Posts Tagged ‘Kid Crafts’

Notebook Experiments: Making Our Grocery Lists

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

We have had another crazy week with travel and sick children. I hope you will enjoy this post for a creative, frugal, and green way to keep your children entertained!

Experiment: Can making a grocery list with my son provide entertainment for one hour and be educational too?

Experiment Taken From: Notebook Entry 05.08.08

Materials Needed: Please see plumpudding for specific directions on how to complete this experiment. We used some leftover recycled paper from our computer paper to put the lists on and this week’s grocery advertisements.

Results: Ethan really needs to work on his writing skills and needs some practice cutting with scissors so we adapted this activity to prepare him more for these skills. We are also in the pre-reading stage where he is sounding out and beginning to write his words. I wanted to work on all of these skills so we made the list in two ways.

The first lists that we made, I just had him cut out what he would want on his dream grocery list. I divided the piece of paper in half and had him add the pictures to one side of the page. In the opposite column, I wrote the word of the item and then I made a line so that he could write the word underneath.

On the second list, I divided the paper into two columns and then wrote down the grocery list. He sounded out the words, to try and figure out what they said, and then drew his picture to accompany them.

When we were done with our list, Ethan played in our little kitchen and shopped for food items off of his list, matching pretend food items with his pretend list. Then he made me pretend dishes to eat and charged me money for them…because that is how we roll!

Conclusion: This activity was great and helped us work on the skills that we need to work on, in preparation for next year’s big move to kindergarten. This activity kept him busy for an hour and gave us an opportunity to really work together on his reading and writing skills. Thanks, plumpudding for this great idea!

**********************

I am so excited to open our Notebook Experiments up to everyone and I hope that you will be able to participate this week or in weeks to come! I will be posting this each Wednesday so please mark your calendars if you plan to participate. You can post your entries at any time throughout the week and then leave your entry in the links below.

We have this handy banner that you are more than welcome to use, but it is not a requirement! It is just something you can add to add a little sparkle to your entry.

Rules for Participation:

1. Choose anything from any of our notebook entries (past or present) to do with your family. We have hundreds of bookmarked links of crafts, ways to save money, and organizing ideas.
2. Complete an experiment from the notebook and share about it on your blog or website. We would love to see pictures of what you accomplished or a detailed description of how your projects turned out. Please include a link to this entry, a link to the original posting of the entry (at the original craftster’s blog), and (to help us relocate the project) the date or link of the notebook entry where you found it. You can use the same formatting as our entries or you can just include that information in your post in your own unique way!
3. Post a link below. Please include your name or blog name & a fast description of your project. Example- MomAdvice (WHO bread)

I can’t wait to see what you create and what you find inspiring!

Notebook Experiments: Are Homemade Bubbles Better?

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

I wasn’t able to get to any experimenting this week so I wanted to share one of my favorite experiments with you that I have completed so far. If you haven’t tried this recipe, I swear it is worth those little moments of effort!

Experiment: Can homemade bubbles trump our dollar store variety?

Experiment Taken From: Notebook Entry 05.29.08

Materials Needed: Please see Sparkle Power for specific directions on how to complete this experiment. I was able to find the glycerin behind the pharmacist counter at Super Target. The container of glycerin was $2.69 for four ounces. I also mixed my bubble solution up in an old milk jug (inspired by Frugal Dad’s uses for milk jugs) which made it easier to pour and store our homemade bubble solution. The bubble wands were found at the Dollar Spot at Target.

Results: Is it just me or are the dollar store bubbles horrible? My son is able to blow bubbles with these, but my daughter really got frustrated because she couldn’t seem to blow any bubbles before her wand would need to be dipped again.

I was really excited to try this recipe for bubbles and couldn’t wait to mix up a batch of these for the kids.

I followed Candace’s suggestions and actually mixed these up the night before so the ingredients had plenty of time to incorporate. I had some pink dish soap in my pantry so I used that- your bubbles will be whatever color of dish soap you choose.

The next night, we spent an entire evening blowing bubbles and everyone had to take a turn waving the wands through the air to make the giant bubbles. These bubbles were so amazing that our neighbors came over to ask where we had gotten the bubbles from. I couldn’t wait to share the recipe with them and pass it on! After seeing our bubble pictures, my mother-in-law is even going to make some of these for her own house so the kids can blow these bubbles over there too.

