Thursday, 29 March 2012

Fun With Felt

I got a little carried away with the felt yesterday. It is amazing how many wonderful things you can do with it. So I am calling this post "Fun with Felt" I hope you and your kiddies enjoy playing with these things as much as A and I did :)

Activity 1 : Button Snake

This is a continuation from my last post when I posted all those busy bag ideas.

Well true to my word I did make a button snake and A loves it. As you can see by the picture, I attached mine to a little container so that A would have a place to store the little pieces of felt. I must admit she likes the container and cover more than practising her buttoning skills, but I figure she will grow into it. I just got an old container and poked a hole in the middle of the cover. I tied a knot in one end of the ribbon and sewed a button on the other end. Then I cut my pieces of felt and folded them at a diagonal to cut a slit in them for the button. This worked out better then I thought because I can pull the ribbon through the cover and store the extra length in the container with the felt squares. So neat and compact. Lovely!

Activity 2: Mini - Felt Board 
Remember those felt boards in Sunday School? Well now your kids can have their own and practise their shapes at the same time. This is a really simple project. I cut a piece of dark coloured felt the size of the inside of a DVD jacket and put it in the clips to hold it in place. Then I cut different shapes from different colours of felt. A loved sticking the shapes to the background piece and we named off the shapes while she was doing it. I store all the shapes inside the jacket when she is not using it.

Activity 3 : Huge Felt Board

I have to give all credit for this one to my big sis Amy. She is the craft genius in our family. A couple of years ago, when I was a teacher and not yet a mom, she made me and gave me a bag full of different felt cut-outs. She also gave me a huge (2"x4") black felt board. My students loved using it during their free time to tell stories. In one of my many moves over the years the felt board went missing so I found an Easter decoration and used the felt backing as my board. A's birthday is this weekend so she loved the Dora birthday pieces and sang "appie, birday to me" as she tried to blow out the candle on the felt cake. Boots even has little bunny slippers on! As you can see by the other pics there is no end to the possibilities you can make out of felt for the board. I know A will get hours of enjoyment out of this felt activity. Thanks Sis!
Dress up dolls, crayons, camping supplies
suns, clouds, candy canes and mittens.
So much do make and play with.
She even made a felt puzzle out of
glittery black felt, and puff paints.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Effortless Activites

Every mom knows how invaluable mess-free, effortless, keep them busy activities are. Here are a couple for things I have come across for Anna. I have to admit that I was almost more excited to find them then she was to do them.

Activity #1 - Mess- Free Finger Painting

When someone says finger painting, I shudder. I have to be in a very good state of mind and very prepared before I will even think about getting out the paint. But the thing is that one of Anna's all time favourite things to do is paint so we have a dilema. Not now. A friend posted this idea on their facebook and I tried it and it is GREAT!

All you do is put some tempra paint into a big ziplock bag and tape it over a sheet of white paper unto the table. Anna played with this for a long time. To find the complete instrutcions go to:

Activity #2 - A Sandbox

My sister-in-law came up with this one. I  really wanted Anna to have a sandbox to play in but wanted to try to avoid the mess from her sitting in it and getting her clothes covered.We also wanted something that would be cheap and small enough to fit on our back deck.  So Adam fastened a rubbermaid tote with a cover to a an old wodden table and WOOLAH! Anna loves it and is even getting better at keeping the sand in the box. She also is very diligent to put the cover on when she is done playing. Notice there isn't very much sand in it. There doesn't need to be. We fill it up when we need to but we started off with it half full and the sand just ended up on the floor of the deck.

