Thursday, July 28, 2011

* Homemade Water Table - Keeping Kids Happy With Water



What is it with kids and water?
My girls love to make a splash!!

Whenever they're fussy (no matter what season),
I say, "time for some water!"

It can be in the form of a sprinkler, the wading pool,
a slip-n-slide in the backyard,
the kitchen sink full of soapy water,
sand and water table on the deck,
a hot bath, or a shower with mom...

On cold winter days,
I've even set up an under-bed storage box full of water
(and a mini wading pool once!) inside the house
as a temporary water table.

My kids saw the fancy new water tables
at the toy store and you can imagine their reaction...
I thought to myself, hey I can make that!


So here you have it,
our home-made water table.
Four plastic milk crates + our mini wading pool =
tons of fun for two little girls
and one happy mama.

Happy Water Fun Week!

Fondly,
Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea


Monday, July 25, 2011

* Make An Ocean In A Bag and More Beachy Fun Craft Projects!



Water Fun Week!
I love simple craftthat keep the kiddos busy during the "arsenic hour."

By "arsenic hour", I am referring to that window at our house from 5-6ish
waiting for dad to get home from work, while dinner is finishing and mama and babies are tired!

This is one of those random crafts that just popped into my head
during a recent "arsenic hour" and it was such a big hit,
I wanted to share it with all of you.

I helped each of my girls make an Ocean In A Bag.

We grabbed two of our re-used gallon zip lock bags
(yes I wash and save mine like my grandma washes and saves bread bags!)

Mom peace-making tip:
I labeled them with a sharpie so there wouldn't be fighting 
among the girls about which one was theirs.

Then, we raided my art room stash and found foam ocean critter stickers
(dolphins, starfish, fish, etc) to stick inside AND outside the bag.

Then we added a small scoop of mini seashells
(also in my stash from making ocean boxes)

Followed by a scoop of dry sand swiped from our sand table.

Then we added several pumps of white hand lotion
and a few drops of blue food coloring
You can substitute blue hair gel! (Dep makes big bottles of it)

We zipped them shut, the girls started gently massaging their bags
and viola, instant ocean in a bag mini habitat that is also a sensory experience.

You can trace letters/shapes
in the sand goo through the plastic bag.

Be careful not to pop them (don 't leave too much air)
and sharp shell edges can rip so, I wouldn't do this on white carpet or a couch!

Kept them busy for the 45 minutes I needed harmony and peace in our home.
This was a great activity because BOTH girls (ages 6 and 2.5) could fully participate in it!

("C" adding tiny shells to her bag)

Fondly,
Pink and Green Mama



Monday, July 18, 2011

* Pine Cone Bird Craft and Pine Cone Elf Friends Craft



The girls and I are big time bird watchers around here.
Actually, our indoor kitties are too- they join us on the windowsill!

We are kicking off Forest Friendly Week 
with a fun little nature-inspired craft project using materials from mother nature herself. 


The best part about this craft is that my 
sweet little "C" (age 4) came up with the idea 
all on her own (and it's adorable!) 

First we collected some pine cones on a neighborhood walk,
our neighbor by our bus stop has the best ones for crafting!

Then, she wanted to make her favorite bird from our backyard,
a cardinal, so she painted her pine cone red
with some washable acrylic craft paint.


While the red paint was drying, she made a little face for her bird
out by drawing one with a black sharpie on a scrap of red felt.

She picked out some red feathers from our craft stash
and glued them on as wings and a tail with some
Washable Elmer's School Glue


"Side" view of the pine cone bird with feathers glued in for wings and tail. 


"Rear-end" view of the pine cone bird!


"C" working on her cardinal (very proud of herself)


Her finished birdie. 
I think we'll need to make a whole little flock of these
to go with our real backyard birdie friends 

(a chickadee, a blue jay, a sparrow, a cat bird, etc)


While you're at it, if you're on a roll with pine cone crafting,
check out my little Pine Cone Elves craft from my archives
They'd fit right in with some Forest Friends!


Fondly,
Pink and Green Mama,  MaryLea

Thursday, July 14, 2011

* Homemade Marshmallow Shooters and Toilet Paper Tube Targets

Today I'm re-posting two fun projects from our archives
Marshmallow Shooters (July 2010)
and 


Marshmallow Shooters are a huge hit at our house and in our backyard!


Directions for these can be found all over the internet. 
We liked this set at Family Capers the best.

Daddy took the girls on a field trip to 
the hardware store for supplies:

1/2 inch PVC (drinking water quality)
Sprinkler Pipe
T-Joints
L-joints
End Caps
Connectors/Couplers
and 
a Pipe Cutter.... (I use it to cut wine corks for crafts)

Then you'll need a fresh bag of Mini Marshmallows
and some Safety Goggles (from the Dollar Store)


We decorated ours with
Colored Masking Tape. 
Because we really can't leave anything alone.

