Author Archives: lisarson


It’s almost Halloween! Only 6 more days so get to celebrating! Here is a run down of some of the family friendly fun stuff happening in the city leading up to Halloween.Halloween_headline

Here are the highlights, see below for full details:

SATURDAY:           Spooktacular Science, Quantum Frontier Comics Halloween Fest, Halloween Cat Show
SUNDAY:               BOO at the ZOO (Maritime Reptile Zoo), Shubie Park Pumpkin Patch
WEDNESDAY:       HALLOWEEN at the MUSEUM of Natural History

***Plus a zillion great FREE library puppet shows, parities and song and story and events, all listed below

SATURDAY October 26th

  • The Discovery Centre’s Spooktacular Science

The family-friendly evening will include Halloween-themed activities, demonstrations and science and a costume contest! Location: Discovery Centre 1593 Barrington Street
Time: 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM.
Cost: $10 adults, $7 children

  • Quantum Frontier Games & Comics Halloween Fest

Free comics and candy for kids (while supplies last)
Location: Quantum Frontier Games & Comics, 3087 Robie Street
Time: 10:00 AM
Cost: FREE


The ‘Cats in Costumes’ class hosted by this annual cat show is Saturday at noon and is great for kids.
Location: Halifax Forum
Time: 12:00 PM
Cost: $3.00 children, $5.00 adults, $10.00 families


Gentle frights and lots of fun await you at the Boo Bash. Dress in costume, hear stories, and sing songs. Then make a craft to take home. Ages 0-5
Location: Keshen Goodman Library
Time: 10:30 AM
Cost: FREE


Ghoulish games, magical music and spooky snacks at our Hallowe’en party! Ages 5+ (registration required call – 490-5840)
Location: Dartmouth North
Time: 2:30 PM

  • Movie Screening: ParaNorma

All ages movie time!
Location: Woodlawn library
Time: 2:15 PM
Cost: FREE


THE HALLOWEEN SPELL – Spring Garden Road Memorial Library, 10:30 AM
WITCH GETS READY – Captain William Spry Library, 11:00 AM
THE HALLOWEEN COSTUME – JD Shatfort Memorial Library, 11:00 AM

SUNDAY October 27th

  • Pumpking Patch at Shubie Park!

HRM Recreation and Findlay Community Centre is hosting thier annual Pumpkin Patch! Free Pumpkin carving, face painting and more! For more information call 490-4728. (Thanks to Chara for adding this event!)

Location: Fairbanks Centre, Shubie Park
Time: 1:00PM – 3:00PM
Cost: Free

  • Boo at the Zoo

Join the Maritime Reptile Zoo for our first annual Boo at the Zoo! We are extending our hours for the event to bring you even more excitement and activities! Put on your costumes and bring the kiddies on over to the zoo for some creepy Halloween fun and games!

12:00 – Zoo Opens
1:00 – Burmese Python Feeding
2:00 – Nile Crocodile Feeding
3:00 – Reticulated Python Feeding
3:30 – Costume Contest
4:00 – Monitor Feeding
5:00 – American Alligator Feeding
5:30 – Drake’s Walk
6:00 – Lights Out! Flashlight tour**
7:00 – Zoo Close

**Please bring your own flashlight as we will only have a limited few on hand.

Activities that will be ongoing through the event include:

– Hands-on interaction with some very cool reptiles
– Trick-or-Treating
– Mealworm cooking (yes, we are serving up REAL worms). Mmm mmm
– A photo booth so you can have your photo taken with a reptile
– Creepy mystery boxes for you to sink your hands into
– Pumpkin decorating
– Visit with some pirates
…and more

Location: Maritime Reptile Zoo 75 Akerley Blvd
Time: 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Cost:  Children (3-11) $6.50, Youth (12-17) $8.00, Adult $10.00, Family $28.00

MONDAY October 28th

  • Baby Boo-fest

Ages 0-35 months
Not-so-scary stories for the littlest ghosts and goblins!
Location: Alderney Landing Library
Time: 10:30 AM

TUESDAY October 29th

  • Wee Wild Ones Halloween

See what Wee Wild Ones has planned for Halloween. Puppet shows, stories, songs and learning about nature, followed by hands on play with blocks, dress up and much more.
Location: Museum of Natural History, 1747 Summer St
Time: 10:00 AM
Cost: Adults $6.25, Under 5 Free

  • Baby & Tot Halloween Fun

Costumes, stories and lots more for the little ones. Ages 0 – 35 months
Location: Sackville Library
Time: 10:30 AM
Cost: FREE

  • Lullabyhullaballo Halloween

Costumes or jammies with teddies or lambies, come for stories and songs for a night not-so-long! Ages 0 – 5
Location: Cole Harbour LibraryTime: 7:00 PM
Cost: Free

WEDNESDAY October 30th

  • Halloween at the Museum of Natural History!

