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DIY let It Go Dough

Today we experienced the craziest snowstorm in our children’s lives! They watched out of the window for almost an hour with stunned looks on their faces as the snow fell. “Wow. Look at all that snow!” That hour gave me a little time to prep some fun things to do since we are now home-bound during the blizzard of 2017!

Last year I shared with you our favorite DIY Play Dough recipe. It is super simple to make and we make it smell great and get some really cool colors with Kool Aide. Well, this year we have discovered that our kids cannot tolerate artificial food coloring. Even though they aren’t eating the play dough (that I am aware of) the dye can still get in through the skin.

I see all of these amazing recipes for colorful play dough and we just can’t create them at home, and the all natural food dyes you buy in the store are very expensive. Making our own dyes is an option, but it is too time consuming. I still can’t get some of the beautiful pastel colors from making dyes at home. So, I had to find some way to make our newest batch of play dough fun and pretty.

The Recipe (as found on Hello Giggles):

1 Cup Flour

½ Cup Salt

3 TBSP Cream of Tartar

1 TBSP Oil (canola, coconut or sunflower)

10-20 Drops Essential Oil

½ Cup Boiling Water

Add all dry ingredients to the bowl, add all oil ingredients and then add hot water and mix until solid.

If we skip the food coloring the dough doesn’t look so special. But I thought I’d mix a batch anyway so we have something fun to play with. Maybe I’ll add a little essential oil to jazz it up. At least if it doesn’t smell like homemade dough made from flour it won’t be so bland.

EO Dough 3

After I mixed it up in the bowl it sat there boring and blah. Until one of my daughters said to me, “Wow it’s white just like Elsa’s hair.” BINGO!! We have a winner!

EO Dough 2

I decided to add in my favorite essential oil blend called “stress less” to help us let it go, let it go (ha! My friends who love puns will enjoy that one). Then my girl remembered we have some, “frosty blue glitter like Elsa’s dress.” And of course we dumped in as much as we could! My girls are ALL-IN when it comes to glitter.

There ya go! Dye free and sparkly play dough that keeps the kids feeling stress free! Store it in a zip lock bag, or air tight container. Now if only cleaning up all this snow was as easy and stress free.

EO Dough 1

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here. You can also find her musings and popular shares on Facebook and Twitter. Stay up to date with her creative ideas and outings on Pinterest. 

top-5-fun-activities-of-2016-fromthe-whatever-mom

Happy 2017 Everybody!

As the new year begins I like to take a look back at what worked for us during the previous year. I always wonder if there are any traditions, or fun activities we’d do again. I like to look over the photos we took on our adventures through the year and relive the fun. I also take a look over my blog posts to see where in the Hudson Valley we’ve been and what activities we’ve enjoyed the most.

My kids and I have really enjoyed our travels in the Hudson Valley and beyond. There are so many great places to see and fun things to do in our gorgeous valley. But it can been a challenge to find fun things to do when the weather keeps us inside. Somehow we always find something fun! So I gathered up my top five posts for indoor activities we enjoyed in 2016.

TOP 5 INDOOR ACTIVITIES

SENSORY PLAY– Sensory activities are always a hit for us. We discovered water beads in 2015, but have been playing with them ever since. We keep them stored in a mason jar and the kids have to wash their hands before use. We get quite a few uses out of them before we throw them away and start with a fresh set.
water-bead-scoops

COOKINGDIY Play Dough kind of counts as a cooking activity. There is no stove required, but there is measuring, mixing and pouring involved. All necessary skills for life and in the end the quiet time is so worth the mayhem of cooking with kids.play-dough-boxes2

 

BAKING– this can be stressful with kids because it can get messy and chaotic. Take a little help from the store and buy already made dough. Then the rest of the time the kids can play with the dough and make some fun DIY fossil cookiesdino-prints

 

FAMILY FUN– starting a weekly family game night is a fun way to connect with each other and unwind with some laughs. In February we decided to  Start A Family Game Night. It has been a great way to forget about the stress of the week and a makes a great kick off to the weekend!

family-game-night

 

CRAFTS– of course we always include craft projects. The biggest hit this year was our Paper Hand Puppets. It was such a creative, fun way for the kids to use their imagination. Not only did they create each puppet on their own, but those puppets became characters in their play time.

puppet-friends

These are just a handful of the fun activities we do each week at home. Now that my kids are a little older I am hoping to do some more art themed projects. I hope 2017 brings all of us some new creativity and inspiration.

