Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Preschool In A Box: ABC Box

If you follow Itty Bitty Love blog,
today's post will look
VERY familiar!

last week.
She made one for her awesome
Montessori classroom and I had to have one for my shelves here at home.

The girls LOVE it!
So does their mama... and their papa

The best part was how much stuff
I already had for it around the house, in our playroom and craft room!

I picked up the box at Walmart and printed the lower case letters
on my printer taped to the drawer fronts with clear packing tape.

Each girl picks a felt mat
(pink for Mini-Saurus and purple for the Frog Princess)
Then they pick one drawer,
put the upper case and lower case
letter at the top of the "page"
then, they name each item as they add it to the mat.

The Frog Princess is practicing writing the names of the items and making sentence stories.

Mini-Saurus is learning the names of objects,
the names of letters,
and what sound each object starts with.

Here are the contents of our
"M" drawer

Here are the contents of our
"S" drawer:
Snow (or snow flake)
Sea Shell

Here's our "P" drawer:
Pan (or Pot)

Here are the items
from the "B" drawer:
Bumble Bee

Happy Learning!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Barbie Play School In A Cardboard Box

Last year, when "E" was having
some major anxiety about starting kindergarten,
we made this mini classroom
to role play what a typical day at school might be like.

It really helped her calm her fears.

I printed an alphabet chart, some classroom charts,
and a color wheel (of course) off the internet.

You can Google classroom pictures (or visit teacher blogs)
and just print out their photos of bulletin board displays, etc.

You could get super crafty and just make your own
but she wanted it to be"authentic" (it's one of her favorite big words.)

Using an empty copy paper box from daddy's office,
(remember our Little House in the Big Woods box?)
we glued construction paper to the "walls"and added the printed pictures, and a felt rug.

Our Barbies and Kelly dolls have had quite a lot of fun there.

That's Miss Poisson, the teacher.
She's really nice.
Sometime they take field trips to the Ocean Sensory Box and swim with the fishies.

Since "C" started preschool this week, we've been back to
playing in our little school.

Practicing taking turns. Sitting on the circle. Singing school songs. 
Saying the pledge of allegiance (with a tiny toothpick flag).
Reading the calendar and the weather. Having tiny snacks.
Playing outside on the playground.
And of course, having the Barbie moms drop the kids off
and pick them back up at the end of school.

Somedays they take the Fisher Price Little People Bus.
How fun would this be in a real preschool classroom?
(a mini replica of your own classroom?!)

It's a really great way to help your kid's
work on some big scary feelings in the comfort of your own home.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Snail Love: Homemade Gary The Snail

Since we're a snail-loving family
it shouldn't surprise you
that our favorite
Sponge Bob character
is Gary the Snail (meow!)

I made this felt softie
for the Frog Princess.

She's been treating him like a baby,
feeding him a baby bottle,
changing his diaper,
and giving him extra snuggles.

Now I have to make
another one for Mini-Saurus!

Friday, September 18, 2009

* Kid's Art: Mixed Media Rainbow

The Frog Princess "E" loved her sister's mixed media piece with tape resist.
She wanted to make one too. She went with a "rainbow" theme.

She used: watercolor, tissue paper, Elmer's school glue,
shimmery dot paints, and a bit of oil pastel on watercolor paper with painter's masking tape.

Such a happy painting. I love the sun.
It looks like an Eric Carle picture to me.

I think this one will be framed with a big white mat to hang up downstairs.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

* Paper Plate Color Wheel Toddler Matching Game

My preschooler has mastered her basic colors.

Thanks in part to this
adorable color matching game
her sweet big sister made for her.

She made a basic color wheel on a paper plate
with bits of construction paper. (she put the grommet in the middle
just in case we wanted to add a spinner later)

I helped her wrap the clothespins with colored masking tape.
We colored the bottom half of them with sharpie markers.
It's a big hit on our Montessori shelf.

Now I'm ready to move on to more complex colors
like turquoise, scarlet, and vermillion!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Magnetic Tree

Today, we'll do a blast from the past.