The Museum of Natural History will be having a Halloween Party from 3pm – 8pm, Dress in costumes, get some candy and explore the Museum. We will turn down the lights to add a bit of spooky and there will be some fun live shows on Science on the Sphere. Admission is FREE but please consider bringing a canned food item for Feed Nova Scotia.
Location: Museum of Natural History 1747 Summer St
Time: 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cost: FREE

  • Spooky Songs n’ Stuff

Speacial spooky songs and stories. Ages 0 – 5
Location: Spring Garden Memorial Library
Time: 10:30 AM
Cost: FREE


HALLO-WIENER – Dartmouth North Library, 10:30 AM
13 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN – Keshen Goodman Library, 10:30 AM
THE PUMPKIN THIEF – Sackville Library, 10:30 AM


  • Boo to You!

Spooky Halloween themed family drop in!
Location: Sackville Library
Time: 10:00 AM
Cost: FREE

  • Scaredy Cats & Hairy Bats

It’s Hallowe’en! Come in costume and listen to not-so-scary tales and songs that will have you howling with laughter! Ages 3 – 5
Location: Halifax North Memorial
Time: 10:30 AM


THE VANISHING PUMPKIN – Bedford Library, 10:30 AM
HALLOWEEN WITH MORRIS and BORIS – Cole Harbour Library, 3:30 PM

You may also want to check out the Haunted Houses at Mount Saint Vincent University, Adsum House and Alderney Landing . Most are not suitable for young children but they do run ‘matinee tours’ that may be appropriate for older kids.

(If you are aware of an event happening around town that I missed, please add it in a comment below or send me a note and I’ll be sure to add it!)


Summer Bucket List


Summer Bucket List 2013!


Summer Bucket List: Bucket-o-Popsicle sticks

What you need:

  • popsicle sticks
  • bucket or any container capable of holding popsicle sticks
  • marker

Summer Bucket List: Photo Bunting

What you need:

  • colored paper
  • yarn or string
  • thumb tacks
  • mini clips or paper clips
  • camera and ability to print or have photos printed

June is the official start to our summer so we’ve been busy making our summer to do list. There are about a trillion different summer bucket list ideas floating around on the internet. My two favorite are a simple bucket full of Popsicle sticks I saw over at The Home Teacher and a bucket list bunting from the blog The Connection We Share. I couldn’t choose between bucket and bunting so we made both! The popsicle stick bucket because what could be more fun than letting a colored stick decide what the day will hold! And the bunting…mostly because it’s pretty.

Bucket-o-Popsicle Sticks

I picked up a package of large colored popsicle sticks, easy for little hands to grab. While D built walls and glued some of the sticks together we chatted about all the things we wanted to do over the summer. I wrote one activity on each popsicle stick, If you don’t like the idea of having to commit to one activity you can always write an activity on both sides so you have a alternative option. I color coded the sticks so that we would choose activities that fit the weather and the amount of time we had. Yellow is a short sunny day activity, blue a short rainy day activity, red a half day out and green is a day trip, this way depending on our schedule I can ask D to grab a specific colour.


Popsicle stick activities.

Bucket List Bunting

I love the buntingy bucket list because, lets face it, it’s pretty darn adorable. We wrote all our Popsicle stick activities on colored paper in the shape of triangles (you could use pattered paper to cute up your bunting). One thing the bunting list allows for that the Popsicle stick bucket doesn’t is the addition of summer activities that you can’t really do spontaneously, like go to a parade, see fireworks or go to Shakespeare by the sea so we added these super fun summer staples to our bunting in addition to our Popsicle stick activities. The paper triangles were displayed by using mini clips (paper clips would work just as well) to attach the paper to yarn (or string, or wire, or cord, you get the picture). The yarn was wound around thumb tacks in a zigzag design on the wall, easy as cake. Honestly I think this would look much better in just two swooping lines but you work with what you have and we have limited wall space.  Since D can’t read I added pictures to the triangles to help him remember what activities are displayed on the cards. He calls them his adventure cards and he points to different activities and asks questions and talks about them excitedly…the only instance this has backfired on me so far is the card with the boat on it, tipping him off that one of the Popsicle sticks holds a boat ride, now he’s on a hunt. Sorry son, can’t cheat the Popsicle sticks until you can read! I love that the bunting displays all the fun things you have to look forward over the summer, it makes me happy every time I glance it’s way…that could just be the effect bunting has on me in general though, teeny colorful flags strung about is a pretty happy bit of decor.

