Hot Wheels Fireworks Painting

With the 4th of July just a few days away, I thought it would be fun to do a patriotic art project with Tommy.  The problem is, he has been so obsessed with playing with his toy cars lately that it is hard to get him to want to do anything else. The cars have been sitting next to his plate during meals, riding along with him in the car seat and stroller, going swimming in the bathtub… he even insisted on taking “green car” and “yellow car” to bed with him a couple nights ago and fell asleep clutching one in each hand.

So, I decided to let his cars come to the art table with us… and we ended up making fireworks painted with wheel tracks! We kept it patriotic and coordinated by using a red car for the red paint and a blue car for the blue paint. Fun, festive, and he didn’t throw any fits because he got to play with his cars throughout the entire project! Hooray!

Hot Wheels Fireworks Painting

For this project, you will need:

  • Large sheet of white paper
  • Blue and red water-based washable paint
  • Palette or plate (for paint)
  • Two Hot Wheels cars (or other small toy cars)

To make your Hot Wheels fireworks painting:

1. Grown-up: Lay the sheet of paper on a flat surface. Squeeze a bit of each color of paint onto your palette and wiggle the palette a bit so that the paint spreads out to form flat puddles rather than globs.

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2. Child:  Take one of the Hot Wheels cars and drive it right through the red paint puddle. Then, drive the car across the paper so that the paint transfers from the car wheels onto the paper. Drive the car through the paint again and then roll it onto the paper again, fanning the tire tracks out from a central point to make a fireworks shape.

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3. Child: Repeat step 2 with the other car in the blue paint and make as many fireworks as you wish.

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4. Grown-up & Child: Set the painting aside to dry, and be sure to rinse the paint thoroughly from the bottom of the cars so that you don’t end up with paint tracks on your carpet and furniture! (Just regular hand soap and water in the bathroom sink worked for us.)

OPTIONAL: Once the paint is dry, trace over some of the fireworks with glitter glue to add a little sparkle!

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Have fun with this project, and don’t forget to share your results with us for a chance to be featured on our Instagram and Facebook pages!

To submit a photo on Instagram, tag @makelearngo or send us a direct message.

On Facebook, send a message to Make Learn Go.

Or e-mail us at makelearngo@gmail.com.

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Favorite iPad, iPhone & iPod touch Games & (FREE!) Video Apps for Babies & Toddlers

Favorite Games & Video Apps (iPad & iPhone) for Babies & ToddlersI’ll wrap up our series of posts about Tommy’s favorite apps (for iPad, iPhone & iPod touch) by sharing his favorite games and video apps. Some of these apps are educational and some are purely for fun. All of them keep him busy and put a smile on his face. Read on below for a round-up of some of the most entertaining apps that Tommy has loved, categorized by age.

Favorite Games for 0-1 Year Olds:

  • Giggle Gang – Fisher-Price – Free – iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

FP_Giggle GangThis app was one of Tommy’s first favorite games on my iPhone. It is essentially the same as the Laugh & Learn™ Shapes & Colors Music Show app by Fisher Price. Level 1 has six cute characters that pop up when you tap the screen. When you tap on them, they giggle, and you can even record your own little one’s giggle. Level 2 has all of the characters up on a stage. When you tap on a character, it will come forward and dance to a little jingle about its name. After you have tapped the characters a few times, they all perform a song together. There is also a little piano at the bottom of the screen that plays notes when you tap it. This sweet app is great for young toddlers and babies.

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  • Storybook Rhymes Volume 1 – Fisher-Price – Free – iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

FP_Storybook1Another great app by Fisher Price, this one flips through two nursery rhymes (One, Two Buckle My Shoe and The Itsy Bitsy Spider) page by page. For each nursery rhyme, you can choose to either “Read & Sing” or to “Read & Play.” The “Read & Sing” option sings the song as it highlights the words and a short animation plays for each page. “Read & Play” follows the words to the rhyme as it is narrated. If you click on the different parts of the interactive pages, objects and characters move and make sounds. At the end of the “storybook” for either option, the whole song plays with an adorable animated scene. Lots of fun for little ones!

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  • Storybook Rhymes Volume 2 – Fisher-Price – Free – iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

FP_Storybook2This app is exactly like Storybook Rhymes Volume 1, except with two different nursery rhymes: Row, Row, Row Your Boat and The Animal Fair.

