Monday, July 21, 2014

Waterloo Petting Zoo


O was tickled pink to see pigs on Sunday.
She is bent on having a pig for a pet. 
It could be part in parcel with the classic Charlotte's Web. 
On occasion, O studies the picture where Fern nurses the piglet with a tiny bottle.
I definitely remember that feeling as a child, of wanting something of my own to care for.

Patting Bacon

There were two pot-bellies at the Petting Zoo we visited, named 'Bacon' and 'Eggs'. 
When O heard they were there, she couldn't get to them fast enough, she referred to them as 'hers' and when we finally said 'good-bye', one was scolded for not getting up to see her out!

Miniature Horses

The park was filled with extensive caged area's housing miniature horses and donkey's, sheep, goats, geese, turkey, peacocks, deer & chickens. 
O took time to love everyone up, but she couldn't stop talking about the piggies!



Make Your Own: Dough Ornaments

 Soft Starch

At the library, we found a book titled Make Your Own Gifts,,9781465414199,00.html?MAKE_YOUR_OWN_GIFTS_DK_Publishing
DK publications are generally fabulous, but this was page after page of clever, trendy DIY projects to share.

We chose the Dough Ornaments, as we had all of the supplies on hand and it turned out to be an amazing sensory experience. Not to mention, a no-fail recipe.

 Goopy Glop

Long ago, when O was teeny, we did a sensory play bin with water and corn starch. The corn starch is so soft and sifts easily through the fingers. Add a little water and it alternates between silky and solid playdough; a very unique sensory experience.

 Cookie Cutters

After hand mixing, I heated the mixture to turn it into dough and O proceded to cut out shapes to bake.

Dough Ornament
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cup baking soda
1 cup water
Mix dry. Add water and mix.
Stir constantly over med high heat until mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and cover with damp cloth until cool.
Knead well, roll and cut. Poke hanging hole with skewer.
Bake at 220 for an hour, flipping shapes at the half hour.

Pretty Pendants

Once dried, we can paint and thread with ribbon (as pictured in the book's shot above) to add to jam jars or use as holiday decoration.

More Idea's from DK's Make Your Own Gifts. The pictures below are taken straight from the pages of the book.

Pendants with bead chains

Happy Bird-day Foil Plate Cut-Outs

Here the book notes using tin plate cut-outs and a soft backed surface to etch designs with a ball point pen.

Pop Art Cupcakes

I had no idea there's such thing as 'roll-out icing'. 
Can you believe these are cupcakes!? I thought it was felt circles!

Stamped Gift Tags & Paper

Plans are underway to design our own miniature stamps with lino tiles. 
I love the blue birdie pictured with corresponding gift wrap!

Heart Decor

The kitschy garland....the rainbow strips heart...the layered greeting card....

Tin Can Mouse

Hands down, this would have been my choice as a kid!
We might have to sub-in a teacup piglet for the gray mouse!

Sugar Roll

The recipe for these coconut rolls included 9 cups of coconut and icing sugar with condensed milk!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Alphabet Pretzels

Alphabet Pretzels

Our daily fix of homemade pretzels was getting a bit 'stale', so we opted to shape dough snakes into letters...

...and this 3 which was formerly a B!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sticker Story

 Sticker Story

We have done a few art projects with stickers, but since O loves story-telling so much, today we opted for Sticker Story time, as suggested by Nurture Store
I had the first go, with O dictating some of the story to me, as we checked out our 'traffic sticker' options.

It's especially empowering when you can't read words yet, to learn that you can read pictures. 
O is taking notice of signs on the road and learning how to 'read the road'.

O's Go

Then O took a go.
She carefully scripted an entire story (of her intricate o's and lines), adding stickers where she saw fit.
The best part is every time she re-reads me her story, the plot is completely a surprise!

Morning Trail

Binocular Babe

Dabby has been raring to visit a close-by trail, so we left early morning for a quiet forest walk.
Also raring to use the camping/hiking gear he collected while abroad, his backpack was amply stocked!
O loved using a set of binoculars and preferred them turned around!

 Look Out

 Trail Berries

There were a few sketchy berry bushes, which led to learning about 'forest food', but a raspberry bush got the thumbs up.

 Wild Carrot 
'Queen Anne's Lace'

'Wild carrot' or 'Queen Anne's Lace', the official name for this wild flower is "Daucus carota."


O spotted this teeny trail hopper!
She was particularly happy to hold him! Not sure how he felt about that;)


 Snail Trail


Tic Tac Toe

Tic Tac Cutie

O can write 'O's' and lines, which led to learning Tic Tac Toe/ Noughts and Crosses/ X's & O's.
She carefully sets up the 3x3 grid and always starts her 'o' in the center!
The chalkboard wall in the kitchen is covered in grid's, O's and X's! 

We'll extend this today with her love of rocks and paint, for a sweet outdoor version!

Flower Press

Easy Peasy Press

O's collection of foliage is growing and we usually have to weed out brittle leaves and dandelion seeds by week's end. This led to the making of the Flower Press, which was a simple and ridiculously cheap project.

We purchased two, small bamboo cutting boards for $2.00 a piece. Four of each screws (long enough to accommodate a few layers of cardboard and press paper), large washers and wing nuts came to under $5.00. Dabby drilled holes into all four corners of both cutting boards and the press was complete. A detailed tutorial can be found at Gardenista's link

 Garden Variety

Before choosing and pressing, we cut two sheets of cardboard to fit inside the press and a sheet of folded paper to hold the samples. We combined some of O's windowsill foliage with some fresher bits from the backyard. I love the leaf veins we found last month. I remember my aunt having a golden necklace like this.

Fine Motor

O is able to put the press together without assistance; placing the top piece over the screws, adding the washers and winding the wing nuts. This definitely adds some fine motor development to the Do-It-Herself nature of our three-year old!

Book Press. The same press can serve as a book binding press as well!