Tag Archives: house

We Can Make Art with ANYTHING!

14 Dec

Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer for “rookie” parents, “third-time’s-the-charm” parents, or even “been-there-done-that” grandparents?  You’re in luck! Gryphon House is counting down our favorite picks for parents. Whether you’re looking to spice up a holiday road trip, explore some exciting art activities, or bring out your baby’s “baby smarts,” we’ve got a book for that!

Day 12:

Art with Anything Cover

Art with Anything

Can we really make art with that? According to MaryAnn Kohl and her book Art with Anything, the answer is always “Yes!

With a year’s worth of creative art activities that combine easy-to-find household items and simple-as-can-be instructions, you and your child will have a blast as you redefine the meaning of recycling!

Have some extra cotton swabs or Q-tips® lying around?  Then you’re ready to test this theory!

Cotton Swab Snowflakes

Materials:

  • Cotton swabs (Q-tips®, cotton buds), a handful per snowflake
  • Waxed paper
  • White glue in squeeze bottle
Optional:
  • Glitter
  • Paper clip
  • Thread, embroidery floss, or fishing line for hanging from paper clip

What to Do:

  1. Spread a sheet of waxed paper on a flat surface. With a handful of cotton swabs (10-20 and probably many more), create a snowflake design on the waxed paper. Swabs can be used whole, bent or broken, but should always connect and touch. Real snowflakes are six-sided, but feel free to be creative with these snowflakes.
  2. When the design is ready, squeeze plenty of glue over each joint. Don’t worry if the glue blobs out or looks messy, because it will harden clear and look more crystallized that way.
    • Optional: Sprinkle glitter on the glue before it dries. Allow the snowflake to dry on the waxed paper overnight or for at least four hours.
  3. When the glue has dried completely, very slowly and carefully peel the snowflake from the waxed paper. If the snowflake breaks, put it on the wax paper again and add more glue. Dry and peel again when dry.
  4. Hang snowflakes with thread, embroidery floss, or fishing line. An unbent paper clip makes a simple hook for hanging.

 ~~~

For more art projects you can create using just about everything, visit the Gryphon House website to purchase your own copy of Art with Anything! Happy crafting!

Don’t forget to enter our 5 Days of Great Gryphon Giveaways on the Gryphon House Facebook fan page. Join us as we give away 5 books (as mentioned in our 12 Days of Great Gryphon Gifts for Moms and Dads blog series) to 5 lucky Facebook fans each day this week (Monday-Friday)! You still have 2 more chances to win!

Whip Up Some Magical Moments With Your Budding Chef!

12 Dec

Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer for “rookie” parents, “third-time’s-the-charm” parents, or even “been-there-done-that” grandparents?  You’re in luck! Gryphon House is counting down our favorite picks for parents. Whether you’re looking to spice up a holiday road trip, explore some exciting art activities, or bring out your baby’s “baby smarts,” we’ve got a book for that!

Day 10:

The Budding Chef

This book is brimming with tasty kitchen adventures for you and your child to enjoy together! With a cup of wonder, a teaspoon of laughter, and a scoop of fun, the recipes and activities in The Budding Chef will help you share cooking’s magical moments.

Peanut Butter Play Dough (from The Budding Chef)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup honey or corn syrup
  • 1 cup powdered milk
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • Coconut or powdered sugar, optional

Tools:

  • Large Bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Mixing spoon

What to Do:

  1. Help your child measure 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup honey, 1 cup powdered milk, and 1 cup oatmeal.
  2. Once the ingredients are measured, help your child combine them in a large bowl. As he works with the ingredients, talk about how they are changing as he mixes them. This is hard work!
  3. Once the mixture is dough-like, he can spoon out some of the play dough and mix it using his hands and fingers. Ask him if it is sticky. If the answer is yes, add small amounts of oatmeal and powdered milk.
  4. Encourage your child to explore this edible play dough. If desired, your child can make “snowballs” by rolling a rounded ball of dough in coconut and powdered sugar.
  5. As he plays with the play dough, remind him that it is okay to eat as well!

