Adventures of the Non-Creative Mom

April 30, 2012

More brown paper bag art

Filed under: Arts and Crafts — by dsuzuki @ 3:37 am
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If you saw our Earth Day activity post you know I’ve been trying to find ways to re-use all the extra brown paper bags we have lying around.  I found that they are great for painting.  I cut the bags open and tape them on our table using extra painter’s tape we had lying around.  The paper bags are thick enough I can squirt the paint right on top of it and let the kids go at it.

Paper Bag Painting

I was chopping carrots and celery so I thought why not let the kids try painting with them to see what shapes they get.

Carrot Painting

And I have these bags full of bio-degradable packing pieces that I’ve been meaning to dissolve and get rid of but figured why not let them try painting with them as well.  The kids had so much fun trying all these different ways of painting my daughter and I started looking for other items they could try.  We sliced an almond in half and made “teardrops” and made flowers using some stale cookies that were going to be thrown out.

Cookie Painting

My son enjoyed the popcorn painting the most by far.

Popcorn painting

Overall, I got to prep dinner, the kids had a blast and because the bags covered such a large area most of the paint was contained on the paper though my son did manage to get a few spots on the table and chair.  I loved that the thickness of the paper bags kept the paint from the table, I didn’t have to go use fresh paper and that was two more brown paper bags down. 🙂

April 26, 2012

Our Earth Day Fun: Re-using Paper Bags for Art

Filed under: Arts and Crafts,Learning,Outdoor Activities — by dsuzuki @ 11:32 pm
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A little late but I figure better than never…our Earth Day activities.  I’m horrible at pre-planning but on the spur of the moment I thought it might be fun to do some Earth Day-ish arts and crafts.  It also didn’t hurt that it kept both kids busy while I cooked dinner.

We had gone grocery shopping and didn’t have enough cloth bags so we had some extra paper bags lying around.  I figured why not cut out a “tree” and let the kids decorate it.  At least it would be a form of re-use and I didn’t have to use brand new paper. Here the kids are decorating the top half of their trees:

Earth Day Arts & Crafts

Then when my son was down for a nap we headed outside because my daughter wants to get outside any chance she can get.  We hunted for leaves and then I showed her how to do leaf rubbings.  Sadly we couldn’t find many leaves in the yard but being the creative girl she is she proceeded to try doing rubbings on the cement patio, containers she found around the patio and even on a scrub brush logo.

Leaf Rubbings

Leaf Rubbings

Once she was done I taped the trunk to the top of the tree and here is her finished product:

Earth Day Tree

April 21, 2012

Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton

Filed under: Books — by dsuzuki @ 11:23 pm
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Moo, Baa, La La La!

I’ve been a huge fan of Sandra Boynton’s books ever since my oldest daughter was born.  I had The Going-To-Bed Book book memorized so I could recite it to her whenever I did not have the actual book on hand and The Barnyard Dance was another big favorite of ours.  But somehow we totally missed Moo, Baa La La La! until I ran across it at the library and decided to pick it up for my younger son.

If you have not read this book and you have little ones around 18 months to 2 or 3 years old (though even my 4 year old gets a kick out of it) I highly suggest you go out and get it.  We’ve read it so many times and I’ve maxed out my renewals of it that I finally went and bought a copy of our own.

The rhyming is catchy and there is enough silliness about what do pigs say that the kids will giggle.  It goes through a list of what do animals say like “Cows say moo. Sheep say baa.” and so on.  Until the very end when everything goes silent and the book asks what would you say?  My kids and I have fun taking turns telling what we would say like “bow wow wow” or “snort, snort”.

When I tried to return the library copy and before I bought our own copy every day was “Where’s moo, la la la?” and my son would go hunting around the house.  It is really cute even though it means I’m reading the book 4-5 times a day.

April 15, 2012

Pinkalicious Fairies

Filed under: Arts and Crafts,Books — by dsuzuki @ 12:05 am
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A friend of mine was throwing a Pinkalicious birthday party for her daughter the other week and to  get my daughter into the mood I decided to make her a pinkalicious fairy crown (don’t dare call it a princess crown because my four year old will immediately say she does not like princesses mommy!).

I had a bunch of ribbons and stuff from a Party City clearance sale I picked up awhile back after my daughter had seen some crowns at a street fair and was begging for one.  I wasn’t about to pay I believe it was $15 dollars for something I felt I could make at home myself.  So I gave it a whirl and she loved it.  Her smile when I took the picture cracked me up.