Conclusion: Homemade bubbles rocked the socks off of the dollar store bubbles. Thanks to Sparkle Power for such a fun recipe. I will never buy those bubbles again and I hope it is a recipe that we can pass down through generations!

**********************

I am so excited to open our Notebook Experiments up to everyone and I hope that you will be able to participate this week or in weeks to come! I will be posting this each Wednesday so please mark your calendars if you plan to participate. You can post your entries at any time throughout the week and then leave your entry in the links below.

We have this handy banner that you are more than welcome to use, but it is not a requirement! It is just something you can add to add a little sparkle to your entry.

Rules for Participation:

1. Choose anything from any of our notebook entries (past or present) to do with your family. We have hundreds of bookmarked links of crafts, ways to save money, and organizing ideas.
2. Complete an experiment from the notebook and share about it on your blog or website. We would love to see pictures of what you accomplished or a detailed description of how your projects turned out. Please include a link to this entry, a link to the original posting of the entry (at the original craftster’s blog), and (to help us relocate the project) the date or link of the notebook entry where you found it. You can use the same formatting as our entries or you can just include that information in your post in your own unique way!
3. Post a link below. Please include your name or blog name & a fast description of your project. Example- MomAdvice (WHO bread)

I can’t wait to see what you create and what you find inspiring!

Notebook Experiment & No Spend Day 11: Be My Valentine

Thursday, February 12th, 2009


Due to the MomAdvice Simplified podcast airing on Thursdays, I am going to be moving our Notebook Entry and Notebook Experiments to Wednesdays instead. I hope you will understand and will come back on Wednesday for these entries. Thank you so much for your patience!
Experiment: Can we craft up some Valentines?

Experiment Taken From: Notebook Entry 02.12.09

Materials Needed: Please see the long thread for the full instructions.

Results: Today’s Notebook Experiment & No Spend Challenge picture are one and the same. Since we are not spending money this month, we have had to get creative with our Valentine’s this year and are making them at home.

I loved the round-up of cute homemade Valentine’s on the long thread and we decided to download and print the ones that she made available on her site. Unfortunately, we don’t have a color printer so they are not nearly as cute, but they were free, which makes them the best kind of little love notes in the world.

Conclusion: This was a fun and free activity that I could do with the kids. Ethan is so excited to give them to his friends and I am so happy that we saved some money in the process. Thanks to the long thread for sharing such a sweet and fun little template!

**********************
Want to join in on the MomAdvice No Spend Challenge? Make sure to add your name to the linky list and read more about our challenge. You can also join our No Spend Challenge Flickr Group and upload your pictures of what you did each day.

To read all the entries on not spending, you can visit our No Spend Challenge category!
********************

I am so excited to open our Notebook Experiments up to everyone and I hope that you will be able to participate this week or in weeks to come! I will be posting this each Wednesday so please mark your calendars if you plan to participate. You can post your entries at any time throughout the week and then leave your entry in the links below.

We have this handy banner that you are more than welcome to use, but it is not a requirement! It is just something you can add to add a little sparkle to your entry.

Rules for Participation:

1. Choose anything from any of our notebook entries (past or present) to do with your family. We have hundreds of bookmarked links of crafts, ways to save money, and organizing ideas.
2. Complete an experiment from the notebook and share about it on your blog or website. We would love to see pictures of what you accomplished or a detailed description of how your projects turned out. Please include a link to this entry, a link to the original posting of the entry (at the original crafster’s blog), and (to help us relocate the project) the date or link of the notebook entry where you found it. You can use the same formatting as our entries or you can just include that information in your post in your own unique way!
3. Post a link below. Please include your name or blog name & a fast description of your project. Example- MomAdvice (WHO bread)

I can’t wait to see what you create and what you find inspiring!

Notebook Experiments: Can an Indoor Snow Day Keep the Kids Busy?

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Experiment: Can I entertain my kids with a pile of snow?

Experiment Taken From: Notebook Entry 01.15.09

Materials Needed: Please see The Homespun Heart for the full instructions.

Results: It has been brutally cold here with blowing snows and blizzards and the usual Midwest winter fun so it makes playing outside in the snow difficult. We have also been battling bronchitis and the winter bugs that make their way from school to our home so going outside hasn’t been in the cards lately.

Luckily, I saw Monica’s brilliant idea for having an indoor snow adventure and thought that would be just the ticket for the kids. I found a small tote in the basement, filled it up with snow, found some random spoons from the kitchen, and gave them the Little People to make snow angels. I put some jazz music on, and got some work done while they played.

