Sunday, February 28, 2010

Snack Time Solution

I don't know about you, but being a mom to 4 kids is always hectic! Last week I had my 2 younger kids help me "cook" up some snacks. Basically I made a kid friendly trail mix, by dumping a variety of snacks into a large bowl and have the kids stir it all around. They thought that part was fun! Then we took (about 2) handfuls of snacks and put them in snack-sized zip lock baggies.

The great news is that I was about to get 16 snacks ready for my next crazy day. Maybe this will help make running out the door for a ball game, church or other activity run a little smoother!

I also did the same thing for my fridge and made ready to grab snack sized bags of grapes and carrots. This will also make it easier for my little ones to grab a snack for themselves.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Button! Button! I Finally Have A {decent} Button!

After playing around with this tonight and with the help from The Cutest Blog on the Block, I have finally created 2 buttons for my blog.  A button to link to my blog and an "I was featured" button. 
To copy my button(s) to your blog here's what to do.  Log into your blog and click on the top right corner where it says customize.  Under Layout - Add a gadget.  Choose to add HTML/Javascript.  Once that box pops up, copy the HTML code under the button on my blog and paste the code into the blank box on your blog.  Save and view your blog to make sure the button works.  I did try it out and it worked for me, but let me know.
I hope all that made sense!?!  Let me know if you need help.  Also, if you have been featured on my blog before, don't forget to add that button!

Friday, February 26, 2010

FREE Dr. Seuss Celebration TOMORROW at Target

I just read over at How Does She? that TOMORROW (Saturday, February 27) from 9 am - 11 am, every Target is having a FREE Dr. Seuss celebration with a story.  Click on the link above for more information and some Dr. Seuss links.  I also read in the comments that Barnes and Noble is doing a reading on Tuesday.  Call the stores near you to see if they are doing this in your area.  Also, I love when my kids can go to story time at our local library.  I can bet there will be some activities going on this week with Dr. Seuss!  Thought I would share.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dr. Seuss Week

This coming Monday, our school is kicking off Dr. Seuss week.  Here is an outline of activities our school will be doing.  I would LOVE to hear from you to see what ideas you have or what your schools will be doing!  Also, don't forget to check out the other Dr. Seuss ideas I have posted about.

Monday - Decorate the classroom door and write a silly Dr. Seuss style poem, song, or book with your class.
Tuesday - Dress up as your favorite Dr. Seuss character.
Wednesday - Pajama Day - The teachers are also doing a reader exchange.  The students can sign up for the Dr. Seuss book they want to hear and then go to the teacher's class who is assigned to read that book.
Thursday - Crazy hair/hat day - the CRAZIER the better!  The teachers are also putting on a silly play for the students in an assembly.
Friday - Silly sock day - Wear your silliness on your feet!

*Prizes will be awarded during the week to the classes who have the most participants.  Our elementary school is also doing "Seussisms" all week.  Different sayings from various books and the kids have to write their answers down.  The winners will also receive a prize.

Olympic Themed Birthday

Alison from Oopsey Daisy was nice enough to leave me a comment letting me know that she recently had an Olympic birthday party for her son's 1st birthday.  Remember how I said that in my last post I thought it would be a fun theme?!?  Glad to know that someone did it and let me know about the details.  I love to see other's creativeness!!  Check out Alison's blog for these ideas and more, including a download for a free Olympic Bingo game.
I must say that I LOVE these Olympic cupcakes!!  The M & M's for the Olympics...perfect!!
I also love these Olympic medals she created! 
Thanks Alison for sharing your ideas for an Olympic themed birthday party!  Anyone else with ideas to share, feel free to e-mail me or leave a comment.  I love to see what others are up to!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Olympic Activities

With only 5 days remaining of the Vancouver Winter Olympics, here are some last minute, fun Olympic activities with your kids before the Olympics end.
Alpha Mom has an idea for an Olympic torch and gold medal (cookie).
ABC & 123 also has several great ideas (also including the link to Alpha Mom)

9 different {Free} Olypmic Coloring pages to print from home thanks to Classroom Jr.  Also offered are several BINGO game cards.

