Friday, May 31, 2013

Lorax Felt Board

This little felt Lorax is our newest addition to our felt board! I was overwhelmed at the thought of making it, but it actually was pretty easy to make! I used Google images as a template and got to work. My kids love it! I love the Lorax too, he's so darn cute! Eventually, I think I will make some buildings to go along with it. Who knows, I may even get brave and try one of those little bears!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Let's Play with Mud!! Clean Mud That Is!!

My son's new favorite thing is playing with mud! Luckily, for me, it is clean mud! It is so simple to make and great for inside contained play or outside play. All you need is a few boxes of baking soda to act as the dirt and some water! Pour the baking soda in a bowl or container and add water until your "mud" reaches a mud-like consistency. You can add in few drops of food coloring if you like too. It really feels just like mud! This brings my kids hours of enjoyment and isn't difficult to clean up. You can even wash the mud down the drain, it is completely harmless and will even clean your sink in the process-- that's my kind of clean up!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Thing One Felt Decoration

I love Thing 1 and Thing 2! Not only are they the Cat in the Hat's right hand men, but they are absolutely adorable. I made this to add to the Cat in the Hat Literacy Basket that I am working on for next month, but this would definitely make a cute and inexpensive decoration for a birthday party or baby shower. All I did was make a template out of a Google image, cut the two pieces out of felt, drew the face on with a permanent marker, and hot glued the face onto the hair. Simple, quick, and cute!

Where The Wild Things Are Felt Board

I made this little monster to add to our Where the Wild Things Literacy Basket that I am working on for next month. He was very simple to make. I found a coloring page on Google and I used that as my pattern. You could glue the pieces on to use it as a decoration or prop, or leave the pieces separate and let your kids "put him together." This will be a great addition to our literacy basket and in the future it will be used on our felt board and as a busy bag.

Vegetable Garden Busy Bag

I made this busy bag to go along with our Vegetable Garden Sensory Tub that we are working on for next month. I printed the free printable, which you can find here, along with other great free garden themed printables from Home School Creations.  After it was printed, I laminated and cut the pieces out. I added magnets on the back so that it can be used on a magnetic board as well. We are using it for vegetable recognition. Can you add the squash to the basket? How about the cauliflower? My son loves his vegetables, but he doesn't know the proper name for all of them. With this, he is learning and having fun too!

Make Your Own Dinosaur Fossils!

To go along with our Dinosaur Sensory Tote and other dinosaur activities that we are working on, we made some dinosaur fossils. These were simple to make and the kids really enjoyed making them. My kids have big smiles on their faces and my house smells like a coffee shop!

To make your own, all you need is:
1 cup used coffee grounds
1/2 cup cold coffee
1/2 cup salt
1 cup flour

Mix the coffee grounds, coffee, salt, and flour together in a mixing bowl.

Mix until ingredients are combined and a dough is formed.

Form small balls of dough in your hands and flatten them out into circles that are about 1/2 inch thick on a cookie sheet.
Lay small dinosaurs on their side to make dinosaur imprints and you can use larger dinosaur dinosaurs to make footprints.
When your baking sheet is full or you are out of dough....

Bake them in the oven at 200 degrees for 30 minutes.
Take the fossils out of the oven and carefully remove them from the cookie sheet with a spatula.  Once they are cooled, turn them over and let the bottoms dry out overnight. Ours were still a bit soft after a few days, so I decided to put them back in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees and they are nice and hard now.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dinosaur Train Dinosaurs A to Z Busy Bag

I had to put together a Dinosaur themed busy bag this week. While searching for ideas, I came across a link to the PBS Website. Dinosaur Train, which is one of my son's favorite shows, is on PBS, so I thought it might be a good place to find some inspiration. I found the lyrics to the Dinosaurs A to Z song along with matching pictures. Jackpot! There was my busy bag! I printed out the 3 pages on cardstock, laminated the song lyrics, and cut and laminated the dinosaur cards. This busy bag will  help the kids practice their ABC's by putting the alphabet cards in order and help them recognize 26 different species of dinosaurs while they have fun singing the song! If you haven't seen the show or the episode that showcased that song, they have the video on the PBS website for you to check out.
Visit PBS for the free printables and make a Dinosaur Train Busy Bag for the dinosaur lovers in your life!

Broken Crayons = Rainbow Star Crayons!!

We decided to take our broken crayons and put them to good use instead of tossing them in the garbage. We turned  our broken crayons into rainbow star crayons! 
I used a knife to cut the larger pieces into smaller pieces.

My son filled a silicon ice cube tray from the dollar store with the crayon pieces.
I put it in the oven at 230 degrees for 15 minutes.

Let the wax cool completely before removing them from the tray.
Aren't the pretty?

Peg Monkeys

I made these wooden peg monkeys to go with our Caps for Sale Literacy Basket. They were pretty easy to make, considering that I can draw or paint if my life depended on it. All I did was draw the face on with a thin black sharpie marker and then painted the rest of the peg brown. I painted a tail on the back after the brown paint dried.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Our Magnetic Discovery Box-- Dicovering and Learning While We Play!

Today, we put together a Magnetic Discovery Box. We used a magnetic wand to discover what is and what isn't magnetic. I filled a plastic bin with beans, some magnetic letters, nuts and bolt, an Altoid tin, pieces of pipe cleaners, twist ties, coins, erasers, crayons, pom poms, and more. Before we started, I asked my son to make a hypothesis (he actually knows what that means thanks to Dinosaur Train on PBS) and guess which items he thought would be magnetic and which wouldn't be. Then we began to explore!
He stirred the mixture up to see what would stick.

We tested his hypothesis to see if it was correct.

