Friday, May 11, 2012

Mothers Day - Sunshine Handprints

Mothers Day is right around the corner and my twins wanted to make me a picture using a large canvas I had left over from Christmas.  So we thought about our favorite songs and came up with, "You are my sunshine" as it's a song we often sing about the house.

I don't think it's uncommon for moms to help make their own Mothers Day projects....I tend to lead all the art projects in my house so it feels natural to do this as well!

First we gathered our supplies:
Large White Canvas
Blue, Orange, and Yellow Acrylic Paints
Wet Hand Towels
Thick Sharpie

I don't think we have a single cereal bowl that hasn't been at some point used for a craft!  Paint the kids palms orange and their fingers yellow.  A little smudging is fine and looks a bit better I think - my twins are 5 and did a great job applying their own paint so I wasn't about to smear their great job! 

 Use the wet hand towels (use hand wipes in a pinch) on the kids before they touch their hair or the family dog (my groomer loves us....and has such pity for our more often then not white dog).

Let it dry and hang this keepsake for all to see!  I have mine in my office, the day I photography my office and it's chaos will have to wait for another day!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cooking with Kids - Rainbow Cupcakes

Cooking with Kids - Rainbow Cupcakes

Making Rainbow Cupcakes has become a weekly ritual in my house. Posh is getting better at cracking the eggs every time! I'm tempted to do this for her 3rd birthday party next week, she'd be proud to make her very own cake.

We use the boxed white cake mix and I buy them during the 10 for $10 sale at Smiths Grocery store. We also stock up on white frosting, also fun to dye!

Split the white cake mix into as many bowls as you want colors, we usually do 6 for Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple. Follow the instructions on your dye bottles as to how to achieve these colors.

The muffin tins fill up FAST with the mix so using a small spoon begin to layer in your colors. By the time the twins Pixie and Princess have made their cupcakes into perfect rainbows their little sister is desperate to get her turn in. Posh likes to go for the tie dye look, my favorite as well!

These can easily be made for Easter in pastels, 4th of July, Halloween, Christmas, any holiday really! Don't limit yourself to rainbows, have FUN!

*Follow the box instructions for baking*

DIY Clay Hand Prints

DIY Clay Hand Prints

These clay hand prints are so easy and inexpensive, I can't seem to stop making them! I bought a 25pound box of Crayola Air Dry Clay from Amazon for $28. I've made 10 clay impressions and still have enough left for one more! *They also sell 5pound containers for $12.99 which will do about 3-4 depending on the size of your creation.

You'll want to have a clear work space and all your supplies ready. This is a messy craft! I kept the kids busy while I set up. *On a side note, this clay is VERY easy to wash off tables...not so easy when on the carpet.

Large Bowl
2 cups of water (you don't need to measure, I just fill my measure cup up)
Rolling pin
Wax Paper
Butter knife
Cookie sheet
Wet rag

Ready to create a fantastic keepsake?

Begin by taking out the cookie sheet and wiping it with the wet rag. Place the wax paper into the sheet, the water will help hold it in place.

Onto the messy part - Take a couple handfuls of clay into your large bowl and add some water to help make the clay more pliable. Massage it till it's soft but not runny - add more clay if it gets runny. You want the consistency of sugar cookie dough.

Place your clay onto the cookie sheet and with a wet rolling pin, roll out your dough. The shape will be cut out so just get it as flat as possible. If the clay gets sticky, add some water and smooth it out (water repairs many mistakes). You will want the thickness to be at very least a half an inch (any less and it cracks as it dries) to one inch (that's just heavy).

Wash off your hands and call over your kiddo to get their foot or hand print. Press down on each finger and especially palm. For feet have them step down onto the cookie sheet. Wash them off, they're part is done!

With a wet finger smooth out any bumps or bubbles. Take your butter knife and cut out your design. As you pull up the extra clay, the wax paper will most likely come with it. That's fine. It's easy to separate out from the dough in the bowl.

Put the cookie sheet somewhere it wont be disturbed. Living in Vegas I thought I'd be smart and put it outside during our usual summer heat wave...don't do that. The entire piece cracked into 20 pieces in 30 minutes. Indoors is fine. DO NOT FORGET TO ADD HOLES! If your going to hang this, you need holes. I use lollypop sticks so the hole is uniform.

As it dries check on it for little cracks. These are easy to fix with a wet finger.

Once totally dry you can paint it. I use acrylic paint. Once that's dry, spray on a high gloss sealer, I bought mine from Michaels. After that is dry, you can write with a sharpie your kiddo's name and date - or whatever you want! *Sharpie blurs when sprayed with the sealant.

All said and done this craft cost me less then $10 each finished piece. Which to me is a far better deal then going to those paint your pottery places. I also don't see the need to kiln fire these products, we're not going to eat off them and I have no plans to play frisbee with them either. They hang on my wall, that's it. The air dry clay is more the sufficient for this!

This is a fun, easy, and CHEAP keepsake you'll cherish forever!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hand and Foot Print Flowers for Spring!

Hand and Foot Print Flowers for Spring!

Handprint Flowers Foot Print craft Mothers Day keepsake Spring playdate
Finished Project

Spring will be pretty.
Just give it a week, When flowers are blooming down by the creek.
Bees will be buzzing as trees start to bud,
But for the moment I'm covered with mud.
Snow has been melting, since winter is through,
Replacing the whiteness with puddles of goo.

I stepped off the sidewalk and into the ooze.
Next thing I knew, I stepped out of my shoes!
Mud on my ankles and mud on my clothes.
I stumbled face-first and got mud up my nose.
Spring will be pretty, but I must confess,
The first days of spring are a muckety mess!

