Mommy & Me: Construction Letter Tile Spelling Mat (Free Printable)


One of my favorite tools I used in my Kindergarten classroom were Letter Tiles. Now that Jonah is old enough, they are one of his favorite things to work with, too. I recently made a few Letter Tile Spelling Mats to go along with this tool and help Jonah spell some things. Most importantly, I made one with the names in our family, including a picture of each person. He loved it!

Would you like to find out how to make one of your own? It is surprisingly easy to do. I posted the full video tutorial over at Totally Tots today!

And because I love my faithful readers, I made a Construction Letter Tile Spelling Mat to go with the “Big Machines” Theme that we’ve been doing at our house and over at Totally Tots. I thought I’d share it with you. :)

Click here to download the Construction Letter Tile Spelling Mat

Please, if you’d like to share, link back to this blog post. Do NOT link directly to the PDF file. You are free to print, but remember this PDF is for personal or non-profit use only. Do not sell or host this file anywhere else.

Mommy & Me: Pretty Paper Factory

We love Eric Carle books. Alot. They are the books that we return to over and over and over again.

One of the things that make Eric Carle books so unique are the way he makes his illustrations. They are made from paper that he has painted and added texture to himself. (You can see more about his process by watching this video.) Once he paints his tissue paper, he uses it to create collages. (You can see more about his process by watching this video.) I think his process is fascinating.

Or, maybe I’m drawn to his creation process because it is attainable for even the youngest of artists…

Jonah and I had some fun during the “Plague of 2012″. I mean, there are only so many movies a kid can watch when he is sick and it’s raining outside, right?!?! As we were painting with watercolors, I took a white crayon and made a pattern on some paper when he wasn’t looking. When he painted over the white crayon, he thought it was magic.

“Mommy, look! How did it do that?!?!?!”

I explained how, this time showing him the process. He painted over it again just as bright-eyed as before.

“Mommy, can we make more?”

And so it began…The Pretty Paper Factory.

The only problem with the Pretty Paper Factory is that eventually, papers are drying on every flat surface. And then, once they are dry, I have a stack of treasures that Jonah won’t part with.

My solution: The Collage Box

Yes, I really cut up his watercolor pages into 4 smaller rectangles. I asked permission first.

To read about the Collage Box, you’ll have to visit Totally Tots. I’m sharing about The Collage Box over there today!

Want some other Pretty Paper Factory ideas? I’ll be back with more! Subscribe so you don’t miss them!

Mommy & Me: Coffee Filter Snowflakes

Snow is a precious commodity around our region. We get snow, just not very often. Nor does it stay around very long once it finally snows. So, we often have to make our own. Enter…Coffee Filter Snowflakes.

Coffe Filter Snowflake

Jonah still needs LOTS of practice with scissors. LOTS. He keeps wanting to rotate his hand like a contortionist to try to cut paper. The only way I know to help him is to provide plenty of opportunities to let him practice and continue to guide his hands in the right direction. Literally. There is still lots of hand-over-hand help from me in this area. The problem with doing something that can be frustrating for a preschooler (or any age, really) is that when it isn’t fun or purposeful, they don’t want to do it. So, I masked the sometimes frustrating task of cutting with making Coffee Filter Snowflakes. Instant interest from Jonah. Mommy Score!

Coffee Filter Snowflakes

Materials Needed:

  • Coffee Filters
  • Scissors

Directions:

  1. Fold the coffee filter in half several times. (Remember the more you fold, the thicker the layers to cut through. I found that Jonah had a hard time with it folded in sixths.)
  2. Cut designs on the foldsPreschool Cutting Practice: Coffee Filter Snowflakes
  3. Unfold! Jonah loved the anticipation of this step, and couldn’t wait to see the designs!
  4. Display somewhere that makes you happy. We made a bunch and taped them to our large picture window in our kitchen.Taping Coffee Filter Snowflakes

Coincidentally, letting Jonah use the tape himself was also a fine-motor skill hidden in disguise. Jonah thinks tape is fun, so he is super motivated to use it. Little does he know I was giving his little hand muscles a workout! Sneaky Mommy! We had so much fun with this activity that we actually extended snowflake cutting over a few days. Jonah kept asking to make more. That is a success in my book!

We also read lots of books about snow. Here are a few of our favorites:

Snow by Manya Stojic


Snip…Snip…Snow! by Nancy Poydar


S Is for Snowman by Kathy-jo Wargin

If you’d like to see more of our snow book “picks” you can check out our list!

We’d love to see your Coffee Filter Snowflakes! Let us know if you make some~send us the link or post them to our Happy Brown House Facebook page. Happy cutting!

