Flashback : paint pucks

This is one of the first posts I ever wrote for kids in the capital.  Those exact paint pucks from two years ago are still the ones we use!  :) by Lara

Do you remember these from elementary school?

I'm always looking for new crafts to do with Kiernan and when I saw these at Wallacks (I know you can also get them at Scholar's Choice) a wave of nostalgia came over me from elementary school art class and I couldn't help but pick them up. They cost about $13 for the starter pack and then you can get replacement pucks as well as other colours for when you want to mix things up.

They are awesome. We use them all the time. The colours are vibrant, there's no wasting, and best of all when this happens to your paint (and if you have a 3 year old too, the chances of this are quite high ;)....

... all you need it a little water to get the paint looking good again.

And the best part of all is the artwork you end up with at the end.

Lara is the mom to 5 year old Kiernan and 3 year old twins Quinn and Juliette. You can find her at her blog Gliding Through Motherhood.

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Making Easter Eggs

A favorite Easter tradition growing up was making pysanka. Although we aren't Ukrainian, we were exposed to pysanka living in Winnipeg and because it is so much fun, and so beautiful to make, we adopted the tradition as our own.

I hadn't made pysanka in years, but after taking a local workshop with some friends I decided to try it with my kids. I was nervous at first because I wasn't sure about letting my four year old and two year old handle the tool used to draw on the eggs with hot wax. In the end it turned out fine. I offered them the tool to draw with, after heating it over the candle flame myself, but they passed. They much preferred to just tell me what to draw while they watched.  (Kids that are six and older could probably use the tool themselves, with supervision of course.)

We spent a really enjoyable few hours talking about what to draw on the eggs, me drawing it and them watching the eggs in the various jars of dye. We used six colours of dye: yellow, orange, pink, red, blue and black. In other words every colour of dye I had!

After each colour of dye the kids made sure to pat off their egg with a paper-towel. After the black dye I used the candle flame to melt off all the wax and reveal the art underneath!

I won't even pretend that what they made is pysanka because the designs are in no way reflective of traditional Ukrainian folk designs. (Although it is possible to make faux-pysanka with kids!) But it was a good chance to introduce them to the idea and show them pictures of pysanky. I am pretty sure that this will be a now yearly Easter tradition!

Before making pysanka I did some other crafts with the kids to get them familiar with the idea of decorating eggs. I started by drawing egg shapes on paper and asking the kids to decorate them with their own designs. Then the kids painted the designs.

Next I let the kids paint on eggs. They had a great time doing this. I even showed the kids how to blow out the egg by poking two holes in either end of the eggs and then blowing out the egg yolk and whites. I think this was a highlight for both of them! (Tip: make sure both holes are a good size or you'll be blowing in vain). The only problem with a blown out egg is that the shell is easier to break, as my two year old found out.   

Does your family decorate eggs at Easter? Have you ever made pysanka?

Brie is the mom of a 4 year old daughter “the girl” and 2 old son “the boy”. You can read her blog at Capital Mom.

Gotta Paint for Christmas!

by Alicia An advantage to having a child is avoiding the expensive Christmas gifts and presenting family and friends something handmade from your little ones.  These are the gifts that will be truly treasured.

For my son’s first Christmas last year, we went to Gotta Paint to create some unique gifts.  Gotta Paint is a ceramic, mosaic and glass fusing studio.  They have various ceramic pieces that are easy for children to handle like mugs, plates, tea pots, bowls, piggy banks and wine goblets. Currently for Christmas, they also have a huge selection of Christmas shaped plates, ornaments, and knick knacks.

We decided to paint a couple of ceramic plates for Grandparents last year using handprint and footprint art. The wonderful staff helped us through the whole process (especially the hold-press-release of the very wiggly hands and feet). They had all kinds of ideas for us and we also found inspiration from samples of other children’s art displayed on the shelves and walls.  We were very happy with how they turned out!

Once we finished painting, the plates were sent off to be glazed and fired in the oven and we were able to pick them up at a later date. We purchased a plate stand for each and now our son’s Grandparents can display their plates every Christmas and remind all of us just how small those fingers and toes once were!

This Christmas season our son was able to do some of the painting himself and proudly painted some ornaments and a mug. We made an appointment and sneaked in just in time before the Christmas deadline.

Check out Gotta Paint’s online calendar to view daily promotions.  We especially like their Food Bank days; with a donation to the Food Bank they wave your studio fees!  You are encouraged to call ahead to book an appointment (appointments are needed during this busy season) and although Christmas deadlines have past, they have a number of great promotions during the winter holidays.

Will your children be giving handmade gifts to family and friends this year? Don’t forget to put your child’s name and age on the back or bottom of the keepsake!

Alicia is mom to 19 month old, little E, and is new to blogging. You can read her blog at, I Found My Feet.