Friday, October 28, 2011

Kool Aid Playdough

I've made a few play-dough recipes (this was pre-blogging), and I definitely prefer making my own over buying it.  There are a variety of recipes to try out there and most of them can be found on this website:

Here's the first one I tried:

Kool Aid Playdough

-Flour: 1 cup  (up to 2 if you feel it is thin..although I probably only added 1/4 cup more)
-Boiling Water:  1 cup
-Corn Oil: 3 tbsp
-Salt:  1/2  cup
-Koolaid : 1 package

-Mix each ingredient in with the flour
-Add boiling water
-Mix throughly
-Knead the flour and other ingredients until very well mixed
-Add more flour if necessary for texture to create a soft dough
-After you're done playing with the play-dough, keep it in a Ziploc bag or Tupperware container.

My opinion about this play-dough recipe:
- I loved the colors of the Kool-Aid.
- The play-dough itself was soft and smooth
-I had higher hopes for the smell...the Kool-Aid itself smelled great...but I didn't care to smell this play-dough after I was done making it.  The next day when we played with smelled a lot better...but honestly both my kids and I only liked the tropical punch (red) Kool-Aid the best.  The lemon-lime (green) still wasn't pleasant to smell and the berry blue (blue) was just OK.
-The color did not stain our hands while we played with it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fishing for Sight Words

A few years ago I made my son this fishing game, which is simple to make and lots of fun to play. I decided it would be a great way for him to study his sight words in addition to the Parking Lot Sight Word Game we've been playing.

Colorful card stock paper
Paper clips
Round Magnet (available @ any craft store)
Glue Gun
Wooden Dowel (available @ any craft store)


-Cut out fish shapes from various colored card stock, and attach a paper clip to the fish cutout.  Then write a sight word on one side of the fish.

-Next take your dowel and attach yarn to it (you can determine your own length), but don't make it too long otherwise it can make the string harder to control for the kids when fishing.  Then take a small round magnet and hot glue gun it to the end of the yarn.

Have your child go fishing..  Once the child catches a fish, have them read the sight word.  If they read it correctly, they get to keep the fish.  If they don't know the word, tell them how to pronounce it, and put it back in the "lake".  The goal is to catch all the fish.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gobble Up These Treats

Take a look at all these cute Thanksgiving treats!  Yes I know, you are probably thinking that I'm jumping the gun on this, since Halloween is still a week away.  But hey, most retailers have their Christmas decor up already, so technically I'm late on this posting.  =)  I hope that you'll be inspired to make something off this list.  Enjoy!

Turkey Cakepops

Monday, October 24, 2011

Egg Carton Bats

I saw these cute bats on Happy Clippings and knew I just had to make some for Halloween.  She posted some adorable ghosts too, but I didn't have time to go out and buy some leaves.  You should definitely check her blog out!

-Egg Carton
-Googly Eyes
-Black paint (we used acrylic)
-Paint Brush

-First cut out three cups from an egg carton.  Then cut the bottoms of the two outside cups to resemble bat wings.

Paint the egg carton with black paint.

-After the paint is completely dry, glue two googly eyes onto the middle cup.  Then attach ribbon to the top of the middle cup and hang. (I used a glue gun to attach the ribbon).

The bats look so spooky in our tree!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mind Jar

How fun is this mind jar?  I found this idea on a blog called Here We Are Together.  She explains that "A Mind Jar is a meditation tool to use whenever a child feels stressed, overwhelmed or upset. Imagine the glitter as your thoughts. When you shake the jar, imagine your head full of whirling thoughts, then watch them slowly settle while you calm down". 

This can provide a nice alternative to a traditional timeout, and it encourages the child to refocus without punishing them.  Although the kids and I just like to shake it up and  sit and watch the glitter swirl around and around.  Perhaps next time we'll make our own snow globe by gluing an object on the inside of the lid.

-Jar (baby food, mason)
-Glitter Glue
-Food Coloring
-Warm Water

Mix about 1 tablespoon of glitter glue with 1 cup of warm water...depending on the size of your jar.  My jar was a bit bigger so I used 2 tablespoons of glitter glue and 2 cups of warm water.  I also added some blue food coloring since my kids like the color blue.

