Monday, March 25, 2013

DIY Kids Coins

 I've been busy! I got this idea a few weeks ago and started figuring it out in my mind while I waited on buying some supplies (this was NOT expensive!) My mind started rolling after seeing this post about robot coins here, and this idea about story stones here. I've also been brainstorming games and activities to help Otto count up to 20. He's great up to 12, then gets confused with the teen numbers {whose brilliant idea was is to name them that way?}. So the Coins were born. I like that they are small . I like that they are sturdy. I like that they have numbers and pictures. I like that with one item, there are many different games and activities.

So here's the idea and the many uses of the coins: 

1. Otto can post the coins in numerical order while at the same time (this is important so they aren't fighting!) Atlas can post the coins which have pictures on both sides.

2. Both boys take turns picking ones that I specifically ask for (ei. Atlas, where's the guitar? He LOVES it!)

3. Otto can sort them by categories: Numbers, Weather/Nature, Things, Food, People/Animals, and Transportation.

4. We can pick them out of the jar one by one and use them as story coins. The idea is that you choose one to start your story, then as you go along keep choosing new coins, weaving that item into your story.

5. They can be used to match colors, and I'm sure we'll find other uses for them as we use them more!

Here are the coins front side:

And flip side:

I wish I could give everyone my JPEGs for printing them out, but because I used all items from scrapbook designers, it would be illegal! I can tell you how I made them and give credit to the designers whose work I used.

I used 1.5" wooden discs from Michaels. They were 22 discs to a pack, and I used 32 coins. (There are some leftover, so I can always add more pictures if I want.) Since I couldn't just wait to use two 40% coupons in two visits (the only store that carried these was a bit far away), I used one coupon and bought the other at full price. Total price: $8

The can was an upcycle cocoa can. Total price: free (we already used the cocoa, right?) I covered the can with some nice scrapbook paper. Price: 25¢

For the images, I created a new document in Photoshop Elements and made a template to house each item at the perfect size. Then I added each item, resizing them to fit. Some of the items are from online freebies while others are from kits I purchased previous to this project. After I filled a page with the items, I deleted the template part and printed the sheet. If you are interested in making your own, Google images is a great way to get clip art.

Next, I used a 1-1/4" circle punch to punch the images, then mod podged the circles onto the discs. My husband commented, "That's your favorite stuff, isn't it?" Well, I do love my Mod Podge!

And there you have it! Fun Coins!

A breakdown of the items I used:
Sahlin Studio: numbers (recolored), deer; 
Designs By Dani: flower, shoe, ice cream, popsicle, boy/girl, robot, owl, blue car, street light, yellow bus, rocket ship, skateboard, submarine, blimp, race car; 
Just Jaimee: rainbow, cloud, boots, beach ball, hot air balloon; 
Creativity By Crystal: planet, house, guitar, apple, whale, dump truck; 
Megan Turnidge: star, arrow; Amy Stoffel: raccoon, fox
Melissa Bennett: sun; Karla Dudley: moon; Sugary Fancy: umbrella; Sugar Hill Co: tree; Queen of Quirk: record player (recolored); Zoe Pearn: heart; Digital Design Essentials: camera; Cinnamon Scraps: cupcake; Little Butterfly Wings: dog; Jady Day Studio: bee; R. Wagler: butterfly

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Getting Crafty | Easter

I like to think that the boys love to craft, but I've finally allowed myself to admit the truth. Only one loves to craft. The other gets excited about it, but it doesn't last long. Otto loves to manipulate things with his hands - he enjoyed piling the cotton balls shown on this project into a mountain, gluing some in the process, but then decided he was done - not even a quarter of the way into the project! Atlas, on the other hand, completed his entire project then wanted to finish Otto's for him! Then he got excited as he watched me stapling the ears on, wanting to staple something himself. That started another project of stapling a book (a few folded pieces of paper together) and drawing in it. Also completed. The whole time Atlas was crafting, Otto kept himself busy cutting pieces of paper into tinier pieces of paper. A boy's fascination with scissors...

The bottom picture shows the few Spring/Easter crafts we've done so far: painting on cardboard (the hands belong to Atlas), coffee filter butterflies (Otto: one. Atlas: three.), and the cotton ball bunnies we made today.

I can't wait to do this craft with the boys for Easter FHE:
(click on the picture for the link. Includes a Free Printable)

Playdough. For 4 Hours.

 We put Atlas down for a nap, and this big boy played playdough for 
FOUR hours!

Atlas had a full nap and then joined the fun. Otto built walls, dinosaurs, and did a little baking/mixing in the end. I couldn't believe how intensely and how long he played!

We have been using this playdough recipe, found here:
(click on picture for the link)

The last time I made this recipe, I tried to add a scent to it using tea water, but it didn't really work, so I tried adding some almond extract. I had to add quite a bit to get even a faint scent. Have you tried adding scent to your playdough? Update: We now regularly scent our playdough with essential oils. A few drops does the trick, worked in after we warm it over the stove. We've tried citrus oils - lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, and we also love lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint. The boys love choosing their color and scent, and will help to work it in, kneading it like bread dough. So fun!