If you are like me you might like to plan fun visits ahead of time. So, next week I am sharing a review of our top favorite things to do and places to go in the Hudson Valley.

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here. You can also find her musings and popular shares on Facebook and Twitter. Stay up to date with her creative ideas and outings on Pinterest. 

 

 

5-simple-crafts-for-thanksgiving-day

Back in the day when I was just an auntie and had no children of my own, Thanksgiving seemed like such a warm and carefree holiday. I loved getting up early to get our feast started. I’d peel, boil and bake my way through hours of the early morning. I’d pass the time waiting for dinner with my nieces and nephews crafting, or head outside for a scavenger hunt. Our dinner arrived at the perfect temperature and in a fluid succession of flavors.

Today’s reality looks more like me running through the house in my pajamas trying to get everyone to settle down and leave me alone in my kitchen glory. I race through the side dishes listening to kids whining about how much they HATE sweet potatoes and nearly barf at the thought of eating gravy; in between complaints about how HUNgry they are. *sigh*

I remember one Thanksgiving when I was about five, my mom helped us craft a Native American headdress from construction paper, and no joke made EACH of us a vest out of a paper grocery bag WITH FRINGE.   My mom made fringe out of a paper bag for 4 kids (man I wish I had a picture of that!).  I think we’ll go a tad simpler this year.

5 (fringe free) super easy crafts to keep the kids entertained on turkey day:

PLACE CARDS

These do not need to be fancy. Using a simple index card folded in half, or a colorful piece of construction paper works too.  If your child can write, or is learning to write, make a list of names for them to copy onto each card. They can check off the names as they go and place the cards at each place setting.

For little ones who cannot write, making thumb print turkeys can be fun! You, or another adult, will have to work with your kiddo to dip one thumb in some paint and place it on a card. This does not have to be perfect, or even resemble a turkey. It just has to be fun and out of the kitchen area.

GRATITUDE CHAIN

We love making paper chains, and I bet you have all the supplies you already need. Use whatever paper you have on hand, colorful construction paper, plain white printer paper, it doesn’t matter. Cut the paper into strips and have each kid write something they are thankful for.  Start the chain by bending the strip into a circle and stapling, or taping the ends to close up the loop. Repeat until you have made a chain. Your kids will feel proud when you hang it up near the dinner table.

COVER YOUR TABLE IN ART

I love to put out a fancy table cloth for special meals. It just feels a little more special. But kids are messy and it can be stressful watching your nice things get destroyed. So we roll out brown packaging paper and let the kids create their own table “cloth.” They trace their hands and color in to look like turkeys, practice letter writing with holiday messages and drawing whatever comes to mind. Now if they spill I’m not so annoyed. The paper gets tossed in the recycling bin and there’s no mess for me!

PAPER BAG PUPPETS

Again, using whatever you have on hand works. Raid your pantry for small paper plates, or reuse paper shopping bags. Have kids cut out feathers to glue to the back of the bag, draw a face and now you have instant puppets.

ART KITS

If you read this post before dinner starts, there is no shame in buying a ready to use kit with all the supplies inside. Get out to the dollar store or Target and pick up those play packets with stickers, a coloring book and some crayons.

I set hubby and the kids up with the supplies, show them how to get started and I quietly float away to finish off the green beans. Whether you are hosting, or traveling to visit the in-laws your kids will enjoy getting to help make decorations for the feast. Having a little quiet time to think is one more reason to give thanks. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

You may also enjoy reading Friday Favorites- Kid’s Mini Travel Activity Pouch before you travel this holiday season.

