Sunday, November 14, 2010

Afternoon Activity: Leaf Fairies

Leaf Fairies 12

My favorite Afternoon Activity from last week was definitely the leaf fairies Kinsley and I made. They were so fun and easy to make. We got the idea from Twig and Toadstool which has a lot of incredible ideas we'll be using in the future. First you gather up your supplies:

Pipe cleaners
Wooden beads
Acorn Caps
Yarn or wool roving for hair
Glue - You can use Elmer's, fabric glue, hot glue, etc. We used hot glue because I thought it would help the acorn caps stay on a bit better and we're obsessed with the hot glue gun around here.

We started out seeing if we could draw some pictures of leaves we found in the yard to give us an idea of what we wanted our fairies to look like. You can totally skip this step if you are awesome enough to free hand your leaves or you can print a template off the internet.

Leaf Fairies
And then we had to do a little free drawing as well. This is what the leaves look like when they are falling off the tree in case you didn't know.

Leaf Fairies 3
For Kinsley's first fairy I cut out a template and we traced around it directly onto the felt. This would be a much better idea if you used a fabric marking pen because it's fairly likely that some of the marker will end up showing. If you're doing this with older kids of course they can do all of this by themselves. For younger kids, if you're going to make several, I recommend cutting out the leaf shapes ahead of time. She got a bit impatient while waiting for that part.

Leaf Fairies 4
But it worked out okay because I was able to cut out the rest of our leaves while she was cutting out hers.

Leaf Fairies 6
Then you take your pipe cleaner, fold it in half and insert it into your wooden bead. You don't need to use glue if the hole in your bead is small enough. Ours fit snugly inside so we didn't worry about it.

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See? This is how your fairy should look now.

Leaf Fairies 9
Then you pick out your fairy's hair color and style. Kinsley thought this yarn looked curly like her hair so that's what she went with. Just cut the yarn to your desired length and glue on as much as you'd like.

Leaf Fairies 8
Next pick out the perfect acorn hat and glue it to your fairy's head. Make sure you use plenty of glue on this step.

Leaf Fairies 10
Then glue your fairy's body to one of your leaf pieces.

Kins leaf fairy
Sandwich the other leaf piece on top and glue around the edges. (Make sure you glue the top edge well.) And you have your completed leaf fairy!

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This is my absolute favorite one that she made. We started out making these as a gift to give to Grandma but I had to keep this one with the ones I made for our house. Doesn't she look just like a little French Fairy? I love love love her! And I thought it was awesome that Kinsley decided at the last minute to add faces to hers and made each one a different face. So much fun.
Now get to making your own leaf fairies, but I'll warn you they're pretty addictive. I'm already thinking we'll have to make some with different shapes for every holiday!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Afternoon Activity: Acorn Picking & Sorting

Acorn Picking, originally uploaded by RusticOkie.

We've been trying to take advantage of the few days that actually feel like fall instead of winter around here. Sunday was one of those lovely days and so we spent the majority of it outside. Besides running around, chasing puppies and laying on quilts we picked up lots of acorns. We didn't even have to go far to get them, just barely off the porch in fact. Between all of us, although daddy did most of it, (thanks honey) we managed to pick a pretty good bucket full of acorns. I love being able to use natural and free materials for some of our crafts and afternoon activities.

These acorns are going to provide us with lots of Afternoon Activities. Sunday afternoon was finding and picking them up. Monday afternoon we spent sorting them.

Acorn Sorting

This is a great activity for young kids. Not only is a great way to kill some time before dinner prep but it's a useful teaching tool as well. We got out three identical bowls and set to sorting. In one bowl we put all the acorns that were still wearing their "hats", in the next were the acorns without caps and in the last were the acorn caps themselves. Sorting like items is a great way to teach children about logic and organization. Sorting is an essential skill we all use in our daily lives from sorting clothes, the mail, putting things away and much more. How's that for learning from nature?

And we have lots more crafts in store for these little acorns, including the leaf fairies we just finished.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

5 Months Old

Kaitlyn 5 mos, originally uploaded by RusticOkie.