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  • Storybook Rhymes Volume 3 – Fisher-Price – Free – iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

FP_Storybook3Again, this is identical t0 Storybook Rhymes Volume 1 and Storybook Rhymes Volume 2 , except with two new nursery rhymes: Hickory, Dickory, Dock and Pat-a-Cake.

    

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  • Elmo Calls – Sesame Street – $1.99 – iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch

Elmo CallsMy Elmo-loving boy thinks this app is great! It basically lets your little one receive phone calls and video calls from their best buddy Elmo. There are even silly voice mails they can listen to. When they get a video call from Elmo, a little screen shows up in the corner using the front-facing camera to show what you are up to (like FaceTime or Skype). T loves watching himself almost as much as he enjoys watching Elmo. It’s a very cute app!

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  • Cookie Calls – Sesame Street – $1.99 – iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch

Cookie CallsThis app is exactly like Elmo Calls, but with Cookie Monster instead. There are funny video calls, phone calls, and voice mail messages featuring your pal Cookie Monster. If you have a Sesame Street fan in the house, buy the bundle and get both apps!

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Favorite Games for 1 & 2 Year Olds:

  • Laugh & Learn™ Where’s Puppy’s Nose? – Fisher-Price – Free – iPad

FP_Where is PuppyThis is a great game for kids who are learning their body parts! Level 1 lets you tap on a body part on Puppy and it tells you what it is called. Level 2 asks you “Where is Puppy’s ___?” and you have to tap on the right body part. There is also the option to switch to the Kitty character. Both have a cute little frog sidekick that waves and dances. It’s a simple game with cute music and fun animation- great for toddlers!

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  • Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer – Sago Sago – Free – iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch

Sago Mini OceanThis is a really funny game! It’s such a simple concept- you just drag a little fish through the ocean and as you approach different objects and characters, he interacts with them. You can explore from the water’s surface down to the sea floor and scroll on and on in either direction. As you move along and tap on things, creatures pop out, the fish hides, he puts on costumes, eats things… the options are seemingly endless! Every time we play this game, I see something that we haven’t found before.

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  • Bugs & Buttons – Little Bit Studio, LLC – $2.99 – iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch

Bugs and ButtonsYou get so much for the price with this app! The graphics are beautiful and realistic, and there are 18 different games to choose from. Toddlers will need assitance playing some of these games, but many are simple enough for a one-and-a-half or two-year-old to play independently. Games include flinging bugs onto a flower with a slingshot, completing patterns with colored buttons, counting bugs, tic-tac-toe, catching bugs, sorting colored buttons, picking apples, connect-the-dots, catching buttons as they fall off a moving truck, helping a bug get through a maze, sorting colored fireflies into jars, bug races, navigating a flying butterfly around obstacles, finding hidden bugs, a picture matching memory game, and a letter train. This app cleverly teaches kids hand-eye coordination by adding obstacles into the games and having them manipulate the screen in a variety of ways by tapping, dragging, pulling, pushing or pinching objects on the screen and even physically tilting the screen to help objects move. There is so much educational value in this app and hours upon hours of entertainment. It is an app that will grow with your child so that they will love it for years. Worth every penny and more!

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  • Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Play at Home with Daniel – PBS KIDS – $2.99 (or buy Daniel Tiger Collection bundle of 3 apps for $5.99) – iPad

Daniel Tigers NeighborhoodThese apps are so great- especially for a little one who loves Daniel Tiger as much as mine does! This app has 5 games included. You can play with a doctors kit, use various instruments to make music that shows different emotions (happy, sad, angry), explore the bathroom (flushing the potty, brushing teeth, washing hands), help put Daniel to sleep, and create a picture using different scenes and stickers (or even your own photographs). Very fun, educational, and cute, cute, cute!

