Friday, January 30, 2009

Favorite Cereal

This is *oh so very* Sid the Science Kid...

This morning I put 3 different cereals in dixie cups for the kids, and we recorded which cereals they liked, without milk and then with milk. We charted the results and then talked about the findings. It was fun to see them get so excited about which cereal they liked or didn't like, and why!

Heart Mobile

1. Paint a large piece of this paper, covering the entire piece (I used the back of office calendars my husband brought home from work).

2. To add a little dimension and flair, when the paint had dried for about 20 minutes, we dipped heart-shaped cookie cutters in white paint and stamped.

3. I let the paper dry overnight, then traced 2 different sized hearts on the back, and then my 4 year-old cut them out (my 3 year-old isn't that "smooth" with her cutting yet). It really doesn't matter how many hearts you cut, as long as you have an even number of each size. Cut a piece of string or yarn to desired length.

4. Lay out the yarn and position half of the hearts, face-down. Tape each heart to the yarn like shown below.

5. Glue the leftover hearts to their counterparts.

6. I put heavy books over the hearts while they dried (overnight) to make sure they were flat. Hang up and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

car ramp

Tomorrow we're getting new window treatments, so I had to remove the old wood valance above our living room blinds. I had no idea what to do with it, but knew I didn't want to throw it away. I can't stand to throw stuff away when it could come in handy someday. I set it up on the couch and Chasen immediately started driving cars down it. Perfect! Chasen played all morning with his cars and the new ramp. I have to admit that this is especially exciting for us because up until now Chasen could care less about cars. All he ever wants to play with are balls: footballs, tennis balls, superballs, basketballs, soccer balls etc. Today is a good day; we've turned over a new leaf!

I just love it when our
junk turns to treasures!

watercolor initials (or anything else!)

I'm digging these from Blissful Kids. Directions

Monday, January 26, 2009

Valentine Conversation Heart Frame

This was quick and fun yesterday! We painted popsicle sticks red, which I don't know if I would do again, since you can't see much of the red anyway. After the paint was dry, I had the boys glue on large and small conversation hearts. Joshua, my 2 year old, ate way more than he glued on (ew). To finish the project, grab a picture - I think close ups of faces work best - and glue it to the back. The finished size of the inside of the frame is close to 4" square, so keep that in mind when printing your pictures out. We're going to send ours to the Grandmas.

Chinese New Year Cupcakes

I know, it's not a cake wreck, but close, huh? Here was my attempt at a Chinese New Year cupcake. We used yellow cake mix with extra yellow food coloring to get a really nice "gold" cake, and then I went to town with the red food coloring to get a nice red buttercream. I forgot, however, to save some white buttercream to tint bright yellow to write with. Instead, I used yellow piping gel, which didn't show up well at all.

Hint: If you're not using Wilton (or other "real") cake decorating color, get the gel food coloring at any grocery store. They make much more vibrant colors than the normal, liquid dropper food coloring (that I'll never buy again after discovering the gel stuff!)

Directions for Chinese Good Luck character here

Crayon Hearts

crayon pieces
heart-shaped muffin pan
double-sided foam mounting tape
colored cardstock
Heat oven to 250
Fill each mold with crayon pieces and bake until melted (10-15 minutes)
Once cooled, remove from molds.
Using foam tape, attach "love notes" to the hearts, much like picture above.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chinese New Year Pendant

My kids are a bit too young to cut these out well, so we'll skip this project this year, but maybe your kids are a bit more adept with scissors in small places.

The link and all the templates are here.

Chinese New Year Clip Art

Chinese New Year 2009, the year of the OX, starts tomorrow, January 26. Grab this cute FREE clip art here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I know it's way too early for a lot of us to be thinking about gardening (we are seeing the first sidewalks since early December here!), but we might have some friends reading from Arizona or Texas, and this is their big gardening season.

I found a fun new website tonight - The Family Room has all kinds of ideas - from how to get started gardening with kids to more advanced family projects. FUN.

mitten math

Another fabulous freebie from the Hybrid Kid! Click here to link through.

What I Love Wall

Our pantry door has been white and plain ever since we took down our Thankful Turkey. I had been thinking that in February, we could do a "What I love" door instead. I was going to wait until February 1st, but that only gives us 14 days. So I just decided. We're starting today.