Summer Bucket list Bunting

Summer Bucket list Bunting

Rather than removing the activities from the bunting or crossing them out as we get to them, we pin a picture of us doing the activity over the triangle.

Pin photo's to the bunting to indicate that you've crossed an activity off the list.

Pin photo’s to the bunting to indicate that you’ve crossed an activity off the list.

As the summer moves on our bunting becomes a photo log of summer fun. When the leaves fall and you reluctantly remove your summer list (in favour of a fall bucket list maybe?) you can slip the photo’s into a small photo album.


When you are ready to dismantle your bunting in the Fall you have a ready made photo book of your summer fun.

I’ve had a request to share the activities we’ve included in our bucket list so I’ll be typing them up and posting them in their own post tomorrow.




Museum of Natural History – Toddler Approved


It’s true. I’ll admit it. There was a period of my life where I questioned the awesomeness of Nova Scotia’s Museum of Natural History. While it may not be in the same ball park as say…the Canadian Museum of Civilization, don’t look down on this Halifax gem until you’ve seen it through the eyes of a child.

Dean a year ago at Young Children's Nature Discovery/

D a year ago at Young Children’s Nature Discovery.

We first took D to the museum a little more than a year ago on a rainy weekend in February. We took him to see the monkeys that were visiting as part of a temporary Life in the Rainforest exhibit. I looked at the museum and to be honest I saw a collection of dead animals, some whale bones, rocks etc. the same displays I had known as a child (with the exception of a new Netukulimk exhibit which is perfect for young children…more on that later). D however saw something entirely different. D saw a real ‘live’ bear that growls when he walks by, skunks and moose that he could get within a few feet of, sharks and a living bee hive (I did always love the bee hive). D saw a myriad of wonders that were completely new to him, laid out in a big space (big to a 1.5 year old) that he could wonder freely and explore. Experiencing the museum with a toddler made me stop, really look around and gave me a new appreciation for the quality of the museum and great work that is being done there. Since that first visit we have become regulars at the museum. We have seen the same displays at least 20 to 30 times and a year later he’s still excited every time we go and here is why….

Here are the top 5 reasons your toddler will adore a visit(s) the Museum of Natural History:

1. Kids love to press buttons and touch things:

The Netukulimk exhibit seemed to be designed with little kids in mind. The whole area is interactive with buttons set in natural looking foresty displays that allow you to hear the sounds animals make (this is D’s favorite part). There are live animals, a live bee colony, hidden drawers with insect specimens, fun to be found everywhere. It’s a fantastic space for kids to run around and explore.

Photo from

2. They have the best toys in town:

Animal puzzles and fishing games, a felt board, dress up play with amazing costumes, natural wood blocks, Incredible animal puppets and a puppet theater, magnifying glasses with things to examine, animal figurines and more! No joke. The children’s programing at the museum is amazing.

The museum runs two preschool programs; Wee Wild Ones, which in my opinion is the best under 5 program we have come across in the city (unfortunately the program does not run in the summer. This Tuesday is the last Wee Wild Ones day until September. If you can make it out, do, you won’t regret it) and Young Children’s Nature Discovery. Both programs incorporate hands on exploration of real museum objects (D has gotten to feel bear pelts, hold teeth, touch bugs, it’s a crazy fun time) and creative play. Wee Wild Ones has a structured format, skillfully facilitated by Mary, who all the ‘Wee Wild Ones’ seem to instantly adore, it includes songs and puppet shows and directed activities followed by free play (with the awesome toys) while Young Children’s Nature Discovery is mostly free play.

Wee Wild Ones – 10:15 Tuesdays (May 28th is the last Tuesday until September)
Young Children’s Nature Discovery – Sundays 9:30 – 11:30 (under 5)

dress up wee wild ones

3. You can hang out with a tortoise: Walk with Gus

At 3:30 every day Gus the 90 year old tortoise that calls the museum home goes for a ‘walk’ and has a snack. Museum staff supervise and kids can ask questions, touch his shell and watch him chow down on some grub up close and personal.

