Saturday, January 4, 2014

A little inspiration for your next play session

DIY Alphabet Painting

With a blank canvas and a little paint, you can make your child an alphabet poster for the wall, customize it to his or her interests, and save yourself fifty dollars. You can also choose colors that match well with whatever room you're going to put it in.

We found an inexpensive canvas at Michael's, where they are often on sale. You can also print their online coupons, which often feature deals like twenty-five percent off any item. Then I penciled in my alphabet, painted it blue and added a few items that my young son would recognize to go with the different letters. For him, "P" is for "Pumpkin", "L" is for "Leaf." Maybe at your house "P" is for "Pansy" and "L" is for "Lips." Whatever works best for your little one. 

I painted with basic, cheap acrylic paints, and it still looks lovely after six months, so I don't predict any upcoming peeling. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

DIY Play House

I built this play house (doll house, animal house, superhero house, whatever you want to call it) after a frustrating search for plans online. Ana White has several amazing plans for giant toy houses, but I wanted something more moderate that could fit on top of a coffee table. So I just took some scraps and bolted them together, going for that chalet feel. The most fun part has been adding pieces of furniture along the way, and responding to my son's interests. After making him a step to use when washing his hands, I made a miniature step for the dollhouse. When we started talking about potty training, I made a tiny toilet with a jig saw and spade bit and wood glue. When he was obsessed with climbing stairs, I added a staircase and a ladder.

He loves it! I like to set it up in different places around the house, with different components in and out. Some days his toy sheep are waiting to descend on the place with their toy suitcases. Other days its his gorillas or his little dolls. Some days the kitchen takes center stage with tiny puffball apples and lemons available for cooking, other times the living room beckons. It's easy to move everything around, and with the chalet style, he can reach in and out from any angle.

If you have built anything or painted anything, chances are you have enough scraps and paint to make this simple project.