Boutique Baby Series: No-Sew Pacifier Clip Tutorial {Guest Post}

Note from Sara: My friend Jenny from The Southern Institute is here today to share a tutorial with you while I snuggle up with my newest little guy. Let’s give her a warm welcome to the Happy Brown House!
Hello, everyone! It’s so good to be here today as a guest… my first time at Happy Brown House!  Sara asked if I would share a project with you and I thought this was the perfect thing.  This pacifier clip requires no sewing and it takes about 15 minutes!  It’s perfect for baby showers.

What you’ll need:
  • 1/2 inch velcro
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • grosgrain ribbon (about 12 inches)
  • one mitten clip (they come in packs of two)
Step One: Cut a piece of velcro to match the width of your ribbon.
Step Two: Apply hot glue to the edge of one end of the ribbon and fold over about 1/2 inch.  Press firmly to adhere.  This creates a “hem” of sorts.
Step Three: Take the velcro (both sides stuck together) and glue one side to the edge of the “hem”.  Place hot glue on the second side and fold the ribbon over about 1 1/2 inches.  Press firmly.
This is the side that will be attached to the pacifier.
Step Four: On the other end of the ribbon, place hot glue along the edge and fold over 1/4 inch, just as you did the first side.  Feed the ribbon up through the back side of the mitten clip.  Place hot glue along the edge, fold over, and press firmly to secure the mitten clip to the ribbon.
You now have a completed No-Sew Pacifier Clip!
Your friends will be so impressed!

Disclaimer: Please, use common sense and DO NOT leave your baby unattended with a pacifier clip attached to them.

Boutique Baby Series: Wipes Case

http://happybrownhouse.com

Boutique Wipes Case Tutorial

Materials:

Directions:

1. Lay wipes case on top of fabric. Cut fabric larger than wipes case. {Optional Step~For a truly custom wipes case, monogram on the top fabric piece.}

measure

2. Lay batting on the wipes case. Using a marker, trace around the case. Use spray adhesive to attach it to the top. While this step isn’t completely necessary, my Huggies brand wipes case had an opening tab on the top that needed to be covered up(see above photo). If yours doesn’t have this, by all means skip this step!

batting

3. Using hot glue, attach the fabric. Go slowly, working on small sections at a time. I didn’t go all the way to the edge, but don’t worry, we’ll cover it up! Once all the fabric is attached, use your scissors to trim the excess fabric.

4. Beginning at the back, attach the cording with hot glue. Once again, work slowly on small sections at a time. When you get to your beginning point, glue your cording down BEFORE trimming (it will unravel if you don’t…just trust me on this!) To prevent it from unraveling from frequent use, seal the ends with Fray Check.

trim

5. Voila!

Boutique Wipes Case

Boutique Baby Series: Ribbon Tag Blanket Tutorial

You can buy Ribbon Tag Blankets in the store, but I figure, why buy one when I can make it with things I already have in my craft stash? Seriously, I already had all of the materials. So for me, this project was FREE~my favorite kind of project!

Ribbon Tag Blanket

Materials:

  • 12×12″ square of Minky fabric (can also use fleece, flannel, or other soft fabric)
  • 12×12″ square of Satin fabric
  • Various ribbon strips cut approximately 2-3″ long
  • thread
  • sewing machine

Directions:

1.) Cut your fabric. I like to use a 12×12″ square for a “lovey” or snuggle blanket. (Optional: If you have an embroidery machine, this would be the best time to stitch the monogram.)

2.) Cut your ribbon. I don’t measure exactly, just make sure you have atleast 2-3″ inch pieces.

3.) Fold ribbon pieces in half to form a loop. Leaving a small amount hanging over the edge, pin the ribbon around the edges of the main fabric. The loop should be facing the inside of the square. (By leaving a little hanging over the edge, we will be sewing over the ribbon at two different points to ensure they stay inside the blanket.)

4.) Tack down the ribbon loops with your sewing machine.


5.) Place the other fabric pieces right-sides-together. If you are using Minky and Satin as I did, pin very well! The minky and satin will slide around as you sew. Also, minky has lots of stretch to it. If you don’t pin well, it will be very wonky!


6.) Leaving a 3 inch opening, sew around the edges. (Leaving an opening is important!)
7.) Clip corners.


8.) Turn the fabric right side out. Push out the corners.
9.) Pin the hole shut and topstitch around the edges.


10.) Admire your work. Give to a little one to snuggle.

Ribbon Tage Blanket 2

Asher is still too young to appreciate the soothing powers of a tag blanket, but isn’t he cute?

Boutique Baby on a Budget Series

I love boutique baby items…my budget does not.

Plus, most of the time, I leave the store saying “I could soooo make that.”

So, what’s a girl to do?

Make it herself…on a budget.

And that’s what I did.

But what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t share?

http://happybrownhouse.com

I can’t wait to share a few projects I made for Asher’s arrival with you!