~~~

For more ways to whip up magical moments in the kitchen, visit our website to purchase your own copy of The Budding Chef!

Is Your Baby “Baby Smart?”

4 Dec

Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer for “rookie” parents, “third-times-the-charm” parents, or even “been-there-done-that” grandparents?  You’re in luck! Gryphon House is counting down our favorite picks for parents. Whether you’re looking to spice up a holiday road trip, explore some exciting art activities, or bring out your baby’s “baby smarts,” we’ve got a book for that!

Day 4:

 

Baby Smarts

Babies don’t need lots of expensive toys – just this book and you!

Packed with developmental games designed to boost your baby’s brain power, Baby Smarts will build the foundation for your infant’s future learning. Test out just a few of these activities and see how your baby laughs and learns as they reach important milestones!  Each activity also uses common materials found in the home, so you won’t have to break the bank buying lots of expensive toys and props!

Ah, Boo!

Babies who are up to 3 months may begin to respond to familiar voices with this activity.

  • Hold your baby at eye level and touch his forehead to yours very gently. As you touch foreheads, say “Ah, boo!”
  • When you say “Boo,” move your forehead away from your baby’s forehead and smile at him.
  • You can also extend the word “ah” to “ahhhhh.”
  • Your baby will love this game, and you will love the connections between you and your baby that the game creates.

Jingle Feet

Babies who are 3-6 months old may learn to play with their hands and feet in this activity.

  • Place socks with jingle bells on the toes of your baby’s feet.
  • Place your baby on her back and chant the following to her as you gently lift her left leg toward her face. “Jingle bells, left foot, jingle bells, left foot.”
  • Put her leg down and then gently move her right food toward her face as you say the same words using “right foot” instead of “left foot.”
  • After doing this several times, remove the socks and wiggle her toes one by one. As you wiggle her toes, say “Wiggle, wiggle.”

Diaper Game

Babies who are 6-9 months old may learn the names of body parts.

  • Pick one of your favorite songs or make up a melody of your own.
  • During diaper-changing time, name and sing about your infant’s body parents while lovingly touching each one.
  • Start by naming his feet and move up to the tummy, the elbows, the shoulders, and, finally, his face.

~~~

Brain-building activities (like the ones shown above) may sound simple, but each and every one can help develop your baby’s physical, intellectual, and social-emotional abilities. To purchase your own copy of Baby Smarts by Jackie Silberg, visit our website.

Snack on this “Snacktivity!”

3 Dec

Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer for “rookie” parents, “third-times-the-charm” parents, or even “been-there-done-that” grandparents?  You’re in luck! Gryphon House is counting down our favorite picks for parents. Whether you’re looking to spice up a holiday road trip, explore some exciting art activities, or bring out your baby’s “baby smarts,” we’ve got a book for that!

Day 3

Snacktivities

Jack Frost Treat (from Snacktivities)

  • Serves 6
  • Estimated time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder (available at kitchen supply stores)
  • 6 tablespoons of warm water
  • Edible glitter or decorative sugar sprinkles

Utensils

  • Baking sheet
  • Wax paper
  • Large bowl
  • Electric mixer
  • Pastry bag with number 10 point
  • Paintbrush
  • Spatula
  • Nylon thread (optional)

What to Do:

  1. Cover the baking sheet in wax paper. Set aside.
  2. Place the confectioner’s sugar, meringue powder and water in the large bowl. Beat the sugar mixture on low speed with the electric mixer until well mixed. Turn the electric mixer up to high and beat the mixture for up to 7 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
  3. Spoon the sugary meringue into the pastry bag.
  4. Make snowflake designs, each about the size of a walnut, on the wax paper-covered baking sheet. Draw a line first, then make lines over top of the first one. Add curls, circles, triangles and different shapes that resemble a snowflake.
  5. Dip the paintbrush in water and very lightly paint water over each snowflake. Sprinkle the glitter or sugar sprinkles over the snowflakes before the water dries.
  6. Let the snowflakes dry.
  7. Carefully remove the snowflakes from the paper with a spatula.
  8. Snowflakes (or any other shape) may also be used to garnish or decorate cakes, cupcakes or other wintry recipes, and they are delicious to eat at any time.
  9. Very carefully, tie a thread to each snowflake and hang, if desired.

