Kid Made Salt Dough Ornament Advent Calendar

It makes me smile to see the boys’ handy work displayed. I am excited to put ornaments ON our tree for the first time in four years. No little toddler hands to pick them off. An ornament a day until Christmas…

A combination of salt dough ornaments and the handmade clay ornaments…

No Scrap Left Behind: Paper Plate Yarn Wreath

Scraps and leftovers from various projects this weekend + small paper plates
Cut out the center of paper plates (I used three to make sure they would be sturdy enough to hold the wreath shape). Use a glue gun to place a small strip of glue, adhere yarn, and start wrapping. And wrapping. And wrapping.
Keep wrapping yarn until you have gone all the way around and covered the entire plate surface. Place a small strip of glue on the back with glue gun to adhere the final piece of yarn.
Adhere leftover felt flowers. Super easy, super cheap wreath ornament. Or gift tag (you can punch out a tag using card stock and glue to the flowers). Or photo frame. Or place card setting for Christmas dinner. So many possibilities…

Yarn Letters

Christmas Wreath

One more wreath before I hang up the glue gun for a while. Christmas colors:
Experimenting with two-tone flowers:

Crafty Chi Flowing…

I have a few new loves in my life these days: yarn, a glue gun, felt, and Pinterest. If you haven’t checked out Pinterest **cough, cough MOM** check it out. It’s a crafters paradise with a gabillion ideas and projects (along with kiddo crafts, fashion boards, home decor ideas, and more). I noticed a surge in wreaths posted lately: felt, yarn, burlap. I loved them all. I feel a little, okay, a lot, out of my comfort zone with anything other than paper but I wanted to give it a shot. I ordered some burlap, hit up Joanns for a wreath form, felt, and a glue gun, and started in on my first wreath. First attempt:
I also bought some yarn and attempted wreath two. I absolutely LOVE this one. The different colors, textures. I ended up adding another layer of yarn around the wreath for added thickness and have since made a second to be hung on our front doors:
I have a new found love for felt flowers:
And wreath three. I wanted to make one with fall colors in honor of Thanksgiving. This one is currently hanging on our front door:
Learned a new flower technique for this one:
And lastly, a mini wreath. I have since found a little mason jar to put in front of our thankful owl. The boys and I will write on little strips of paper things we are grateful/thankful for and then read them or scrap them later. Or maybe even write them on a piece of paper and then attach to the frame with the date (roll it up and stick it next to the owl)…I am liking this idea.

Thankful Turkeys

Both boys were home sick all week last week, sick enough to have to miss school but energy enough to challenge my last nerve. In an attempt to keep them busy, indoors, we did a lot of arts and crafts. Project number one: Thankful Turkeys. A fun, multiple step project that took most of the morning. Drying time for the markers and paints worked nicely as snack breaks. Tyson began the project by cutting one inch strips of paper. Good practice for him: he had to slow down, line the paper up to the one, and cut carefully.
Meanwhile, Jake decorated lunch bags with his favorite dabber dot markers. The bags would become the body of the turkey.
Tyson decorating his turkey bag:
Each kiddo also decorated four strips of paper:
I then asked them what they were thankful for, knowing they are still a bit young to completely understand the overall concept.
The end result:
Jake is thankful for: Mommy, Daddy, and Tyson, Grandparents, Umizoomi, and Target.
Tyson is thankful for: Mommy and Daddy, Grandparents, his Transformers, and his toys and trains.

Big Boy CAR Room Art

I made shadow boxes for the nursery before Tyson was born, they were easily transferable to Jake’s room when he was born. Now that there are two official big boys in the house, it was time to take down the sport’s themed nursery decor and put together two real big boy rooms. Step one: re-do the shadow boxes. Box one was super fun, Jake picked out some of his favorite cars. Now to decided what to do with box two…

Mud Dough

The boys love the idea of playing in the mud, but not so much the reality of it sticking to their hands. And clothes. And shoes. I found a recipe for mud dough and whipped it up for the boys. Super easy. They LOVED it:
Tyson immediately ran and grabbed a few of his construction trucks:
Jake grabbed his:
And they played and played and played….the best thing about this homemade dough, the more you play with it the better it gets.

Art Supply Caddy

One of my goals this summer is to organize and de-clutter our house. The husband and I conquered the garage yesterday: donate, sell, trash piles abound. I conquered our kitchen this morning, which namely consisted of cleaning off our counters and organizing the boys’ art supplies. Thanks to Pinterest, I have wanted to make them art caddies for weeks now, but most of the art caddies pictured on Pinterest are for the older-won’t-draw-on-walls-or-furniture crowd. I took advantage of the Back-to-School sales and made my own preschooler friendly versions for the boys:
Ty’s art caddy:
$3 shower caddy + $1 cups. I figure we can use the cup itself when water coloring. Sticks for glue projects, colored pencils and brushes. Crayons in pencil case.
I have had my eye on a set of four art trays at Lakeshore. They are substantially more than the $1 serving tray that serves the same purpose: easy clean surface, confined area for art supplies so that the crayons don’t roll off, and if dry time is needed for a project, I can simply keep it on the tray and find a place for it on the counter.
Best of all: both sets fit nicely, and out of the way, on top of the fridge.

Rainy Day Art Activities: Painting with Matchbox Cars

We’ve had about TEN days of rain IN A ROW. TORTURE for this outdoor-loving Mama. Everyday this week, we’ve had down pouring-can’t-play-outside rain and poor Jake goes to the sliding doors…”Outside Mama? Bubbles? Swing?”
Today, out of sheer desperation, I broke out our hidden art supplies. Many of which the boys haven’t seen before:
I decided to try something they both loved at school. We would paint with Matchbox cars, animals, and rubber balls. Dip item in paint…roll around in box. I had each of them find two or three cars and taped the paper down:
We tried big stamp pads first. Ty had fun but the cars didn’t really pick up enough ink to make the prints stand out:
So, we moved onto paint. And got the desired effect:
Ty liked to dip and roll. And then shake, shake, shake the box:
I also had some black canvas pieces for the boys to paint and decorate:
Jake also liked to dip and roll with the cars. It was a super easy, fun way to get them to paint. Usually neither boy is interested in finger painting (or getting their hands dirty):
I found some BIG letters and let them each paint one. First with blue and green. And then with glitter glue. The boys apparently love the bling. Biggest hit of the day:
So glad I spent twenty minutes covering every inch of our kitchen table. Thought this would make a fun scrapbook picture:
Tyson painting his “T”:
Painting some small 8 x 8 white canvas boards:
I don’t think we’ll ever paint without the box again. Kept everything contained, dry, and clean:
After a few hours, many snack breaks, many dance breaks….our final products:
Which then turned into some much needed hallway art for the house. Ty’s box:
Jake’s box:
LOVE the boys’ art. It makes me smile. And love that they were so excited to see their shadow boxes and art hanging up: