Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mommy, Monet and Me! Letter C

 Crayons, Carpet, and Corn Syrup

This week at Mommy, Monet and Me we had such a great group of toddlers learning about the letter C!  We created art with color changing crayons, made carpet prints, and painted with colored corn syrup!

Color Changing Crayons

Materials: Old broken crayons, muffin tins

Making your own color changing crayons is really easy. You basically just take old crayons and melt them down in muffin tins or any other kind of heat proof mold.  Once the crayons are melted you let them cool and they become solid again.   Here is a link to the specifics on time and temperature for melting.

TIP: Soak your crayons in hot water to remove the paper, instead of trying to peel each crayon individually.  I don't know why I never thought of this before, but it worked like magic. 

TIP: Find an eager little helper to help you smash the crayons!  I put the crayons in a thick plastic bag and then let my niece do the smashing. She loved it.

Carpet Prints
Materials: Carpet pieces, paint, rollers, tray, paper.  

Kids get really excited when you tell them they get to paint on carpet.  It seems like they are breaking all the rules.  You can get carpet scraps or samples from local carpet stores.  This activity is more fun when you have a variety of kinds of carpet.   We used paint rollers to apply the paint to the carpet squares and then pressed the painted side onto our paper.  The results are pretty cool.  When you are done you can wash the carpet squares in the sink and leave them in the sun to dry and use again.

Corn Syrup Painting

Materials: light corn syrup, food coloring, paintbrushes or q-tips, cardstock

To make corn syrup paint simply combine a small amount of corn syrup and food coloring in a container.  You can use a paintbrush or q-tip to apply the paint to a thick paper like card stock.  The paper needs to be thick to handle the syrupy paint. 

Why paint with corn syrup?  When it dries it stays shiny.  It swirls together beautifully without getting too muddled and brown.  It is totally edible...for those little ones who like to put everything in their mouth.  It washes off surfaces and hands pretty easily with a little warm water.  The food coloring can dye clothes so better to wear a smock or strip them down and let them get messy!

Hope to see you next week for the letter D!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mommy, Monet and Me! Letter B

 Letter B: Bubble Prints and Bead Bracelets

There are so many great activities to do with the letter B, but my favorite activities involve bubbles.  There is something magical about creating a bubble, and something even greater about capturing a bubble in art.

Blowing Bubbles

Materials: Dish soap, food coloring or tempera paint, medium size containers or bowls, straws, watercolor paper.

WARNING: many young children are used to sucking liquid through a straw and will accidentally suck the liquid into their mouths in this activity.  Make sure you only use non-toxic paints, and cut a small triangle out of the straw so they can't suck it up as easily.

Mix about a tablespoon of dish soap with 2 or 3 tablespoons of paint, and 1/2 cup of water.   Let the child blow through the straw into the liquid making bubbles.  When the bubbles rise above the rim of the container place the paper on top.  The colored bubbles will leave a bubble print behind.  Repeat on the same paper for a cool layered look.

Bubble Wrap Prints

Materials: bubble wrap, paint, paper, paintbrushes

This is a great way to recycle your old bubble wrap.  Paint directly on the bubble side of the bubble wrap, then place paper on painted bubbles and press lightly to make contact with all of the bubbles.  Remove paper and voila, beautiful bubble art.  I think the smaller bubble wrap works best for this project.

Bead Bracelets

Materials: Beads, buttons, pipe cleaners.

This is a great fine motor activity.  Place beads and buttons in a small bowl and let your child thread them onto a pipe cleaner.  When they are all done they can twist the pipe cleaner to make a bracelet.  The best part about the pipe cleaner is that it hold the beads in place, and keeps them from sliding off if your child drops the bracelet while they are beading. 

Next week: Letter C  Crayons, Carpet Prints, and Corn Syrup

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mommy, Monet and Me! Letter A

Aquariums, Alphabet Prints, and Ants

We are so excited to start another year of Mommy, Monet and Me!  We had a great group of excited toddlers and their moms, and even a grandpa join us on Monday.   Here are our "A" projects!

My favorite project of the day was the aquarium pictures we made. They are so simple, relatively clean, and allow for endless creativity!


Materials: Blue paper, white, blue and purple dot markers, foam ovals, triangles and stars, and glue sticks

First we dotted our light blue paper with blue, white and purple dot markers to make the aquarium water look bubbly and add some texture.  Then we created fish by gluing an oval and a triangle shape together on the paper.  The children used markers to add details to their fish, create seaweed and draw sand in their aquariums.  I wish I had more pictures for you but we were having too much fun creating!

Alphabet Stamps

Materials: Alphabet stamps or sponges, paint, tray, white paper.

For this activity I just let the children dip the sponges and stamps in a thin coat of paint and then stamp them on their paper.  Moms helped children spell their names, and recognize letters.  This is a great activity to help with early literacy and letter recognition while getting a little messy in the meantime:)


Materials: stamp pads, red paper, white chalk, markers or pencils, and little fingers

Have your child create a picnic blanket by making line with white chalk across red paper.  Then let your child create ants all over the blanket by fingerprinting with black or red ink onto the paper.  They can try to put three fingerprints in a row to make a more realistic ant.  They can also add legs or antennae to their little insects. 

Thanks for coming and creating with us.  See you next Monday at 9:00 am for the letter B!   Bubble, Buttons and Balloons!