It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Leaf Crafting

I found a cute fall craft here at Lovely Nest. If you want complete instructions, follow that link. Here I’ll just describe the few tweaks I added to make the craft a little more toddler-friendly.

I gathered paper plates, each marked with a scribble of a fall colour to help with the colour-sorting.

Not all toddlers can tear. I know, I know, it’s weird. They’ve been ripping pages out of library books since the day they figured out they had hands, and yet making a deliberate tear can be a challenge. A largish piece of paper with little ‘starter tears’ at intervals makes it a whole lot easier.

Just-turned-three Tyler needed instruction from there. “Pull one hand forward, and the other backward.” He was slow and careful on the first few, but soon became an old pro. He never did learn to make the tear without the starter tear, though. Perhaps this is a good thing?

Glue the sorted colours onto squares of paper, cut out your leaf shape, and make the veins. We used glitter glue for ours. The two brown leaves’ veins were made by the just-three, with some hand-over-hand help from me. The yellow and orange were made by the 4.5-year-old, All By Herself.

Fun!

November 19, 2010 Posted by | crafts | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Beach Party!

A rainy day requires a craft. This, part of a wonderful craft supplies package put together AND MAILED TO ME by my thoughtful eldest, was our inspiration:


What do they look like? Why, beach umbrellas, of course. And if you have a beach umbrella, you’ll need a beach…

You’ll also need to reinforce your beach, so you’d better tape some cardboard to the back of it.

You’ll need a heap of sand to stick your umbrella into… (Yes, that is playdough. Yes, a truly unfortunate colour. That’s what happens when you let toddlers tell you which bottles of food colouring to put in, and how many drops. You get murk. Could be worse, though. Could be poo-coloured. Or, worse yet, mold-coloured… because it had genuine mold in it. Mmm-hmm. I’ll take a little harmless murk any day.)

Now you need sand, and what could be sandier-looking than yellow cornmeal?? (Well, yes, real sand would work, too, but recall that today was rainy. The only sand out there today is mud.)

Sprinkle some onto the mound, and gently pat in on…

TA-DAH!!! Beach umbrella in heap of sand!!

Now for the rest of the picture. Swish some podgey all over the “sand” part of your picture. (My podgey is homemade: one part white school glue with one part water, or maybe two parts glue to one part water, I can’t remember. It’s been a while. It doesn’t matter: if you want to make your own start with two parts glue to one part water, and then slowly add more water till it looks right to you. Oh, and there was some glitter in there, too. Did I put that in, or did it just find its own way in? Again, I can’t remember — but glitter is never a bad thing!!!)

Sprinkle cornmeal into the wet podgy. More is better. If you get too much, tip the paper and gently tap one edge to shake off the loose stuff. This is a good idea in any case, because there is ALWAYS loose stuff.

Next (and I forgot to take a picture of this, but I’m sure you can figure it out) you paint the water with podgy and sprinkle glitter on it — so it sparkles like water in the sun!

Every trip to the beach needs a beach towel. I let Emily browse my stash of used wrapping paper and old magazines to find the PERFECT beach towel. Then you cut it out. (Don’t you just adore the cuddly awkwardness of those dimpled fingers in the scissors??)

Stick the blanket on the beach — we used glue, but a staple would’ve held better, if I’d had one available, instead of in a bedroom with a sleeping baby — and TA-DAH!!! —

A beautiful beach. And a very proud little girl! A very proud little girl who was even happier to help Noah and Tyler make theirs, when they woke from their naps.

June 1, 2010 Posted by | crafts | , , , , , | 3 Comments