Joanna Anastasia

toddler activity

Easter surprise craft & printable

Easter surprise craft

There’s so many reasons to be exited for spring and Easter! There’s the gorgeous spring weather that finally let’s us explore nature and the outdoors, the traditional egg painting and the egg hunting with kids. Then there are Easter family gatherings and last but not the least, new Amazon’s award winning children’s series springtime special, the Tumble Leaf ” Spring-a-ling Surprise”!
And while I’m quite strict when it comes to screen time and kids, I’m always so happy when I can find new educational and well made kids shows!

So to celebrate spring and Easter, we got inspired by this sweet whimsical and beautiful episode, and decided to make our own version of the Tumble Leaf Easter eggs. And my girls could not have been happier!

So if you your kids still don’t know the Tumble Leaf series, then let me assure you, that they’ll love it! This series is beautifully made, with gorgeous aesthetics and captures my kids attention every single time! But what I love the most about it, is how it inspires my girls to craft and play after they finish watching it! And when I look at them, concentrated and with their eyes wide opened, it melts my mama’s heart!

Easter surprise series and craft

Easter craft

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So after watching this new spring episode, we decided we’ll make our very own spring surprise eggs! And you can craft along with us, since I have prepared a printable for you, that you can cut out and color with your kids! Just download and print the 3 page sheets and you’re ready to go!

Easter surprise craft

Easter surprise craft

Easter surprise craft

Printable Easter preschool activity


All you need to do:

  1. Print out the coloring sheets I made for you.You can get the full three pages printable coloring sheets here
  2.  Let your kids color them, and then help them cut the eggs, pots, butterflies and bunnies out!
  3. Prepare glue, and let them put together their own Easter Surprise eggs!
  4. Don’t forget to watch the episode, and find out what are the names of your eggs and what signs of spring has Fig the Fox uncovered !

As for my girls, we might make many more Easter surprise eggs, because as Rose pointed out, we need to have as many as Bloom the bunny in the Tumble Leaf!

And how many will you make?

Easter surprise craft

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, all opinion remain my own.

Valentine’s day ideas that you can really make with your kids

Valentine's day ideas that you can really make with your kids: toddlers and preschoolers! Easy a valentine,s card tutorial and other doable ideas! ,

Valentine’s day is just around the corner, and it means that Pinterest is flooded with cute and perfect ideas to keep everyone occupied! If you’re single, you might be organizing a Galentine party, if you’re dating it’s time for a super romantic get-together, and if you’re a mom it means that you’ll be cutting out heart-shaped sandwiches, filling in your kids cards and baking complicated desserts all nigh long!

Or, we can just take it easy.

So while I really want my kids to feel special, and to enjoy the change of the seasons with their distinctive holidays, I thing it’s important to plan activities that they can actually make on their own!

And so these here, are three doable, easy and fun ideas that you can really make at home with toddlers and preschoolers alike:

1. Easy DIY Valentine’s day card

2. Home made Valentine’s day play-dough hearts

3. Simple Valentines day brownie bites

We have actually made all of these more than once, and here is how:

The DIY Valentine’s day card:

Every year we make our own cards (you can see the evolution of our ideas here and here!) This one is equally simple as fun, it leaves space inside for some sweet wishes (or scribbles!) and can be made with pre-cut by mom pieces, or made from start to finish by a bigger kid.

What you’ll need:

– Black pink and purple crafting paper
– Scissors and glue
– Glitter

Cut two long rectangles out of the black crafting paper, and fold them in two, so you have two little square booklets. Cut out 2 different sizes of hearts in two different colors ( I suggest purple and pink) and leave the smaller cut out paper aside (to glue it inside of the card) Let your bigger kid cut hearts out, and prepare it all for the toddler. Glue the bigger heart on the first page, then glue the smaller one on top and decorate with glitter. Inside glue the cut out rectangle with a heart-shaped hole, and write in your wishes on the empty side! ( Or let your toddler scribble something they think looks like a sweet note!) Here’s how my daughters did it:

Valentines days ideas to do with kids, that they can actually make alone!

Valentine's day ideas : easy DIY card that your kids can really make!

