Tag Archives: creative table

Bubble Painting

Bubble Painting | Mama Papa BubbaYesterday Miss G and I finally got around to something that’s been on my mental activity list forever now… Bubble painting!  Now if you cruise Pinterest, you’ll see that bubble painting is all over the internet and everyone seems to do it a little bit differently.  Variations include all different sorts of bubble solutions, wands, and methods, so we just made up our own.  

IMG 0602Since we’re staying with Brad’s parents until our big move and Grandma Charlotte seems to be stockpiling bubble solution for an upcoming bubble solution drought (Hi Charlotte! ☺), we used store-bought bubbles to make our bubble paint.  We simply divided a small bottle between 4 mason jars, then added some food colouring.  We went for liquid food colouring this time around and added between 8 and 10 drops to each jar in hopes of some fairly vibrant colours.  Then we chopped the bendy part off of 4 straws, and popped one into each jar to use as bubble blowers.

IMG 0603To set the station up, I taped a large piece of paper onto a chunk of cardboard and set it out on the back deck.  Of course you could set this up on a table or easel, but I liked the fact that Gracen could get up above her canvas and blow the bubbles directly down towards the paper.  Same goes for our straw bubble blowers…  You could easily use traditional bubble wands, but I felt that the straws helped guide the bubbles in the right direction.  As for the outside part, since food colouring does stain and the Okanagan has been absolutely gorgeous, it was just the best option.

IMG 0606Gracen began blowing bubbles and we anxiously awaited for them to hit the paper.  As soon as they landed, the paper below the bubble immediately flooded with colour.  Some bubbles popped right away, and some stuck around for a while.

IMG 0676We worked on our painting for a little while yesterday, then tucked it away to come back to today.  As you can see, Miss G thought it was just as neat on day two.

IMG 0671It also seemed like our bubble paints had evaporated a bit in the Okanagan sun, leaving our colours even more vibrant than before.

IMG 0848Here’s a look at some of our finished artwork… Pretty, right?

IMG 0841And how cool is this bubble up close?!  You can just see the ‘POP’ right in the print.

I love activities like this one… It’s simple, requires materials we always have in the house, and is really fun. Bubble painting is definitely being added to our list of summer favourites. 

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Sweet & Stretchy {EDIBLE} Marshmallow Dough

Edible Marshmallow Dough | Mama Papa BubbaWhile Gracen napped this afternoon, I decided to finally put the bag of marshmallows I’ve been carting around for the last couple of weeks to good use.  And oh my word, am I ever glad I did!  

IMG 0527I originally came across this post via Pinterest and immediately fell in love with the idea of marshmallow dough. As insane as it sounds, I often find myself thinking, hmmm…. what can we mix with cornstarch today?  (Totally crazy, I know.) We’ve tried water, shampoo, and hair gel, but I had never thought of marshmallow goo before!  I filed the idea away and knew it would make for an extra special day one day soon.  Today, when it came time to make it, rather than retrieving my computer from the other end of the house and pulling up the recipe, I decided to wing it.  And I must say, it turned out really well.  Turns out that our dough is missing 2 of the ingredients in the original recipe, but I think it would turn out well either way. The finished product is soft to the touch, yet firm, tacky, but not so sticky that it makes a mess of your hands, and it smells absolutely amazing – like Rice Krispie treats or cotton candy.

IMG 0530With the dough made, I set out a few fun things to explore it with on Grae’s little picnic table outside.  Included were some sundae cups and spoons, a knife, some heart-shaped cookie cutters, some birthday candles, some sugar crystals, and some candy sprinkles.  Then it was time to wait for the little miss to wake up.

IMG 0540I was so anxious for her to discover the play invitation I’d set up that it was just my luck that she’d ask to stay in her room for quiet play time upon waking up, rather than coming out and getting her afternoon started like she normally does. ☺  When she did come out of her room though, she spotted the marshmallow dough station through the window almost immediately.  Her eyes lit up with excitement and curiosity and she was off to play.  

IMG 0542After a little bit of cutting and pulling, it was straight to the candy sprinkles – and who can blame her really? They’re just so darn colourful and fun-looking!

IMG 0550Of course, what pairs better with sprinkles than birthday candles?

IMG 0555I think she may be getting anxious for the birthday party that’s happening next weekend…

IMG 0552The really cool thing about marshmallow dough is that other than being soft and smooth and smelling {and tasting!} delicious, it has an incredible amount of stretch.  It can be pulled and pulled and pulled without breaking.  Even when you’re trying very hard, as Miss G clearly is in this photo. ☺

IMG 0556Though it’s quite a bit firmer and stickier than a regular play dough, it still cuts well with cookie cutters, which Grae was pleased about.

IMG 0566And the plus side to the slightly sticky nature of the dough is that candy sprinkles cling to it really well.

IMG 0561Next up was some cutting practice.  Gracen really enjoys cutting, and I really should have brought out a sharper knife for her to continue practicing with, but a butter knife did work.  Because the dough is quite heavy, it provides a good amount of resistance, which is great for building up those little hand muscles.

IMG 0564Gracen loved exploring marshmallow dough, and though I really don’t want her eating corn-syrup filled marshmallows just yet, the beauty of this play material is that it is fully edible, so you don’t have to worry about little ones who are inclined to put things in their mouths getting sick if they do sneak a taste.

IMG 0548One thing to keep in mind is that because marshmallow goo eventually does set, you’re really only guaranteed one day of supple, mouldable dough.  For us, this wasn’t a issue as Grae played with it for a good long time and I felt we got more than enough play out of it to be worth the cost of the ingredients and the effort that went into making it.

If you’d like to make your own batch (which you certainly should!), here’s our modified version…

Coloured {Edible} Marshmallow Dough (inspired by My Buddies & I)

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (or other high temperature tolerant oil)
  • 1 one pound bag of large marshmallows
  • 3 – 4 cups of cornstarch
  • food colouring

Over medium heat, melt coconut oil in a pot.  Once liquid, add the entire bag of marshmallows.  Stir frequently until marshmallows are completely melted.  

Working quickly, divide the marshmallow mixture into four bowls (approximately 1 cup per bowl) and stir in 3 drops of liquid food colouring into each.  Add 3/4 of a cup of cornstarch to each bowl to start.  Using a spoon, stir vigorously until marshmallow goo and cornstarch begin to come together.  Use your hands to knead in the extra cornflour once the dough is cool enough to handle.  If needed, add an extra 1/4 of cornstarch to each bowl to firm up the dough, however, be careful not to add too much as the dough will become overly hard.

Enjoy!

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Building Sugar Cube Structures

Sugar Cube Structures | Mama Papa BubbaIMG 0236Upon returning from my first ever weekend (and overnight, actually) away from Miss G, she immediately asked if we could open the last of her activity bags.  She explained that she had already opened all of the other bags, but had saved the ‘bonus bag’ to do with me once I returned home.

IMG 0237She pulled the items out one by one and this is what we found inside… A box of sugar cubes, some white glue, and several pieces of thick cardboard.  The note inside explained that the materials were for building structures, and Gracen wasted no time getting started.

IMG 0242First up, she told me she was going to build ‘biiiiig’ towers. ‘Big, big, big, big, biiiiiig ones’. And that she did.  Layering a little squeeze of glue between each sugar cube allowed her to create several tall towers.

IMG 0245When her towers reached the height that satisfied her expectations, she asked for help with making a ‘rectangle’.  I squeezed the glue out onto the cardboard in a rectangular shape, and she place the cubes along the path.  We continued this pattern several times and finished off with a top layer that made the structure look castle-like.

IMG 0249With our sugar cube box running low, we decided we had enough left for one last structure.  Grae decided on a pyramid with a fence around it (the fence was very important) and so that’s what we did.

IMG 0253I really love this activity because it can be very open-ended – the possibilities are endless!  Grae loved it so much that she was quite disappointed when the sugar cubes were gone, so we’ll definitely be trying it again soon! 

♥ 

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Contact Paper Egg Decorating

Contact Paper Egg DecoratingI set up this little creative table for Miss G this morning and she was so over the top excited about it that she could barely contain herself.

IMG 7144It was very simple to set up, but still took too long for Miss G’s likes.  All I had to do is cut out a few large egg shapes out of construction paper…

IMG 7145Then cut smaller ones inside, leaving an outline a couple of centimetres thick.

IMG 7147Next I stuck the egg outlines onto some clear contact paper, and trimmed off the excess.

IMG 7158I quickly filled up some little containers with our homemade coloured rice, paper confetti, tissue paper circles, and strips of spring-themed ribbon, and set my impatient little lady loose.

IMG 7153She got started immediately, diving into the pastel ribbons first.

IMG 7156And the messy stuff afterwards.  ☺

IMG 7160She immediately completed two of the eggs, and left the third one to a complete a little later.  As of now, Miss G’s eggs remain as they were when she finished decorating them, but we may cover her designs with a second sheet of contact paper in order to make them a little easier to store.

♥ 

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Face Painting Station

Face Painting StationI thought of putting this little station together for Gracen to explore months and months ago, but only got to it today.  Perhaps today just felt like a face painting sort of day?  I don’t know…

IMG 6372Either way, I set out her step stool turned toddler bench in front of our closet mirror (of course a table top mirror would work just as well), laid out a couple of damp cloths and a jar of face painting crayons, and waited for her to discover her new station.

