Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day Activity with The Lorax

We read The Lorax by Dr. Suess this week, enjoyed an ongoing discussion about the importance of trees, and followed up with this art activity today, making our own "Truffula Trees."

I cut toilet paper rolls in half lengthwise and the kids painted them brown. Then we glued them to a piece of construction paper. Next we put some cotton balls in a plastic container with some green tempera powder, popped the lid on and shook. The result was a variety of shades of green puffs, perfect for truffula trees! (Or thneeds, if you're familiar with the book!)

My 5-year-old son is very intent on realism in his artwork right now, so he needed the book to look at as he painted the Lorax next to his tree. The two 2-year-olds had no such requirements and went to town painting yellow suns and Loraxes all over their pages:

Happy Earth Day!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lounging Lettuce Licker

Toby surveys his territory while posing for a picture in the garden

Then he gets distracted by luscious, leafy lettuce...see the pink tongue peeking out?

As a pup, he would come trotting across the yard with an entire head of rotted garlic clenched proudly in his teeth. I should have known that if he'll eat from the compost pile, he'll eat from the pan of fresh baby lettuces! Yum! Remind me to triple wash before serving salad!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rainy Day Art: Stained-Glass Masterpieces

Contact paper, colored tissue and a permanent marker were all we needed to make these beautiful stained-glass creations:

Even without the sun shining through, they sure brightened up our dining room window on this stormy day!

Monday, April 13, 2009


Our back yard was the perfect setting for a casual, low-key breakfast on Easter morn.
KID 2 enjoys a bit of coffee cake while the dog enjoys the crumbs!
Bon Appetit!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

My mom raised four kids all by herself for most of our growing up years. I love finding little ways to honor her dedication (blood, sweat and tears, but also a lot of fun throughout the years!).

Here is the little Easter token of gratitude I put together for her. I also did one for Paul's mom, who had three little chicks of her own:

Happy Easter! Have fun with your little chicks today!

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Best Nest!

We got this nest idea from montessori mama's post today and decided to get right to work building our own nests. We just read The Best Nest by P.D. Eastman, so we found materials similar to the ones Mr. and Mrs. Bird used to build their nest:
stocking string (yarn)
soda straws
hay (paper confetti and basket filler)
horse hair (pink Easter grass)

We started with the rolled-down brown paper bag (I helped with this step), and they painted glue inside their nests and up the sides. Then they went to town adding gobs of nest-building decor! We'll put Easter eggs in when they are dry (they also used gobs of glue!).

This was a fun and easy project!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fun Little Bunnies

This cute little book reading bunny makes a
sweet centerpiece on our Easter table! ($10 at BIG Lots!)
We've filled his basket with our special decorated eggs. It could also hold a small potted plant.

KID 2 uses the captain's chair, so I had to modify the bunny cover to fit.

KID 1 really likes his special chair!

The bunny covers turned out really cute! I used Elmer's bonding spray to adhere the pieces. If you let it dry for a few minutes, the bond is repositionable. This means we can make other holiday/seasonal pieces for the same covers. When Easter is done, we'll put these bunny pieces in a zip bag for next year! I like the Birthday Throne cover idea at Family Fun!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Planting Project: Upside-Down Tomatoes

A fun and easy spring gardening project to try with your little ones involves repurposing your plastic 2L soda bottles. Cut off the bottom, turn it upside down, punch holes around the top for twine or string (we reinforced ours with colored duct tape), and put a small tomato plant upside down through the neck of the bottle. Fill with soil, then water and hang in a sunny spot.

Enjoy watching your tomatoes grow upside down!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

An Easy Easter Project and Fun New Resource!

We recently opened a fresh new stack of colored construction paper (a BIG event around here!) and KID 1 was anxious to make something. I did a search for "construction paper crafts" online and came up with a cool site with alphabetized paper crafts:

They also offer thematic materials, such as the Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? link with printable templates for coloring or making feltboard characters (there's a brown bear, red bird, yellow duck, etc.). They call this collection of resources the Book Breaks. Check out the Nursery Rhymes section, too! I wish I had known about this site sooner!

For those of you working on letters or numbers of the week, this could be a great resource for hands-on projects!

We started with the Easter Chick and added some fluffy yellow feathers to his wings. KID 1 liked cutting all the basic shapes and then putting them together to make something new. I wonder what we'll make next...hmmmmm...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Playdough Resurrection Cross

Favorite Lent Activity: The Resurrection Cross (in playdough!)

Homemade playdough, small cookie cutters and white birthday candles are all the supplies you'll need to create this countdown cross. Each Sunday we light one less candle leading to Good Friday (when our Light went out). During Sunday dinner or devotional time is a good time to incorporate this activity. Turn overhead lights off for good visual effect and note how it gets darker each week as you light fewer and fewer candles.
Do a special lighting on Good Friday and let the kids blow all the candles out. Light them all again on Easter Sunday, symbolizing Jesus's resurrection. His sacrifice enabled his light to shine all over the world and right into our hearts.
Note: It's not too late to create your resurrection cross. Just pick up with this coming Sunday's lighting and blow out all but one.