These Adorable Snowmen are made from Kid Thumbprints & make Perfect Holiday Thank You Cards

Snowman Thumb Print Thank You NotesLooking for a little crafty fun?  Check out these easy & relatively inexpensive thumbprints that became snowmen that turned into the perfect holiday thank you notes to share with family & friends.

Not only were they easy, but they filled up an afternoon with crafting that kept kids busy and active.

Supplies:

Blank Card Notes (see below)

Puffy paints (or 3D Paints – see below)

2 – 3 different colored stamp pads

Step 1: Create snowmen by using thumbs to create the head, body & bottom of each snowman.  We made three snowmen on each card to represent the three kids in our family.  Let them dry.

Step 2:  Add snow to the bottom the card by using either white or glittering crystal 3D Paint (a.k.a puffy paints)

Step 3: Add arms using the brown 3D Paints.

Step 4:  Add black eyes & mouths using 3D Paints.

Step 5:  Add orange noses using 3D Paints.

Step 6:  Add snowflakes and dots to the top to finish it off using 3D paints.

Blank Cards:  We found the blank cards used in the photo in a $1 bin in the crafting section at Wal-mart near the scrapbooking supplies.  They were 8 cards for $1.  However, you can also purchase blank cards at local crafting stores with coupons for under $5.

3D Paints:  These can be found in both crafting stores & at Wal-marts for less than a $1 per bottle.  We use both Scribbles 3D paint & polymark dimensional fabric paints.

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Hot Cocoa Cones are the Perfect Recipe Combining Food & Craft for Kids to Make & Gift

hot cocoa cones Whether you are looking for an easy make & share for the upcoming classroom party or a fun craft the kids can gift to a few friends, Hot Cocoa Cones are always a great option.  We made hot cocoa cones last year for my daughter’s entire classroom & they were a hit; they are perfect for all of the snow days & school vacations in coming in our very near future.

This time of year is always busy & if you can have a little time together in the kitchen crafting with food while avoiding the oven it can be an added bonus with already hectic schedules & extra activities this time of year.

 

 

Supply list:

Holiday wrapping paper

Poster board

Scissors

Stapler & staples

Cellophane or Clear Cellophane gift bag (party supplies)

Ribbon

Instant Hot Chocolate Packets

Mini Marshmallows

Saran Wrap

Candy Canes

  1. Create a template on the poster board as seen in the photo to create the cone.  Each cone will need a poster board or brown paper bag base for stiffness. (sides are approximately 5 inches on each side with the triangular part of the cone at approximately 6 ½ inches)
  2. Trace and cut wrapping paper to fit the cone template.
  3. Staple the wrapping paper and poster board together so that the paper doesn’t shift.
  4. Roll to make the cone & staple it into form.
  5. Roll the hot chocolate packet and slide it inside of the cone.
  6. Wrap approximately a ½ cup of marshmallows in the Plastic Wrap.  I typically tie mine off with a twist tie, ribbon or tape.
  7. Place the marshmallows on top of the cone.
  8. Wrap the entire cone with cellophane so that it is one piece.  Tie the top with Ribbon.
  9. Add a holiday note & voila, your food craft gift is ready to share.

Note: One 10.5 oz. Price Chopper Bag of mini marshmallows yields 10 – 11 half cup scoops for Hot Cocoa Cone wrapping.

 

 

Lunchbox Holiday Notes for Kids are a Great Way to Connect with Family Fun

holiday note picI had so much fun sharing the last set of Lunchbox notes that I decided to search the web and pick our top six to share for the current holiday season.  All you have to do is click on the link below to pull up the pdf, print it, clip the notes & pack away.  All of the answers for this round of kid fun is below the picture.

So far, my youngest immediately got the first one, but was stumped on the other five.  I will be missing the lunchbox packing fun once we’re done with elementary school, so here’s to a little Kid Fun, which I think is more parent fun on occasion :)!

Holiday Lunchbox Joke Notes

holiday 2013 lunchbox joke notes

Riddle: Where do snowmen keep their money?

Answer: In a Snow Bank.

Riddle: What did the gingerbread man put on his bed?

Answer: A baking sheet.

Riddle: What did the reindeer say to the elf?

Answer: Nothing, reindeer don’t talk.

Riddle: What do get when you cross an apple with a Christmas tree?

Answer: A pineapple.

Riddle: What’s in December that’s not in any other month?

Answer: The letter ‘D’.

