Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rainbow Drip Pumpkins

Earlier this year Dilly-Dali Art , made these beautiful  rainbow pour painted pots.  I had it on my list of projects to do with the kids, but of course, I never got around to it. Then a few weeks ago I saw that In Lieu of Preschool did the same type of painting but on pumpkins!  So I went out and bought the supplies and the kids had the greatest time creating and designing their own rainbow colored pumpkins.  Hmmmm....I wonder what else can we pour paint on???

-Acrylic paints (various colors)
-Glitter (optional)
-Something to elevate your pumpkins (we used disposable Tupperware)
-Newspaper or cardboard (something to protect your floors)
-Clear acrylic sealer

In Lieu of Preschool first cleaned their pumpkins with a wet rag and then a dry one.  They then spray painted the pumpkins thinking it would allow the paint to adhere better.  I didn't have any spray paint off hand, but I did have some Mod Podge clear acrylic sealer.  In Lieu of Preschool wasn't even sure the spray paint was necessary, but I didn't want to take any chances so I sprayed some of the clear acrylic sealer on the pumpkins after I cleaned them.

After the pumpkins were dry, I took out our acrylic paints and glitter.  They do sell acrylic paints with glitter already in them, however we didn't have any, and I didn't want to make a special trip to Michaels just for acrylic glitter paint.  

I set the pumpkins up on disposable Tupperware as it was the only thing that I had off hand.  In Lieu of Preschool re-purposed old applesauce containers to elevate her pumpkins.  It definitely helps speed the drying process so your pumpkin isn't sitting in wet paint.  You will see in a picture down below just how much paint starts to run off the pumpkin.

Have the kids start squeezing away with the paint.  I definitely recommend having lots of paint as the kids will go through it quickly.  I think I added 3 or 4 more bottles in addition to the ones pictured above for my kids to use.

We started by pouring paint on the stem and letting it flow down, but paint was collecting in the little crevice near the stem, so my son started pouring paint on the sides of the pumpkin.

You can't really tell in the photo, but he's trying to show her how to paint on the outside parts of the pumpkin.

The pumpkins already look so pretty!  And the kids were only half way done.

I love how the colors blend together...

After the kids were done with the paints, we poured glitter on the tops of the pumpkins.

I then let the paint dry for a few hours, and then I sprayed clear acrylic sealer over the entire pumpkin.  It gave it a nice shiny look.

Our colorful rainbow pumpkins!

The neighbors definitely admired our pumpkins!  And their children wanted to make their own rainbow drip pumpkins as well.  This was definitely a fun project that we'll be doing again!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cute Pumpkin Spice Playdough Gifts

I was talking to a girlfriend the other day and she mentioned that her girls love playing with play dough so much that she just went out and bought a ton of Play-Doh at the store. I told her that home made play dough is much better, and I promised to make her girls a fresh batch.  I then saw on Pinterest this cute way of gifting play dough for I ended up making Pumpkin Spice Play dough for her girls.

For play dough recipe:
-2 Cups water
-Orange food coloring (or combine yellow and red)
-2 Tbsp vegetable oil
-1 Cup salt
-4 Tbsp. cream of tartar
-3 Tsp. pumpkin pie spice
-2 Cups of white flour

For gift bag:
-Black sharpie
-Green pipe cleaner or curly ribbon
-Cellophane candy bags

First mix 2 cup of white flour, 1 cup of salt, 4 tablespoons cream of tartar, 3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice and 2 tablespoon oil in a pan.

Then add 2 cups of water and mix well.  Add red and yellow food coloring to make orange.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 3 – 5 minutes. Dough will become difficult to stir and form a “clump”.  Remove from stove and knead for 5 minutes.

Once your play dough looks like this...break off some pieces and roll them into little balls.  How big you make them is up to you and the size of your cellophane bag.

If you are using a pipe cleaner, cut it in half, and then curl it around a pencil.  Slide it off the pencil and then twist it around the cellophane bag.

Take your black sharpie and draw a jack-o-lantern face on it.  This is a fun little alternative to give out at classroom Halloween parties, rather than giving kids sugary treats.