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here. You can also find her musings and popular shares on Facebook and Twitter. Stay up to date with her creative ideas and outings on Pinterest. 

 

Living in the Hudson Valley means we have an abundance of festivals, street fairs, art shows, car shows and places to go every weekend. There are so many things to do all year long, but when fall hits it can seem like there’s just so much more to try to fit into the weekend! I always want to make the most of what the season has to offer as well as all the local events.

To help us enjoy the season we love to be outdoors. My kids love raking leaves into piles to jump into, collecting different colored leaves and sticks for a scavenger hunt, or decorating for each holiday. There is just so much to do in our very own back yard! In fact, we were just taking a stroll down memory lane and reading some of my older blogs where I share some of our favorite fun things. Here is a quick recap of some kid friendly activities to do with your little ones at home:

Acorn Jewels

This one is my absolute favorite! It is such a simple project, yet yields amazing results. You can read the step by step directions here. You can break this into two parts: gathering the acorns during a scavenger hunt, and then creating the jewels. Do it in the same day, or make it a two day event!

blog-acorn-jewels-011

Make a Spooky Door

Recreate this monsterpiece to give your front door a touch of whimsy. You can find step by step details here. Using all simple supplies from the dollar store you can have the cutest door on the block for around $5.00.

spooky-door

Pumpkin Painting

If you have little ones not yet steady with the knife skills, let them wield a paint brush instead. Use washable paints and put down a plastic cloth. Or let them paint outside and not worry about your clean kitchen table. Click here to find out how to connect art with nature.

pumpkin-painting

DIY Fossil Cookies

You don’t have to wait for any special season to make these. They are just fun to make! You can get your step by step guide here.

diy-fossil-cookies

Apple Painting

If you missed my post last week, here it is again for you to enjoy! This one is a classic fall art project. Be sure to check out the links to some cute stories to go along with this simple art project.

apple-print

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here. You can also find her musings and popular shares on Facebook and Twitter. Stay up to date with her creative ideas and outings on Pinterest. 

One thing I’m grateful for is that my Mom never subscribed to the idea that Valentine’s Day was just for sweethearts. She always made sure my brother and I felt special either by buying us a heart-shaped box of chocolates or stuffed animals or making us homemade cards. Out of all the cards and gifts she’s given me over the course of my life, there is one item I’ve held onto for nearly 30 years; a home-made Valentine’s Day card written from her heart.

Homemade Valentine's Day Card

With the help of fellow moms from my Facebook moms group I’ve compiled a list of 8 fun and super sweet ways to show your kids love this Valentine’s Day.

1. Figure Out Their Love Language – If you’ve never read “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, I highly recommend it to figure out the way your partner prefers you show them love. There’s a fun quiz you can have your child take to find out their love language whether it’s words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time or physical touch. It’s recommended for children ages 9-12. Why not show them love this Valentine’s Day the way that they prefer, whether it’s with a gift, a hug or serving them their favorite dinner?

2. Create A Love Bank – With a recycled coffee can, some paper and dollar store craft supplies you can create a bank for love notes for your child. You can deposit notes for them leading up to Valentine’s Day or all year long and have them “withdraw” a note whenever they need a reminder of Mommy and Daddy’s love for them. My kids loved the bank I created for them.

Love Bank 16Love Bank 2

3. Homemade Cards – Cards from the store are just fine, but there is something wonderfully intimate about a card made by your own two hands. Kids are always working hard on homemade gifts and cards for us, so it’s extra special when we show them that we’re willing to take the time to make something for them.

5. Edible Hearts– You can put a greased cookie cutter on the griddle and fill it with pancake batter to make them special heart-cakes for breakfast on Valentine’s Day. You can cut out heart-shaped cookies and have each child decorate and give it to a family member, like Melissa from Kingston does with her children. You could also cut their sandwiches into hearts using cookie cutters like Dorothy from Stone Ridge does.

