Peace, Love and Happiness: “Car Tracks” Art-Peace Garland


Spread a little love and peace with this garland of hearts and peace signs using a fun painting technique with a toy I am sure your little one has and loves – toy cars (or any wheeled toys!) You could also simply cut the shapes out and give them to friends, family members, the cashier at the grocery store, the bank teller, whoever, to spread some joy!

Craft/Activity/Snack: Heart and Peace Sign Paper Garland
Objective: Using a toy car to “drive” paint around on paper, we will create hearts and peace signs with the finished project and attach to a string for a pretty garland to symbolize peace and love.
Skills Utilized: fine motor skills, practicing directions like, up and down, right and left, social and emotional (discussing love, peace, acceptance, etc.), imaginative play
Suggested Reading: The Peace Book by Todd Parr
Materials: paper, washable paint, toy cars/trucks/wheeled toys, scissors. For the garland-string and scotch tape

Screen Shot 2017-08-15 at 1.58.18 PMFirst, pour some paint onto a plate and instruct your child to drive the car in the paint.

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Then, tell them to drive their car on the paper. Madeline was absolutely delighted over the tracks the car left. She really enjoyed making “vroom vroom” noises while she did this.

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I used this activity as an opportunity to practice directions. I told her “Drive your car to the left, now to the right. Now up. Drive the car down now”.

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After they dried, I cut them into hearts and circles. I used black paper to create the middle part of the peace sign, but of course you could use a black marker or crayon.

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We talked about what the symbols mean.  We talked about how everyone is special and equal. We talked about being kind. We also spoke of all the wonderful friends Maddy has and how we should always be a good friend to everyone we meet. At this age children look to us and it is so important to instill in them early these values of kindness, peace, love, and friendship.

Getting to our last step, we use the tape to attach the symbols to the string. It is proudly hanging in Madelines room. ✌️❤️

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Ways to Expand Upon this Activity:

  1. Make a peace and love wreath to display on your front door!
  2. Make a list (and do them!)of  ways we can spread more peace, love and happiness. Examples: volunteering, donating to food pantries, complimenting others, holding the door for someone, smiling at people you pass on the street.
  3. Have your child cut out the shapes.Illustrated Avatar Amanda




Peace, Love, and Happiness: Paper + Paint Sunflowers

Crafternoon Playdate - Peace Love & Happiness - Your toddler or preschooler is going to love making this simple 3-D sunflower using basic craft supplies!

Today begins our newest theme – PEACE LOVE AND HAPPINESS. Our focus today is on that last bit – happiness. Is anything more ‘happy’ than a sunflower? Continue reading “Peace, Love, and Happiness: Paper + Paint Sunflowers”

Summer Treats: Rainbow Rice “Sprinkles” Ice Cream

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Living in Massachusetts, we visit quite a lot of beaches. My favorite beach spot is in Maine. One of my favorite treats of summer is at the Ocean Park, ME Soda Fountain. Here, I can get a plain old scoop of ice cream with some sprinkles on a cone (however, also try their raspberry lime rickey!). I wanted to recreate that classic ice cream cone effect with a fun, interactive project. Read more to discover how we created these “sprinkles” for our paper ice cream cones. Continue reading “Summer Treats: Rainbow Rice “Sprinkles” Ice Cream”

Summer Treats: Color Blend Snow Cones

It’s a universal truth – all children love shaved ice. For my 6th birthday, I distinctly remember wanting nothing more than the Snoopy Sno Cone maker and being over the moon when it was the last present unwrapped at my party. Whether it’s a snow cone from a carnival or a cup from a Hawaiian ice shack, it’s a quintessential summer favorite. I think a lot of the magic comes from the unlimited possibilities of color and flavor. For today’s playdate craft, we tapped into the color blending aspect and created our own snow cone pictures using an interesting medium – art tissue, commonly referred to as “BLEEDING TISSUE.” Continue reading “Summer Treats: Color Blend Snow Cones”

Summer Treats: Banana “Nice” Cream

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You scream, I scream, we all scream for “nice” cream! It’s no secret that we all love ice cream in this house.  We gave this SUPER easy (I’m talking you could probably forgo the milk and make this a one ingredient frozen treat easy) banana ice cream a try and it is definitely our new favorite thing. The best part? it’s easy enough for your toddler or preschooler to do all the prep work, supervised of course! Enjoy this healthy, summery treat with any toppings and it is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Continue reading “Summer Treats: Banana “Nice” Cream”

Summer Treats: Watermelon Worksheet FREE Printable

We love watermelon! I’m pretty sure fresh summer fruit outweighs even ice cream when it comes to the best summer treats. If you’re like us and going through a watermelon (or two) in a couple days, this Watermelon Worksheet printable is perfect for your preschooler, pre-Ker, or kindergartner. The pairing of coloring alongside letter identification, color recognition, and pre-writing skills is a winner! Continue reading “Summer Treats: Watermelon Worksheet FREE Printable”

Summer Treats: Paint Popsicles

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I have seen this easy to put together painting/sensory activity floating around this summer and had to try it for ourselves! With our summer sweets and treats theme in full swing, I figured this was the perfect time to give it a “swirl”! Continue reading “Summer Treats: Paint Popsicles”

Summer Treats: Rocket Pop Collage

As we begin our new theme of SUMMER SWEETS AND TREATS, it seemed like a no-brainer to begin with a rocket pop craft. Rocket pops (Bomb Pops, firecrackers) are iconic for summertime. They were my favorite since I was a little girl and Jasper loves them too which makes my mama heart happy. He is a very literal kid and refers to them as his “red white and blue poppycools”. They serve as the perfect basic color sort inspiration for both toddlers and preschoolers due to the simplicity of the three colors, yet variety of materials used.

Rocket Pop Multimedia Color Sort Collage

Craft/Activity/Snack: Rocket Pop Collage
Objective: Create a red, white, and blue color-sorted collage
Skills Utilized: tactile sensory exploration, pincer grasp, color recognition and sorting
Suggested Reading: Color Dance by Ann Jonas
Materials: Red, white, and blue construction paper, a popsicle stick, glue, and an assortment of small red, white, and blue craft items/trinkets Continue reading “Summer Treats: Rocket Pop Collage”

Bugs: Very Busy Spider

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Keep your little one busy with this “very busy spider” fine motor skill/matching game! I chose to practice Madelines name/letter recognition but you could do shapes, numbers, colors, etc! Continue reading “Bugs: Very Busy Spider”

Bugs: Ladybug Number Matching Game

I am always looking for fun, interactive ways to re-introduce concepts like numbers, shapes, and colors into our play. This ladybug matching game took only a few minutes and a couple sheets of construction paper to complete but was an awesome opportunity to practice counting and number recognition all while kicking back on the floor together. Continue reading “Bugs: Ladybug Number Matching Game”