Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Little Summer Painting

Matthew has loved painting since he could sit upright in his highchair. I know painting with small children is stressful for some parents, but it is sooo much fun and, in my opinion, the benefits far outweigh the hassle of preparing and cleaning up.

Summer time is the perfect time for letting toddlers paint. Just bring it outside! Fill a little wading pool nearby, use washable tempera paints, and you are good to go. Put them in their little swim diaper or swimsuit, give them a brush and a piece of paper and watch what they create.

I made this handy little outdoor easel and paint tray in less than 15 minutes. Take a large box - this one was an old diaper box. Cut off the two side panels (the small ends). Then flip the box inside out and duct tape it into a triangle shape:
Set it up on a low bench or chair out in the grass, and use a large rock or two to hold it down by placing them inside the triangle. Use masking tape to attach a large piece of paper. We almost always use freezer paper as it is shiny on one side, which is great for fingerpainting, and matte on the other side, which is great for just about everything else.

For the paint tray, I used a small 6-cup muffin tin. Originally I planned to just save the paint in it and add more as needed. However, this particular one started to rust (it was from the dollar store, so I'm not sure if that would happen with all of them, or those that are coated). So now we use small plastic tubs from individual size apple sauce and I attached them to the muffin cups with tacky putty - the kind you use to hang posters, etc. Cleaning them is super easy, though to be honest, we don't really clean them up very often. I just cover everything with aluminum foil and we bring them out whenever we want to paint. If the paint has thickened a little bit, just add a little water, or a little more paint and mix it up. It's easy for a toddler to use because the weight of the muffin pan keeps the paint stable while they dip the brushes in. Regular cups are easy to tip over, but we've used this for a few months now and haven't had a single spill! We have another one that we use for liquid watercolors, and it works just as well.

So go paint with your kids! And have a beautiful day! ;)

34 Months... how time flies

Dear Matthew,

I can not believe how big you are getting. Where, oh where, has my baby gone? Daddy and I are so proud of you! We keep trying to slow time down and relish all the wonderful, sweet, astounding things you are doing, but even as we attempt to catch our breath you are off again with something new to learn and master.

These days your favorite toy is your little green tractor (which I bought for ONE DOLLAR a year ago at Target). You mow the "lawn" inside the house and outside many, many times a day with that little tractor, and you know just the right sound effects to make while you do it. We are getting pretty worried about that little tractor. I'm not sure how much longer a dollar's worth of plastic can hold out, but I'm afraid it won't be long, and I am desperately searching for a replacement.

You also love your tools - your saw especially. It is technically a hand saw, but that doesn't stop you - in your world it is a noisy chainsaw that cuts down forests of trees in one day. You worked for days (really) on a little cardboard box, sawing and sawing away until you had sawed it in two. Well, we are glad to see you have dedication and aren't afraid of hard work!

Here you finally finished it and showed me how you could sit in it by going in the little door you made. You were very proud! I have to admit I was pretty proud too!

In our breezeway you have your work - "fixwork" - that you go to just like Daddy goes to work every day. You have car crashes in the breezeway, fantastic roll overs and pile ups, then you get on your bike and drive to work at the other end of the breezeway and get them all back in working order. Your absolute favorite "job" is fixing the flat tires.

You must've been the easiest kid ever to potty train. You figured it out and never looked back. You woke up one day singing "Big boy underwear, big boy underwear, oooooooh Babe!" Your first musical composition. And sometimes you want me to sing it to you at bedtime. :)

You are starting to have conversations on your toy phone with imaginary people, one in particular who is named "Betsy".

You are beginning to be more deliberate in your drawings, telling me what or who you are drawing, and you know what? I can really see it!

You ask a lot of questions. You are already much smarter than me, I'm sure of it.

You love your bike.

You love the bales of hay at Grandpa's farm.

You love your rainboots with the silly lizards on them.

You love acting like a kitty or a puppy, or a bird (especially a bird!).

You climb, hang, and jump from anything and everything. You have made my heart stop more than once with your daredevil feats. But I love you and I would not change a thing about you even if I could.

You are showing me just how amazing the world is when seen through the eyes of a little boy. I'm so thankful to be your Mommy.

I love you, sweetheart!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Great Blog Experiment...

I wasn't sure I'd ever get to this point. I've thought about starting a blog for quite a while, but it can be so overwhelming to think about, especially when life is just so darn busy anyway. Let me introduce myself... my name is Nicole, I am a 36 year old wife to Dan and mother to Matthew (who is almost 3). I am busy, I am tired. Most likely you are too.

The reasons for the blog?

Well, for starters, I want to document my son's childhood - the fun, the cute, the silly - all the things we think we will always remember, but that we've already started to forget.

I want to share my current craft projects, as well as ideas for crafting and doing art with small children. I love to create. Love it. And one of the greatest joys of motherhood is sharing this with my child.

I hope to share and receive helpful ideas for creating routines, structure, balance, and PEACE for our families.

I am Catholic and my faith plays a role in all the areas of my life. I can't separate it out, and really, I wouldn't want to. So, from time to time I may share some of this as it relates to motherhood, marriage, and the life of a woman in general.

I hope whoever reads these postings will be encouraged to bring beauty and peace into their lives and the lives of their families, and that you will enjoy what our homelife has to show you!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...