Man oh man, salt dough is easy. It’s 1 cup salt, 1 cup water, and 2 cups flour. That’s it! Just mix it up and add food coloring if you want. Gigi and I made it together and it was so much fun. She doesn’t have the whole mixing thing down quite yet but she’s getting there. She loves to add food coloring to absolutely anything so that part was a hit. We did a mix of blue, green and purple.
After we made our dough, I set up a carousel of art supplies including toothpicks, popsicle sticks, wood shapes, beads, sparkles and gems. By far the biggest hit was the toothpick dispenser. Gigi loved shaking it to get the toothpicks out. She also managed to get a few beads on the toothpicks which was a nice surprise. Almost two!
Any book that suggests De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising has to be good right? Unbored – The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun kind of knocked my socks off today. One of my students brought it in as recommended summer reading and I couldn’t get enough of it. There is something in here for every kid. It’s equal boy stuff and girl stuff. There are things to do outside, inside and everyplace in between. There are also great lists of musicals for kids dating back from the 50′s to today. A TON of work went into this book. It’s really something special. So happy to have stumbled upon it. It will be my new go to gift for kids. Highly recommend!
How cute is this little piggy bank? I made this with my second graders today for our math unit and they loved it! The only thing I left out is scotch tape. You can use the glue for gluing the facial features on the pig, but instead of gluing the face to the cup, I recommend taping it. Way easier.
Here are the sizes we used for all the shapes. 1 5×5 hot pink square for the face, 4 2.5×2 hot pink rectangles for the ears, 4 2×1.5 light pink rectangles for the inner ears, 1 1cmx4in hot pink rectangle for the tail, 4 1.5×3 hot pink rectangles for the feet, 2 1cmx1cm black squares for the eyes, 2 1cmx1cm hot pink squares for the nostrils, 1 1×2 light pink rectangle for the snout
First, find a circular object that is almost the size of the 5×5 square. A full roll of masking tape works really well. Trace the circle and cut it out. Cut the 1×2 light pink rectangle into an oval. One of the best tricks I’ve learned for teaching kids to cut circles and ovals is to tell them to cut off the corners of a rectangle or square. If they curve the paper or scissor a little while they are cutting, it creates a really nice round shape. Most second graders are really successful with this step. Cut out the nostrils and eyes from the smallest rectangles by cutting off the corners. Cut out the hot pink and light pink rectangles for the ears. I tell the kids to imagine a center point at the top of the rectangle and to cut off the top two corners towards the center point. Glue on all the piggy features. Make sure to glue the ears to the back of the piggy face by putting a little glue on the bottom front of the ear and gluing it to the back of the face. The cup is the bank. Prior to gluing or taping the face to the cup, exacto a little cut out in the cup for the money to slip through. I did this part, of course. Roll the hot pink legs into tubes, tape together and tape each one to the cup. Last, but definitely not least, curl the skinny tail onto a pencil or marker and tape to the back of the cup.
I demonstrated the whole project from start to finish in front of the class and then sent them off to do it independently. This worked great. I encouraged kids to add their own details. One student added wings, which totally rocked. Kids are so cool.
Enjoy your piggy! Save. Save. Save.
For anyone who has been following my blog for a while, you may remember the days when I’d talk about my t-shirt company all designed by kids, verymeri, appearing in Nordstroms and showing up in the press all over the place. Well, I ended up taking a big break from tees to get married and have two littles. Now that things have settled a bit, (not really) VeryMeri is back and stronger than ever! We have a whole new line of products, all new challenges for kids to enter, and a brand new website. All of us on the VeryMeri team are super excited. Our products are actually designed by kids from all over the world. If you have kids please encourage them to enter one of our challenges. Winning designers not only receive a portion of the sales, but get to pick a charity to donate a portion to as well. You can design everything from backpacks to tees to superheroes. So, in honor of our launch I am switching over my blog from Meri Cherry to VeryMeri. It will still be arts and crafts and family, but definitely some new content as well for older kids. I’ll be looking for kids to interview and actually teach some crafts on the blog. If you know any kids who might be interested, please let me know! Thanks so much for visiting and keep checking back. Great things to come, veryMERI
I’ve read about water beads and seen them countless times on different mom blogs over the past few months. I can finally say I get what all the fuss is about. These things are freaking awesome. First of all, they are gorgeous. I just kept staring at them in the bowl. They look so juicy and delicious. Second, they bounce, which I definitely didn’t expect. I’ve been brainstorming all day on how to create some sort of plexiglass bouncy box for them. Third, they feel so mushy and slippery you just want to jump right in the bowl. As you can see, I couldn’t resist putting my foot in the tub. Gigi did too but she wasn’t as into that part as I was.
Little d turned six months this week. I can’t wait for her to get in on the action.
I’m not totally sure why I think this is science but I do. I guess because Gigi was exploring new materials and watched a chemical reaction when water was added to these little suckers. Yeah, that’s why.
*Note* If you are going to use water beads, I highly recommend doing it outside or putting down a sheet underneath your child. This can get really messy and you want to enjoy them, not want to kill them. I’ve read they are also super fun in the bath with or without water, but don’t let them down the drain. Enjoy!
Ok, this was seriously fun. Again, I am so thankful to Play at Home Moms. Their “Invitation to Play” post really changed things over here at our house. It’s the weekend (yay) so I have plenty of time to set something up for Gigi before she wakes up. I had ordered these great measuring containers and droppers on Amazon and have been waiting all week to use them. I just added some food coloring and water to each container, cut up some water color paper to look like litmus paper and set out some square papers as well. I love putting everything on a bench. It’s the perfect table for toddlers! When we do this again I will use liquid water colors but I didn’t have any so the food coloring worked fine.
Gigi had the best time playing with all her science tools. It was a little difficult for her to use the droppers because she didn’t want to let go once she squeezed but it didn’t hinder her play. Her favorite was definitely pouring the different colored water together and moving it around from container to container. I had set up a shower curtain I used to use for verymeri displays behind her for pics. About halfway into her science play, Gigi turned it into a whole play area for hide and seek. She ran behind it over and over yelling “mas, mas.” I love when she speaks spanish. It kills me. After peek a boo I was thinking maybe she’d be ready to move on but she got right back into the pouring. It was really fun. I am already brainstorming more ways to do science invites. Any ideas?
It was super hot in LA this weekend. Perfect weather for gardening and swimming. Saturday morning we took a family trip to a local nursery and Gigi and Ev picked out plants and flowers. We got oregano, cilantro, dill, lettuce and a purple flowering plant (Gigi’s pick.) Gigi had a blast in the nursery running around all the flowers and putting her hands in all the fountains. I wasn’t quite as enthused since I was carrying d and it felt like it was a million degrees outside. I thought we were both going to pass out. Poor little d.
After a good nap for everyone, we got out all the supplies. I try to use real tools with Gigi as much as possible. I know she prefers it and I think it adds more depth to her experience. I know there are real philosophies about this, I just don’t know what they are but I’m sure I’d agree with them if I did.
The planting was a huge hit. I think what will be even better is the ongoing learning and enjoying we will get from the garden. I can’t wait to use some of the herbs in our cooking. This is a project I’ve wanted to do for so long. We got these amazing metal planters at an estate sale over a year ago. So happy to put them to good use. I think the second one will be dedicated to just moss so Gigi can play with little animals and gnomes on it.
After a full day of planting, we jumped in the pool. What a day. Truly blessed.