Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Crafts: Leaf Turkey

turkey leaf

Leaf Turkey

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  1. Collect leaves.
  2. Draw turkey shapes. 
  3. Cut out turkey shapes. 
  4. Glue on leaves. 
  5. Glue on turkey shapes and eyes. 
  6. Let dry. 
  7. Optional, seal with clear contact paper. 

We collected leaves and other items in October for some other activities and I still had the bag hanging up to ready to use for our November crafts.

I pre-cut the turkey's body, beak, snood, and feet.  If your child is skilled with scissors you can draw the shape and have them cut it out.  Or you can have them draw and cut out the shapes if they are older.

We glued all the pieces onto a large piece of construction paper.  I would recommend using newly collected leaves so they don't crumble.  Another idea is to use clear contact paper to seal the leaves for a fresh look.  You could also use leaf clip art instead of real leaves.

A quick search also leads me to recommend craft leaves or craft feathers or even purchasing a kit for your children to create their own turkey.  (affiliate links)

I joined up with the Timberdoodle Blog Hop this week! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Crafts: Corn Sun Catcher

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1. Create corn and leaf templates of desired sizes.

2. Trace the leaves from templates with the corn. Cut two leaves for each project (front and back).
They can be a little uneven because it creates a nice overlapping effect.

3. Paint the bubble wrap (if you haven't painted it for another craft). 

4. After the bubble wrap dries, cut out using your corn templates. 

5. Glue the corn and leaves together and allow to dry.
OR you can laminate them or use clear covering contact paper

There is a lot of prep work for a three year old.  Another child could do many of the steps themselves: tracing, cutting, etc.

I recommend creating different sizes if you intend on using them all in one window as decorations.

We did two laminated and I left two un-laminated.  Part of the reason why I wanted to laminate them was because the paint was chipping off the bubble wrap as I cut them.

When putting through the laminator, the picture makes a very satisfying pop-pop noise which sounds like popcorn popping.  If you do choose to use thermal laminating pouches, only use one pouch per ear of corn.  Do not include other images with it because they will not laminate perfectly.  Warning! Also keep in mind that the laminator may be damaged because you are putting through an item that is rather thick. Using contact paper may be a safer way to create a lasting craft project.

This idea was inspired by Fall Craft - Corn Sun Catchers.

Fall Crafts for Toddlers 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Crafts: Corn Shaker

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Musical instrument

To help celebrate the fall, we  made our own music shakers! 



    Putting corn kernels into container.
  1. Paint the bubble wrap. 
  2. Put paper on the bubble wrap and press down. 
  3. While your child is painting, eat the Pringles chips. Or share them with the whole family at snack time on a previous day. 
  4. Clean out the container.  I rinsed with water and let it dry. 
  5. Put corn kernels in container. This is great practice for your little's fine motor development. You can use as much or as little as you like. You can also have your child put the lid on and take the lid off to see what type of sound he/she wants to create with it. 
  6. Tape the end of paper you won't see onto container. 
  7. Glue the rest of the paper onto the container. 
  8. You can attach tape to both ends of the paper if you like for added security.
  9. You can also attach tape onto the lid to keep it on when your child shakes it.  (I imagined corn kernels going EVERYWHERE!) 

My very first reaction to the completed project was that it was very loud as my son shook it.  As the popcorn kernels hit the metal bottom and then the plastic lid, it created a satisfying, but loud, sound that my son loved.

We painted the bubble wrap to create a 'corn' stamp.  I provided him with paint and sponge brushes and he decided to paint in straight lines on the bubble wrap.  He definitely was not interested in mixing the paint at all.  We used the bubble wrap on our corn sun catchers craft.

painted bubble wrap

It did take about a day for the paper to dry (it will depend on how much paint your child uses for the craft).

Other ideas

You could also add pictures or stickers to the outside of the shaker for Halloween (if you do this craft in October), Autumn, or Thanksgiving.  Or your child could draw a face onto the shaker or glue on googly eyes and draw a mouth.

Corn shaker musical instrument

This idea was inspired by Music Crafts for Kids - Making Corn Shakers.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Gifts: Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers

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Looking for some small, inexpensive items for your toddler's stocking this holiday season?  

Here are some of my kids favorite things.

Fisher Price's Little People

These are perfect toys that are available in a variety of designs to fit the needs of any child's toy box. They come in a variety of packs as well from singles to larger play packs for bigger gifts.

Fisher Price Little People Toy

Sesame Street Toys

These are similar in size to the Little People.  They are perfect if your child(ren) is (are) into the television show Sesame Street.

Sesame Street Toy - Cookie Monster

 Thomas Trains

These chunky trains are designed for little hands.  Before my toddler was old enough to play with the other versions of Thomas trains, he was able to act out some of his favorite tales with these trains.

Thomas Train Toys for Toddlers

Crayons and Dover Books

Coloring is an activity we do almost daily in our house.  A new package of crayons always makes a great gift and the little Dover activity books are perfectly priced for the stocking.

Photo Album

Yes, it may have pages torn out of it (my daughter has torn at least three pages so far) but it is a great tool to teach your child about their family members.  You can usually pick them up in the dollar store and then fill with extra photographs from your photo albums or pictures you print yourself. Besides my son flipping through and identifying family members, we also have photos of trips we took inside the book.

Photo album; photo of Santa visiblePhoto Album; fish

Board books - Sesame Street board booksBoard Books

Another great dollar store item are board books.  Our local store has a variety ranging from licensed characters like Sesame Street and Mickey Mouse to generic stories and characters as well.  I find they are perfect fits for the diaper bag and if they accidentally get left behind or destroyed, it won't break your budget.

One book both our children enjoy is God Made the World by Sarah Jean Collins which I reviewed. Another book we enjoyed as a family was Mousetronaut – we liked it so much we created our own space shuttle art work.

Craft Bag

You can create a craft bag from various materials in your house.  For example, you could make a themed bag around your child decorating paper plates as animals.  Include such items as paper plates, animal pictures, a few crayons, pom-poms, glue, tissue paper, and buttons.  Be creative.  All the items could be put into a large freezer bag with the image of the craft(s) taped on the outside.

Snacks - What is your child's favorite snack?

Single serving applesauce or puddings or small bags of unsalted pretzels or crackers would make for additions to the candy canes and chocolate you might already include in the stocking.

Tissue Packets

The small travel size tissue packs are a hit with my son.  He has a few Star Wars themed packs that we keep in our diaper bag for him to use when we are traveling with him and his sister.


My son loves his different socks. He has Thomas and Mickey Mouse themed ones along with a handful of other ones.  Allowing him to pick out his socks each day gives him an age appropriate decision to make for himself.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Crafts: N is for Nature

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Kids CraftsAs the weather started to cool, we took a trip to our local park and collected leaves, acorns, twigs, and other items. I wasn't really sure what I wanted my toddlers to do with the items but I knew they would be useful in some way.

We have been working our way through the alphabet in a simple, laid back manner.  For example, we have colored some themed pages (3 Dinosaurs ABC Coloring Pages), made a few crafts (A is for Alligator), worked on letter recognition (All Kids Network Letter Recognition ) and practiced tracing the letters (School Express Traditional Printing Large Font Letter N).  This month one of the letters we are focusing upon is the letter N. I printed an N worksheet from This Reading Mama and decided to use all the autumn items.

I put glue (Aleene's Quick Dry Tacky Glue ) on the letter and let my son decide what items to put where on the N. As he glued them on, we talked about what they were and when we collected them. This project was a nice reminder of a day out as a family.