Activity #3 -  Busy Bags

For anyone who hasn't seen these yet, busy bags are wonderful. There are tons of ideas for them on the internet. Just search for them on Google and the ideas are endless. They are basically simple, activities in a bag for kids to do.
Here's a couple I particularily like:

This one is the button snake. All you need is a piece of ribbon with a button on it and some felt pieces. I am planning on making one today. I'll let you know how Anna likes it. :)

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Trash or Treasure

Confession time :

I am a garbage scrounger! It's true. I mean I don't pick up peoples' garbage bags, throw them into my trunk and sort through them, but if there is something at the end of someone's lane (PEI slang for driveway) then I see it a mile off and slow down to see if it is worthwhile stopping for. One rule I always follow is that I try to ask permission before I take it. Especially in the case of kid's toys because they may have just gotten left laying around and not be meant for the garbage. It may seem weird to ask because then you are announcing yourself to complete strangers as an scrounger but  I have met some very nice people that way. You should see their graditude to know their junk is getting more use. One guy even took me into his garage to get a part for something I was taking from his pile. Adam used to be embaressed by this quality habit of mine. He would refuse to turn the car around but even he can't pass up free and match my scrounging sense with his fixing abilities and we have a perfect recipe for great finds. I can't wait for Spring Clean - Up!
Exhibit A - Anna's new toddler bed

Exhibit B - Anna' Kitchen Center
(Actually a Grammie find. She is a scrounger too)
Exhibit D - Doll Stroller
We found this one in Ontario and
brought it back in our luggage.

Exhibit C - Anna's Power Wheels
This couple was moving and
didn't think it worked.Adam got it working though :)
Exhibit E - Anna's Pink Trike
Adam really did not want to turn around and go back for this one,
but with a new seat and pedal it is great!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Prayer Wall

 My heart's desire is to raise my children to be a blessing to God. Admittedly, I have no idea how to do that. So I am trying to learn from the best... those amazing mom's God has introduced into my life, the older generations of heaven's soldiers and books, sermons and other like minded blogs.  Something I have been learning from Brother Denny (ie: Denny Kenasten - highly recommended but you have to get past his hellfire and brimestone tone to really appreciate his wisdom) is that you have to start young, be enthusiastic, intentional and habitual. Well young I have, Anna is not yet two. Enthusiastic I sometimes can overdo. Intentional and habitual...  okay, that is where I have trouble. I get these ideas and they last for a couple of days and I simply forget or erase it with something else. 
Anna's daily goes to the Prayer Wall
and asks to "pway" for someone.

One idea I did have and actually followed through with was our prayer wall. I printed pictures off of all the cherished people in our lives and put them on a wall in our kitchen (and just so you know, if I didn't have a picture in our library I creeped it from facebook)  Now me being me, intended to have it serve as a reminder to pray for someone everytime I passed it. But me being me, made it a invisible fixture in my life and completely forgot to do that after a couple of passes. Something I am learning though is that children do not forget, at least my daughter doesn't. One day I caught her picking the ticky tack off one of the pictures and I explained to her why that was wrong because we wanted those pictures to stay up there so we could pray for people. I got her to point to a couple of the pictures and I said quick and to the point prayers for them. Since then it has become a must-do everyday. After breakfast, Anna will get her stool and go over to the Prayer Wall and started talking to the people in the pictures. Her demand to "pway" will slowly and determendly get louder and more persistent until I go over and pray for the people in the pictures she is pointing to. She always does about four and then her attention is elsewhere and she doesn't mention it again until the next day after breakfast. Hopefully, I am instilling a compassionate heart in my child and teaching her to be excited to talk to her Father on their behalf. If anything I am learning that myself. 

Here goes...

Okay, so my last post was exactly a year ago and if anyone happened to read that one, it was about a horrible journaler I am. I guess I proved my point. I just am such a closet perfectionist. I say closet because anyone who knows me knows that I am anything but perfect and organized. But anyone who knows me really well knows how much really wanting to be organized and do things well usually is my downfall. So the that is what held me back. I started the blog and intended on updating it after our impending trip to England and then life just happened and I always intended on going back and updating but wanting to update made me not get the here and now. Every urge in me is to type a huge paragraph including all the events from the past year just so it all seems complete. But I refuse. You will just have to catch the missing threads as you go and try to weave them together yourself. I am determined to post just when I have time and not fall into the trap of legalism or guilt when I don't have time. So here goes...