Let's get messy! 
Bring your kids over to our house and dip their
feet and hands in paint to make a keepsake for Spring!

RSVP as usual - only plus 1 if your bringing 2 kids and so on.  Please list any allergies in your rsvp.  Directions will be emailed the night before to all Yes rsvp's.

Craft Directions:
These are super easy to do, I was even able to get both of my 3 year olds hands and feet onto the SAME piece of paper! Granted it was a large piece of construction paper, but they fit none the less. I had to settle for a new piece of paper to get my 11month olds flowers done but that eased my fears of her turning her flowers into a finger painting project which would "ruin" the twins prints.

Hand Print Flower Footprint art Mothers Day gift from kids Toddler painting
8-Oz. Color Splash! Washable Tempera Paint (Pack of 12)Baby Handprint Footprint Keepsake Using Washable Tempura Paints make this project an easy one to clean up after.

Washable Tempura Paints
Paint brushes
Wipes or a wet hand towel
Paper to apply prints onto

Step 1: Choose your colors for the flowers, my girls actually chose different colors! I thought we'd have our usual purple and pink but they surprised me and I think they turned out great! Place your hand and foot prints as shown. I use regular baby wipes to clean off the paint but a wash rag would be far more economical.


Step 2: Draw in your stems. I used a regular foam paint brush. I buy mine at Michaels but have seen them at Target and Walmart. Make sure to wash these out ASAP, even just soaking them will make them last longer. They may be cheap to buy but having to run to the store Just to buy paint brushes aren't in my plans for the day.
11month old's project
Step 3: Paint on leaves and add the name and date to either a stem or on an empty part of the paper.

Pine Cone Bird Feeders

SPRING is Here!  Time to feed the birds!  Gather up your kids and playgroup friend to make this super easy and very tasty bird treat!

Feed the Birds (tune of Row Row)

Feed, feed, feed the birds
In the wintertime
When the days are dark and cold
Food is hard to find

Feed, feed, feed the birds
Till the spring has come
Scatter birdseed on the snow
Feeding birds is fun.

Living in Las Vegas makes finding pine cones a little harder then when I lived in Seattle! All three girls and I set out to find some regardless. We found tons of neat nature things to put in the bottom of Little Misses stroller. By the time we got back to the house I had 12 pine cones, a small bucket full of dandelions, several rocks, and a couple cherry blossoms.
They were happy to take a nap after we got home so I set all the goodies out in our backyard in hopes in bugs would wonder out and off our nature findings. I don't want to trap some poor spider in his home with peanut butter!

Once the ladies all awoke from slumber we started our craft:
How to make a Pinecone Bird FeederPinecone Bird Feeder Earth Day craft Letter B craft Familyfun Magazine CraftHave all your supplies ready:
Birdseed *I bought ours at the Dollar Store
Creamy Peanut Butter
Shallow Bowl
Cookie Sheet
I set out a cookie sheet so both my girls could cover the pinecone with peanutbutter easily. We did this outside on the grass which would have made a mess without the cookie sheet.

Using your shallow bowl, fill with bird seeds. Let your child(ren) roll the pine cone in the seeds. GG thought she's lick some peanut butter of her fingers and was very upset with the amount of bird seeds now stuck in her teeth! It took a couple flushings before she was satisfied they were all gone.

*I used a fresh jar of peanutbutter only to realize half way through: Eew, they are dipping a spoon several times into a fresh jar of peanut butter and smearing it onto a dirty pinecone. Not the best plan. Next time I'll put some in a tupperware container for them!

Cut off some string, I made ours 2 feet long to give me plenty of string to tie. Wrap the string around the top of the pinecone, then to a tree branch. All done! This took us from start to finish 15 minutes.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Twins Dance Alice in Wonderland

OMGosh, this was the cutest ever! They attend Fairytales and Tutu's here in Vegas and they do this thing called storydance. It's just too cute. The kids have a theme'd ballet class, read a story, then dress up and practice some moves.

All the parents stay and watch through this huge viewing window, it's adorable! I think this is my favorite because both of the girls are actually looking at the camera. Rare.

A girlfriend of our bought her daughter (3.5yrs) the home Starfall subscription and has shared it with us....YAY!!!  After ditching the gym today to make holiday returns, making the Best Meatloaf EVER and putting the baby to bed....we got to try it out!

I brought out the magnets and spread them out on the floor and put on some ambient music on.  I started with Pixie.  We kicked off our Starfall experience with the reading portion.  She did awesome.  She sounded out each word then read the sentence as a whole at the end.  Princess started off her experience with a find the beginning sound game (which was too easy for her) then she read the same story Pixie did.

Princess tried to guess via the picture what the sentence said verses sound out each word.  I had to have her revisit the words she guessed.  Pixie was more interested in sounding out each letter.  The both did great! 

Tomorrow we're off to the Y so I can work out and the girls can play then hiking at Calico Basin.  I have a camera for Panda, she's been using/destroying my point and shoot, so she should be excited.  The girls have little binoculars and new Teva's (thanks to REI's rock'n clearance sale) so they're super hyped to hit the trails tomorrow!

*The meatloaf was so easy!  2lbs. of ground meat, some bbq sauce, some Worcestershire, 1 cup of stuffing, 1 egg, some garlic salt baked at 350 for an hour - the kids LOVED it and I actually ate it too (I H.A.T.E. meatloaf)!  To my amazement you CAN bake meatloaf without an entire bottle of ketchup and the kids will still eat it!
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