No Sew Mermaid Costume

My baby girl really, really likes mermaids.  And she wanted a mermaid costume.  A pink mermaid costume.  She has another (warmer) costume for Halloween so this was just going to be for dress up.  I don't sew, but figuring out how to make it myself still seemed like the best option.  And the whole thing only cost about 10 bucks.

I started googling and found a tutorial for a no sew mermaid tail at Living Locurto though I didn't follow the instructions exactly.
But I still needed a top.  I found a peach colored t-shirt and this fabric at Joann's:
and used Heat n' Bond to make this:
She also needed a mermaid crown.  I painted a starfish I found at Michael's and hot glued it to a tiara.
Here's my little mermaid about to dive into the ocean:
She loves books featuring her favorite mermaids, Ariel and Barbie.  (Sigh.  I know.)  But a mermaid book that she likes and I also like is Three Little Mermaids, a story about three little mermaids who have a tea party with different sea creatures and get lots of counting practice. It has some really cute interactive features like crabs that pinch and a turtle that dances.

Linking to Creative Me
Wow Me Wednesday
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Easy Fall Sun Catchers

Don't let the horrible photography fool you! These fall sun catchers look really pretty hanging in the window and are easy for kids to make.

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8 Pirate Ideas fer Yer Lil' Scallywags: Kid's Co-op

Well, I somehow missed Talk Like a Pirate Day, which is not terribly surprising considering I didn't even know there was such a thing.  Luckily, last week's party was full of fun pirate ideas, so we can celebrate pirate day any old time we want. 
1.  Check out this fun salt dough island from Pi'ikea Street.
2.  The pirate craft round up at Sugar Snips includes a parrot and a pirate ship!
3.  The Lego pirate birthday party at Crayon Freckles was beyond cute.  I'd have to say my favorite is the baby picture mustaches.
4.  Atkinson Drive has an adorable pirate printable.

And what's the fun in being a pirate if you don't have a treasure map?
1.  Pi'ikea Street has a great tutorial for making your treasure map look authentic.
2.  Check out the adorable backyard treasure hunt at Life with Moore Babies.  I love the legend with different movement activities.
3.  Here's our letter treasure map.
4.  And I also made my little ones a preschool treasure map to work on letter recognition, movement, and counting.

I've pinned these to the Kid's Co-op Pinterest Board (and you can find a featured button on my buttons page if you'd like one.)

Thanks so much to everybody who linked up last week!  Can't wait to see what you've got this week!
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Secret Message Pumpkins

We read Twelve Haunted Rooms of Halloween, a cute Halloween story told in the style of "The Twelve Days of Christmas".  Believe it or not (which I hardly do), the kids like it because I sing it.  You can also search the illustrations for the 12 trick-or-treaters, 11 spiders spinning, etc., so it's also good counting practice.  Plus there's some bonus things to find throughout the book on the last page.  This is pretty tame for Halloween so it's good for preschoolers who like just a little scare factor.

A very similar (but creepier) book is  The 13 Nights of Halloween, which I would say is more appropriate for older readers.  I also got this one from the library and unfortunately, I didn't preview it before I read it to my kids (shame on me).  Of course they fell in love and ask for it all the time.  They have been spontaneously bursting into the song, at least what they remember of it, so I have a two and four year old singing, "FIVE SING-ING SKUUUULLLLS!" at the top of their lungs, which is probably inappropriate.

After all this singing and counting and spotting, it seemed like a good idea to make some secret message pumpkins.  I cut some egg cartons so the two halves would go together.
The kids painted them orange.
While we waited for them to dry we wrote some messages to put inside.  You could also put some little treats in there, but we didn't have any.
I poked a hole through the top and added a green pipe cleaner for a stem.  We put our messages inside and taped them together with clear tape.  Next we added some faces with black marker.
It was a nice surprise for Dad when he got home.  A nicer surprise than all the singing, probably.

Linking to Link & Learn, Tuesday Tots, Tip Junkie, Today's Creative BlogWhimsy Wednesday, Ginger Snap Crafts, Red Ted Art, It's Playtime!, Halloween Blog Hop, 
Sun Scholars

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67 Bajillion Fall Activities and Ideas: Kid's Co-op

Everybody has autumn on the brain, which was clear by the number of fantastic fall activities linked up to last week's party.  I've rounded them up (yes, even the round ups have been rounded up) to bring you 67 bajillion* fall activities for kids aka  Enough Ideas to Keep Your Kids Busy with Fall Activities Until NEXT Fall.

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U is for Universe

My sister is here today with another great idea.  She sent this to me when it was still actually summer and I forgot about it.  But not because it's not good.  It is.

If you recall our summer list, U was originally for "unplug for the day." That scared the pagesus out of me (although we do unplug when camping, etc.) so based on a suggestion, I changed it to U is for Universe. I do have a bunch of other activities planned based on that, but due to my lack of energy, I just stuck with an art project.