Valentine's day ideas

Valentine's day ideas

Valentine’s day home-made play dough:

This is the activity that Lili wants to make every year! Some years we would just play with it as with any other play dough. And some years we would make garlands. Here’s the recipe for my simple salt dough, perfect for cutting out hearts!

And here’s what we did this year: a dough without salt, so it would feel more like a real baking dough, and we pretended to be baking pink cakes for dolls with it!

Play dough that feels like a real dough:

– 1 cup flour
– 1 cup cornstarch
– 1/4 cup warm water
– 1/4 cup oil
– pink food colorant ( or some beet juice)

Mix it all well, if the dough is too sticky, add flour, if it’s too dry, add water and oil. For more sensory fun, you can add some dry pasta like we did!

Valentine's day ideas

easy Valentine's day craft ideas for kids

Valentine's day ideas

This dough keeps well in the fridge for 2 -3 days. Lili wanted to make some hearts and give them as her tokens of love, so we made these and baked just as you would bake any other cookie.

Valentine’s day brownie bites with cream cheese frosting:

Now this is so yummy and looks so festive, while being really simple.
Of course I encourage you to make your own brownies ( you can even find an amazing healthy version here) but you can also use a brownie box mix just like we did!

easy Valentine's day ideas that you can acctuale make: like these cute brownie bites!

What you’ll need:

– baked brownies
– heart shaped cookie cutters
– 1 cup cream cheese
– 1/2 cup icing sugar
– pink food colorant (or beet juice!)

Bake your brownies. Wait a bit until they cool down, and cut out hearts: we found that in order for them not to break it’s best to cut out bigger rectangular pieces, and then cut out the hearts:

Valentine's day ideas

Valentine's day ideas for kids activities

Now prepare your cheese cream frosting ( combine everything in a kitchen-aid mixer and mix well for around a minute) and decorate your brownie bites!

simple valentine's day dessert: brownie bites with cream cheese frosting!

easy to make Valentine's day brownie bites with cheese cream frosting!

Wishing you all a lovely and uncomplicated Valentine’s day!

The series that’ll inspire your kid to craft and create !

When a series is both amusing and educative, then it's a totall win in my books, and when it inspires my kids to sit down and craft, then I call it a success! And I'm sure you'll love swig your kids inspired and creative too!

Today I’d like to share with you my latest discovery, the new interactive Amazon Original Kids series, that’ll inspire your kid to craft and create. Because if you’re anything like me, then probably you love seeing your kids being creative and learning while playing and crafting, right? So I’ll assume, that just like me, you really appreciate series that are both educative as amusing? Oh, and also series that encourage kids to actually get up, play and do something fun, right? I thought so!

So I’m sure that you’ll love looking at your kids crafting and learning while following their favorite characters from the Creative Galaxy series, Arty and his silly side-kick Epiphany, as they travel around the galaxy to solve problems using many different forms of art. And because is a “make-along, create-along” animated art adventure, it really celebrates creative thinking through crafts, story, music, and dance! And each episode highlights a creative medium, like painting, music, sculpting, or cooking, to teach kids that art is all around us and that it exists in many different forms!

And my both my daughters and I , we are really exited for the new season, and so we decided to make one of the crafts featured in it, a tiger mask!

series that inspires kids to craft

Now, you know I’m not about perfection, but experience, fun and creativity! So this mask isn’t perfect. But you know what, it doesn’t have to be. Because what I want my kids to learn, is that creativity is an adventure and that the process is sometimes more important then the result. And that’s exactly what they’ll learning with Creative Galaxy!

If you’d like to make the same one with your kids, you can either print out my imperfect mask or draw your own and follow the instructions, or get creative and make it in a totally different way!

What you’ll need:

Paper
Crayons
Scissors
Pipe cleaners

Mask

1. Print out our imperfect mask / or draw your own.

If you’re crafting with a toddler, help them draw some tiger stripes and a nose!

Series that inspires your kid to craft !

2. Let your kids color and decorate it as they want.

Remember, it’s all about experiencing the creative process, and not necessary following the instructions, so if your child wan’t its tiger mask to be purple and green why not let him?

Series that inspires your kid to craft

3. Cut it out and pierce tiny holes with pipe cleaners and insert one on every edge.

Series that inspires your kid to craft !

