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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Making Lemon Trees with Lemon Scented Playdough

Welcome to another edition of the 12 Months of Sensory Dough Series. This month is all about Scented Dough. We discovered a fun book at the library this past week and it inspired our lemon scented playdough activity!  

The Red Lemon by Bob Staake is a beautifully illustrated book about Farmer McPhee and his lemon orchard. "The lemons are ready!" shouts Farmer McPhee. But he isn't ready for what he's about to discover...among the bright yellow fruit is a RED lemon! "Who'd squeeze this red thing in their afternoon tea? Who'd buy a red lemon from Farmer McPhee?" he cries, just before he throws it out of his field across the water. Little does he know that it isn't the end of the red lemon! I really enjoyed the "don't judge a book (person) by it's cover" type of lesson that this book offers.  

Making Lemon Trees with Lemon Scented Playdough

To make our lemon scented playdough, we used The Imagination Tree's Best Ever No-Cook Play Dough Recipe. It is my favorite no-cook recipe and turns out silky smooth every time! After making the playdough, I divided it in half and colored one half yellow and the other red. I also added red glitter in the red portion because the book talks about the red lemons being even more sweet than regular yellow lemons. 

The secret behind our wonderful lemon scent was my doTERRA Lemon Oil. I started by adding in 10 drops and kneaded it in completely and then added more, 5 drops at a time, until I achieved a strong, yummy lemon scent. I wish you could smell it through the computer screen because it is seriously heavenly! My daughter loved smelling it!  

Before we started the activity I made two lemon trees that are reminiscent of the trees in the book. I taped two different shades of green cardstock together, traced a big circle bowl onto the two papers and then cut it out. I also drew squiggly lines all over the trees with a green crayon, just like the trees in the book. After taping a tree trunk on the back of the tree, I laminated them with contact paper so we could use them with the playdough.

My daughter started out making little tiny lemons on her trees. She worked the playdough so delicately in her fingers trying to get a perfect lemon shape. It was so cute! Before too long she abandoned the tiny lemon idea though and decided big, huge lemons was the way to go. She decided to combine both red and yellow lemons on one tree instead of dividing them and encouraged me to use the other tree for myself. (I love that she actually wants me to play with her!) 

To extend the activity further I also set out some plastic cups with toothpicks, red pony beads and yellow pony beads. It was excellent fine motor practice to poke the toothpicks into the playdough and string the corresponding color of beads on the toothpick.

In case you missed any prior months, make sure to check out our Cupcake Foam Dough, Digging for Worms Cloud Dough and our Build a Ladybug with Edible Playdough.

I invite and encourage you to visit all of the Co-hosts as each will have a different take on the dough and you don't want to miss out on all of the great ideas and insights! 

Meet the Co-hosts: 

Now it's your turn...

Do you have a favorite Scented Play Dough recipe, activity or post you would like to share? We would love to see! Have you ever had a Scented Play Dough Fail? We would love to see those too! Please link up your posts below in the link party. You can also post a picture on FacebookInstagramTwitter or Google+ with the tag #ilovesensorydough. 

Please read the following guidelines before linking up.
  • Share family-friendly posts related to the month's theme. Feel free to link old or new posts that highlight your favorite recipes for sensory dough. Failures and unsuccessful attempts are welcome.
  • We ask that no posts are linked with copy/paste recipes from other sources. If you use a recipe from another source, please link back to the original recipe.
  • By linking up, you give permission to share your post and one photograph in future posts and through social media channels.
  • Visit 2-3 other posts that others have shared. Discover new ideas and meet new friends!
The linky will remain open for two weeks. On the 12th of each month, all co-hosts will post a new dough with their spin, and will pin each post to the 12 Months of Sensory Dough Board.

Don't forget to join us next month (May 12th) for Moon Sand. 
To see the yearly schedule, go HERE.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Master of the Arts Kits: Watercolor and Textured Painting

My daughter was the kind of baby that would climb up on the table when I was painting with my older boys to try to get in on the fun before she was old enough to even hold a paint brush in her hands. She has always loved painting so when announced their new Master of the Arts line of craft products, I knew my daughter would be ecstatic about them! We recently were able to try out their Textured Painting Kit and Watercolor Kit and I am excited to tell you about them.