One of our favorite books is Eight Spinning Planets.

It counts backwards from 8 in Ten Little Lady Bugs Style and our copy, the planets stick out in little holes in the book.

First we downloaded this printout of the planets and used watercolor paints and watercolor pencils to color them. Mitchell entertained us with his knowledge of the planets and I giggled every time Uranus was mentioned (come on, I can't be the only immature one.)

We then took black paper outside and splattered them with water-downed white paint for the stars (idea found here.)

For the sun, we used paper mache suns that they painted at the library, but Learn Love Create used a painted paper plate.

Cole (with my help cutting)


Collaborative effort from me and the bigs

Funny enough, the big boys didn't last until the end, but Cole and Ellie did. And then they were right back to least it bought me a few minutes of peace and quiet.

Linking to The Sunday Showcase, I Can Teach My Child
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Lots of Spots: Exploring Art Techniques (Virtual Book Club)

We are just going crazy with the Lois Ehlert books here (and I can't wait to see what you've been reading).  Our favorite so far has been Lots of Spots.  Ehlert includes a short rhyming poem about a wide variety of striped and spotted animals (I counted 50) with an explanation of animal appearances at the end.  Filled with her trademark collages, this book is as fun to look at as it is to read.

We went through the book and found animals that we wanted to recreate.  I cut a simple construction paper animal shape and then we used different techniques to apply the spots.

For the flounder we used round stickers.
We painted bubble wrap and stamped our eels.  This was by far the favorite.  Who doesn't love bubble wrap?
The skate's spots looked splashy, so we used a bingo marker with lots of force.  This was a fun one too.
The owl's spots were applied with cotton swabs and golf tees dipped in white paint.
We applied paint with a cotton ball and folded the paper in half to create the butterfly.
For the cheetah, we used a paper punch and waxed paper to create a stencil for the spots.  This would've normally been a favorite because of the paper punch, but getting the holes in the waxed paper was difficult.  You can see how irritated the cheetah was by the whole thing.

We had so much fun with this and none of the animals took long.  It's easy to adjust it to a child's attention span.  Plus there's lots more possibilities in the book for both animals and techniques (like resist painting using the round stickers.  Hmmm...might have to still try that.)
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Now it's your turn!  I can't wait to see all the Lois-Ehlert-book-inspired-things you've been up to!

Participating Blogs: Toddler Approved, Rainy Day Mum, Adventures in Reading with Kids, 3 Dinosaurs, Royal Baloo, The Educators' Spin On It, Inspiration Laboratories, Pleasantest Thing, Edventures with Kids, Two Big Two Little, Playing With Words 365, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, Outlaw Mom, Mommy and Me Book Club, Crafty Moms Share, No Twiddle Twaddle, The Good Long Road, Ready. Set. Read 2 Me, Reading Confetti, Mama Smiles, Juggling with Kids, Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas, Creekside Learning, Creative Family Fun, The Usual Mayhem, Teach Preschool, PlayDrMom, CraftoArt, Here Come the Girls, Being a Conscious Parent, Smiling like Sunshine, Crayon Freckles, Train Up a Child

Linking to Show & Tell, Tuesday Tots, Red Ted Art, Sun Scholars, The Sunday Showcase, I Can Teach My Child, The Children's Bookshelf, 
Paint Blog Hop
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25 Projects for Boys: Kid's Co-op

Last week's party had so many awesome ideas for boys!  (Yes, girls might like them too!)
1. Simple stilts from Happy Whimsical Hearts
2. Soapy slime from Learning 4 Kids
3. Free football pack from 3 Dinosaurs
4. Robot helmet with Learn with Play @ Home
5. Block bowling from Word Play House
6. Angry Birds game from Sunny Day Today Mama
7. Frozen dinosaur eggs from Atkinson Drive
8. Monster Slime from Adventures at Home with Mum
9. Tin foil boats from Sugar Snips
10. Bugs sensory bin from Smiling Like Sunshine
11. Climbing robot from Pi'ikea Street
12. Sight word drag racing from Playdough to Plato
13. Painting rocks from Play Dr Mom
14. Creepy cupcake cones from Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons
15. Car painting from A Childhood List
16. Take out container airplanes from Pi'ikea Street
17. Adding strings to Legos from Blog Me Mom
18. Spray bottle target practice from My Buddies and I
19. Flash cards in a sandbox from Blog Me Mom
20. Superhero Scarecrow game from Preschool Powol Packets
21. Crafty campfire from Think Magnet
22. Super hero capes from Coffee Cups and Crayons
These last 3 are from me.  I like to have a good number. ;)
23. Dissolving rocks
24. Preschool physics with sports balls
25. Counting octopus

I've pinned these to the Kid's Co-op Pinterest Board (and you can find a featured button on my buttons page if you'd like one.)

Thanks so much to everybody who linked up last week!  Can't wait to see what you've got this week!
Reading Confetti

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