messyplayforeveryday

A collection of fun activities for little hands!

Painting with Tape

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OK so for part two of our Father’s Day present I decided an oldy but goody was the way to go!  Painting with tape will amaze your kids and looks really neat too!  As usual, a very simple activity.  All you need is

Paper

Paint (you can use tempera, finger or water-color, this was with water-color)

Paint brushes

Painters Tape

Old plastic table-cloth

On your piece of paper spell out with the painters tape whatever you would like to stand out on the paper, we obviously chose dad since it’s Father’s Day, but my daughter also has one that says, Love.  Now set them up on the plastic table-cloth to protect their work surface and that’s all.  Set your little ones to work painting the paper (encourage them to paint the whole paper).  Allow the paper to dry and when it is let them carefully peel away the tape.  This totally amazed my two to see the tape had left the letters behind.  Hope you have fun and enjoy your Father’s Day!

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Fingerprint Flowers

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Spring has finally sprung!!  With spring comes Mother’s Day so we are beginning to get ready.  We decided to create our cards today and used our fingers to make a beautiful keepsake.  All you need are:

Card stock

Washable ink pads (make sure they are washable or you will have stained little fingers!!)

Markers

Little fingers!!

Give each child a piece of card stock and place the markers and ink pads in the center where everyone can share them.  I demonstrated a few different ways to use fingerprints to create flowers and set them to it.  When they’ve created their flower they can then use the markers to add stems, leaves and a Mother’s Day message.  Enjoy!!

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Home-Made Finger Paint

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During my son’s nap today my daughter decided she wanted to paint.  When we went to get our finger paint, however, we were out!  Since she really wanted to paint I decided to try a recipe for home-made finger paint I had tucked away and boy was it a hit!!  She painted for over an hour and made things for everyone!  Here is what you’ll need

3 Tbs sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup cornstarch

2 cups water

saucepan

spoon

food coloring

bowls for each color

paper

newspaper

In your saucepan combine the first 4 ingredients and warm slowly until it has thickened.  Pour into the bowls and let it completely cool.  When it’s cool add your food coloring to create the colors you want.  Cover your work surface with the newspaper and set your child up with a piece of paper to begin their work of art.   I provided my daughter with sponge stamps, brushes and popsicle sticks to assist her in her exploration! Hope your little one has as much fun as mine did!!

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Valentine Mice Book Marks

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We are completely snowed in here in the Northeast so what a great time to get started on our Valentines!  My daughter is in kindergarten and is just learning to read so really wanted valentines to reflect that fact.  We finally decided on these easy to make mice.  There is some prep work for these on your part (unless your child wants to help with the cutting), but once that is complete the project itself goes quickly.  Here’s what you need

Various Colors of Construction Paper

Glue

Scissors

Yarn

Markers

From the different colors of construction paper cut various sized hearts, some will be for bodies, some for ears, some for eyes and some for noses.  Cut a length of yarn for each mouse and you can either braid this or tie a knot in the end.  Spread some glue on one half of the largest heart and place the length of yarn in the center before folding the heart in half (this creates the mouse’s body).  Now glue the other, smaller hearts to look like the nose, eyes and ears.  We then used the markers to create the eyes and mouth and to write on the back of each mouse, “Be my reading buddy!”  So simple!  Have a great Valentine’s Day!

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Penguin Foot Art

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I’ll admit it, I’m addicted to hand and footprint art projects!  I love them, they are adorable and such a cute way to keep track of how your little one is growing.  This one is for my daughter who has loved penguins since she was small (her imaginary friend was even a penguin named Pengwee).  It’s a simple project, cute to hang on the fridge for the winter and then a treasure to tuck away in a safe spot to look back on how tiny their feet once were!  All you need is

Black, white and orange washable paint

Paint brushes

Construction paper

A bucket of warm, soapy water

A towel

Have your little one take off their shoe and then help them paint their toes orange, outside edge, heel and ball of their foot black and their arch white.  Carefully let them step onto the construction paper, pushing down gently and then help them pull their foot straight up for the best result.  The messy foot goes right into the warm, soapy water for a quick wash and then to the towel to dry and you are almost done!  We then used construction paper to make eyes and a beak for our penguin and stuck it to the still wet paint.  There he is, your very own foot penguin!  Have fun!

