Spilt Milk Paintings

Having a little babe that prefers (shock!!) to sleep in bed, alone for naps, means that we are spending a bit more time indoors than I would typically like to do during the summer.

It also means that it is a little more important for me to come up with things for Ewan to do while his brother naps so that he doesn’t go too crazy (or get too annoyed with being in).

Lately our go-to time filler has been art. (How glad am I about that?!) And these spilt milk paintings were truly fun to do!

Materials

  • It Looked Like Spilt Milk, by Charles G. Shaw
  • Blue Paper
  • White Paint
  • Paint Brushes

Directions

  • First we read the book (we’ve already read it a million times) to refresh our minds.
  • Next we folded the pieces of blue paper in half, so that he could only access one half of the sheet for painting.
  • Ewan painted the one half with white paint. When he was done, we opened up the paper and pressed it together, to make a print.
  • Then we tried to guess and talk about what the prints looked like.
I said: Elephant, He said: Bug
I said: Brain, He said: Ball
How about you? What do you see?
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Do This: Shaving Cream Exploration

This idea is certainly nothing new but it is one that I had sort of forgotten about. And now that it has been remembered, well, it is sure to be in heavy rotation. And why not? Shaving cream is cheap and it can easily provide an hour or so worth of exploration for Ewan. Try it out. I guarantee your toddler will be similarly entertained.

Materials

  • Shaving Cream
  • Surface for Playing On
  • Garbage Bag
  • Plastic Washable Toys
  • Tape

Directions

  • First I cut down the side and bottom of a large trash bag to make a large rectangle sheet of plastic. I used the sheet to cover the table we planned on using and affixed it with masking tape.
  • Next I put a variety of small plastic toys onto the table (legos, small dinosaurs, maracas, bouncy balls).
  • Then, I covered the pile of toys with an ample amount of shaving cream.

The little ones loved running their fingers through the cream, drawing with it, digging out the small toys, trying to guess what each was.

There are endless modifications to this activity, we’ve come up with a few that I’ll be sharing soon, but, really, there is no need to make it any more complicated. Plain old shaving cream has a lot of fun-value all on its’ own.

Just to note, I did this one with our weekly toddler playgroup and, as it turns out, it wasn’t nearly as scary having 4 toddlers play with shaving cream in my dining room as I thought it would be.

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Quiet Time: Matching Colors

As it turns out, we haven’t needed quiet time activities for the past few days. Ewan has decided, once again, that naps are alright and he has been falling asleep in the most random places around his room.

Yesterday, he fell asleep in front of the door and when I went in to check on him, I delivered a must unfortunate wake-up call. A huge clunk to the head. Yikes.

That being said, I still have a few more activities to share and I intend to keep collecting ideas. Even if we don’t use them during quiet time right now, there are plenty of other moments to fill in the day and these sorts of activities are just perfect!

Today I’d like to share our latest, color sorting folder.

Materials

  • File Folder
  • Paint Chips (from the hardware store)
  • Construction Paper
  • Self-adhesive Velcro
  • Contact Paper (or other Laminate)
  • Glue Stick

Directions

  • Choose three color groups of paint chips and construction paper. I used green, blue and orange.
  • Cut three rectangles of construction paper to fit side-by-side on one half of your file folder. Glue them on.
  • Laminate the file folder.
  • Stick four squares of velcro on each construction paper rectangle. Stick twelve squares of velcro on the opposite side of the folder.
  • Cut paint chips into an appropriate size to fit all 12 pieces on the folder. Four in each color group.
  • Laminate the paint chips and stick velcro onto the back.

Voila! Quick, easy color sorting activity.

Ewan has been OBSESSED with stickers recently. As it turns out, he likes this just as much. He calls it his sticker folder and busies himself with pulling the colors on and off, rearranging them, and sometimes he even sorts them!

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Quiet Time: Nuts and Bolts

Last week I talked about our quiet time routine. It is, knock on wood, still working for us. As I mentioned, each day his quiet time bag is filled with a snack, water, a book, and an activity or two. The activities are only available for quiet time and I rotate them, he never sees the same activity two days in a row.

One of his favorites in the rotation is a simple one to put together. All you have to do is take a little stroll down the aisles at a friendly, neighborhood hardware store (or a big box will do).

Gather a bunch of different nuts, bolts, washers and wing nuts. Give them to your toddler. Yep, that’s it.

We got some of the really big ones, our largest bolt is 3/4 inch and it is definitely his favorite at the moment. Most likely it is because it is the easiest for him to manipulate.

He twists, he turns, he clinks them together.

Simple and easy, just the way I like it.

I have another activity to share tomorrow, but we’re on the hunt for a few more. Any ideas? Got any good activities for the 2+ crowd that can be done unsupervised?

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Do This: New Crayons from Old

Tomorrow I am hosting a playdate with friends where the mamas each made something to put in Easter baskets for the little ones. We each made our item, en masse, so that we could exchange the goods and be able to fill up our little ones baskets with a variety of handmade goodies without having to make each item ourselves. Clever, no?

Our project was making easter-shaped recycled crayons. I found a sale on a silicone mold with bunnies and baskets and Ewan and I went to town.

He happily spent nearly two hours peeling all the papers off the crayons and breaking them so that they fit into the mold.

Now this idea is nothing new. I’ve read about it many places in the past, always flagging it in my mind as a way to use all the broken and old crayons that I still had stashed from my teaching days. The instructions I followed, most closely, were over here.

Once the crayons were peeled and broken to fit into the mold, we put about eight crayons into each shape, they went into the oven at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Once they were all melted, we had to wait for them to cool down, but then they popped right out of the mold. Super easy!

Of course, we had to wrap up our little gifts and put on tags. I found a little more inspiration for the tags over on another blog, just in the nick of time.

Voila. Perfect little gifts to put into Easter baskets.

I can’t wait to see what the other mamas bring to the exchange!

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