I will admit, the quiet was quite lovely. And then the giggling. And then the chatter. And it pulled me away from my work.

And I plopped on the floor and enjoyed their sweet little selves for an hour.

And Emily wrapped her icy cold hand over mine and said, “Mommy, you are my best friend.” And I admit it, I teared up.

But by dinnertime I was told, “Mommy, you are not my best friend.” It didn’t phase me.

I just held that moment in my heart because for that one hour, we held hands over the snow and pledged our friendship for that moment.

Conclusion: Playing in snow INSIDE is our new favorite winter activity and I look forward to doing it again…and just maybe I will be back on the friend list! I encourage you to put this on your activity list this week. Thanks to Monica, at The Homespun Heart, for the brilliant idea!

********************

I am so excited to open our Notebook Experiments up to everyone and I hope that you will be able to participate this week or in weeks to come! I will be posting this each Thursday so please mark your calendars if you plan to participate. You can post your entries at any time throughout the week and then leave your entry in the links below.

We have this handy banner that you are more than welcome to use, but it is not a requirement! It is just something you can add to add a little sparkle to your entry.

Rules for Participation:

1. Choose anything from any of our notebook entries (past or present) to do with your family. We have hundreds of bookmarked links of crafts, ways to save money, and organizing ideas.
2. Complete an experiment from the notebook and share about it on your blog or website. We would love to see pictures of what you accomplished or a detailed description of how your projects turned out. Please include a link to this entry, a link to the original posting of the entry (at the original crafster’s blog), and (to help us relocate the project) the date or link of the notebook entry where you found it. You can use the same formatting as our entries or you can just include that information in your post in your own unique way!
3. Post a link below. Please include your name or blog name & a fast description of your project. Example- MomAdvice (WHO bread)

I can’t wait to see what you create and what you find inspiring!

Play It Again, Momma: Fruity Play Dough

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Each day we have been enjoying something off of Ethan’s summertime list. One of the things that he wanted to do was to make play dough so I found a really great recipe that I thought would work perfectly and keep our kitchen nice and cool. This recipe requires no cooking, which is a bonus on a hot summer day, and uses Kool-Aid mixes to make your colors.

I made a batch in each of the kid’s favorite colors and was suprised how quickly and easily this dough came together. In about five minutes, the dough was ready to go for little hands to enjoy.

Boy, did they enjoy this! I put out my biscuit cutter, plastic forks and knives, cookie cutters, and a giant rolling pin- all items courtesy of my kitchen! The kids played in this for over an hour and then I stored the batches in plastic containers.

This dough stays nice and soft and the smell is delicious… which is very confusing for a two year-old. Emily found out the hard way that it didn’t taste as good as it smelled, but it only took one taste to find that out.

Fruity Play Dough (courtesy of Recipezaar.com)

1 cup flour
1 package Kool-AidKool-Aid (any flavor)

1 tablespoon cream of tartar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup salt
3/4 cup boiling water (the original recipe called for one cup of boiling water, but I found it made the dough too loose- aim for 3/4 cup and add more if needed)

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl then oil, then pour boiling water in and mix thoroughly. Wrap in cellophane or air tight container and store in fridge. The play dough should last a few months.

Homemade Play Dough: A Play Dough Recipe Round-Up

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

We had a birthday party to attend last week for my sweet friend Michelle’s daughter. I had recently bookmarked a chocolate play dough recipe, from A Foothill Home Companion, in my notebook entry that I thought would make a fun birthday gift.

I love to make play dough for my kids and usually use my Fruity Play Dough recipe, but I wanted to try something different for this party. Although this play dough wasn’t as pretty as my usual colors, the fact that it smelled like a little bit of heaven seemed to trump it’s, less than appealing, shade of brown.


This play dough smells divine. In fact, both the kids came upstairs and begged for some of the chocolate cake I was making. It was quite disappointing to see that it was only play dough that I was cooking and a batch that wasn’t even for them.


We packaged this up with a set of pretty cookie cutters and a copy of the recipe so that their family could replicate the recipe in their own kitchen.

I love to make gifts like this for birthday gifts because it is affordable and a gift that they can use more than once. Ethan drew his own birthday card for the birthday girl complete with a princess tiara and money… because that is apparently two items that princesses possess. Having him make the birthday card added a special touch and saved on the cost of a store-bought card.