On Pinterest?   We would love for you to come follow Juggling With Kids!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Virtual Book Club for Kids: Amy Krouse Rosenthal

This month, for our Virtual Book Club for Kids, we explored some books written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.  One of our favorites, Little Oink, is a squeal of a book!  My kids just thought the book was hilarious!

Little Oink is about a pig who doesn't like to be messy. His dad however tells him, "If you want to grow up to be a respectable pig, you must learn how to make a proper mess." So before he gets to go play, he has to unmake his bed, unfold his clothes, put on a stained shirt, and throw his toys out of their bin.   Now what child wouldn't love to make a mess rather than clean their room??

We also read Little Pea and Little Hoot and my son exclaimed, "Mom, they do everything the opposite of the real world in these books!" You'll have to check them out to find out why.

For our craft we made Little Oink and splattered some mud on him.

-Pink craft foam sheets with adhesive backing (easier for kids, no gluing necessary)
-Blue craft foam (or any color of your choice...will be background)
-Pink pipe cleaner
-Googly eyes
-Black sharpie
-Brown paint
-Paper plate

First cut out the pieces to make your pig.  I cut out a circle for the head, an larger oval for the body, four rectangles with a partial triangle cut out for the feet, two triangles for the ears and another small oval for the snout.  I took a sharpie and colored in two circles in his snout, and some hooves on each foot.

For his tail, twist a pipe cleaner around a pen or finger to make it curly.

Then cut it in half.

Have your kids peel the backing of the foam...

...and place the shapes on the background foam to create "Little Oink".  We stuck the curly pipe cleaner in the bottom left hand corner of the oval to give him a cute little tail.  (Just stick one end under the foam and the sticker will adhere to it).

My pig is all finished!

Next put some brown paint on a paper plate and have the kids take a sponge to sponge some brown paint onto the pig to make "mud". I took a sponge that I bought at the dollar store and cut it into fourths.

Here's our "Little Oink" all messy, so he can go out and play.

We hope you enjoyed our post! If you've done a Amy Krouse Rosenthal activity, join the fun and link up with us and all these other wonderful bloggers!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Clowning Around: Clown Costume

My daughter has been getting into the spirit of Halloween early this year as she has been asking me, "is it Halloween today?"  almost daily.  She loves playing dress-up, usually as a princess or a dancing ballerina, but the other day she decided she wanted to be a clown.  So I got out a few craft items and we made our own little clown costume.  She really wanted some clown shoes to go with this costume too...but that will have to be another project for mommy to figure out how to make another day. ;-)

-Paper plate
-Pom poms
-Egg carton
-Red paint
-Paint brush
-Hole puncher
-Large construction paper
-Stickers, crayons, markers

Take your paper plate and cut a slit through one side of the plate.  Then cut out a circle...this circle should be big enough to fit comfortably around your child's neck.

I used the circle that I cut out of the paper plate and poured some glue onto it.  My daughter then used this to dip her pom poms in glue, then attached them around the plate to make her clown collar.

Next, cut out an egg cup out of your egg carton.

Then have your child paint it red.  Then set it aside to let it dry.

Take a large piece of construction paper and roll it up into a cone shape. You may need to trim some pieces off.

Then have your child decorate it any way they way.  My daughter just added some star stickers around the hat and a pom pom at the tip of the cone.

With a hole puncher, punch two holes on the side of the egg cup and tie some string to it.  Do the same with the cone shaped hat.

All dressed up and ready to be a silly little clown!  "But mom...I still need some clown shoes!"

Monday, October 8, 2012

Around the World in 12 Dishes: Mexico

Welcome to "Around The World in 12 Dishes". We will be taking you on a journey around the world, (loosely) following in Phileas Fogg's footsteps, exploring 12 different countries with our children, by cooking 12 dishes with them. One for each country visited.

The world is such a wonderfully diverse and colorful place. Our children see maps, flags and books. They see postcards and maybe they see films about the world.. but let's really bring it to life through food! Taste and smell don't often get explored, we think this would be wonderfully fun and interesting for you and your children.