Riddle: What do snowmen eat for breakfast?

Answer: Frosted flakes.

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Disclosure: I am pleased to be working with MVP Health Care and the MVP Generation Go Program, which has sponsored this post. My participation is voluntary and my opinion is always my own, as is any advice offered

Family Fun for the Holidays making a Reindeer Food Holder Craft

Reindeer Food Craft Over the years we have both made & received reindeer food.  Many of the reindeer food gifts we have received contained items like glitter, etc. in the mix.  So, I morphed the concept into our own concoction to share that is both festive & eco-friendly to any critters that might partake once it’s been dusted outside to attract Santa’s Reindeer for a visit.  You can grab my Reindeer Food Recipe by clicking here.  In addition to making this fun combo, we also created an affordable Reindeer Food Holder Craft that was perfect for family fun & a great way to share this festive treat with friends.  Making the Reindeer Food Holder Craft & filling it with the Reindeer Food has made a wonderful classroom gift or just the right share with family friends.  It also has provided a fun way to sprinkle out reindeer food on Christmas Eve.

 

Reindeer Food Holder Craft Supplies Needed:

Reindeer Food

Black Marker

Black poster board or card stock

Large Paper Bag

Pencil

Red Duct Tape

Scissors

Stapler

1.  Cut one rectangular side of the bag away from the rest of the bag & lay it on a flat surface.

Reindeer Food 012

2. Cut out a curved triangular shape like below (the sides equal 8 inches in length and then slightly curve/arc the top).

3. Using a black marker, add eyes towards the top of the arc.  Note: The point will end up being the nose of the reindeer.  You can also use the craft wiggly eyes if desired by attaching them with crafting glue.

4.  Roll the triangular piece of paper and staple it to create a cone shape.

5.  Add a piece of red duct tape around the point to create a rudolph nose affect.

6.  Cut two antlers out of the black card stock or poster board by creating a large ‘Y’ that is 1 1/2 – 2 inches thick.

7.  Cut out a handle form the black card stock or poster board that is approximately 10 – 12 inches long & 1 1/2 – 2 inches thick.

8.  Staple the antlers and handle in place.

9.  Fill the reindeer holder with reindeer food.  We actually wrap the reindeer food in a cellophane goody bag and tie it off with holiday colored ribbon before putting it in the holder and then open it & pour it into the holder on Christmas Eve before sprinkling it outside for Santa’s Reindeer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Thanksgiving Printable Lunch Box Joke Notes Add Family Fun to the Holiday

 

thanksgiving riddle cards cutHere’s to a little Thanksgiving lunchbox packing fun for everyone.  What is it?  We surfed the web to find Thanksgiving Riddles.  We then picked six riddles that were stumpers.  Our main test requirement to narrow down the six to share with you?  They ultimately had to make all of our test shares laugh.  We then turned them into printable lunchbox notes so that you could share them with your family.  We’ve made it super easy!  All you have to do is print them out, cut them into individual riddle cards and share them with your family.

What we’ve found?  Everyone has been enjoying them.  As we share the cards, typically everyone is stumped until the last card when they start to catch on to the humor pattern and start thinking in riddles.

All you have to do is click on the link below the picture to pull up the pdf.  The answers are below;

Thanksgiving jokes

Thanksgiving jokes

Riddle: If April Showers Brings May Flowers What do Mayflowers bring?

Answer: Pilgrims

Riddle:  When does Christmas come before Thanksgiving?

Answer:  In the Dictionary

Riddle: What sound does a Turkey’s Phone make?

Answer: Wing-Wing!

Riddle: What always comes at the end of Thanksgiving?

Answer: The letter ‘G’

Riddle:  What is the best thing to put Into pumpkin pie?

Answer:  Your teeth!

Riddle: When the pilgrims landed, where did they stand?

Answer:  On their feet!

IMG_1384 Check out our lunch time food art Thanksgiving fun that’s perfect any time this month or to use with left-overs the weekend after by clicking here.

 

 

 

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Disclosure: I am pleased to be working with MVP Health Care and the MVP Generation Go Program, which has sponsored this post. My participation is voluntary and my opinion is always my own, as is any advice offered.

 

 

 

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Create Family Togetherness by Promoting Thankfulness with an Attitude of Gratitude Jar

Every year our family does something to encourage a focus on thankfulness or, as we call it, the Attitude of Gratitude throughout the month of November.