Pinkalicious crown

I basically took some of a silver party wire decoration (sorry don’t know what it’s called) that was covered in silver & had stars covering it and shaped in a circle that fit my daughter’s head.  Then I took 3 or 4 different shades of pink ribbon and tied them around the section where I had twisted the wire closed so she wouldn’t get poked by the edges.  I tossed in a few strands of white ribbon as well to add a little contrast.  Curled it with a pair of scissors and voila!  Cost me a couple dollars to make and she was happy & has been wearing it every day since.

Of course my 21 month old got jealous and kept trying to steal her crown so I had to make one for him as well.  Luckily I also had some blue ribbons so I made one for my son as well.

Blue prince crown

Once my daughter saw his crown she wanted some blue added to hers and not wanting to be sexist I added them for her.

A touch of blue

And the two kiddos together.

Two fairies

It really turned out to be easier than I expected and am so glad I didn’t pay for that one at the street fair.  I would have liked to add maybe some tulle but didn’t have any and seemed silly to go out and buy some just for this.  Still, love my two little fairies.

April 7, 2012

Happy Easter!

Filed under: Holidays — by dsuzuki @ 11:48 pm
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Tomorrow we have a couple parties to attend so I decided to let the kids celebrate their Easter fun today.  So we had a busy day of Easter crafts, the final observations of our egg geodes experiment (post upcoming), opening their Easter basket goodies and eating Easter egg popsicles.

Here was the Easter basket I put together for the kids and can I say that my daughter was born to be in a Dizzy Dancer commercial?  She saw one of those short commercials that play on a display in Target and has been asking for one ever since.  I finally scored a deal on them for around $3 each and even though it’s for 4 yrs + I had to get one for my 21 month old as well otherwise fights would be inevitable.  When she started playing with it she kept saying “The new Dizzy Dancers are so awesome!” in one of those tv sales folks voices.  It cracked me up.

Easter Baskets

Dizzy Dancers

Both the kiddos are crazy about popsicles but I don’t like to give my son the full-sized ones.  Popsicle has these great mini popsicles that are about half the size which are great but they are so pricey!  I’ve been on the hunt for just the right size mould to make my own but haven’t had much luck.  I came across this pin on Pinterest about using Easter eggs for moulds and thought why not give it a try.

My husband drilled a hole in the bottom of each egg and then I used a thumb tack to make two air holes in each egg.  I didn’t have any mini funnels so I used one of our eye drops to fill each egg and then stuck in lollipop sticks left over from when I made lollipops for Christmas.

Easter egg popsicles

The kids got really excited over them and my daughter loved it but my son had a harder time with it once he got down to the bottom half of the shell.  I debated about removing the entire shell but didn’t want to worry about the drips as it melted.

Easter egg popsicles

Easter egg popsicleThe kids were pooped out and went down pretty easily for bed so hopefully no meltdowns during tomorrow’s parties.  Have a Happy Easter!

April 2, 2012

Upcycling Magnet Play

Both my 4 year old and my 20 month old love playing with magnets so I was trying to think of something new for them to play with and remembered this pin from Pinterest. It’s been something I’ve been wanting to do but I’ve been too cheap to go buy magnets.  So instead I decided to try and upcycle some old magnets from refrigerator magnets that broke and those old calendar magnets we get from realtors.  I also had a bunch of left over craft items so I pulled out the glue gun, let my daughter pick out what she wanted on each piece of magnet and we went at it creating snowflakes, fuzz balls, pipe cleaner magnets, etc.

Then we needed something for the kids to put the magnets on.  I had cleaned out a couple cans of Campbell’s soup, pinched down the sharp edges and then covered them up with electrical tape just to be extra safe.  I let my daughter pick the colors and make designs using the tape.

My son didn’t quite get the concept of putting the magnets on the cans and kept putting them inside the cans (possibly because most of these upcycled magnets weren’t very strong and wouldn’t stick once you moved the cans around) so I pulled out this magnetic board.

Of course both kids had to have a flat board to play out so I dug out a cookie sheet as well.

While the kids were playing I cut out some pieces of construction paper thinking they could play chicka chicka boom boom since we also have some magnetic letters.

But my daughter proved more creative and started making her own creatures standing in the snow.

And here she created a “monster” and started reciting Go Away, Big Green Monster.  I wish I got a picture of her entire monster but she was too quick.

All in all the kids had a blast but next time I should definitely invest in stronger magnets so they wouldn’t keep sliding off the cans.