Thursday, March 31, 2011

pasta dyeing/ simple collage

Today my gorgeous nephew, my mum and sister came to visit :) My kids are totally in love with this little guy and the feeling is mutual, with many a random hug or kiss shared throughout the day... so cute to watch. Jumeirah, a little relunctantly, went to school, so I wanted to give these three something fun and crafty to do. I set them up with a simple collage that was done on Chinese container lids. It looks cool and almost manages to keep them more contained (all bar Amahli whos all " dont fence me in" as her lifes catch cry). I gave them coloured craft glue and lots of different things to glue on.

Fine motor, hand eye coordination and choice are all things that get a good work out with a craft like this. Little fingers need to work harder to choose a particular button, pincher grip gets used to sprinkle on stars and coloured rice.

They turned out beautifully, including Amahlis belly :)

I also tried out dyeing pasta the same way I dyed rice for rainbow rice. Using food colouring ( its awesome, bright, cheap and just awesome) and hand sanitiser, its quick to make and dries fast too. Ive been wondering about getting some real watercolour ink but it looks expensive... any thoughts on that??

The kids had an absolute ball in the dyed pasta. Scooping, pouring, eyes soaking up the gorgeous colours... They even managed to only spill about 20 shells of pasta which I thought, between a 2 yr old, a 2.5 yr old and a 4 yr old, was an amazing effort :)

Arent cousins fantastic??

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

marble painting

Faster and faster, this childs momentum is gaining and shes growing up waaay too quickly. Last night she plonked herself at the table where I was preparing dinner and told me " I help you". It wasnt a question, it was a statement, she WAS going to help me whether I wanted her to or not. I then noticed she had already found a knife and was heading for the carrots.... I quickly changed the knife for a less sharp one and gave her a bunch of beans, thinking she'd lose interest pretty quick. (Normally I would give her the peas and corn to sort but we are all out).

15 Minutes later she had top and tailed all the beans (pretty much) and was asking for the pot to put them in. How do I slow her down? And do I really want to seeing as she could be cooking for me but the age of..... 6 ???

Todays craft was oldie but a goodie :) One I didnt have to think about too much as they were already playing with marbles... I just added paint!!

Jared was pretty keen today.. probably more about the fact that it doesnt involve getting messy and it involves motion and he was hooked.

Amahli loves this craft. The sound of marbles clanking and rolling around, the mesmorizing balls rolling up and down, the beautiful colours that emerge... its very therapeutic :)

And turns out different everytime! The only thing you need to watch is to NOT tip the container too far... 100 semi painted marbles bouncing on white tiles does not a happy mummy make :) Luckily, I have very willing and loving helpers that removed all traces of evidence before daddy got home.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

bloom where you're planted :)

Lately I have had a run of days where I am not sure I am where I should be, or want to be, or where Im supposed to be....
Im in a limbo land where so many decisions I want to make cant be made due to my kids still being so young, having a busy life blah blah blah. Most of the time, it doesnt bother me. I know my time will come, my kids are only going to need me like they do now for such a short time and I am trying to enjoy every single moment of that because I know how fast it will change. But there are the occasional times I wish I could do more for me....

Yesterday, whilst I pondered this little annoying conundrum of life, the saying " bloom where you are planted" popped into my head. It kinda got stuck in there for most of the day.

Later that afternoon, I headed up to the trampoline when I came across this sight..... These are the Easter Egg hand made cards Jumeirah and I made a year ago and then planted. They are as tall as me, living in the tiniest of patches, in the worst red dirt soil Ive ever seen. And yet they have grown, enormously. And they are beautiful.

A week ago, they were knocked almost completely out of the ground in our fierce flood storm we had to the point where one has snapped at the base of the huge plant.

I hadnt had a chance to move it out of the ground since then and now Im glad I didnt. For today, somehow even with a completely broken main stem, I found two little flowers, standing tall in the wind. These two little flowers are blooming, right where they are. After all the hard knocks. Bad soil. Not much room to move. They are FLOURISHING.

This is from the other branch that wasnt looking so well after the storm either.

Such a wonderful, well timed reminder to bloom where you are planted :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

shape pictures

What happens to the weekends??

They seem to slide on by at such a rapid pace that Im only recovering from Friday when Monday hits!
This week is even bigger than normal as my mum, sister ( and hubbin) and gorgeous nephew are coming to stay a few days :)
Should be fun!!

There was an interlude to the madness of the weekend when Daddy and Jumeirah went on date and left mummy and the littles at home for a while.
After wrestling the remote from my square eyed cherubs ( saturdays are fairly chilled and the tv seems to be on way more than its supposed to) I got out a simple craft for them to do. As I had to get it out quickly before the moment passed, I grabbed some coloured paper, some scissors and two glue sticks for them to use. I cut out some simple shapes and we talked about what they could make.