When my boys were little we used to create a large tree base with brown poster board and hang it on the wall.  We would then cut out colorful leaves from construction paper & add a leaf every day in November with something written on it that we were thankful for.  We’ve continued the tradition, but it’s morphed over the years as the kids have grown and last year we started an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ jar. My youngest totally jumped on board with the plan, which is simply filling out a tag made of construction paper every time you have something to be grateful for and then add it into the jar.

I loved secretly sneaking to read the tags when no one was home.  One day last year when we had unexpected company, my youngest kept herself busy by sitting at the counter, filling out tags and adding them to the jar.  When she went to bed I pulled them out to read them and one had written on it, ‘and let’s not forget to be thankful for me, MOI!’ 

This jar was super easy to create.  We purchased a container at Target, decorated it with a combination of  scrapbooking paper & construction paper, labeled it, cut out colorful slips of paper to add to the jar with our thankful thoughts & we were ready to go.  The entire project was under $10, but whenever you have a focus on being thankful, there’s always a powerful impact.

We just pulled it out to start all over again for this year & I’m excited to see what lands in the jar this month…

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Lava Lamp Experiments at the Counter

We are the proud owners of a lava zebra and hot pink lava lamp.  Well, technically one of our kids is the proud owner of this little contraption.  It can be mesmerizing and has created the question on occasion, How Does a Lava Lamp Work?

zebra lava lamp

 

We found a great explanation at How Stuff Works? Part of the explanation reads;

In the lamp you have two liquids which are:

  • Very close in density
  • Insoluble in one another

Oil and water are insoluble in one another (that’s where the expression “oil and water don’t mix” comes from), but oil and water have very different densities (a volume of water weighs a lot more than the same volume of oil). They won’t work, so you search to find two liquids that are very close in density and are insoluble. 

Now you apply heat to the bottom of the mixture. In a liquid motion lamp, the heat usually comes from a light bulb. The heavier liquid absorbs the heat, and as it heats up, it expands. As it expands it becomes less dense. Because the liquids have very similar densities, the formerly heavier liquid is suddenly lighter than the other liquid, so it rises. As it rises, it cools, making it denser and therefore heavier, so it sinks.

This all happens in slow motion because heat absorption and dissipation are fairly slow processes, and the density changes we are discussing here are very slight.

A great explanation, but this starts to sound like the adults talking on Charlie Brown to my youngest; wah wah wah wah wah…

So, when I asked my intern to look at some science experiments recently, she discovered this one and didn’t realize at the time that it was the perfect explanation for my hands-on learner.

Our first attempt:

IMG_0272

We took a clean, empty plastic bottle and filled it 3/4 of the way with water.  We added blue food coloring, placed the cover on & shook it up.  Then we added some oil demonstrating that water and oil really don’t mix.  We then began to pour in salt.  As the salt pours in, it absorbs and pushes some of the oil to the bottom and then bounces back to the top.  It was a challenge to catch it in photo, but you can catch a glimpse below.

IMG_0275

 

Our Second Attempt:

IMG_0719

 

We took a clean, empty plastic bottle and filled it 3/4 of the way with water.  This time we did not add any food coloring.  We added the oil like above and then topped it off with heavy layer of glitter.  As we added the salt, it collected the glitter, pulled it to the bottom and created balls of glitter that bounced back.

IMG_0723Our Third Attempt:

We can’t wait to update this post & let you know if our idea works or not.  We will be adding a broken glow stick to the mix and will let you know if it’s successful or not.  Why haven’t we done it yet?  We have visited three different stores and have not been able to find the larger size.  We’re on the hunt & will add up our discovery as soon as we can locate the right size glow stick.

 

Melon Monsters

It’s watermelon season – YUM! YUM! YUM! Here’s a fun way to serve this deliciously sweet summer delicacy while having a whole lot of nutritious fun…

Melon Monster

Watermelon Monsters

Watermelon

Fresh cherries

1 golden delicious apple

Blueberries

Toothpicks

Craft Sticks

You will need a triangular slice of watermelon per monster that is cut approximately 1 – 1 1/2 inches thick. Remove the rind.  Cut the bottom to create a flat edge.  Then cut the right and left side slightly to create your monster shape.  Insert a craft stick in the bottom to form a fruit on the stick affect.