6. Hide-A-Heart – For days leading up to Valentine’s Day, Jodie from Poughkeepsie cuts out paper hearts with messages of love for each of her girls and hides them under their pillows to find in the morning. What a sweet way to start the day!

7. Hugs & Kisses Trail – You could leave them a trail of Hershey’s Kisses and/or Hugs leading up to a larger surprise like a gift or you could simply give them a basket to collect kisses Easter-egg hunt style. You might want to leave them out in the open as nobody wants to find melted chocolate days, weeks or months later.

8. Make A Date – Whether you take a trip to a museum, the movies or simply go out for lunch, letting your child decide what you should do together makes this date super special. It’s really hard to spend alone time with each child if you have more than one, so a special date alone with Mom or Dad is an amazing gift.

What are your favorite Valentine’s Day traditions with your kids?

Erin Johnson a.k.a. The No Drama Mama can be found blogging at Hudson Valley Parent Magazine and thenodramamama.com when she’s not wiping poop or snot off her otherwise three adorable kiddos. This frugal, “tell it like it is” mama has NO time for drama, so forget your perfect parenting techniques and follow me on Facebook or Twitter for my delightfully imperfect parenting wins and fails.

 

 

Flowers and chocolate were so last year! With the craze of Pinterest for endless inspiration at our fingertips it is easy to get lost in find many things you and the kids can do together. If you aren’t up for it, you don’t need to be the next Pinterest Queen or Betty Crocker. Valentine’s Day is all about love, family and showing each other how much you care. With the 10 ideas below, you can keep it as simple or get as elaborate as you want. And in the comments, tell us what special Valentine’s Day traditions you have with your family.

Getting out for some adult time this weekend? Check out my last list: 10 Date Night ideas in the Hudson Valley

1. Homemade gifts. Coupon books, love letters or heart shaped gifts loveare usually pretty popular with most parents I know. But great handmade gifts don’t have to be just for mom and dad. With a little creativity you can come up with some great gifts the kids will love. A “certificate” for a mommy and me date night, or a coupon book filled with “get out of chores for a night” or “ice cream for dinner”, etc. coupons or a thoughtful handwritten letter could go a long way too. And don’t forget about the adults. In most cases, a thoughtful handmade gift goes a lot way over a store bought one. HVParent’s Pinterest Page has lots of great ideas too!

2. Decorate. I have a box of saved holiday art work from the kids, mostly Christmas pictures and crafts that I like to hang back up around the holiday. My mom did the same with our art and I love to see how my kids’ art changes over the years. So dig out love notes, those handmade cards from past years and construction paper hearts from the pre-k days and use them to decorate your home for Valentine’s Day.Bacon-Hearts

3. Start the day off with love. Luckily, Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year- so no need to get up extra early for this one. We make birthday pancakes for birthdays, snowman pancakes for Christmas and our little Leprechaun friend turns our pancakes green on St. Patrick’s Day so it’s only natural our valentine’s day starts off with pink and red heart shaped pancakes and bacon. You can twist bacon into the shapes of hearts, use (metal) cookie cutters to make eggs or pancakes into fun shapes and even cut your fruit into little bite size hearts! (20 breakfast ideas found here on popsugar.com)

4. Share the love. Chances are you are making or filling out your share of school Valentines anyway, so make a few extra to spread a little love this Valentine’s Day! Have the kids decorate paper hearts to make and take to the local nursing home, or fill out boxed cards to deliver to the local fire house or hospital. The kids will get a kick out of carrying a few for unsuspecting strangers during the day, like a waitress, cashier or neighbor. This sweet gesture will go a long way to spread a little love.

babw5. Family time. A mom- friend posted recently looking for suggestions on ways to spend V-Day with the family. I was surprised how many moms had the same plans this year. Seems like many are heading to Build-a-Bear Workshop to let the kids create their special Valentine’s Day gift. A great idea! If Build-a-Bear isn’t in the budget (they start with stuffed animals at $10) find something you can all enjoy doing together. A fun family outing is a great way to spend the “holiday” together.

