Valentine’s Day, a Chocolate Mustache & A Free Printable to Make the Process Easy

Valentine's & Free PrintableWe are getting ready for Valentine’s Day like everyone else.  Most years we have fun making & sharing edible Valentine’s from the kitchen.  This year my daughter wanted to find something we haven’t done in the past & we accidentally stumbled upon chocolate molds in the form of a mustache & with the latest mustache rage still making a big hit with the kids, who could resist?

We found ours at the local craft store & with our coupon, the mold was under $5.

What do you need for this entire project?

* Free Printables (see below)

*Scissors or scrapbook cutter

Valentine's supplies* Glue Stick

 

* Card Stock

* Mustache Mold

* Melting Chocolate

* Cake Pop/Candy Sticks

* Candy/Cake pop clear bags

* Ribbon

This project is really very simple.  Print the free printable(s) below, we have a blue & and a pink for you to select from & there are four on each page.  Cut the printed Valentine’s into fours, glue each one to colored card stock & cut them so that just small amount of the colored card stock extends to show.  It’s easier if you have a scrapbook cutter, but scissors can do the job.

IMG_1638Melt the chocolate, pour it in the molds, let it begin to set, add the sticks & make certain they are covered with chocolate.  Let the chocolates set until they have fully hardened and then remove them from the mold.  Repeat this process until you have the number of mustaches needed for your class.

Cake Pop/Candy Sticks: We found our sticks for $1.99 a pack at the local craft store and with a 40% coupon they are very reasonable.

Chocolate:  We purchased our chocolate melts on sale for $1.99 and decided on milk & dark chocolate, but you can use other colors if desired.

mustache valentines pink Grab the free Pink Valentine Printable by clicking here: mustache valentines

mustache valentines blueGrab the free blue Valentine Printable by clicking here: mustache valentines boys

 

Easter Eggs: Decorating made Easy with this Crafty Striping Technique

 
Striped Easter Eggs

Festive & Fun!

As Easter rolls around, decorating Easter Eggs is always at the top of the list.  There are so many unique & creative ideas and the possibilities are limitless.  Here is just one simple decorating tip to consider; striping Easter Eggs.  It’s easy to do with this crafty technique and all you need is;

An egg decorating kit

Painter’s tape

Scissors

  1. Step 1: Cut the tape to the desired width and length.  Each striped egg can be tailored for your desired striping result, cut it thing, leave it thick, cut several pieces, cut one…you are the creator of your striped eggs!
  2. Step 2:  Mix the colors on the kit as directed or use the traditional method (see below).

Step 3:  Place the tape on the eggs where desired & gently press along the edges so that the color won’t bleed through.

Step 4:  Dip your egg(s) in to the desired colors on either side of the striping and let them dry.  You can actually speed the process by gently wiping the egg(s) with a paper towel to remove any drips.  You can dip each side a different color as well.

Step 5:  Once the dye is dried, gently remove the tape to reveal your striped egg.

 

Middle Stripe: If you want to color the middle stripe, just add tape to protect from bleeding where needed and use a basting brush, paint brush or sponge to add color to the center.  Let it fully dry or use the wiping method before removing the tape.

Note:  You definitely want to cover your work surface before beginning this project.

McCormick’s Old Fashioned Egg Coloring

This is how my mom colored eggs when I was young…

½ cup boiling water + 1 teaspoon vinegar + 20 drops of McCormick food colors

Easy Rainbow Science with the Imagine Nation Museum

imaginnation

Rainbows are always magical & amazing when they appear in the sky.  Although we can’t recreate the exact science of a rainbow in our own kitchens, it’s always fun to try.  The Imagine Nation Museum recently shared their trick with Easy Rainbow Science Fun that’s perfect for all ages trying to answer the age old question of ‘Is there an end to the rainbow?’  According to this science experiment it just keeps going & going & going…

However, before you start any science experiment, always have the kids guess what is going to happen & record it so that they can compare their thoughts to their actual discoveries at the end.

Supplies Needed:

  • Milk
  • Food Coloring (all different colors)
  • Q-tip
  • Plate
  • Dishwashing detergent

pouring milk for rainbowcreating rainbow

  1. Put a layer of milk on a plate, enough to cover the bottom.
  2. Using 2-3 different colors of food coloring add a few drops of each color in different areas on top of the milk (so that none of the colors are touching each other).
  3. Dip a Q-tip in dishwashing detergent , and touch the Q-tip in the middle of the milk
  4. After a few moments the detergent will spread to the food coloring, and swirl the colors together creating a beautiful rainbow.

rainbow with food dyegirl stirring rainbow

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Be certain to tell kids that the experiment is not edible due to the dishwashing detergent used.

