Summer Adventures: Gem Mining In Emerald Village

Our Gem Mining Adventure In Emerald Village

We have been living it up this summer! Before we start on baby number two, we have been trying to get the most out of this last summer with just our beautiful daughter, Lyanna. We’ve been going to the lake every chance we get, visiting family in Virginia, and we have been doing tons of crafts and hands on learning activities with her. This week, we had family come in town to spend some time with us. We decided to take a day trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains to visit Emerald Village, a gem stone mining location in Little Switzerland, NC. We live in Durham, so this ” day trip ” literally took ALL DAY. From our house to the mining site, it was about 3 1/2 hours. 7 hours round trip! WHEW! I do have to say that it was definitely worth the drive. I love making memories with our family and giving LC a chance to build relationships with her cousins. Plus, the mountains are beautiful and a bit less humid. Cool breezes, beautiful scenery, time with family, amazing gemstones, hands on activities, and enjoying fresh air. What more could you ask for? Maybe for it all to be a bit closer….

It actually ended up taking us a bit longer to get to our destination, so if you are planning this trip, I would also expect some delays. With four children along for the ride, there was bound to be bathroom breaks. Plus, we had to start the morning off right with a quick stop to get breakfast biscuits! As we got closer to Little Switzerland and further into the mountains, we stopped one last time to stretch, take a bathroom break, and take some scenic pictures. If you are traveling this summer through this area, there are several locations where you can pull over for some great pictures. Just be sure you are stopping in a location designated for this. These roads are no joke and can be very dangerous. I was not prepared for these roads, AT ALL. They are incredibly curvy and some parts are very narrow. It can be even more nerve-wracking when you pass a semi truck coming down the mountain. If that doesn’t scare you, take a moment and think of the amount of stress on their brakes going down the mountain. EEK!

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We finally reached our destination! To our surprise, there wasn’t that many people at the mine. However, this was in the middle of the day on a Monday. While we don’t mind being around people, it’s nice to feel that you have something all to yourself! It’s like going to an amusement park in the middle of the day and not having to wait in a single line. We started in right away and purchased our buckets. They have a variety of sizes to choose from, are reasonably priced, and they are filled to the brim. A child’s size bucket ( see the picture below of LC with her bucket ) is 1 gallon and it was only $ 10 !

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After getting our buckets, we found plenty of open seats at the water flumes to start ” mining ” our gems. This was definitely my favorite part of the day. The flumes run with cold water from the mountains and it felt fabulous after being so hot. You use your hand shovel to add small amounts of the material to your tray, let the water run through, and shake your tray in the water. Shaking the tray was Lyanna’s favorite part. She LOVED getting her hands wet and shaking as much as she could. You then pick out the freshly rinsed gems and stones out of your tray. It’s such a simple thing, but it was so much fun seeing how excited the kids were about finding beautifully colored stones.

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Once you are done “mining” your gems and stones, you can actually take them to be evaluated by someone. They look them over and tell you what you’ve found. One of our cousins, Kali, had found a rather heavy rock and the person looking over her stones cut it open for her. To her surprise, there was beautiful crystals inside. It was definitely a great find! Emerald Village also gives you the option of having your gems turned into pieces of jewelry, but we decided just to keep what we had as is. They also have a great shaded picnic area where we ate a quick lunch together. We had worked up quite an appetite finding our stones and it was great to sit in a quiet, cool area with a great view of the mountains.

After lunch, we went right across the street to the North Carolina Mining Museum which is actually in a real mine. This self guided tour was a little much for a 2 year old, but LC did great and was just happy to be walking around with all of us. On the outside of the mine, they have a very large pond with a waterfall and fish to feed! Okay, the fish feeding part was actually her favorite part of our day! She was talking to them like they were babies and calling them sweet names as she threw them their food. It was adorable ! This area was very beautiful and the air was nice and cool. It was also very interesting to see the equipment that was once used to mine this area and to read about what life was like as a miner.

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Once we completed our tour, we went over to the gift shop before heading home. I try and get something small for LC every time we go somewhere and this gift shop had plenty of options. Their prices were fantastic ! I actually pick up a few things for LC to keep on her memory shelf.

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The little jar on the left was such a great idea! It was only $1 and it was perfect for all of her tiny stones she found. There were a lot of little pieces of garnet in her bucket so we got this little container for her to keep them in. I really wish I had bought more of them! All of these little items for $10!

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Lyanna proudly showing off her heavy bag of “baby rocks”

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This was a fantastic trip and if you are ever in this area of North Carolina, I would highly recommend stopping by. It was reasonably priced and the amount of beautiful nature around to take in is totally worth the drive. Our cell phones didn’t have great service in this area, so it was a great opportunity to disconnect and just enjoy the company of our family. Emerald Village also sells a ” bucket in a bag ” to take home with you. My aunt bought one of these for our cousin that was unable to travel with us. This way, she can have fun at home finding her own gems! Since my husband was also unable to come with us, Lyanna and I brought him a bag home as well. He and Lyanna worked on this bag tonight together. He was able to see the excitement in her that I got to see and have a special moment with just her.

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Lyanna has continued to play with all of her stones and has also be practicing counting with them. I may have to take advantage of this new interest ! I guess it’s time to surf Pinterest and a few of my favorites blog for inspiration ! I hope you have enjoyed reading about our wonderful adventure and I hope it encouraged you to get out and enjoy the world around us. You can visit Emerald Village’s website by clicking here. Check out what they have to offer and maybe visit the beautiful mountains soon to experience this wonderful place yourself !

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– Brittany

XOXO




Exploring Our Ocean: Hands On Activities and Project Ideas

 

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Last weekend we finally got our little one her very own fish! We’ve been talking about it for months, but just kept talking ourselves out of it. It’s too expensive. Where are we going to put a huge tank? Do we need to worry about them when we go out of town? She’s going to get bored with it. What if it dies? LC and I stopped by PetSmart earlier in the week to entertain ourselves while we waited for the post office to open. She loves looking at the birds, hamsters, and, of course, the huge wall of fish. This time, I actually stopped someone and asked about what it would take to get a fish. After 30 minutes of questions, answers, and product suggestions, I made up our minds. WE ARE GETTING HER A FISH !

The nice lady that we spoke with suggested a Betta fish. Apparently they are the easiest fish to have and take care of since they don’t necessarily need a filter system. Which made me think of that poor goldfish on Elmo’s World….

