Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Painting Garden Rocks

One of Ethan's favorite things to do outside is to help with the garden and I wanted a way for him to put a piece of his personality in the garden too. I decided that a good sunny afternoon project would be to paint rocks. (Ethan is 22 months old, but I think this would work out well for any age. Also a good sensory activity for an infant using finger paints.)

First, we took a bucket to collect rocks. If I had to make a guess, this was probably his favorite part. He loves rocks--I am always finding piles of them in the house or in the car--so why wouldn't collecting them be fun?!

We painted the rocks outside with acrylic paints and q-tips. We did a lot of the painting together. Ethan would paint his own rock, and he'd add paint to my rocks. It was really relaxing to sit together in the shade and create together, even if it only lasted as long as a toddler attention span! 

After the rocks dried, I sprayed them with a coat of glossy acrylic clear coat to help preserve them and add a bit more shine. I'm not sure how they will hold up long term against the elements--I suppose we'll have to wait and see!

I love the way they turned out. My favorite part was the clear acrylic sparkle paint. I love seeing the rocks sparkle and shimmer in the sun! 

Aren't they a cool addition to the garden?!?  Even their placement (all lined up along the left side of the path) reflects a bit of Ethan's personality!

Have you and your little person painted rocks or created other garden decorations?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dancing with Jack Vettriano

Inspiration from art

Source: Wikipedia

I always enjoy "The Singing Butler" by Jack Vettriano. I welcome it's romantic spirit coupled with a sense of curiosity. I have a print hanging in our powder room. This weekend we were washing hands and my toddler pointed to the painting and asked to look at the people dancing. 

I asked if he wanted to dance with me, and of course he approved of the idea. He thought it was really funny when I held his hand and lifted his arm in the air. He wanted to see us dancing in the mirror and I decided that was a decent time to snap a photo (from the hip of course). Sorry the photo is a bit lack luster...we were dancing, not taking photos!

Fun activity for a special Mommy and Baby day. Hope today grants you with the luxury of time to dance!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Coupon Clipping

Part of our Sunday morning routine is pulling the paper off the front porch (unless of course it landed in the flower bed) and clipping coupons. Ethan was about 8 months old when he started to "help" me with the weekly chore.

Playing with the Ads
Don't underestimate how fun it is for a little one (baby or toddler) to play with the glossy ad inserts--it's a blast! He'd look at them, throw them, tear them, and overall just have a good time. The best part is that it kept Ethan busy while I was clipping. :)

Playing "coupon"
Now a toddler, Ethan prefers to play with the clipped coupons. Every week I clip out some extra coupons for him and he throws them around. He likes to throw them from up high (usually climbing up two or three stairs) and with a bit of awe and excitement, watches the effect of gravity and air resistance on the little scraps of paper. After a few weeks, I got smart and stashed away his old coupons in a ziploc bad so I didn't have to cut him quite so many every week. I've since given him a small plastic accordion folder to keep them in like Mommy does. The folder has been a big win! A lot of times he asks me to cut out pictures from the advertisements--a dog from the pet store ad or a photo of a favorite toy. To him, they are ALL coupons, and they all contain a little secret piece of joy.

As always--it's the simple things...

(PS- I got a new comment plug-in to make commenting easier and better for you--let's try it out!)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Sombrero Craft

This toddler approved Cinco de Mayo sombrero craft turned out to be pretty quick and easy. It also uses supplies that you probably already have on hand. 

You'll need:
Plastic disposable cup
Desert-sized paper plate
Stickers (we used round dot stickers that cost about $2)
Packing tape

To prep the project, I taped the cup to the plate using packing tape and cut a hole in the paper plate below the cup. I originally tried to glue the cup to the plate, but the first thing my toddler did was rip the cup right off the plate. Then hand it over to your toddler and add the stickers!!

I was lucky enough that this was a project that Ethan wanted to do with me. He wanted me to help him put stickers on the cup. We've been adding stickers a little at a time over the last day, and I bet we add more by the end of the week. 

Ethan always enjoys stickers, but I think in the end, he liked putting the hat on the stuffed frog better! (They played quite an exciting game of "peek-a-boo!")

So, Happy Cinco de Mayo! If you need more holiday projects, be sure to check out the Footprint Chili Pepper!


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