Walk with Gus

Walk with Gus

4. Animals are awesome:

What D really loves at the museum are the animals. He loves simply walking around pointing out the animals he knows, asking questions about them and just looking around and taking it all in. One of his favorite activities in the Marine gallery is to play a search and find game with one of the displays. I will ask if he can find a crab, a starfish, a shell etc. and he will point them out in the under water scene.


5. You Can Have a Nature Scavenger Hunt!

My favorite thing to do at the museum is to go with the sole purpose of playing a game. Museum scavenger hunt. I print off a sheet of paper with pictures of things you can find in the museum, moose, frog, bone etc. (anyone else who might be with us also gets a sheet) and we run around and search for the items on our page. Every time D finds an item we cross it off our list with a sticker…I sometimes point him in the right direction but when he finds an item on his sheet it is wildly exciting for him! Very fun to watch 🙂 Even carefully placing the stickers on the right pictures is an enjoyable activity. If he finds everything I usually have an actual ‘prize’ there are lots of great collections to start in the museum store, stones, little plastic lizards etc.

*** The Coasts CoastMart is currently offering half price one year family passes to the museum. Click below for the link:

Half off One Year Family Pass to the Museum of Natural History

Bug Week: Backyard Bug Hunt


How to Have a Backyard Bug Hunt

  • Dress appropriately.
  • Venture into the great outdoors.
  • Look for bugs.

Go in your backyard and look for bugs?

Really? Is this all you have to offer?

Is this a cop out post?

Absolutely. It’s Wednesday. In all honesty though the simplest of activities are sometimes the most fun…call it a safari if you need more excitement, either way I guarantee enjoyment.

Bug Hunt copy

Since we are blessed with an uncommonly large ant population in our yard, a very common after supper activity in our house is to go out and look for ants. I don’t know how this started, or why D finds it so endlessly entertaining but it’s a brilliant game for a number of reasons:

  1. There is virtually no way to be unsuccessful at an ant hunt…given you aren’t hunting in January.
  2. Ant hunts can be as long or short as you want.
  3. Ant hunts require no set up, prep work or supplies…just you (although magnifying glasses do add to the fun).
  4. Ant hunts can be conducted in the comfort of your own backyard (or inside the home if you’re not so lucky)
  5. It is one of the most portable warm weather activities there is when you need a quick distraction.
    • Bus Stop: ‘Hey D. let’s see if we can find any ants waiting to take the bus’
    • Strapping sibling into 1 million point stroller harness before walk: ‘Hey D. let’s see if we can find any ants on the path, wouldn’t want to run any over with the stroller’
    • Picnic lunch: ‘Hey D. While mommy sets up lunch why don’t you see if you can find any ants that want to join us?’
    • Grocery store line up ‘Hey D. I think I saw an ant, see if you can find it?’ Use the last one sparingly, it won’t work forever. Cruel you say? No. It’s entirely possible that you could find an ant in the grocery store line up.

How to make the most out of your bug hunt:

Get a magnifying glass. Seriously, magnifying glasses are available at the dollar store and they are fun for all ages.

D also had a lot of fun trying to get bugs to walk on a piece of plain white paper, easier to examine.

Take a trip to the library. Reading up on different bugs and seeing pictures will help kids recognize the bugs they find and add to the excitement.

Track the bug you see.

Print some pictures of common bugs and check them off as you find them. We made ‘saw on this spot’ signs for the garden with pictures of different bugs that D can use to mark where in the yard he has seen different bugs. I believe I saw this, or something similar, done on a website awhile back but I couldn’t turn it up despite long arduous hours searching so maybe I imagined it. I will give appropriate credit for the inspiration should I ever come across the post again. The markers are great to see where different types of bugs hang out. We printed off pictures, colored them then I used packing tape to water proof so we can leave them in a bucket outside and grab them whenever a bug is spotted.


No bugs were harmed in the making of this post.

Bug Week: Garden Bug House


How to Make a Bug House

  • Gather a variety of natural or recycled objects that when fitted together create some nooks and crannies for bug buddies.
  • Find a container with one open side to arrange your collection of objects.
  • Place in a shaded spot in the garden or yard and wait.

Bug House TitleOur second endeavour for Bug Appreciation Week was building a bug house! I’m not going to lie, making this was probably the most terrifying experience of my adult life but I think the pay off will be worth it if our little insect summer home attracts some critters for D to observe.

