Earth Day Craft – Coffee Filter Earth

Earth Day Craft - Coffee Filter Earth

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As a mom who has a closet full of supplies, and every now and then is organized with planned crafts, I found myself on Earth Day with no plan. Wanting to make a couple quick crafts with my preschooler though, I put on my thinking cap and tried to recall some crafts I had seen online, or from playgroups.

I remembered seeing marbled earth crafts using shaving cream and food colouring that looked like lots of fun. Honestly, I didn't feel like dealing with the mess, but will try that sensory craft another day, maybe with rainbow colours! Just as I was reaching for the paint and a paper plate, I remembered an easy coffee filter craft that would be perfect. We used Blue and Green to represent water and land, but this can be a fun craft any day of the year, using variations of colours. You could even make various sizes and colours to create the solar system.

This craft for Earth Day, or any day of the year, is easy and perfect for all ages.

My 3 yr old loved making this Earth Day Craft. It is quick and very simple. Keeping younger children's attention through this project is easily accomplished, as each step in the process is short. Most children will love the last step the most! What child doesn't like a spray bottle with water?

You will need: • Coffee Filters • Blue Marker • Green Marker • Spray Bottle • Water • scrap cardboard or plastic table cloth   FilterEarth03 Using blue and green markers, draw and fill in the entire surface of coffee filter. FilterEarth04 On protected surface, cardboard or plastic table cloth, spray filter lightly with water. Allow to dry.  These look great hung in a window or on the fridge. My son had a great time with this craft and was very excited to show it to his dad at the end of the day! FilterEarth02 Don't forget to check out the other Earth Day Craft we did: Recycled Tree For more ideas, check out my Pinterest Boards, and be sure to follow me.

Who Needs A Milk Frother?

Who Needs A Milk Frother?

wpid-20151114_092603.jpg Love my Chai Tea, Yum! We just brew the tea in the Keurig and drink. That's great, but I LOVE lattes, and for some strange reason thought I needed a milk frother to make one at home. I was wrong. I have been wanting a milk frother for a while, and just keep forgetting to buy one. This morning as I opted for Chai Tea instead of a second coffee, I had an "AH HA" moment! Who really needs a milk frother? Really, all it does is "whip" up the milk to a froth. wpid-20151114_092501.jpg Hey, look, there is an empty water bottle on the counter. I bet if I pour milk in & shake it up a bit, there will be a foamy, frothy milk inside!  There you have it, my genius idea. Shake up a bit of milk in a bottle....that's it. Really. This is an easy and affordable way to make your own Chai Tea Latte. It may not be Starbucks, but you know what? I can make 20 of these at home for the price of ONE at the cafe! Make Your Own: HOW TO MAKE MY SKINNY LATTE

No Bake Play Dough

No Bake Play Dough

This No Bake Play Dough is so easy and quick to make.
We just received a huge bucket of cutters and molds from my mother in law on the weekend. We picked up a few small Play Doh containsers at Walmart for $1 each and that was great. But it got me thinking about how I used to make play dough all the time for our older son.

Then yesterday at a Playgroup we attend, Natalie had made Play Dough for the kids and it made me think about making some again.

I remember trying all kinds of recipes about 10 years ago. This one is one of my favourites.  It's simple, easy and fast!
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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 cup Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 2 Cups Boiling Water
  • Food colouring
  1. In a large glass or metal bowl, mix Dry ingredients together.
  2. Add Oil and water, stir to blend.
  3. I then divide the dough and add colouring to each amount. I divided the batch pictured into 3. You could easily do 4 colours, I was just low on colour choices 🙂
  4. I use a stand mixer to do mine, it ensures even colour, but you can kneed this by hand an get great colours as well (but you may have stained hands).

Store in airtight container or zipper bag.

Enjoy!

Looking for some other DIY Kids activities? Check out these:

DIY Paints for the Kids!

