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Friday, July 29, 2011

* Smart Summer Challenge Week 5: Water Fun Week Linky Party and Giveaway



This week for week 5 of the
  Smart Summer Challenge:
Water Fun Week








So now we want to see what you've been up to this week.

Time to show and tell!
Leave a comment on this post or link up at the linky party below,
for each link or comment you'll be entered for a chance to win a Guidecraft Prize pack!

Next week is Outer Space Week and we'll 
have super fun prizes to end the Smart Summer Challenge with a big bang!

Fondly,
Pink and Green Mama







Thursday, July 28, 2011

* Homemade Water Table - Keeping Kids Happy With Water


For Today's Smart Summer Challenge Week 5: Water Fun Week Post
Here's post from my June 2009 Archives.

What is it with kids and water?
My girls love to make a splash!!

Whenever they're fussy (no matter what season),
I say, "time for some water!"

It can be in the form of a sprinkler, the wading pool,
a slip-n-slide in the backyard,
the kitchen sink full of soapy water,
sand and water table on the deck,
a hot bath, or a shower with mom...

On cold winter days,
I've even set up an under-bed storage box full of water
(and a mini wading pool once!) inside the house
as a temporary water table.

My kids saw the fancy new water tables
at the toy store and you can imagine their reaction...
I thought to myself, hey I can make that!


So here you have it,
our home-made water table.
Four plastic milk crates + our mini wading pool =
tons of fun for two little girls
and one happy mama.

Happy Water Fun Week!

This post is part of the Smart Summer Challenge.
Check out our other hostesses, 
Candace over at Naturally Educational
and Amy at TeachMama.com


Visit our blogs throughout the week for lots of fun ideas
to explore Water Fun Week with your own kids. 
Please come back and join us on Friday, July 29th
for our weekly Smart Summer Linky party,
share YOUR own Smart Summer Challenge ideas and posts
with other parents and teachers.
You'll be entered for a chance to win a Fun Prize Pack from Guidecraft!

Fondly,
Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

* Baby Doll Washing Station


Here's an oldie but goodie from the archives (May 2010)
that I'm re-sharing today for Week 5 of the Smart Summer challenge:
Water Fun Week.
And yes... we fully intend to do some baby doll washing this week!


But I think I'll set her up in the water table on our deck this time. 
If you have little boys, they like washing babies too!

You could also wash: 
Storm Troopers, 
Cars, 
Dinosaurs, 
etc.

Here's the post....
Please don't judge me for buying a plastic baby doll at Walmart today...

I had a good reason.
I've been wanting to set up a baby doll-washing station
for my youngest daughter "C"

She is three years old and in that 
mirroring mommy/mommy's little helper phase.

All of our other baby dolls have squishy cloth bodies
and I didn't think they would take to the bath very well.
We've given our babies "pretend baths" with air for years in this little tub
but the secret to real fun (I learned today)
is to use REAL water and REAL soap/shampoo!


I set up her baby washing station in the kitchen
so I could keep tabs on her while I fixed lunch,
 unloaded groceries, 
(and worked on my neurotic packing for our vacation next week)

Equipped with a terry cloth apron
and two trays she was entertained for a solid 45 minutes!



The first tray had:
  •  a wash cloth
  • Child-sized pitcher of warm water
  • Soap
  • Mild Baby Shampoo bottle
  • Dry Hand Towel
Second tray held her doll baby bathtub
(NOTE: you could also use a dishpan/plastic shoebox/or salad bowl)
and her plastic doll
I used trays to keep most of the water on the table 
and off the floor...

but I let her play with water in the kitchen
in hopes that some of the soapy water 
WILL SPILL on our filthy kitchen floor
and help clean off a layer. 


I added some water to an empty baby shampoo bottle
and it created just the right amount of suds and was easier for "C" to pour.


"C" had a great time lathering and rinsing her baby.
Scrubbing her arm pits, feet, and tushy!