We originally saw this idea over at Garden Therapy. Check out the link for tips on attracting specific insects to your garden like bees, ladybugs, beetles and spiders. We took a less directed and more toddler friendly approach, here is how we went about building our summer bug home…

Early in the morning we grabbed our buckets and capes (because everything is more fun in a cape) and headed out to a local park for a walk through the woods. We choose a park that I knew would have lots of different natural materials that we could gather. We had talked about the bug house before we left so D knew we were on the look out for things like tree bark, pine cones, small sticks and other things that bugs might like to live in.

Bug House 2

We spent about an hour wandering around and adding things to our bucket but you could easily gather what you needed in as little as 10 minutes around the house and yard. The local dollar or craft store also has a lot of good bug home building options, we selected mostly natural materials to fill our house but anything that creates nooks and crannies will do such as straws, coiled pipe cleaners, Popsicle sticks, bottle caps etc.

Bug House 5
Once we got home we took inventory of our haul. D loves to sort so before we decided what would go into our house we sorted all our materials into groups…and here is where the terror comes in. In addition to our pine cones, sticks and tree bark our bucket contained two ants, one beetle, and a spider that was approximately the size of my head. I maintained total composure when we came across the beetle and the ants, we took out our magnifying glass and calmly watched them climb over this and that until we summoned husband to take the little ‘buggers’ (I’m so sorry, I couldn’t help it) outside to wait until the bug house was ready. The spider caught me off guard, I may have screamed, but took appropriate precautions to prevent it from happening again. We finished the sorting task with the help of BBQ tongs. I told D we were using them because they were helpful for sorting, and they were.

It was raining by the time we went to construct our house but I do not recommend this activity for indoors…who knows what else we let loose…*cue menacing dum dum dum*

Bug House 6

To hold the house together I picked up an unfinished wood box (these are often easy to find at your local dollar store, old clementine boxes would work perfectly as well) but then found an actual house shaped paper mache box and opted to use that instead. Unlike a wood box it will need to be weather proofed using a finish spray or acrylic sealer. We lined the back of the box with homemade playdough to help hold our bits and pieces in place. Dean put the house together sticking things in the playdough, I encouraged him to find things to fill in gaps to pack the house a little tighter. We added a toilet paper roll to hold the smaller items that D wanted to include (he was dead set on having dandelions in there ‘but mommy these flowers are wonderful’).

Bug House 3

The following picture shows what ended up being included in the house.

Sarson Bug Summer Cottage Bug Contents

When we were all finished we slapped on the roof and set it out in the garden. We will be checking back frequently for new residents.

Bug House 7

Prep: Once you have something to hold the contents of your house together you are good to go!

Activity Length: We did this activity in two stages, collecting the materials could take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. Putting the house together took about a half hour including the sorting which some children may not be interested in. For D, finding things to collect in his bucket was probably the most fun part of the activity (with the exception of the surprise visitors that hitched a ride in our bucket), however you could collect the materials before hand and just construct the house.

Sum up:

  • D really enjoyed all aspects of this activity, it was nice that he could burn of energy on the walk and then follow it with quiet time putting the house together…perfect morning lead up to a nap.
  • Cheap or free.
  • Provides lots of opportunity for exploration of natural materials and discussion about bugs, where they live, what they eat and their various jobs or purposes in a garden.
  • Finished house is a cute addition to the garden.

Bug Week: Paper Butterfly Catching


Bug Appreciation Week

It’s Bug Appreciation Week! Not really. I made that up. Secretly there is no such thing as bug appreciation week, although I can’t see why considering the following ‘holiday’s’ exist…

As I was saying, I made up bug appreciation week as an excuse to post the 5 super fun bug related activities D and I have planned this week! And because I have to be proactive about bug appreciation as I have a debilitating fear of all insects that I am actively trying to not pass on to my children.

No joke.

I once got stuck in a parking lot for 40 minutes because a grasshopper got into my car, I had been working late and it took that long for someone to come by and remove it for me. I think I screamed  all the way home.

And with that introduction…I give you our first Bug Appreciation Week Activity: Catching Butterflies!

butterfly catching

Butterfly catching is great for indoors or outdoors and is as simple as it sounds, we made a jar full of paper butterflies, thew them up in the air and D tried to catch them with a butterfly net. The more butterflies the better, catching them is harder than it looks, especially if there is a bit of wind.