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Meet ” Dragon Fish “, the newest addition to our family. Lyanna picked out his lovely tank ( which was on clearance ! ), some marbles, and an unnecessary plastic plant. $ 30 later and she was on cloud nine all day ! Since she has been obsessing over her new friend, I thought I could take advantage of this interest and spend some time teaching her about the ocean and some of the other creatures that live in it. We have been having tons of fun ! We’ve been reading all of our books about ocean animals, putting together sea creature puzzles, watching YouTube videos, and have, of course, been doing several different projects and activities. I really wish that we had an aquarium closer to us because I would love to take her there to finish out this unit. For now, we will just have to continue to browse through YouTube and play with our crafts. Below you will find a list of simple project ideas and hands on activities, complete with detailed instructions and linked supply lists. Enjoy !

Under The Sea Sensory Bin

This was one of our favorite activities this week! It’s super hot outside and very humid. This activity was great for letting us be outside and enjoying the fresh air, while also cooling us down. I say cooling ” US ” down because almost all of the blue water in the bin was all over me towards the end. Thanks to our time at the lake, Lyanna thinks it’s hilarious, and helpful, to splash me with water. This sensory bin activity was very easy to put together. Here is a list of what you will need to create your very own ” Under The Sea ” exploration:

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Tupperware Container or Bin ( Large )

Blue Gems

Blue Food Coloring ( or Liquid Water Colors ) 2 to 4 drops

Ocean Animals Figurines

Water

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Now just combine all of these items into your container, or bin, and let your little ones go at it! If you wanted, you could even add glitter or seashells to your bin. We did our play time outside for obvious reasons and I suggest you do so as well. The best part of play at this age is that it gets messy while they are having fun and learning! I told you, super simple ! Lyanna played with this for hours and we actually still have it set up in the garage for her. During her time playing in the bin, we talked about each one of animal figurines. We talked about what they were, what they ate, and any other characteristics we remembered about them from our reading and YouTube sessions.

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Here is another simple sensory play activity. Lyanna was given this awesome book for her birthday and she LOVES playing with the figurines that came with it. It features a short story and a large ocean scene fold out that she plays with the figurines on. We borrowed them for our activities this week 🙂 . For this activity, we reused our blue gems and figurines, but added some homemade playdough to explore with this time. Click here to check out our recipe for making your very own playdough. You only need 3 items that you probably already have in your house! Here are the items you will need for this sensory activity:

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Sea Creature Figurines 

Playdough 

Blue Gems or Marbles

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Lyanna has a newfound love for playdough and asks to play with it all the time! Playing with playdough is great for building children’s fine motor skills as it works their little muscles in the arms and hands. These muscles need a lot of training and attention, so squishing and rolling playdough is perfect for focusing on these developments. Adding elements to playdough play, like gems and figurines, is a great way to expand a child’s imagination and creativity. During this activity, LC “created” her own “fish tank” for her little plastic friends just like how we had done previously in the week with her new fishy friend, Dragon Fish.

Paper Bag Jellyfish

Out of all the videos we watched, LC’s favorite was definitely the jellyfish ones. She loved to watch them slowly glide through the water and their colors change with the light of the sun. Click here to view our favorite jellyfish video. We created our own jellyfish using a brown paper bag and some other supplies we had around the house. Below you will find the list of supplies you will need and the steps to take so you can create your very own jellyfish.

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Step 1: As promised, this project is super easy to do. We ended up making 6 of these little guys. The first thing to do for this project would be to have your little ones color their bags.

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Step 2: If you’re going to use glitter, or anything else that needs to dry, to decorate your jellyfish, I would do so now. Give it time to dry before moving on to the next steps.

Step 3: Glue on your cute googly eyes. We gave him some eyebrows. LC said that he needed them and I totally agree!

Step 4: Now, LC is still a bit intimidating by scissors and refuses to touch them just yet. Since Step 4 is the cutting portion of this project, I went ahead and did this step for her. If you have a child that is still perfecting there cutting skills, I would draw guiding lines on the bag for them to follow, like I have done in the pictures. Help your little ones cut on the lines and you’re almost there !

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Step 5: We scrunched the jellyfish’s “tentacles” to make them look more realistic. When I say “scrunch” I mean like how you do to your hair when you’re styling it. I can’t be the only one that still does that ! And now you have a new, not slimy, jellyfish to play, pretend, and explore with !

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These paper bag jellyfishes were definitely a big hit with our little one. She’s been holding on to them for days and protecting them from the dogs. Our dogs occasionally chew up her toys, so she is going the extra mile with her new jelly friends and making sure she is not putting them down for a second. At all. Now, on to the next super simple and easy project idea …..

Paper Roll Brucey

Okay, I probably could have come up with a better title for this project. I’ll work on that. This is yet another simple project to do with your children, but I would say the age group to complete EVERY step would be at least 3 or 4. There is cutting involved and the teeth portion can be a little tricky for little hands with emerging scissor skills. Lyanna happily colored the roll and pointed to where she wanting the eyes, but cutting small triangles out was just not happening for us just yet. For this project, you will need:

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Step 1: Color the paper towel roll with either the blue crayon or marker. For us, we used crayons and they created a very cool texture. It almost resembles that smooth, but “traveled” look all sharks have !

Step 2: Give your friend a mouth ! Cut two triangles out of one end of the paper towel roll. This is one of the parts I was talking about earlier that may be a bit tricky for little hands, but you could always draw guiding lines from them to cut on.

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Step 3: Using your blue paper, cut out three triangles. These will be for your shark’s fins. Glue these triangles to your sharks body. While the glue is out, go ahead and give him some eyes !

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Step 4: Using your white paper, create some chompers for your sweet toothless friend. Cut small triangles out of a strip of your paper. Now, you can choose to use your triangles as teeth and glue them on one at a time, or you can use the strip of paper that they were cut out from as your teeth ( That’s what we did and it was definitely easier ! )

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And now you have an adorable little shark! Unfortunately, this little guy didn’t last too long in our house. The dogs got it. I guess they either didn’t like the look in his eyes or they thought his eyes looked tasty. We’ll be making another one soon since someone keeps asking for her “sharky dude”.

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When I started planning out our week of sea creatures, I happened to see this cute video about creating a moving fish with just paper, glue, and scissors! This project idea came from Krokotak’s Facebook page and you can visit them and watch the video by clicking here. I would highly recommend you find it and watch it! For this project you will need:

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Step 1: For our moving fish, LC colored a piece of white paper for us to use. I thought some bright colors would make a cool design on our first fish friend.

Step 2: ( See Picture Below ) Fold the bottom right corner over to the left side.