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  • Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings – PBS KIDS – $2.99 (or buy Daniel Tiger Collection bundle of 3 apps for $5.99) – iPad

Daniel Tiger Grrific FeelingsThis app is all about feelings (as many episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood are). There are 4 games within this app. The music box plays little videos with 18 different songs about specific feelings. The drawing easel lets you make a picture using markers, crayons, paint, stickers, and photos. The feelings photo booth uses the front-facing camera and asks you to take photos making faces showing certain emotions (also demonstrated by Daniel Tiger). The trolley game is Tommy’s favorite part of this app. It’s a little board game where you use a spinner with different shapes and move the trolley along to corresponding markers on the board. Then you complete a series of mini-games to help move the game along. The photo booth pictures are also positioned along the game board showing the different emotions. Very fun, and T has learned a lot about feelings and how to interact better with others by playing this game!

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  • Daniel Tiger’s Day & Night – PBS KIDS – $2.99 (or buy Daniel Tiger Collection bundle of 3 apps for $5.99) – iPad

Daniel Tiger Day and NightThis app goes through the steps of Daniel Tiger’s songs that remind him the processes of getting ready for school as well as getting ready for bed. In the “Good Morning” part of the app, you wake up Daniel Tiger, then help him get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, put on shoes, and head off to school on the trolley. The different steps have a lot of options within them… for example, for the “eat breakfast” step, you help set the table, then add toppings to Daniel’s pancakes, and finally you can watch a silly animation “imagining” your decorated pancake dancing. The “Good Night” part of the app lets you help Daniel take a bath, brush his teeth, put on his pajamas, read a story and sing a song, and then go to sleep. The “Good Night Daniel” song and video are so sweet, and T could watch this part over and over again. The “brush teeth” step of this game is the most simple, but has been great for us. T used to scream and fight every time I brushed his teeth, but after helping Daniel Tiger brush his teeth in the morning and before bed, he has learned that it’s not so bad after all. We LOVE this app!

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Favorite FREE Video Apps for Babies & Toddlers:

  • PBS KIDS Video – PBS KIDS – Free – iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch

PBS kidsThis app is T’s favorite for watching videos. It is so easy to navigate, with a sidebar showing character icons to help little ones easily scroll between all of the PBS Kids shows. T’s favorites are Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Sesame Street, and Super Why, and he can easily find them by choosing the picture of the corresponding character. They can watch full episodes of the shows, as well as video clips. Amazing!

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  • Nick Jr. – Nickelodeon – Free – iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch

Nick JrFor free, you can choose video clips to watch from various Nick Jr. shows, and if you log in with your cable account, you can watch full episodes and even live TV. The main menu is a little jumbled, but shows all of the different shows in one place, or you can tap the “Friends” icon at the top of the page to choose a specific show by selecting an icon with a character’s picture (similar to the PBS Kids app). This is a great app!

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  • YouTube Kids Youtube – Free – iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch

YouTube KidsT could scroll through this app all day long if I let him. It has music, video, learning and exploration channels, and all are totally kid-friendly! The content is uploaded from all over the world, so there are fun shows that kids here in the U.S. won’t find on TV. I swear he’s learning Russian from all of the episodes of “Masha and the Bear” that he watches! There are also these strange videos just showing hands opening plastic Easter eggs and playing with cars that he LOVES. And Tayo the bus! He loves this app!

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What are your favorite toddler games and video apps for iPad, iPhone & iPod touch? Any that we missed? Share in the comments below!

And don’t forget to check out our Favorite ABC & 123 Apps for Toddlers, our Favorite Art, Shapes & Colors Apps for Toddlers and our Favorite Puzzle and Sorting Apps for Toddlers.

Favorite (Mostly Free!) Art, Shapes & Colors Apps (iPad, iPhone & iPod touch) for Toddlers

Favorite Art, Shapes & Colors Apps (iPad & iPhone) for Toddlers

Last month, we took a two week vacation to California. As I mentioned in my previous post 10 Must-Haves for Flying with a One-Year-Old, one thing that I always take on the plane is my iPad loaded with in-flight entertainment for my little guy. I seriously don’t know how my 22-month-old and I could do the cross-country flights without it!