Hey look we do have a second kid! No, we didn't forget she was here but people have been questioning the lack of pictures of her lately. I just haven't been posting many since we were so wrapped up in Kinsley's birthday stuff. But trust me, she's getting plenty of love and attention.

She's getting so big already. Of course that makes sense seeing as she's almost half a year old now. She is getting much better about sitting up on her own. At least until she sees something she wants and just lunges for it. Her hand eye coordination is incredible and of course everything goes directly to her mouth. She loves to interact with everyone around here and insists on being involved in everything her big sister is doing. She still wakes up full of smiles and ready to greet the day.


Still no interest in crawling and refuses to roll from her back to her tummy. But that's not surprising since she still hates tummy time and we rarely leave her lying down long enough to want to crawl. She loves to stand and bounce and play when she's not snuggling with us. And drools all over everything. But last night we discovered the reason for her sudden regression in the sleep department. TEETH!! Yep, her two bottom teeth are beginning to poke through. I was so surprised to see them this early but there they are. I'm a little concerned though because she's a bit of a biter. We're going to have to break that habit in a hurry.

Kaitlyn 5 months

This is a pretty common look in our pictures, the hand in the mouth. Better her hand than mine though. Those tiny teeth are sharp.

Kaitlyn 5mos

Monday, November 1, 2010

Return from Oz

Both girls closeup, originally uploaded by RusticOkie.

We're not in Kansas anymore (although I can almost see it from here) and we've escaped from Oz as well. I have to say I was beyond ready for these costumes to be finished and this chapter of our lives behind us but after seeing the girls all dressed up it was so worth it.

Things I've learned about the Wizard of Oz that I didn't know before this past week...

1. Dorothy wears blue socks not white ones.

2. A 3 year old can learn every line to this movie and will narrate the movie for you after the 50th time you watch it.

3. The flying monkeys aren't any less creepy than when you were a kid.

4. After watching the movie nine million times you sort of wish someone would drop a house on Dorothy.

Needless to say I've since hidden the dvd hoping it will be a long while before it sees the light of day. But seeing my little Dorothy get so excited to wear her costume and looking so darn cute helped to ease the eye twitching.

Dorothy Closeup

Okay so I know that isn't exactly Toto's twin but it was close and available. Besides she refused to carry it with her anyway since "that's where the candy goes mama". Yeah she knew exactly what she was doing.

Sitting Dorothy

And she got LOTS of candy. But wouldn't you give her a bunch too? I would.

Standing Dorothy

And of course Dorothy wouldn't be complete without her ruby slippers. The shoes are what sealed the deal on the costume for sure. And they're going to serve double duty by becoming her Christmas shoes too. Score. But Dorothy couldn't just travel down the yellow brick road alone now could she...

Lion Closeup

This must have been after the Wizard gave her some courage. Look at that cranky face. No one is going to be messing with this lion! I swear she really did like the costume though. Honest she did.

Lion Sitting

And I have to say I was pretty dang proud of it myself. These costumes about sent me to the looney bin, especially this Lion. I don't think I'll be using any more McCalls patterns for a while. That's what the lion was. The Dorothy dress was pieced off a pattern and adapted because I have a ridiculous inability to follow the written directions anyway. I love the lion's mane. The pattern called to cover the entire head and under the chin as well but knowing my daughter I knew she'd simply eat it so I went with a simplified version. And she only pulled one ribbon off the entire night so I call it a success.

We had a great time trick-or-treating and I didn't take one single picture. Oh well. Since some of the area decided to do theirs on Saturday (which is when we went) Kinsley got to go trick or treating and then hand out candy from her Nana's house on Sunday. She was thrilled. We couldn't have asked for better weather for Halloween weekend. Sunday was so nice we spent the entire afternoon outside and picked up lots of acorns. There will be more on that later this week.

And now since the birthday party and Halloween are over I now return you to your regularly scheduled blog postings. I have lots and lots to share.