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Step 3: ( See Picture Below ) You will be left with a rectangular piece. Cut this portion off, but safe it for later !

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Step 4: ( See Pictures Below ) Open back up your folded piece of paper. You’ll be turning this piece in to a kite shape. Once you fold and make your folding lines, open back up your piece of paper.

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Step 5: ( See Pictures Below ) Now fold your piece of paper back to the original folding where it was just a triangle ( Step 2 ). Now it’s time to cut and start to turn this into a fish ! View the pictures below to see where and how far to cut. Note: Make sure you cut all the way to the 2nd folded lines. If you don’t, your fish won’t move right. Trust me, I messed up the first time too.

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Step 6: ( See Pictures Below ) Open your piece of paper back up. You’ll be applying glue to first panel on the left in order to attach it to it’s matching counterpart on the other side.

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Step 7: ( See Pictures Below ) Now that you have your fish shaped, you’ll need to add some other little details to actually make him look more like a fish. I’ll wait until your finished playing with the fish…. I know, it’s cool ! Shape your fish’s head to look more like…. a fish’s head.

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Step 8: ( See Pictures Below ) Remember that rectangular piece you cut off in the beginning? The piece I told you to save? We need it ! Cut your fishy friend out some eyes, fins, and a bottom lip with this piece.

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Step 9: Add these little features to your fish’s body and you’re done !

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If you found this directions to be a little confusing, I would highly recommend viewing the video tutorial for this. You can find it here.

Well that ends our sea creature week. We hope that you enjoyed our projects and activities and hope that you were inspired to do at least one of them with your family. We had a lot of fun this week and it makes me sad to think we only a month or so left of summer 🙁 . As promised, here is a list of wonderful books all about different sea creatures:

Happy Crafting ! xoxo




Our Amazing States: Activity Ideas and Resources For Teaching The States

Our Amazing States

The ” back to school ” stuff is already out in every store I go to. Since my summer has 5 weeks left, this makes me cry a little. I don’t even want to think about returning to the classroom yet ! However, there is that side of me that LOVES the back to school items themselves. Fresh unused pens, highlighters, and clean, sparkling white notebooks. I can’t help myself. I have to buy one of everything. Since we are planning on homeschooling LC, I have been slowly stocking up on items like this that we will need. So, naturally, I have noticed the educational items as well. Most stores now have workbooks for almost every grade levels, boards for handwriting practice, and tons of manipulative items with their back to school items. If you haven’t checked out Target’s Dollar Section, you should totally swing by! If you’re a teacher, you should stock up here before going anywhere else.

Our Recent Haul From Target, Walmart, and The Dollar Tree

During a recent walk through Target’s school supplies ( since I’m there once, maybe twice, sometimes three times a week), I came across these cute educational placemats. I honestly wanted to buy all of them ! You can select from world maps, maps of the United States, constellations and the solar system, multiplication tables, and so on. With restraint, I only picked up two and they’ve been a hit! The two I selected were the children’s versions of the map of the United States and a world map. LC has been sitting by herself looking at them and has even asked for me to ” read ” it to her. We’re going over what state our relatives live in or are from and we have also been working on her speech by saying all the state’s names. I have to admit, it’s adorable to hear her try and say ” Massachusetts “.

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These new additions to our homeschooling supplies got me thinking about the resources I could find to help us with learning more about each state in the future. Since I will be back in the classroom soon ( too soon in my opinion ), these resources and activity ideas will also be great to use and try out with my future students as well.

I have searched and found the 6 best resources and activities for learning about the states. Below, you will find a list of all of the states. When you click on the state name, you will be directed to a complete list of information about the state including the founding date, the state bird, motto, and flower, as well as other fun facts about the state. You can use this information in conjunction with the list of activities. Enjoy !

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Just for you! I have compiled a list of activity ideas for learning the states. I love all of these ideas and I’m so glad I found these wonderful blogs. My search for one thing led me to wondering around their pages for hours, so if you really like their states activities, I would highly suggest subscribing to their sites!

State Research T-Shirt Project

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This activity idea was found on The Owl Teacher. If you’re a teacher, or even a homeschooling mom, there are tons of great ideas for the classroom on this site. She even has her own Teachers Pay Teachers shop, which is worth checking out as well. I love that this project gets children to do some research and learn about a state, while also allowing them to be creative and hands on. I think it makes learning so much more fun and so engaging ! Click on the picture to bring you to her blog and see more information about this activity idea.

Eight For Each State

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This is one of my favorite resources I have found for learning about the states. Pam Barnhill’s blog has been up on my computer for over a week now. I keep looking through her site for more wonderful ideas and she also has some great resources if you are a homeschooling family! This resource includes the use of a book associated with the state, events that happened here, famous foods, and world changing inventions. You can find more details about her ” 8 For Each State ” post by clicking on the picture.

Teach Your Toddler The 50 States At Lunchtime

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This is one that we are now using for Lyanna! I found this resource on The Little Years blog and it has taken over our snack time. Reading through her steps for using this idea, I love how she mentions to keep with positive language. I’ll be honest, I think this strategy has helped ME learn where all the states are too. Come on, who doesn’t get a little mixed up about the mid-west !? Click on the picture and it will bring you to the site for full details.

Great Plates

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This is a great idea for the classroom! Found on Sensational Social Studies, this activity has students creating a plate for each state. This is a great group project and again, I love how she has them learning while being creative and hands on at the same time. Each state is unique and so is a student’s personal touches. Click the picture and it will bring you to the Sensational Social Studies page. Enjoy !

Fun Games For Learning The 50 States

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Learning through game play is up there on my list of my favorite ways to teach concepts. Corkboard Connections has four different games to help your children learn the states. They vary from working on state puzzles to interactive online games. You can visit this post about these games by clicking the picture. I would recommend talking a walk through the blog as well ! I found some great ideas for interactive teaching and she also has a Teachers Pay Teachers shop for resources as well.

State In A Bag

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This resource is actually something I found on Teachers Pay Teachers from Amy’s Smart Designs. The digital download is only $2 ! The description states that as students research their chosen state, they put items in the bag that represent 6 different aspects about the state. You can find the link to this shop by clicking on the picture.

I hope this list of resources and activity ideas help you in teaching the states. These are ideas can be used in the classroom or they can tweaked and used in a homeschooling setting. Again, if you have the time, I would highly recommend taking a look around the blogs that these ideas and resources belong to. This is my favorite part about creating a list like these. I get to search for ideas, but then also find a few new blogs that have amazing ideas. It’s also work noting that these bloggers have NOT asked me to put them on this list, nor do they even know I have featured them here. My opinions and recommendations about their ideas are completely mine own and not endorsed in any way!