Note:  The warm water is to help dissolve the glue.  I had a hard time dissolving I heated the water up in a microwave safe cup for 30-60 seconds.  While the water is warm...the glitter will fall quickly.  I noticed that it only took about 3 minutes for the glitter to fall while the water was warm...but it took a little over 5 minutes to finish falling once the water cooled down.  If you do use this as an alternative to time-outs and think 5 minutes is too long for your child, you should play around with the water and glue ratio.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Candy Corn Footprints

Last week I saw a post by A Teacher At Heart and I just had to replicate the cute candy corn footprints that she made with her child.

-Paint (orange, yellow, white)
-Paint brush
-Black construction paper
-Letter stickers or a Sizzix die cutter
-Scrapbook paper

1. I printed their footprints using acrylic paints onto black construction paper.
2. I then cut them out and pasted them onto the orange scrapbook paper.
3. I used my Sizzix die cutter to cut out Happy Halloween 2011.
4. And lastly, I framed it.

Here is the finished product of my candy corn footprints of my 2 children:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Taco Pasta

I love finding recipes on blogs...but I especially love it when the blogger mentions that their kids loved the meal.  If you've read my recipe post on Creamy Beef Taquitos, you'll remember that I have a super picky eater.   The Girl Who Ate Everything posted this delicious looking Taco Pasta recipe and her kids loved it  And I must say that we have another winner here, as my 5-year old just started gobbling it up...there was no "Mommy this looks gross" or "Mommy I'm not going to eat dinner tonight"...he just started eating it.  Even my husband gave it a two thumbs up.

Source: Copied from The Girl Who Ate Everything, who slightly adapted it from Fake Ginger.

1 pound ground beef or turkey
8-12 ounces medium pasta shells or other small dry pasta shapes
1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, drained (if making this for kids you might want to use just plain diced tomatoes)
1 packet (4 tablespoons) taco seasoning
3 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet or sauté pan, cook the ground meat over medium-high heat until no longer pink. A few minutes before the meat is cooked through, add the chopped onion to the skillet. Once the meat is cooked through, mix in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the diced tomatoes and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes.

Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit if it is still too thin.

Toss in the cilantro right before serving for some fresh color and flavor. Serve with a green salad.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sight Word Parking Lot

My son started Kindergarten this year and has a list of sight words he is required to memorize.  It can be quite boring and frustrating for I am trying to search for ways to make learning this a little more fun.   My son had a lot of fun learning his sight words by playing the Parking Lot Game.

-List of sight words

Draw parking spaces and fill in each space with sight words. 

Your child should park a Hot Wheels® car on the designated word that you call out.  You can also cater this for younger children with letters and numbers.

Happy Learning!

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Bubble Painting

I got this fun craft idea from The Chocolate Muffin Tree.  The kids had more fun blowing the bubbles than making the prints.  Probably because we are always telling our kids not to blow bubbles in their milk.  I must say though that the prints came out beautifully, and it would be fun to make wrapping paper and note cards like The Chocolate Muffin Tree did on her blog.

Supplies Needed:
-Tempera Paint
-Dish Soap

Mix about a 1/2 cup of water, 2 Tablespoons of paint, and a few squirts of dish soap in a cup.  Then add a straw to each cup and let the kids blow into the mixture!

Look at those big huge bubbles.

It' so much fun blowing these colorful bubbles.

They could have done this all day!

Once you have a huge bubble foam on the top of your cup you are ready to lay  paper on top to print the bubbles.  The bubbles will "POP" and create a print!

Making bubble prints on her fish.

The kids "over bubbled" their fish...but they still came out pretty.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I got an Award!!

I was so excited to receive a message from Becca over at theABCkidZ. She honored me with the Versatile Blogger Award!!!  I've been blogging since August 2011 and it has been so much fun.  I’ve met some great Moms with some amazing blogs. I am honored to have received this blog award and have YOU stop by my blog and read my posts. =)  
Please follow me on Facebook if you haven't done so already . 

By accepting this award I agree to do the following:

1. Thank the blogger who awarded me with a link back to him/her.
2. Share seven things about myself.
3.  Pass the award on to 15 other blogs.

Thank You Becca!!!! 
Please visit her blog  theABCkidZ.  