~~~

For more edible activities for parents and children (like the one shown above), visit our website and purchase your own copy of Snacktivities by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Jean Potter.

Have Some “Good Clean Fun” this Holiday Season!

1 Dec

Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer for “rookie” parents, “third-time’s-the-charm” parents, or even “been-there-done-that” grandparents?  You’re in luck! Gryphon House is counting down our favorite picks for parents. Whether you’re looking to spice up a holiday road trip, explore some exciting art activities, or bring out your baby’s “baby smarts,” we’ve got a book for that!

Day 1:

Good Clean Fun

This book is packed with over 70 seriously simple, fabulously fun games for families to enjoy together! Filled with everything from memory games to imagination games, the creative games in this book are easy to play and fun to do!

The Thirteenth Day of Christmas (from Good Clean Fun)

  • 2 or more players
  • Ages 7+

In this holiday memory game, one player begins by saying. “On the thirteenth day of Christmas, I returned to the store, one __________,” filling in the blank with any item (the sillier the better!). The item does not have to be from the “olden days,” like the “maids-a-milking” or “geese-a-laying” featured in the popular song. The game is more fun if the players are very descriptive (for example, one moustache-less walrus or one round-trip ticket to the moon).
The second player repeats, “On the thirteenth day of Christmas, I returned to the store two (filling in the blank with an item) and one ________ (repeating the first player’s item). “The next player then repeats the phrase, adding a “three” to the configuration.

Play continues until a player forgets one of the items. That player leaves the game and the game continues until one player is left.

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For more seriously fun games for creative families (like the one shown above), visit our website to purchase your own copy of Good Clean Fun. And don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for Day 2 of our 12 Days of Great Gryphon Gifts!

Ten Ways to Teach Preschoolers About Farm Animals Before a Class Trip to the Fair

11 Oct

Can you smell the funnel cakes and taste the cotton candy in the afternoon air? If so, I’m guessing the fair is in town!

Before taking your preschoolers on a class trip to ride the ponies and pet the teacup pigs, teach them about farm animals with these fun activity ideas from The Complete Daily Curriculum for Early Childhood, Revised.

1. Dress like a farmer in overalls or jeans, an old shirt, boots, and a straw hat.

2. Teach the children to sing, “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.” Remind the children that women can be farmers too. You may want to change the words in the song to reflect a female farmer.

3. Find out what the children know about farms. Ask the children:

  • Who has been to a farm?
  • What are the names of animals that live on a farm?
  • Who cares for the animals?
  • Why do farmers have animals on the farm?
  • What does each animal produce? (chicken – eggs, cows – milk, pigs – meat, and so on)

4. Read one of these stories to the class during story time.

5. Have the class move like farm animals – walk like a chicken, gallop like a pony, hop like a bunny, sway like a pig, and waddle like a duck.

6. Provide buttermilk in a shallow bowl, drawing paper, and colored chalk. Encourage the children to dip the chalk into the buttermilk and draw pictures. Ask, What happens to the chalk? Where does buttermilk come from?

7. Have the children build barns and silos using blocks. Provide plastic farm animals for the children to use.

8. Provide plastic farm and zoo animals and invite the children to sort the animals by where the animals live. If plastic animals are unavailable, use magazine pictures or patterns (available at www.gryphonhouse.com/completedailycurriculum/downloads).

9. Make a recording of animal noises. Make animal picture cards of each animal as well. Invite the children to match the animal on the card to the sound on the recording that is made by that animal.

10. Ask the children to reflect on what they have learned about farm animals that day.

  • What did they learn about farm animals?
  • Do some animals on the farm also live at the zoo?

Note: The Infant/Toddler Photo Activity Library by Pam Schiller and Richele Bartkowiak has a number of excellent large photo cards of farm animals.

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