Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Shaving Cream Fun!

Back in the day when I was still a classroom teacher I loved pulling out the shaving cream. The kids always looked at me like I had gone mad. They couldn't believe it - shaving cream during spelling time. Of course! It was perfect for practicing our spelling/site words, working on fine motor skills, and cleaning our desks. It always ended with happy kids, clean desks, a fresh smelling classroom, and a smiling teacher!

I hadn't pulled out the shaving cream with my two yet and with our new easel, thought it was about time. I figured we could use the shaving cream as "paint" for Sassy Sis' new easel.
(See post here.)

First, I squirted shaving cream in a 6 hole muffin pan. Then I added a few drops of food coloring to each container. ( If you don't want died hands use liquid water color.) It was perfect - a palate of shaving cream "paint".

The kids went to town. They loved painting right on the easel.

They thought it was pretty funny to see each other through the "window"......

When they were done with a scene or needed more room, we just hosed down the easel and started painting again. Masterpieces were created over and over again.

After painting, we decided to play a bit more with our shaving cream. It was perfect for driving our cars into and the Owl spent a considerable amount of time with the tray of shaving cream.

Now that I'm reminded how much fun playing with shaving cream can be I think we'll have to try out some of these fabulous shaving cream ideas:

Little Wonders Days shows a step by step tutorial to make these shaving cream eggs here. Easter is over, but I think we'll use the same technique to make some spring flowers or
umbrellas or leaves in the fall!

I Can Teach My Child has a shaving cream cloud activity that is perfect for after reading Eric Carle's Little Cloud.

Happy Hooligans has a great car wash activity that I know both of my little two would love!

Outdoor Easel

A few weeks ago, while visiting a good friend, we were talking about Sassy Sis' upcoming birthday. Of course the topic of presents came along. My friend's DH is a talented DIYer and I threw out the suggestion of an outdoor easel for Sassy Sis. Now, let it be known that Mr. H has a soft spot for Sassy Sis - and a few days later an easel was built and ready to be delivered for her party.

All I showed Mr. H. was this picture:

It is from one Play At Home Mom one of my favorite blogs - so many great ideas!

And this is what arrived at Sassy Sis' 2nd birthday party:

It was perfect!

The "glass" is plexi-glass so you can paint directly on it and then hose it down! Mr. H. used outdoor paint so it will be perfect to spend the summer outdoors. He even included a paint holder on each side so both the Owl and Sassy Sis can paint at the same time.

Now don't worry, if you are like me and need DETAILED instructions to make anything! There are numerous examples of these outdoor easels online. Take a look on my pinterest board for more ideas and detailed tutorials.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mud Pie Kitchen

Ok, I'll admit it. I L.O.V.E. Pinterest! I'm a visual person and love all of the ideas! Lately, we've been working to create more play areas for our little ones in the backyard. I've noticed lots of ideas on how to create a mud pie kitchen. Perfect. The Owl LOVES mud!

We had play house that wasn't getting too much use. I was actually contemplating selling it to make more room in our backyard. Then I realized it was perfect to convert to a mud pie kitchen.

All it took to transform our playhouse to a mud pie kitchen was a quick trip to the dollar store and my cupboards! The Owl helped me hit some nails into the inside walls to hang some of our new spoons and measuring cups. We added a bucket of play sand, some bowls, a bucket of water, and some old cake and cupcake pans. Easy peasy.

Seriously, less than $10 and it brought new life to a forgotten "toy". My two have spent HOURS in the last few days pouring, scoping, mixing, making, decorating mud pies.

They have worked together in their kitchen - chatting away about their creations. I love listening to their little escapades. It is times like this I will cherish forever.

Mud pie anyone? They are delicious....

Now don't worry if you do have a play house-they are many easy ideas on how to make a mud pie kitchen in your own backyard. Most just require a little space, a rummage through your garage and a trip to your local thrift store.

Check out my pinterest outdoor/summer play board here for mud pie kitchen ideas as well as other ideas for back yard fun!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Waukewan Highlands

We're back - from bouts of the stomach flu, celebrating birthdays and holidays, hosting parties and egg hunts, and the regular craziness of life.

Our weekly walks, exploring new places in the area, have commenced!

Yesterday we visited Waukewan Highlands Community Park. It is located off of Rt 106 in Meredith and is a great place for little ones to explore.

There are a few different trails you can take. The mailbox
was empty of trail guides, but there is a great interpretative guide you can download and print off from here. The guide is geared perfectly for little hikers.

We took the white trail down to the pond. It was all down hill and an easy stroll. Even my 24 month old could handle it easily. The little pond was perfect for throwing sticks, rocks, and pine cones into.

We easily spent 15- 20 minutes here....with each minute attempting to get that much closer to the water.

We then proceeded around Hart Pond and up the red trail. It is uphill the whole way, the Owl ( 43 months) did fine, but Sassy Sis (24 months) asked to be carried. The trail was covered with dead leaves, which made it a bit slippery.

Luckily big brother carried our pack so I could carry sis.

Again, we're so lucky to have so many hiking areas to enjoy with the little ones right here in the Lakes Region! Happy Trails!