Tag Archives: toddler

Squirt Painting!

Here’s a fun craft using stuff you probably already have in your cupboards.

You need:

~ flour
~ water
~ food coloring
~ 2 or more squirt bottles such as bottles from syrup, glue, ketchup or mustard
~ paper
~ bowl and spoon
~ disposable cardboard box (optional)

1.  Mix some flour with enough water to make a thick paint-like consistency.  Mix in a few drops of food coloring and pour it into a squirt bottle.  Repeat for as many colors as you’d like.  We do three.

2.  Place a piece of paper at the bottom of your cardboard box.  The box will keep the mess contained.  If you like, you can cut off the flaps or cut down the size to make it work best.  Or you can skip this step and do the craft outside or over a safe surface.  Remember that food coloring can stain, so if this is a problem you may want to tint the flour/water with washable paint instead.

3.  Now let your kiddos drizzle, draw and squirt to their heart’s content!

We consider this kind of art “camera art”– meaning it is too messy to keep forever so we take a picture of each creation and drop the finished creations right into a bag to dispose of. We save out one or two of the best to display all day, though.


Another option that’s great for little ones is to do the craft in a baking dish and squirt right into the dish.  Kids can draw with their fingers in the goop and then you can rinse in the sink and start again.

This can even be done straight onto driveways or patios. Toddlers will enjoy it with just flour and water in a single bottle. Best of all, it’s so cheap and easy they can do it again and again.

Note: Squirt paint won’t be tasty but it is non-toxic (unless you mix in paint).  For babes who eat a lot of their art supplies, you can also make it with baby cereal or pureed fruits or veggies and water.  Sneaky, huh?  😉





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Tug of War

Thought for the day:

If you’re having a lot of power struggles with your toddler lately
you might want to ask yourself

"Why am I having power struggles with a toddler?"

Just a thought.



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Screaming with Toddlers

My friend Tiffany thinks I have a very loud family.  When we come visit, she sometimes gives me that "how do you survive the noise?" look and then afterwards she brags about how she can hear the ticking of the clock in her nice quiet house once we’re gone again.

It’s true.  We are LOUD.

We all talk far too much.  We are all rather enthusiastic people.  We are all even prone to doing things like bursting into song (usually made up on the spot and very, very silly).  And yes, sometimes we yell and shriek and argue and holler.  But mostly we talk, sing and laugh.

With the exception of Alex.  Alex is not one of those two year-olds who can recite the pledge of allegiance and name every dinosaur.  He’s one of those two year-olds who mostly grunts and points and chooses purple for everything since it’s the only color he can say.

So Alex likes to hoot.

Alex likes to hoot when he’s angry, bored, interested, happy or just about any other emotion.  It can be very hard to handle when you’re trying to catch the last 5 minutes of your favorite TV show or talking to your mother-in-law on the phone.  Luckily I have the kind of mother-in-law who’ll happily talk to a happy (or unhappy) hooter on the phone when that comes up.

Anyway………  (did I mention I talk a lot?)

Today Alex and I were hooting together and at one point I’m pretty sure we alarmed some passers-by but we had such fun!  It can be rather annoying to have a small child shouting all the time, but when you just abandon any leftover need for peace and quiet and just join in on the mayhem it can be downright delicious.

We shrieked.  We yelped.  We hooted.  We hollered.  We made strange beeping sounds at the top of our lungs.  He smiled so wide he probably strained something.  He even fell over with happiness a few times.  And I’m still grinning.

Peace and quiet is overrated.  🙂


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A Few Good Crafts

We’re getting ready to leave for a family trip to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan.  I’ll post a list of 10 ways to make the day magical tomorrow and then we’ll be off to the U.P. until around Friday.  Daryl and I went years ago with a friend and accidentally found this tiny beach named "Little Girl’s Point."  It was filled with agates and we’ve talked to the kids about it over the years.  They fell in love with the idea of beach combing for agates and we decided to go visit again, plus see some of the other wonderful sites in the area.

For now, here’s a few crafts that caught my eye on the web lately….

Here’s a fun and easy idea to occupy little ones.  My kids always loved our geo board but I never thought of making our own or of using hair ties. 