Also, shampooing her hair and putting in her "contacts" (like daddy)

She named her doll "Lilly Rose" 
Lilly Rose was a very well behaved baby 
and did not complain 
when her bath water got cold
or when she got soap in her eyes.

She did however pee in the doll crib --
I may need to drill a few small holes in her 
to facilitate drainage!

Happy Water Play!

This post is part of the Smart Summer Challenge.
Check out our other hostesses, 
Candace over at Naturally Educational
and Amy at TeachMama.com


Visit our blogs throughout the week for lots of fun ideas
to explore Water Fun Week with your own kids. 
Please come back and join us on Friday, July 29th
for our weekly Smart Summer Linky party,
share YOUR own Smart Summer Challenge ideas and posts
with other parents and teachers.
You'll be entered for a chance to win a Fun Prize Pack from Guidecraft!

Fondly,
Pink and Green Mama



Monday, July 25, 2011

* Make An Ocean In A Bag and More Beachy Fun Craft Projects!



This post first appeared on my blog July 2009
and I thought it was perfect for this week's Smart Summer Challenge
Water Fun Week!
I love simple craftthat keep the kiddos busy during the "arsenic hour."

By "arsenic hour", I am referring to that window at our house from 5-6ish
waiting for dad to get home from work, while dinner is finishing and mama and babies are tired!

This is one of those random crafts that just popped into my head
during a recent "arsenic hour" and it was such a big hit,
I wanted to share it with all of you.

I helped each of my girls make an
Ocean In A Bag.

We grabbed two of our re-used
gallon zip lock bags
(yes I wash and save mine like my grandma washes and saves bread bags!)

Mom peace-making tip:
I labeled them with a sharpie so there wouldn't be fighting 
among the girls about which one was theirs.

Then, we raided my art room stash
and found foam ocean critter stickers
(dolphins, starfish, fish, etc)
to stick inside AND outside the bag.

Then we added a
small scoop of mini seashells
(also in my stash from making ocean boxes)

Followed by a scoop of dry sand swiped from our sand table.

Then we added several pumps of white hand lotion
and a few drops of blue food coloring
You can substitute blue hair gel! (Dep makes big bottles of it)

We zipped them shut, the girls started gently massaging their bags
and viola, instant ocean in a bag mini habitat that is also a sensory experience.

You can trace letters/shapes
in the sand goo through the plastic bag.

Be careful not to pop them (don 't leave too much air)
and sharp shell edges can rip so, I wouldn't do this on white carpet or a couch!

Kept them busy for the 45 minutes I needed harmony and peace in our home.
This was a great activity because BOTH girls (ages 6 and 2.5) could fully participate in it!

("C" adding tiny shells to her bag)

For More Beachy Fun Craft Ideas:

check out my post about how to make 
a Bubble Wrap (Printmaking) Ocean Scene (November 2009)


Ocean Sensory Box (September 2008) Post


My Clothespin Mermaid Craft original Post (December 2008)
(they'll be appearing in Family Fun Magazine soon!)



Sea Shell Mobiles Craft (May 2010) Post


You can also click here to order a set of my 
Ocean Fun Art Camp Lesson Plans PDF
and host your own ocean-themed camp at home, in your classroom,
or on your next trip to the beach!

(32 Pages filled with 12 Arts and Crafts Lessons)


This post is part of the Smart Summer Challenge.
Check out our other hostesses, 
Candace over at Naturally Educational
and Amy at TeachMama.com


Visit our blogs throughout the week for lots of fun ideas
to explore Water Fun Week with your own kids. 
Please come back and join us on Friday, July 29th
for our weekly Smart Summer Linky party,
share YOUR own Smart Summer Challenge ideas and posts
with other parents and teachers.
You'll be entered for a chance to win a Fun Prize Pack from Guidecraft!

Fondly,
Pink and Green Mama



Friday, July 22, 2011

* Smart Summer Challenge Week 4: Forest Friendly Week Linky Party and Giveaway


This week for the Smart Summer Challenge


we shared our Acorn Cap Bird Nest Craft




So now we want to see what you've been up to this week.

