Saturday, October 27, 2012

* Avoiding Sibling Rivalry and Encouraging Sibling Friendships with Play

One thing you may not know about me is that I'm an only child.
Deciding to have two kids was a huge leap of faith for me. 
I didn't want our oldest daughter to grow up alone, I wanted her to have 
a sibling but I was scared to death about how to parent two kids
and how to avoid sibling rivalry.
Well, flash forward into year 10 of my parenting journey
and year 6 of raising two daughters and I have to say it's better than 
I thought it would be and there will always be sibling rivalry no matter what I do. 
That doesn't mean I'm off the hook as a parent to not interfere when 
the girls fight, bicker, or bully each other -- I certainly do step in and let 
them know it won't be tolerated but I also try my best to encourage them to 
work things out on their own when they can (a useful life skill later in life.) 
One way I do this, is to encourage my daughters to be friends with each other.

This was hard at first, there is a 4 year age difference between my girls. 
When "C" was a baby, "E" (age 4) was really not a big fan of hers.
She put up with her and let us know pretty regularly that she liked it better
when she was "an only child." It was not an easy process.

Fortunately, "C" worshipped "E" and eventually she won her over. 
She smiled first for "E." If I needed a photo of "C", 
I just asked "E" to stand behind me and she would always light up for the camera. 
"E"s name was her first word other than "Cat" and before "Mama." 
Once "C" was mobile, they started to play together.

They not only became playmates but also best friends. 
How did I get them to get along?
I wish I had a secret recipe for success that I could share, this is pretty close...
Siblings need to learn how to cooperate and that it isn't an easy process.
By setting up classroom-testedand curriculum-based games for your children, they will learn how 
to play cooperatively with friends and siblings just like they do at school. 

What kinds of activities? 
I will say that I got them to play together and the activities
we shared encouraged their friendship and bonding.

Side-by-Side Science Experiments

Test their Senses - we always enjoyed a smelling game
with tiny jars and cotton balls with herbs/perfume/extracts.

Create a Child's Play Area in the Garden/Backyard-
our backyard has several kid friendly play areas 
including their own fairy gardens.

Encourage Artful Collaborations and Craft time together - 
yep, we have that one covered.

Making Life-Size Murals - Body Tracing (my girls love this!)

Build Something Together - Blocks, need I say more?!

Imaginative Role Play with Props 
(Set up pretend businesses, hospital, restaurant, etc)

Toys that have to be shared, such as....
Blocks, Trains, Musical Instruments, Puzzles and Puppets
Dress- Up Clothes and in our house.... Sensory Boxes! 

Reading Children's Books Together

How do you encourage your kids to play together?

Pink and Green Mama

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

* Make Fall Leaves With Elmer's Glue and Chalk

Today's project is a classic "art teacher" project.
If you draw a picture with glue on construction paper
and let it dry, you can color over it with chalk or chalk pastels and
it will create a stained glass effect.

The girls and I decided to give it a fall twist
and make leaf pictures.

It's very pretty on dark paper
(think: black, navy blue, or purple) but you can do it on any color.

We split this project up into two different days
to allow the glue time to dry
and because that was just the way our schedule worked out.

You can use whatever kind of glue you have at home...
We made examples with Elmer's School "Gel" glue,
White School Glue, AND a Glue Gun. 

The glue gun is nice if you're in a hurry because it's dry
immediately so you can color right away but it's hard to keep small
hands and fingers from getting burned while drawing with a glue gun.
You could ask kids to sketch their picture/design lightly in pencil or chalk
and let an adult trace over it with a glue gun. 

For "C" (age 5) it was easiest for her to sketch her leaf on the paper first
with a crayon or pencil 
(she actually used a white china marker because that's what was on my art table!)

Then, she traced over her drawing with glue. 

It's hard work using all those little hand and finger muscles 
to squeeze the big bottle of glue!

After the glue drawings were dry (a day later)
the girls got to work coloring in their leaves with chalk pastels.
** Note: This picture was taken as they worked after breakfast 
on the weekend - pardon the PJs! **

You can wipe off any excess chalk from the glue lines with a bit of tissue
or a baby wipe. 

"E"s beautiful Rainbow Oak Leaf!

"C"s beautiful Rainbow Leaf!

Happy Fall (rainbow) Leaf Crafting!

Pink and Green Mama

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

* DIY Halloween Shirts Tutorial With Aleene's Glue!

Sponsored Post Disclosure: I have been compensated for this post,  however all opinions are my own and truthful. 
This post does contain paid links. 