I have spent the past couple of months downloading tons of new apps and having Tommy try out one or two a day. Because I let him use the iPad not only for flights (when he is sitting on my lap), but also when I need a moment to cook dinner, check my e-mail, or run to the bathroom alone, I look for apps that will hold his attention for an extended period of time. I also try to find apps that he can navigate on his own with little to no help from Mommy so that if I am busy, he won’t be whining for me to come over and help him if the app freezes up or if the app is too complicated for him to use without help. We do also enjoy snuggling up and using the apps together. Most of the apps that I download for him are learning apps, and I love to work on them together with him or to at least be close enough to watch so that I can see how he’s learning and growing. After a lot of trial and error, I have added some really awesome new apps to our handful of tried-and-true apps that he has been using since he was about a year old.

There are a lot of apps that I want to mention, so I am splitting them up into a few separate posts. I will start here with our favorite art, shapes & colors apps. Without further ado, here is our list of Tommy’s favorite art, shapes & colors apps for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch:

Favorite Drawing/Art Apps:

  • Kids Doodle Bejoy Mobile – Free ($0.99 to upgrade to ad-free) – iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

Kids DoodleThis is one of the first apps that I ever downloaded for Tommy when he was about a year old, and he has always enjoyed it. It’s a drawing app where he can use his finger to scribble a design, but the black background and neon colors make it more fun than old fashioned pen and paper. Now that he is a little older, he is using some of the more advanced features, like changing the brush style, watching the movie play back of this drawing steps, and drawing on top of photos from the camera roll. It’s simple enough to entertain a one year old, but has enough to it that I think he will enjoy this one well into his toddler and preschool years.

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  • Kaleidoscope Drawing PadBejoy Mobile – Free ($0.99 to upgrade to ad-free) – iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

Kaleido FreeVery similar to Kids Doodle, but this one makes beautiful symmetrical designs with the tap of a finger. Tommy loves watching the bright colors change and watching the replay videos. He also likes to switch between the 8 kaleidoscope modes and 10 brushes to get new effects. Fun app for babies and toddlers!

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  • Cool Coloring DB Best Technologies LLC – Free ($0.99 to upgrade to ad-free) – iPad

Cool ColoringI was really surprised how long it took us to find a coloring book app that we liked. Most of the coloring book apps that I found have lots of ads, in-app purchases, and locked images. Tommy would get so frustrated with them and was always clicking links that took him out of the app. I love Cool Coloring because it has a variety of cute, simple images to color, is super easy for a toddler or baby to use, and has a pretty texture over the images that is nice. I like that you only have to tap on an area and it fills with color- some of other coloring book apps require you to actually scribble the color in and that is too hard for a one or two year old to do on their own. I also like that you can turn on fun music to listen to while coloring. Another great thing about this app is the rainbow colored paint drop that you can select- it automatically changes the color every time you tap it so that the kid doesn’t end up coloring the entire image one color each time. Best free coloring book app out there, hands down!

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Favorite Shapes & Colors Apps:

  • Laugh & Learn™ Shapes & Colors Music Show – Fisher-Price – Free – iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

FP_Shapes and ColorsThis was one of Tommy’s first favorite apps. There are two different levels and both are cute and fun (especially for one-year-olds). Level 1 has five fun little shape characters (blue circle, yellow star, etc.) that pop up when you tap the screen. When you tap one of the animated shapes and drag it around the screen, smaller shapes will trail behind it, music will play, and a cheery voice will tell you name of the color and shape. Level 2 has all five shape characters up on a stage. When you tap on a character, it will step forward and dance to a fun song about its shape and color. After you have tapped the characters a few times, the curtain comes up and they all sing and dance together. There is also a little piano at the bottom of the screen that plays notes when you tap it. Very cute and fun, and a perfect first app for babies!

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  • Shapes Toddler Preschool Toddler Teasers – Free ($3.99 to add all categories) – iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

ShapesAnother awesome (and free!) app for learning shapes. This one has flashcards, quizzes, games, and puzzles to help kids learn their shapes. They can practice recognizing their shapes by viewing the flashcards and hearing the name of the shape, then the quiz will ask them to “find the (circle, crescent, triangle, etc.)” among other shapes. When they tap the correct shape, they will hear cheering, and after a few right answers in a row, they get to choose a “sticker” to add to their sticker collection. There is also a “Toy Box” game where they get to pop balloons to reveal shapes, launch shapes out of a cannon, build a train with the various shapes, and build a block tower with the shapes. The “Puzzle” option brings you to a shape sorter where you match the shapes to the matching negative spaces in what looks like a wooden board. There is also an option on the top of the homepage for “Stories,” where there are little mini eBooks about shapes. (In all honestly, this is the one part of the app that Tommy is not interested in at all.) This app also has great options in the adults only section: you can change the language to English, Spanish, or French; buy 29 more categories to learn (including colors, letters, numbers, animals, food, musical instruments, and money- just to name a few!); change the theme of your reward stickers (picnic, underwater, or robots), and see a “report card” showing which shapes your child is getting right most of the time and which ones need more practice. There is SO much included in this app for FREE, and paying $3.99 to add the other categories is really a great deal. It’s so exciting to see when he is asked “find the octagon” and he picks it out among 5 or 6 other shapes!