Happy Crafting ! xoxo




Little Owl’s Night: Educational Connections and Activity Ideas

Little Owl's Night-

Little Owl’s Night by: Divya Srinivasan

Our little one was given this cute book during Halloween last year and everyday after that, we were reading this book. Literally. Every. Single. Day. I MAY have slipped it under the couch as a safe hiding spot for a while. Since then we have brought it back out in to our rotation of books. We have been working with LC on her shapes, colors, and numbers and she has really taken to pointing these items out whenever and wherever she finds them. I recently found myself reading Little Owl once again, but since she was so excited about all of the little character’s in the pictures, it got me thinking about how we could make this a more educational, hands on experience. I have laid this post out in order of how I would complete this unit, but make it your own and do what you feel is best for you and your child. Also, be sure to have fun ! These activities are meant to be educational, but to also give you an opportunity to be hands on in your child’s education and give you time to be with one another.

Introduction to Little Owl’s Night

With any book, I always like to have kids do a ” Picture Walk ” first. A picture walk is when a child, or a group of children, along with the guidance of an adult, go through a book and look at all of the pictures. It helps set the scene for the story, the characters, the setting, and can give children a desire to read the text to figure out what the story is all about. In my experience, doing this extra step first can help get children engaged in the story and excited from the very start. For more information about this strategy, I would direct you to this very informative page about the many benefits of doing a picture walk.

Reading Together

The fun begins! Now there are two ways you can do this step. You and your child can simply read this book together and then go back to re-read it, while stopping to discuss after each page. OR you can discuss as you go through the book the first time. For LC, I like to discuss things with her AS we read. Since she is two, we are building up her comprehension skills and I find she does better when we do stop and talk about what is going on and what she is seeing. During this part, I like to read a page or two, discuss what is happening, talk about what we see in the pictures, and what we think will happen on the next page. It is during this step that I like to get LC to talk about the animals that are in the pictures and find any shapes that are present. I know some of these skills are a little advanced for her age group right now, but we are trying to lay the foundation for great reading and comprehension skills.

Connecting ” Little Owl’s Night ” To Concepts

Now that you and your child have read and discussed the book, this would be the perfect time to connect educational concepts to our story. This particular story is a great platform for talking about the night time sky and nocturnal animals. Here are a few conversation starters and activity ideas to go along with these adorable story:

Night Time

Creating The Night Sky

” In our book, ” Little Owl’s Night “, we follow Little Owl as he wanders through the forest where he lives. I wonder why the book is called ” Little Owl’s Night ” ? Oh, wait! It is night time ! I know that because here are the moon and stars. They only come out at night ! ”

Discussion Topics During Activity:

What changes do we see in the sky when it’s becoming night time? / Where does the Sun go ? / What colors do we see? / Does the Moon give us light like the Sun does? / How many stars can we see from our house at night ? / What do we do at night time? / What does Little Owl do? /

Supplies

This activity’s supplies and steps are all based on what materials have in your home and what YOU want to do. For our night time sky, we used black construction paper, glitter glue pens ( or glitter tubes ), and silver sharpies. If you’d rather use Elmer’s glue and loose glitter, go for it ! The idea behind this activity is to just put sparkles on a dark backdrop, much like what the stars and Moon do to that dark sky.

For our sky, we first drew the Moon and stars using our silver sharpies. Next, we added the glitter wherever we wanted. For your own version, you could use loose glitter and Elmer’s glue, or a glue stick, or you could even use cute star stickers. Really, whatever you have on hand. The idea here is to ignore steps and just focus on creating something simple while talking about the night sky. See where it takes you ! 🙂

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Nocturnal Animals:

Making Little Owl

” Little Owl is going through the forest and talking to all of his little friends. He is so cute! Look at those big eyes; They look like perfect circles. All of Little Owl’s friends are awake while it is night time? We sleep at night, but all of these animals are awake and doing stuff in the forest. These animals must be nocturnal! Do you know what nocturnal means? Nocturnal means something that only happens at night time. There are animals that are nocturnal , which means that they are out doing things at night, like finding food, and sleep during the day. Little Owl is an nocturnal animal !  ”

Discussion Topics During Activity:

What do we see Little Owl doing at night? / What do we see his friends doing?/ What other animals do you remember seeing in the story? / I wonder why the moths where trying to fly towards the Moon? / I wonder what other things Little Owls does during the night? / I read that Owls hunt for mice at night / Do you know where Owls live? /

Supplies (1)

For this activity, you will need:

Red, Green, Yellow, and White Construction Paper

A Black Sharpie

Googly Eyes

A Glue Stick

Scissors

( For links to quickly purchase these items, scroll down ! )

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Step 1: Draw the shapes you will be cutting out. You will need 1 red oval, 1 yellow diamond, two red circles ( about the same size, one for the body and one to cut in half for Little Owl’s wings ), 2 white circles ( about the same size as each other, but smaller than the red circles ), and 2 green circles ( about the same size as each other, but smaller than the white circles ). Be sure to let your children draw these shapes. This activity is meant to help them learn and the best way to do that is to be hands on!

Step 2

Step 2: Now that you have traced out your shapes, it’s time to cut them out! Again, make sure you let your little ones try their hand at using the scissors.

Step 3Assemble !

Step 3: Assemble your Little Owl ! Once you have all of your little pieces cut out, you can begin to put your owl together. Don’t forget to add your googly eyes last to make them stand out. We also cut out 2 little crown shaped pieces for his ear feathers, just like how Little Owl has in the story. You can personalize yours however you chose!

You could add more projects and discussions into your own unit about the other animals that we see in the story. This would be an amazing opportunity for children to learn about these animals, their habitats, diets, and anything else you think they would find interesting. For example:

Sleeping Bear:

Sleeping Bear

” What was your favorite character from the story? My favorite character was the sleeping bear ! Even though some bears are nocturnal, this bear was fast asleep while everyone else was out and about. I remember seeing that he had a bunch of fish around him in the story. Maybe he was already full and didn’t need to out and eat that night. He must have been really sleeping. Little Owl tried to get him to wake up and see the Moon, but did he wake up? No! He kept snoozing away. ”

Discussion Topics During Activity:

Do you think the bear was already full? / Where did this bear live? / Do you think all bears live in caves? / What do bears eat? / I think they probably like fish too. I remember reading about bears that like to eat Salmon ! /

Supplies (2)

For this activity, you will need:

One paper plate ( per child )

Scissors

Brown Crayon or Marker

Brown and Black Construction Paper

A Glue Stick

( For links to quickly purchase these items, scroll down ! )

Step 1 (1)

Step 1: Put your little one to work and have them color their paper plate. For older children, you could substitute this coloring portion with gluing on brown tissue paper with Elmer’s glue.