Seven Things About Myself:

1. I am always on the hunt for the perfect if you have one send it to me. =)
2. I love taking pictures...and wish I had more time to study photography
3. I'm addicted to Pinterest....who isn't? =)
4. I love One Tree Hill.
5. I gave my husband the chicken pox back in college...this was before we even started dating.
6. I hate needles...but I have a desire to try acupuncture.
7. I love cupcakes & cake pops.

Blogs that I recommend you visit (in no particular order):

1. Swanky Baby
2. A Taste of the Best
3. Small Fries With That
4. Food for the Soul
5. Invite & Delight
6. The Toasted Pixie
7. Mommy Labs
8. The Chocolate Muffin Tree
9. Puddles and Gumboots
10. Reading Confetti
11. Lessons Learnt Journal
12. A Teacher at Heart
13. I Heart Crafty Things
14. Our Creative Day
15. Boredom Busting Mommy

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Shaving Cream Snowmen

It was sweltering hot today in Southern California....where did our Fall weather go?  So to keep cool (at least pretend), I thought it would be fun to have the kids paint some snowmen using shaving cream and glue.  I got the idea from MeloMomma's blog.

This is the snowman created by my son.

-Shaving Cream
-Construction Paper
-Paint Brush

First mix equal parts of shaving cream and glue (I used Elmer's). Then draw a snowman in pencil on the constructions paper, and have the kids use either there hands or a paintbrush to fill in the snowman drawing.
Cut out some coal eyes, carrot nose, buttons, and hat to accessorize the snowmen.  Then let your art dry for about 24 hours.

Painting the mixture inside the pencil drawing.

Didn't quite stay inside the lines....but hey she's 2.

This is so much fun mom!!

My daughter added the accessories herself...not too bad.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Apple Painting & Story of "The Little House with No Doors, No Windows & a Star Inside"

My daughter and I go to a Joyful Parenting class every Thursday morning.  Yesterday her teacher, Ms. Lori, read us a wonderful story about a little boy on a mission to find a little house with no doors, no windows and a star inside.  It was such a cute story I thought I would share.  After the story, the kids did apple printing by dipping the cut apples in paint and stamping them onto paper.  Before reading the story, I strongly recommend having an apple, cutting board and knife on hand so your kids can find the star in their own apples.

Once there was a little boy who had played almost all day.  He had played with all his toys and all the games he knew, and he could not think of anything else to do.  So, he went to his mother and asked, “Mother, what shall I do now?”

His mother said, “I know about a little red house with no doors and no windows and a star inside.  You can find it, if you go look for it.”

So the little boy went outside and there he met a little girl.  He asked, “Do you know where there is a little red house with no doors and no windows and a star inside?”

The little girl said, “No, I don’t know where there is a little red house with no doors and no windows and a star inside, but you can ask my daddy.  He is a farmer and he knows lots of things.  He’s down by the barn and maybe he can help you.”

So, the little boy went to the farmer down by the barn and said, “Do you know where there is a little red house with no doors and no windows and a star inside?”

“No,” said the farmer, “I don’t know, but why don’t you ask Grandmother.  She is in her house up on the hill.  She is very wise and knows many things.  Maybe she can help you.”

So, the little boy went up the hill to Grandmother’s and asked, “Do you know where there is a little red house with no doors and no windows and a star inside?”   “No,” Grandmother answered, “I don’t know, but you ask the wind, for the wind goes everywhere, and I am sure he can help you.”

So, the little boy went outside and asked the wind, “Do you know where I can find a little red house with no doors and no windows and a star inside?”

And the wind said, “OHHHH!  OOOOOOOO!”  And it sounded to the little boy as if the wind said, “Come with me.”  So the little boy ran after the wind.  He ran through the grass and into the orchard and there on the ground he found the little house – the little red house with no doors and no windows and a star inside!  He picked it up, and it filled both of his hands.  He ran home to his mother and said, “Look, Mother!  I found the little red house with no doors and no windows, but I cannot see the star!”

So this is what his mother did (cut the apple across the middle from side to side, not top to bottom). “Now I see the star!” said the little boy.  “Do you?”

My daughter had so much fun, we did it again at home!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

No-Carve Trendy Pumpkins

There are so many trendy ideas out there on creative pumpkins that don't need carving.  If you want to avoid the messy goop that traditional pumpkin carving creates, try some of these ideas:

Boo Buttons & Ribbon Pumpkin

Hello Kitty Pumpkin