Sunday, March 30, 2014

Easter Egg Bubble Bath

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After our super fun mirrored Easter egg painting last week, I was left with a (very happy) paint covered toddler, and a bunch of painting tools that needed cleaning. The only logical next step was a bubble bath to clean them all up! As soon as we finished, I scooped up Skyler, and together we carried our plastic cups, Easter eggs, and the cookie cutter up to the bathroom for a warm bubble bath! I added in some wash cloths and a sponge to play along with!

As I mentioned in our painting post, this was the first day Skyler had gone without a nap (just a one day fluke for now, luckily!!). Between the painting activity and this bath that followed, we were finished just in time for dinner!! An exciting and messy craft followed by a bath was just what we needed to fill an afternoon that could have been pretty rough otherwise!

Skyler loved leaving the water running as he held the egg pieces and cups under the stream. It sent water shooting out and also turned the water pretty colors (at least until they all mixed). It became murky pretty fast, and I didn't want the water to get too high, so we kept the drain open and the water running until our water was clear and by that time Skyler had gotten all of the painting tools and accessories sparkling clean! 

Skyler spent a lot of time transferring water between cups, or transferring eggs from one cup to another. A lot of great hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills being practiced through play!

Skyler really enjoyed trying to put all of the eggs together. In these pictures, all of his eggs have their matching color, but a lot of the time he would connect two different colors. Either way, we always talked about the colors he held and what colors made up the eggs! Depending on how much water ends up in the eggs, it is also a great time to use words like heavy, light, sink, or float!

We had fun pouring water from the cups onto different body parts. Skyler learned the song "This is the way we wash our..." in swimming class and we love to play that in the tub as well! He learned many body parts from this activity (shoulders, back, arms) and it is a great way for him to help in the tub by rinsing himself!

We also did a lot of stacking and building. Skyler was able to stack all eight of the egg halves, but they quickly fell! He also had a lot of fun making a train and pushing it along the edge of the tub. These pictures are kind of "artsy" - I don't want to embarrass Skyler TOO much if he does ever end up reading this in the future. Next time I will have to put him in some swim trunks even if I do not plan on writing a post, just in case ;)

And what bath would be complete without some extra splashes!

Between the cup and egg washing, connecting, pouring, stacking, building, and splashing, Skyler enjoyed this bath for a very long time! It was the perfect way to clean up all of our paint (no more blue hair or pink cheek!) and spend more of our afternoon playing. 

Clean and happy boy!!

And just for kicks - Skyler's first selfie ;)

Even if your little one does not need to get clean, washing eggs with soapy water is a super fun sensory activity! After our bubble bath, I saw this post from Little Bins for Little Hands for egg washing sensory play! I am sure Skyler and I will enjoy this method of washing eggs before Easter comes, of course, as long as he does not end up covered in the art materials as well!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mirrored Easter Egg Painting

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Oooh, this was a fun one!

Yesterday, we had a very busy morning with story time and errands, and Skyler ended up falling asleep in the car for about five minutes on the way home. I gave him some lunch and put him down right away for a nap...but for the first time ever he did not nap. I kept thinking, "oh, he laid down, maybe he will fall asleep," but nope, he would be right back up, doing laps around his crib. I knew it would be the perfect afternoon to whip out this painting activity.

I admitted on Facebook last night that I ended up taking around 500 pictures of this activity. Well, the entire activity. For this post, I narrowed it down from 245 to 28, and boy, was it hard! Skyler was so into this activity and I couldn't help but take picture after picture! Anyone else do this?!

For this simple Easter inspired painting activity, I cut some egg shapes out of white poster board and taped them onto a mirror that is in Skyler's room (he spent a lot of time in front of it as a baby!) I gathered some egg shaped painting tools including various colored plastic eggs and a cookie cutter.

When I got Skyler up from his non-nap I put some blue, red, yellow, and green paint into plastic cups and added white to each cup as well. Skyler helped me by stirring all of the colors, making our plain finger paints into beautiful spring pastel colors!

We did a little color match and put the pink, pale yellow, green, and blue eggs into the corresponding paint cup and it was time to create! Skyler immediately started by cracking an egg open and making some circle prints!

He quickly switched colors and tried painting with the entire egg.

And he was hooked! He moved from pink to yellow and then green quickly (as he typically will do - he has to try everything to figure out what is best)! For awhile he switched between the four paints, making prints with the eggs and cookie cutter and using the eggs to smear the paint around.

After awhile he noticed that his hands were covered with paint. At first it was a little bit of a shock, and then he thought it was funny. Once he saw his paint covered hands, he really got into it.

Skyler's favorite method was using the eggs to coat his hand in paint and then raising his arm above his head, throwing it forward and making hand prints all over the paper (and sometimes the mirror). It was so fun to watch him. He would add a little paint, make a bunch of prints quickly, check out his hand to see if he had enough paint, and then repeat the process!