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  • My Colors & I My Digital Photo Story – Free (upgrade to full version for $1.99) – iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

Colors and IThis app is really only worthwhile if you pay for the upgrade. The free version uses a default child’s image, but with the full paid version of this app, you can upload your child’s photo and they will burst into giggle fits when they see themselves inserted into all sorts of silly scenes wearing costumes of different colors. You can choose between 15 different colors and it will display a screen covered in 9 cards with objects of the selected color. As you tap the objects, it tells you the name of the object and the card is lifted away to reveal part of the image underneath. The revealed image is a scene of the selected color with your child wearing a silly costume in the same color. There are over 50 unique costumes with different options for girls and boys. This app is so much fun, and Tommy’s 3 and 5 year old cousins couldn’t get enough of it, either. I like that it not only teaches colors, but also teaches over 100 vocabulary words with corresponding images, which is awesome for babies and young toddlers who are learning to talk.

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*UPDATED 6/28/15- we added a new favorite shapes & colors app to the list!*

I was contacted by an app developer, Rico Zuñiga, with an offer for Tommy to try out his new app. We are always interested in the opportunity to experience new products and thank those who are generous enough to share with us. Most of the products that I recommend and review on this blog, Instagram, and Facebook, are products that I have found and purchased on my own or that we have received as gifts from friends or family. Whenever I do mention a product that I was given the chance to review for free (or if I was compensated in any way by a product’s maker or distributor), I will state it. I assure to all of Make Learn Go’s followers that I will only share positive reviews for products that Tommy and I truly do feel are great enough to recommend… and this app happens to be a really good one, so read on below for the review! 🙂

  • Shape Match Kids Alpabeto Games – current discounted price of $0.99  – iPhone & iPad

Shape Match KidsAs I have mentioned before, Tommy LOVES puzzles, so this app was a hit with him right away! The game is set up like a shape sorter puzzle, with a shape’s outline shown at the top of the screen and a smaller shape below that the child taps and drags over to fit inside of it. As the child progresses through the levels, it gets more difficult- additional shapes are added in to make it harder to find a match, and various colors are added so that the child has to match not only the shape, but also the color. The app has music and sound effects (that can also be muted). The graphics are simple, but bright and engaging. I appreciate that this app has no ads or in-app purchases, and there is a “parents” section with news, upgrades, and support that can only be accessed by holding down your finger for 5 seconds. It’s so great to find apps that are easy for my just-turned-two year old to navigate and play without being constantly led out of the app by pop-ups and links. This app was clearly developed by a parent of a young child for parents of young children. I also love that this app teaches him shape recognition, color recognition and matching, and helps to sharpen his visual perceptual skills. It has quickly become a favorite app of Tommy’s, and would be a great addition to the app collection of any toddler or preschooler!

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Do you have any favorite art, shapes, and colors apps that I should know about? Share in the comments! Or just download these ones, try them out, and let us know what you think about T’s favorites!

Don’t forget to check out our Favorite ABC & 123 Apps for Toddlers, our Favorite Puzzle and Sorting Apps for Toddlers, and our Favorite Games & Video Apps for Toddlers.

Flower & Bees Sponge-Stamped Oven Mitt & Pot Holder

With Mother’s Day approaching, I thought it would be fun for T and I to make something to send to my mom and to my husband’s mom. We wanted to give them something useful, but also something that Tommy could personalize. After a trip to Dollar Tree and AC Moore, we came home with supplies to decorate oven mitts and pot holders! We had lots of fun making this together and the result was an inexpensive, cute, and practical gift for T’s Grandmas (or as he calls them “Gralla” and “Sweet Marie.”)

