Every once in a while Shutterfly sends its customers a coupon for a free 8x8 hard cover photobook. I'm a customer so I recently got a code. This time I decided to showcase some of the art work Drew and Lainey have been creating lately.
Drew was pretty interested in the book when it came and said, "I want to do that again!" about every project in it. It took me about 15 minutes and cost about $8 (for shipping charges). I love it. Go make your own (I'm an affiliate so of course I'm going to say that). No, really, even if you don't order anything go sign up for their email so you can get good coupons (I don't get anything for that. I just want you to get a good deal.)
After reading The wonders of bright and colorful gelatin at Teach Preschool, I started thinking about colored ice cubes. I knew today we were supposed to have nice weather, so the kids helped make some colored ice cubes last night by mixing food coloring and water.
We used ice cube trays, popsicle molds, and muffin tins. I also put some small toys in some of the muffin tins.
The blue and green turned out fine but next time I'll use more red and yellow coloring.
The kids were sooooo excited to see their ice cubes this morning.
Drew only played with the ice cubes for 5 minutes. Once he got the toys out of the ice cubes he was done and wandered off to play in the sandbox. But Lainey played longer. She made ice cube soup and had fun scooping them into different containers.
We didn't have any issues with the food coloring staining their hands but some of it did get on Lainey's clothes.
This was a spur of the moment thing, but if we do this activity again I'd like to pair it with the book Freezing and Melting .
It started when I saw these lamb cupcakes. I thought they were really cute but I didn't want to bake anything wanted to make them a little healthier. I also wanted to use what I already had.
I started by halving and coring an apple. I also peeled mine since my kids like them that way but you wouldn't have to.
I mixed some softened cream cheese with a little brown sugar and vanilla and spread that on.
We stuck some mini marshmallows in the cream cheese. At this point, Drew wanted to help. Lainey wasn't interested until the chocolate came out a little later.
We used Hershey Kisses for the head and tail, more of the cream cheese mixture and mini chocolate chips for the eyes, a tiny piece of fruit roll-up for the mouth, and apple seeds for the ears.
I admit that mine didn't turn out as cute as the cupcake version. But I didn't have to buy all that candy just to use two pieces and have the rest sit around uneaten. Or worse, eaten.
We have a few different sheep and lamb books to go with this one: Mary and Her Little Lamb tells the story of the real girl behind the song. Mary nurses a little lamb back to health after it is rejected by its mother at birth. She adores the lamb and the lamb adores her. He (say it with me) follows her to school one day. The author describes how Mary tried to hide the lamb beneath her desk, only to have him follow her to the front of the room when she is called to the board. The illustrations in this book are folkart paintings and just amazing. I got this book for Lainey, who loves the song, but it was Drew who was really interested in it. This would also be a great book for older readers.
Little Lamb's Easter Surprise
is an Easter book perfect for preschoolers about a lamb who wishes for a friend. He begins finding colorful Easter eggs and eventually finds the little bunny who has hidden them. It's Little Lamb's turn to hide the eggs for his new friend Little Bunny.
Wool Gathering: A Sheep Family Reunion is a collection of funny rhyming poems about a family of sheep coming together. Each poem describes a member of the family (Sister Alabaster, a Kung-fu master, knows her chops, while Supersheep has steel wool) or an activity from the picnic (baa-dminton or baseball, during which the infield gets eaten.)
I had (what I thought was) a good idea to make bedtime a little more fun. (To be honest, bedtime here is definitely not fun.) I cut out a bunch of paper stars and put a different thing on each. Letters that Drew is learning, but also some shapes and animals so Lainey could participate too.
We had a lot of fun exploring different materials with this project. We started by squishing some toilet paper rolls a little to make an egg shape which we used as a stamp. (I was inspired by this cute pumpkin patch I saw at I Heart Crafty Things back in the fall.)
Then we used some glitter glue. Lots of glitter glue. It was a big hit with both kids.
Drew really liked adding pipe cleaners to his eggs.
Lainey liked adding the pom poms to hers. She also used the pom poms to dab paint onto her eggs.
We used markers to add the finishing touches. Drew made a picture of our backyard on the bottom of his paper.
And Lainey wanted me to help her add lots of polka dots to her eggs.
Our book was Bunny's Easter Egg
. After Bunny hides many Easter Eggs, she is just too tired to hide the last one. She looks for different places to rest but no place is just right. She ends up back in her basket, where the last egg hatches into a little duckling, the perfect companion for Bunny!
I saw these cute pom poms in Target's dollar spot and grabbed them. Of course, they made me think of bunny tails, so I made some printables to go along with them.
I made two pages of bunnies that were different colors and sizes (I matched the colors to the pom poms and we used a cotton ball for the white(ish) bunny). We gave each bunny a pom-pom tail by matching the color and size of the bunny to the color and size of the pom pom. (This printable is actually two pages. If you click on the image, it will give you the printable version.)
As usual, Lainey had her own ideas. She thought the pom-poms made better noses than tails and since there were no red ones available, she settled for all pink pom-poms. And only the small ones. My girl knows what she likes.
While I was at it, I made some bunnies to work on patterns. I just printed this on cardstock and cut them out. (If you want the printable, just click on the image.)
Finally, we did size order. You can also get this printable by clicking on the image.
We paired this activity with a fun Easter book called Here Comes T. Rex Cottontail.
T. Rex the Dinosaur is filling in for the Easter Bunny who has a cold. T. Rex does his best, but he looks a little silly in bunny ears, and he's not very good at hopping. He smashes the first batch of Easter Eggs, but his friends help him get a new batch by coloring duck, goose, and turkey eggs. They even grab an owl egg. Just when the friends think all their problems are solved, they oversleep on Easter morning! After belatedly delivering all the eggs (including one to the Easter Bunny who has never gotten an egg before), all the eggs start to hatch into tiny ducks, geese, and turkeys! I bet you can guess who gets the the baby owl! This book is pure silliness and perfect for preschoolers.