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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Marshmallow Ghosts

I have been having so much fun talking about Halloween with the kids and they are so excited to go trick or treating this week!  We have been doing different activities for Halloween and I came across this activity when another triplet mom friend posted a picture of her kiddies doing it. It was too cute not to do with Dylan, Jake and Emma and I figured I would share it with everyone. It's really easy and a lot of fun. It's great for their fine motor skills too!  If you don't have marshmallows on hand you can substitute them with small cotton balls.
Here's what you need for this easy craft:

- black paper
- white crayon

- glue
- plate
- mini marshmallows

To begin draw an outline of a ghost onto the black paper. I'm not a great artist, but the kids don't know the difference!

Next, you need to glue along the lines. Depending on how well your child can glue and trace a line at the same time, you can have him/her do this step or you can assist them. This is a great skill for them to work on. I helped Dylan and Jake and Emma was able to do it by herself.
Emma gluing all by herself!
Dylan got the hang of it too!
After the glue is on the paper hand them a plate of marshmallows. Remind them that these are not the kind to eat. I usually give them a few at the end once the project is finished as a reward and this gives them something to look forward to. That way they are more inclined to finish their project than want to eat them.  I encouraged them to put the marshmallows right next to each other by telling them that the marshmallows are best friends and they always stay together.

Dylan was so proud of his work!
They did a great job and stayed focused the whole time!  They had fun and it kept them busy with minimal help from me. It was a relatively quick and easy project and it turned out super cute. Another great project to help you decorate your home for Halloween. Have fun and Happy Halloween!!!

Our Completed Marshmallow Ghosts

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall Tree Q-tip Painting

So fall is here and our fall crafts are in full force. We did this adorable craft the other day.  Living in Los Angeles we don't get true seasons like other parts of the country, but I'm trying to teach Dylan, Jake and Emma about fall and the leaves changing colors. We've been reading various books about fall and the leaves on the trees are finally starting to change colors.  This project tied in everything we have been talking about.

This is a great art project to do, not only to help your little one understand the season of fall, but also work on fine motor skills with the painting.

Here's what you need:
- book(s) about fall (optional)
- white paper
- paint: brown, orange , green, yellow & red
- paper plate
- paint brush
- baby wipes
- q-tips

On this day we began the project by reading one of our favorite books, a Clifford's puppy days book called  Apple-Picking Day by Samantha Brooke
where it talks about fall.
Then we looked out the window and observed the color of a tree trunk. I told them today their arm was going to be the trunk of our tree and their fingers were going to be the branches. I painted their arm using a paint brush and brown washable paint, had them spread their fingers and immediately pressed their arm onto the paper. (I have baby wipes on stand by to wipe the paint off right away!)
Tree trunk
While the paint from the "trunks" were drying we took a nature walk outside to look at the leaves on the trees and collect leaves off the ground that have already fallen. They loved this!  So simple, yet so exciting for them. They each had a little baggie to put the leaves they collected in so it could act as their inspiration for the project we were going to go complete.
By the time we finished our nature walk our trunks were dry and we were ready to paint our leaves on our masterpieces. We talked about all the different color leaves we saw and as we said each color I put the paint on their paint palette (aka a paper plate).
Our paint palettes
Then it was time to introduce the Q-tips. They were so excited to see they would get to make polka dots to symbolize the leaves. It's always fun to find new objects for them to paint with and Q-tips are great for fine motor skills. Plus they are cheap and you toss them when you are done!  (For younger kids, you could modify this and have them do it with finger prints instead.)
Emma busy at work
Jake very focused
Dylan having fun
I encouraged them to fill in the top part of their trunk and branches and then to make it look like the leaves were falling down. I also told them to try and add grass at the bottom. Those were the only directions I gave. They did excellent. Their artwork is so different, but they were all perfect!
This art project took up a good portion of our morning and they were so proud to display them in the kitchen window for daddy to see for when he got home from work. I backed each of them on a different color piece of construction paper to add some more color and make them stand out since we were hanging them up.  They are the perfect decoration for your home this fall!  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Candy Corn Mosaic Collage

I love fall, I love Halloween and I love doing crafts with the kids!  This was a great art project for us to do to get in the Halloween spirit.  They are at a great age right now where they can focus on these art projects for a really long time which is great for them and for me!  We did this adorable candy corn mosaic collage the other morning and not only did it turn out super cute, they learned so much in the process. We worked on shapes, colors, position words, gluing, fine motor skills, etc and it's not messy and really easy.
Here's what you need:
- construction paper: black, white, yellow and orange
- white, orange, yellow crayon
- glue stick
- scissors
That's it!  I'm sure if you have kids you already have these laying around your house!
For this project I did the whole set up with them and we did each step together.
To start I showed them a picture of a candy corn. (If we weren't doing this in the morning and if I had some candy corn handy I  would have just let them see the real thing and taste it, but this was an impromptu project so we made do with the picture.)  Next, I helped them draw a large triangle on the black paper using the white crayon. If yours are older or can draw a large triangle independently let them do it themselves or have them trace over one you have done in pencil. After we made the triangle we added the lines to divide the triangle into 3 spaces for the different colors. We then talked about the 3 different colors and which color was at the bottom, top, and in the middle. Then I wrote each color in the section using that color crayon.

Now it was time to cut our paper. We are getting great at our cutting skills, but for today I did the cutting. Feel free to let your little one do the cutting them self, supervised of course, if they are able!  Once we cut our paper into squares we were ready to glue!

We glued one section at a time. We talked about staying in the lines and filling in the box.  Once the box was covered with glue I would give them the color squares for that section.  Once they finished that section they would repeat for the next two sections.


It was so interesting to see how they each had their own style and how the boys were so similar and Emma's was very different.  No matter how they decided to glue their pieces on, they all turned out wonderfully!

This was a great activity for my 3 year olds, but could easily be adapted for kids older and younger. Perfect to do in the weeks leading up to Halloween so that you can add to your Halloween decor!  Have fun!