* To Gralla and Sweet Marie: Sorry if you see this blog post before your Mother’s Day package arrives and it spoils the surprise!

Flower & Bees Sponge-Stamped Oven Mitt & Pot Holder

For this project, you will need:

  • Plain oven mitt & pot holder- no pattern (We found these at Dollar Tree for $1 per oven mitt and $1 for 2 pot holders- score!)
  • Clean kitchen sponge (we learned that the scrubbing side makes a better stamp)
  • Scissors
  • Fabric paint – yellow, black, & white for the bees, green for the flower stems (we chose permanent fabric paint that is dimensional but not puffy, and comes in a small tube with a pointed tip for detail.
  • Palette or plate (for paint)

OPTIONAL:

  • Rubber alphabet stamps
  • Baby wipes

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To decorate the oven mitt and pot holder:

1. Grown-up: From the sponge, cut out a small circle (about the size of a quarter) and a longer petal shape to make your stamp for the flower. Cut out another quarter-sized circle and a small wing shape to make your stamps for the bee.

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2. Child:  Squirt some paint onto a palette- choose a color of paint that you want to use for the center of your flower. Dip the circle sponge stamp into the paint so that there is a pretty thick layer of paint spread evenly across it. (We found that stamping with the rough scrubbing side of the sponge works best because it absorbs less of the paint.)

3. Child: Press the sponge stamp onto the oven mitt to make the center of your flower. (Be sure to think about whether the person you are making it for is left- or right-handed so that you can decorate the side of the mitt that will be along the back of the hand rather than the part that will be gripping the hot dishes and greasy oven racks.)

4. Child: Repeat steps 2 & 3 with the petal-shaped sponge stamp and a different paint color. Stamp the petals all around the center circle to make a flower.

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5. Child: Repeat steps 2 & 3 with yellow paint and a circle sponge stamp to make as many bees as you would like.

6. Child: Repeat steps 2 & 3 with white paint and a the wing-shaped sponge stamp to add wings to the bees

7. Grown-up: Use the green fabric paint to add a stem and leaf to the flower. (If your child is older, they can probably do this part on their own, but with a younger toddler, steps 7 & 8 should be handled by a grown-up.)

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8. Grown-up: Use the black fabric paint to add stripes, a head, and a stinger to the bees.

9. Grown-up: Use white paint to add the name of the person you are giving the oven mitt to. You can simply write it with the fabric paint squeezed right out of the tube, or see below for the rubber stamp method we used.

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OPTIONAL: To use rubber stamps for the name, carefully apply the fabric paint directly to the rubber letter stamp. Trace the letter with the paint so that it has a nice even layer on it but there is no residue on the sides of the stamp that will transfer when you stamp it. Stamp the letter onto your mitt and then clean the remaining residue from the stamp with a baby wipe. Repeat with all of the letters in the name.

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10. Grown-up & Child: Repeat any of the steps above however you wish to decorate the pot holder. We decorated ours with bees and then painted on little red hearts scattered around. If you get want to do more than one pot holder, it would be fun to do another with a big flower in the center. Have fun and be creative!

FINISHED

Do you love to give (or receive) homemade gifts? I know that I sure do!

For some other fun gift ideas that you can make with your tot, try:

Don’t forget to share pictures of your finished projects with us for a chance to be featured on our Instagram and Facebook pages!

To submit a photo on Instagram, tag @makelearngo or send us a direct message.

On Facebook, send a message to Make Learn Go.

Or e-mail us at makelearngo@gmail.com.

Foam Flowers for Spring

Our latest spring craft was a quick little project that was made up of a few materials from Dollar Tree.  We found some pipe cleaners, colorful foam sheets shaped like flowers, and re-used the pop poms from our Easter Egg Color Sorting activity to make some festive Spring flowers to decorate the playroom!

