I love the 4th of July. Combine that with a cloudy, rainy day yesterday and it called for a day of festive craftiness.
1. Stenciling stars and fireworks with sidewalk chalk. With the intermittent rain, we chose to do this under the eaves of our front walk.
2. A paint by numbers American flag. Once the paint was dry, she added a texture element with matching tissue pieces. She loves to wrap the tissue around the tip of an eraser and stick it on with glue.
For those of you who live here in the U.S., we wish you a safe and happy holiday!
Scavenger hunts are a really great way to entertain kids and…well…let’s face it, I enjoy them, too! Two years ago, we were searching for hidden letters and numbers and finding objects around the house that matched a colored piece of paper. This year, armed with new skills in letter sounds and sight words, we found objects around the house that begin with each letter of the alphabet. Then, taking it up a notch, we practiced writing the word of each object on her dry erase board.
With some of the more difficult letters like ‘Q’ and ‘X’, I gave hints and had her figure them out. I really loved watching her get excited as she ran out of the room exclaiming, “Oh, I know something!” I also enjoyed seeing what she would bring back, for it was often something I never thought of. For example, for the letter ‘V’ she brought back a bag of carrots and said, “vegetables”.
We spent over an hour with this activity and she was engaged the entire time. It is simple to do and can be played inside or outside. I truly love a scavenger hunt’s versatility and fun for all ages.
What is one of your favorite scavenger hunts?
One of my favorite paintings is A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat. It’s a large painting housed in the Art Institute of Chicago. The painting technique he uses is called pointillism or, in the case of a 5-year-old, dot paint.
As a fun way to introduce kids to the technique of pointillism and, let’s face it, fun with Q-tips, I found this great activity at Inner Child Fun. I set out the paints, brushes, Q-tips, paper and glue. I briefly explained the project and let her go on her way.
First, she used some scrap paper of various colors and glued them to the base sheet. Then she used both the tips of paint brushes and Q-tips to create her dots. Q-tips were her favorite tool because “they make big dots”. I even sat down with her and created by own – I can’t resist a little afternoon of painting.
I really enjoyed watching her creative juices flow with her use of various colors and patterns, and, most importantly, she had a blast with this fun, simple project. Now it holds center position in her bedroom artwork display.
When we first signed up for dance class, I wasn’t quite sure how it would go. What I knew at the time was that I lived with a little girl who loved to dance around the house all the time in various costumes, to various music whether it was on iTunes or in her head. I also knew the kid had rhythm and some moves of her own, but didn’t always like sharing them with others. Oftentimes she would share them with daddy and I, other times I became a peeping-mom around corners. Once classes started, she found her own groove. She didn’t know any of the other girls in class, but it didn’t matter. Her focus on the instructor and routine were impressive each week for 17 weeks. When it came time to commit to the recital, I still wasn’t quite sure she’d make it to the stage, but we went through with it and hoped for the best.
Well, the best case scenario is exactly what happened. She performed with very little anxiety, she stayed focused and had a great time. When I asked her if she wanted to continue dance in the fall, she didn’t hesitate to say “yes!” I’m glad she has found an outlet for her talents – even if it does come with a little more sass than this mama cares to witness sometimes.
We were unable to get photos or video during the recital, but here are some of T’s photos during the rehearsal. The Ballet dance was to Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors”, and the Tap dance was to The Go-Go’s “We’ve Got the Beat”.
When we were kids, my sister and I would go off to church camp every summer for one week. While we were making memories, my parents would pick a year to transition our rooms to “big girl” rooms. Since my sister and I are five years apart, they happened at different times, and we didn’t know when it would happen. We would just pick out the colors and bedspread at some point and they would do the rest. What a great feeling to come home to – a new little space of our own.
That’s what happened yesterday for my daughter. D and I went for a week to visit my parents in Washington (photos to come) and when we came home, her little space was transformed into a little girls room. Thanks to my amazing husband and daddy, she got a new bed AND a pink room.
The bed was handcrafted by T. We knew about it and knew what it was going to look like, but he spent the entire week finishing it, painting it and installing it. I have to say, it is one strong and durable bed. He added a rack below to hold baskets that were previously taking up precious floor space. I’m still amazed at how he can picture something in his head, draft the measurements and build it – especially something he’s never built before. It turned out great, D loves it and it will remain a special piece of furniture for her. Here are photos of the progress (into the wee hours of the night) and the finished product – sleeping girl and all…
Remember the Chore Chart we created back in September? Well, I’m proud to say that household chores have become a regular routine now for one 3.5 year old. Tahoe’s food bowl is overflowing most of the time, and the table gets set with utensils and napkins on a regular basis – ok, sometimes I have to ask twice, but it gets done.
Let me reiterate how great the Chore Chart is when you’re introducing household responsibilities to your children. We used it for a few weeks and it quickly became routine. The stickers were the initial motivator, followed by the allowance at the end of the week and, ultimately, the trip to buy a gift with our savings.
We had been to the Disney Store a couple times to check out the inventory so D could understand how much she needed to save for her favorite item. When we saved up $12.00, we went back and she darted right for the princess dolls and chose Belle – her yellow dress is beautiful, after all. With our bag of money, we picked a patient cashier to count out all the quarters so D could see and understand her money being spent. And, with change still in our pocket and Belle clenched tight to our chest, we left the store very proud of our accomplishments.
That night, D and Rapunzel introduced Belle to all her stuffy friends and Belle had a birthday party. She’s been the constant companion of the week
D has an abundance of bath toys – mostly the rubber kind that squeak or spit water. During the lazy bath nights, we like to play a game we call “What’s Missing?”. When we first played this game, she was two so I kept the number of toys to a minimum (around 5). Now that she’s 3 1/2, we bring them all out (about 12).
First, we gather all the toys at one end of the tub so she can take a quick visual inventory of what is in play. Then, with eyes closed tight, I take one away and she has to guess who left the scene. She’s really quite good at it and, with focus, can guess them all. Some are easy…Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, etc.; some are a bit harder…polka dot ducky or Hawaiian ducky. She has to be specific. Once they are guessed correctly, I put the toy on the edge of the tub so she can see them. This game really helps with memory and the process of elimination, and it helps shake up the bath time routine.