Thursday, December 27, 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
While the concept of a photo treasure hunt isn’t new, don’t save it just for a special occasion. This is a fun indoor/outdoor activity that you can do any time. All you need is a pencil & paper, a little imagination and a digital camera (we had bought the children inexpensive digital cameras for them to use on our last vacation).
When the weather is nice I like to create a list that will get the kids outdoors and exploring nature. When the days are cold, dark and rainy like they are now, I try to make a list that will get their creativity flowing. Below is a sample of our latest photo treasure hunt. I like to sneak in a little healthy snacking (see #’s 13 & 14). And if you are doing the indoor version, I highly suggest including #17 (substitute whichever room is most applicable).
And, just in case you aren’t familiar with the concept, the idea is to take one photo with all of the items listed. In this example the child should come back with 17 individual photos.
Sometimes I have the kids work together and sometimes I give them separate lists. We have done this a few times now and it is definitely a favorite activity.
1. A white-bearded dragon prince
2. Your full name spelled with blocks
3. Frog from a storybook
4. A hippo wearing a hat and looking out the window
5. Harry & Sally (our puppets) playing ping pong
6. A drawing of a robot on vacation
7. A robot, a bunny and a monkey having a tea party
8. A Lego car
9. You in disguise
10. A list of three things you want to do this year
11. A fairy riding a train
12. You in your favorite outfit
13. A half eaten piece of fruit
14. An empty plate after you finish the other half of the piece of fruit
15. A drawer full of matched socks
16. The first page of your favorite story
17. A cleaned-up living room
We managed to capture a photo of the elusive creature this afternoon.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
When I took up cloth diapering with my third child I discovered some of the interesting properties of wool:
1. Wool is naturally antibacterial
2. Wool absorbs moisture while remaining dry (one of the reasons why wool makes amazing diaper covers)
3. Helps regulate temperature (especially Merino wool which works with your body’s natural heating and cooling system – I had to explain this to many people when they questioned why my baby was still wearing wool in the warmer months)
I thought I knew pretty much all there was to know about wool until I started researching ways to use it for crafting. Knitting and crocheting wool yarn were obvious choices but I soon learned there are countless other possibilities for this wonderful material.
What sparked my initial interest was a tutorial I found here. The wooden play food we had for my oldest two children left many a dent in our hardwood floors and I was looking for a softer alternative. The technique used in making the wooly tarts is called needle felting. Felting is the term used to describe the matting of the wool fibers using heat, moisture and/or agitation. If you have ever accidentally put a favorite wool sweater through a regular washing machine cycle then you know what felting is.
In needle felting, the wool fibers are compacted by repeatedly stabbing the wool with a sharp, barbed needle. The only tools you need are: felting needle, foam pad, and some wool roving in your desired colors. For my first project I picked up a needle felting kit from a wonderful etsy seller which contained all of the needed materials.
Following the Fig and Me tutorial I created this yummy looking tart:
While searching the web for felt food inspiration, I came across several sites with examples of felted soaps. Most were in bright cheery colors and they immediately caught my eye but I was confused as to how it actually worked. Was the soap still useable or just decorative? Turns out they are both decorative AND practical - and very easy to make!
The process used in making the soaps is called wet felting. By using hot water and rubbing (agitation) you shrink and compact the wool around the soap. This YouTube video serves as a great how-to. It is not only fun to make but so easy even my kids (including the 2 year old) were able to make their own soaps.
Here are some of the little hand soaps we made:
While I don’t have photos of them, we went on to make bath bar sized felted soaps. It is like having a permanent washcloth attached to your soap. Simply get the wool felted soap wet, rub to lather it up and you are good to go. Unlike normal soaps, the felted variety doesn’t slip so easily out of little hands. While my children love to play in the bath, I think this is the first time they actually enjoyed the “getting clean” part of it.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
I am so happy that my children share my love of crafting. I treasure those moments together with them when we are covered in paint and glue, glitter strewn across the kitchen floor. I enjoy watching their little hands at work and the thought and love that goes into so many of their projects. And, I especially love the sense of pride I can see in their eyes when they create something on their own.
So roll up your sleeves, get out the paint, scissors and glue and join us in some good messy fun.