Tag Archives: preschoolers

Our Craft Sheet

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Those who have been reading Magical Childhood for a while know that I often recommend sheet painting.  It’s even one of the first crafts I put up on the original Magical Childhood site.

We have been using an old white bed sheet for crafts and sheet painting for over a dozen years now. 

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In the summer time, we hang it on the clothes line and the kids use paint to decorate it. 

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Sometimes we put it on the ground and they decorate it with their feet. 

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Sometimes it’s washable paint, sometimes not. 

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The sheet looks different every year and every project. 

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In the winter time and on rainy days, the sheet is our art tablecloth.  It doesn’t matter how messy or staining an activity is, because if it stains the craft sheet it just adds more character and another memory. 

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I love my craft sheet and it makes me smile every time I spread it on the table or hang it on the line for another round of staining. 

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It’s so amazing to look at little one year old Fiona using it now and remembering when her teenage sisters were making those stains. 

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You can use any old flat bed sheet for an art cloth or pick one up for a dollar or two from a thrift store. 

I highly recommend starting your own. 

You’ll never find another bunch of stains to make you smile more.  :)

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Colorful Shaving Cream Fun!

I’m very sorry for my long absence! 

Five year-old Alex had a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy last week and the recovery has been really hard on him.  We’ve also been out of town to celebrate my birthday and to meet with doctors at the Mayo for my husband to get a long-overdue new hip.  Also, a friend (and magical mama to six kids) died suddenly (click here if you would like to help the family), and I just didn’t feel up to writing for a long time.

But times like these mean we need more magic for our kids (and us), so I’m back on my feet to do my best.

This morning, I got out the shaving cream and food coloring for Alex to have a bit of messy fun. 

I sprayed his name in shaving cream and then had him smooth it out, then dropped about 3 drops of each color (red, blue, green, red) on various parts. 

He used his finger to swirl the colors, then used chopsticks and spoons, making colorful mountains and experimenting with lots of color mixing.

It was a huge hit!  His brother joined in the fun for a while too, and then helped clean it all up. 

I hear it’s good for wood tables, too.  I have no proof, but our 50 year-old wood table can pretty much handle anything at this point.  :)

This craft works marvelously well in the bath, too, of course!

Hug your kiddos, count your blessings, and make the most of every second that you get with these amazing little people (and the amazing big ones, too).

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Easy, Sturdy (Free) Building Blocks!

Here’s a little project that we’ve been doing for years.

These fun blocks are so easy!

I was planning on making a set of building blocks for Fiona for Christmas, but she kept trying to manhandle the presents under the tree so I decided to make her a set of “presents” of her own. 

It worked like a charm!

Here’s all you do:

  1. Save your cartons of drinks like almond milk and orange juice.  You’ll need two cartons for each block.
  2. Cut off the top.  Rinse and dry.
  3. Fit one carton into another (open ends facing each other), so that the block is closed on all sides.  This also makes it very sturdy, since it’s basically doubled up.
  4. Wrap with wrapping paper or cover with contact paper.  If you use paper, you can seal it with clear contact paper.  You can also tape on family pictures, magazine pages or other fun images before sealing with contact paper.

That’s it!  You can change them whenever you like by simply wrapping them with a new wrapping paper or covering with another layer of paper and contact paper. 

When my bigger kids were little, I made a “marble” set with marble contact paper so it looked like they were building stone buildings. 

You can also use little individual milk cartons (like school lunch size) to make alphabet blocks.  :)

 

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A Little Playful Inspiration

Have you visited the blog Let the Children Play I find myself frequently pinning Jenny’s lovely posts because they are so wonderful for simple, magical, child-led fun.

Here’s a few examples that have inspired me for our lazy days at home…

“This sunny day we set out a couple of shallow boxes and containers filled with sand, along with a basket of goodies to create little worlds.”

series: how to create an irresistible outdoor playspace for children

“Within the Reggio Emilia schools, great attention is given to the look and feel of the classroom.  Just feast your eyes on some of the wonderful images of Reggio Emilia inspired preschools I have found lately…”

A space of comfort and privacy:
 

A space of beauty and wonder:
 
I subscribe to Let the Children Play by email, and it’s lovely to have these simple and whimsical ideas dropped into my inbox each morning.  I highly recommend going over and taking a peek.  Click on Popular Posts to see some of the viewer favorites, but don’t stop there.  Click on related pages at the end of each blog post and you’re likely to find more than you can possibly keep up with to inspire you.  :)
Happy Thursday!

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A Little Online Art Fun

Have you tried Brushster with your kids yet?  This free painting program from the National Gallery of Art lets kids paint with a variety of “brushes” online, or they can click a button to watch the program create art on its own.

NGA has tons of other cool art programs too.  Check out the list here!

Happy Tuesday!

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Easy Velcro Blocks

Here’s a fun and inexpensive way to make some neat building blocks for little ones.

Our fabulous friend Jan, a local Head Start teacher, came up with this idea. She purchased a couple of $1 bags of foam blocks from Target and then purchased some adhesive velcro. She cut the velcro into tiny squares and affixed it to most sides of the blocks.

Our boys played with the new sticky blocks yesterday and had great fun.

You could also use the idea with wooden blocks or any number of household objects.

Fun!

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Quick Bath Fun

Here’s a simple way to make baths a little more fun (and colorful!).

Freeze some colored water in muffin tins or other medium sized containers, and then add a few to the kids’ baths when you want to make things a little more interesting.

They melt pretty fast but it sure is fun while they do!

 

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