Monthly Archives: November 2013

Fall Leaves – Invitation to Play

 I absolutely LOVE the concept of an invitation to play. I think one of my favorite aspects is how different kids can take the same items and come up with something so different for which to use them. They get ideas from each other and imagination is sparked repeatedly.

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I ran across an invitation to play idea for fall that I liked, but I added quite a bit to it. Here is what we came up with.


I used THIS recipe to make 5 minute play dough. By the way, once you have a play dough recipe you like, invitation to play options suddenly seem inexpensive and endless. I use it as a base for many of our’s. This time, I simply added green food coloring—and LOTS of it to get the look I wanted. I hoped it would resemble grass on the floor of a forest.

Next, I gathered some clothespins from another activity. You can buy a large package at Dollar Tree. I also used some fake leaves that I have used

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 for SEVERAL activities this fall. You could use real leaves or make some out of paper just as well. I grabbed a few red pom poms to represent apples just to add some interest. Next, I added some wooden Melissa and Doug people. Any little toy like that would add a lot of interest. Cars or trucks would be fun too.

I like to have a few things that could be used different ways to create different looks. This way, the kids could make a forest, a leaf pile, an apple orchard, a family in the yard, and on and on. The goal is to spark imagination.

Here is what I gave each child to start with: 1/4 batch of green play dough, 4 clothespins, 4 pom poms, 1 leaf and one wooden person. Then I spread out more leaves and wooden people in the middle of the dining room table and let them have at it.

I love to see all the things they come up with and how different they are. They shared and tweaked and tweaked and shared some more!

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This was definitely a great way to learn about and “experience” fall from the dining room table. :-)
-Lydia
Kleenex Box Cover

Quick Fixes: Sliding Kleenex Box Cover

Do you have an item in your home that often annoys you? You may not even be fully aware that, however small it may be, it is sucking precious seconds or minutes from each day to fix it, adjust it, work around it, move it, etc. I recently became aware of an item we were given as a wedding present, that I truly love, but it had become so annoying. It was the Kleenex box cover that matched our downstairs bathroom set. I LOVE our downstairs bathroom—it’s probably my favorite room in our home, but it is small and everything I put in there must work well or it just doesn’t work. In this instance, the Kleenex box sits on the back of our toilet which tilts down the slightest bit. Therefore, the Kleenex box was constantly slipping down and even fell off 3 times leaving marks (that I can’t get off!) on our toilet seat lid! It finally occurred to me I could do something about it.

I marched the Kleenex box cover off to the kitchen, plugged in my handy glue gun, and while it was heating up I cut a few strips off the tops of my dish gloves. I then glued those rubbery dish glove strips to the bottom of my Kleenex box cover, cleaned up my mess, and placed it back in the bathroom. Voila! No more slipping or sliding! Some of the best 7 minutes invested in a project ever! :-)

Sometimes you just need to do those quick fixes to make life function more smoothly. What are some quick fixes you’ve found?

-Lydia

Easy Leaf Wreaths

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Leaves, leaves, they’re everywhere at this time of year! My kids love to go for fall walks and hear the leaves crunch beneath their feet. We decorated little tote bags from Dollar Tree a few weeks ago and we’ve had fun using them to collect things on our walks. It was only natural to collect leaves one day. Then there was the question of what to do with all of those leaves…

I had the kids lay out their leaves on the dining room table. We discussed why they changed color and each of the colors. Then, I quickly cut out the center of a few paper plates. I gave each child some newspaper to catch the glue and they each got their own bottle of Elmer’s glue. In this particular project I figured the more glue the better, so I just let them have fun. They glued their leaves around the edge of the plate however they wanted. Even though they are ages 1-4, they needed very little help from me—it was hard to mess it up. They really enjoyed themselves and did a great job of sharing leaves with each other too.

The wreaths turned out BEAUTIFULLY! Much better than I expected, so I actually found some wreath hooks and hung them on our doors. The kids felt so special when they saw their leaf wreaths hanging on the doors as an actual decoration and my husband and I enjoy coming home to their creations. J

-Lydia

color activities

 

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My 2 year old son and I have been working through colors for weeks. We recently spent time getting more hands on and doing fun activities with colors. I shared about some of our activities in an early post, but here are a few more ideas.

I happened to have a whole bunch of multi-colored pom poms, so I plopped them on a plate and found a stack of disposable cups down the basement. I had enough for each color of pom pom. I stuck one of each color into each cup so that he would have a guide to follow. Then, I lined him up on the floor with everything and encouraged him to fill each cup with the appropriate color. He LOVED it and only got one pom pom in the wrong cup!

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    The next day, I took one sheet of each color of paper I could find. I used the paper cutter to quickly cut them into about 8 smaller pieces each. Then, I lined up one of each piece of paper on the floor. I had my son match the papers with the existing papers. This was also a big hit and he got them all correct!

There are so many things a parent can do to teach their children about colors. It’s handy that they are all around us and in all things. We have also done outdoor activities using sidewalk chalk, and I’ve had him look for toys of certain colors.

What are some color activities you’ve done with your children?

-Lydia