Here are a few more ideas:

Family Date Night Spots

Ice Skating

Sledding

Indoor Play Spots

And check HVParent.com for a calendar filled with local fun! 

6. Dinner with your loves. You can stay in and cook, but since we moms like to be spoiled too on Valentine’s Day it might be a good night to hit the town. Nights like these I like to choose an early dinner reservation, get the kids fed, bathed and in bed early enough for some adult alone time 😉

Find a family- friendly restaurant here or here.

7. Dance Party. Any excuse is a good one for a family dance party! After dinner clear the furniture, kick up the music and put on some of your favorite love jams. Don’t forget to save some slow dancing for your significant other!cookie

8. Baking cookies. My kids love to visit the Mid- Hudson Children’s Museum to get their energy out in the winter. They love the new fire truck, and pretending to bake the tallest cakes they can. For the last two years, they have loved to come to the museum near Valentine’s Day to decorate their own heart shaped sugar cookies (event info here). I love that the mess stays outside of my house and we can pack a lunch and make a day of it. But you don’t need to head out to make pink- frosting covered memories with the kids. Whip up a batch of your favorite cookie recipe (this is mine from iheartnaptime.com) and get to work.

notes9. Exchange valentines. I saw this adorable felt envelop last year and was dying to make them for my kids (…of course I never did) but I still love the idea. The blogger who created the one shown here filled out little notes to leave each night for her kids leading up to Valentine’s Day. If you are like me and pin a bunch of things you never do on Pinterest you can always use a decorated shoe box, manila envelope or store bought little mailbox (Michaels sells cute ones!) for each member of the family. Then every night before bed, everyone can write a sentence or 2 for each person to be opened at breakfast! (Image and idea from Blonde Designs Blog).

10. Surround yourself with love. Whether you choose to stay home, go out, craft or just relax, remember to surround yourself with love this Valentine’s Day. We tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get the best gifts, make the best crafts or turn our breakfast into the best heart shaped bacon our kids have ever seen. While it’s sometimes fun to go over the top, it isn’t necessary. A simple “I love you” from the heart can mean more than heart shaped pancakes and fancy gifts. Keep it in perspective, don’t stress over details and above all else surround yourself with love, after all that’s what it’s really about.

Does your family have any special Valentine’s Day traditions? Share in the comments!

I really love the 4th of July! Next to Christmas, it is one of my favorite holidays.  I know Christmas is pretty awesome, but I really feel like the 4th is a spectacular holiday without all the pressure and stress of finding the right gift. And there are no hard and fast rules on how to celebrate. For me it has always been the perfect kickoff to summer.  Whether we are at the beach, in our hometown or traveling home to see family the formula for the day is the same. Eat, laugh and watch fireworks. It doesn’t get any simpler than that!

Here is a fun little recap of how the girls and I are preparing for our holiday of red, white and blue!

We made a sparkly art project using cookie cutters, paint, glitter, glue and construction paper. All items I already have at home. Ok, I had to go out and buy the construction paper because I was out. So really I spent a whole buck on this project!

Final Product

Final Product

JULY 4TH ART

  • Red, white and blue construction paper
  • Washable paints (we chose red, white, blue and yellow)
  • Star-shaped cookie cutters
  • Glue
  • Any color glitter
  • Paper plates
  • Plastic forks

Squeeze some paint onto paper plate and allow kids to dip the cookie cutters in. Then help them stamp onto construction paper. We used red, white and blue for the stars. For fireworks we dipped a plastic fork into yellow paint and stamped on the page, and we used glue and glitter.  Nice effect either way!

Angle fork prints to make fire works effect

Angle fork prints to make fire works effect

Glitter makes everything better

Glitter makes everything better

These are so cute! I think these will make really fun cards for some of our friends!