We learned a lot and had fun in the process!



Monday, May 20, 2013

Brownies in a Mug-- Perfect for the Kids to Bake & the Perfect Chocolate Fix for Mom!

Today, my son and decided that we wanted a special treat. I thought it would be fun to have him  bake his own treat. The biggest problem when we bake is the oven-- it is way too hot for him to "complete" his baking. So today, we used a different appliance to make Brownies-- the Microwave!  We each made an individual batch of brownies in a microwave safe mug and nuked it!
I did the majority of measuring and my son added all of the ingredients and handled all of the mixing.
 My son put on his chef hat and apron and got mixing!
In a mug, we added 1/4 cup of sugar...
1/4 of flour...
2 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder and a pinch of salt. 
We mixed it up and then added the wet ingredients...
3 Tablespoons of water and 2 Tablespoons of oil.

Mix it until well combined and it is a smooth consistency. 
Put it in the microwave for 1 minute and 40 seconds and you are ready to eat!
After all of his hard work, my son added whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles to his brownie!!
I assure you, he REALLY enjoyed it!!!

Pocket-Size Fishing Game in an Altoid Tin

Recently, I participated in an Upcycled Kids Altoid Tin Swap. I decided to make these cute little fishing games. The great part about putting it in an Altoid tin is that they are travel size and fit
easily in your pocket or purse! This is a great game to keep in your purse for when you are at the doctors or waiting in line at the grocery store. It was so easy to make too!
I used fish foamies that I had, but you could easily cut your own fish out foam paper or felt. I glued a small washer in between 2 foam fish with my hot glue gun. I tied and glued a string to a small unsharpened pencil (you could use dowel rods for your pole too) and a strong magnet on the other end. I glued a piece of blue paper on the cover with Modge Podge, to cover the word Altoid, but that is not a necessary step. 

My game is already to go! Go Fish! Or dolphin!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Calming Glitter Bottle

My son and I made this calming glitter bottle-- just shake it up and watch, it helps calm you down immediately!! It was so fast and simple to make! All we did is fill a bottle with water, 1 tube of glitter glue, and 1 container of glitter. I hot glued the lid on just incase my kids decide to try to open it (which definitely wouldn't be a relaxing situation for me)!  This is a great tool in calming the kids down when they are upset or get all worked up after being in time out!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Bottle Cap Mickey Mouse Magnets-- Only cost me $2.00 to make!

I picked up these Disney Mickey Mouse Bottle Cap stickers in the  scrapbooking section at AC Moore, they were $2.99, after my 50% off coupon, they were $1.50. I removed the sticker foam that  was inside of the bottle caps and glued magnets in there place. Where else can you get 8 Mickey Mouse magnets for under $2.00?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Bath Time Alphabet Scavenger Hunt!!

Bath time is not only fun, but it is totally educational when it includes an Alphabet Scavenger Hunt!
Who doesn't like learning when it is fun? My son had a blast with this activity!


I placed a set of plastic alphabet magnets that I picked up at Wal-Mart for $1 on the bottom of the bath tub and filled it with water and bubble bath.
I gave him a magnetic wand to aid him in his hunt....

and the hunt was on!
I painted a metal baking sheet( I picked it up for $1 from the Dollar Tree) with chalk board paint and gave it to him to collect his letters on.  I told him which letters to find and he searched until he found them. Another way of doing this is to write the letters you want him to find on the chalkboard. This can also be done with number magnets, which will be our next scavenger hunt for sure!


OH GOO! We had so much fun today with our Goo! It was so simple to make and my kids played with it for over an hour!! It is so neat how it switches back and forth from a liquid to a solid! Even my 12 year old was amazed with it! It becomes a solid when you squeeze it, but "melts" if you just  lay it in you hand and pours off of your hand like a liquid!


All You Need is:

  • 16-oz box cornstarch
  • water
  • food coloring
  • bowl

Empty the box of cornstarch into a bowl.
Add 1-1/2 cups of water.
If you would like to color your goo, add about 15 drops of food coloring.
Mix the goo with your hands.
Have fun!




Sunday, May 12, 2013

Super Easy Rainbow Glow Bath!

My kids LOVE their Glow Baths! We did a true glow bath and a blue glow bath in the past. Today, we did a Rainbow Glow Bath! This was by far the easiest Glow Bath that we have done as far as preparation goes. All I did is run a bath with some bubble bath, added a bunch of glow sticks (I got a pack of 15 from the Dollar Tree, I used 2 packs).  The kids played and played! After the bath, they enjoyed the glow sticks.

Rainbow Glow Slime!!!

Yesterday, we made Flubber to play with. Today, we decided to turn it into Glow Slime and use it with our blacklight. We took our Flubber, split it up into 4 portions and used neon paint to color each portion. You could also use glow-in-the-dark paint to make your slime glow in the dark if you do not have a black light. My kids had so much fun with this, especially my 12 year old!

If you are starting from scratch, you will need:
1 1/3 cups of very warm water
3 teaspoons of Borax
2 cups of white school glue, like Elmer's (4- 4oz bottles)
1 1/2 cups of very warm water
Neon or Glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint

Mix 1 1/3 cup of very warm water and the Borax in a bowl until the Borax completely dissolves. In another bowl, a large one, combine glue and 1 1/2 cups of very warm water and mix well. Add the bowl with the Borax into the bowl with the glue. Mix until everything is combined and let it sit for few minutes. Separate the slime into portions and color each portion with the paint. You can store the slime in a Ziploc bag or container to use it again.
We started out with 4 colors, but my kids could not wait to turn it into Rainbow slime!
Pretty cool!

My oldest got a bit carried away and felt the need to pretend that he was Slimer.