Ice Painting

March 30, 2012

Fill an ice cube tray with water.  Add a few drops of food coloring to each compartment.  Cover the tray with foil.  Stick handles (sticks, spoons, forks, etc) through the foil.  The handles can be placed at an angle or straight up and down.   The paint cubes can also be made without handles which is a great for young ones!

Painting Together

March 21, 2012

Lately the Noodle has been really into painting and drawing things.  Here are our takes on a few objects that we painted side-by-side!

Planting Peas

March 17, 2012

For many St. Patrick’s Day is a good reminder that the ground is nearly ready for planting.  Our little patch of outdoors is all shade and rock, so we are observing the St. Patrick’s Day planting tradition by germinating seeds inside.  We are going to watch them carefully and tend to their needs.   When their first shoots appear we will plant them in pots and place them in our window.  They may not bear pea pods, but the process of taking a seed from packet to plant is fantastic for little ones.

Five Little Shamrocks Rhyme

One green shamrock, in the morning dew,
Another one sprouted, and then there were two.
Two green shamrocks, growing beneath a tree;
Another one sprouted and then there were three.
Three green shamrocks, by the cottage door;
Another one sprouted,
And then there were four.
Four green shamrocks, near a beehive
Another one sprouted,
And then there were five.
Five little shamrocks, bright and emerald green,
Think of all the luck these shamrocks will bring.

St. Urho's Day

March 16, 2012

My Finnish American grandma reminded us each St. Patrick’s Day that the Irish were not the only ones with a saint looking out for them.  St. Urho is said to have driven the grasshoppers out of Finland, saving the grape crops and the jobs of vineyard workers.  He is all fiction, made up in Minnesota in the 1950s, but all the same he is celebrated in a tongue-and-cheek way on March 16 in Finnish communities around the US. 

In honor of Grandma Clara today we are eating pasties and celebrating our sisu!

A Fine St. Patrick’s Day

A Fine St. Patrick’s Day by Susan Wojciechowski is a classic tale of kindness rewarded with kindness.  The towns of Tralee and Trala have an annual St. Patrick’s Day decorating contest.  Tralee always looses, but this year little Fiona Riley has a plan to win--paint the whole town green.   But when a stranger in distress arrives in Tralee they choose helping over winning and end up bringing home the trophy anyway.  It is a fantastic holiday story!

Cardboard Mosaic Tiles

March 15, 2012


Cardboard mosaic tiles are super easy to make.  Simply apply a thin coat of watercolor paint to any piece of corrugated cardboard you have on hand.  After the paint dries, cut the cardboard into whatever size shapes that works for your project.  This is great for making big tiles for little hands.

Sparkling Play Dough

March 14, 2012

I finally found a play dough recipe I like!  Makes and Takes has it here. In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day I added a teaspoon of gold glitter to half and a tsp of green to half. I found the glitter at the dollar store. Hooray for inexpensive art supplies!

Shamrock Onesie

I bought these sweet crocheted shamrocks on etsy a few years ago.  Two years later I am finally putting them to use!  

Felted Bowl Full of Turnips

March 10, 2012

We took a copy of The Three Little Pigs out of the library a few weeks ago.  I am still not sold on the merit of some of these classic stories, but it really struck a chord with the Noodle.  He likes to be the wolf and wants me to be the little pigs.  Besides blowing the houses down, his favorite part is when he tries to lure me out to pick turnips.  Today he found a few turnips in the fridge and put them in this little felted bowl for me to carry back from the garden (aka flannel blanket) during the game.  The turnips were too pretty snuggled in there not to get a picture.

St. Patrick's Day Cards

March 8, 2012

Most of our family lives out of town so we do a big mailing for holidays.  Since I never know when my two-year-old is going to be in the mood for a specific project, I try to start the cards early so we can get them out in time.  

I had a loose idea for St. Patrick’s Day—rainbows.   So on an unseasonable warm day a couple weeks ago, when we went out to the porch to paint I had these cards in mind.  Along with a bunch of other paintings that weren’t for this project, Noodle painted five construction paper sheets in their corresponding color—red on red, blue on blue, etc.   After they were dry we stuck them on a shelf till we were ready to make cards. 

On Sunday night I cut the construction paper paintings into strips of varying lengths.  We had some kelly green card stock that I cut in half and folded.  I glued the strips of paper onto the cards.  The lengths could be mixed and matched in any way.   I thought that we would add pots of gold, but I ended up liking them as is.  There is something a little modern, but crafty about them!

Raisel's Riddle

March 7, 2012

We aren't ready for Cinderella over this way yet, but this one was a favorite of the kids I used to nanny for.  Raisel's Riddle by Erica Silverman is a Cinderella story set during Purim. Though it doesn’t turn the Cinderella narrative on its head it is a good alternative for parents of all faiths looking for a heroine whose intelligence is front and center. 

The Story of Esther: A Purim Tale

The Story of Esther: A Purim Tale by Eric Kimmel presents the traditional story of family, faith, and power that is at the heart of the Purim celebration. This one is too old for my little ones, but they would be great for the grade school set.

Mondrian Collage

Today is Danish painter Piet Mondrian’s birthday.  His most recognizable pieces, solid squares of colors surrounded by dark lines and white space, were painted in 1920’s and 30’s.  In homage we made collages in his Neo-Plastic style. 

The prep was easy.  I cut out blue, red and yellow rectangles and black stripes while the Noodle was napping.  When he got up we taped a sheet of clear contact paper (sticky side up) to the living room table. He stuck the stripes then the rectangles onto the contact paper.  We put three sheets of white paper over the pieces and then covered the white paper with another sheet of contact paper (sticky side down), sealing the collage inside.  

This was the first time we used contact paper in this way and we will definitely be doing it again.  It is fantastic for toddler crafting!

NY Aquarium

March 1, 2012

The NY Aquarium is no gem, but it is a great place to spend an hour with a toddler!