I was recently invited by my friends at Aleene's Tacky Glue
to create a fun and easy craft to share with all of you.
I want you to see how easy it is to use Aleene's glues and adhesives
and incorporate them into craft and DIY projects! 
I use their "Tacky Glue" in the gold bottle ALL the time,
it's my favorite craft glue - I buy the tiny (6 fluid oz.) bottles at JoAnne's because they 
are the perfect size for my girls to hold and control for their own projects!

Check out all of the wonderful Aleene's glues and adhesives they sent me to play with!
"E" and "C" wanted halloween t-shirts but we didn't like
anything we saw at the store so we decided to make our own. 

Here's a little tutorial for you to inspire you to create
your own spooky halloween t-shirts!

Step 1
Decide what kind of t-shirt you want to make.

"E" (age 9) wanted to make a green alien/monster, but not a scary or creepy one,
she wanted him to be goofy and cute so she sketched out a design
on a piece of paper and we worked from that.

"C" (age 5) wanted something girly and cute, when I suggested a lace
ghost she said yes as long as it had a pink ribbon and some bling!

I purchased two simple black t-shirts at our local Walmart. 

Step 2
Cut out your accent fabric and hold it in place on the t-shirt
with some Tacky Spray glue. 

We cut out the alien/monster shape from some green fabric
in my fat quarters stash and made eye balls and teeth
from black and white felt and velour scrap fabric. 

To hold the fabric in place while I stitched it on the sewing machine,
I used a tiny bit of Aleene's "Tacky Spray" to hold the fabric.
I didn't use a lot and stayed in the middle of the face
because I didn't want to gunk up the sewing machine.

I love this stuff, it's reposition-able and when I was an art teacher the kids used to 
think I had magic powers because I would secretly spray a piece of paper with this before class
then make the shapes magically stick to the paper -- then I could peel it off
and stick it somewhere else on the page and the whole class would gasp --good times! 

Step 3
Sew the fabric design to your t-shirt.

We used a variety of stitches to create the mouth, stitch the edges of the monster
and the eye balls and teeth to the shirt. 
If you can't sew, I bet you could use Aleene's Fabric Glue! 

Step 4
Embellish your shirt! 

We added jewels from the beading and jewelry department.
The girls dotted on some "Aleene's Jewel It" glue to tack on little 
rhinestone jewels - green for monster warts and clear for the 
highlights on the eyes! 

(Here's a close-up!) 
See how the glue dries's washable too so your jewels
and bling don't come off in the wash! 
"E" changed her mind on the purple fabric flower and switched to 
the orange polka-dot bow accent. 

For "C"s ghost shirt we used the same technique.
The "Tacky Spray" was a lifesaver to hold the lace
down to the t-shirt while I zig-zag stitched the edge with the sewing machine!

We used felt and velour scraps for the eyes
and a pink ribbon to make her a girly ghost -- in case the flowery 
lace wasn't girly enough! 

The final touch, was some bling jewels added to the eyes
to give the shirt some sparkle with the "Jewel It" washable glue!

The girls LOVE their new halloween t-shirts
and can't wait to wear them at school all month!
Happy Fall Crafting! 
Pink and Green Mama
FYI: The project seen here was designed by me and my kids.
We received a box of Aleene's Tacky Glue products to play with
 All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

* Anytime Craft: Rainbow Yarn Wrapped Color Wheel

We love rainbows and color wheels in our house - 
can't get enough of them! 
My 9 year old daughter and I were inspired by
 our basket full of colorful yarn to make this yarn wrapped color wheel.  

Make a circle on a scrap of cardboard by tracing a dinner plate. 
To make the smaller circle inside, trace around a glass or small bowl. 
You could also use a sturdy paper plate for this project. 

Ask an adult to carefully cut out both circles to make a cardboard donut. 

I pre-cut pieces of yarn for my daughter 
(each piece was 1-2 yards long.) 
She enjoyed picking different colors and textures from our yarn supply. 
Then, she organized them in spectrum order on the work table 
and worked her way down the spectrum as she wrapped the yarn. 

You will need to secure the first piece by tying it to the cardboard circle or use a bit of tape. 
Then, start wrapping. 
Don't worry about being perfect, 
the yarn can criss-cross as you wrap it. 

When you finish one color, 
start the next color by wrapping over the old "tail" 
or tie the two pieces together and hide it under the wrapping. 
Keep all of the loose ends on the backside of your color wheel. 

Continue wrapping and tucking and tying loose ends 
until you get all the way around the circle. 
For the last piece you can tie it to a loose end on the back 
or secure it with a bit of glue. 
If you want to hang up the color wheel, 
make a small loop out of extra yarn on the back. 

Mine is now hanging in the art studio window, 
makes me smile every time I look at it!

Pink and Green Mama MaryLea

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