Leaf Man

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I LOVE books by Lois Ehlert.  So when I came across this one (aff link) on Amazon and realized that not only did I not own it, I had never read it… well, I decided it was time to buy!  So I did.  Leaf Man is a fabulous book and true to form, Ehlert has once again brought her illustrations to life and made fun shapes and sizes of pages.  As soon as the book came in, I read it to Becca, and have read it to her every day since.  She loves it, and loves looking at the pictures to see all the creatures Ehlert has created in her illustrations – using only leaves.

So we decided (it was pretty mutual) that we should try to make our own Leaf Man.  I got out the rest of the leaves left over from our owl project, and we made all kinds of fun things on her tray.  Then, I got out some beans and popcorn kernels and toothpicks from her fall sensory bin for eyes and such.  We had a lot of fun making them… and then she started to get bored.  But she noticed her beans sorta made the letter O… and we were off.  I started making letters out of beans, and she started making letters out of toothpicks, and it was super fun.  You never know when you will have an impromptu lesson on your hands!

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Jack-o-Lantern Sensory Art

So I decided to go WAY out of my comfort zone, and do a spin off of this activity from Hands on: as we grow and make jack-o-lanterns!  So glad we did… it was a BLAST!  Not something we’ll do every day, by any means, but it was super fun.

Like Jamie did in her activity with her son, George, I gave Becca a tray of shaving creme, let her mix the yellow and red food coloring, and just play.  Then, I added glue and gold glitter.  Man, she loved it!  She most enjoyed when I got my hands in it too and we could hold hands and do finger play together in the goop.  (Meant that I didn’t get very many pictures, but I know you’ll pardon that since it just means we were having so much fun!)  Then, true to form, she started spreading it on her legs, tummy, arms… and when Daddy got home from work and saw what we were doing and said it was shaving creme, she proceeded to “shave” her legs.  Ya’ll, this must be some innate sense that is born into little girls b/c she has NEVER SEEN ME DO THIS!  HA!  She doesn’t even know about shaving her legs.  Ha!  Hilarity ensued.  I’ve cropped a pic here so you can see just a glimpse of how much shaving creme she had on herself.  It was just too much fun.

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Once she started to get a little “done” with the activity, I pulled out four paper plates – two large and two small – and let her cover the plates in the foamy paint she had mixed up.  We let them dry, and went to the bath tub for a wash down.  The next morning, after they were totally dry, I cut out black triangles and rectangles and let her glue them on for eyes, nose, and mouths for her jack-o-lanterns.  She really enjoyed squeezing the glue, but needed help.  Gotta work on that pincer grip still!  Then, the next day, I attached them to our butcher paper, and we sounded out some words to make our label for the page.  Super fun project that took a while to complete, but that’s ok… we need all the entertainment we can get around here!  HA!

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wet

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dry – a lot of the foam goes a way, but the big peaks stay puffy, creating an awesome look

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our completed project hanging on the art wall

Owl Art

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So, I saw an idea shared by one of my favorite bloggers for these adorable (and perfect) owls.  And I decided to make our own project – to make our family… and let it be more of a “free” design.  I just cut ovals by hand – no pre-design – and let Becca do all the gluing (a BIG step for me since, as you know, I’m somewhat of a neat freak… and so is she!).  I put glue on a paper plate, and she used a throw-away foam brush to spread it.  Worked great!  Then we used fake leaves from a package b/c let’s face it – in South Texas, our leaves don’t turn until November, and I wanted to do this project now!

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To be perfectly honest, these owls sat about 2/3 finished on our counter for almost a week.  B/c that’s just how we roll when Mommy is living every day in constant pain from RA.  Some days I have patience for art projects, and some days I just don’t.  But now they are done, and hanging on our wall, and they are just absolutely adorable!  Becca helped color the background paper and told me what names to write by each owl.  I love her interaction with every step of the process, and they were certainly super fun.

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To make your own, you’ll need:
cardstock ovals for the owl bodies
paper to go behind the eyes
google eyes
leaves
paper for the noses and feet
glue
and a large sheet of butcher paper if you are going to hang them on a display picture like we did.

A Little Walk

After Becca and Cody stumbling upon a rattlesnake in the front yard (we live on an acre and a half that is mainly wooded), I had been more than a little timid about taking her for a walk on our nature trail… and for good reason.  So, I decided that if I wanted to do a nature collection to use with her light box, the best plan would be to do it when Daddy was home!  So we did!  We went for a fabulous nature collecting walk with our protector right there ready to ward off any sneaky snakes that might have crossed our path.  Thankfully, we didn’t see any, and it helped both of us female chickens to overcome a little of our fear.

We took a baggy with us and collected several awesome items along the way, and then came back inside to look at them on the light box to see if we could see through them or not.  Sadly, our really cool rock is not see-through.  Good lesson to learn!  The leaves, on the other hand, and blade of grass, looked AWESOME!

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Halloween Rice Sensory Play

Back when I colored a bunch of rice (see that post here), I made both orange and purple rice.  Today I only gave her the orange rice, a few pumpkins, a spoon, scoop, some cups, and this pumpkin ice cube tray I found at Dollar Tree.  She had so much fun stirring the rice and transferring it to the tray.  I’m hoping to have time to make some additional items to go with this activity before Halloween.  When I do, I’ll update and repost this.  The long-term plan is for her to have the orange and purple rice mixed together. 🙂

Clean up tip: If you’ll put your plastic table cloth with the fabric side up, the rice doesn’t bounce or roll off of the table cloth. 🙂

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Total Prep Time for Mommy: Because I already had the rice colored, this took about two minutes (or less) to throw together.

Total Play Time for Becca: About 15 minutes.  I’ve noticed the past few days that her attention span for activities has been shorter and shorter.  But, it took very little time to set up, or clean up, so it’s all good.