Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Craft and Activities Roundup

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Skyler and I had a lot of fun with Easter crafts and activities the past several weeks. From pom-poms to painting, and thanks to the perfectly colored plastic eggs, a lot of fun color themed play! Here is a roundup of all the Easter themed fun we had at Minne-Mama!


Pom-Pom Easter Eggs

Mirrored Easter Egg Painting


Easter Egg Bubble Bath 

Easter Egg Color Sort


Peek-a-boo Eggs Sensory Bin

Easter Egg Hunt Contact Paper Play


Frozen Watercolor Easter Egg Paints

Easter Basket Color Match

I am sure this is not the last of plastic Easter egg play for us this year! There are so many fun things to be done with those eggs! We have also enjoyed using them with play dough and "washing" them in the sink with a ton of bubbles and a dish scrubber :)

To see more Easter crafts and activities, check out my Easter Pinterest board! 


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter Egg Basket Match Game

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It's no secret we like color sorting activities at our house (Ahem...like here, here, here, here, and here). Skyler is all about colors right now. It is so fun to hear him describing the colors of everything he sees. In our ECFE class yesterday he grabbed two blocks for a song we sing and as he chose his blocks, he said "blue...green!" and was so proud as he ran back to me with his blocks. Walking along the street now that everything is not winter white, I get to hear him talk on and on about what he sees. It is just the best. Here is another fun and simple Easter inspired color activity (those plastic eggs are so wonderful for color sorting!)

To create this color match activity, I used a piece of white poster board, plastic eggs, Velcro, and crayons to match the eggs plus shades of brown for the basket.


I loosely drew the shape of a basket, made sure that the six eggs would fit in the opening, and then colored the line in more darkly. I colored the basket in and added some lines to give it a woven look. I stuck the soft half of the Velcro to the egg, matched up the pieces of Velcro, and stuck them to the paper still attached to the egg so I knew they would be spaced well.

To draw the colored egg on the paper, I just traced around the egg as it was stuck to the paper.



After cutting out the basket, I taped it to the wall with double sided tape on the back, but when I tried to pull off the eggs the paper started to come off, so even though it isn't quite as pretty, I taped all of the edges down from the front. That basket is not going anywhere, not even with tiny toddler hands pulling at it :)


Skyler was so excited to see this set up and enjoyed sticking the eggs onto their color match, ripping them off (maybe his favorite part because the sound is so fun!) and then doing it all over again. He stood there and filled the basket for so long! After he was finished playing, he quietly said "All done Easter eggs" and pulled them off the basket one by one, "pick up, pick up, pick up" It was so funny.



Double handed! For just a minute or so when he started playing, Skyler would just press the egg onto the paper and let go, and sometimes it would fall. It didn't take him long to realize that the Velcro had to match up on the egg and the paper.


He also loved feeling the "bumpy" texture of the Velcro on the paper, and the "soft" textured Velcro on the eggs. I made sure to put the same side of the Velcro on either all of the eggs or all on the paper so that he didn't have to match the colors if he didn't want to.

This fun match game only took me about five minutes to make and set up, and provided us with an entire afternoon of fun! I know Skyler will enjoy using this color activity a lot in the next few days!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring Suncatchers and Guest Posting

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I am so excited to say that Minne-Mama can be found at Fun at Home with Kids today! I gain a ton of inspiration from the crafts and activities on this amazing blog, and was psyched when I was asked to write a guest post!! Seriously, from our two-tone bean sensory bin, the fun sticky hearts we made for our Valentine bath, and buying liquid water colors which have been a part of many recent crafts, I often mention how Asia's posts at Fun at Home with Kids were a spark for our own creations.  

Skyler and I enjoy a lot of the same things as that sweet clan, including bright colors and contact paper, two aspects of this beautiful craft that baby boy made. Skyler loved creating these spring flower sun catchers to brighten up his room. Click here to see the full post and tutorial at Fun at Home with Kids!!

Thank you again for the wonderful opportunity, Fun at Home with Kids!




Thursday, April 10, 2014

Frozen Watercolor Easter Egg Paints

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Trying to find another use for my new favorite crafting item, liquid watercolor paints, I wanted to try making shaped frozen paints using plastic Easter eggs. Perfect for one of the first very warm days we have had in Minnesota in months!! 