A variety of games and activities for kids centered around the Olympics from first-school.  It could be a fun thing to center a child's birthday party around the Olympics!

Take a look at what Kaboose has to offer.  Plenty of ideas and activities for kids!

Oh and by the way, I reached 100 followers on my blog today.  Not that you care, but I can't believe how awesome that is!  Truly you guys have made my day.  Thanks for having faith in me.  LOVES to all!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Letter "O" Activities

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I need to be doing more activities with my younger kids to get my 4 year old ready for preschool next year.  I have been looking for ideas on the internet to see what there is, and I have come up with some activities soon to come.  The activities will probably be random...ranging from letters of the alphabet to numbers to shapes and so on. 
Today I started with the letter "O".  I printed off this "O" worksheet from HERE.
I talked to my kids about the short o sound and talked about the 4 pictures from the bottom of the page.  The kids then colored the pictures, cut out the squares (with help from me) and glued them to a piece of paper.  Then they practiced writing the letter "O".
Next we made our snack.  We had octopus (using hotdogs and spaghetti noodles).  This is the before: 
I cut a couple hotdogs into 1/3 pieces and then broke a handful of uncooked spaghetti noodles in half.  First I talked to the kids about how many legs people have, then how many legs dogs have and then we talked about how octopuses have 8 legs.  I gave my kids the noodles and let them slide the noodles through the hotdog slices. 
Then they helped me drop the octopus into the water (just like where they live!)  After about 10 minutes, we had our snack of octopus and orange juice served in an orange cup.  I personally wasn't tempted to dive into today's snack, but my kids sure thought it was yummy.  If only I could make vegetables look as fun! 
(I saw the octopus idea at Plum Pudding.)
I ended our "O" day by reading the book The Great Swimming Race (By:  Ann Bryant and Peter Kavanagh)  I wanted to read a fun children's book about an octopus and this is what I could find at my local library.  It was an easy read, but after a busy afternoon my kids didn't seem to mind. 

The kids were really entertained and loved all the activities!  I can't wait to do more fun things like this with them!!

Some More O Ideas:
Art Project:
Make an octopus - Cover a small styrofoam ball with cloth and tie it with enough ribbons to make eight legs.

Build a simple obstacle course for your child to play on. Another game to play could be to help your child think of opposites. You say the word "off" and your child must reply with "on".

Octagon - point out the shape in everyday objects such as a stop sign. Draw and color one.

ABC & 123 also has some great finds for the letter "O".

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Build Your Own Sand & Water Table

Have you ever wanted a sand/water table for your kids? I remember playing in one when I was in kindergarten. They are wonderful tools for teaching children about texture and for just having fun. My {2 year old} daughter loves to stand on a chair at the kitchen sink and "wash the dishes". Honestly, hours of fun! Think about how much fun it would be to have one of these. The only problem is that they can be expensive. Well no worries, now you can have one for a more reasonable price. The trick is having a handy husband or find someone who will to make it for you. Thanks to Studio 5, here is a tutorial on how to construct your own using PVC pipe.
Hmm...I wonder what I could bribe my husband with to get him to make one. If only I had the space!
Here is an even EASIER (and cheaper) idea from Heaps of Laundry.  Use a rice bin!  Fill a large plastic tote bin with rice and bury items in the rice for the kids to find.  I promise you, my kids would be THRILLED with this!

Car Mat & Car Cozy

I totally want to make one of these car mats for my little guy for when we are on the go. Thanks Fiskars Craft for the creative idea!
Here is another idea. A car cozy (with tutorial) from My Little Gems.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fruit Loop Necklaces

Back to the Basics!