DIY Paints for the Kids! image Painting is something I have always loved. There is something so rewarding about using your hands to create. Taking blobs of colour and making them into something. I also love to get messy, and these paint recipes for kids are the perfect way to share my love of painting with my kids! These all look like so much fun. We will have a blast trying each of these out. As I try each one, I will add our feedback to this page. image DIY Foam Paint from Dabbles and Babbles I am going to try this one tomorrow. As a couponer,  I have lots of shaving cream in my stockpile! image Baking Soda Paint from Learn Play Imagine Love the fun effects and designs created with this process. Children a little older will appreciate it more, but still lots of fun with the young ones. image Pudding Finger Paint from Raising Little Super Heroes This one is fun and makes a great paint for fingerprinting paper. Pale colours but smells good 🙂   image Kool-aid Paint by Sow Sprout Play Make sure your kids have old clothes or a smock on for this one. I remember how hard Kool Aid is to get out (I used to dye my hair with it in college! My Fine Arts days)  

Preschool Craft: Pom Pom Maze

Preschool Craft: Pom Pom Maze

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Clayton loves pom poms. We had some paper tubes duct taped to the side of our island in the kitchen for a while, and he would drop the pom poms through them. Since it has been gone for a little while, I thought about how I could bring it back with a twist, and no duct tape 🙂

Here is what you need:

  • Large Box (see in pic for better idea of size)
  • Coloured paper or wrapping paper
  • Toilet Paper Tubes
  • Paper Towel Tubes
  • Paint
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  1. Start by covering the box. I used scraps of paper (I am a scrapbooker, so we have lots of paper!). You can paint or cover with wrapping paper as well. Use glue to adhere the paper, as you will be gluing your tubes to this later. You do not want them to pull off loose paper.
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  2. Paint your toilet paper and paper towel rolls. Solid, patterned, blotchy, it's up to you. We used dollar store paint, nothing fancy.
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    This is where I let Clayton mix paint and do whatever he wanted. We talked about the different colours he was making as the colours mixed. I only had Red, Yellow and Blue paint on the paper plate for him. He made Green and Purple and of course a mixture of all!
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  3. Glue (I used glue and tape) the tubes onto the box. If you want bends in he tubes, you can cut them in half and make "ramps". You can see in the pic below what I mean. I put glue on each tube, and then tape from the top and bottom edges on the inside, to the outside to hold them in place until the glue dried.

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Here is Clayton's trial run with the Pom Pom Maze.


Follow me on Instagram, where I share our fun activities and outings!

 

 

Making a Pom Pom Maze with my little guy. #preschoolcraft #2yearold #Crafttime #pompoms #kidscrafts #mommysboy

A photo posted by Ruth Ann Swansburg (@ruthswansburg) on

Another fun activity for children of any age is blackout drawing.

Blackout Drawing

Blackout Drawing

As I sat here on the weekend colouring with Clayton, I remembered something I had done as a kid.

We had a large bulletin board on our kitchen wall. One time (probably more), I covered it in a large sheet of paper, and started colouring, random colours and designs on it, using pencil crayons. Once the entire sheet was covered, I took a black crayon and covered the sheet with black wax! Then took a flat ended toothpick and made designs in the black wax, letting the colours shine through.

Last weekend, I decided to give it a quick try, only I just had crayons on hand. Here are the results. Look below the pics for ideas and suggestions for making this project more fun and variations on types of medium to use.

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Colour sheet of paper many colours

  • pencil crayons will work better if using crayon to cover in black
  • oil pastel will produce more vibrant colour underneath if using Black poster paint on top.

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The crayon on crayon did not cover as well. I am going to try the poster paint next time.
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Use a screw driver, chopsticks, or any other hard object that will scratch off the black layer.

This is a fun project to have ready in craft bags. You can either let the kids make it from the beginning of the process, or have the blackout paper ready for them to use.

 

Craft Kits: Making Craft Time Easy

 

Crafts are so much fun with children, but have you ever noticed their short attention span leads to lots of extra "fun" if you are not prepared?
Hauling out the craft box and letting my little guy go through it is exciting and creative, but often times leads to a sheet of paper with some stickers and a few squiggles of crayon, maybe a pom pom glued on for a little added flare....but nothing specific. I am all for letting him be creative, but from time to time we want our kids to learn something from the craft, right?

My solution for crafting with a purpose is to create craft bags. The idea came from my continued success with freezer meals (all the prep work done!). So I have 4 or 5 craft bags made up in my box and ready to haul out when I need to fill some time on a rainy day.