This is a photo of the Frog Princess
(resplendent in her Buzz Light Year PJs)
when she was three years old.

Her favorite first book was
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
and illustrated by Lois Ehlert
(my favorite children's book illustrator!)

I made her this tree for our fridge
and her alphabet letter magnets.

The trunk was made out of brown contact paper/
shelf liner I had leftover from our kitchen cabinets,
the green leaves were cut out of green card stock
and double-sticky-taped to the doors.

So much fun,
I think I'll have to make another one for
Mini Saurus!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

* Kid's Art: Fun With Tape Resist

My good friend Jen (in real life and bloggy land)
posted this great tape resist project that she did with her daughter
last week. Check out her post at Paint Cut Paste here.

I don't know why I forgot about taping off painting edges
and using painter's tape or masking tape for resist effects.
I watched my mom do it a million times (she's a fabulous watercolorist!)
I used to do it all the time in my own pre-mommyhood-artist watercoloring days.

So fun to try a new technique with your kids!

So, we taped off a piece of white drawing paper.

I should have used heavy weight watercolor paper
or my old printmaking favorite Arches Rives BFK.
(oh...talk dirty to me! You have NO idea how much I love that paper)

The paper we used was old and wimpy so it tore a bit when we pulled up the tape.

Or it was because we used cheap-o kid craft masking tape
instead of real painter's tape but the 2.5 year old didn't care or seem to notice!
We both had a blast and she was proud of her finished masterpiece.

Now I want to try it again on canvas!
And of course the Frog Princess came home and saw it... now she wants to make one too.

Guess what we'll be doing this weekend?!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tooth Fairy Pillow Instructable

I posted directions on how to make my

The editor's picked my project as
one of the featured kid's projects!!


If you want to check it out,
or make one of your own:

Who Lives In a Pineapple Under the Sea? Home Made Felt Puppets

Confession time:
my darling, innocent children
started watching Sponge Bob Square Pants
this summer.
(Please don't report me to CPS)

It started
innocently enough
with our two-day trip to Pennsylvania.
We were staying in a hotel
and there was NOTHING appropriate on TV.
The girls were sick of coloring, wikki sticks,
and every other toy I brought to keep
them occupied.

While I was in the shower,
my sweet husband decided to let the girls
watch Sponge Bob.
I love him dearly,
but he may as well have given them dime bags.

They were instantly hooked.

They thought it was hilarious.

The Frog Princess was laughing,
if she thinks it's funny
then, it must be
so the two year old joined in too...
(monkey see, monkey do)

When we got home
the Frog Princess decided to make
Sponge Bob felt puppets for our
felt board.

She raided my felt stash
collected her supplies:
googly eyes,
and glue.

Here is her finished product.

She even made them two-sided
(and glued the edges together)
so they are finger puppets too!

What's a momma to do?

Maybe it will give her some
"playground cred"
in First grade this year.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Felt Finger Puppets

The Frog Princess did a lot of
crafting this summer.
(I'm totally jealous)

Especially during her three weeks of
Art Camp!
(Still jealous...what do you mean mom can't go to art camp?
Don't you need qualified art teachers?!)

She made these little felt finger puppets
much to the amusement of Mini-Saurus.
They've been quite popular.

Just cut out two (identical)
pieces of felt,
glue the edges together (no sew!)
leave room for a little finger to fit in at the bottom
(add googly eyes, etc.)
You're good to go!

Allow me to introduce our felty friends:

We have a frog (above)

A queen/king/princess
(depends who we need for the plot line)
The grumpy alien troll who lives under the bridge,
an angel/fairy godmother.

Here's the whole "scene"
It's on hinged cardboard
so you can fold it....
like this.

It folds into a neat little box shape.
We're planning to decorate the other side
so we can have different backgrounds.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Day of First Grade- Backpacks and Snack Boxes Oh My!

The Frog Princess is
off to school
for her first day
of First Grade today.

I did a little
bit of crafting
yesterday to prep for the big day.

In first grade, they eat a snack and lunch
so she needed an extra box or bag for snack.