My kids would love making a body flip book like this one!  I think I’ll print out the supplies so they can make some during the car ride.  One of the big kids can make one for Alex, too.  I think the humor will appeal to him.  🙂

Make your own Moon SandThis simple recipe calls for colored play sand, corn starch and water.  I wonder if you could use your own sandbox sand with corn starch and colored water to make some cool moldable sand along the same lines?  In any case, it looks like a blast!

Have you seen or done any fun crafts lately?  Please share!

Happy Sunday!

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Make a Kaleidoscope from a Photo Online!

Thanks to Clickschooling for the head’s up for this nifty online kaleidoscope program that kept several of us busy for far too long playing today.  Simply paste the URL to a photo in and then move your mouse around to make a zillion kaleidoscope images.  You can also use the gorgeous flower picture they already have up. 

We found that close up shots of faces were just all sorts of wrong when turned into kaleidoscopes.  🙂  Ones like this led to some pretty neat images though, especially with arms linked every which way and rows of faces.


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The Bad, the Good and the Magical

Today was one of those days.  Good grief.  I made up a giant list of things to accomplish around the house (cleaning jobs, laundry, paperwork, homeschooling, fun with each child, exercise, baking…).  I started at 7 in the morning and by 5 my house was messier than it was to begin with and the kids had about driven me to drink.

(Actually, since I had a glass of wine with dinner I suppose you could say they did drive me to drink!  And lest that sound like some sort of fancy dinner, I should mention that dinner was frozen pizza and grandma’s green beans — and the wine came with a screw cap.)

Some of the more memorable moments…

  • Alex took a black marker to Daddy’s new chair, the wall, the couch, the storage cubes, several toys and himself.  Thank goodness it was washable and came out of everything that mattered.
  • Jack spat on Anna.
  • Alex chased Jack around with a badminton racket and whacked him whenever he got close enough.
  • Victoria and Anna fought like cats and dogs.
  • A girl called Anna a freak for having sprayed pink hairspray in her hair.
  • Alex turned off the router and inadvertently disabled and reset it, leaving the house without internet and Daryl on the phone with tech support for 20 minutes to get it back — for the second time this week.
  • There was seemingly endless bickering, complaining, tattling, squabbling and general unhappiness.
  • My living room looked like it had been ransacked by the DEA and several savage dogs.  It still does.
  • I shouted more times than I can count at the whole lot of them, hubby included.

I ended up stomping off upstairs for an hour while Daddy took over.  He made dinner and I soaked in a bath and surfed the internet until I felt up to mothering again.

But despite the never-ending mayhem, there was some good today.  It took a while to be able to see it, but there was plenty….

  • I managed to get almost completely caught up on laundry, which I think last happened in March of 1999.
  • I played with the kids and they happily used their new workbooks that a friend gave us.
  • I got the back porch cleaner than it’s been in years.
  • I didn’t have to make dinner.
  • I got lots of that list done, even if it didn’t seem like it.
  • I made two loaves of bread and shared some with a very appreciative neighbor.
  • The kids and I got to meet and love on a very happy Springer Spaniel puppy.
  • Alex said a few new words and gave a lot of hugs.
  • Anna and I made each other over (I told her to make a list of 5 things she’d like to do with me today and I’d pick one) and she loved it.
  • Jack made some new friends.
  • Victoria made cinnamon rolls for breakfast.
  • And that girl was nothing but jealous.  Anna rocked pink hair.  🙂

And then there was the magical.  We all piled into the van and drove out to a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, where we leaned on the van and watched the Perseid meteor showers.  It was hours before the peak period (which is around 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.) but without the moon up yet it was easier to see the sky.  We saw about a dozen between us all, and one beautiful one that lit up the sky.

If you haven’t peeked at the wonders going on up there yet (and you’re on this side of the world), I really recommend it!  It’s magical stuff.  It sort of puts things in perspective!

Here’s to maddening kids, cheap wine, washable markers, pink hair spray, endless laundry, homemade bread, messes and meteors.  The good and the bad and the magical… it’s a package deal. 

And while it may not always seem like it, it’s a pretty great package.

Happy Thursday!

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Swat the Light!

Here’s an easy activity we made up to keep little ones happy today.  Give one person a laser pen and give your little one a clean flyswatter (we have a couple just for games).  Have your little one try to swat the light!  We had a very cranky toddler who happily cheered up to try to catch the light today and the older kids had fun both swatting and being the laser conductor.  It’s easy fun!  🙂

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