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Rectangular artwork

My nephew came over during my summer break and we made a great artwork as a birthday surprise for his mother.

 I cut a sponge in four pieces, grabbed a paint pallet and a water bowl. I covered the ground with a garbage bag. I had bought a canvas my nephew could use for his artwork. He immediately knew what he wanted to make and told me the plan. The only thing I did was refresh the water from time to time. My nephew made rectangles in four different colours and started random in the middle of the canvas. It was joyful to see him work so concentrated on his own piece of art!

My nephew was very proud of his painting and excited to show it to his parents! You will guess his mother was very happy with this personalized gift.
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Healthy & easy school birthday treat

School or kindergarten birthday treats don't need to be complicated at all. Before you start, just ask yourself the question if your idea is easy to make and healthy. Is the answer yes? Hooray! You won't run out of time and the children can help too, instead of you doing all the work. With a good choice you contribute to the kids health while at the same time adhere to the school policy of making healthy treats. 
We made some coconut rice crackers in the shape of a heart. You need some (extra thick) rice crackers, gluten and sugar free coconut slices (kokosbrood in Dutch), a cookie cutter and optional some plant based butter, to prepare this healthy school treat. As decoration I used a skewer, a slice of paper, double-sided tape, a stamp and ink pad. 
This treat is gluten, nuts and lactose free, so you don't have to worry about food intolerances.

Choose a cookie cutter of your liking and cut out the shape of a rice cracker and coconut slice. Place the coconut shape on top of …

DIY coloring page for kids

DIY coloring pages are so much fun to make! I usually let my nanny kids draw themselves, but sometimes they ask me to draw something for them. Since we love to work with the seasons, I recently made a coloring page with the theme Spring for them. 

The subject can be anything of course! If the family is expecting a baby, a coloring page with everything that has to do with a newborn would be perfect. Or what about a coloring page with the theme travelling if you are going on holiday soon. Just choose something that fits the imagination of your children and have a conversation with them about all the objects they see on the coloring page. It’s not only a playful and educative way to learn, but it also helps the children to understand the world around them.

I used the booksHow to draw almost everything and How to draw almost every day for my coloring page. The step-by-step illustrations make it so easy to draw everything you want! 

Handmade Father’s Day gift

"Daddy needs to work all day long and do boring things, while we can play and make fun." A 4 year old kid can describe an adult life sometimes pretty well ;-) Previous year the kids made a photo artwork to brighten up daddy's office. This year we decided to make a DIY wooden peg doll family with the initials of the children on it. 

You can find wooden letters and peg dolls on Baker Ross (also a Dutch version available), but there are a lot of (web)shops where you can find them.  Every child selected 2 colours and used a cotton swab to smear the paint on the objects. If your kids are a little bit older, they can pimp their dolls with hair, clothes or anything else of their liking. 


Let the wooden peg dolls dry and glue letters with instant glue on each doll.

Hopefully this Father’s day gift will cheer up his days in the office :-)
Ooh and since daddy’s bicycle keys always get lost, we decided to make another present. We decorated a key chain with a photo of the kids on one sid…

Paper ice creams

Although it's still spring in the Netherlands, the temperatures are a lot higher than normal. Good weather and ice cream go hand in hand in a child's mind, so we decided to make some colourful paper ice creams!

My youngest nanny kids painted different colours on a paper (free work) and when their work was dry, I used this template to shape some ice scoops of it. 


I traced the template on cardboard paper for my oldest nanny kid. She used yellow paint for the triangle cones and chose various colours for the scoops.


To create the ice creams attach two scoops and cones to each other with a straw and double sided tape as shown on the pictures below. Measure the size of the straw beforehand so it doesn't stick out. 


When the ice creams were ready, we made a signboard with the Dutch word ice on it and turned our play kitchen into an ice stall. When the parents arrived later that evening they shouted, “Ice cream for sale” through the living room. The parents could choose mango, bluebe…

Sun smart activities for toddlers

Infants and toddlers up to four years of age are particularly vulnerable to UV damage. I find it important to teach my nanny kids about how to enjoy the sun safely. We seek for shade during sunny days, the children wear protective clothes and hats and we use a high quality sunscreen for kids. Besides this, I read out loud children's books, make crafts and sing songs about the sun. In this way I try to encourage and support them to develop independent sun protection skills.

A paper plate sun craft is always an easy and great way to introduce this theme. My oldest nanny kid made this (see picture above) with a paper plate, yellow paper and glue. If you take a closer look, you can see the face she drew on the sun. Have you seen my DIY sun visorscraft on my blog from last year? There are so many sun crafts to be found on the internet, so I am sure you can find some of your liking as well. 
George the Sun Safe Superstar is a fantastic little story to watch with your children. Don't f…

Toddler fingerprint art

Are you looking for a personalized gift to make for Mother's Day, a present for grandparents or anything else that needs to be celebrated? Fingerprint art can be a great idea! 

Grab some finger paint and a brush (or ink pad), a paper and a marker. Let your kids make prints with their fingers, let it dry and create anything you like with just a few simple lines. What about making flowers, animals or anything else. You can get your inspiration from thefingerprints booksof Ed Emberley. I decided to draw each of my nanny kids as shown in the picture above. This little art work was placed in a frame with a magnet and used as a present for Mother's Day. If your children are older, they can draw themselves or anything else they fancy of course!

Making a unique new born baby gift can also be easily done with fingerprints. One of my nanny kids made this present for his godmother when they had their first baby. It's a family portret on a piece of wood with the little baby in yellow, d…