Pass the Pigs Balloon Toss

Last week we had our 3 Little Pigs themed play group and ran out of time before playing our game.  I had seen this fun balloon activity from Toddler Approved and adapted it to fit in with our theme.

I drew a pig face on each balloon and made a paddle with a paper plate and craft stick.  However, we quickly ditched the paddle and just started coming up with other ways to play with the balloons.

It was a classic game of  "don't let the balloon touch the floor" as we passed it back and forth between us.  Then we tried to juggle with the balloons.

And then Maisy made up her own game of trying not to use her hands to hit the balloon.  She had a blast bopping it with her head, shoulder, elbows and toes.  I played along and  boy did it wear me out.  I think the best exercise can come from just playing with your kids.

Mina had a fun time just tossing her balloon around and giggling.  Balloons are pretty fantastic.  And it was a great energy burner on top of all the fun.

3 Little Pigs {Play group}

Back in November I shared our activities from hosting a 2 and 3-year-olds  play group.  Some moms in my neighborhood and I take turns each week hosting our little group which consists of 4 little girls who are now all 3 years old. Contrary to what you may think, this is a super fun and easy thing to host.  These kids get along so well and are so well behaved.  Of course, it helps that activities are planned for the whole amount of time.  If only a birthday party could go this smoothly.

I am just getting around to hosting it again in my home.  This time I decided on a 3 Little Pigs theme and set up the activities and crafts accordingly. 

As the kids arrived, they came in and began to play with the Little People village I had set up.  This was a huge hit, I think they could have played with just these toys the entire time.  

After the kids had all arrived, I was able to coax them over to the table (really, they just wanted to play with the Little People).  I had found these little plaster pigs on clearance at Michael's for only 19 cents a piece.  The kids had a great time painting these.

Mina's finished pig

While we were letting the pigs dry, we sat down and read some pig books: The Three Little Pigs, Olivia the Princess, This Little Piggy, If You Give a Pig a Pancake, and If You Give a Pig a Party.  I am truly amazed at how these kids can sit through this many books.  Well, there were a few who were still playing with the toys.

By now, we were running out of time.  We barely had time to get started on these Little Pigs houses and parents were arriving to pick up their kids.  I also had a game planned that we entirely didn't get around to.  
I opted to do the craft instead of the game because I had prepared all this stuff and didn't want it to go to waste.  The kids got to glue straws, sticks and bricks to the three houses.  I think that any craft involving glue is a hit with kids.  

The first house pictured here is just a shot of how I had envisioned the craft to turn out- just to give you an idea of what it was "supposed" to look like.  The middle shot is one my 7 year-old put together the night before when I was prepping.  She used shredded paper for the straw house, but I opted to use drinking straws the next day purely for the purpose of having less of a mess.  The third set of houses pictured is the one my 3 year-old put together and pretty accurately resembles how the other kids put their houses together as well.  

My girls and I ended up playing the game later in the afternoon. . . stay tuned.  We had a lot of fun!

Melted Crayons on Canvas {3 ways}

Last week was my hubby's birthday and I wanted the girls to be able to give him something extra special this year.  I wanted it to be something he could really keep and possibly even take to work to brighten his office a bit.  I had seen this awesome way to do melted crayon dot art on Pinterest and thought my 7-1/2 year old would be able to do that technique.  But I had to figure a different way for my other younger daughters {ages 5 and 3} to do something similar.

I had the girls start out by making a drawing.  Maisy and Lou both decided they wanted to make their picture of our new cat Lolly.  They like using this Usborne drawing book to help them out when drawing animals.

Maisy wanted to draw a sitting cat and Lou opted for the sleeping cat.  They just used regular white copy paper to make their drawings and then we transferred them over to the canvas.
To transfer the drawing onto the canvas, I laid the drawing face down onto the canvas and rubbed over the back of the image with the side of my pencil.

The transferred image was very faint so I lightly traced around the image.  I didn't want it to be too dark since I didn't really want the pencil to show through on the finished product.

We didn't actually start on this part until the next day.  Maisy was at a friend's house playing and it was the perfect chance for me to supervise Lou with her crayon melting and dotting.  While Lou started on her crayon dotting, I was busy doing an outline on Mina's drawing with melty crayon so she could just do some painting over the top.

Mina had drawn a picture of Daddy.  She wanted to paint it red.  I had added a few crayon dots at the bottom of her picture so I could show Lou how to make dots and fill the area in.

Melting the crayon over the candle was frustrating to say the least.  I think I had to light and re-light the candle about 20 times.  The flame just kept burning out when the crayon wax would drip down.  It wasn't even dripping directly on the flame.  Maybe it was because they were dollar store candles, I don't know.  

Another stumbling block was using cheap crayons.  I finally had to pull out some nice Crayolas because the dollar store crayons were just gloppy.  The Crayola went on so much more smoothly.  

After Lou was done with the crayons, she painted a background.  What do you think?  The texture of it is so fun - almost like oil paints.  

Maisy was able to finish her painting when she got home.  Instead of doing the melted crayon outline like I had done on Mina's, I just made a bold outline with the crayon closely following her outline.  Then I had her choose her paint colors.  I did take pictures, but didn't realize that they all came out blurry so all I have is the picture of her finished painting.

Stained glass hearts

On Wednesday, I shared our heart flakes and this is what we decided to do with our scraps.  Mina {nearly age 3} was busy snipping away at tissue paper while the other girls were busy creating snippets of their own while creating their project.

Valentine Craft: Heart {snow} flakes

I came across this Valentine's themed snowflake craft last year in Family Fun magazine.  My girls loved doing them so much last year, and again this year.  We used sheets of tissue paper since that is what we had on hand to get the color we wanted and to be able to cut through the layers with ease.

DIY Felt Birthday Cake

My house is still somewhat in shambles from the holidays.  I am trying to get it together, but I just am not quite there yet.  Baby steps.  Organization will abound.

I literally stumbled upon this toy today as it's many pieces are strewn across the floor.  So today I want to share it with you.  I saw the idea in Family Fun magazine and thought it would be something Lou and I could make together for Maisy's 4th birthday.  Family Fun had covered paper boxes with felt and then cut out felt shapes and made candles to use as decorations.  Felt on felt- so simple.

It finally snowed- let's play!

There is something magical about snow.  It doesn't matter how many times in a season it snows, kids never seem to lose their fascination with it.  Back in November we got a good snow storm and I was able to capture this small moment of snow play.

Watercolor Snowflake Resist Art

I had this grand idea {I thought} to use up some old gouache that had been sitting in my art drawer for quite a while.  I bought this gouache several years ago when I actually had time to do a little of my own art.  I was introduced to it in my calligraphy class I took in college.  It is similar to watercolor, but produces a more opaque finish than watercolor. 


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