WWW: Finger Painting

My mom was also a stay-at-home mom so we grew up with all sorts of activities she’d prepared to keep us from being bored and making a mess of the entire house. I still remember our origami sessions, art workshops, crafts day, spelling bees, and even Spanish lessons. One of the things I still fondly recall is finger painting with blue paint on white paper.

I asked my mom how she made the blue paint so Jade and Jakei can have some finger painting fun too. The paint turned out quite easy to make. All I needed to do was boil water and cornstarch together until the right consistency is reached. After which, a few drops of food coloring is added and the mixture is allowed to cool.

I divided the cornstarch mixture into three pots and used three different colors for each pot – blue, red and green. I evenly spread one color mixture on oslo paper and instructed the toddlers to use their fingers to create pictures. We worked with one color at a time until the little girl insisted on using all three colors together to make her handprints.

Finding the paint too slimy, Jakei doodled only a few strokes on his sheet and refused to touch it again. Jade on the other hand enjoyed getting her hands all gooey. She actually dipped her entire hand in the jar which is why we have sheets with handprints on them. I wasn’t able to take pictures of the toddlers at work though as my hands were all gooey as well. We’re scheduled to do this activity again next month and hopefully, Jakei would be more willing to get his hands slimy and I would be able to take some nice pictures.

Click here for other art activities we’ve done for our Wonderful World of Wednesday.

Mini Art Exhibit and Workshop for our Mini-Me’s

My toddlers’ birthdays are only two weeks apart so we’ve opted to celebrate both at the same time.  Last year, they had a Jollibee-day with several of our relatives and friends to make the little boy’s 1st birthday special.  This year though, we decided to just invite their friends who live next door for some cake and sandwiches.

Since the year started, my toddlers have accumulated quite a number of artwork. I’ve been meaning to hold an art exhibit to showcase their work but have not found time to execute my plans.  With my husband’s and my sister’s help, we were able to display some of their best artwork on our wall in time for the toddlers’ birthday celebration.

there's no place for Picasso or Monet on this wall

I prepared only four activities for our mini-workshop.  We had sandpaper art, fish origami, leaf imprints and dog origami.  I didn’t include anything that entailed the use of paint or watercolor as I didn’t want them to become too dirty come snacktime. The toddlers’ friends requested a painting session so we’re scheduling another mini-art workshop this month.

For snack time, we only prepared baked macaroni, bologna mini-buns, cheese sticks, hotdogs, and cupcakes.  We were supposed to serve carrot sticks and celery sticks along with the cheese sticks but I wasn’t able to prepare them in time for the party.  We also had three different juice flavors to match the toddlers’ colorful artwork. We had purple grape juice, red strawberry juice, and orange juice.  The mini cupcakes were bought from Shoppersville Bakeshop whose sugar icing my sisters and I love to bits.

sugar-high with mini-cupcakes

After the mini-workshop and snack, we voted for the best work for each art activity and gave out tokens.  Instead of a candy-filled lootbag, our guests went home with an envelope full of art materials so they can hone their own creativity in their own homes too.

Finger Painting

Cornstarch + Water + Food Color = Fun Messy Art Time

Icky, gooey, squishy, ooey…we had our hands sticky and messy this morning!  It was our first time to try finger painting for our Wonderful World of Wednesday and Jade had so much fun.  She finished painting after painting after painting.  She didn’t stop until she run out of the paint mixture.  Jakei didn’t like getting his hands sticky and messy so all he has to show for this morning’s art session is a sheet of paper with a few scribbles on it.  Oh, but he did enjoy scooping and spreading the paint mixture from the cup to the sheets of paper.

I don’t have pictures of the toddlers at work though.  You see, my hands were full of gooey paint and could not possibly hold the camera.  I’ll be posting pictures of their finished art work instead.

If you would like to try this activity with your toddlers or preschoolers, all you’ll need are

  • cornstarch
  • water
  • food color (we used red, blue, and green)
  • paper
  • newspaper (to make clean up time less tedious)
  • great imagination

Heat the cornstarch and water in a pan until you reach the right consistency.  It should be a little runny but still thick enough to adhere to paper.  Separate the mixture into small containers, add a drop of your choice of food color to each, and mix thoroughly.  Spread the mixture evenly on a sheet of paper.  Get your fingers ready and paint some pretty pictures on the paper.  Lastly, make sure you have lots of fun with your kids!

Dancing to the Beat

It was a great Music & Me Monday today! As always, the toddlers had fun listening to our music selection.  We had our favorite CDs out this morning. Kindermusik’s Get Up and Move, Baby Songs Collection, and Getting Smart with Mozart.  We did miss last week’s Sound of Music Singalong though so we’d definitely be inserting that into our schedule the rest of the week.

Jade already has her own dance moves and can follow the beat of the songs.  She’s actually the one who has the most fun during our music time.  Jakei has started to pay attention to what Jade and I are doing but he still just keeps to his own world most of the time.  He would dance a little or clap his hands for a little while then he’d be off running or hopping around the room.  We have gotten to stop him from throwing the maraccas in the air though (Hurray!).

Music isn’t really one of my forte.  I even remember scoring the least in Musical Intelligence when I answered a checklist on Multiple Intelligences a decade ago.  The only statement I checked that fell under “Musical Intelligence” was “tapping your fingers or feet while working or thinking.”  Although I’m not the type who’d listen to music nor sing a tune, I am making an effort for my toddlers to grow up loving music.  Fortunately, my husband is greatly talented in this field so he’s able to impart his love for music to the toddlers.  He’s the one who patiently teaches them how to sing notes and, more likely than not, he’ll also be the one to teach them how to dance.

Since this Tottering Mama is tone-deaf and has two left feet, the toddlers would have to make do with a little clapping and tapping while playing with our musical instruments during music time.  Thankfully, my little ones are so easily amused and pleased that they always have a heck of a grand time!

Spelling Fun

My daughter has now started to read CVCs (consonant-vowel-consonant words such as car, pan, bat) and my little boy can already recognize most of the letters of the alphabet and has quite a rich vocabulary for his age. Modesty aside, I am really proud of how fast their development is.

Aside from avoiding baby talk and encouraging meaningful conversations, my husband and I stimulate their language development by reading with them everyday.  Our toddlers won’t learn much after all if we just leave them with the books to browse.  If we do that, we just might come back to a roomful of torn pages. ^_^

We also provide our toddlers educational materials such as puzzles and vocabulary builders.  Among their favorites is the Vtech Write & Learn Letter Pad and a couple of Joytoy Puzzles. Together with worksheets and books, we use these during our Thursday Talkies.

One of the puzzles that we love to use is Joytoy Spelling Fun which was given as a gift on Jade’s second birthday. The box contains 16 picture puzzles each forming a three letter word.  The puzzles are self-correcting ones so it’s impossible to put together pieces that belong to different words.  The pictures are colorful and very appealing to young children.  I checked the price in a local bookstore and found that it costs only around a 100 pesos.  There is also another set that contains 4-letter-words.  We will be getting one for Jade soon.

 photo spellingfun.jpg

Since Jade already knows all the letter sounds, we have been using these to help her build more words to read.  To challenge her skills even more, I give her a set of three or more words and scatter the puzzle pieces.  She is then to determine which puzzle pieces go together and put them together.  After doing so, we go over the words and read them together.

 photo spellingfunwithjade.jpg

Jakei can already recognize most letters and can also determine which puzzle pieces go together.  He has just recently been able to put three puzzle pieces together all on his own.  Lately, I have been hearing less of “I can’t!” and more of “There! Ta-da!” from my little boy.

 photo spellingfunwithjak.jpg