Monday, June 24, 2013

Sea Spuds

Well, I know I've been something of a slacker lately, but it's hard to do new activities when I'm not in my own home. Today we dug around in Grammy's craft stash and pantry to come up with an ocean themed activity to complement last week's post.
I've been wanting to try out potato printing/stamping for a while now, but I've just never gotten around to it. For some reason today seemed like the right day so we gave it a try. I knew I wanted to do something ocean-y, so I googled fish clip art and used this as my inspiration.
I took two small potatoes (I tried to choose ones that would fit reasonably well in Erik's little hands) and cut them in half, then carved my design into the cut end. I found it was easiest to take a pencil and mark the outline of the shape (it didn't actually write, but the tip left an impression), and then take a paring knife and do the actual carving. We ended up with a goldfish, a sea turtle, a whale, and a star fish. I'm pretty pleased with how well they turned out, although the turtle is far from perfect.

Next I squirted a little bit of paint on a couple of paper plates and put one of the potato stamps onto each plate. These were arranged around Erik's paper so that he could easily reach any stamp he wanted.

 Erik caught on right away to what we were doing, but it was only a minute or two before he tried to eat the paint. I put a stop to that really quick and he was ok for another minute or two. Then he discovered that he could stamp on his face...
 ...and in no time at all this devolved into a body painting extravaganza. I was kicking myself for not thinking to take off his clothes first. Oh well....
 Despite the mess, we did get some fun artwork to hang on Grammy's fridge, and (between the painting and the resulting bath) we managed to kill quite a bit of time. I guess that means it was a success.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Squishy Ocean Bags

This is (I think) the last post I will do with Paisley in it. I had planned on doing a week with an ocean theme, but we only got as far as this one activity. Life just kinda took control and didn't leave me time to do all the things I had planned.
I got the idea for this one from here and here. Both of these are about the same and I can't remember which one I saw first so I might as well credit them both.

I made a few basic ocean shapes out of the foam sheets that we had leftover from our bath stickers and sticky story boards. Some real sea shells would be really fun for this as well, although you'd want to make sure they don't have sharp points.
I did a piece of coral, a starfish, a fish, and a shell. You could add a octopus or jellyfish or anything else you can dream up (and draw). The details are drawn on with a fine tip permanent marker. 
Next you put some water with a tiny drop of dish soap in a ziplock baggie and (after squeezing out all the extra air) seal it shut with some duct tape.
I turned the kids loose with these and they loved them. Erik liked hunting through the soap bubbles to find the shapes and Paisley preferred to just shake the heck out of hers. 

For being so easy to put together, this activity sure had a lot of entertainment value!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Another use for Rainbow Rigatoni

I still have one more activity we did with our rainbow noodles that I haven't posted yet. It's nothing big or fancy but it is one more use for a cheap and easy resource.
We made some home made play dough from this recipe for a play group with some of our friends and then we used it and the small dowel rods left over from this toy to create a simple activity (I found it here).
 This was a great way for Erik to practice his fine motor control and hand/eye coordination, as well as to create a unique work of art. He loved pushing the sticks into the playdough, and then dropping the noodles over the sticks. This was a great way to keep him busy using things we already had laying around the house.