Friday, November 13, 2009

Truck Obsession?

My little one has a truck obsession, just like his older brother. I remember driving to construction sites just for a half hour of sweet silence. Now I don't have to leave the comforts of home. This website has it all - truck pictures with labeling for all the parts (handy to have for those of with little construction vehicle knowledge). And the best part, short videos with the trucks in action.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Salt Dough Ghosts

We do these every year! They're easy, fun to do, and make great tabletop decorations. Click here for instructions.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Printable Halloween Fun

Click on over to Oliebollen for some Halloween fun. They have printables for a Halloween party, with invitations, iron on decals, and my personal favorite - Dress the Candy Corn activity.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Halloween at the Dollar Store

It's been awhile, but Halloween has inspired me once again! I went to the dollar store (The Dollar Tree to be exact), and came home very pleased. What did I buy, you ask?

2 strings of garland, separated to make ornaments for my Halloween tree (branches cut down from my Mimosa tree)
1 bag of spider web stuff

2 creepy crows (Chad asked if they were real - love it)
1 bag of peat moss
1 string of bat garland

A few fake pumpkins and 1 glittery squash

1 blow-up spider

1 mummy tree wrap

Just have to work on my giggly gravestones, and I am ready for the little trick-or-treaters. I'm tempted to do the talking pumpkin trick (using a baby monitor). Would that be too scary for innocent little children? Maybe I should try it out on my own first.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Camping In

We have a Labor Day tradition that allows the kids to camp, while I sleep blissfully in my own bed.

Play Equipment:

1. Play huts and blankets
2. Flashlights
3. Marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers
4. Toilet paper wick heater

Set up your tent in an adventurous location (like the family room), draping blankets over play huts (or make your own fort). Use your flashlights to make shadow puppets and tell ghost stories (not too scary, you do want them to sleep tonight). Head for the backyard and use the heater to roast marshmallows and make smores.

Optional: get up in the morning and find the closest wildlife area. We went hiking, caught tadpoles, picked wild blackberries, and got plenty dirty. All the benefits of camping, with all the comforts of home!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lunch Box Suggestions

School days are upon me, and I'm having a hard time forking over $2.30 a day for my child to consistently eat chicken nuggets. With a little research, I found a few great lunch box ideas:

Kraft Foods Lunchbox Ideas

Family Education's Top 10 Packable Lunches

I just ordered the Pampered Chef Cut N' Seal so I can make my own Uncrustables. I plan on mass producing a bunch and then throwing them in the freezer. Anything to save a little time in the morning.

I also like the idea of Bento Boxes, I just may have to get a few.

And for a little extra something to slip in the box:

Familyfun Lunch Box Jokes

Happy lunch making!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hot Wheels Birthday Party


- Weaved black and white poster board for racing flags

- Race car posters


- Tire Cupcakes


- Giant race track using garden edging and electric tape to secure it to the railing. The cars didn't stay on the track for long, but the boys loved it when they crashed. It was also a challenge to see how far they could get their car to stay on the track.

- All the hot wheels toys I could find

- Hot Wheels race using this fun track:

The track tells you who won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place - we raced all the hot wheels, and then had a champions race. Definitely the favorite event.

- Homemade Pinatas. I used this for inspiration. I also used the flour and paste recipe, but painted it with white glue, just to be sure. We used streamers to decorate. Note: very messy activity (do it outside, if possible). It was worth the mess, my kids loved making them. We will definitely do it again! And just so you know, making straight stripes on a round object is harder than it looks. Now that I think about it, drawing lines before decorating would have solved that dilemma.

- Wet Head Game. It had nothing to do with the party theme, but very entertaining.

Activities we never got to: a game of Red Light Green Light and pin the tires on the car. Better to overly prepared, right?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Better than Paper Boats

Play Equipment

1. Wax paper
2. Aluminum foil
3. Paper boat instructions
4. Sticks to push the boats along

My 5 year old adores origami transportation. Many, many times I have crafted a piece of copy paper into an airplane or boat. The airplanes seemed worth my time, providing at least a half hour of entertainment. But the paper boats always left a bit to be desired, sinking much too soon. Their untimely demise made Chad wonder what we could use instead of paper, and our alternative paper boat experiment began.