Time to show and tell!
Leave a comment here or link up on the linky party below,
for each link you'll be entered for a chance to win a Leap Frog Prize pack
(valued at over $200 - woot)!

Fondly,
Pink and Green Mama




Wednesday, July 20, 2011

* Acorn Cap Bird Nests Craft

Here's an oldie but goodie from our archives, earlier this spring.

This little gem of a craft was 
too cute and too easy to pass by. 


I first saw it here at Our Day Our Journey Blog 
then I saw it on another preschool blog (can't find the link -- I'm sorry!)
and knew I had to do this one with the girls. 

A few days ago, one quiet afternoon while big sister was still at school,
"C" and I started making these tiny little bird nests.

We have a huge basket full of acorn caps in our art studio.
The girls and I are part squirrel --
we can't help ourselves and collect them every fall!

(Here's a quarter so you can see how small they are!)

You never know when you'll need an acorn cap for a
nature project, wooden peg fairy hat, or tiny bird nest craft!


We collected a few small pebbles from our backyard
and painted them robin's egg blue 
with some washable acrylic craft paint. 


Then, we put a blob of clear Elmer's glue 
inside an acorn cap, added a small sprinkling
of dried moss, then another blob of clear glue
and the painted stones (tiny eggs!)


So sweet for a nature table, easter egg tree,
or tiny fairy land. 


If you are wondering if this craft would be too tricky
for your own kiddos, I assure you it's super easy!

I got a phone call as soon as we glued the first nest together,
while I was talking to my friend, 
"C" hopped out of her chair, 
grabbed a handful of acorn caps from the basket, 
and got to work painting stones, 
and gluing the nests together on her own!

(That's my little independent crafty 4 year old.)

She decided each nest should only have one egg
that's why we have so many made that way
("C" made all of those by herself!) 
I made the three egg nests with her. 


Happy Nature Crafting. 


This post is part of the Smart Summer Challenge.

Fondly,
Pink and Green Mama


Monday, July 18, 2011

* Pine Cone Bird Craft and Pine Cone Elf Friends Craft



The girls and I are big time bird watchers around here.
Actually, our indoor kitties are too- they join us on the windowsill!

We decided to kick off Week 4 of the
Smart Summer Challenge:
Forest Friendly Week 
with a fun little nature-inspired craft project using materials from mother nature herself. 


The best part about this craft is that my 
sweet little "C" (age 4) came up with the idea 
all on her own (and it's adorable!) 

First we collected some pine cones on a neighborhood walk,
our neighbor by our bus stop has the best ones for crafting!

Then, she wanted to make her favorite bird from our backyard,
a cardinal, so she painted her pine cone red
with some washable acrylic craft paint.


While the red paint was drying, she made a little face for her bird
out by drawing one with a black sharpie on a scrap of red felt.

She picked out some red feathers from our craft stash
and glued them on as wings and a tail with some
Washable Elmer's School Glue


"Side" view of the pine cone bird with feathers glued in for wings and tail. 


"Rear-end" view of the pine cone bird!


"C" working on her cardinal (very proud of herself)


Her finished birdie. 
I think we'll need to make a whole little flock of these
to go with our real backyard birdie friends 

(a chickadee, a blue jay, a sparrow, a cat bird, etc)


While you're at it, if you're on a roll with pine cone crafting,
check out my little Pine Cone Elves craft from my archives
They'd fit right in with some Forest Friends!



This post is part of the Smart Summer Challenge.
find out more about the Smart Summer Challenge

Check out our other hostesses,
and
My teacher friend Amy, at TeachMama.com 

Visit us throughout the week for fun ideas
to explore Forest Friends Week with your own kids!

Please come back and join us on Friday, July 22nd
 for our weekly Smart Summer Linky,
share YOUR own Smart Summer Challenge ideas and posts
with other parents and teachers.
You'll be entered for a chance to win a Fun Prize Pack!

Fondly,
Pink and Green Mama,  MaryLea

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