Monday, July 15, 2013

Cave Drawings

One of our favorite parts of Cave Week was learning about cave drawings!! We read a cute book about "Grunt! The Primitive Cave Boy" by Timothy Bush.  In it a boy draws animals on his cave walls and they come to life. Then we decided to create our own cave drawings!

I used two huge sheets of brown packing paper to tape on our own "cave" walls (a corner in the living room we covered with blankets). I had been saving that packing paper for months! It originally came in a package I'd ordered from Amazon and I knew it would come in handy!

We decorated our cave walls using crayons.  Each of us got to do a different section. To find some real examples of cave drawings we could replicate, we took to the internet to find pictures of real examples of cave paintings. Here are the links to the ones we really liked:





This was such a fun project because it involved learning, a creative project, and imaginative play! Molly (6) loved finding real examples of cave drawings and discussing what each image stood for or what story it would tell.  As for the actual drawing part? My kids ventured in their cave to keep adding to it all week! Finally, both of them had a blast pretending to be cave men.... or even explorers discovering the drawings we'd done and speculating about the cave men who lived there. Weeks later our cave drawings are still up!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Oil Pastels Firework Project for Kids

When I was a kid I loved drawing with oil pastels so I bought some recently for my own daughter, now 6. I have been waiting for a special project to get them out and came across a neat one on Pinterest. We had so much fun doing this "big kid craft" together during her little brother's nap one day. I can't find the original blog this is based off of, but here's my version:

Start with a sheet of white paper and draw several fireworks using the pastels (love them!). My daughter chose to use all patriotic colors but I went kind of wild. Start by drawing a circle, making sure it's pretty thick. Add a second and third circle around that one using different colors. 

Now use your finger to smear it out from the center outwards.

My daughter wasn't a fan of this process but I thought it looked cool. I used Crayola brand oil pastels and my fingers washed off really easily afterward.

Now draw several lines from the center out. You can use different colors and different lengths to make it look like a real exploding firework.

Once you've drawn several fireworks, it's time to create the night sky! Use water colors and fill in the whole sheet. The oil based pastels will show right through! We used black, blue, and purple water colors with plenty of water. Before the whole thing is dry, sprinkle on some glitter just because. :O)

If you wanted to skip the paint part, just make your oil pastel fireworks on a sheet of black construction paper instead of white. I love how these look and it was so fun sitting next to my little girl creating them because it was a two step process and made for some great quality time! Happy Fourth of July!!

Uncle Sam Paper Plate Mask

Here is a fun and simple project to make with your kids for the Fourth of July! You probably have everything you need already around your house.


My 3 year old was able to do it mostly by himself with some prep work by me. My daughter, age 6, also had fun making one! Her favorite part was coloring the hat. Here's what you'll need:

- paper plate
- white card stock or construction paper
- scissors
- glue
- crayons
- cotton balls
- craft stick
- stapler plus tape

Start by cutting out the center of a paper plate. I did this part for both my kids. Then cut out a hat shape from your white card stock. Older children can cut this out on their own. Have your children decorate the hat with red and blue crayons.

Use glue to attach cotton balls to the bottom half of the paper plate. This is Uncle Sam's beard! I was so proud of my 3 year old during this part - he put the cotton balls in a perfect line and DIDN'T MAKE A MESS!! Woo hoo!!

Use an apricot colored crayon to fill in the blank white part of the paper plate. Now attach the hat to the top of your paper plate using a stapler. Be sure the smooth side of the staple is facing the back so it won't scratch your child's face.

Use strong tape (or a hot glue gun) to attach a craft stick to the back of your mask so you can hold it!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fourth of July Pancakes

I wanted to make some special recipes for my kids since the Fourth of July is just around the corner.  After many searches on Pinterest, I thought I was destined to include strawberries and blueberries into EVERYTHING. That's fine and good but it got a little old. So I came up with something new: Firework Pancakes! They were so simple!!

I started with a regular recipe for pancake mix, but divided it into three separate bowls. I used about 7 drops of blue food coloring in one, then about 12 drops of red food coloring in another. I used more red so it didn't look so pink! Leave the biggest amount plain for white.

Set the burner a little lower than normal so you have some time to work with each pancake before it cooks! Start with a small circle of blue, then quickly surround it with a circle of red, and finally a circle of white.

I spread out the center using a chopstick. Make several lines from the inside out to create your firework.

Cook your pancake like normal. Note that only one side will have the firework design. I also made single red and blue and white ones so I could add chocolate chips. Yum!

What a fun breakfast for your kids! Aaaaand you can serve it with strawberries and blueberries if you wish it. ;O)