll Pumpkin Craft

This is what my kitchen table looked like at breakfast time on Wednesday.
(the kitchen table photo... not the toilet photo!)
Yes, that cup of coffee was my breakfast.

I was cutting fabric squares and glue-gunning brown paper into little tubes
to prepare for a visit to my youngest daughter's preschool classroom.

I started my visit by telling them
this adorable Halloween Paper Story
from (one of my favorites!) Itty Bitty Love blog. (the kids and teachers loved it!)

Then we made

It is such a simple craft/activity with a
100% success rate for this group of 2.5 year olds!

To make your own, you'll need: fabric (approx. 22" x 18"),
toilet paper (can you say dollar store?), brown paper for stems
(or a stick, or a cinnamon stick), and a green pipe cleaner for a vine.

You'll get 4 pumpkins out of 1 yard of fabric (you'll cut the fabric into fourths)

Set the TP roll in the center of your fabric square, tuck and stuff the fabric into the tube.
Add a rolled paper stem, and bend a pipe cleaner as the vine.
Easy (and practical) craft.

I'll be making them again this week with the Frog Princess' first grade class
at their Fall Harvest party.

Pink and Green Mama

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pink and Green Mama Crafts: Halloween Stained Glass Templates

It has been rainy and gray here all week. The girls and I decided to jazz things up with some homemade "stained glass" for our art studio and playroom windows. We're getting ready for Halloween fun!

Nothing too scary... just some friendly kitties, ghosts, pumpkins and bats.
Here's my secret art teacher weapon: Templates!

They will save you time and frustration, allowing younger children (and their parents) to create festive decorations without difficulty.

You can make some too!

I've made a set of templates and illustrated step-by-step directions
you can purchase from my Pink and Green Mama Crafts Shop.
Check it out, they're in the $5 Halloween Fun ebook downloadable PDF.
Click HERE to Purchase! 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Preschool At Home: Halloween Tissue Paper Craft

The Mini-Saurus and I did some Halloween crafting this week.
We got this great idea from another blogger here.

We made a Pumpkin and (her idea) a mini Witch.

First we fished this cereal box out of the recycling bin,
then I sketched out a pumpkin shape and cut it out for her.

Then we started to cover it with glue and I showed her how to
crumple tissue paper squares and add them to the glue.

The witch got the same treatment.

Our finished pumpkin!
Perfect to hang in a window, perch on a seasonal nature table or display on the fridge.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Preschool At Home: Smelling Game

We resurrected an oldie but goodie.
The Smelling Game.

We filled small plastic jars
with various kid-safe scents
(for example: cinnamon, mint gum,
vinegar, lemon extract, vanilla,
allspice, pepper, etc.)

One scent per two jars
so they make a matched set.

Then we place a cotton ball on top
so you can't see what's inside.

You take off the lids
use your sense of smell,
find the matching pairs.

The girls love it.

It's great practice for
opening and closing
jar lids too!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Preschool At Home: DIY Easy Homemade Geoboard Make Math Fun For Kids!

I've decided to start a new post category called Preschool at Home.
It's a chance to show and tell some of the handmade learning materials,
manipulatives, and activities I make for the girls.

We have a book case by the kitchen table with trays of activities, similar to a Montessori classroom.

I rotate the activities to mix things up.

The girls can help themselves to these games and activities.
Most can be done independently, Mini-Saurus still needs help doing some of them
but really enjoys exploring them on her own too!

I've seen these peg geoboards in Montessori/preschool supply catalogs.

Mini-Saurus helped me paint two wooden plaques we picked up in the craft aisle at Walmart.
She picked the shimmery pink color!

We made a grid on the wood with some of our leftover contact paper liner.
(I had to replace the paper under our kitchen sink last month
and knew the grid would come in handy!)

The pegs are just clear push pins.

UPDATE: So far the pins haven't come out (we've been playing with it for a week)
I was prepared to reinforce it with wood glue or super glue if they get wiggly.  
Project Note: I did tap a few of the tacks in with a hammer
(my fingers got sore pushing them all into the wood) and a couple of them chipped
so... I had to pull them out and replace them so there wouldn't be any sharp edges!

We've been using these big stretchy ponytail holders
(they remind me of the nylon loops you use with one of those pot holder looms)
to make shapes...

and abstract designs!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Indoor Garden: Making Terrariums With Kids

The girls and I
planted mini gardens
last week.

(The one in the photo with both girls
is Mini-Saurus' garden...
she arranged her animals all by herself!)

They selected
miniature plants
at the nursery with daddy
during a weekend field trip
(while mama got some uninterrupted studio time!)

We picked up these big
glass fish bowls
from a fellow Freecycler.

You could use just about any kind of glass
(or plastic) container.

We added a small layer of gardening charcoal.
Then some brown gravel.
A layer of spagnum moss to act like a filter,
then potting soil.

The girls had fun planting
and even more fun arranging "scenes"
with small toys.
(Think dinosaurs, match box cars,
little animals, mushrooms, etc)

The Frog Princess made some sculpey clay snails
to live in her terrarium.
(we cooked them in the oven,
note: don't put real snails in the oven!)

We also added some small figurines.
A perfect way to keep a bit of summer
inside for the long fall and winter ahead!

I kept them on the buffet for the weekend,
then moved them to the
sunny playroom windowsill!

The Frog Princess' finished snail and fairy garden.

Happy (Indoor) Gardening!

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