Step 2 (1)

Step 2: Trace a mouth and ears onto the brown piece of paper and a cute button nose onto the black paper. Help your little ones add lips to the mouth portion.

Step 3: Cut out your shapes! Remember, allowing your children to do these steps on their own is great practice for improving their fine motor skills. It may be tempting, but let THEM do the work and create their bear’s feature how they want them.

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Step 4: Assemble ! Glue your bear’s nose to his mouth and then his mouth to the plate. Next, glue the ears to the under side of the plate. We drew sleepy eyes directly on to the plate. As you can see, LC loves her sleepy bear. She’s been walking around the house ( and in to walls ) with her mask and screaming ” ROAR ” for most of the day.

Tip for completing these activities and discussion topics: I find it to be very engaging for children when you have your discussion along with completing your project, rather than a discussion, or lecture, first and then doing the activity disconnected from an educational conversation. Use the prompts for each activity, labeled ” Discussion Topics During Activity “, to keep the conversation rolling and the their wheels spinning !

Conclusion

WHEW ! That was a lot to cover. I hope you enjoyed reading this unit and I also hope that it inspired you. If you choose to complete these activities with your child, I’d love to hear how it went! As always, if you have any tips or suggestions that could go along with this educational unit, please feel free to contact me! As promised, below you will find links to all of our supplies from the lists.

Happy Crafting ! xoxo




The Life of a Lice Picker: Expert Advice on Treatments, Cleaning, and Prevention

The Life of a Lice Picker-

This is a little off topic from what I usually write and post about, so stay with me. You’ll be glad you did. And yes, that is me in the pictures. I have thick, crazy hair that is down to my hips. And no, I don’t have lice!

I have mentioned before that I work for a wonderful company that treats families who have head lice. Yes, head lice. In a world of ” super-lice “, which is actually not a real thing, companies like ours have been popping up everywhere to help rid heads of these pests. Our company, Helping Hands Lice Removal,  is a mobile lice removal service. We have been servicing North Carolina and Georgia for the past 10 years. I go out to people’s homes, check everyone in the family, and treat the ones that have evidence of lice ( lice and/or nits ) in their hair. I know it sounds crazy, but I love this job. I get to enjoy a flexible schedule, help families, get children back into school, and be there to support moms and dads with helpful advice and peace of mind. The best part of my job: everyone is always happy to see me! I get to be a super hero for a few hours! The local news station here actually interviewed me last summer to get advice on treating and preventing lice. That was a weird day for me. I was feeling happy, nervous, excited, and embarrassed all at once. I was so happy and excited to help people, but at the same time my name was being put out there to an audience and it was associated with lice!

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I am based in North Carolina and since I don’t travel out of the Triangle ( Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill ), I thought I would do this post as a way to help all of those that I can’t reach. If you are reading this and currently dealing with lice, you are always more than welcome to call our hotline number at 1-888-206-8773. You can ask to speak to me directly and I can walk you through the treatment process, answer your questions, and give you advice. I love talking to and helping people!

Earlier, I mentioned ” super lice “. Those two words are so very frustrating to me. Lice have received this new title because they have become immune to almost every kind of treatment that uses pyrethrin, which is an insecticide. They’ve become immune to these products over the years because of over-exposure. People use Nix or Rid to treat, but don’t effectively comb and a few generations down the line, the lice are no longer bothered by them. I get so frustrated by the use of the words ” super lice ” because every time a new article comes out using those words, it strikes panic into every parent and lice products come flying off the shelves. I hate to break it to you, but this isn’t something new. Lice have been immune to these products for years. I’m 27 years old and when I was in 5th grade and my mom was treating me for lice, they were already immune to Nix. 15 years ago ! Yes, these companies change their formulas to become effective once again, but that only works for so long before the bugs catch up.

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Treatment

There are a million and one treatment products out there for you to choose from. Pick one that you feel is right for you and your family. To be completely honest, it doesn’t matter what product you use. The most important part of the treatment process is the combing. As long as you are thorough with your combing, you will get everything out. There is a reason we have the phrase ” nit-picking “. The combing process is tedious and time consuming, but it’s what it takes to get lice and their nits out of your hair. Make sure that you are dividing the hair up in to small sections to focus your combing on, one section at a time. Thoroughly comb through each section, one at a time.

There are treatment products out there that make this part a bit easier. Products like Fairytales or Nit-Free are natural, chemical free products that loosen the nits so that they come out a lot easier.

A word of warning: I will not say the name of this company or the product they push, but I will advise you NOT to use it. There is a prescription strength treatment ” lotion ” that you can go to your doctor and get. This product is advertised to be used on all ages. This product says that there is no need to comb. This product is a waste of your money. In my 7 years with Helping Hands I have never, not once, treated someone under the age of 1. Rarely do I treat someone who is under the age of 2. I’m not saying that this age group can’t get head lice, but I’m saying that it is unlikely. MOST children this age have thinner hair and lice prefer a warmer head to live on. If you say a product is safe for ALL ages, there is going to be a person out there that treats there 6 month old with your product, just to feel that they are covering all of their bases. It is completely unnecessary to expose a small child to such a product, just because. That’s not my biggest pet-peeve with this product. The ” no combing ” part is just about the worst advice to give someone battling lice. You need to comb to get everything out, nit casings and all. What if your product doesn’t work. You’ve now made this family spend the money for the product, waste their time cleaning and treating, all to have the lice begin again and do it again !

Okay. I’m done ranting.

Always be sure to perform a retreat 7 to 10 days after your first treatment. Retreats are meant to make sure that your first treatment was performed correctly and that you or your child haven’t been re-infested from the original source. Lice spread in circles of people and it is likely that whoever you got it from the first time can spread it back to you again. If you are thorough during your first treatment, your retreat will be a breeze. Some people like to comb through the hair every day for a set amount of time. I won’t tell you not to do that, especially if it makes you feel better to do so, but I personally feel that it is a waste of time. There is also the chance that your child will become annoyed with the situation and begin to refuse to work with you and sit still.

