Sunday, December 30, 2012

Felt campfire set

My littlest girl decided she wanted a "pop-up fire" for Christmas.  Once I deciphered that, I found out she meant a felt campfire, like she had seen on Pinterest.  Note to self: don't let daughter sit on your lap while you surf Pinterest. 

I discovered this great book by Jeannette Lim called "Big Little Felt Universe."  The pictures and patterns are truly fantastic, and the book has tons of projects.  I think I might make the felt tool set next.  One of the best parts about this project is that it is cheap!  I used regular ecofelt sheets from the craft store -- 34 cents each.  Also, the projects are entirely hand sewn, so I worked on it in bits and pieces in front of the TV, or in a waiting room during a kid's class or doctor appointment. 

I also made s'mores to go along with it.  The pattern is also from the same book.

And then I made marshmallows and hot dogs and buns, too.

All of the kids have been having fun roasting pretend food over the pretend fire (although I know he doesn't look like he is having fun now).

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A light table!

For Christmas this year, the big present for our family was a light table!  We (mostly my husband) converted our train table to a light table.  I saw this idea on another blog -- Play At Home Mom.  In order to make the conversion, you replace the top plywood with a sheet of plexiglass. 

It turns out that white plexiglass is not something you can buy at Home Depot.  But you can buy it at plastics supply shops.  There are different kinds of white plexiglass, and you need type that is meant for light boxes - color 2447.  And it needs to be fairly thick.  Our sheet is 0.22 inches thick.  For a sheet that was cut to size and was approximately 31" x 46", it cost us $75.  Luckily, I could get it locally and didn't have to pay shipping. 

Then you install a piece of plywood underneath and attach fluorescent lighting fixtures.  We used 4 2-ft fluorescent fixtures, which each cost about $20.  My husband kindly figured out all the electrical stuff to wire them together and to a cord which we can plug in. 

And then... you find lots of colored plastic junk at the dollar store to play with!

I can't wait to show the kids more ways to explore with the light table -- tissue paper pictures, dry erase markers, tracing, sensory play, water beads...

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