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Purposeful Play

All Things Cupid – The Ultimate Valentine Resource List

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Valentine Crafts | Chaos & Kiddos | Round Up

If there is one holiday that sneaks up on me every year, it’s Valentine’s Day. I’d love to say this is because I’m single and wish the day would poof into non-existence fiery furnace “Worst Holiday Ever” status, but truthfully, this day was just as overlooked during my marriage as it will probably be for this first year of lone wolf status (hmmm…maybe that’s saying something…).

Valentine Crafts | Chaos & Kiddos | Round Up

My list of Valentine transgressions doesn’t just end with my former spouse. I was most definitely that mom that forgot to bring a valentine for each kid in the class last year. In fact, it didn’t even occur to me to bring them in…is that because I have boys or because I block the day from memory?

As I try to incorporate more purposeful play into our busy days, I’m committing to tackling the big day of love this weekend. Ya know, planning in advance instead of hitting CVS next Friday morning before school. And since I hate to travel all over the interwebz to find what I’m looking for, I’ve built The Ultimate Valentine Resource List. Everything I might need this weekend, all in one happy place. Yup, this is pretty much my virtual to do list for the weekend. Enjoy!

Valentine Crafts | Chaos & Kiddos | Round Up

Valentine’s Day Craft List

Buttons & Glue: Super Easy Valentine Craft

Easy Filled Heart Valentines

Bee Mine Valentine Heart Craft for Kids

How to Make a Valentine Wreath

The Ultimate List of DIY Valentines

DIY Melted Crayon Art Valentines

Valentine Crafts | Chaos & Kiddos | Round Up

Valentine’s Day Activity List

Homemade Valentine’s Playdoh

Build Your Own Valentine Robot

Valentine’s Day Letter Puzzle Printable

Sorting and Counting with Conversation Hearts

Valentine Crafts | Chaos & Kiddos | Round Up

Valentine’s Day Recipe List

Valentine’s Trail Mix

Sticky Sweet Popcorn Treat

Easy Valentine’s Cinnamon Roll

Chocolate Cherry Brownies

Have a fun weekend prepping for the Global Day of Love! Even though I’m flying solo this year, I have to admit, I feel more loved now than I’ve ever felt before. I’ll be basking in the love of my kids, grateful for my loving family and loyal friends, and my heart will be full, even as I eye roll the incessant sweetness of this most horrible holiday. Best be sure I will be teaching my sons that while this day is fun, true love lies in making every day special and full of value for those special people in your life that captivate your heart.

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Purposeful Play

DIY Handprint Family Tree

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DIY Handprint Family Tree

My boys recently turned 4 years old (WHAT?!) and given all of the changes our family has faced over the past year, I wanted their birthday to be extra special. I came up with this DIY Handprint Family Tree to visually capture how loved they are by their family and friends. I wanted them to know that even in the face of a divorce when it feels like your family is broken, your family goes so far beyond just Mommy, Daddy and Sissy. This handprint family tree was “signed” by everyone who attended the birthday party that day…beloved friends, Gramma & Grampa, Mommy, preschool teachers, favorite babysitters, loyal neighbors…all of the people who selflessly love on my children. Our family.

DIY Handprint Family Tree

Thanks to my mastermind gal pal at CereusArt, their birthday party theme was “Picasso, Baby!” Hosted at our very own The Studio Hampton Roads, we decorated from top to bottom with little paint cans, brightly colored streamers, artists’ palette lollipops, paint splotch tablecloths and more. We had art projects on hand, along with little art aprons, for our tiny Picassos, who made face masks, applied paint splotch tattoos and got their faces painted by one very special Gramma, who was in absolute heaven doting on so many sweet kiddos.

DIY Handprint Family Tree

The DIY handprint family tree was a perfect addition to our art-themed party. The supply list was a breeze:

  • Large blank canvas
  • Finger paint in several colors
  • Makeup sponges
  • Colored Sharpie markers
  • Baby wipes
  • Paper plates

I laid the canvas on a large table (The little drawing of the boys was done by Gramma! She’s the artist behind Rise Woman Rising.) with different color paints poured onto paper plates. Each party guest used makeup sponges to blot paint onto their hand. They then picked a spot and put their hand print on the canvas. They used the baby wipes to clean up and then signed their name or a special message next to their hand print with the Sharpie markers.