 

Hand prints are a cute stand in for the stars on our flag craft

Hand prints are a cute stand in for the stars on our flag craft

“STARS” AND STRIPES

  • 2 pieces of white construction paper
  • 1 piece of red construction paper
  • Blue paint
  • Paint brush
  • Glue
  • Marker
  • Scissors

Start by painting your child’s hand and placing print in upper left hand section of the white paper.  (Be sure to give them an extra piece of paper to continue stamping hand prints). Next, place stripes on page and have child help you glue one at a time. The top most stripes will be longer than the page as it borders the hand print. You can cut off the excess before or after you glue it. Tip: Before you bring the kids to the table for this craft have all the red stripes already cut. This saves wiggly kids from having to wait. Also, have plenty of baby wipes, or paper towels on hand! Makes 2 flag crafts.

 

No summer holiday is complete without icy cold treats! Anyone else remember eating bomb pops as a kid; those red, white and blue striped frozen treats on a stick? We made ours with berry purees and coconut milk.

Layer berry puree with coconut milk, almond milk or vanilla yogurt for a holiday look.

Layer berry puree with coconut milk, almond milk or vanilla yogurt for a holiday look.

BERRY “BOMB POPS”

  • Frozen ice pop tray
  • 1 cup of strawberries, washed and hulled
  • ¼ cup of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of blueberries, washed
  • 3 TBS grape juice

Puree strawberries and pour small amount into molds. Freeze. This is your first layer.

Pour small amount of coconut milk into each section, but do not fill. Place in freezer. You want the milk to be firm, but not frozen. This is your second layer.

Last, puree blueberries with grape juice for a more intense blue color (really a dark purple). Fill remaining space in your pop mold and place the sticks inside. This is your final layer. Place in freezer and allow to freeze until solid. Tip: Use a funnel to get perfect fill lines and for less mess!

All we have left to do is put out the flag and fire up the grill! Ok, maybe a few more frozen treats and one more cute craft.

 

What are some of your July 4th/Summer faves?

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My girls and I love to craft, but I do not consider myself to be a particularly creative person, and I have a strong aversion to messes.  While Pinterest certainly helps me in the creativity department, it still leaves me lacking in skill and cleanup.  So, when I heard about Come Craft with Me in Monroe, I thought it would be something different for us to try.

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Come Craft with Me is a sun filled kid crafter’s dream.  Messes are encouraged, and they have an array of projects to pick from that I would never have thought of.  Madison was immediately drawn to the little cardboard menagerie.  There were so many options to choose from, but Madison is a daddy’s girl through and through, so I knew instantly she would choose the elephant, her daddy’s favorite animal.  And, without a moment’s hesitation, she reached for that elephant and sat down to Decopatch (similar to decoupage but a finer finish).  With Trish’s (the owner) gentle guidance, Madison got down to business.

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Sophie was along for the ride and enjoyed dipping her brush in the glue and painting for about five minutes.  Thankfully, Come Craft with Me has a play area filled with toys that kept her entertained as Madison painstakingly worked on her project.

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Going to a crafting studio was a great change of pace for us.  Unlike our usual trips to the park or gymnastics where we immediately head in different directions, this brought us together.  We got to sit around the table and learn a new craft together.  The best part: Madison was so proud to give her Daddy her handmade present.  It truly looks like a piece of art, and we have it proudly displayed on our bookshelf along with Sophie’s artwork. The second best part: not having to clean up the mess!

We really enjoyed trying something new and are eager to do it again.  Do you know of a center, activity, or event that is off the beaten path?  I would love to hear your suggestions!

Our beautiful Hudson Valley is in full bloom. Have you noticed? The roadsides are graced with the presence of Queen Anne’s Lace and periwinkle hued chicory. It’s a feast for the eyes and it’s one you can bring inside and have fun with! Any white flower can be changed with the assistance of your kids or grand kids, some food coloring, and water filled jars.

What you’ll need…

Glass Jars (from your recyclables) ~ Food Coloring ~ Queen Anne’s Lace ~ Daisies ~ or any white flower from the garden or roadside ~ Water ~ Children

This is a great project because not only is it fun and lovely to watch, but it doesn’t take any exact science or measurements.