Disclosure: I was provided these craft kits and a package of Oil Pastels from free of charge in exchange for my fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Inside the Watercolor Kit you will find 10 paper shapes, 1 dropper, 1 brush and 16 watercolors. I thought including shapes instead of just watercolor paper was a fun touch. My daughter looked through all the shapes and picked the butterfly for her first project.

A fun extension to the Watercolor Kit is using's Oil Pastels on the shapes prior to painting them. Since the Oil Pastels resist the watercolors, it makes for an extra creative experience. I feel like using the Oil Pastels also makes the kit open and more enjoyable to a an older age range as well. I had fun alongside my daughter adding fish scales to the fish shape prior to painting it, so I know older children would enjoy this.

This little dropper was seriously one of my daughter's favorite things about this whole kit. How have I never thought about using a dropper to soak watercolors before? It's genius! Look how bright and beautiful all the colors are too! 

The entire process of setting up the kit, coloring her butterfly, getting the watercolors ready and painting her butterfly probably took close to an hour. It was a perfect project for my preschooler! The best part is that there are still 9 more shapes in the kit for us to do this over again on other days.

Her completed butterfly turned out really cute! Since making her butterfly, we have already used the kit one other time at my daughter's request so I can honestly say this Watercolor Kit has my 3-year old's approval!

We also tried out the Textured Painting Kit. Inside you will find 3 different texture brushes, red, blue and yellow paint, and a Design Paper Pad that has a Color Mixology Guide on the front cover.

Below you can see a picture of all the different brushes in action. My daughter gravitated towards the roller the most. She thought it was so fun to roll on paint. As a funny side note, she calls the last stamper on the far right the "french fry" stamper. It made me giggle! She kept saying, "I'm going to stamp the paper with some french fries!"  :)

We explored all three brushes on her first paper and you can see below the different kind of textures that were created.

The Mixology Guide provided in the kit was a such a fun learning activity to go along with painting. My daughter wanted to paint with purple so I was able to show her the guide and she discovered that she could mix blue and red together to get purple. Being able to mix the colors herself brought a whole new level of fun to painting for her! Definitely a win!

I really loved the textured brushes in the kit! My mind is already spinning with how we can use them on other painting projects and crafts. 

Master of the Arts Kits will be available at Walmart Stores at the end of April for $4.97 or less. is powered by Horizon Group USA, a source for photo and video tutorials to inspire and educate kids through arts and crafts. You can find out more about them and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Earth Day Kids Craft

Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd and it's a great time to talk with the little ones in your life about our beautiful Earth and how we can help keep it clean and healthy. As a family we like to take part on Earth Day in finding an area in our neighborhood to pick up liter, but we also like to make a celebratory Earth Day Craft.

There are tons of different children's books you can pick up at your local library to read with your children about Earth Day. Here are a couple I picked up this year to read with my preschooler: I Can Save the Earth by Alison Inches and This is me and where I am by Joanne Fitzgerald. You can read more in depth descriptions of the books in our Earth Collage Craft post from last year.

Materials you will need:
  • Cardboard Circle (We used a cake cardboard round from Michael's that I had left over from making a diaper cake from a baby shower. Any circle cut out of cardboard will work just fine though.)
  • Blue Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Green Straws (I purchased mine in a package at Walmart for just under $2 that came with blue and green straws.)
  • Scissors
  • School Glue

1. Paint your cardboard circle with blue paint and let it dry completely.

2. Cut up a bundle of green straws into small pieces. This is excellent cutting practice for preschoolers and ends up being a whole activity in itself. I set up our straws in a tray (pictured below) with scissors and had my daughter work at cutting all the straws after we had painted our cardboard circle.