DIY Handprint Family Tree

The finished product looked just as I had imagined. Each hand was a different size, color, texture. Some families intertwined their hands, some special friends overlapped. We even had a baby smudge for our resident little guy. It was like one giant colorful hug, one happy high five, one strong hand to hold. Our family. This year, we have so much to celebrate. I know my little dudes don’t even realize it, but I do. The gratitude I have for the many people in our lives who have stood by us (in truth, carried us) through the past year…it’s indescribable. Our handprint family tree doesn’t just remind my sons of how loved they are…it reminds me.

benjake4years-15

benjake4years-16

 

 

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Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Funny Face Planters

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Think Outside the Toy Box | Funny Face Planters | Chaos & Kiddos
It’s the very last week of the Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series, and I admit, I’m more than a little sad! This challenge has been a highlight of our summer. We’ve had wonderful family days together, playing and crafting, and in truth, this challenge pushed me to make sure I was taking the time to introduce my kids to art and creative play and to put aside the busy of life for some simple fun. We’re going out strong this week with milk jugs! We had a blast creating Funny Face Planters that are now decorating our back porch with pretty flowers and a bit of silly.
Think Outside the Toy Box | Funny Face Planters | Chaos & Kiddos
I’d been stashing milk jugs for a few weeks before this project, so we were ready to go with 4, so the boys got 2 each. I chopped the front top off, but left the handles so they were easy for the boys to carry them.
Think Outside the Toy Box | Funny Face Planters | Chaos & Kiddos
They each got to take turns telling me what they wanted their faces to look like. I asked questions like “Do you want big eyes or small eyes?” and “Is your face happy or sad or scary?” and “Do you want long hair or short hair?” so they had a blast controlling what I was drawing. It was also a great opportunity for them to imagine and identify feelings and how that might look on their planter characters.
B went for a pirate and a curly-haired girl.
Think Outside the Toy Box | Funny Face Planters | Chaos & Kiddos
J asked for a scary monster face and admittedly, was a bit distracted on the last one, so I may have inserted my own creative vision with a little Jessica Rabbit throwback (This one had a persistent sticker that needed to be covered up).
Think Outside the Toy Box | Funny Face Planters | Chaos & Kiddos
We used construction paper for the hair, along with a little Elmer’s glue and the Funny Face Planters were born!! By the way, where the milk bottles had gaps or impressions, we used them to our advantage with super crazy eyes!
Think Outside the Toy Box | Funny Face Planters | Chaos & Kiddos
After a quick trip to pick up some flowers, it was time to head outside for the messy fun. I picked up a bag of potting soil, and along with two brand new Mickey trowels, the boys filled each of their jugs with dirt. And the rest of my deck. With dirt. And the dog. Yup, with more dirt.
2014-07-27_0006 Think Outside the Toy Box | Funny Face Planters | Chaos & Kiddos
Once they had their planters mostly filled, I inserted the flowers and filled around the edges. Our lovely Funny Faces Family was done!
2014-07-27_0011 Think Outside the Toy Box | Funny Face Planters | Chaos & Kiddos
Do you have a fun activity with milk jugs? Be sure to link it up below! And check out these fabulous blogs for more ideas!
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series | Chaos & Kiddos: Mommy's Survival Guide


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Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Paper Cup Painting

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Think Outside the Toy Box | Paper Cup Painting | Chaos & Kiddos: Mommy's Survival Guide

I admit, I am super excited about this week’s item. I am a big fan of art projects and am always looking for the next masterpiece to display in my office. So when the Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series challenge popped up with paper cups as the next creative project, I immediately thought it’s time to paint! I present to you, my mini artists-in-the-making, with Paper Cup Painting!

Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Paper Cup Painting


I always like to have canvases on hand to do major art projects a couple of times a year. They’re not always cheap, so I keep an eye out for sales or make sure to clip a Michaels discount coupon. The boys are pretty young, so I generally stick to washable paint for my own sanity, although it doesn’t cover as well and being washable means that I need to take care to not put finished items where they can get wet or otherwise damaged.

Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Paper Cup Painting

Painting is always a big hit for my kids and they’re mostly used to finger painting or using a brush. I was super excited to incorporate shapes and stamping with this project and they just loved seeing what the paper cup could create. They used the tops and bottoms and even started swirling and spreading the cups for different effects. Then somebody went “It’s a caterpillar!” and the project took on a whole new meaning with mommy adding eyes, antennae and legs to their creations. Finish it out with a couple of hand prints and these newest masterpieces are bringing a whole new level of awesome to my office. The boys loved every minute!

Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Paper Cup Painting
Be sure to spread the paint a bit so it can cover the cup.

J started out very methodical, and very carefully chose placement for his circles, while B was more creative in his approach and tried different methods to get different results with the cups.

Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Paper Cup PaintingThink Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Paper Cup Painting
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Paper Cup PaintingThink Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Paper Cup Painting
They each had enough cups for each color of paint they had, although they seemed to enjoy mixing the paint more. If the paint cups got too messy, I swapped them out for new ones and they continued on their merry ways.
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Paper Cup PaintingThink Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Paper Cup Painting
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Paper Cup PaintingThink Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Paper Cup Painting
 THE FINISHED PRODUCT
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Paper Cup Painting
B – Caterpillar Lover and Texture Explorer
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Paper Cup Painting
J – Methodical Starter and Rogue Smearer
Do you have any neat projects that incorporate paper cups? Please share and add them to the link up below! Also be sure to check out the blogs of my gal pals to see their creative paper cup projects:
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