This is a great opportunity to teach your children that

Red + Yellow = Orange   ~   Blue + Yellow = Green   ~   Red + Blue = Purple

Then if you really want to rock their socks, go ahead and put…

More Blue than Green to create Aqua   ~   More Yellow than Red for Coral   ~ and so forth, have fun!!

Squirt a bunch of food coloring into your jar of water and you will increase the intensity of your color, add just a little for pastels.

No need to fill the entire jar, only fill your jar or glass 2 inches full.

Let your children squirt away, don’t even worry about how much or how little they put in!

During the course of a day you will see your white blooms turn into a rainbow color! Daisies will become speckled and give off a somewhat tie dyed effect. Each year my kids are thrilled to see their flowers change before their eyes! nature’s magic 🙂

If you would like, when your flowers have reached their desired hue you can press them within a phone book. Cut them at the head and place between the pages. Put some weight on top and let sit for 4-6 weeks. When they are dry and crisp, frame and hang for a living memory in your home, or gift to a grandparents!

Note to moms: this craft can be used to decorate baby showers, weddings, and other summer parties! go ahead, make a bouquet of all your rainbowed hues. For intense colors use Wilton’s color gel from the cake decorating isle in ACmoore, or craft section of Walmart.

We welcome Ashlie Blake, artist and Hudson Valley parent, who will be showing us how to create terrific arts and crafts projects using simple items around the house.  Just for HVParent.com.

Ashlie Blake is a mixed media artist and blogger living in the Minisink area of our beautiful Hudson Valley N.Y.. Ashlie loves life with her husband and three young boys aged almost 2 to almost 7. Working out of her home studio while the children play and create right along with her, she loves having the ability of being a stay at home mom as well as a working artist. Ashlie hopes from sharing children/parent craft tutorials that it will encourage parents to spend more time with their children and have fun doing so. Creating is a time to explore and increase self-confidence… praise from a parent to a child can be one of the things that stays and builds character for the rest of a child’s life. In a world where creativity reigns, Ashlie hopes to guide parents into making, doing, and painting up a whole storm of projects!

This is a craft for ages 18-months and up… a beautiful canvas painted by your little one and a hand full of marbles!

{{Marble Rolled Canvas Art }}

Recommended for children ages 18 months and up

Prepare to get messy and have fun too!

Your kids will love this project with it’s bright colors.

Get ready to hear giggles as paint covered marbles glide across a kid driven canvas!

{{Supplies}}

Canvas

Bag of Marbles

Liquid Acrylics (found in the wood section of your local craft store)

Cardboard

Packaging Tape

Paper Plates, water and bowls

Special Note: Liquid acrylics will stain clothing, please dress your child accordingly. In our house I let my boys create in their underwear, this way it’s straight to the tub when they have completed their projects.

#Step 1 : Cut several long strips of cardboard about 2 inches wide, attach pieces together with packaging tape. Wrap strip around canvas creating a rim (This rim will protect your marble from falling off of the canvas while your children roll)

#Step 2: After forming rim and securing with tape,  flip canvas over and tape vertically/horizontally pulling tension tight (see image below). Cardboard should be secure yet removable.

#Step 3 : Cover your dining room table with a twin sized fitted sheet. Corners will hold onto the table preventing slippage while also keeping your surface clean. Offer bowls of water for rinsing marbles between colors and paper towels for drying them as well as wiping hands.

#Step 4 : Squirt paint onto paper plates. Let children coat marbles one by one and place in the center of their canvas. Once you have placed your marbles and are ready, let your child pick up and roll the marbles in any direction they want.

The more you roll, the more you paint… when marbles appear to have lost their paint, coat again and keep creating. Repeat as much as you want! layer after layer your child’s canvas becomes a modern piece of art to be shared!

Also, the more the marbles – the more fun rolling them!

This project being an absolutely hands project provides a child with fun and enjoyment. Parent’s work one on one with the child/children offering plenty of quality time and smiles. Finished projects create confidence and build esteem.

Be sure to offer lots of praise to your child/children, they soak it up like sunshine.

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