Yesterday my (2) kids were needing an inside activity to do. I decided to get out the Fruit Loops and let them each make a necklace. Remember doing this as a kid? I couldn't find any string, so instead I taped a long piece of ribbon (for gift wrapping) to my table.
They were more than entertained! But I decided I could slip some teaching in while they were having fun. With my 4 year old, I taught him about patterns. I picked out 2 colors at a time and we took turns making the pattern on the table before stringing the Fruit Loops. For my 2 year old, we worked on colors. I told her what color to thread on the string and she enjoyed picking the colors out of the bowl and showing them to me.

If you are looking for an easy and fun activity to do with your kids, this was a great idea.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day Hairstyle

Last year for Valentine's Day, I did this heart hairstyle on my-then 4th grade daughter.  Ok so now as I look at this picture I realize that the yellow hair bands and bobby pins showing are not very cute.  At least you can learn from my mistake! :)

There are many hairstyle sites out there that I like to visit to get creative hair tips for my 2 girls. HERE are some more Valentine hairstyles.

Valentine's 2010

Here is what I gave my (2) kids' teachers this year for Valentine's Day. Nothing crazy. I wanted to do something cuter for them, but my life has been so crazy busy lately that this is what I came up with the night before.

My son's teacher happens to be on the HCG diet, so instead of doing something cruel like tempting him with something sweet, I made sure to give him something he will definitely be using...Diet Pepsi! Another phrase that I should have used was "I am SODA-lighted to have you for my teacher!" Oh well I am sure he still drank it!

And finally this was my son's super easy Valentine card box for this year.

To make this, it took about 15-20 minutes. I used a gallon sized ice cream bucket and covered it with Modge Podge and scrapbook paper. I did the same thing for the lid, cutting a hold in the top first and then applying the (pre-measured) paper.
(I took the picture of the Valentine card holder before the Modge Podge dried entirely so you can still see the white gloss. If you have never used Modge Podge, don't worry it does dry clear!)

Baked Candy Canes = LOVE

All you need is a little LOVE. My daughter and her friend were at our house one day and needed something to do. Since Valentine's Day was approaching, I remembered seeing THIS IDEA. I don't know if the stores sell candy canes for Valentine's Day, but I bought mine when they were on clearance after Christmas. It turned out to be a really fun project to do.

(*There is also a site called Candy Blog which lists 33 ways to use left over candy canes!)

Udaman (You-Da-Man) Candy Bar Wrapper

These would make the best Valentine gift for your man this Valentine's Day! Especially if your man loves chocolate and you are looking for something clever but not too expensive, like we probably all are! The idea comes from Jeanne Winters and she has included a free download for the wrapper. Love it!

More Valentine Treat Boxes

Along the lines of my last post, here is another clever treat box for Valentine's Day. These boxes are filled with nuts and gumballs. An alternate idea for the nuts box could be anything peanut butter (my favorite) or chocolate covered nuts. The template and idea for these darling ideas are from My {Creative} Place.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Valentine Treat Boxes

The Scoop has these super cute and easy looking treat boxes (including template). This looks like a fun idea as a treat to hand out/make at a class party.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Valentine Card Box Ideas

Since Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and most schools will probably have a class party this Friday, here are some fun and clever Valentine card box ideas. Hope these help out!

A school bus from 733:

A Mailbox made from an empty laundry soap box. Directions HERE.

Thomas the train and other ideas from Bliss Tree:

Check out this Snowman Box and Love Bug Ideas at Thrifty Fun:

Some more pictures and ideas from THIS post I did last year.

Fortune Cookies

I LOVE this idea I found at Crafts and Deals! The idea comes from My {Creative} Place. Click for more info. There is a link for how to make these take out boxes or i have seen them at Michael's (craft store) for about $1. If you would like a recipe for homemade Fortune cookies, this is one I had in my files. If you don't have the time this year, you can always buy fortune cookies from the store! Enjoy!

