Sunday, September 21, 2014

diy balloon {shaker} drums

We spent a week with the book The Listening Walk. We talked a lot about our senses especially our sense of hearing. So, for the week we set out to make as many musical instruments as possible (which wasn't that many but the heart and soul was there). Our first foray into instrument making was our balloon drum/shakers.
 
The children painted their cans first. We added a bit of soap to the paint to help it stick to the cans but that did not work too well so we had to add a coating of mod podge. The parts of the can that did not get mod podged flaked a lot. I'm thinking maybe some glue added to the paint will help. Tucking that into my cap for next year. After the cans dried (the next class day) the children did some scooping, pouring, dropping, and dumping of assorted noise-making elements such as popcorn kernals, dried beans, cut straws, and lentils.
 After selecting a balloon, we cut off the bottom and S T R E T C H E D the top portion over the cans (this part took a lot of help from me). We used these happy polka dotted balloons.

And then it was time to put on our rock n' roll mix and get to it! The children loved both shaking and playing their drums...they even asked if they could hold them for rest time. We had so much fun!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

fizzy ice fun in the classroom

 
Back in May we had some seriously hot weather for our town. The kiddos got a bit lethargic and so I brought out a class favorite and added a bit of ice to the mix.
 The kiddos love mixing colors and experimenting with baking soda and vinegar. They spent about 30 minutes noodling around. We began with ice cubes and watercolor and then a couple of drops of vinegar was added along with a smattering of baking soda. There were a lot of Oooooohs and Aaaaaaahs.
They become so involved they don't even complain about the scent of the vinegar. They were also completely happy with their first color choice and did not ask for other colors like they usually do. Yay for science!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

diy toddler gift {for around $10}

 
There is a crazy cute young lady in my life that celebrated a birthday back in February. Due to crazy schedules (both mine and mama's) it took a few months to get together and this little gift I cobbled up waited ever so patiently for its new home.
It's like a super pretty busy basket...wait it is a super pretty busy basket. Most of the items inside can be found at your local dollar or discount store. The most costly items in the basket were the bowls and that is only because at a $1.99 each I purchased three of them (how could I not?) at my local World Market.
Now here is the thing you may or may not believe...two of these items are cat toys. Cat toys! Who knew? 

*The little rattan (heehee...that one is for you Za!) balls were in the pet section at my Dollar Tree. They come 4 to a pack and I bought a few packs because I really liked the colors and I may have made a garland out of them (I really need to photograph the August and soon-to-be September bed). They are perfectly sized for little hands and too big for little mouths. I thought the balls would be fun to pair up with the bowls as they are a perfect match. They also roll nicely...so there.  

*The clothespins I had in my stash so I am not including their cost in this diy. I included six and tied them with a length of velvet ribbon for texture. Loose ribbon is not safe for wee ones so make sure it is retied  and quadruple knotted to some other object so that kiddo can touch and feel but not chew and swallow or get tangled in it.

*The pom-poms are also cat toys and not a recommended size for wee ones unless you know the wee one really well. They were another happy collection of color and they sparkled.
 
*The wee wooden bowls are from World Market and cost $1.99 a piece. I use these in my classroom all the time and they are just so great for sorting, stacking, and dramatic play. They are also simply beautiful and it doesn't hurt to have beautiful things available for little hands to play with.

*The basket was a thrift store find and cost me fifty cents. Fifty cents! For reals! If you are not a thrifter you can find small baskets of a little less quality at your dollar store. I highly recommend thrifting though. It's good for both your pocketbook and the environment so why not?

*The little soft doll was something I made for a swap years ago. I made a bunch of them for the shop as well but they did not sell so now I gift them. I may have a few left and can list them if you think it is something you are interested in. Just give me a shout! 

*I bought the poms to use with a small container for fine motor play. The container used to house peanuts in it. The nuts were added to our giant jar of trail mix and the canister was thoroughly cleaned. If you are gifting this to a household with a nut allergy, find a different kind of container. Even though this has been cleaned out there is always a possibility for contamination. Better to be safe than sorry. I went for the smallest I could find with a lid so that it would fit in my basket. After washing and drying, the container was covered in happy paper. The lid had a hole cut into it just a smidge smaller than the poms. The plastic of the lid is super soft so the cut edges are smooth and will not bite little fingers. If your lid is testy, use washi tape around the inside edges to soften it up.

*Lastly in the basket is a quartet of washcloths also from the Dollar Tree. The cloths can be used for peek-a-boo and/or stuffed into the basket, etc. Wash them in a gentle organic soap (Dr. Bronner's is a lovely brand) before gifting.
This little bottle of fun did not fit into the basket but I really wanted to include it because it is fun and pretty! I used a Martinelli's blood orange juice bottle because it's what I had on hand. The beverage is super tasty and often on sale at the market and is both small and double walled (another classroom favorite...it crinkles all on its own). All the bits of happy inside came from home...rice, beads, sparkly pipe cleaners, and buttons. Give the inside of the cap a dose of tacky glue before putting on to hold it in place and keep the happy bits safely away from the happy kiddo.
There you go, hopefully a basket full of inspiration for you to make for your own wee one or as a gift for another. Just make sure it is safe, age appropriate and allergen free. Happy almost Fall!