While you're at it, why don't you make some targets too.
These Toilet Paper Tube Targets are great for
target practice with Marshmallow Shooters or "Water Shooters" as my girls call them!


We love our"targets"made out of  toilet paper tubes.


We got out our "water shooters" (Thank You dollar bin at Target),
buckets of water, and made targets
out of empty toilet paper tubes, 
colored masking tape
and Sharpie brand permanent markers!


READY.  AIM.  FIRE!
The toilet paper tube targets worked like a charm. 
The girls made a score board chart (hello math!)  and kept track of their "HIT"s. 

I think they'd be fun to shoot with those Nerf foam guns too!


It was great hand-eye co-ordination practice and the girls had a blast!




Fondly,
pink and green mama,

Thursday, July 7, 2011

* Patriotic 4th of July Eye Spy Rice Bottle




As part of Week 2's Government Week for the Smart Summer Challenge
the girls and I decided to make a Patriotic Eye Spy Bottle!


We started by dyeing some rice blue and red.
We added white rice to ziplock bags with liquid food coloring (lots) 
and a few pumps of alcohol based hand sanitizer. 
For the colored Red and Blue Rice
we dyed some rice in two batches with red and blue liquid food coloring, separated into ziplock bags,
with a few pumps of alcohol-based hand sanitizer massaged in to cure the color. 
I had to use quite a bit of food coloring the get the colors so bright.
Then, we let it dry on a paper towel on a shallow dish.
(Helpful Hint: Gel food coloring will give you brighter colors)

For the "White" rice we just left the rice plain. 
The rice dries pretty quickly because of the Purelle. 
I would say dry in 10-15 minutes. 



When it was all dry, we mixed in white rice and put everything in a clean, empty water bottle
with various objects.
Red, White, and Blue Buttons, Beads, Pom-Poms, Coins, a Mini Flag, etc.



This post is part of the Smart Summer Challenge.

Fondly,
pink and green mama

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

* 4th of July Patriotic Rice Sensory Box


To celebrate the 4th of July and Week 2 of the 
Smart Summer Challenge: Government Week 
we made Red, White and Blue rice 
for a sensory box and our own Patriotic Eye Spy bottle. 


We added sparkly pom-poms, buttons, 
play money (we talked about who the guys on there are!)
tooth pick flags, coins, and beads to our box. 

I also added some patriotic rubber duckies but they're not in this photo. 


For the colored Red and Blue Rice
we dyed some rice in two batches with red and blue liquid food coloring,
separated into ziplock bags,
with a few pumps of alcohol-based hand sanitizer massaged in 
to cure the color. 
I had to use quite a bit of food coloring the get the colors so bright.
Then, we let it dry on a paper towel on a shallow dish.
(Helpful Hint: Gel food coloring will give you brighter colors)

For the "White" rice we just left the rice plain. 
The rice dries pretty quickly because of the Purelle. I would say dry in 10-15 minutes. 


Happy Playing!


This post is part of the Smart Summer Challenge.

Fondly,
pink and green mama
MaryLea



Sunday, July 3, 2011

* Kid's Art Project: George Washington Mixed Media Portraits



I used to make these portraits with my kindergarten students
for President's day every year but thought they'd be a fun 4th of July summer project as well. 

First, we would study some famous painted portraits 
of George Washington, you can look these up online. 


We would start with a piece of "skin" colored construction paper. 
I always ordered the "multi-cultural" spectrum pack 
and let the kid's choose whichever color they wanted from the pack. 

We would sketch lightly in pencil then go over it in black Crayola marker.

I would model how to draw the facial features and the kids would follow along. 
No two portraits turned out alike but they
kids were much more successful with their final projects this way. 

Starting with a large oval (egg) for the face, we would draw two footballs for eyes. 
Add circles for the pupils and irises. 

A big nose. 

Straight line for the mouth.
Then a little smile underneath (bottom lip) 
and two moutains on top (top lip)

Don't forget eyebrows and ears!



Then, we would add shadows with a darker tan or brown crayon 
(hollows of cheeks, side of nose)
and highlights with white crayon (bridge of nose, middle of forehead)
Then, color in the eyebrows, lips, and pupils with crayon.


Finally, we would cut out the head.
Glue it on a sheet of blue or red construction paper.
Add a black construction paper shirt/shoulders.

Cut a triangle wedge of paper doily for the lace shirt accent.
We would glue cotton balls around the outside of the head as a white wig! 

Happy Independence Day (week)!

Fondly,
pink and green mama, MaryLea



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