This past week baby L and I put together a little homemade decorative Thanksgiving plate for her family to keep and cherish for her first Thanksgiving. She had such a blast feeling the paint swirl around in her hands and the way the paint brush tickled her little foot made her laugh, smile and giggle so much! Since it’s L’s first Thanksgiving we can’t really talk about what she is Thankful for just yet, but we thought we would share how we made it on here to inspire some Thankfulness in others. This is a great craft to do with children of any age and could easily be tied into discussing things that children are grateful for as well as counting their blessings through out the year to encourage contented little hearts filled with gratitude. 🙂
Name one blessing for each feather you count on your Turkey! 🙂
- Ceramic Plate
- Black Sharpie Marker
- Brown, Red, Gold, White, Black and Orange Acrylic Paint
- paint brushes
- cup of water
- paint pallet or plate to keep colors separate
- Conventional Oven
- Make sure plate is clear of all smudges. Clean the plate with dish soap and allow to dry.
- Squirt the paints onto a pallet or plate to keep the colors separate.
- Take paint brush and swirl it into one of the colors that you would like to be one of the Turkeys feathers.
- Once plate is completely take the paint brush and paint child’s hand. Let your child feel the paint and experience the fun of having the new texture in their grasp. For toddlers and older children have a conversation with them about how it feels. Asks them if they can describe it and work with them to build their vocabulary about the new experience.
- Now take the child’s hand and place it near the top-center-middle of the plate. Then clean the child’s hand with a baby wipe of wet cloth.
- Then repeat the steps 3-5 with the other two colors that you and your child would like to be the Turkeys feathers and place the child’s handprints on either side of the first-middle handprint.
- Next take the paintbrush and dip it into the brown paint. Then swirl it onto your child’s foot. Again, if your child is older ask them about what it feels like. Do they think the brush tickles? Do they like the feeling of the smushy paint between their toes? Why? Why not?
- Now place the child’s foot, toes down in the middle of the plate. It’s okay if the foot print overlaps on the center handprints.
- Allow the hand and foot prints to dry as you clean your child’s foot.
- Once the prints are dry take the child’s finger and let them dip it in the white paint. Then have them put their finger print on the footprints heels.
- Then take a toothpick and dip it into the black acrylic paint. Now place a little dot of the Black in the middle of the child’s white fingerprint to create a little Turkey eyeball.
- Then take the toothpick and dip it into the orange paint and make a little triangle right underneath the eyeballs you just created.
- Again, take the toothpick, one last time. and dip it into the red paint. Then trace it right along the ridge and down the side of the orange triangle that you just created to complete your Turkeys’ gobbler!
- Allow your Turkey’s face to dry completely.
- Take your Black Sharpie Marker and write a message of gratitude above and below your Turkey.
- Preheat your conventional oven and bake your plate at 350-345 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes. Turn off your oven and allow the plate to cool in the oven.
- Once the plate is completely cool take out and display somewhere for your family to enjoy, and your child to take pride in their art work and remember that our greatest blessings are those things in life that God has blessed us with where no monetary value could ever place their worth; our relationships and those memories we make with those we love.
The finished product completed by my favorite little Turkey this year.
Much love & prayer,
Matt & Blair
A couple weeks ago, for our big arts and craft project for the month of October, baby L and I made a sweet Halloween Candy Bowl for her family to pass out treats to all the neighborhood children during her first Halloween, in the hopes that this item would become a long standing cherished piece of functional children’s artwork in their family. Even though it was a bit time consuming, the project as a whole was rather easy and turned out really well! Therefore I thought we would share it here to inspire others in getting their creative juices flowing this holiday season!
- Ceramic Bowl of your choice – we found ours at Target but they can be purchased in practically any retail store, including dollar tree!
- Paint Brushes
- Black and Orange Permanent Marker
- Orange, Yellow, Black and White Acrylic Paint
- Conventional Oven
- Clean bowl with soap and water, then dry with paper towel
- Squirt Paint onto a plate making sure to leave enough room between colors so they do not mix.
- Take paint brush and dip into black paint, then paint a circle large enough to place babies foot prints in. Make sure to fill in the circle with the black paint and allow to dry before continuing. To speed up the drying process you can use a hairdryer to dry the paint.
- After you have done this write the words “Trick Or Treat” above the circle and “Smell My Feet” below it with the Black and Orange permanent markers. Allow this to dry.
- Next take paint brush and dip into the yellow paint, then paint the top of babies foot.
- Then take another paint brush and dip it into the Orange paint and paint the middle of your babies foot.
- Again, take another paint brush and dip it into the White paint and paint the bottom of your little ones foot. This will complete your Candy Corn design.
- Now take the painted foot and place it in the middle of the black circle that you painted and allowed to dry earlier. Make sure to completely wipe off your child’s foot after you have finished making the print. This will cut down on clean up and extra messiness in the long run.
- Repeat steps 5-8 on your child’s opposite foot.
