Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pudding Finger Painting Names

Mary literally eating the paint. Thankfully it was non-toxic.
Our paints
I tried finger painting a few weeks ago and it didn't go well.  My daughter was on one mission to eat the paint.  My son enjoyed it but now that she's 14 months I wanted her to be able to join us for things like this.  That same day my SIL did pudding painting with her kids.  You can find lots of stuff on Pinterest about it and I thought it sounded like a great idea.  I decided we were going to do some finger painting the letters in their names an idea I got the book Preschool Success.  The instructions were tracing their names from cookie cutters then letting them finger paint them.  I decided to do first and last names since I'm trying to teach Patrick his last name.  I had planned on doing it the typical way with the finger paints we own.  However I decided to include Mary and I didn't want a repeat of her ingesting paint and we had some vanilla pudding so I decided to give it a try.  It's insanely easy to make pudding finger paints.  Make pudding and mix in some food coloring.  I let Patrick choose the colors and he decided to match them to the cups from Ikea that we were using.  I used a spoon to serve them for the kids, which has resulted in leftover pudding that didn't have little fingers in it and kept the colors at least in the cups pure.  I found an idea of using parchment paper for it on Pinterest but writing their names on the parchment paper didn't work so well.  I also did them free hand since the cookie cutters when traced weren't making the letters clearly enough and Patrick kept confusing T and I since the cookie cutters made them look a lot alike.
The kid really seemed to enjoy this activity.  Of course Mary didn't eat nearly as much pudding paint as she did real paint until the end when she was pretty much just sitting there licking her fingers. And she did smear it in her hair so we had baths afterwards.  But I expected that it would make a mess.  The white blocks are my attempts that our last name not be viewable.  Mary had fun doing it and I have my first real piece of artwork from her since our last finger painting experience she did more eating then painting. 
Patrick decided that he wanted to use a brush, which didn't surprise me since he's the sort of kid who doesn't like to get messy especially his hands.  Last time that he had finger painted was the first time in years that he had actually finger painted.  I tried to get him to focus on painting the individual letters and we talked a lot about the letters that make up his name.  He did almost no eating at all.  Overall the activity was a big hit and I think was a good way on working on the letters in the kids names.  Not that Mary really cared or learned anything but Patrick started to learn the letters in her name as well. 
Patrick actually finished first and did almost no painting on the parchment paper.  But Mary did enjoy it and she signed more when she wanted more paint.  Since she's still not talking or signing much at fourteen months anytime she communicates is really great!  It was a fun activity the only downside was that it really didn't take that long and since we started it at like 9:00 we were finished, cleaned up and they were bored by 10:00. 


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Very Hungry Caterpillar Party

I'm going to go over the various birthday parties we've done for our kids.  I'm going to start with the first one although I didn't use pinterest to find stuff for it I did look around online.  And it seems weird not to include it. 

We used this recipe for gluten-free carrot cake, which we did as cupcakes instead of a cake.  We were trying to create this but decided to try to do it just with cupcakes.  The brown ones are supposed to be dirt that he's crawling on top of since we did some chocolate cupcakes along with the carrot ones.  My MIL helped us with assembling this especially the swirling of the frosting on the cupcakes to create the not a solid color look to them. 

Here is our table spread for "appetizers" and the cupcakes.  We did all the five foods that the caterpillar eats during his day for the "appetizers".  Probably would have been better to have them sliced to make them easier to eat.  These weren't that huge of a hit with our guests but I think they look cute.  The little circles have what he ate each day.  We used a themed table cloth, napkins and plates from Target.  For dinner we had baked ziti and sausages. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I am so glad I found you!

I thought I would start by mentioning some pins that I am so happy to have found.  These truly have been awesome and even if I'd never pinned anything else would somewhat justify the amount of time I've spent on pinterest.

Personalized Water Bottles-I felt these gave a little extra cuteness to my daughter's first birthday party.  We were having it at a park and doing almost exclusively things in bottles (water and OJ since it was an early in the day party).  Bringing in huge things of water to be served in cups wouldn't have been difficult but water bottles were simple.  Adding special labels to the water bottles made them feel like they belonged at a party not just we were being lazy.  Also I know they sell these but they are insanely expensive.  Glad I could save the money.

Smore dip-This super easy dessert also gets bonus points for being gluten free since we have some family members with celiac disease.  I love how quick and easy it is to make and it is amazingly yummy.  Just like it sounds it tastes like a smore in dip form.  And even with my horrible cooking skills I can make it.

Doll Bread-I used this for my American Girl Doll program at the library.  Very easy to make in advance and was a hit with the girls (aged 5-10) to create various types of bread during the program.  I didn't stick to soda bread but did St. Lucia's buns and Challah to help it fit better with the books. 

Puzzle Organization-The puzzles were driving be crazy.  We got Trofast from Ikea for storing toys but when you put the puzzles into them all the pieces fall out.  I was amazing at the genius of using a laundry bag to store them.  The kids could see them but they contained all the pieces.  Pure genius.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Do you like Pinterest?

Do you like pinterest?  I'm a teeny bit obcessed with it myself.  Probably not as obcessed as some people but I am interested in sharing ideas and reactions to things I've pinned.