Wash the blueberries and cherries.  Pit the cherries and slice them.  You will need 1 cherry and 1 blueberry per monster.  Using a toothpick, simply carve a circle the side of your cherry in the watermelon to insert the cherry slice as a Cyclops eye.  Add the blueberry into the center.  Cut another slice of cherry in half to create a semi-circle as the mouth.  Using the toothpick again, carve a shape to fit the mouth of the monster and insert the cherry.  Discard the toothpick; it’s only a carving utensil in this recipe.

Cut a slice of apple and cut the apple into strips.  Place the strips into a snap and seal lunch-sized or snack sized bag, add cinnamon and shake.  Insert two strips into the top of the watermelon to serve as horns.

melon monsters in action

melon monsters

 

 

Growing a Pizza Garden

cherry tomatoesThis summer we are having fun with our garden, keeping it simple and having a deliciously fun plan for harvesting.  We are growing a pizza garden.

What’s in our pizza garden?  Patio tomato plants, oregano, parsley and sweet basil.  We had intended to also grow garlic and bell peppers but the rainy spring was not our friend, so this year the pizza garden has been simplified.  Regardless, there are still so many lessons for the kids; the growing process, responsibility in watering, harvesting and cooking.

I was hoping for a little excitement from my youngest in this project and the concept of a pizza garden appears to be working.  She has laid her claim announcing that she is the only one to pull ripe tomatoes from the vine and watering isn’t considered a chore, but it’s early in the process :)!  Our plan is to make pizza sauce together with our spices and tomatoes and to also create a white pizza with some of the tomatoes and our sweet basil.

Adding a little kid creativity to the project, we found chalkboard planter markers for only a dollar a piece.

chalkboard plant marker     plant marker

We then grabbed some inexpensive crafting paint from our craft shelves and my daughter created her own designs to add her personal touch to them for our pizza garden.

paint project for kids  kids art project  kids art   plant tags

She then decided which marker belonged to each plant, I added the names with a white puffy paint and now  she is very proud of her creations and even more excited about our mini gardening project.

parsley   sweet basil   oregano

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Crayon Art

Crayon art is a GREAT boredom buster!  We discovered Crayon Art on Pinterest and decided to put it to the test and find out for ourselves if it worked or not.  And, like any artwork, we added our own creativity to the project.  We tried three different experiments and they were all easy, fun, creative and messy; the perfect elements for a fun experience, experiment and memory making moment.

EXPERIMENT ONE: Crayon Drip Art

IMG_5049

Supplies Needed:

Crayons (colors of your choice)

Art canvas

Tacky glue

Hair dryer

Old newspapers, old towel or drop cloth

For the first art project select enough crayons to fit across the top of your canvas.  In many of the Pinterest options the crayons are placed tightly together, but as you can see in our photos we left spacing in between each crayon.  The amount of crayons used will depend on the size of your canvas.  My youngest enjoyed selecting the crayon colors and deciding their order for this project.

Leaving the wrappers on, glue the crayons with tacky glue point down onto one end of the canvas.  Let the glue holding your crayons in place dry completely before moving to the next step.

IMG_5042IMG_5044

Once the crayons are dry, stand the canvas up on newspapers, an old towel or drop cloth. Using the hair dryer melt the crayons until they start dripping down creating streams of color. Continue melting the crayons until you are satisfied with the length of your waxy drips and your overall creation.

IMG_5048

EXPERIMENT TWO: Crayon Spray Art

Supplies Needed:

Crayons (colors of your choice)

Art canvas

Hair dryer

Old newspapers, old towel or drop cloth

Place the canvas on old newspapers, a towel or drop cloth.  For the second crayon art project we selected 8 crayons, you can select as many colors as you would like for your experiment.   Remove the wrappers.

One at a time, hold the crayons in front of the hair dryer so that the wax begins to melt.

IMG_5051IMG_5054

It will take about a minute but the crayon will melt and create a splattered paint look on the canvas. Repeat this process with each crayon color turning the canvas as you go so that the colors will be sprayed all over the canvas instead of in one corner.

IMG_5055IMG_5057

EXPERIMENT THREE: Crayon Art Designs

Supplies Needed:

Crayons (colors of your choice)

Art canvas

Hair dryer

Masking tape or painters tape

Old newspapers, old towel or drop cloth

Place the canvas on old newspaper or a drop cloth.  Tape a design on the canvas to add your own personal touch.  We experimented by adding the letter ‘J’.

Repeat the directions from Experiment Two; Crayon Spray Art.

After the melted crayons on the canvas have dried remove the tape so that your design is revealed.

IMG_5058

 

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