Using these instructions, I folded one boat with wax paper and another with aluminum foil. Chad chose the foil, asking me first which one was the hardest to fold (it was the foil). He thought the resistance would make it stronger - and he was right.

The wax paper boat immediately fell apart, but the foil boat lasted for at least an hour! Even when it sank, we just picked it up, drained it, reformed it, and set sail! The foil boat was very popular, Chad even gained a few spectators. After rolling down a grassy hill and poking sticks into the pond, we considered the afternoon well spent.

Need more ideas? Head on over to Ramblings of a Crazy Woman.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Blueberry Fields

I was a little worried this morning, when I realized blueberry season is just about over. As soon as we could get ready, we headed for the blueberry fields.

My little one was a bit of a handful, eating a berry whenever he pleased.

My older two kiddies were much more helpful, gathering about a gallon (most of my berries will be frozen for smoothies or just for eating frozen right out of the bag).

All the while, I dreamed of this.

And on the way out, we paid for our berries with a little blue box.

It's kind of nice to know that there is at least one place that still believes in the honesty of others.

Find a u pick farm near you here.

Friday, July 31, 2009

More Mo Willems

I love reading to my kids, but I love it even more when I am entertained as well. And Mo Willems entertains with the best of them! Who thinks of a name like Reginald Von Hoobie Doobie? Mo does.

Our librarian was kind enough to tell us about the Pigeon Presents! website. It has great stuff: coloring pages, recipes, word searches, online games. Try the Elephant and Piggie Dance Game. Oh, we laughed and laughed.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pop-up Cards

I may be showing my inexperience in craftiness, but before today, I had never made a pop-up card. We found it quite enjoyable. Here's a quick tutorial:

1. Draw an object on cardstock. We used the 1-2-3 Draw Cartoon Aircraft for a little help. Then cut out the object.

2. Cut out a rectangle, keeping in mind the size of card you would like.

3. Fold rectangle in half.

4. Make two parallel cuts on the fold.

5. Pull out the area in between the two cuts so the area pops.

6. Glue object to pop-out area.

7. Done!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I have a five year old that needed practice writing his letters in the correct direction and a three year old that needed help tracing her letters. Why not do it all at the same time? Using the Aquadoodle Wall Poster, one wrote and one traced. I love it when they help each other.

Then all three got in on the action.

Something tells me my baby is not ready for painting quite yet (and really thirsty). As far as art mediums go, I suppose water is as non-toxic as you can get. Mess-free, toxic-free, whoever invented the Aquadoodle is a genius.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Don't Eat Pete!

Oh, how we love this game. We just played it tonight, and this time I laminated it. We love it that much. Sparkle Power has a charming printable version with instructions.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What's on the menu?

Not really a fan of grocery shopping, or any activity that goes along with it (planning the monthly menu or putting away groceries). So I enlisted a little help (not with the shopping part, I go that alone). Today I pulled out a few cookbooks, and asked each child to go through and find a few meal ideas. And they came up with some good ones! As an additional benefit, they got in 20 minutes of reading stamina without even realizing it. I was very pleased with myself.

Monday, July 6, 2009

On the Road

We just got back from a 1600 mile road trip that was not entirely unsuccessful. The kids did much better than I expected. A few of my favorite items:

1. Printable map: we checked off each state as we found the corresponding license plates. Educational and fun.

2. Chicken Socks Totally Tape: hours of entertainment (hours!) for my 3 and 5 year old. My 3 year old needed help tearing, but had lots of fun applying the tape.

More road trip ideas to come!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Free Movies!

Regal Cinema has a Free Family Film Festival with free admission for the entire family! Every Tuesday and Wednesday they run two different movies (one rated G and one PG). Click here to see if you have a theater near you.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Father's Day Craft

Play Equipment:

Tie template
Party streamers (in various colors)
Glue stick
Ribbon or yarn

Every dad needs a new tie for Father's Day. Why buy when you can make your own? My 3 year old had lots of fun making this one (fun, easy, and helps with pattern recognition). I'm thinking she may have a future in clothes design. Snazzy tie, right?

1. Print out tie template.

2. Cut streamers in half width wise and into 3-4" strips.

3. Use a glue stick to paste strips to the template.

4. Cut out tie.

5. Punch holes and tie on ribbon or yarn.

6. Find one lucky dad to wear it!