Friday, January 30, 2009

Milk Jug Bird Feeder

Tuesday night it snowed 2 inches and then there was frozen rain (notice the ice covering the tree branches) followed by about 6 inches of snow on top of that Wednesday. We started feeling bad for the birds, so I remembered a bird feeder I made when I was in school made out of a milk carton. We used the small cafeteria style cardboard ones then. I figured using a big milk jug would work just as well.

I had a wooden dowel laying around so we used that as a perch for them. You certainly don't need a perch, but you could also use a wooden spoon as one as well.

The kids desperately thought that we needed to decorate the feeder, so I let them loose with the Sharpie markers. We have had several visitors to the feeder already. I hope we made thier little birdie day.

Supplies needed:
Empty milk jug
Sharpie markers
bird seed
dowel or wooden spoon (optional)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Valentine flowers that last FOREVER!

We decorated a piece of paper with foam stickers and glued it around a toilet paper roll. We cut some hearts out of construction paper and pushed them onto a pipe cleaner and put a button or a bead on the top. Then we pushed some leaves on to make them look more full. The flowers will be too heavy to keep the "vase" upright, so you will need to weigh it down somehow. We put a handfull of beads in the bottom. Voila! These flowers will last a lot longer than any other you will receive. Too cute!!!

Supplies needed:
construction paper
toilet paper roll
heart stickers
pipe cleaners
buttons or beads

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Snowman Snack!

I saw these in my Family Fun magazine this month and couldn't wait to make them. The kids loved this healthy snack kabob. We hadn't done anything with snowmen lately. :)

I asked them what their favorite part was and they of course said the chocolate chips that were held on by the peanut butter. They are so crazy when it comes to peanut butter and chocolate.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Funny Feet!!

We took a walk on the wild side today (funny, I know). I cut out some animal feet shapes and the kids painted them. I used the glue gun to glue a cardboard strap so their feet could slip in. We had a frog and a duck running around here for a while today and they had a great time making LOTS of duck and froggy sounds to go along with it ;)

If I were to do this over again, I would have made the straps longer and cut slits in the feet to tape the straps under the feet. They both loved them and requested other animal feet; however, my drawing capabilities are definitely limited. Duck and frog feet were the best I could do. :)

Supplies needed:
glue gun

**notice Cinderella's Duck feet. I swear she is always wearing princess costumes....she loves them so :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Thread the Tube Game

Today we took empty toilet paper rolls and attached a craft stick to the bottom with a stapler and then covered the tube in decorative paper. Then we threaded a big button with cording (about 15 inches) and put a small hole in the tube and threaded it through there and knotted it. The object of the game is to swing the button up and get it in the top of the tube.

Supplies needed:
toilet paper tubes
scrapbooking paper, gift wrap, or construction paper
big button
cording or yarn
craft stick

Friday, January 23, 2009

Valentine Treasure Hunt

I found these cute little wooden boxes at Michael's for $.50 each and I had the kids decorate their treasure boxes with their wood markers. Then I got some conversation hearts and wrapped them in foil (to look like treasure) and hid them. They went treasure hunting A LOT today. Even after the conversation heart candy was gone, they put pretend coins from their cash register in them and hid them for each other to find. We played hotter and colder in order to help find them and then we tried the treasure hunt by giving 3 clues to find them throughout the entire house. It was a lot of fun!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Heart Art

This project was so exciting for my daughter. She will be 3 in March and we spent almost an hour on this. My son wasn't as interested, but still had some fun.

I cut out a slew of hearts of different sizes and colors. My daughter and I sorted them into different piles by color.

Then I let them work on their art! My son put hearts on his page representing certain people in our family. He added faces or hearts representing something about that person. I added the cat in the middle because, like it or not, she is in our family too. My son and the cat don't get along very well together. :)

My daughter went to town! We had so much fun. We had our own little lesson and she did so well! We named colors, counted, and talked about bigger and smaller. I would tell her to do some things like, "Put this small blue heart on a bigger yellow one." We had a lot of fun and we did this for a long time. She loved it!!

Supplies needed:
construction paper or colored copy paper
poster board

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Valentine Caterpillar

We have made these caterpillars before. The kids love playing with egg cartons and we even have a book that has a bunch of egg carton projects in it. Here we made them Valentine caterpillars since they have the added hearts on top. The pipe cleaners are really easy to stick through the egg carton and they stay in place well once you have them where you want them.

Supplies needed:
egg carton
googley eyes
pipe cleaners
Foam heart stickers (optional)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Microwave Chocolate Cake

We have made this several times and it always hits the spot. Tonight, we used butter though instead of oil because I ran out and it turned out fine. We found it at Her Cup Overfloweth.