One last thing: NEVER, EVER wrap your head or your child’s head with ANY kind of material and go to sleep. If you were thinking of letting their hair soak in olive oil for the night and wrap their head in a plastic bag, DON’T. Maybe just wrap it in a towel? NO. Do not wrap ANYTHING around your head or your child’s head and go to sleep. The movements we make during the night can cause these items to slide down over the face and cause suffocation. If you want to go the olive oil treatment route, that’s totally fine. Please do this form of treatment during the day when everyone is awake and you can keep an eye on the item you’ve wrapped around the head.

Treatment (1)

When battling head lice, 90% of your efforts should be focused on the actual treatment of the hair and 10% on cleaning. There really isn’t that much you need to address. People think that when you have head lice, you need to clean everything in your home, top to bottom. Curtains, shoes, every stuffed animal in a 5 miles radius. No. No. No. Lice want to be on YOU ! Your head is where the feed from, it’s the only place they can lay their nits, they depend on the heat from your scalp, and it’s where their mate is. Lice have 3 purposes in their tiny little lives: They want to feed, reproduce, and annoy the living crap out of you. There’s no reason for them to be hanging out on your couch. However, there is a chance that a louse MAY fall out of your hair while sitting on the couch or while you sleep and are scratching your head. This is why you want to do SOME cleaning.

I always tell my clients to focus their cleaning efforts on items that have had extended contact with their child’s head. Like their beds, hair accessories, car seats, and so on. A good rule of thumb to follow is if they haven’t worn it, played with it, or laid on it in 48 hours, you don’t need to worry about it. To clean items that you are concerned about, you can do one of three things, or all of them if you choose. I won’t tell you that doing all three is over the top because at the end of the day if it made you feel better to do so, then by all means do it!

To clean items that your children have had extended contact with you can 1. stick items in the dryer, on high heat, for 30 to 45 minutes, 2. put them in the freezer over night, or 3. quarantine them for 48 hours. If you are dealing with head lice this summer, just throw everything in your car and park it in the sun for a few hours. The temperature in your car is going to get so hot, it will kill any lice on these items. This is a great suggestion for the parent that wants to clean everything single thing their child has touched in the past 6 months. Cleaning items this way will help your electricity bill not go through the roof with your washer and dryer running for 3 days.

It’s important to note that when you are cleaning items you are doing so in the event a louse has come off of your child on to these items. You aren’t cleaning to rid your sheets and jackets of nits. Nits are not going to just fall off the head. These eggs are glued to the hair shaft and that is what makes getting rid of lice so difficult. Also, nits can’t hatch off of your head. They are dependent on the heat from your scalp, which is why the mother louse lays them in your hair and so close to your scalp. I get this question a lot : ” But what if a nit is on this pillow and it hatches in a week and that louse gets back on my child? ” . That isn’t going to happen. Climb down from the roof, put the matches down, breath, and drink some wine.

Treatment (2)

The best form of prevention is avoiding head to head contact, or head to item to head ( sharing brushes ) contact, with others. This sounds easy enough, but most children lack personal space with their siblings and friends. As I type this, my own daughter is laying with one of our dogs and rubbing her head all over him. She’s not going to get lice from a dog, but it’s that closeness that could one day get her lice from a friend. Yes, there are tons of prevention products on the market and several DIY mixes you can make to prevent head lice. The only 100% effective prevention is keeping your head and personal items to yourself. I suggest the use of prevention products in conjunction with having a talk with your children about personal space and why it’s important to respect other’s space.

Some quick tips I give all of my clients:

Avoid head to head contact with others and never use someone else’s brush, hair accessories, or hats.

Rather than spending money on a whole line of prevention products, just purchase a spray from your preferred brand. The scent from a prevention product is what deters lice from coming to a head of hair and these sprays are more potent.

Always have your children wear their hair up when at school or daycare. Keeping the hair up or braided is a good way to keep it contained and away from others. The best hair style when head lice is going around your child’s class: A high top knot or ballerina bun.

When going to a sleep over, bring your own pillow and blankets. When your children return from a sleepover, it would be wise to check their heads for lice. This way, if they did get it, you can catch it almost immediately and get it out before it gets a chance to build up.

The biggest tip I have… STOP WITH THE SELFIES WITH YOUR FRIENDS! In the past 4 years, I have seen such an influx with teenagers who are getting lice and spreading it around their group of friends. They fluff their hair just right, and it is usually down, and put their head right up to their friends’ heads. They stay in that pose for 100 or more pictures to get just the right one and BAM, 4 weeks later, they all have a very activate case of lice and wonder how they got it. STOP IT! I have had clients get so tired of dealing with reoccurring cases of lice that they threaten to take their children’s phones away.

Treatment (3)

I think the big fear and paranoia about getting head lice comes from misunderstandings and myths about these little pests. People hear horror stories about year long battles and shaving of heads and just–lose–it. ” I had a friend who had to shave her daughter’s head and throw out all of their mattresses “. This is an actual quote from a client. I hear things like these all the time and I just want to scream. All I want to say is ” Well your friend is a nut case who read some crazy advice from another nut case “, but instead I have to say ” That’s unfortunate, I wish I could have helped her “.

Clean VS. Dirty: Some people think that if you shower and wash your hair everyday, you’re more likely to get lice because your hair is so welcoming for them. Other people think that lice are only found on people who have dirty hair and haven’t showered in weeks. Neither of these is an absolute. Yes, lice can be present in both of those scenarios, but it isn’t because of their hygiene practices. Lice like all hair types and colors. They don’t care if you live in a mansion or in a box on the street. If you have enough hair to keep them warm, they will happily take up residence. I think the misconception about ” dirty ” hair is that people assume that means unwashed. Lice prefer hair that is CLEAN and free of oil based products. These products and chemicals are what the term “dirty” implies in this case. Think ” clean eating “. If you use a good amount of hair products, you are less likely to contract head lice. LESS LIKELY. This isn’t implying that you’re in the clear, but it’s just unlikely. Strange things happen every day.

Lice are hanging out in your home: Nope. Nope. Nope. Lice want to be in your hair. This is the only place they can feed from, lay their nits, it’s warm and it’s where their mates are. Why would they take up residence on your couch? You should clean your frequently used items just in case a bug has come off. The treatment process is so tedious that you don’t want to throw away all of that hard work by missing a misplaced bug on your hair brush. Stick to cleaning items that have had extended contact with your hair. Don’t worry about the drapes, carpets in every room, and all the clothes in your closet. Having said that, if it makes you feel better to detail your entire house after a lice outbreak, just do it.

