Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Father's Day Picture Frame

Here is a handmade project that your ankle biters can make and give as a gift to the Father figure in their lives.  This picture frame can be customized however you like, but here's what I did with my little friend Noah to help celebrate his dad....

  • Wood picture frame
  • White craft glue (that dries clear) - full strength
  • Mod Podge
  • Brush or craft sponge - for Mod Podge
  • Pieces of decorative paper (thin paper works best)
  • Decorative accessories - we used some lightweight hardware, but use anything that makes sense to you or "fits" that particular gift recipient
  • Spray paint (optional) color of your choice - I sprayed all the hardware pieces on one side just to have them all coordinate in color
  • Photograph of the child with or without Dad

  1. If you are spray painting your decorative bits and pieces, do this in a well ventilated area away from children before you begin this project.
  2. Remove the frame backing and glass.
  3. Have children rip or (with child safe scissors) cut up the paper.
  4. Have children paint some mod Podge on the frame and decorate the frame with the paper.  Paint some more Mod Podge on top of the paper to seal it down and add another layer of paper (if desired)...repeat the last layer of Mod Podge.
  5. Add some white craft glue (however much you think is needed) to the areas that you wish to put the dried decorative bits and pieces.  Let the children pick the placement please.  :-)
  6. Allow the frame to dry completely....this may take a day or two depending on how much glue the little ones use.
  7. When the frame is dry, add one more thin layer over the entire front of the decorative frame (including the hardware or whatever it is that you've glued) and let dry completely.
  8. Insert the photograph and replace the backing.

There you have it...easy peezy lemon squeezy!  Wrap it up and give it on Father's Day.
Have fun & get messy!
Miss Jenna

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Preschool Science Stuff!

Need a fun activity to help teach your ankle biters a bit of science?  Try balloon rockets!

Check out this link for the "how-to's"  :-)

Have fun & get messy!
Miss Jenna

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cookie Recipe with Activity for Your Ankle Biters

I saw this really cute idea (and what looks to be a good cookie recipe) on Craftaholics Anonymous and just had to share.  Blog sharing is the easy road for me right now with Ankle Biter Art because I just don't have time to make projects right now.  We hired the movers today and move in 38 days!!!  CRAZY.

If you have children or work with them, then surely you know the book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.  Below you'll find a recipe for you and your Ankle Biters to make together....kids LOVE to help cook and bake...at least that's what I've always found.  This might be tricky if you're in a school setting, but with a little creative thinking, I'm sure you could find a way to involve the children in the baking process.  Below the recipe, you'll find fun activities that link the baking and book together!  :-)

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
(or you can substitute your favorite tried & true recipe)

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1-2 cups chocolate chips

Mix shortening and butter. Add both sugars and baking soda. Beat together. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour. Place on greased cookie sheet and back for 8 minutes at 375 degrees.

"While the cookies bake, read the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and do some of the activities that the mouse does in the book, for example we:

  • swept the kitchen floor {yay for a clean floor!}
  • drew a mouse picture with crayons and don’t forget to sign their name!
  • hang the mouse picture on the refrigerator {for bonus points, use scotch tape like the book }
  • get a cold glass of milk
  • and then…… enjoy a warm cookie from the oven with that cold glass of milk!"

Thank you Linda from Craftaholics Anonymous, for helping me have content on my little neglected blog by sharing your clever and cute idea.
Have fun & get messy!
Miss Jenna

Monday, May 16, 2011

Don't forget about Self Portraits!

Hi Friends!
My apologies for not posting more regularly.  I just want to take this moment to say thank you for sticking with me even through the Ankle Biter dry spells.  Life is busy and is only gonna get busier in the next month or two, where I can guarantee Ankle Biter posts will be few and far between, but I promise not to stay away for too long and I hope you stay with me!  My husband and I will be moving to the other side of the country at the end of June, so that's gonna be eating up a ton of my Ankle Biter blogging time.  Also, I'm currently busy with several projects...one of which being a new blog that I've started to begin to help promote my new art business that will be launching in the next few months.  It's a slightly more personal blog where I share random tid-bits of my life and art studio as well as crafty DIY projects (more for grown-ups than ankle biters).  :-)  If your interested in learning some arts & craft projects for yourself while the kids are napping or just want to discover some of the artists and artsy loves that I share, subscribe to http://diaryofafeatherhead.blogspot.com/

Today, I'm going to share a quick and easy project...since that's all I have time for tonight.  :-)  It's a perfect "go to" suggestion  for a drawing or painting project that can be easily forgotten, but if you're ever stuck for an idea to keep the small ones busy, bust out a mirror and have them make a self portrait.  Kids love looking at themselves, so of course they'd love drawing what they see!  You'd be surprised at the difference between a self portrait done with and without a mirror.  Also keep in mind that artistic license still takes control every now and then and they might just want to draw their eyes purple when they're really hazel and give themselves black hair when it's really blond....and that is beautiful too.

This self portrait was done by Noah, a boy that I nannied.
He was 3 & 1/2 years old when he made this.
Until next time...have fun & get messy!
XO, Miss Jenna

Monday, May 2, 2011

Summer Activity: Tree Washing!

Hi Friends!
To my great disappointment, Florida has kind of decided to skip Spring this year and get right to summer.  Luckily for me, this is my last summer complaining about it because I'm moving across the country in two months where the weather is a different kind of animal entirely.  It has already gotten into the 90's here in Central Florida, so I've been reminiscing on the things we use to do at my old pre-school to keep the little ankle biters cool-ish.  The most popular outdoor summer activity, was by far, Tree Painting (a.k.a Tree Washing).  Stay with me here.

The rules were simple...  

  1. NO painting any of the playground climbing equipment...for slippery safety reasons.  
  2. NO painting yourself or any of your friends...so the parents didn't have to pick up muddy & wet children.

All you need is...

  • A few large buckets with water (light enough for them to carry around) and if you're REALLY nice, you could add a bunch of ice cubes
  • An assortment of large brushes and paint rollers that fit inside the buckets
  • (optional) Smocks - only if you insist on keep them as dry & dirt free as possible 
Paint/wash the tree trunks and any branches or leaves they can reach and that's all she wrote!  I'm not quite sure why this was SO MUCH FUN for them, but it was, AND it kept them from having pint sized heat strokes in the awful Florida summers.

Have fun & get messy!
:-)  Miss Jenna