Not only is it an exciting and different way to learn about cultures, but cooking with children brings a host of benefits - from numeracy to science. How can you beat that?

Adventures In Mommydom, Creative Family Fun, Domestic Goddesque, Glittering Muffins, Here Come The Girls, Juggling with Kids, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, Mermaids' Makings, Montessori Tidbits, Mummymummymum and The Educators' Spin On It have come together to help you on your food journey and will each cook a dish with our children and post about it - to help inspire you to have a go! Then go out there, cook, blog, and join in the linky fun! Check out the other great posts as well!

Around the World in 12 Dishes

We had started our journey the same way Phileas Fogg did in London, UK, and Stockholm, Sweden, then continued on to Moscow in Russia and via Indian New Delhi reached Tokyo in Japan. After making a stop in the exotic location of Papeete, capital of French Polynesia, we have now reached Mexico City!

How to join the fun!

  • The only mandatory part is the dish, the rest is all up to you, we just thought it would be fun and more concrete to the kids as to why we are making a unusual dish.
  • Cook a dish from Mexico: The goal is to explore this country through FOOD and activities if you wish. Make a typical dish (sweet or savoury) from the country with the kids, take photos and have fun!
  • Typical dishes: Tacos, Enchiladas, Quesadillas and more.
  • Print your passport: Click here to download, comes with space for a photo of the child with the dish. Here is a little cover for it if you wish :)
  • Color a placemat: Once colored/painted or whatever other way you want to do this, you can laminate it or put it between clear contact paper to use it over and over. Great conversation piece for you and your kids. Click here to download it.
  • Make a craft: you can make a country related craft with the kids [optional!]
  • Fun fact: The Chihuahua is the world’s smallest dog and is named for a Mexican state.
  • Share with us: Our Mexico challenge starts on October 7th and will remain open for a year, so attach a link to your blog to enter the linky party or go to the comment section and post a photo together with what you did together with your child(ren).
  • Pinterest: We will add your photos to a "Around the World in 12 Dishes" Pinterest Boards (one for the dishes, one for the crafts) you will be a great source of inspiration for everyone :)
  • Are you a blogger? Let your fans know about the challenge and grab our cute lil’ button to share it on your blog.

Around the World in 12 Dishes
<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Around the world in 12 Dishes" width="125" height="125" /></a>

If you do this, we’d LOVE to see a photo of it. Email it to us or post it on our Facebook page. We’d love to do a Facebook album, a Pinterest board and a page of your creations :)
Please link up your Mexican dish and/or craft in our linky below, we would love to see it!

Around the World in 12 Dishes: Mexico: Chocolate Mexicano

Living in Southern California, we have the opportunity to eat as much delicious Mexican food as we please, so we didn't have to travel very far to our next Around the World in 12 Dishes destination.  I wanted to make something that the kids had never had before, so we decided to see how hot chocolate in Mexico differed from the one we drank.  The kids and I found a book at the library called The Young Chef's Mexican Cookbook, and found a recipe for Chocolate Mexicano.

-1/2 cup sugar
-1/4 cup cocoa
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 tablespoon plain flour
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1 cup cold water
-4 cups milk
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract


In a large saucepan, add 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon plain flour, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Then add 1 cup cold water.

Cook the ingredients over low heat and keep stirring until the mixture is completely dissolved.

Turn up the heat on the stove to medium high.  Stir the mixture until it boils and continue to stir for 3-5 minutes.

Add 4 cups of milk and continue to stir until the milk is hot, but not boiling.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and still in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

My kids loved this recipe!  My son drank his entire cup without taking a breath...he loved the deeper chocolate flavor from our usual Nestle Quik that we make his chocolate milk with.  And the cinnamon flavor was an added bonus.  My daughter, is watching me as I'm typing this blog post, and she is also begging me to make this recipe again.  This might become a tradition to make in our household this winter.

Check out these other blogs for more adventures on Around the World in 12 Dishes!