New Mattresses: When I first started working for Helping Hands, I arrived at a client’s house to find their mattresses piled up on their porch. They told me that they read online that they should either get new mattresses or quarantine their old ones for about a month. I can’t tell you how hard it was for me to keep a straight face. Lice do not burrow into your items like bed bugs do. Those sprays that you can buy to ” sanitize ” your mattresses of lice are a complete waste of money. Just strip your sheets and wash them how you would normally clean them. Done. No need to buy new mattresses !

Apply product and you’re good to go: As I’ve said before, the most important part about treating head lice is the combing. You need to comb in order to remove all nits and lice from your hair. There is absolutely no product you can apply to the hair that will magically kill AND remove everything from your hair. I hear people say that they’ve been ” treating ” for months and the lice keep coming back. Once I get in the hair and have a look around, I quickly realize that by ” treating ” they mean just applying the product. You need to section off the hair and comb through each section. No product is 100% in killing lice and their nits. There are some schools that have a ” No Nit ” policy in place and the only way your children can return to school is if they are nit free. The only way to achieve this …. is by combing!

Once you’ve had head lice, it’s easier to get it again and again: I don’t quite understand the logic of this theory. Yes, it’s true that if your child gets head lice, there is the possibility that they could get it again. That isn’t because lice know that other lice have been there before. It’s because lice spread in groups of friends or classmates and there IS the possibility that lice can cycle back around to people in these groups. For example, say your child and their classmates at school get head lice. All of the parents of these children perform treatments, but in different manners. All of these kids get rid of their lice, but one child wasn’t combed out properly and they still have some bugs in their hair. It’ll take a few weeks, but this case of lice will grow and eventually there will be enough bugs to spread back to the other children again. It is because of these cycles that I suggest that parents keep an eye out for the signs of head lice for a while. If it does circle back and your child gets it again, you can catch early enough to easily treat it before it gets out of hand.

Treatment (4)

Companies like ours have been popping up all over the place in the past 10 years. There are salons you can visit or mobile services that come out to your home. Head lice treatments are a making money industry. I personally strive to make sure that each and every one of my clients are happy and feel at ease when I leave their homes. I go out of my way to be there for my clients and am always available when they call our hotline number. My boss and I keep an open and honest policy and we’ll even work with you if you can’t pay for the treatment all at once. We’re pretty nice people, unless you’re running a head lice removal company and are trying to take advantage of people. In that case, I will happily call you out on your bad business practices. The mention of lice will strike fear and panic into any parent and when they frantically call a company looking for help, they NEED HELP. They don’t need that company to prey on their fears and steal their money. If you’ve ever thought about calling a service, here are some helpful tips for avoiding a scam and wasting your time:

Stick to a locally based company and avoid big business companies. I won’t name any specific names, but there is a large lice removal company that has representatives in almost every state. I have nothing against big businesses, but the price of their services are crippling for most families. This company charges a ridiculous fee JUST to come to your home and treatments are an additional amount of money. Before you know it, you’ve spent over $500 for 2 treatments and head checks. That is not okay. That is stealing. If you feel that you need to charge that much because you’re dealing with icky lice, then maybe this isn’t the business for you.

Steer clear of companies that charge by the hour. Now there are honest companies that charge by the hour and their technicians are fabulous and work quickly to get your treatment done. However, there are shady people that will happily take their sweet time treating just to rack up the fee. It does not take 2 hours to treat a person who has short hair, no matter how bad they have it. For children that have super short hair like this, who are usually boys, I get them taken care of in 10 to 15 minutes. Even if you were to look at each individual strand of hair, there is no reason a treatment, in this case, should take more than 20 minutes. If they are charging you $90 a hour, why would they get you done in an hour when they could keep combing for an hour and 10 minutes and to make $180?

Question all of the fees before making an appointment. When you are calling around to price out companies, be sure to understand all of the fees for their services upfront. Some companies charge you a fee for performing head checks AND for treatments during their visit. You end up being charged $ 200 for your family to be checked and then an additional $ 100 or more for each treatment. If you can, avoid companies that double charge for their services. Also, avoid companies that charge a fee per head for checks. These “per head” fees for head checks force parents to pick and choose who gets a check and that’s not fair. What happens if that one person you didn’t get checked is carrying lice. Now you are going to have your case return and end up spending more money down the line. This is another example of how companies try and take advantage of you. They know you don’t want to take this risk, so you’ll more than likely pay for everyone to be checked. They also win if you decide to pick and choose. There’s a chance that someone not checked will have it, and a month or so later the company will be back out to your house charging you again for treatments and head checks. It’s a win/win for these companies. We charge a fee for coming out to JUST perform head checks, but in the event we find something and need to treat, we waive that head checking fee and the client only pays for treatments.

Treatment (5)

Okay, you made it. How itchy are you now? Don’t worry, it’s all in your head! Remember that if you or your children get lice, it’s not the end of the world and there are worse things that could happen. Just stay calm, keep your cool, and get a really good comb. We use ” The Terminator ” and you can purchase it here. It’s a great item to have ready in your home. You never know when your child will come home and complain about how itchy their head is or when you will get that dreaded call from the school nurse.

I hope this post has helped you and I appreciate you taking the time to read it. Send this post to friends dealing with lice and I’m sure it will help them as well. As I stated above, people are always more than welcome to call our hotline number and ask questions. Our number is 1-888-206-8773. Be sure to ask for Brittany. You are also more than welcome to comment or private message me.

If you would like to support our business, you can purchase these recommended items from our website at www.HelpingHandsLiceRemoval.com. You can also support us by spreading the word about this post and how our company can help families in need of lice treatments or just advice!

On a different, less itchy topic… I also run my own mobile arts and crafts company for children and teens. We do birthday parties, painting parties, and art classes. If you’d like more information about this service, you are more than welcome to email me at COFLH@yahoo.com, call me at 1-757-812-5310, or visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CreativeOutletForLittleHands. If you’d like to see some images and details from our previous events, visit our posts ” Dream Catchers ” and ” Fairy Gardens “.




Mess Free Painting With Baby

Do The Impossible- Mess Free Painting With Baby (1)

I am always looks for ways to let LC get her hands a little dirty. She hates getting stuff on her hands, but doing hands on activities are critical for her development. I don’t want her to not try things because she might get a little messy. It’s life. She’s a kid and that’s what she is suppose to do. Explore! However, there is a point where we don’t push past with her. If she is persistent in not wanting to do something, we don’t push her. We don’t want her to become fearful of things either. For example, we’ve been trying to potty train for the past 2 weeks. She is not having it. Since she has started running away and screaming when we tell her it’s time to go potty, we decided to back off for a bit. Seeing her pull ups and her new big girl underwear, I have a mix of emotions about the situation, but I know she’ll get it in her own time.