Real Rainbow Science Discoveries: 

  • Rainbows are kind of like an optical illusion 
  • A rainbow is formed because raindrops act like little prisms that catch the light
  • The raindrops split the light creating colors for your eyes!
  • No matter how you move, the rainbow will always be the same distance away from you

Science Experiments in the Kitchen are Always Fun & We are Creating Crystals

IMG_1959

 

Science experiments are always fun.  This week we pulled out an oldie, but goodie; creating crystals from borax.  I have done this with my older two in years past by making snowflakes.  This time we made it with my youngest and tried the Luck of the Irish by making shamrocks & adding a wee bit of green to see what happened.

It has been a lot of fun watching it grow, in fact it grew quickly.  Wait until you see our results/findings are & then you can match them to yours if you decided to do this at home.  But, before you start have your child make predictions of what they think will happen, record them & compare them to what actually takes place.

Supplies Needed:

  • string
  • wide mouth jar
  • green pipe cleaners
  • borax soap
  • pencil
  • boiling water
  • green food coloring (optional)
  • scissors

Crystal Science Project:

  1. The first step of making borax crystal shamrocks is to make the shamrock shape, which can be done by cutting two pipe cleaners into three equal sections.
  2. IMG_1945Bend the pipe cleaners in petal-like shapes, using the extra pipe cleaners wrap around the center of
    all four petals to create a shamrock shape. The shamrock should be sized to fit inside the jar you are using.
  3. Tie the string to the end of the shamrock stem. Tie the other end of the string to the pencil. You want the length to be such that the pencil hangs the shamrock into the jar, but doesn’t touch the bottom.  Set the shamrock aside until you have created the solution.
  4. IMG_1950Fill the jar you are using with boiling water.
  5. IMG_1954Add borax one tablespoon at a time to the boiling water, stirring to dissolve after each addition. The amount we used was approximately 4 tablespoons of borax per cup of water, although I have read 3.  We added until the water would dissolve any additional borax & did end up with some on the bottom of the jar, which is okay, but don’t let the shamrock touch it.
  6. We then tinted the liquid mixture with green food coloring for further observations.
  7. IMG_1955Hang the pipe cleaner shamrock into the jar so that the pencil rests on top of the jar and the shamrock is completely covered with liquid and hangs freely (not touching the bottom of the jar).
  8. Allow the jar to sit in an undisturbed location overnight.
  9. Look, observe & record like a scientist!                 IMG_1959Note:  Borax can typically be found in the laundry section of your stores.  It is not edible & adult supervision is required (my daughter said it looked like rock candy so of course we want the kids to know this isn’t rock candy!)                    What observations did we make?
    • The green food coloring did not absorb into the borax crystals, it was only in the water, which was a fun discovery and not what we expected.
    • Our jar was not wide enough at the top, the crystal grew so much in 48 hours that we couldn’t get it out.  We have decided to let it grow for a week to see what happens.
    • Crystals began to form within an hour.

Valentine’s made Easy with a Free Tic Tac Toe Printable Treat

Are you still looking for a fun Valentine’s idea to share?  Check out this free Valentine’s Printable! There’s a game, a treat and a bit of fun all wrapped up into one.  The directions for play are all included on the printable and the person who is receiving the Valentine can take it home to play with a parent or sibling before sharing a snack or two!Valentine's Tic Tac Toe

What do you need for this Valentine’s Printable?

Card Stock (we used pink)

Hershey kisses (8 per card)

The Valentine’s Printable (prints four on a sheet to create four valentine’s – see the link below to print as many as you need)

Scissors

Glue Stick

Mini Candy bags

StaplerValentine's Free Printable

How do you put this Valentine’s Printable together?

1. Cut the printable into four separate cards.

2.  Cut the card stock slightly larger than the tic tac toe board so that it creates a border.

3. Glue the printable tic-tac-toe board to the card stock.

4. Place four kisses of one color and four kisses of another into the small sized candy bags.

5.  Fold the edges of the filled candy bag and staple it to the card.  All of the directions for play are included…

To grab your free Valentine’s Printable click here: 2013 Valentine’s tic tac toe

Note: it prints four Valentine’s to a page.

