Kool-Aid Painting

A really fun and different way to "paint" is to use Kool-Aid and ice cubes.  I put a plain piece of paper into a tray to keep the mess to a minimum.  
We used little packages of Kool-Aid so we could get multiple colors for the cheapest price. 
We then sprinkled the different colors of Kool-Aid around the paper.  Using an ice cube, he then 'painted' the Kool-Aid.  When the ice starts to melt, it creates a bolder fun smear look.  We also experimented with different paint brushes to see what effects they would have on the Kool-Aid and water mix. 
 The finished product!

Shaving Cream & Glue

I got this idea from a mom friend off of facebook. She mixed shaving cream and white glue together and let the kids have add it.  Glitter and/or food coloring may be added as well.  We used a finger painting tray lined with plastic and then put a piece of construction paper down for him to mix the special ingredients onto.  It wasn't all that messy because we used the tray and he loved to just get his finger all into the mixture.  The very cool thing about it, is when it dries, it keeps the little mountains or bumps that he made.  Here are some pictures!
The fun mixing part

Getting creative


The finished product!

Craft Organizer

Over the past 4 years, we have accumulated all kind of craft supplies.  Googlie eyes, pipe cleaners, paper plates, construction paper, rubber stamps, markers, glue of all kinds, ribbon, watercolors, finger paints, paint brushes and just a bunch of random things. I began throwing it all into a big clear plastic container which worked for awhile because I knew where everything could be found. But, I began to buy things that I already owned and didn't know I owned because it was just thrown into the big container.  We don't have a lot of space but I needed something to organize all our supplies.  The idea isn't mind and I'm not sure I found the idea at just one site but the idea is to use an over the door shoe organizer.  I checked numerous stores and only found one on amazon.com for about $18.00.
So worth the money!  I filled up the pockets and ta dah!  Here is what I ended up with.  My son, Din loves it as well and his eyes lit up when he saw all the different craft supplies we have on hand. 

Insta-Snow - Sensory Activity

About a year ago, I bought a jar of Insta-Snow from Amazon.com.  The idea was to add water to this powder and snow would appear. This is a great sensory and science activity.  Insta-Snow is wonderful. Last year my son would dig his fingers into it and play and now a year later, the same jar is still bringing smiles.  
Each jar comes with a small scoop.  Put a scoop of powder in the sink or another container and add a little water...wait 10 seconds and right before your eyes it multiples and creates "snow".  Here are Dylan's dinosaurs waiting for a giant blizzard to arrive in our kitchen sink. 

 Add some water...
And presto...instant snow!  He started digging his hands into it...but eventually his clothes came off and he was putting as much as his body into it as he could without getting too cold. I'm thinking if I put it in a big plastic tub, he may have been trying to take a bath in it.  The great thing about Insta-Snow is you can put it in a tight lid container and save it to use over and over again.

Positive Behavior Reward System

Dylan is motivated by charts and rewards.  He has always enjoyed them and I've been trying to find some different ways to promote positive behavior.  I recently came across this fantastic book called "Rewards for Kids!: Ready-To-Use Charts & Activities for Positive Parenting.  Link to book on Amazon  

What's great about this book, is not only does it offer ways to use different reward charts as well as story examples but in the back of the book, there are numerous charts, tickets, tokens that can be torn out and photocopied to use over and over.

Yesterday morning, I explained to Dylan we would begin to work on a new positive behavior chart.  I got the idea from this book but designed it to suit our needs. They also give you the pockets and tickets but we just made our own.

Using construction folded and stapled, we made three different pockets.  A Sun pocket, a cloud pocket and a rainbow ticket holder pocket.  I then cut out strips of paper which we drew either a sun or a cloud on them. I taped all three pockets to a wall in our kitchen. Whenever Dylan does something that is positive such as proper manners, listening the first time, putting his plate in the sink after eating, then he gets rewarded a Sun ticket.  However, whenever he goes into a time out, I have to say things to him over and over again or any other action that is considered not good behavior, he gets a cloud ticket.  The rainbow ticket holder holds all the tickets and when he is awarded one of the tickets, he picks it from the Rainbow holder and put it in the appropriate pocket.

At then end of the day, for us this is after he brushes his teeth at night, he gets to pick one Reward Activity to do the next day IF he has more Sun tickets then Cloud tickets.  We came up with the ideas together.  He immediately came up with Chuck E Cheese! Which I quickly shot down nicely explaining the reward will be something fun at home that he doesn't get to do every day.  Such as finger paints,  dancing or pretend playing with mommy, playing dragons with daddy, doing a puzzle together, making cookies, playing a board game.

We do many of these things on a daily basis anyways but knowing that it will be extra special because he earned it really makes it exciting for him and he gets to pick what he wants to do gives him a little bit of control as well.

If he gets more cloud tickets than sun tickets then he doesn't get to pick a special activity and if he has a day with no cloud tickets, we will put a sticker on a special chart.  He is going to see Toy Story 3 on Ice at the end of February and wants a T-shirt. I told him if he gets 12 special stickers before he goes, he can get a souvenir.  The big day is 26 days away so we shall see if that is too difficult to do or not. 

Here is a picture of our ticket holders.  Please ignore the small circle sticker chart, we use that on our school days.  That is another chart for another day!