Fortune Cookies
Yield 2 - 3 dozen cookies


4 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
1 /4 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar

Mix egg whites with vanilla until foamy but not stiff. In another bowl mix flour, sugar and salt together. (For chocolate cookies add 1 tablespoon cocoa powder to flour and sugar mixture.) Combine egg and flour mixtures - Mixture will be a batter consistency. Baking & Folding Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 2 cookie sheets. Cut 2-3 dozen fortunes into strips. Place cookie template near center of a cool baking sheet. Drop a spoonful of batter in the center of the template then spread to the edges of the circle. Remove template and repeat. Start with just 2-3 cookies per sheet because cookies have to be really hot to form them. As you get the hang of it you can do up to 6 cookies to a sheet. Bake 4-5 Min. or until cookie has turned a golden color ½ inch wide around the outer edge. The Center will remain pale. While one sheet is baking, prepare the other sheet. Quickly remove sheet from oven, remove a cookie from the sheet with spatula and place upside down on a clean surface. Place a fortune in the center of the cookie and fold the cookie in half. Hold cookie by pointed ends, round edge pointing up. Place folded cookie over the edge of a cup and pull pointed ends downward one on the inside of the cup and one on the outside. Place folded cookies in a muffin tin to cool.

Thanks to Studio 5, here is another recipe for homemade dipped Valentine fortune cookies.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Valentine Junior Mints

A cute idea and saying for a Valentine's gift using these Junior Mints. Is it just me, but I don't remember seeing these before! And trust me, I think I would have remembered!

*Don't forget to look through the whole blog (cute Valentines) is devoted solely to Valentine Ideas. There is also a link to it on my (left) sidebar.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What to Do With Conversation Hearts

* Graph your conversation hearts based on how many you get of each color. See the following links:

Here is a link to a printable conversation hearts graph. It is the 4th link down on the list. Double click. Click open. Print and use!

From ABC Schoolhouse, here are 15 pages worth of printable Valentine ideas. Including, on page 7 a printable graph for conversation hearts.
* Have the students sort the hearts based on colors and phrases. Make predictions ahead of time and see who comes the closest to their guess.

If you don't want to print out a graph, Grandma Lizzie's house has a variety to the graphing idea, but still the same concept.

* Create a pattern. Can be glued onto construction paper in the shape of a heart.

* Have the students make stories or write sentences based on what phrases they find on their hearts.

* Make your own conversation heart cookies. Make sugar cookies and use a heart cookie cutter. Once the cookies are baked, frost them and write your own special message.
* If you really feel like going all out this year, why not make your own conversation hearts? Learn how at

Is there anything fun YOU like to do using conversation hearts?

* Cathy BB added: A super-easy and fun game for kids is to have them simply stack the hearts and see how many they can stack before it falls over (counting, fine motor skills, etc). When I did this with my son's third-grade class, they really thought it was a blast.

Find Your Heart Mate

Construction paper hearts

How To Play: Cut hearts in half either in different angles, or with decorative large cutting scissors. Hand out the hearts and have the children find their heart-mate!

I have used this game before, but added some learning to the game as well. Here are some other ideas:
* On one half of the heart write a math problem, and the match is the answer to the problem.
* Uppercase letter with lower case letter
* Synonyms
* Antonyms
* Same shape or color as a match (preschool/kindergarten age)

Really the possibilities for this game are endless! Get creative!!

Pin The Lips on Ms. Valentine

Create a Ms. Valentine on a large, heavy posterboard or cardboard. You can use moving eyes, false eyelashes and pipe cleaners for hair (everything but the lips). Put each kids name on a pair of red lips cut out of construction paper and place tape on the back. Place a blind fold on the child and have them place the lips on the Ms. Valentine.

Valentine Scramble

Index Cards
Paper Bags

How To Play: Choose a Valentine word such as: St. Valentine, Chocolate, Heart, Jewelry.... Write the letters of the word on individual index cards. Do this two times, making two sets. Put each set in a brown paper bag.
Divide children into teams. Give each team a bag. The first team to decipher what the word in the bag is wins. A variation of the game would be to divide into teams with the same number of children as there are letters in the word. Each child get's a letter and they must hold onto the card and stand in the proper order to spell the word for all to see.