IMG 6376And when she did, was she ever excited!  She didn’t quite know what it was all about, but she was excited none the less.  I stood back and watched her take off her tights.  Then she turned to me and asked, “Mama helps Grae Grae paint her toes?” Hah!

IMG 6378Once I explained that they were face painting crayons, she was even more pleased. And off she went, decorating her face.

IMG 6383She went through several changes during the process…  First, she announced that she was a raccoon, and after adding a few more lines here and there, she decided that she was a kitty cat.

IMG 6395Here she is with her first finished look. ☺

IMG 6402When it was time to remove it, she tried using the damp cloth I’d provided, but it was quite tricky.  Face paint is stubborn, but I knew just what would do the trick…. One of our very favourite body/household/cooking products – organic coconut oil!  She dipped her fingers into it, started rubbing it on her face, and the paint literally melted off.  Afterwards she was able to use her cloth and wipe her face clean – easily!

IMG 6406Miss G decorated herself for a while longer, then let me have the final turn…  The natural choice?  Papa eyebrows, of course!  ☺  I don’t know who found it more hysterical – her or me.

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Balloons & Sharpies: A Creative Table

Balloons  SharpiesThis morning as Gracen was playing in her room (aka tearing everything off of every shelf and pulling everything out of every drawer) and I was doing a little bit of tidying, I decided to quickly load up her creative table with some new supplies.  We’ve had balloons floating all around the house since her half birthday balloon bath, so I grabbed a couple of soup bowls, placed a couple of balloons inside, and put out a little jar of my {coveted} colourful Sharpies.  

IMG 6083Without a word of exaggeration, upon coming into the room, Grae’s eyes lit up, she punched both fists into the air, and squealed “Yaaaay! New crafting stuff!”

IMG 6086She found it pretty hysterical that she was allowed to draw on balloons, and asked several times, “Mama, it’s okay to draw on dese balloons?”

IMG 6088Once she accepted that is was most certainly okay to draw on the balloons, she dove in.  Her favourite was ‘game’ she asked me to play with her…  I was to draw dots all over the balloon and she was going to colour over top of each.and.every. one.  

IMG 6091While the thought of balloons popping did cross my mind, day old {and there slightly squishy} balloons and well-used Sharpies = success.

So what do you do with balloons that have been drawn on?  Well, all of the things you do with a regular balloon I guess… Play keep it up, have a game of indoor volleyball, try kicking it really hard to see how far you can make it go – the usual.  Unless of course, you’ve drawn a face on it – then you can attach cardboard feet and have a little balloon person hang out around the house.  Like I think the majority of kids’ art should be, this is all about the process. ☺

See some of our other creative table ideas here.

♥ 

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Contact Paper, Tissue, Sequins, Confetti, & Glitter: A Creative Table

Contact Paper Tissue Sequins Confetti  Glitter Creative TableThis creative table set up had a good long run in our house…  It’s been worked on day in and out for over a week now, and I’m sure Gracen would still be adding to it if there was any sticky space left on the contact paper.  

IMG 5750When it began, it looked like this… A piece of clear contact paper, sticky side up, tacked down to one of our vintage apple crates (it could just as easily be taped down to a table top), and a few little jars of decorating goodies, as Miss G calls them.

IMG 5756Included were sequins, confetti, tissue squares, and a container of glitter.

IMG 5753Although I often set up Gracen’s creative tables while she’s sleeping, this time around she helped me set up, selecting the glitter (of course) and the sequins to be part of it.

IMG 5759When we’d finished gather our materials, she began creating without direction or instruction… Carefully adding each item, one at a time, and pressing them down onto the sticky paper.

IMG 5755The lovely thing about contact paper is that because everything sticks to it, projects (even when they include a full bottle of glitter) never get wildly messy.

IMG 5918Grae revisited it daily, adding a little bit each time, until today when we decided it was time to switch things up a little.

IMG 6005Now we could have easily called it quits at this point, because art like this is definitely about the process and not the finished product, but Grae had announced early on that she would be hanging her finished piece on her bedroom door.  In order to preserve it a little better, we took out our contact paper once again and cut a piece the same size as the original one.

IMG 6007I then peeled the backing off of just the top edge of the new sheet, carefully lined it up with the art piece, and pressed the two sheets, sticky sides together, down.  Afterwards, I pulled the remaining backing off in order to cover the entire piece.

IMG 6009Here’s what it looked like with everything sealed in. We could have left it as is, but Gracen chose to cut it into two hearts rather than keep it as one large rectangle.

IMG 6011Here’s the finished product.  She very proudly hung it on her door turned art gallery, but it would be super pretty hung in front of a window where light could shine through too.

To learn a little bit more about how we do creative tables around here, visit this creative table post and this one too.  Or, pop by Tinkerlab, where Rachelle, the creator of the Creative Table Project explains.

