Easy Pre-School Craft: Birdhouses

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Oh Georgia weather, you’re such a tease. With the jonquils blooming and yesterday’s afternoon warmth I was thinking Spring was officially here, but no, this morning is downright chilly! Come soon Spring, we are ready for you to stay! Aren’t the flowers beautiful though?

Today I wanted to share with you something so easy and fun that your pre-schooler (or probably any kid for that matter) will have fun doing. The other day Preston (my 3.5 year old son)  and I went to my favorite place, Hobby Lobby. One of the aisles we went down had all the little bare wood items. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, this aisle has wood letters, little boxes of all kinds, small shelves, shapes of every kind…a huge assortment of plain wooden items. Well, Preston found a tiny little birdhouse that he just thought was the cutest thing. It was only a few dollars so I let him get it.

Later that afternoon he was bored so I got out the birdhouse and his paints, covered his little work table with a plastic tablecloth and let him get to work. He probably painted that little house for over an hour and had such a good time doing it. It was a great pre-school craft because it allowed him to practice making decisions–he decided which wood item he wanted, and he got to tap into his creative side and let his artistic juices flow. I feel that letting children develop their imagination and creativity is so important.

This idea may be one you already to do with your little one, but in case you hadn’t thought of it before I decided to pass the idea along. I also loved that it kept him entertained and occupied for so long, this would be the perfect thing to let your child do if you need to work on laundry or clean the house a bit. Since this is an inexpensive activity we will be doing this a lot more often too.

And now I have the cutest little birdhouse painted by my most favorite little guy. Isn’t it darling?

Easy Pre-School Craft: Bird House

I love it sitting here on my front porch, however, the other day Preston saw it out here and got really upset. Apparently he painted it to give to his baby sister for her first birthday. He’s the sweetest child I have ever known.

I brought the birdhouse back inside after I took the photo; it’s just as well though because this was how the porch was decorated for the winter. During the Christmas season in place of the birdhouse was a tiny silver glittery reindeer that was just so cute. Don’t you just love the mix of all the mediums? I think the mason jar with twine wrapped around it sitting next to a mercury glass votive on a modern looking tray with a burlap runner has a fun, interesting look.

However, I need to do some Spring decorating now that April is just around the corner. Maybe, just maybe, after Madison’s birthday on April 4th Preston will let me put the birdhouse back on the porch. 🙂

What kind of crafts do you like to do with your little ones?

Homemade Valentines

Okay, so I know this holiday has come and gone for the year but I didn’t want to post this before Valentine’s Day because I didn’t want to spoil the surprise for the people I sent Valentines to. So…use these as ideas for next year or adapt the concept for upcoming holidays.

First you have to visit a craft store for supplies. I picked up silver glitter notecards, Mod Podge, pretty scrapbook paper, silver scrapbook letter stickers, a large heart shaped hole punch and small white lacy heart stickers. You will also need envelopes that the notecards fit in.

These are so easy and cute to do! Just punch out lots of cute hearts from the paper and arrange it however you’d like on your notecards. Use a paint brush and paint the back of the hearts with Mod Podge then glue to your notecard. Make words like LOVE, HEART, XOXO and KISSES with the silver scrapbook letters. Put the white heart stickers on too.

I was making these for my 18 month old son to give his grandparents and friends so the inside included a Happy Valentine’s Day note and also his handprint. I painted his hand with fingerpaint and put it on cardstock, then cut out the hand print with fancy edged scissors and glued it on the inside of the card.

Have fun making these Valentine’s Day cards! Just a thought: for Easter you could do something similar and cut out cross shaped paper or Easter egg shapes.

“Bye, Bye Fall” Photoshoot

I have somewhat of an obsession with taking photos…hardly a day goes by that I don’t take at least one photo of my little man! Before the Christmas season takes over I thought I would post a few Fall themed pictures of Preston. As you can see, he sported a monkey costume for Halloween this year.

Isn’t his shirt so perfect for fall pictures? I love the combination of orange and the grayish-green color.