Foam Flowers for Spring

For this project, you will need:

  • Crafters foam flowers (you can either buy them already in the flower shape like I did, or cut flowers from regular rectangular or square colorful crafters foam sheets)
  • Pipe cleaners (green ones will look best- these will be your flower stems)
  • Pom poms
  • Liquid glue
  • Tape
  • Paint (or glitter glue, stickers, or whatever else you’re feeling) to decorate

To make your flowers:

1. Grown-up: If you need to cut the flowers out of your crafters foam, do that first. Then, prepare your pipe cleaner flower stems. Fold a pipe cleaner in half, then bend one side of the “v” shape to make a leaf (as pictured below). Pinch the pipe cleaner together at the stem and then wrap the end of the leaf around the stem to hold the leaf shape. Make one stem for each flower you plan to make.

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2. Grown-up & Child: Squeeze a dot of glue in the middle of each flower. Let your little artist choose a color of pom pom to go in the center of each flower and place it on the glue dot.

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3. Grown-up & Child: Turn the flowers over and help your little one secure the stems in place with tape.

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4. Child: Turn the flowers over and decorate! T used pastel colored tempera paint to add some swirly strokes and texture to his flowers.

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T was so excited when he finished and was carrying his little “bouquet” all around the house. Then we hung them up on the wall with the other Easter crafts that he has made. (He got this little picture of Jesus at church on Sunday and it’s his favorite part of the Easter wall. 🙂 )

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Go ahead and make your own flowers, and comment below to let us know how it goes!

Or better yet, upload a picture to Instagram and tag @makelearngo, send a message to Make Learn Go on Facebook, or e-mail your photo to makelearngo@gmail.com for a chance for your child’s artwork to be featured on our Instagram and Facebook pages!

And don’t forget to check out our other fun Easter crafts and learning activities that you can do with your little one:

And if you’re still trying to figure out what the Easter Bunny is going to bring this year, here’s our helpful list of Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers & Babies.

Dot Art Rainbow

I featured this project on Instagram (@makelearngo) and Facebook (Make Learn Go) last week, but never got around to posting about it here on the blog. We did this project while learning about rainbows before St. Patrick’s Day, but this is a great project to do any time of the year! It’s a fun way for your child to work on color recognition and color matching as well as hand-eye coordination.

(For another fun St. Paddy’s Day craft your child will love, check out our Tissue Box Leprechaun Trap!)

Dot Art Rainbow1

For this project, you will need:

  • Plain white sheet of paper
  • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, & purple)
  • Dot markers (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, & purple) – we love Do-A-Dot Art! Markersrainbowart2

To make the dot art rainbow:

  1. Grown-up: Draw a thin arc in each color of the rainbow to make the template for your child to stamp over.
  2. Child: Choose the correct color of dot marker to match the first arc of the rainbow.
  3. Child: Stamp over the arc with the coordinating color of dot marker, trying to keep the dots following along the line as closely as possible. Continue until the entire arc is covered in dots.
  4. Child: Continue steps 3 & 4 with each arc until your rainbow is complete!

So easy, fun, and educational! Go get to work with your little artist, and share a picture with us for a chance to be featured on our Instagram and Facebook pages!

To submit a photo on Instagram, tag @makelearngo or send us a direct message.

On Facebook, send a message to Make Learn Go.

Or e-mail us at makelearngo@gmail.com.

Tissue Box Leprechaun Trap

At 20 months old, T is still a little young to fully comprehend the magic and excitement of leprechauns, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus… but I LOVE celebrating holidays, so I am trying to introduce him to some fun little traditions. With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, I thought it would be fun to make a little leprechaun trap together. We used only materials that we had around the house to make this cute little contraption, and T had a lot of fun making it with me!

Tissue Box Leprechaun TrapTo make this project, you will need:

  • An empty tissue box
  • Green acrylic or craft paint
  • A handful of cotton balls
  • Non-toxic liquid glue
  • Clear tape
  • Foam strips & 2 paper clips or pipe cleaners (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, & purple)
  • Stickers to decorate
  • A few blocks (or get creative using other toys or items to make a ladder or stairs leading up to the top of the trap)

Make this with your own little artist in 5 easy steps:

1. Grown-up: Paint the tissue box green. This part will go much faster (and be a lot less messy) if do it for them. Plus, the paint I used wasn’t non-toxic so I didn’t want T getting it on his fingers.