Here are some other fun play dough recipes:

Pumpkin Pie Play Dough (@ Like Merchant Ships)
Homemade Play Dough (@ Skip to My Lou)
Play Dough Tips & Tricks (@ Organizing Connection)
Edible Play Dough (scroll down a bit)
Perfect Play Dough (@ Family Fun)
Natural Play Dough Recipes (@ Nature Moms)
Gingerbread Play Dough (@ Recipezaar)

What is your favorite birthday gift to give or a favorite gift that your child received for their birthday?

Our Autumn Book Basket

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

I hit the library this past week and picked up some books for the kids with some really great autumn themes in them. Our library conveniently pulls all of the holiday books for us when the holidays come around so it makes it easy to put a seasonal basket together.

Ethan made a sign for our basket that said, “Happy Fall.” I wrote this out on a piece of paper for him and he practiced writing it for the basket. He drew a cute little jack-o-lantern on it because it was something that represented fall to him.

In our fall basket you will find the following books for the season:

Happy Haunting, Amelia Bedelia

Luther’s Halloween

Beauty & the Beaks

Minnie and Moo & the Thanksgiving Tree

Richard Scarry’s The First Thanksgiving of Low Leaf Worm

The Thanksgiving Door

Thanksgiving is Here

I look forward to switching out the books with the holiday season and getting a chance to read all of these great stories with the kids. I picked some beginning readers so we can work on Ethan’s reading skills, but I also picked books that I could read to them. Our favorite so far has definitely been, “Thanksgiving is Here” because it reminds us so much of our own crazy Thanksgiving dinners with family!

What are some of your favorite autumn reads? Do you have any books to recommend for our seasonal basket?

Getting Crafty With Your Kids & Big News

Friday, August 29th, 2008

This week on WSBT, I shared my crafty ideas for things you can make with your kids from common items out of your pantry. I had tons of props prepared after doing the Michiana Family Expo (sponsored by Michiana Family Magazine). We spent twelve hours at the mall showing parents some fun crafts to do with their kids and I reused these same props for this segment. For those of you who weren’t able to make it out to see us, I hope this will provide a great substitution.

To go along with this fun discussion, please visit our latest article, “Being a Crafty Parent… When You Just Aren’t.” As a parent who struggles with being crafty and fun, I hope that I can help provide inspiration for you to get crafting with your children. This article contains a few easy recipes that will help get you started on a fun crafting adventure with your kids. Be sure to check our resource list for our top recommendations for craft books and hit your local library.

I have two new articles up on the Kenmore website that I think you guys will really love. The first article is, “Help Kids Earn & Learn.” This article focuses on teaching your children how to start a small business or helping them earn money by simply helping you around the house. I worked really hard on it so I hope you enjoy it!

The second article is, “Plan the Perfect Summer Getaway.” I meant to highlight this sooner, but had forgotten to. I hope you can bookmark it for planning your next vacation and we share some of our favorite family trips & trips for organized and thrifty traveling.

**************************

Next week is going to be a fun week on our blog because I am going to be be doing an entire Play It Again, Momma week! I am going to highlight some of my favorite entries on here for the week so please join me! I will still be running a giveaway on Tuesday and our Freebie Friday, but everything else will be taking a week off so I can spend some time with my family. If you decide to do a Notebook Experiment, just hold it tight for a week or give yourself two weeks to complete it.

I have never taken a vacation from my blog so this will be a new one for me. I need some time to rejuvenate and refresh so I can bring some new ideas to the table. In the meantime, you can read all of the stuff that I am most proud of so I hope it will be a good compromise!

I will also be busy working on helping with the Eleven Moms gig and have added a new role to my list- Editor of Blissfully Domestic. I have taken over the Family Channel and I have twenty-five amazing writers that I will be working with. Basically, I am not sleeping and that is why I need a week to sleep.

We have two amazing giveaways this week that you can enter- but do not leave your comments here. Head to the provided contest links to leave your entry!

We are giving away a $50 Visa gift card to a lucky MomAdvice reader to relax, recharge, and rejuvente however you choose, be it a spa trip, yoga classes, or some retail therapy. To enter, simply leave your favorite household tip by September 2nd (Tuesday) at 8PM EST. Sorry- only US residents are eligible for this contest. Contest Details

Cetaphil is offering one lucky winner one of every single product from their product line! That is a huge box of loot, people! To enter, let us know one way you save money on your beauty care needs. We love frugal tips so I can wait to see what you come up with! Comments must be left by September 2nd (Tuesday) at 8 PM (EST). Contest Details

Notebook Experiments: Can I Craft Some Bath Toys?

