Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful Tree

I love doing this project with kids once they are old enough to think about the things they are grateful for in their lives. I've done it before with both preschoolers and elementary aged students. Now that Big Brother is a little older I was able to do it with him. We did the project on 8 x 11 paper with the hope we can make it an annual tradition and compare how his hand grows and his thankful pieces change. The paper size will make it easier to fit into some sort of memory book.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Turkey Projects for Little Hands

We're a little behind in posting this week, so we're going to share 3 projects in one update. All of the projects, with varying adult assistance, could by done by toddlers through elementary aged kids. They all use craft supplies you probably already have on hand, so they can even be done last minute Thursday morning just after the real turkey goes in the oven.

Salt Dough Place Setting Turkeys

We actually made these last year the day before Thanksgiving as a way to decorate our table. I made the salt dough using a basic salt dough recipe and then shaped the dough into small birds. Big Brother (who was two at the time) put the feathers into the backs of the turkeys and dotted their eyes with sharpies. We also added beaks and wattles using red and orange pipe cleaners cut into small pieces. We let them air dry over night.

Turkey Paper Plate Hat

This was a fun project we created recently. I was inspired by these great, long feathers I found at Wal-Mart. First we painted the bottom side of a paper plate brown. After the paint had dried we cut out a bird shape with a circle behind it. The bird shape is able to prop upwards and the circle is to be worn like a visor on top of the head. We then taped the feathers onto the back of the bird body and glued on an eye, construction paper beak, and construction paper wattle. 

Handprint & Footprint Turkeys

There are a lot of different ideas on Pinterest these days about how to create a hand print turkey, this is our spin on it. First we painted Big Brother's hand, each time a different color and printed them onto the paper in a semi-circle. We then painted his foot and big toe brown with his little toes orange, and printed it onto the paper upside down. After everything had dried we added googley eyes and a construction paper beak. 

We made a couple of different turkeys, and even had Little Brother make one too! 

We've been having lots of fun creating these different projects. Do you have a favorite turkey project that you like to do with kids? We'd love to have hear your project ideas in the comments. 

And just because I couldn't resist, here's a quick snapshot at what out kitchen floor can look like when we're having fun. 

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Applesauce and Yellow Raisin Spiced Muffins

So we made these yummy muffins late Sunday afternoon, and I'm embarrassed to admit they're already gone. All 12 of them, the whole dozen. And we didn't share any with anyone but us. Really, it's just a testament to how yummy they are.

As you know, we love cooking together here, and especially love baking (and eating) muffins

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pound A Pumpkin

A few weeks ago Big Brother participated in this activity at preschool, and loved it so much we had to recreate it at home. We've used it as a way to get out some extra energy now that the afternoons are cooler and shorter, and it's a little harder to get outside. It's perfect for using up any pumpkins left over from Halloween.

The materials are simple a pumpkin, golf tees, and toy hammers. Ahead of time a grown-up could poke holes into the pumpkin although we found it pretty easy to pound the tees in without preset holes. 

Big Brother would get the tee started by twisting it in and then use the hammer to pound the tee further in. 

Older kids could work on designing patterns but Big Brother just enjoyed getting the tees into the pumpkin. He even pounded one into the stem. We did find we could pretty easily use our fingers to pull them back out if we wanted to. Using the tee and the hammer both promote fine and gross motor skills. 

Not an idea we can take credit for, but it definitely got a lot of play time in our house. 

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Build A Monster Game

I had a busy work week with parent-teacher conferences and report cards, which meant a quiet blog week. On weeks like this we tend to focus on creating what little routine we can stick to and recreating favorite activities.

With the long week over today we played a new activity which I've been looking forward to trying out. Before Halloween I was inspired by an activity I saw over at Playdough to Plato called Roll A Skeleton. Around the same time Big Brother and I had grabbed some fun craft foam and colorful google eyes at JoAnn's on sale. I decided to make up our own roll and build game.