Cutting: I have a cutting board that has been made for crafting & scrapbooking which does speed up the process and ensures straight edges and with guidance, it’s easy for kids to help.  If you don’t have one, I recommend folding the paper to create straight lines to follow before cutting.

Candy Bags: can be found in crafts stores in the candy make section.

A Crafty Chinese New Year Celebrated with Easy Painted Paper Lanterns

Chinese New Year is this week. Why celebrate?  It’s filled with a lot of kid fun & it introduces us to different customs & cultures from around the world.  It’s an opportunity to take us on a journey of exploration, understanding and mind opening experiences.  Several years ago we celebrated Chinese New Year and made Chinese Lanterns for fun (well…our version of a Chinese lantern minus the candles.  So, I don’t know if technically they are really a Chinese Lantern, but none the less…they were fun & decorative to create).

The Chinese New Year, at least in ancient times, actually lasted up to 15 days and has to do with the full moon.  One fact that appears to be consistent in our research is that the Chinese New Year always ends with a Festival of Lanterns on the final day.  Here is how we decorated for our festival of lanterns to commemorate a little Chinese New Year fun.

Step 1: Google Chinese symbols and/or letters to copy.  Print them for the kids to follow along.  We’ve even tried our best to re-create our names with the chinese letters we’ve found on-line.

Step 2:  Fold a 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper in half-length wise.

Step 3:  We used a ruler to mark off a line on either side of the paper (see below), which is the width of the ruler and runs length wise.

Step 4: The children then cut lines with safety scissors from the fold to the drawn line, but not past it.
Step 5: We then open the paper & lay it flat.  The kids then draw Chinese symbols on the edges.

Step 6: This particular year, they used water colors to decorate the cut lines. Step 7: We wrap them around, connect them with a staple or tape & voila – decorative Chinese New Year fun!

Added Family Fun:

1.  Google & discover they symbol of the Chinese New Year; 2014 is the year of the wooden horse.

2.  Google & discover with your Chinese symbol is based on the year and month you were born; we looked up each family member.

3.  Google & discover what 2014′s year of the wooden horse means to your chinese symbol.

Other Chinese New Year posts to check out include; Gok Jai desserts & Fortune Cookie Lunchbox Notes

 

Crafty Chinese New Year Lunchbox Note Fun Made Easy

 

paper fortune cookies for lunchbox fun Over the years I have LOVED sharing lunchbox notes with my kids & with Chinese New Year 2014 just around the corner, Friday, January 31st to be exact, I decided that this year I was sending paper fortune cookies with some well wishes to my youngest.  I have seen the fabric fortune cookies, but determined that wasn’t a project I could take on.  I needed it to be quick, easy & something that was fun, but didn’t take up hours of my time.  After a little configuring, we discovered that these are quick & easy to make.  It only took approximately 20 minutes to complete the entire project to share and we’ve even simplified it a bit to share with you complete with a free printable.

 

paper crafting for Chinese New Year Supplies Needed: 

Colorful Scrapbooking Paper

Compass or ruler with a pencil

Scissors

Tape

Stapler & staples

Pipe cleaners

cutting paper fortune cookies paper fortune cookie making

Step 1:  Draw a 4 inch circle using the compass with pencil and cut it out.

Step 2:  Cut a 4 inch piece of pipe cleaner.

 

creating paper fortune cookies

Step 3:  Tape the pipe cleaner down the center of the circle on the side that will ultimately be the inside of the paper fortune cookie.

Step 4: Fold the paper fortune cookie in half loosely not forming a crease at the bottom.

Step 5: Staple the very top of the folded cookie at the rounded edges.

Step 6:  Fold the fortune cookie in half to create the fortune cookie shape.

chinese new year crafts       lunch box note fun for chinese new year

chinese fortune cookie noteslunch box note fun for chinese new year

 

We searched the internet for a few chinese symbols & created a free printable of notes to fill the fortune cookies for lunchbox packing fun.  The printable is at the bottom of the page, but here is what it has included on it;

fortune cookie notes

Here is the free printable to simply print & clip: fortune cookie notes

Also, check out our Gok Jai recipe for a little family fun taste testing by clicking here.