I want her to at least get the opportunity to try things that require a little mess in order to have some fun and get an experience with something new. When I found this mess free painting idea, I kept it locked in the back of mind for a time when she would decide that she DID NOT want to get paint on her hands, but also DID want to paint. This mess free project ideas is super easy and Lyanna had LOTS of fun doing it. Not only is this project easy to do, but the clean up is a breeze. A painting project where there isn’t a huge wipe down afterwards? Sign us up! Here is the supply list of the items you’ll need and steps for this activity.

Supplies-

Supplies: 

Paper

Paint

Marbles

Large Tupperware Container ( We have shelves full of Tupperware and I know we aren’t the only ones ! )

Step 1

Step 1: You may have to cut your piece of paper in order to fit into your selected container. UPDATE: I would suggest taping your piece of paper to the bottom of your container. Just to keep it in place.

Step 2: Once your paper is in place, add a few blobs.

Step 3

Step 3: Add your marbles. We had some tiny marbles from a previous project, so we added a bunch. For this you could also use small bouncing balls that you get out of gum-ball machines. You know, the ones you probably have a drawer full of.

Step 4: SECURE YOUR TOP. This won’t be a mess free project if you don’t secure your top 🙂 .

Step 5

Step 5: Let your little one shake it up. Tilt it. Spin it. Toss it in the air ( joking! )

Our Final Product ! LC loved this project. Like most 2 year olds, she loved the loud noises, but she also loved to see the marbles mix the colors. I will say that we played it on the safe side and did this project outside. Just in case the top came off. Yes, we secured the top, but I wasn’t going to risk it. It’s not completely unlikely that your little one will ” accidentally ” drop it or throw it. Ours did 🙂

Final Product !

We hope that you will give this project a try and we hope your family has fun while doing it. As always, thank you for taking the time to read our posts. We love being able to share with others!

Happy Crafting ! XOXO




Spatula’s Aren’t Just For Pancakes

Spatula's Aren't Just For Pancakes

I wear multiple hats. I am a wife and mother, but I am also an educator, blogger, business owner, artist, and I also run my Etsy shop. There is A LOT to do everyday, but I find there is something calming about certain tasks I have to accomplish. The art that I make for my Etsy shop is one of them. When I am working on a piece, it doesn’t really feel like I am working. I’m getting to sit down, walk through my head, have some music on, and play with my markers and paint.

Recently, I’ve been working on a few canvas pieces for the shop and I started to use a technique that I haven’t used in years. In my earlier years, I use to paint all the time and create all sorts of pieces for friends and family. I was wanting to create a piece that featured something space related, with planets and bright metallic colors. After messing around for a few days, I finally came across this really cool technique to making the colors blend together perfectly. I found a putty knife in my parent’s garage and used it to mix the colors together. It worked so perfectly and created exactly what I was picturing in my head. That putty knife never went back to the garage and I still have it with my paintbrushes today. Sorry Dad 🙂 !

Now, on to the project ! Using this technique with your children can be so much fun. It’s very easy to do and it creates a very “artsy” picture. Seriously, I’ve been paintings in museums that look exactly like the ones I have made. Here are the items you will need and the steps for creating this look. Have fun and remember, there is no wrong way to do this. Just let your kids have fun and explore !

Supplies-

Acrylic Paint: Make sure you have a few colors when doing this project. I try to use colors that would blend well together. For example, if I wanted black in my piece, I would be sure to use a very small amount of it at a time. Black is an overpowering color and can change the direction of your piece.

Canvas

Putty Knife / Spatula / Scrapper : Okay, some people call these putty knives. Other people call them spatulas or drywall scrappers. Whatever you call it, this is what it looks like. Having said that, you could actually use a spatula to create this look !

Paper Towels or Hand Towels: I use old hand towels as rags when I paint, but if you don’t have any around your house, a few paper towels will do.

Steps

Step 1: I would first suggest to do this project in an area where it’s okay to paint. Since you aren’t actually ” painting ” with a brush, you will have some run off from the canvas. This is where the paper towels come in to play as well. Lay out an old bed sheet on the floor and on the table.

Take the tubes of paint you have selected and drop small dots and think line of this paint anywhere on the canvas. When I say small, I mean small! As I said, you aren’t painting in the traditional sense and your putty knife will be scraping it around. Expect there to be some run off, but it can be a minimal amount if you are cautious during this time. See the pictures to see how I lay my paint out. You will be repeating this step several times until you get in just right. Keep in mind that ” just right ” is just how YOU, or your children, want their picture to look. There is no wrong way here. It’s just about having fun and blending colors.

Step 2: Using your putty knife, or which ever tool you have selected to use, and lightly scrap the paint around. I usually take my putty knife and scrap it from side all the way over to the other edge of the canvas and continue doing so until I reach the bottom. This gives it more of a complete swipe. Try to have a light hand when ” scraping ” the paint. If you scrap too hard, you will continue to scrap your paint off completely and continuously see the grain of your canvas. Again, there is no wrong way to do this, so if that’s what you want, go for it !

Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 over and over until you get the picture you want. I try and make sure that I put less paint on the canvas the more times I do add paint. Again, watch out for too much run off.

1

Step 4: Be sure to have fun! This is an art project meant to get your hands a little messy, explore blending colors, and just going with flow to see what happens.

After the paint has dried….

There are several things you can do with your canvas piece once your paint has dried. For me, I hand paint inspirational quotes or phrases on to them as wall decor. Here are a few possible end results for your new piece of artwork:

  • Add your children’s hand prints to the piece and hang for your own personal decor.
  • Hang up your artwork as is. There may very well be an art critic in your house ( ha! ) one day and he/she may offer to pay thousands of dollars for such an abstract piece. ( Obviously a joke. )
  • Use painting tape you write out a name or special word, and paint over the whole thing in a solid color. Take the tape off and now you have a meaningful word colored in a very funky way.

I hope you have enjoyed reading and plan to do this project with your children, or even on your own. This is such an easy technique and it creates an unusual technique that you can explore and have fun with. This would be a great project to do if your children are learning about mixing colors, primary, and secondary colors.

Happy Crafting ! XOXO

If you would like some inspiration, please feel free to visit my Etsy shop.