Fingerprint Garden Art

The day before my birthday last week, JDubbs picked the big kids up from school and they went out to do some last minute shopping.  That left me and the baby with nowhere to go after nap, a luxury for us after I had to wake her up so many times over the school year to get to pick-up on time.  My tired self was voting for an extra episode of Paw Patrol, but I knew that a quiet afternoon with just us two (a glimpse into what life will be like this fall!) was so special it deserved a little effort.

Fingerprint Garden Art @ Rub Some Dirt On It

It was a toss-up between painting and Play-Doh, two activities Little H loves that I am guilty of avoiding because it takes a lot of work to set up for two or three kids.  Since I would pretty much rather do anything than clean teeny pieces of Play-Doh up for the next several days, I busted out the art supplies and an old favorite craft–using hand and thumbprints to create a garden scene–and I’ve never seen Little H so thrilled to have me to herself.

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First, you draw or paint some stems for flowers.  Knowing Little H is a painting novice, I didn’t want her to inevitably smudge the stems as she painted.  So I drew them with marker, which I think helped her understand what we were trying to do and kept the garden from getting too smudged too quickly.

Thumbprint Flowers @ Rub Some Dirt On It

 Then she was “all thumbs,” in the very best way, to make colorful flowers.

Thumbprint Flowers @ Rub Some Dirt On It

We had to take a short break from our plan for some less structured paint time, because she was getting antsy to just dive into the paints with more than just one finger!  Five will do!

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Once I got her back on track, I asked her what we needed in our garden.  We agreed no June garden is complete without sunshine, so a handprint sun was born. Just make several handprints on top of each other to make the rays.

Handprint Sun @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Lastly we added some bumblebees (a Little H favorite)…

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…and our glorious garden was complete!

Fingerprint Art @ Rub Some Dirt On It

A beautiful product created from some truly beautiful time together, just me and my littlest girl.  She deserves just as much energy as the other two received at her age.  I’m looking forward to being reinvigorated by her enthusiasm as she grows, spending time with just me and my girl!

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Painting With Cars To Welcome Spring!

Spring is finally here!  Time to paint the house colorful, in an unusual way.

Painting With Cars @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Yes, I know that just because spring has officially sprung, it doesn’t mean that the sun will immediately come out and melt all our mounds of snow away.  But even if I only hear the birds chirping in my mad dash from my warm house to my warm car, I can still make it feel more festive and colorful inside!

In an attempt to change things up (and hopefully keep their attention longer), the girls and I pilfered some of Jax’s matchbox cars while he was at school and got ready to create some colorful art. We’ve done this before and it was a huge hit!  I got one car for every paint color and spread the paint out on butcher paper so the girls could drive the vehicles from the paint to the paper with very little reach and fuss.

Painting with cars @ Rub Some Dirt On It

The trickiest part is encouraging the kids to keep the paint separate so that you don’t end up with a brown muddy blob.  Then let them pick a color, drive their car through its matching paint blob, and drive a rainbow to their heart’s content!

Painting With Cars @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Painting with cars @ Rub Some Dirt On It

With all these color choices at her fingertips, it was no surprise what Em decided to paint.

Painting With Cars @ Rub Some Dirt On It Painting With Cars @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Little H was a little more abstract and mostly just thrilled to get her hands dirty.

Painting With Cars @ Rub Some Dirt On It Painting with cars @ Rub Some Dirt On It Painting With Cars @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Even Mommy made one. I couldn’t resist!

Painting With Cars @ Rub Some Dirt On It

And don’t forget about the added bonus–they get to wash the cars when all the artwork is done, taking this springtime craft to a fabulous new level!  Your house has new art, the mess is cleaned up, and everyone has had a ton of fun.  It’s spring!  Let’s celebrate!

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Coffee Filter Snowflakes & Snowmen

As if we don’t have enough snow around here, the kids wanted to add some more, just for fun!  I didn’t think cutting snowflakes out of coffee filters would be so completely engaging for Jax and Em, but they literally made dozens of them.  So many, in fact, that we sent them along to family with their Valentines!  Spreading Vermont snow near and far!

Coffee Filter Snowflakes @ Rub Some Dirt On It

The kids had tried to make snowflakes out of paper before, but grew frustrated easily when they had difficulty cutting through folded paper.  With the coffee filters, it was so much easier!  We folded the paper various ways, but three folds seemed to be the perfect size for them to manipulate.

Coffee Filter Snowflakes @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Then I gave them a large bowl for the scraps and some safety scissors and they went to work.  Nicely.  Quietly.  No arguing.  Why don’t I do this every day?

Coffee Filter Snowflakes @ Rub Some Dirt On It Coffee Filter Snowflakes @ Rub Some Dirt On It Coffee Filter Snowflakes @ Rub Some Dirt On It Coffee Filter Snowflakes @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Before I knew it, our home was a winter wonderland, inside and out!

And Em had a great idea all on her own.  She turned three coffee filters into a snowman, with a few construction paper accessories to add realism.  I was so proud of her for coming up with a unique project by herself.  She is definitely my little artist.

Coffee Filter Snowman @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Making the most out of our many snowy days!

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We Heart Buttons!