- Allow design to dry completely.
- While it is drying take a clean footsie and paint it in one of the solid colors. Then place it on the outside of the bowl. Clean the foot and repeat this step with another color to make a design on the outside of the bowl. We decided to just do three foot prints equally spaced apart and then write the sayings “Trick or Treat” “Smell my Feet” and the families last name in the center/between the designated spaces of each foot print
- Preheat the oven t0 350 degrees.
- After you have completed your design and the dish looks exactly how you want it to place the dish in the heated oven for 30 minutes. Once the time is up turn the oven off and allow the dish to sit in the oven while it cools. This helps to seal the marker onto the ceramic material better.
- Lastly place your families favorite wrapped Halloween candy in the bowl to pass out on Halloween or Trick or Trunk night and relish the idea of having a special keepsake of your babies childhood for generations to come!
A side note on this project, I personally would not test the strength of the materials by washing them, especially the paint. This is a decorative piece and for safety purposes should be used accordingly. Like I mentioned above the only items I would feel comfortable putting in this bowl is wrapped candy or other items of the like.
We hope this inspires you and your little ones inner artist and helps to get your whole family in touch with their creative side as well as make a lasting childhood memory.
Much love & prayer,
Matt & Blair
I have always been the sort of person that enjoyed school growing up. I loved everything about it. From shopping for brand new school supplies, to learning new and exciting things, to meeting and making new friends, even to the way the old textbooks smelled was a treasure trove of enjoyment to me, but nothing compared to the first day of school! The exciting feeling of waking up that morning and not knowing what exactly to expect, except that whatever the next year held was bound to be wonderful has always been a point of exhilaration in my life. This past Wednesday I had my very last first day of school as a student, and my very first day of school as a student-teacher! It was exciting and slightly sad all at the same time. To think that my college career at The University of Kentucky is quickly coming to a close and the beginning of my teaching career is fast approaching is of course a momentous thought. At the same time though, to think that something that I have worked so hard for, for so long is about to be completed and a new era of my life is about to start is also a bit nerve wrecking. There is so much unknown. So much unseen. So much newness ahead. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to think about. Sometimes it seems like too much change to take in at once.
Then I remember what the first day of school is like. The excitement that comes with the first morning of not exactly knowing what will take place that day, that week, that month or even that year, but having the assurance that whatever it is, is bound to be wondersome. That through the new experiences and challenges I am given I am bound to grow exponentially, all the more becoming the woman that I am created to be, the woman that I am destined to become! Then the dauntingly unexpected doesn’t seem so much of a burden as it does a blessing.
So this past Wednesday was my official last first day of school as a student but it was not my last first day of life. Every day is a first day in the school of life and there will be many more first days to come. Whether they seem new or mundane they all count towards our future; every moment, every breath. So wake up every morning, no matter what your situation is, determined to make that day a great first day! Be determined to discover all the new lessons life has to offer that will nurture you into a better person, teach you fresh perspectives and ground you more in your beliefs… Or as my Aunt B always tells me “Bloom where you are planted!”
The sky was full of fog and there was a slight chill in the air as I was driving to work at 7:00 am yesterday morning. The forecast had called for rain all day long, and that’s not exactly what one would think of as the typical sun drenched day in June. I was listening to the radio as I made my early commute over to the twins home, while I was trying to think of some fun indoor activities that we could do for the day. That’s when the radio personnel announced that it was National Donut Day and that different donut shops around the country would be giving out free donuts to customers all day long. I had never heard of such as thing, but thought it would be something exciting to do with the kids to celebrate our first week together as well as this new found quirky national holiday, and of course, being the cool eight year olds they are, John and Rosalie were all in! Therefore, after swim practice that day we made our way over to Krispy Kreme Donuts in Lexington, KY. I had never been there before and man was it an experience! Of course we were expecting the promised free donuts of our choice, but there was so much more going on as well that added to the atmosphere! Not only were they handing out donuts, but the twins each received a balloon and cute little paper hats that looked exactly like the ones that the staff was wearing! They even had a huge glass window in the parlor where you could watch the donuts being made while you ate! There was a ton of other families and children around all waiting in line for their tasty glazed treats, holding their balloons and fiddling with their own paper hats as well. Everyone was smiling and having a good time together, just enjoying each others company.
The twins with their treats
We got there just in time to watch the donuts being made!
Later that evening, after I had left the kids for the day and was home just relaxing with Matt after a long, but rewarding, work week, a thought popped into my head. It wasn’t a new thought for me, and I am sure that many others have had this thought before I ever did, but none the less it had reoccured. It’s the little things in life that make it special; that make it sweet, if you will :). It’s the memories made from spontaneous adventures. The moments spent impacting and show love to others that truly bring satisfaction and joy. And the best part is you don’t have to spend a lot of money or be someone of high stature in society, all you need is an open heart and a willingness to be truly present in the moments that have been given to you.