I'm about to head down to the basement where I get to watch Joshua play trains, and I'm taking stacks of pink, purple and red construction paper with me to cut out plenty of hearts. I'm thinking at least one heart per day per vocal person in the family. 23 days X 4 talkers = 92 hearts Sometimes, I really wish I had that cricut that's so popular here. Anyway, we're just going to write one thing we LOVE each day on the heart and stick it on the door. Come to think of it, 92 hearts is a lot for the door, so we might let them flutter all around the kitchen.

I also want to make a list where we can write things we LOVE about other family members.

I'll update with pictures after we start sharing the love.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Heart Twinkies

How cute is THAT? A twinkie, cut on an angle, with frozen berries and watered down seedless raspberry jam. Cute enough we might even buy a box of twinkies for the first time in forever.

From Think at 2 Clever

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our White House: The Web Site

Whatever you are celebrating today - the new president, the peaceful transition of power, or both, today is definately a day to celebrate.

I did a little book review on my personal blog that I should have cross posted here. Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out is a FAB book to have around right now with the Inauguration and upcoming presidential birthdays in February - or to have around any time, really.

Today I learned that the book has a web page, and it's wonderful. Check it out here.

(and happy inauguration day)

Monday, January 19, 2009


History will be made tomorrow, and I cannot wait to share it with my kids. Here are some fun ideas to help celebrate!

It's not a party at my house without cupcakes!

many thanks to

And don't forget Ben & Jerry's Yes Pecan! ice cream


Obama "Change" Plate

For this project I traced the symbol in a paper plate, then outlined in glitter glue. Let dry, and paint in-between lines. (We used Elmer's Squeeze & Brush)

Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out


Biography of Barack Obama... click here.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Homemade Musical Instruments

Stuck inside with an insane cold snap? Throw together a preschool family-room band. Lots of ideas for homemade instruments here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Coloring Circles

Take a piece of paper (we used the big floor paper) and draw circles of all different sizes with a black sharpie, some overlapping, some inside one another, some just out on their own. Then color each portion of the circle it's own color, making sure not to let the same color touch.

This is a perfect winter afternoon activity because everyone can lay on the floor and color together and everyone gets to be creative... the more colors used the better! It also takes awhile to complete and can be put away and finished later without much effort.

The other reason I really liked this activity is it really helped enforce the concept of "coloring within the lines" (what a concept, huh?!).

Monday, January 12, 2009

Snow Painting

This is a cheap and easy time killer if you're LUCKY enough to live where the snow never melts. (ok, it's not that bad here - we haven't seen the grass in a month, but it could always be worse!)
I mixed up some colored water - just food coloring with the instruction to PLEASE not get their clothes dirty - in condiment and squirt bottles.

Then I send the kiddos outside and let them loose. Ok, ok - I played, too.

The kids liked the water in condiment bottles better, but I preferred them to have the squirt bottles. The water came out too fast in the condiment bottles for my liking - wasn't as easy for them to have control, especially when Jacob was trying to write his name, and also - they ran out much quicker, which meant more trips for me inside to refill.

Snowman Counting

Using the snowman above (click on it to get to the printable link), Ramblings of a Crazy Woman had a fun snowman counting game. I put 4 snowmen on each page, printed out 2 pages (well, 3 but the snowmen weren't big enough to have more than 8 buttons) and drew faces and a different number of buttons on each snowman. Then I made a simple construction paper hat with the corresponding numerals and let the Joshua match them up.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

donut snowmen

Might be fun for a lazy Sunday breakfast tomorrow. Details.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Easy Valentine's Wreath

My head is already all about VALENTINE'S. If I could finally get healthy I have some fun ideas. Until then, here's a cute wreath tutorial to do with the kiddos. Use tissue paper for a less expensive, but not outdoor friendly option.

All the directions here on Little Birdie Secrets.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Years Kids Journaling Page

We love our This Is Me journal, but I've used it more for inspiration to come up with our own pages. Jacob writes or draws on blank 8 1/2 X 11 paper and I'm saving them all in a manila envelope until I have enough to bind - probably in a couple years.

I found this link today that has a list of questions that would be fun to do once or twice a year; maybe in January, maybe on a birthday, maybe whenever. It's up to you, but it's sure fun to look back even one year later. I can't wait to pull these things out when my kiddos are in high school.

Corndog Muffins

Fun for the kids to help you make, and always a hit at the lunch table!

photo courtesy of cookinme

2 (8.5 oz) pkg cornbread mix
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
9 turkey dogs, cut-up
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

*Stir mix and brown sugar. In another bowl, whisk eggs and milk, then stir into dry mix (until moist). Mix in cheese. Spoon into muffin tins and add turkey dog pieces to each.
*Bake @ 400 for 14-18 minutes.