Thursday, August 14th, 2008


Experiment: Can I Craft Some Bath Toys?

Experiment Taken From: Notebook Entry 06.26.08

Materials Needed: Please see plumpudding for the full instructions on this task. I hit our local dollar store and picked up a ten pack of craft foam to use for this project. The craft foam is thin enough that you can cut these with plain old scissors or you could break out your zig-zag scissors from your scrapbooking materials.


Results:
I am not very good at free-hand drawing so I went ahead and looked for a template where I could stencil some really cute shapes out of my foam. I found this handy template from the Martha Stewart website and whipped up several fishes, flowers, and hearts for the kids. These were very easy to trace and took only a few minutes to whip up. My husband also put together some that he drew for the kids.

The kids absolutely loved these and didn’t want to get out of the bathtub. I also saved a few sheets of foam for the kids to do finger-painting on. I am planning to use these foam sheets with some of our homemade pudding paints (with only enough water to make a finger-paint consistency instead of a water paint consistency) and then I will just rinse the sheets off when they are done so that they can make brand new creations!

I would recommend making sure to soak the foam before you begin sticking it on walls. The pink color did bleed onto the walls and left a pink shade that is going to take some serious scrubbing to get out. None of the other colors caused this problem, but giving them a good soaking first should prevent this problem.


Conclusion: One package of foam can keep my children entertained for many baths and I can’t wait to whip up some more of these for them to play with. I am thinking that these would make excellent stocking stuffers this year and you can’t beat the price! Thanks plumpudding for your creative idea!
********************

I am so excited to open our Notebook Experiments up to everyone and I hope that you will be able to participate this week or in weeks to come! I will be posting this each Thursday so please mark your calendars if you plan to participate. You can post your entries at any time throughout the week and then leave your entry in the links below.

We have this handy banner that you are more than welcome to use, but it is not a requirement! It is just something you can add to add a little sparkle to your entry.

Rules for Participation:

1. Choose anything from any of our notebook entries (past or present) to do with your family. We have hundreds of bookmarked links of crafts, ways to save money, and organizing ideas.
2. Complete an experiment from the notebook and share about it on your blog or website. We would love to see pictures of what you accomplished or a detailed description of how your projects turned out. Please include a link to this entry, a link to the original posting of the entry (at the original crafster’s blog), and (to help us relocate the project) the date or link of the notebook entry where you found it. You can use the same formatting as our entries or you can just include that information in your post in your own unique way!
3. Post a link below. Please include your name or blog name & a fast description of your project. Example- MomAdvice (WHO bread)

I can’t wait to see what you create and what you find inspiring!

Sponge Ball Bullseye

Monday, July 14th, 2008

My once-a-year Martha Moment is here! These sponge balls are courtesy of Martha Stewart Kids Magazine (and a double inspiration from Betz White who was featured in one of my notebook entries).

I hit the Dollar Tree and got two packages of sponges to make our creations. I followed the instructions and cut two sponges into fours and then stacked the two sponges on top of one another with alternating colors. If you buy two packages, you will have enough alternating colors to make six sponges with different colors in each. Then, simply tie the sponges off with a long piece of floss and knot it a few times to keep it in place.


Here is my plastic ice bucket filled with these sponges. The colors are so beautiful that I wanted to spend an afternoon photographing this pail of sponges. Do we stop there and let the kids play with them like this though? NO!

You could say that I am even more inventive than Martha this time! Now take an old drop cloth or sheet and use painter’s tape, a permanent marker, or paint to make your bullseye. Squares are much easier with the painter’s tape so we have a nice square bullseye for the kids.

Now hang your game up on the clothesline (or wherever else you can find). We weighed the bottom of the sheet down with clothespins. This sheet is also folded in half to give it a little more weight. Of course, when the wind starts blowing, give the kids extra points if they can still hit it.

Not challenging enough? Have one of your kids stand in front and block it.

For some reason, that was one roadblock too many for this toddler.

You can also grab two at a time or a whole handful of them. Make it more challenging by backing the kids up further from the mark. Our point system was 10, 20, and 30 points depending on the size of the square they hit. (PS- I promise I feed my children, they just have extremely high metabolism)

An afternoon of water fun cost us $2 in sponges, but this is a game that I hope we can play many more times together.