The Fingerprint Heart - Easy and Beautiful Mother's Day Craft

Listen, pals. There's still time to whip out your DIY hat and win Mother's Day with this beautiful (and easy!) craft. 

Here's what you need*:

  • Blank stretched canvas, square, any size (8 x 8 inch is an excellent size)
  • Acrylic paints in various colours (if you've got a whole pile of kids, maybe give each one their own signature colour)
  • A template (cut a heart out of a piece of paper. Boom! Template.)
  • Some fingers. Kid fingers. Your own fingers. Whatever fingers you think the special lady in your life will want to see on her Mother's Day craft.

*some of these links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase from the link, I earn a small percentage of the sale

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Here's what you do:

Prepare your canvas by taping your template onto the canvas with painter's tape (so you don't damage the edges of your canvas when you take the template off). 

Pour a small amount of one colour of paint onto a palette or plate or paper towel, whatever works for you.

Lightly dab a finger in the paint and then gently tap on the canvas to create fingerprint polka dots. Continue with different fingers and colours, allowing some drying time in between colour changes. Make sure you do some dots along the edge of your template so your heart has a nicely defined shape.

Allow to dry completely. 

Make a legend: write the names of the owners of the fingerprints on the back edge of the canvas and have them do a single fingerprint beside their name in their signature colour. Make sure the paint on the front of your canvas is BONE DRY before you flip it over to do this part.

Thank You Teacher Gift - Customized Pencils

We're stumbling toward the end of the school year with a calendar full of spirit days and classroom events. The thought of adding one more thing to my to-do list is daunting but I wanted to give Grady's teachers a gift from the heart. Grady's first year of school has been more positive than we could have hoped for, largely because of his teachers. Teachers are my heroes. I say that without an ounce of humour. I could not teach 22 five-year-olds and maintain my sanity. 

I realize that teachers probably accrue a lot of stuff, and my desire to give a heartfelt gift doesn't outweigh their desire to not be buried in things. I wanted to find the perfect balance of meaningful and useful. 

I used 1/8" metal hand stamps, a black ink pad, and a rubber mallet to make custom pencils for Grady's teachers and I love how they turned out. With that being said, this was not a fun craft to do with an almost-six-year-old. It requires too much dexterity and the risk-reward ratio was off. My fingers got whacked a few too many times is what I'm saying. 

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We added a card with sincere messages from both of us (I may have cried a little while writing mine) and a coffee gift card. It may not be the most elaborate or fancy teacher thank you gift but it checks all my boxes. 

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Do you do teacher thank you gifts at the end of the year? What do you give?

Let's Faff

I haven't faffed in a while. Shall we faff? Let's faff.

(Don't know what faffing is? It's dithering about. I have approximately 92 important things on my to-do list today and instead I'm blogging about pretty much nothing. I'm faffing.)

Today is St. Patrick's Day! Did you know that St. Patrick's Day is a thing now? I blame Pinterest. I mean, I knew it was a thing in my twenties when I drank green beer and danced jigs all night. But I don't remember it being a thing when I was a kid. My mom didn't put green food colouring in the toilet water or leave gold coins or glitter hidden around the house on March 17th and I don't think my friends' parents did either. I don't remember feeling like my family was left out of the St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Apparently now it's a thing and kids expect leprechaun magic and look, I'm all about celebrating imagination but I just don't have it in me this year. This year we all have head colds and it's rainy and miserable. Maybe next year the leprechauns will visit. Am I a St. Patrick's Day Grinch? What are you doing today? I promise I'm not judging you if you're going all out with leprechaun trails and four-leaf clover hunts. You do you.

Speaking of head colds, Grady has had a very low key spring break so far. I had big plans for playdates and adventures but I don't want to invite his buddies over to catch our germs. We've managed a few fun projects (we baked a triple chocolate pie for Pi Day) but the rain is keeping us inside and the colds are keeping us exhausted. The colds and little Miss Poppy No-Sleep.

We did make it to Home Depot yesterday for a fun DIY workshop though (and I definitely earned some Cool Mom points when I let Grady use all the tools). Did you guys know about the Home Depot Kids Workshops? Home Depot hosts free workshops for kids aged 5-12. I imagine the schedule varies from store to store (so you should call ahead) but our local Home Depot is doing one every morning from 10-12 for the entire two weeks of spring break. You just show up and they've got tables and projects set up for building. They supply the materials, tools, and instructions and you just have to supervise your kid and help make the magic happen. Grady used a hammer, screwdriver, and wood glue yesterday like a pro. He got a little apron to wear and a pin for completing his project. He loved it and it kept him occupied and interested for a full hour (no easy feat). Then we brought it home and he spent another hour at home doing the paint job. We're definitely going back to do more building and collect more pins.

How are you keeping your littles occupied during spring break? I need some ideas for next week!

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Kid Craft: Reading Sticks

We read with Grady every day but Grady doesn't know how to read yet. To be clear: we don't expect Grady to know how to read. We do, however, want to support his reading comprehension. We want reading to be enjoyable. We want to do whatever we can to help him learn easily but apart from making reading part of our daily routine, we weren't really sure how.

Grady's teacher recently introduced me to reading sticks. They're simple pointers the kids use to identify letters, syllables, and simple words as they "read" with her. They're brilliant. Grady can't look at a sentence and read all of the words yet, but he can use the pointer and consistently follow along, word for word, syllable for syllable, as I read to him. It makes our reading time more interactive (I'm not reading to him, we're reading together) and he's becoming more confident in his reading abilities. 

Reading sticks are an easy kid craft. Popsicle sticks are a great size and then you just need something fun for your pointer (pompom, sequin, sticker, googly eye, etc.). Grady's excited to make them (I let him use GRADE ONE GLUE!!) and that translates into him being excited to use them. We've made a bunch and stashed them in various places so at any given moment we can whip out a reading stick and do some learning.

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How do you support your early reader? We've got two weeks of spring break and I want to keep the reading momentum going.