Amahli is still more keen on the process rather than any product. ( It actually is more about the process than the product but children seem to learn too early that the product is very important.)Shes meticulous with gluing ( and shes never been allowed to use a glue stick before so that opened up a whole new world of interest) and also with her shape placement. I love watching her so concentrated on doing this.

Jared didnt want to do it ( surprise surprise) but once he saw the glue sticks he was acutally pretty keen. We talked about what he was going to make... me suggesting trains, roads, boats.... actually my suggestions were pretty stupidly stereotypical and kinda boring and he kept saying " No no no no, just wait". Thinking he was going to do his usual 'slap two pieces on and its done' trick, I watched and waited whilst he carefully placed shapes on. Once done he presented me with this.

Its a monster, with three eyes, a happy mouth, two cheeks and a chin. See he's very happy!" and whilst I picked my jaw off the floor, I complimented him on such great work. Both cherubs were very proud to show daddy their efforts and we put them in the gallery ( ahem, well its stuck to the kitchen wall :) )

Saturday, March 26, 2011

project 52: week 10

I didnt get a post up yesterday... Ive been hit with a crappy cold and it knocked me for 6 so I went to bed :)

My project 52 photo this week is being linked to Mom Tried It blog and her theme was yellow. Here we have just entered Autumn and I am loving the colours in my garden.
But my favourite is this gorgeous frangipani :)


Guess what else I got this week?? A new blog button!! I actually got #20 in the Top 25 Mom blogs so I was just a bit excited about that!! You can click on the button the the right to see who else is up there.
Thanks to those that voted.

Happy a bright and happy weekend :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

candle art

What is it about candles that mesmorises and captures kids attention?? Is it the flame? Is it knowing its dangerous? Or is it simply the light, swaying, totally captivating??

I remember as a child ( probably older child, probably even an early teen) and being allowed to strike a match to light a candle on a cake, then sneakily lighting almost half the box just to watch them burn... no, Im not a pyromaniac or anything like that. I just remember watching the flame dance, being totally mesmorized by it.

My kids are the same. Birthday candles are lit for each and every household memberat every birthday so that everyone can have a candle to blow out, Today, whilst its just Amahli and me for a short while, I did some candle art with her.
Now, at 2 yrs old, shes probably a bit young unless you are totally ready for the probability that she'll either A) drop it, B) drip wax on herself, or C) throw it at me to get rid of it, but I have done this craft for years with lots of kids so I was pretty prepared :)

So I got her ready by first telling her that they were hot, and NOT to drop it on the paper or me or herself.

We started with some simple dripping which we did with coloured candles. Candles that are long or have a stick are the best to use as the flame is just that bit further away from little fingers...

She worked out pretty quickly that lowering the candle to the page ( yes I was a touch concerned but was also watching her carefully) that she could actually draw with the hot wax rather than just dripping it. I was amazed at how quiet she was and how attentive she was to watching that little flame.

We also did some wax resist painting where we drew on a page with a white candle and then painted over it with watercolour. This didnt hold as much appeal as you cant see the markings you draw until you paint over it.

If you arent keen on letting your child handle a candle themselves alight just yet you could also do something similiar with candles by using them in playdough. A while back we made playdough cakes and then put candles in to sing happy birthday.

What other things can you do with candles??

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

easy math beginnings

We did a whole heap of incidental mathsy things today. No really on purpose, it just kinda happened.
Its amazing how easy it easy to encourage their thinking a little further in play without them feeling pressure to " learn".
So heres what we did :)

The day started with both of them building with the duplo. I came over and we talked about how the tower was shorter and Jared was taller.

Amahli was intrigued to work out how she could get the tower higher without it falling over...

He then continued to build until the tower was taller and he was shorter.

I asked him to guess what would happen when it was as tall as mum, he responded " I think it will crash down!" He was right :) ( almost hit the tv, but phew, just missed)

We then measured our feet in blocks. Amahlis feet is long, Jareds are longer, mine are the longest. We worked out that Amahlis foot is only two blocks shorter than Jareds!

He then used the measuring system to measure the dog, the table, and a whole heap of cars and had a great time trying to guess if he had the right amount or not. Next week I'll introduce a tape measure :)

Amahli went on to sorting and classifying without me even realising it, with her animals. She also counted each group of animals and commented on " too many dinosaurs" and "not many mice" whilst I sat there and watched her teach herself. Yup, Im already behind with this one.

You dont have to have all the toys and educational stuff to create easy learning environments. You just have to be "in" there and the learning, discovering and 'working it out" just comes :)