Step 1_0

2. Grown-up & Child: Construct your rainbow. (I wanted to do this part with pipe cleaners, but we didn’t have any, so I cut strips from foam sheets I had in our art bin.) Let your child help lay out the colors of the rainbow in the right order. Stack the foam strips on top of each other and poke a paper clip through each end to hold it together. Then tape one of the paper clips to the underside of either side of the tissue box opening. Fan it out to get a nice curve to your rainbow. (If you’re using pipe cleaners, just put the colors in order, twist the ends to hold it together, bend the ends and tape to the underside of the box opening.)

Step 2_0 Step 2_1 Step 2_3 Step 2_4

3. Grown-up & Child: Squiggle some glue onto the top of the tissue box and let  your little one help place cotton ball “clouds” all over to cover the top of the box.

Step 3_2 Step 3_1

4. Child: Let your little artist decorate the sides of the box with stickers. (We found some fun St. Patrick’s Day themed stickers for $1 at Big Lots.)

Step 4

5. Child: Stack the blocks to make a staircase leading to the top of the leprechaun trap. Now it’s ready for your leprechaun to visit on St. Patrick’s Day!

Step 5

This was such a fun and easy project to make! Maybe if we are lucky a little leprechaun will visit our trap on March 17th and leave a few gold (chocolate) coins behind!

Now it’s your turn! Go make your own leprechaun trap, then come back here and tell us about it.

For another fun St. Paddy’s Day project to do with your little artist, check out our Dot Art Rainbow!

Painted Initial Art

I have been continually working on some sort of art project for as long as I can remember. I spent most of my spare time as a child making crafts and drawing, I was an AP art kid in high school, I graduated with a BFA in Illustration from the Academy of Art University, and I have worked professionally as an illustrator, graphic artist, and portrait artist. So, naturally, I was thrilled (and may have even shed a tear) when I gave Tommy his first set of crayons at 10 months old and watched him go to town scribbling his own little masterpiece. I have it hanging in my studio above my drafting table. 🙂

Tommy Art 4-29-14I have since introduced him to a variety of artistic tools, including markers, watercolors, stickers, tempera paints, Do-a-Dot markers, and colored pencils. There are few things that bring me more joy than watching my little boy create. The frenzied look in his eye as he brushes paint onto paper is my absolute favorite. So, I had these three little 6×8″ canvas panels sitting in my closet full of art supplies and thought that they would be the perfect starter canvases for my little Picasso. And, at 20 months old, he is currently obsessed with his ABCs, so that is where the idea for these painted initial canvases started.

Painted Initial Art_text

To make this project, you will need:

  • 3 blank canvases (or however many you want to make)
  • Washable, non toxic tempera paint (and any other art supplies your child wants to use)
  • Palette (or plate, or plastic lid, or whatever works)
  • Masking tape
  • Paint brushes (or little hands that can get messy)
  • White acrylic paint (for touch-ups)

Make this with your own little artist in 5 easy steps:

  1. Grown-up: Create one letter on each canvas with masking tape. I did Tommy’s initials, TJA, but this could also work well for a kid with a short first name if you want to spell out the whole name. Be sure that the tape is stuck firmly to the canvas and that edges are clean, as this will be the negative space that creates the initial on each canvas. For curved letters, use scissors to cut the tape into rounded edges.
  2. Grown-up: Squeeze a few different colors of paint onto your palette and line up the taped canvases side by side to prepare your artist’s work area.
  3. Child: Let the artist get to work spreading tempera paint over the canvas. My little artist started by using brushes of varying sizes and then decided that he would rather use his hands. He also chose to go for a mixed-media approach and added a few touches of Do-a-Dot markers and Crayola Ultra-Washable Markers. Encourage the artist to fill any spots of bare canvas bordering the areas masked with tape so that the letters will really pop when it is done.
  4. Grown-up:  When the artist’s job is done and all paint is dry to the touch, gently peel off the masking tape to reveal the letters. Touch up any sloppy edges with white acrylic paint.
  5. Grown-up: Let dry and hang the artwork for all to enjoy!

This project was simple, fun, and an adorable solution for the blank wall above Tommy’s crib. Now every time he wakes up, he smiles and points at his artwork, shouting “A!” (his favorite letter). I think it really makes him excited to see the art that he created on display. It was also a fun way for him to learn about self-expression, letters, and colors.

Now it’s your turn, go make it with your child, and share your results with us when you’re done!