4. Put them on and get ready for the all new season of creative ideas and adventures!

Now, next time it’s rainy outside and we can’t play in the garden, we’ll be right here watching our new favorite Creative Galaxy series and crafting along. And I hope you’ll join us too! And remember, the second season will be available starting this Friday, September 16!

When a series is both amusing and educative, then it's a totall win in my books, and when it inspires my kids to sit down and craft, then I call it a success! And I'm sure you'll love swig your kids inspired and creative too!

Disclosure:I was compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience!

Montessori play: salt dought figurines

Montessori play

There is something special about toys that you can make yourself, and Montessori play approach encourages that even with the little ones. Playing with natural elements that you can find around the house, imaginative play, toys that are simple and that leave space for children’s creativity: that’s what Montessori play is all about. So without knowing it, you might have been encouraging it with your children already!

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Of course sometimes (ok, I won’t lie, most of the time) my kids play with the store-bought plastic toys, but I try to help them imagine and create simpler and in the end more educative activities, just like this one here. And if you have younger and older kids, they could both participate, just let the younger one mix the salty dough while the older one can sculpt the figurines, and then they can each paint their own!

Making little figurines from scratch, painting them and then giving them all names, was something that my three and a half year old adored. It’s been more than a month now since we’ve made them, and she still plays with them!

You could keep them simply white, or like us you can let your kid paint them ( in which case they’ll end up looking quite funky ). Either way, I’m sure you’ll have fun!

Montessori play, salt dought kitten

Simple salt dough :

1 cup flour
1 cup salt
2 spoons warm water

Let your kid mix the salt dough ingredients together. If your dough is too runny, just add more flour, if it doesn’t want to hold well together, add more warm water. Oh, and there is no need to bake them, they’ll dry within 24 hours! So you can get painting almost right away:).

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To make a cat you just need to make one cylinder shape, that you make thinner on one side, and a ball with ears for the head.

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Now let your kid get creative with painting them. If your figurines are still drying try using paint that is thick.

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Lili started by painting eyes..

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and then she decided that they need much more colour..

Montessori play

And then she gave them all really funny names that she made up, and then she made them dance and cuddle together ( while I was happily checking my Facebook )..

Montessori play

I think that she really loves her cat family!

Montessori play

Oh, and here are the faces that I painted ( on the other side) with a sharpie; her faces got slightly over painted at some point ;).

Montessori play

So next time when you don’t know what to do on a rainy day, try making a cat family like we did, I’m sure your kids will love it :).

Fall memory keeping toddler craft

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Do you sometimes feel like the time is passing by too fast? I do. Of course it’s never that way when I have to make dinner, while taking care of a whining baby, and a toddler that’s dangerously bored, aka I’ll-throw-a-tantrum-any-minute-now.. It’s when we sit down to craft with my daughter, and I look at her hands, and I see that these are not baby hands anymore.

She’s growing up. Little by little, but she is. The summer dresses that I’ve bought couple of months ago seem to be suddenly too short. Her vocabulary is growing every day. She’s dressing up on her own, and finally eating with her fork :). I fell that pretty soon she’ll be going to school. She’ll have her own friends. Her life. But for now she’s still mine. I wanted to capture this moment, her chubby hands, the feeling of this fall. So this is what we’ve made.

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Since I really like the contrast of colours that you get by using black cardboard, here it is again :). Of course you can use white as well. Here is what we’ve used:

big cardboard sheet

Paper

finger paint

dry leaves

glue

We started by stamping her hand on the yellow sheet of paper.

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..we glued it on to the cardboard:

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And then my daughter was gluing the leaves.

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And here it is, our simple and really easy, fall memory keeping toddler craft:

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I think think that we might be making them every year :). I plan to add them to our photo albums. Yes, I still make them. And how do you preserve your baby/ kids souvenirs ?

 

Giant DIY birthday card

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Today you can find me at Typically Simple blog where I share the tutorial for this Giant DIY birthday card, made totally by my toddler (and a tiny bit by me 😉 ).

It was so much fun to make, and it’s one of these projects that you could make equally with a toddler as with a big kid. So it’s perfect if you have more than one child to entertain that wants to prepare a birthday card :). And it also lets them get dirty… I don’t know how about your kids, but what I’ve learned as a mother is that a dirty kid is a happy one !

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To see how to make one yourself head to Typically Simple blog !

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