Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Make Your Own Snowglobe

This was a fun project that I recently did with my three year-old and then again with his preschool class.  They turned out super cute! (Note: Thomas helped with several of these photos!)

We used a baby food jar, mini-ornaments, glitter, glycerine, and an oven bake clay.  We used regular glitter, though if you have it or are heading to Micheal's anyway I would suggest getting the larger sized glitter, it floats better.

Work the clay then make a mound on the cap of the jar.  This allows the figurine to be seen  past the lid.  Be sure to stay a little bit back from the rim so that the jar will close correctly.

Choose which figure(s) you want to use and then place them in the clay to make an imprint before baking the clay.  Be sure to remove the figurines before baking, you are just providing an imprint for them to be glued.

Bake according to the package directions.

While waiting for the top to bake, prep the figurines.

Fill the baby food jar about 3/4 of the way full with water.

Add a couple of eyedroppers full of glycerin.

Add the glitter.  Careful, too much and you'll have a blizzard!

Whent he tops are out of the oven put the top on, add more water if necessary, then glue the top down.  You can also glue a ribbon around the lid to give it a more festive look.

Shake and Enjoy!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Healthy Halloween Treats

I love Halloween, all holidays really!  With kids I think I love the lead up to Halloween the best; decorating, reading Halloween stories, watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and of course Halloween treats!  In that vein I wanted to make some fun and spooky treats that were also healthy.  Here are the 3 favorite that we discovered:

Vampire Apples
Sliced Apples (reddish look especially realistic)
Slivered Almonds

Slice your apples
Cut out a "mouth" in the center
Make fangs with the slivered Almonds

Carrot Eyeballs
Sliced Carrots
Cream Cheese
Raisins (or black olives)
Slice your carrots (about 1/4 of an inch)
Spread cream cheese on the carrots
Add the raisins or olives for the pupil
Also fun to combine the two together!
Cracker Spiders

Large round crackers
Pretzel Sticks
Sun/Peanut/Almond Butter
Spread the Peanut Butter on the cracker
Add 8 pretzel stick "legs" and 2 raisin "eyes

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Zucchini Nuggets

We have two overproducing zucchini plants this year and while searching for new ways to prepare them I came across this great recipe on one of my favorite kid food blogs, Itty Bitty Bistro.  Following the recipe below I made about 30 "nuggets" and was able to freeze the leftovers. 

3 small to medium zucchini, grated
1/2 onion grated
2 cups coarse bread crumbs (used her idea of throwing the "butts" of my whole wheat in the food processor, in fact I used the food processor for the all the ingredients, super quick and easy!)
2 Tbsp flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup cheese
oil for frying
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine zucchini, onion, crumbs, flour, eggs, cheese, salt and pepper. 

Heat up oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Form small balls in your hand of the mixture and fry up in batches.

Enjoy! And check out the orginal recipe here.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wheels on the Bus iphone app

I love using my iphone for many reasons, not the least of which is its ability to distract my kids!  This great little app sings the wheels on the bus song to the kids as they are able to manipulate the pictures on the screen.  You can set song to be sung in several different languages, just the music, or record you or your child's voice.  All for only 99 cents!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Photo Scavenger Hunt

My son loves using my camera!  He is always asking me if he can take pictures of his trains and then wants me to show them to him.  With this in mind, and a need to decide on some new plants for our front yard, we headed out for a photo scavenger hunt.  He was on the lookout for fun  grasses and flowers for our house.  You could also "hunt" for animals and bugs, or certain colors, whatever you think might interest your little one.  You can easily adapt this for older kids too, make up a picture list or written list and time them or have them compete against a friend or sibling.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Make your own Bubbles

A few months ago, after a few lousy bottles of bubble juice, I was inspired to make some homemade bubble solution.  I did a little research, got a couple of recipes, even bought a bottle of gycerin, and then, well, forgot completely about it! :)  So yesterday when my son was starting to go a little (okay a lot!) stir-crazy in the afternoon I said let's make bubble juice.  It took less then a minute to whip up.  We then tried to find things around the house to create our own wands.  The bubble juice worked fabulously, though the two store bought wands were by far better then our homemade wands.

Bubble Recipe:
1 cup water (Petaluma tap water worked great, though according to the internet distilled is best)
4 tablespoons dish soap (according to my research dawn and joy work best, we used dawn)
2 tablespoons glycerin or light corn syrup (tried both and they worked equally well)

Some more recipes and information:

Possible Literature Connections:

Bubble Trouble  How to Make Monstrous, Huge, Unbelievably Big Bubbles (Klutz) Pop! A Book About Bubbles (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 1)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Maguire's Pub- 1/2 off Monday and Tuesday

Every Monday and Tuesday Maguire's Pub, in downtown Petaluma, has half-off everything on their menu.  By half-off everything, I mean EVERYTHING, all food and drinks.  I had lunch there with my two kiddos and ordered an entree and a pear cider for myself and a kids meal that included a good size entree, a side salad, a drink and a scoop of ice cream.  Our bill before tip was only $11.62!  Gotta love it! 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Book Review- Monday

Busy Horsies (A Busy Book)

This is one of a several books in the "busy" series by John Schindel (a Bay Area author).  The sharp full page images of horses really grab a toddlers attention.  As you look at all through the pictures you learn what that the horsies are eating, talking, walking, rolling, racing, chasing, sleeping, leaping, nuzzling and more. I love how engaged my kids are with the book and how much rich vocabulary they are hearing at the same time.

Busy Kitties (A Busy Book)  Busy Barnyard (A Busy Book) Busy Monkeys (A Busy Book)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Simple Games on a Rainy Day

So it is raining.... again... and I am trying to come up with some new and exciting activity to keep my crazy, I mean active, three year old entertained, when he asks to play in the kitchen sink. He grabs his stool and announces that he is going to make waffles in the sink.  I go with it, asking what kind of waffles, maybe blueberry?  Pretty soon he is pouring water back and forth between a mason jar and a measuring cup and using a wooden spoon to stir his waffles.  This lasts about 20 minutes then I add ice to the picture and he is off again.  Sometimes I have to be reminded how simple it really can be!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Book Review Monday

I Love You Stinky Face

by Lisa McCourt

 My son received this book as a Christmas gift from a friend this year and it has quickly become a favorite bedtime story.  It manages to be both funny and heart warming, as a mother reassures her son that she would love  and treasure him no matter if he was a meat eating dinosaur, a super smelly skunk, or a green bug eating alien.  A definite must read!