 

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This Easy Craft Creates Kid Birthday Fun

paper chain craftI don’t know who gets more excited for my kid’s birthdays; me or the kids?

My youngest’s birthday is coming up at the end of January.  Over the years we have exchanged many notes to each other; it’s been one of our little ‘things’ that I treasure and love.  So I thought this easy craft would create a little birthday fun to share with her as we counted down to her big day in a special way.

It was very inexpensive, because I used what I already had in the house.  I’m notorious for purchasing scrapbooking paper & then not ever getting to ‘it’, but will some day.  So I raided my craft stash of scrapbook papers and pull out a bunch of wintery pink and purple sheets that were decorated with mittens, snowflakes, etc.  I then cut them into strips & created a paper rings with a stapler to countdown each day until her birthday.  I then attached notes to the chain in sealed envelopes for her to discover as a surprise along they way as she counted down.  It was simple & it has been fun and it’s just a little something extra to celebrate her!

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Winter Science Experiments for Kids Leads to Discovery & Frozen Bubbles

Making Frozen Bubbles

We spent the deep freeze that visited the northeast on Friday testing & myth busting winter science experiments for kids that lead to discovery with frozen bubbles.  My son had learned about this at school & had tried it with the first snow fall, but it wasn’t quite cold enough.  So, out we went in the below freezing temperatures with our bright pink bubble container that reminded us of summer days & warmer weather.  It was so chilly & a bit windy, we could barely stand to be out of the garage – lol – so, unfortunately our fond memories of the pink bottle wasn’t quite enough to warm us through :).  The wind made it a bit challenging to catch the bubbles once they were blown, but it’s a must in order to witness the entire experiment.  Luckily we did catch a few bubbles here and there, which amazed us as we watched their transformation.  I was unable to catch it all

Freezing Bubbles Science Experiment

on camera, but at first the bubble began to swirl & suddenly the bubble began to crystalize in a frozen fashion at one end and travel around the bubble until it was fully crystalized in a frosted manner.

Someone had mentioned that the bubble would shatter.  However, we never had the chance to experience any shatter.  Each time the bubble would crystalize and finish its process, which was amazing to watch, it would pop! But you could hold on to the popped frozen bubble that was ever so delicate for a short period of time.  It was a fun experiment & I think the kids enjoyed playing with bubbles in the midst of a wintery day.  Bubbles have always been one of our favorites & we are excited to have a new way to use them.

IMG_1516  We also dug for further science experiments for kids that lead to us boiling a cup of hot water & tossing it into the frigid air that had fallen to -16.  My husband had heard that it would turn to snow.  I guess we thought turning to snow meant that it would look like larger snowflakes of sorts.  Instead, some of the water turned into a snowy mist & the rest of the water hit the ground.  We were kind of disappointed & as we shared our finds from the day with dad that evening, he said ‘that’s what it was supposed to do’.  Not our favorite at the end of the day, but then again what can compare to bubbles?!?  I thought we had myth busted dad, but my youngest told me that we had myth busted NOTHING unless we had blown something up; thanks Myth Busters!

Note:  After chatting with another blogger at What Do We Do All Day? I learned, that from their experience, any temps that are 20 degrees or lower are best for creating frozen bubbles.

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A Crafty Soiree Now Project Inspired at Yesterday on Tuesday

and

All She Cooks

Three wishes for the New Year

mini time capsulesWe are reflecting & setting goals & making wishes for the New Year.  As part of our activities we are making mini time capsules; one for each of us.  In each little capsule will go three wishes/goals we want to happen for the New Year.  Then, we will put them away & see what each of us accomplished on next years New Year’s Eve she we each open our own capsule.

I am keeping a running list & it will be interesting to see what makes the top three.  I already know my daughter has a visit to The American Girl Doll on her list & my son has a Bruins game on his…(I’m hoping I can afford all three wishes – lol)!

Supplies:

Paper towel roll

Scissors

Wrapping papper

Tape

Ribbon

Slips of paper

Pens or Markers

Simply cut the paper towel roll into three sections.  Write your wishes on slips of paper.  Wrap the tube with wrapping paper & tape it into position.  Close one end with ribbon.  Fill the tube with your wishes.  Tie off the other end with ribbon.  Label each tube with the person’s name & stash it away to be opened at the end of the year.

This Post was FEATURED at:  Take it On Tuesday at Romance on a Dime!

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