Our plastic eggs have holes on the top and bottom, so to cover them up I just put a dot of hot glue on each hole. It took just minutes for the glue to dry, and then I could make our paints!


The perfect way to hold six eggs in halves was, of course, an egg carton!


I put several drops of each color into the corresponding egg halves and then added water to the tops. I worried that I didn't add enough of the colors, but they did end up very vibrant - you don't need much of the liquid watercolor!

After leaving them to sit overnight in the freezer, I went back and added some water to the tops and folded the eggs together to adhere the halves and make the full egg shape. They only had to sit for an hour or so, and the eggs were very well held together.


To pop our frozen paints out of the plastic eggs, I held the plastic under warm water and ran a butter knife around the edges. The paints do melt pretty quickly in the warm water, but the egg shapes still came out really cute!

To take advantage of a warm afternoon, we took our paints outside. I was going to put down a big sheet of paper for Skyler, but I thought it would be fun to do a huge canvas using a white bed sheet (previously used as a back drop for baby Skyler belly shots!)


It was pretty windy out, so the sheet didn't lay completely flat, but the colors looked beautiful on the bright white. Skyler was quite confused about the cold feeling of his paints, but did like rolling them around and getting the colors to mix. 


I thought the eggs would be completely melted when we were finished, but they were still intact after our play, so I returned them to the egg carton and back into the freezer they went! I think we will try them with paper on our dining room floor (like our rainy day drip painting) tomorrow. 

These paints were a lot of fun. The cold and slippery paints, the egg shapes and vibrant colors, and our giant makeshift 'canvas' made for a unique painting experience!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Easter Egg Hunt Contact Paper Play

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When planning this contact paper Easter basket activity, I knew I wanted Skyler to decorate his own "eggs." I spotted this textured foam and thought it would be perfect for print making. To make our egg shapes, I used a cookie cutter to press the shape into the foam and then cut them out.




Skyler had so much fun making the different printed eggs. He would tell me which egg he wanted to make and then pick the color. I was so impressed with how he filled the paper with prints! After he made several prints of each texture, he used the extra paint to finger paint (and it later turned into our newest countdown for daddy!)




Once the paint had dried, I cut out the prints and we had a ton of brightly colored eggs with different textures! I was going to just set them by the basket, but after reading one of Skyler's current favorite books, (Here Comes Easter by Caroline Jayne Church, which focuses on an Easter egg hunt) I decided to make this activity into a little egg hunt for baby boy! I scattered the eggs around our living room, not too hard, but still fun to search for!





To go along with our eggs, of course we needed a basket! Skyler loves anything with contact paper (A new play activity for an upcoming holiday seems to be our schedule. Here are the ones we made for Christmas, Valentine's Day, and St. Patrick's Day), and I knew that this basket would be our next way to play. To make the basket, I just hand painted the general shape of the basket and handle with paint onto the non-stick side of the contact paper, then added horizontal and vertical stripes to give our basket a woven look.


I taped the non-stick side to our glass door and when we were ready to play, peeled off the paper. 


I told Skyler I was going to find a blue egg, walked into the living room and then back to the basket and he knew exactly what to do. He helped me stick on the blue egg and then he was off to the living room to find his own egg! I loved the gross motor aspect of this game, Skyler did a lot of laps!! Here are some action shots. :)



I especially love this next one - he was so focused and excited to run around collecting eggs! That is almost the exact face I see when watching my hubby play soccer/when I see him crossing the finish line at a race he is running. My little mini-Joe, it just makes me smile :)


Skyler found two eggs on his rocking horse's head, so spent some time stacking a bunch of eggs on top! He thought that was pretty funny.


I thought it was interesting that Skyler really tried to fill in the opening of the basket, he didn't put any outside of that area until they absolutely could not fit!


He really wanted a handful to stick at once, but couldn't get them all to stick. 


Skyler's filled Easter basket!

We talked about many different topics while Skyler searched and played. We talked about the colors and textures of the eggs, we talked about ways that the eggs could or could not stick to the contact paper basket. We compared where the eggs were hidden in our book and where we found eggs at our house. Eventually, when Skyler brought more than one egg in a trip, we talked about the number of eggs he held. So many ways to play and learn!


Our newest contact paper play was a lot of fun. The thick paper we made the eggs with are easy to peel off, and I know this egg hunt will be a popular play choice for Skyler in the next few weeks!