You can start by picking a few crafts that require some prep from you anyway. Maybe cutting shapes, painting something, or drawing. Then place all the elements of the craft into the bag and label the bag with the Name of the craft and the Extra Supplies needed. ie: glue stick, paint, glitter, etc...

Here is a kit I made up for making an apple tree craft with Clayton when he was 2 1/2 years old.

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Elements out of the bag and ready to make.

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Finished craft.

DIY Costumes For kids

DIY Costumes For kids With Halloween just around the corner, let's talk about making costumes. Have you ever made your child's costume?  You do not need special sewing skills to pull together a unique and fun idea. Many store bought costumes are $25 or more and are not warm or durable. Home made costumes can be made to fit with room for cozy sweaters or to be used later for dress up. I made costumes for my oldest boy for several years and will definitely be doing some for my youngest in the years to come. Here was the soldier costume I made from a Thrift store jacket and some fabric remnants. Yes, there was sewing involved, but not finished nice on the inside. (No one could see that though) The hat was from our Summer vacation to Cape Breton, where we went to the Fortress of Louisburg. image

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I have made pirate costumes, ghost (not a sheet over the head 🙂 ) and the Soldier. So much fun for me, and my son never had the same costume as someone else.

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Below we have compiled a few super cute and creative ideas for you. Many of these are simple and did I mention cute!?!

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Baby Gumball Machine Pom poms! Now this idea would be easy, warm and comfy for any little trick or treater.

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Scarecrow

So cute and super easy to whip up this costume.

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Lego costume! Easy, easy, easy!

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Toy Soldier

GREEN Spray paint! Genius idea for any child who loves toy soldiers.

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Ninja Turtle

Some felt from the dollar store, a roasting pan and a little paint, and voila, a Ninja Turtle.

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Spaghetti & Meatballs Now this is absolutely adorable! Yarn, pom poms, basin and a placemat (don't forget the adorable baby!).

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Paper Doll

How cute! Do little girls even play with paper dolls anymore? I know I did as a child, but that was 30+ years a long time ago!

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Piñata

Felt again! Who would have thought you could make such cute costumes with it? I think a cute addition to this costume would be a "pouch" type opening in the front that people put the treats into. They would be filling the Piñata. Just be sure keep away for those yeilding a stick!

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Carl from UP (photo credit) This one is from a photographer's website, but pretty simple to duplicate. What a sweet idea!

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Found Here My 2.5 yr old is obsessed with Curious George! This is such a great costume.

imageOh, this would have been for my son when he was younger. Huge Star Wars fans here! Star Wars by Melly Sews

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Another adorable Pom Pom creation. A sweet, cuddly little lamb!

Little Lamb from Parents.com

Pumpkin Tips

Pumpkin Tips : Preserving your pumpkin!

Pumpkin patches are prime for the picking and all the grocery stores have their Fall displays set up. If you plan to buy fresh pumpkins this year, here are some tips you might try to help preserve them.

Most pumpkins will keep from now until Halloween if you do not carve them.

☆TIP: Keep out of direct sunlight and move to basement, garage or other cool area if it’s going to be very warm.

Once you carve your pumpkin, try one of these tips to help to keep that hard work looking great through Halloween.

  • 》Soak pumpkin in water 1-2 hours. 
  • 》You can also add 1 teaspoon bleach per gallon of water. This will make it last a little longer.
  • 》Lightly rub a thin coating of petroleum jelly, white glue OR vegetable oil on the inside and around carved parts of pumpkin. This will help keep the insides from drying out and changing its shape. 
  • 》Brush vinegar and lemon juice on the outside of pumpkin (add 2 Tbsp white vinegar and 1 tsp lemon juice to a litre of water).
  • 》Use a battery operated candle if you plan on lighting up your pumpkin for more than one evening.
  • 》 Place a few small packets of silica gel (that come with new shoes and hand bags) inside a carved pumpkin to absorb moisture and help keep it mold free.

Do you have any other tips to share? Please leave a comment below to let us know what you do to make your pumpkin  last the season.

Decorating ideas:
Hand Painted Pumpkins
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Tinkerbell pumpkin

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Pumpkin Carving Templates

Happy Halloween  🙂