Fingerprint Heart

 

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This project is an adorable one to do with family or friends over the holidays – if you can wrangle all the kids together!

Ahead of time, trace the outline of a heart on poster board, and then make dashes below the heart, one for each child who will be helping with the craft.

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Bring stamp pads in multiple colors; each child gets to choose a different color. Dip little fingers or thumbs in the ink and fill in the heart with fingerprints, making sure to leave one on a dash labeled with their name, so everyone knows who was who!

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Travis and I gave the project a test run at home before bringing to Thanksgiving to share with cousins.

Admittedly, group crafts aren’t always picture perfect. There may or may not have been some fighting over who got which color, and some attempts to dip whole hands in the ink pad instead of just a finger… but overall it was a cute diversion for the kiddos! You can even frame the project once complete, to gift to grandparents or other relatives for the holidays.

What group crafts have you enjoyed with family this time of year? Please share in the comments!

N Week!

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Even with the Thanksgiving holiday, we squeezed in games and crafts with a letter N theme this week, as we continue on our Letter of the Week journey. Highlights included…

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Nature/natural: This was really our key theme of the week, and we kicked things off with a gorgeous fall walk through a nature preserve before the weather turned very windy. With the collection of nature items we found, we came home and arranged them on contact paper. Simply fold the sticky paper in half when you’re finished and voila – a nature collage!

We also saved some of the leaves and flowers for a natural dye collage (and added a few store-bought berries because I knew their colors would be vibrant). We used cheesecloth, since I knew we wouldn’t be keeping this project, but make your dye collage on muslin or other cloth if you want to save it for doll’s clothing or another project. Once arranged, Travis loved pounding on the items with a mallet, and seeing the beautiful colors that (naturally) resulted.

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Finally, for all those events out in nature, we needed a trail walking stick.

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Nest: This word was closely linked to the nature ideas above. We used our air-dry clay to shape a nest, and pressed in more great finds from our nature walk – pine needles, grasses, and leaves. The process was so fun I devoted a separate blog post to it.

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Noise: Make some of course! Pull out whatever instruments you have in the house, or use items around the house to create instruments, or simply bang on pots and pans. However you make noise, Raffi’s “Let’s Make Some Noise” is the perfect song to do it to.

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Net: To play with a random butterfly net we own, I fashioned “butterflies” from construction paper and we set them aflutter for Travis to chase around. It was so windy that we were able to do this right at our windowsill, though we briefly tried outside as well. Nets are also great for bathtub “fishing” or just for letting your toddler collect little items.

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Newspaper: Old newspapers are the gift that keeps on giving. You can wad them up and use an old baby tub as target practice…

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…or roll into a “golf club” and aim golf balls at a target (such as an empty shoebox on its side). We also made newspaper hats, and Travis was so proud wearing his!

And our weekly extras:

Fine art: My intended project was a bit of a fail. I hoped to encourage Travis to make a necklace by threading o-shaped cereal (we used Freedom O’s) onto licorice (yes, Twizzlers are vegan) but he decided it would be much more fun just to eat the cereal and watch me work. Win some, lose some!

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Food: We had noodles for dinner one evening. Travis has also gotten a kick out of belly buttons lately, so what better snack than a navel orange?

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Books: Library picks this week included Jan Brett’s Noah’s Ark, The Napping House by Audrey Wood, and Dog’s Noisy Day by Emma Dodd.

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Songs: Give a listen to “These are the People in the Neighborhood.” Then follow it up with a walk or drive around your neighborhood!

Math: Nickles are an obvious choice. Travis knows quarters and pennies, so this week I taught him to recognize nickles as well, tough because they are the “medium-sized” ones!

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I also simply left out all his toys and books that feature numbers, so he could return to them throughout the week.

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One neat way to visually depict how numbers increase is to build increasingly tall towers (Duplo blocks are perfect) on a corresponding number mat or puzzle.

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