The good thing about him sitting in a wagon is that he can’t run all over the place…it can be quite challenging capturing an active little boy! I’m learning some tricks though and at some point I have faith that I’ll be able to say, “Stand still please” and he’ll actually do it! (grin)

It’s about time to take the family photo for Christmas cards…need someone to take it for you? I’d be glad to! If you’re in the Metro Atlanta area and are in need of a photographer for Christmas card photos or engagement photos or maternity photos or just cute photos of your kids, contact me at AnneRains@gmail.com.

Pack a Shoe Box for a Child

The holiday season is not a happy time for many children all over the world, but there are many amazing organizations who are doing their part to help brighten many children’s Christmas season. One organization that I think is wonderful and I fully support is Samaritan’s Purse which has the Operation Christmas Child project.

It’s simple really; just load up a shoe box full of goodies for either a boy or girl. Pick an age group of 2-4 years, 5-9 years or 10-14 years. I get all of my shoe box gifts from the Dollar Store. Some gift suggestions include school supplies such as pens, pencils and coloring books; toys such as cars, balls and dolls; hygiene products such as toothbrush and toothpaste, etc. Basically, you may include any little kind of trinket or toy that will provide a child a bit of delight.

Some items that you may not include are: toy guns or any related military figures, chocolate or food; liquids or lotions; or breakable items such as glass. For a complete list of items you should not include please see: Operation Christmas Child–How to Pack a Shoe Box.

You are not required to wrap the box but I always choose to–just wrap the lid separately from the box. Also, you will need to print out a label from the website above that specifies if the gift is for a boy or girl and which age group. Include a $7 donation for each shoe box to cover shipping costs and place a rubber band around the box. Lastly, remember to pray for the little child who will be receiving your gift.

Next week is national collection week from November 14-21st. You can find a drop-off location here: Drop-Off Locations.

What an easy way to share Christ’s love with a little child who would otherwise not have a very good Christmas. This is also an excellent way to teach your children about giving and helping others. Have them shop with you and pick out the toys that go in the box, let them help you wrap the box and then pray together for the child receiving the shoe box.

Have a blessed day!

Favorite Photos from Crested Butte, Co

Tonight I finally got around to editing my favorite photos I took while on vacation in September to Crested Butte, Colorado. If you have never heard of or visited Crested Butte before you should definitely consider vacationing there! It’s absolutely beautiful and is a fun little mountain town full of great restaurants (you won’t find fast food places or franchises there…just locally owned restaurants with really delicious food!)

If you enjoy snow skiing it’s great to visit in the winter and is cheaper than big name places like Aspen and Vail. Summertime you can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, white water rafting, horse back riding and just taking in the beautiful scenery. And no matter which season you visit in there’s plenty of cute little shops and boutiques for you to explore. I love the slower pace of life in Crested Butte and the fact that you can easily walk or bicycle to get around town (or take the free town shuttle between the town of Crested Butte and up to the ski resort area!)…maybe someday I will move there.

Enjoy these photos!

If you want to see more pictures from our Crested Butte, CO trip, here’s a link to my Facebook album of my favorite (unedited) images:

Colorado Trip Album

Isn’t the world God created for us beautiful?! Just imagine what Heaven will be like!!
Have a blessed evening!

Family Outing: Perry Fair

Today we drove forever away to go to the Fair in Perry, Georgia…well it wasn’t THAT far, but 2.5 hours in the car with a 14 month old who rather run around than sit still can be fraying on the nerves! Preston is too little to ride the rides or play the carnival games so we mostly checked out the animals (the llamas were our favorite!) and munched on some snacks…fair food is not healthy, but oh so delicious! Have you had a hot apple dumpling with vanilla icecream at the fair? Oh you HAVE to get one! Yummy!

Here are a few photos from our day

Is that Llama not precious? She was so sweet too…she gave kisses! Her owner takes her to hospitals to visit patients and brighten their day. Pretty neat!

I hope that you are having a great weekend and enjoying fun activities with family and friends! Be blessed!