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Puffy Paint

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My daughter came home with a homework assignment of decorating a paper snowman.  Her first reaction when I read her the instructions was, “Let’s make puffy paint for it!”  So we did and you can too since it’s so simple and you most likely have everything you need at home.  All you need are

Shaving cream

White School Glue

Disposable bowl

Plastic spoon

Paint brushes

Construction paper

In your disposable bowl combine one part glue to one part shaving cream and mix it well with your plastic spoon.  If you like you can add food coloring as well (as always ours needed to be pink!).  Now all the kids do is paint a picture with the mixture, the thicker the layer of paint the better as it will dry puffier.  Easy and fun (be warned however you are working with glue so protect your surface and wash the brushes really well immediately after the kids are done having their fun!).

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Noise Makers

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Well here we are at New Year’s Eve, how does a year go by so quickly?!  A tradition I love in my family is that we spend our New Year’s Eve with our friends and their children, very casual and people go home when they’re ready.  One of the things kicked around for our celebration this year was whether or not to buy the kids those lovely horn, noise maker things.  My vote was a resounding, “NO!!!!!”.  Way too loud for me!  There is a way, however, to allow your kids to ring in the New Year with a homemade noise maker that won’t pierce your ear drums!  Here’s what you’ll need

Plain Paper Plates

Stapler

Streamers

Glue

Sequins

Stickers

Markers

Dried rice, peas, beans or beads

First give each of the children a plain paper plate and with the markers, sequins, stickers, streamers and glue have them decorate the back side of it (the side that would sit on the table if you were eating off of it).  Next fold it in half and carefully place the dried rice, peas, beans or beads inside of it before closing it all of the way and stapling it around the edges so none of these little treasures escape.  I then let them decorate more if they’d like.  Now your little one is ready to make some noise at midnight (or 8 o’clock in my case since not even I can stay up until midnight!!).  Have a great, safe New Year’s Eve and prosperous 2013!

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Applesauce/Cinnamon Ornaments

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One of the fun things I get to do as part of my job is to co-teach a parent/toddler sign language group.  As part of our group this week we decided to try these with the kids (who are 18 months to 3 years old) and it was so cute and successful that I of course brought it home to do with my own children.  These are not only very cute, but smell wonderful and my kids loved feeling the texture, squeezing it through their fingers over and over again!  All you need are

Applesauce

Cinnamon

Spatula

Bowl

Flour

Sharp Knife

Straw

Cookie Cutters

Ribbon

First decide how many you will make as this will determine how much to mix.  I did 1/2 cup cinnamon and 1/2 cup applesauce (it is a 1 to 1 ratio, so if you decide to make more  or less keep it equal parts) into your bowl and use the spatula to mix it really well.  It will make a thick brown paste like dough.  Flour your working surface and turn the mixture out onto it.  We used our hands to flatten it out to about 1/4 inch thick and then the cookie cutters to cut out cute shapes (we did gingerbread people, stars and hearts).  An adult can then use the sharp knife to cut away any excess dough that has stuck around to make the edges more crisp looking.  Then use the straw to punch a hole in the top for the ribbon which will be added once they are completely dry.  Put them on a plate or parchment paper and allow to dry for several days before adding your ribbon.  They smell wonderful and make cute gifts from your kids too!  Enjoy!!

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Family Hand Print Turkey

Who doesn’t remember making the classic hand print turkey for Thanksgiving when they were a kid?  I certainly do.  This takes that classic activity and puts a little twist on it by using the family hand prints instead of just one person’s.  All you need are

Construction paper

Scissors

Marker

Glue

Trace each member of your families hand onto a piece of construction paper with the marker.  Cut out each print and layer them on top of each other, largest hand print first, gluing each one down as you go.  Then cut a turkey shape and decorate him with eyes, a beak and a waddle, adding whatever embellishments you’d like to create your own unique family turkey.  Enjoy and have a wonderful  Thanksgiving!

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Leaf Creatures

Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love watching the leaves change color and my kids love to collect them once they fall.  I found myself asking, “What do we do with all of these leaves they’ve collected?”  So we made leaf creatures!  All you need is

Leaves of different colors, sizes and shapes

Glue

Construction paper

Googly Eyes

Markers

Give each child a piece of construction paper, glue and a pile of leaves and give them instructions, “Take your leaves and create an animal or make-believe creature.”  My daughter loved this and made several pictures of dinosaurs, dogs, crabs etc.  For my two-year old while the picture looked more like a collage of leaves, it was fun to hear him tell me what he thought he’d made.  When they’re done creating they can put on the eyes and use the markers to create whatever parts of their picture they couldn’t make with leaves.  Such a fun, creative project!  Have fun with it!

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