3. I used the school glue to outline a continent and then my preschooler filled it in completely with glue. 

4. Once a section was filled in with glue, take the straws and place them all over the glue.

5. Continue gluing and filling in with straws until your Earth is complete. 

The artwork is obviously not to scale at all. The objective is not to get something that looks perfect, but rather a piece of art that resembles our beautiful Earth.

Check out our Earth Day Collage from last year and more Earth Day Crafts.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

15 Cupcake Liner Crafts for Kids

If you are a regular reader of I Heart Crafty Things, you know how much I LOVE cupcake liner crafts! I have found them to be such a fun and simple material to use for kids crafts that yield some pretty darling results! Since I have made quite a few crafts with them I thought it would be fun to put them all together in a round up post in case you've missed any of them.

Fish Craft for Kids

Flower Garden Craft

Bunny Craft

Cupcake Liner Chicks

Five Little Ladybugs

Cupcake Liner Rainbow Craft

Space Scene out of Cupcake Liners

Apple Tree Craft

Fall Cupcake Liner Trees

Cupcake Liner Snowman

Three Little Ghosties Craft

Cupcake Liner Bats

Five Little Turkeys Craft

Cupcake Liner Turkey with stamped feathers

Well, there you have it! :)  

From Winter to Spring and Summer to Fall, you have a year of cupcake liner crafts for kids! 


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Contact Paper Butterfly Craft

We had some Winter weather today which forced us to play inside this afternoon. I came up with this Contact Paper Butterfly Craft to help entertain my daughter and it turned out to be a beautiful work of art as well!  

Materials you will need:
  • Contact Paper
  • pencil
  • permanent marker
  • washi tape painters tape
  • tissue paper squares
  • sheet of cardstock (I used a 12" x 12" sheet) or construction paper
  • 1 pipe cleaner cut in half
  • red crayon
  • Wiggly Eyes (We received our Wiggly eyes courtesy of, but all opinions expressed are 100% our own.)

1. Start by cutting off a sheet of contact paper to make your butterfly. On the back of the contact paper, draw the shape of butterfly wings with your pencil (in case you make any errors) and then trace over it with your permanent marker. Now turn your contact paper over and you will be able to see the butterfly wings showing through the contact paper. Trace them with your permanent marker. (I made sure to sue a permanent marker since this was going to be in contact with my wall. I didn't want a washable marker to smudge on the paint on my wall.)

2. Peel the sticky sheet off and tape it onto your wall with your washi tape with the sticky side facing out.

3. Put together the items your child will need to make the butterfly: Tissue paper squares, a pipe cleaner cut in half and bent in the shape of antennae, a shape cut out of a butterfly body from cardstock or construction paper and 2 wiggly eyes. I attached my wiggly eyes on the body with glue dots so we didn't have to wait for drying time.

(Tip: We frequently use tissue paper squares in projects throughout the year. I always dump the leftover scraps in a Ziplock bag for rainy day projects like this. We have such a nice collection of colors from all our projects. I didn't have to cut any tissue paper squares today making the prep for this activity even simpler!)

4. Have your child start by attaching the body to the contact paper and then the antennae. After a while our pipe cleaners started to fall off, so we reinforced them with clear tape. You might want to do that right off the bat.

5. Then simply have fun decorating the butterfly wings with the tissue paper squares.

The great thing about this activity is that it doesn't have to be done all at once. My daughter worked for a little while then decided she wanted to play something else. After a while she came back and put on more tissue paper squares. She worked on it off and on all afternoon. She even asked me if I would work with her a little and she made up a game saying "You put a tissue paper up and then I put a tissue paper up." This also was great hand to eye coordination practice for staying in the lines along the edges of the butterfly wings!

Each child is so different! One child might decide he only wants to put up a couple tissue paper squares and his butterfly is finished. One child might work for 10 minutes a day for an entire week on it. Really, it's open ended and just what your child wants to create.

6. When you are finished creating your butterfly, draw a mouth on it with a red crayon.

The end result is really stunning! It's colorful and bright and it's like a real piece of artwork on the wall. It's perfect for Spring! 

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