What you need:

  • Butterfly net (we got ours at the dollar store), a bucket or a grocery or gift bag would do just as well
  • paper
  • scissors or butterfly punch

Prep: D helped me punch out the butterflies so there was no real prep, but if using scissors you may want to set aside 10 – 15 minutes to cut out the butterflies ahead of time.

Activity Length: We did this activity inside and out and it kept D entertained for about an hour on both occasions (bonus: baby girl in a bouncy chair nearby was also very entertained by all the colorful butterflies flying about.) We switched back and forth so that sometimes he could throw the butterflies and I could catch them. D really enjoyed collecting the butterflies and putting them back in the jar between each game.

Bonus Fun:

  • Add Tweezers – When we played the game inside D had a pair of tweezers that he used to pick up the butterflies and return them to the jar, this lengthened the game and gave him a chance to work on fine motor skills.
  • Examine Your Catch – We also had a magnifying glass near by and every now and then D would take the butterflies he caught and examine them under the glass.
  • Decorate Your Butterflies – Decorating  your butterflies can be fun on it’s own and allows you to track which butterflies you’ve caught, we did this with colors ‘try and catch a green butterfly’ ‘how many yellow butterflies are in your net’
  • Use a Vacuum to Launch the Butterflies – If you really want to impress, pack the butterflies loosely into the wand of a vacuum and turn it on reverse to really shoot the butterflies up in the air! We were exposed to vacuum fun at a family fun night at Wee Care Development Centre hosted by Jeff Johnson of Explorations Early Learning. Shoving things in a vacuum and shooting them into the air is surprisingly fun with anything that is light and small enough to fit into a vacuum wand, paper confetti, Styrofoam pieces, streamers, it’s like a refillable party popper!

Sum up: Cheap, quick, easy to play, easy to clean up and fun, fun, fun (for adults as well) it’s on the shelf for another day.

Homemade Face Paint Fun


Our on the fly recipe:
Equal parts Palmer’s Cocoa Butter (or any face friendly lotion) and crayola washable paints
All natural recipe:
Use a thicker lotion for a base, pure cocoa butter, diaper cream etc and Natural food coloring


Rainy afternoons sometimes produce odd requests from D.

  • ‘Mommy, let’s find a spider.’ (who in their right mind searches out a spider?)
  • ‘Mommy, I have your wallet and your phone, please? I want to be a mommy.’ (apparently all you need to be a mother is a wallet and a cell phone)
  • ‘Mommy, maybe we can have Halloween today?’ (this isn’t actually all that odd, there are lots of days that I just want to dress up and eat chocolate)

Our last rainy afternoon D requested a Rose Tattoo…the kid likes Celtic punk, what can you do? You can give him a Rose Tattoo is what. So away we went to find a red pen, but somewhere between the junk drawer and the office I had a better idea, why stop at a teeny tattoo? Let’s make face paint!

Why go through the trouble of making face paint you ask?

1. Face paint is awesome. However, we didn’t have any face paint on hand so we work with what we have.
2. D has more fun playing with things he has a hand in creating, so when given the option, we make.
3. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has drawn attention to the fact that many commercial face paints contain lead, nickel, cobalt and/or chromium…(see above or read on for a more natural non-toxic face paint recipe).

So, I pitched my idea to D and he immediately saw the potential, his tattoo request quickly changed…

to a beard…


then to Spiderman (Yes, it is a terrible Spiderman, but you try painting webbing on an over excited 2 year old).


Then D made a life changing discovery, when it comes to face painting the real fun is for the painter not the paintee, and so I became a butterfly. When he deemed my face paint finished he proclaimed ‘Mommy, it’s a wonderful butterfly!’ and it was.

I actually became a few different butterflies, and a spidermom. He made me clean my face multiple times so he could start with a clean canvas. The activity was a big hit and one we will be doing again.

If you aren’t fond of the idea of your toddler smearing colored stickiness all over your face, have them paint a baby doll or, if you have more than one small child, each other.

To make the paint we used a mixture of washable crayola paint and coco butter, any lotion would do. We were not exact with our measurements, we set out the lotion first then added paint until we were happy with the color, approximately equal parts paint and lotion. We used a mini muffin tin to mix and hold the paint and separate colors. The paint washed off of skin, clothes (and couches) easily and it didn’t cause any skin redness or irritation. If you are worried about using the paint mixture and you decide more than 5 seconds ahead of time that you’d like to have some fun with face paints, here is a great recipe from for all natural non-toxic face paints.