Dec 31 11
by cara
at 8:39 AM
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Top 11 Kids’ Art and Activities of 2011

The Littlest Apple and I discovered some new favorite activities this year, several of which I haven’t even shared with you yet (including marshmallow guns, water beads, glow in the dark fun, and more…coming soon in 2012!  One of my goals for 2012 is to be more intentional about planning fun activities, crafts, and science experiments for The Littlest Apple.  I found the Activity Advent Calendar to be really helpful for the month of December, and we did more fun stuff in December than we did all year long.  When I was prepping for each week, I looked over that week’s Advent Activities and purchased supplies and prepared each activity accordingly.  The rest of the year, I may have thought about a particular activity or craft, but didn’t have supplies on hand.  Or I just never planned it in the first place.  With Baby Slingshot arriving soon, I know this will be a challenge, but I also think this will be a great way to spend some quality time with The Littlest Apple.  We probably won’t do something like this every single day, but I may aim for 2-3 crafts/activities a week.  (Blogging about them all is a whole different story!)

So, here are some things The Littlest Apple and I did in 2011….

1.  Mardi Gras Sensory Bin–  This was a new sensory bin for us this year, and The Littlest Apple and I BOTH loved it!  The colored rice, the beads, the feathers, and the masks made this one really special.  Can’t wait to break it out again in a few months!

2.  Does It Dissolve? Anything that involves pouring and stirring is usually a hit with The Littlest Apple, and he’s asked for this activity over and over again.  We also used the index card labels to incorporate some letter and word recognition into this activity.

3.  Easter Cross Suncatcher– My favorite of all the suncatchers we’ve made over the last few years.  The black outline on this one really makes the colors pop, and the colors are bright and lovely for spring.

4.  Fizzy Fun– This was probably the biggest hit of the entire year.  We’ve done this many, many times, and since it just requires a few household ingredients (that I usually have on hand), we do this one as a default activity when we’re looking for something to do.

5.  Milk Magic– This experiment is so mesmerizing to watch.  The swirly, bright colors look beautiful on the backdrop of white milk.  We definitely need to revist this one!

6.  Cup Stacking–  The surprise hit of the year.  Who knew that kids liked to play with plastic cups so much?  Note to self: Always have a stack of cups on hand for The Littlest Apple when I need a minute to get something done.

7.  Slime-There are so many neat-o recipes like this floating around on the internet for slime, gak, oobleck, etc.  I plan to try more of these in the future, because it’s a really great sensory experience for The Littlest Apple (as well as a good lesson in following the recipe!).  This slime had a neat texture that was lots of fun to play with.

8.  Autumn Cork Painting–  I LOVED this art project!  I thought it turned out beautifully, and The Littlest Apple even joined in despite his initial rejection.  This was one of YOUR favorite Picky Apple post this year too, judging by all the Pinterest interest it received.

9.  Gumdrop Sculptures– This was another activity that I came up with spur of the moment using things we had on hand (including the several-years-old-yucky-gumdrops).  The Littlest Apple is in a building phase, so this one kept him busy for quite a while.

10.  Gingerbread Playdough– This was a new playdough for us this year, and we played with it all through the month of December.  It smells fantastic, and the rollers and cookie cutters made this extra festive.

11. Salt Dough Ornaments–  The Littlest Apple and I had a blast making these and painting them, then using them as ornaments and gift tags.  Definitely a new annual Christmas tradition for The Picky Apple house.

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