I can’t believe it was three years ago that we first made these awesome button Valentine hearts to decorate our home for Valentine’s Day.  They are so festive and fun–Little H loves looking up at them, yelling colors and who decorated them.  “Oooh! A purple one!  Jax!  Em!  Me!”  I always love decorating for Valentine’s Day–it helps the coldest days of the year feel a little brighter.  So if you need a pick-me-up this winter or have another snow day due to a snowpocalypse, here is a simple, heartfelt craft with your name on it.

Button Valentine Hearts @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Materials:  construction paper or cardstock, glue, buttons and scissors

First you cut out big heart shapes out of colorful paper, then let the kids make designs across the heart in glue.  Little H couldn’t decide if she want pink or purple paper, so I used the leftover paper from Em’s heart to make a kind of frame.  It looked so cute, and really helped her stay within the confines of the heart (and not make a complete and utter mess)!  I kind of wish I had done the same for the big kids.

Button Valentine Hearts @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Then let the kids place buttons on the wet glue.  Instant Valentine’s decor!

Button Valentine Hearts @ Rub Some Dirt On It

If I had paid more attention to the fact that we were inevitably having a snow day this week, I might have stocked up on the more traditional-colored buttons.  Em loves putting things in a pattern and probably would have done pink-red-white to her heart’s content.  However, that forethought was not to be, so we settled for all the buttons left in our crafting box, so it was more of a rainbow smorgasbord.  It’s nice to think outside the box a little, and who says traditional is always best?

Button Valentine Hearts @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Jax wanted his heart to look like it had an arrow through it like Cupid’s (look what half a year of kindergarten will get you! Such a cute idea!).  I let him do his own gluing, which was a bit of a mistake because it became a sort of Elmer’s glue quagmire, but his heart (excuse the pun) was in the right place.

Button Valentine Hearts @ Rub Some Dirt On It Button Valentine Hearts @ Rub Some Dirt On It Button Valentine Hearts @ Rub Some Dirt On It

These beautiful hearts are cheering up our kitchen, and are helping to remind us to show each other love every day.  I’ve been telling the kids to show love, not just say it, and when I look at these awesome crafts, my heart smiles.

Button Valentine Hearts @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Spreading love!

If you heart Valentine’s Day, too, check out tons of great Valentine’s Day and button crafts on my Rub Some Dirt On It Pinterest board here!

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Bubble Wrap Stomp Painting!

For those of you who are like me and have done a good deal of online shopping this holiday season, here’s a great activity for the kiddos who desperately want to hear the bubble wrap “pop” but aren’t quite coordinated enough to do it well.

bubble wrap stomp painting @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Bust out a piece of paper (for this we used our trusty butcher paper), wrap the kids’ feet in bubble wrap, and coat the bottoms in paint.

bubble wrap painting @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Then be sure to remind them that they have to be careful (stomping is much safer than skating), and ready, set, pop!

bubble wrap painting @ Rub Some Dirt On It

They thought this activity was hilarious and asked me to paint their feet again and again.  They wanted to paint every square inch of the butcher paper, and I finally just squirted dollops of paint directly on the paper in order to keep up with their demands.

bubble wrap painting @ Rub Some Dirt On It IMG_2271-2

In the end, I had big plans to cut out some kind of holiday shape out of the mural, like a Christmas tree, but it never came to be.  It was a beautiful work of art all on its own!

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A fun way to get the kids moving while stuck inside this winter!

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Easy Christmas Tree Ornament

Hanging out with the girls one morning before school, and things inevitably got a little whiny.  Little H had a cold and Em wanted more attention.  But with a few magic words (“Do you want to do a craft?”), she was back on track and even grumpy Little H couldn’t resist the allure of being allowed to play with a bowl full of colorful buttons.  So we made a very simple (and really pretty!) Christmas Tree ornament, with very little materials required!  I made a couple changes from where I originally found it here, but this is what worked best for us.

Easy Christmas Tree Ornament @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Materials:  Popsicle sticks, glue, buttons, ribbon, paper for a star.  So simple!

I happened to have rainbow-colored Popsicle sticks from when we made our leprechaun trap last St. Patrick’s Day, so no need to paint or color them green.  Just add a little glue and let them set; you may want to add your ribbon in one corner now (maybe in between the sticks?) to give it plenty of time to dry.  I thought of that after the fact and think it would have been a good change.

Easy Christmas Tree Ornament @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Then just add buttons!

Easy Christmas Tree Ornament @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Em wanted to make hers in a rainbow pattern, and Little H was happy just to be allowed near the glue.

Easy Christmas Tree Ornament @ Rub Some Dirt On It

I snapped a plain stick in half, let the girls color them brown for a trunk, then added a paper star and ribbon on top.

Easy Christmas Tree Ornament @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Then I did it all over again with Jax when he got home from school.  Now I have three beautiful  Christmas tree ornaments to decorate my home, year after year!

Easy Christmas Tree Ornament @ Rub Some Dirt On It

I’m going to keep them forever!

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Handprint Felt Turkeys

On this Thanksgiving that feels a bit tumultuous with travel plans canceled due to the weather, I’m taking a minute to be thankful for my littlest turkey who joined our family less than two years ago.

Handprint Felt Turkeys @ Rub Some Dirt On It

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Recreating this craft that I did with Jax and Em four years ago really solidified for me how our family is complete, and how I love continuing traditions with them year after year.  So happy I have three little turkeys around my table every day, and three beautiful handprint felt turkeys to decorate my table every Thanksgiving!

May your day be full of blessings!  Gobble! Gobble!

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