He also liked to place his hand down and then smear the paint before lifting his hand up.

He ended up with a pink cheek and blue hair!!

A side smear :)

This is what Skyler did over and over. Paint, smack, smack, smack, repeat.

I have never seen Skyler get so involved with a "messy" activity. Even with the muddy track painting we did. He really loved that, painting the entire poster board, but he was more timid and seemed more uncomfortable when the paint ended up all over him. By the end of this mirror painting, his arms, face, hair, legs, and obviously hands, were completely coated and he thought it was great!

This painting activity was the perfect way to spend our afternoon. It kept my sleepy guy very entertained and we spent at least an hour painting, talking about the shapes of the eggs, the colors he was using, where the paint was on his body, and his methods of painting.

Skyler didn't care as much about the mirror part of the activity as I thought he would, but it was still nice - something different to try!

And in the end, we have these beautiful finished eggs. It is fun for me to look at them because I remember so vividly how each one was decorated. I see the egg he used the plastic eggs and cookie cutter for, the egg he made by slapping his hand down, the egg with the up smears, and then egg with the side smears. I also love how he used every color.

I never thought I would be so happy to have a day without Skyler napping ;)

The inspiration for this activity came from a mix of these two posts:
The Reflection Table by Teach Preschool
Painting the Night by Twodaloo

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Flower Painting

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We love to paint at our house. I am always trying to think of fun and exciting painting methods for Skyler to try. On the blog, we have painted with yarn, we made muddy tracks with animals and trucks, and we have used potatoes, carrots, and toilet paper rolls to make prints with paint. It is fun to give Skyler a new painting tool and watch his eyes light up and see how excited he is to create!

With winter behind us now (according to the calendar at least!) I have been looking for cheerful and springlike crafts and activities to brighten up our home. I was about to throw away some calla lilies that I bought around Valentine's Day, when I realized even though they don't look great anymore, I could give them a purpose before tossing them in the trash!

The coffee filter clovers that were acting as sun catchers on our bay window were fairly quickly discolored by the sun, and I have missed our Valentine sun catchers made with contact paper, so this seemed like a perfect spring sun catcher, using flowers as a tool to paint with!

I taped down a large piece of contact paper for Skyler to paint (on the non-stick side of the contact paper) and we mixed together some sparkly red and white paint to create our flower painting. 

Skyler had a lot of fun using the flowers as a painting tool. Of course, he had to try out all four flowers and he spent time using both the head and stem of the flowers to paint. Skyler kept asking for "more paint peeeeas!!" and filled the entire piece of paper with different shades of pink!

My favorite spot on Skyler's painting - a perfect calla lily print!

I had planned on taking off the paper and placing the sticky side of the contact straight onto our window, but I decided to make a special set of frames to display his beautiful art! I thought it would be fun to make some big calla lily sun catchers for our window, a fun way to show off the painting he made with the same type of flower!

I searched for a calla lily outline, and this free clip art caught my eye! Using a marker on the removable part of the contact paper, I (very) loosely drew calla lily shapes like in the picture above, trying to make sure that I was getting most of his painted parts into the flower shapes!

After cutting them out, I traced each flower shape onto a piece of poster board. I could not get a good picture of just the pencil, but after making one line with pencil, I made a thick line on either side, so some of the frame would go outside of the contact paper when I glued them together. These are the outlines for the frames, you can see the pencil line between each group of red lines.

I painted our frames with the same sparkly red paint that Skyler did his flower painting with. When they were dry, I cut along the red marker lines and then glued the frames onto the contact paper (the same non-stick side that Skyler painted on).

Before they were glued together, but this is what they looked like before going on the window.

I made sure the glue had completely dried before trying to peel off the paper. I didn't want there to be any separation if the glue was even a little bit wet still!

I love how contact paper makes the perfect sun catcher when painted. It took a bit more time to frame his artwork (it didn't take much time though!), but I think it is fun how the flower frames show off what tool Skyler used to make his painting. I made sure the calla lily print stayed whole (on the top of the middle flower!)

To finish our spring sun catcher I added stems with green tape. I tried using decorative masking tape (the same one I used for our musical percussion tubes), but I didn't love it, so in the end I used Green FrogTape! It made a more substantial stem and was not quite as see through.

 The masking tape on the left just wasn't enough, but I love the look of the painting tape!

Isn't it so springy with the snow falling in the background? ;) We had a cold and cloudy day, so it is hard to see how beautiful Skyler's painted sun catcher is! The sparkly paint shimmers and lights up with the tiniest amount of sun - I love these flowers! Also, while I am a big fan of our home, town house living does not supply the best views, so the window covering is lovely to look at!

This was a fun craft for both of us! Skyler had a great time with his exciting new painting tool and I am happy that I was able to frame the painting in a way that showcases his beautiful creation!