Well, here was my brain storm
I came up with in the shower yesterday:

Here is the front of the snack box
I painted for the Frog Princess.

Froggy (her lovey),
Goldie Snail,
and Tiny the Snail are all on here...

Side view.

There is a fairy, lady bug,
and daddy mermaid.

The back of the snack box.

Portrait of our family as mermaids
(daddy mermaid is hiding on the left side)

The other side...

with E-snail, Froggy,
and a pink sprinkle cupcake!

Here's her backpack with
felt flowers and a snail
added by her crafty mama
(who just can't leave anything alone!)

Here's her froggy I added to her strap.

This is the snail shrinky dink
(portrait of Tiny the Snail)
made by the Frog Princess
(she can't leave anything alone either!)

Special snail necklace.

A gift from Grammy
for the First Day of First Grade.

Waiting at the bus stop!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Play Time: Mini Play-Doh Lands

The Frog Princess enjoyed
some last week of summer play dates
this week.

One of them was with a neighbor friend of hers.
They decided to make mini worlds on plastic trays
(so they could transport them around the house)
with Play-Doh landscaping and mini trees.

I had to grab my camera when I saw
what they were working on.

Her friend "A" chose Dinosaur Island as his theme.
The Frog Princess stuck with mini polly pockets.

I see a large home-made batch
of greens, blues, browns, and tan dough in my future.

If you want to see a REALLY COOL
play dough scene hop over to Filth Wizardry
and check out this Mermaid Table!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Back To School Teacher Gift

We're headed to First Grade today
to meet our new teacher at Open House.
The Frog Princess is terribly excited to start
a new school year and is about to burst with anticipation!!
What could be more perfect for her than
a FROG theme
for the entire first grade (I know!!)

I like to think I may have some credit in that department
since I started a frog art lesson there
when I was teaching art in her building.

The first graders were required to make a pinch pot in clay with
"score, wet, and weld" attachment techniques added to them.

So...I came up with a super cute lesson
where they make a pinch pot,
set it on it's side (like a big cave),
then add a tongue, eyes, and legs
to create a big frog.

It was a huge hit with the kids and first grade teachers.
Such a big hit that I heard the teachers insisted that the
lesson be repeated every year after I left.

I can't wait for the Frog Princess to make hers!

I wanted to bring a little something
along for our meet and greet with her new teacher.
So the Frog Princess and I
decorated this cute
Froggy bottle of hand sanitizer.

We also made a getting-to-know-you interview
(All About Me)
with questions that she answered about herself.
We included a blank interview
for her teacher to fill out
(All About You)
and mail back to us
(in a postage paid envelope we included) .

The Frog Princess is very excited
to learn more about her new teacher.

We can't wait for the REAL first day
of school on Tuesday!

P.S. Here are favorite answers on her quiz:

Name Three Things you Don't Like:


Touching Spider Webs

Cat Barf

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Snail Love

The Frog Princess has a soft spot
for tiny critters...
snails are the latest obsession.

Meet "RoboSnail"
She wanted to build a solar-powered
robot snail but we didn't want to spend
our retirement money at Radio Shack
and I don't have an engineering degree...
so she came up with this one instead.

Check it out --
she attached a small piece of
almost invisible thread
to pull him along and his shell
is interchangeable
(you can click it on and off a lego
in the center with double looped tape on it)

Remember "Tiny" the snail?
Our newest family member?

"Tiny" the Snail comes up to her
whenever she opens
the panty hose lid on his habitat
and eats cucumber from her hand.

She's like the Snail Whisperer.

He is pretty cute.
He had a small fall tonight
when she was changing out his water,
and has a small crack at the edge of his shell.

I've done some snail-research on google
this evening and I think he'll be okay.
She felt awful, and worried
he would think she didn't love him.

I'm keeping my fingers (and toes!) crossed
that this little guy lasts a long time.
She'll be devastated if something happens to him.

We're off to get him a cuttle shell
in the morning... they are supposed to help
speed up the shell healing process.

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