♥ 

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Berry Jello Play Dough

Berry Jello Play DoughA couple of days ago, Miss G and I experimented with making a couple of changes to our scented Kool-Aid play dough.  I don’t know if Kool-Aid is just on the way out (surely it should be ☺), but our grocery store only stocks a few colours.  So as an alternative, we decided to give Jell-O crystals a shot.

IMG 5488We followed our original scented play dough recipe *almost* exactly, but added a packet of Jell-O mix instead of Kool-Aid mix.

IMG 5494We also added some fine glitter because…. Well, because Grae said so.  That’s why.

IMG 5493We mixed everything up and added our wet ingredients, going a little bit easier on the water this time.  While we absolutely loved our Kool-Aid play dough and it kept great when somewhere cool, we did notice that it got a bit mucky when stored in a cupboard near one of our heat vents, so hopefully the reduced amount of water will help fix this problem.

IMG 5505The result was a soft, smooth, yummy-smelling play dough that Miss G was just dying to get her hands on.

IMG 5499We made two batches, one raspberry, one strawberry, and added some cookie cutters, a mini rolling pin, and a mini baking pan for a fun creative table set-up.

IMG 5505

{No-Cook} Berry Jell-O Play Dough

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of  table salt
  • 1 packet of Jell-O (we used the sugar kind)
  • 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon of glitter (if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of glycerine (optional and readily available in the first aid section of most grocery stores)
  • 3/4 of a cup of boiling water

Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Add wet ingredients, saving the boiling water for last.  Add the water and give the mixture a few quick mixes, banging off your whisk every once and a while.  Leave the semi-mixed dough on the counter to cool.  Once cooled for about 10 minutes, dump the mixture onto the counter and knead really well.  Knead for about 3 minutes, or until the dough smooth and well-blended.

Enjoy!

♥ 

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Ice Cream Shop {Using Ice Cream Dough}

Ice Cream Shop with Ice Cream DoughAfter making a few batches of ice cream dough this afternoon, Gracen and I set up a simple little ice cream shop in the living room.  We used an old wooden apple crate for her table top and made sure the floor was protected with a large bath towel.

IMG 5074Then we went around the house to collect a few other items.  First up – ice cream cones.  Yes, the real ones…  We had them on hand from her 2nd birthday party and they’d never be used otherwise, so may as well use them for some fun pretend play, right?

IMG 5075Of course, for customers not partial to cones, you need to have a bowl option.  These silicon baking cups did the job perfectly.

IMG 5076Next, we gathered up some spoons and an ice cream scoop…

IMG 5073As well as some buttons, beads, and straw pieces for candies and candy sprinkles. 

IMG 5082And with that, our little ice cream shop owner got to work.

IMG 5093IMG 5091There was plenty of scooping, touching, smelling, and exploring to be done.

IMG 5084Of course the ice cream treats rolled out of the shop one after another too.  A hazelnut ice cream cone for Papa…

IMG 5099And a strawberry ice cream cup {with extra candy sprinkles!} for Mama.

IMG 5088This was such a simple set-up, but I can already tell that she’s going to get hours of fun out of it.  Of course, it’s more than just fun…  This little ice cream shop incorporates pretend play, a sensory experience, and creativity too.

IMG 5090

♥ 

To see our other ice cream shop using play dough, click here.

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{Pretend Play} Cooking Station

Pretend Play Cooking StationFirst off, I have to say that I just love setting up fun play invites for Gracen to discover.  The way her little face lights up when she finds something new just melts me.  And she dives in so enthusiastically that I seriously could just stand back and watch her play forever. 

I set up this little cooking station on our butcher block tonight while Miss G was having an early bath.  I knew I’d be making dinner once she was out and that Brad would probably want to get some dishes done, so having a fun activity right in the kitchen where we’d be would allow for some family time while all working on our own projects.  

IMG 4900Gracen got all kinds of really cool cooking and baking supplies for Christmas this year, so I made sure to include them, but you could easily just use regular-sized bowls, pans, and utensils.

IMG 4899For the ‘food’, I filled up some small jars and bowls with dried goods from our pantry and added in a couple of spice shakers, one filled with rice and the other with some of the coloured epsom salt we used as a sensory experience before Christmas.

IMG 4909Of course our observant little girl noticed the cooking station within 10 seconds of exiting the bathroom, long before she had completely dried off or put clothes on.  After retrieving a shirt, some underwear, and a hat (weird doodle!) it was time to play.

IMG 4903Pie anyone?

IMG 4914She whipped up concoction after concoction, offering us tastes along the way. ☺

IMG 4915She had so much fun that at the end of the night I simply tidied things up a little, made them looking inviting again, and left them out for her to explore again tomorrow.  

♥ 

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