March 31, 2011

Cats {Fun with Shapes}

  To add some more fun to our Cats theme, we invited some special friends over for a play date and we dressed up as cats. With some marshmallow mice and fish in our bellies, we then made some very easy cat faces from pre-cut shapes!

Do you recognize our feline friends? Arrowboy and Sweetpea (on the left) belong to Joyful Mama and Little Mouse (on the right) belongs to Trudie. We are so lucky to have these special ladies and little friends live so close by!

March 28, 2011

Cats {Nursery Rhyme Fun}

I recently shared about a terrific book, Origami for children, by Mari and Roshin Ono, so I was very excited to find Origami Club, a fantastic website, with lots and lots of ideas and great instructions. You can print the instructions, or watch a video if the printed version is to tricky to understand. All ideas are also rated, so you know the difficulty level before you start.

As part of our cat theme, I focused on some popular cat nursery rhymes...

 The Three Little Kittens

For some fun related to this nursery rhyme, we traced around Little One's hand and then created three sets of mittens. He loved sticking on the cotton balls. Little One loves glue, and calls it "gloopy glue", like Mr Maker does.  He gave this bottle of glue a good squeeze (great for those little fingers), but in the end I needed to help squeeze the glue out. We then played a game of hide and seek with the mittens. Just like in the nursery rhyme, we "lost" the mittens and had to find them. He really enjoyed this! (The mittens and the kittens are great for counting practice too.)

For some more fun, I made origami puppets (see above) to act out the nursery rhyme and we once again used our mittens as part of the play. I made a happy and a cross face for the Mommy cat, which I stuck back-to-back to a craft stick, so that the face could easily be flipped over during the story. This was also a great success!

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, Where have you been?

Acting out this nursery rhyme also turned into a great learning activity, with me focusing on prepositions. In my version, the pussy cat frightened and chased the mouse under, over, and onto the chair.  

PS. I'm linking this to...

March 24, 2011

Cats {Dress-up and Sock Kitty}

"I like cats!", Little One announced (some time last year). I giggled! For two reasons being that I was so surprised that at the tender age of two you can know with such certainty what you like, and also because we (husband and I) have always thought of ourselves more as a doggy family...should we get a pet.

Little One is still at home with me full-time this year and because he is a bright, busy little person and seeks constant stimulation (like most two-year-olds), I decided to introduce some mini themes to direct our craft and learning activities. Needless to say, when I was considering my first theme, I thought "Cats". So what follows in this and the next few posts, are all the cat-related activities that we got up to.

And while we have been playing "cats", it's been reading month in the United States and Polly from Helping Little Hands has had a fun Read-Along, where she has asked some bloggers to share a book-related activity. I have joined in the fun and am sharing this sweet sock cat, inspired by the fabulous little book, Katie the Kitten , by Alex Scheffler. We have a small box set, including four of his titles (to read about another one, see here), but Katie the Kitten has been Little One's all time favourite! 

"She loves nothing more 
    than a night on the prowl.
She doesn't get scared
 by a woof or a growl."

Do go along and check out some of the other fun reads and activities shared by other book-loving bloggers!

March 16, 2011

Speckled Hearts

These were our Valentine's gifts for the awesome grandparents we are so blessed to have in our lives.

We took an A4 sheet of red paper and Big One wrote an "I love you because..." note on it. We then wrapped this around a nice slab of chocolate and decorated with speckled hearts (I don't know what else to call these :)). 

I think everyday...any a good day for an "I love you" note...don't you?

To make our speckled paper, I gave Little One a toothbrush and some watercolour paints. He found the toothbrush spraying rather tricky, so this was a good fine motor workout for those little fingers! 

I found the origami heart pattern in an amazing book, Origami for children, by Mari Ono and Roshin Ono. I also found a similar pattern here, if you would like to make some of your own.

March 12, 2011

Magazine Cover

Do you have a favourite baby or parenting magazine? Well here at home, the Your Baby  magazine has always been a huge favourite of mine.  I was buying them long before I had children and continued to buy them long after it was necessary. With it's informative and well-written articles; the beautiful photography that one finds in their pages; and, not to mention, the most gorgeous cover pictures, it is really hard to resist. I hang onto mine, and even though I do regular cupboard clean-outs (I'm quite good that way), I find it nearly impossible to throw these mags away.

So having said this, you can well imagine my great delight when I heard that Little One was going to be a cover baby (squeal!).  And to make it just a little more exciting, the shoot took place at my home and I had the real treat of having tea with the editor and her team. It was an experience! The shoot actually took place in November 2009 and Little One was the cover baby for the March 2010 edition.

So this got me thinking about how much fun it could be to make your own magazine covers and print them. I found this website, MagMyPic, where you can download a photo and create a cover in minutes. It's really very easy to use, with the only downside being that you are restricted to their templates.

You could of course also create one in a software package like Photoshop, or in my case, Picasa (I'm not yet a Photoshop girl). You could then personalise these and make the titles of the articles applicable to your little one's personality or developmental stage. If you did one a month, you would have a quick fun overview of your child's year, nicely summarized in twelve mag covers that you could frame or put in a mini photo album. These would also make fun birthday invites. This one below was created in Picasa and it shares a little of the prevalent topics in Big One's life at the moment.

Let me know if you make any :). 
Have fun!

PS.  It's Love and Lollipops' birthday today! It's been one year since my first post and it's been such an awesome ride. Thanks to you all that come and visit and leave such lovely warm fuzzies for me!

March 7, 2011

My first newborn shoot...

 ...was of this little guy...ahem, I mean puppy :)

And of course this was my favourite photo of the shoot, 'cause of that other cute little dude in the pic!

My neighbours have recently brought home this little pup, called Max. So I popped on over with Little One for a visit and we did a quick impromptu shoot. I'm going to enter this one in the next iheartfaces challenge, which is Best Face of February. If you have never visited iheartfaces and you enjoy photography, you must go and see...

March 2, 2011

Dr. Seuss inspired fun

Today I am posting pictures of a game I created and that we played in March last year. I thought that today is surely the best day to post these rather old photos, 'cause today is Dr. Seuss' birthday!

This little project was (once again) inspired by the wonderfully creative Katherine Marie and her Green Eggs and Ham fun (Want to see, click here). 


Big One LOVED this game, especially because it involved the usually forbidden Smarties. (Big One is mostly gluten and dairy free, so these are a real treat!). And what a fun way to practice blended sounds. Throw the dice, move your counter, and if you land on an egg white (or green) in this case, turn it over and say the blended sound. If correct and you are lucky, you get to eat a Smartie.

This book was a huge hit in our home a few years back. I have been trying to recall how old Big One was when I had to read this story over and over and over again...:). I think he was about five. If you don't have this one on your book shelf, try your local library. They are sure to have it - it's a classic.

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