1 Tall Coffee Mug
4 Tablespoons flour
4 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons baking cocoa
1 Egg
3 Tablespoons milk
3 Tablespoons oil (I used melted butter today because we ran out of oil)
3 Tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A splash of vanilla extract

After you mix all of the dry ingredients, you add the rest and stir completely. Get into those corners of the bottom of the mug or you will have pockets of flour when you get the cake out. Then microwave it for 3 minutes.

One mug of cake has at least 2 servings (or enough for two kiddos and their mommy). We covered ours in Chocolate frosting and some conversation hearts. Tasty!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Valentine Bug Magnet

This little love bug turned out so cute. We stuck the wings on, which was easy since ours were stickers. You could very well cut out your own hearts from craft foam. Then we made the antenae and put the beads on the end and glued them on as well as the googley eyes. Finally, we put a magnet on the back so that we could put it on our fridge to clip things on.

Supplies needed:
glue or glue gun
pipe cleaner
clothes pins
Foam hearts (ours were stickers)
googley eyes

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Valentine's Day Mobile

We have been taking a snowman break and focusing on Valentine's Day. The temperatures are below zero and school around here is cancelled because of the cold. It is time to focus on things that will warm your heart....get it...heart? HAHA!!

The first thing we did to make our mobiles was turn hand prints into hearts on some craft foam. Then I cut out a heart shape around it and punched some holes in the bottom.

Then we made finger print hearts using ink pads on some little foam hearts (we did both sides). Then I punched some holes in them and attached the little hearts to the big heart with yarn.

Too Cute!

Supplies needed:
craft foam
foam hearts (or you can just cut some from the craft foam)
ink pad
hole puncher

Friday, January 16, 2009

Heart Crayons

I found this silicon heart mold in the Target dollar aisle! I was so excited when I found them! Using the same method I did before, here are some cute little heart crayons. My kiddos will love them! They would also be super cute in a clear bag attached to Valentine's Day cards for kids' classes.

Home Made Valentine Gifts

Here a couple of Valentine's Day gifts ideas:

We did this one last year (pre-blog). We got some plain terra cotta pots and used some paint pens and felt heart stickers to decorate it. Then we put a cute little plant in it from the store. Notice there is no plant in it now. Ours didn't stand a chance. I am just not good with indoor plants. :)

This year we made these cute frames. Happy early Valentine's Day honey!

I put a close up of each child in their frame. Sooooo cute.
Here, we just bought an unfinished frame from Michael's and used acrylic paint. When the paint dried, they put some foam heart stickers on them. My son wanted something written on it, so we personalized it a little bit with a cute little message from each of them.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Paper Plate Snowmen

IT IS FREEZING OUTSIDE!! The kids want to go play in the snow, but this is really the best I can do right now. We made snowmen out of paper plates and gave them ear muffs and a scarf. Don't the snowmen look happy being inside?

Supplies needed:
paper plates
pom poms
construction paper
googley eyes
pipe cleaners

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bottle Snowmen

We made some snowmen today out of yogurt smoothie bottles. I covered them in batting and hot glued it on so that it would dry faster.

Next we made the hats. For that we used some black craft foam. We turned the bottles over and pressed the opening of the bottle on the foam to make an imprint (I'm too lazy to look for a pencil). From looking at the imprint, I eyeballed it and cut about 1/2 inch bigger than it all the way around. Then we cut out the outside of that circle. Try to leave that inside circle intact, you will need it. The black halo shape fit over the mouth of our bottle with the lid off. Then we took the lid and glued the circle that we cut out of the halo on top. Then we cut out a rectangle that would fit around the lid. We glued that rectangle and put the lid on....voila, a hat.

We used felt to tie on a scarf and a bunch of our other craft items for eyes, noses, buttons, neither child wanted to make a mouth. I glued the pipe cleaner arms on because I used my hot glue gun so that they would stick out.
Supplies needed:
brown pipe cleaners
hot glue gun and/or craft glue
black craft foam
felt or fleece for scarf
buttons, beads, sequins, pom poms, googley eyes--obviously not all of these are needed.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


We finally got enough snow to make snowmen! The kids were so excited! They are right off of our deck and the kids can see them from inside the house. They keep checking on them to see that they are OK. They love to make snowmen because they got a snowman making kit last year and they LOVE it! I must admit that it is so much easier to grab the kit than look all over the house for things that can dress them up. They are going to have a very nice and satisfying nap this afternoon. ;)

Edible Bracelets

As I was standing in line at the grocery store the evening before a huge snow storm was predicted, I was looking at the candy. They had big packs of Gummi Savers candy. I grabbed 2 rolls of them and added them to my snow storm emerency items like milk, bread, and eggs. Well, the storm never happened, but the kids still used their Gummi Savers. They put them on the plastic craft string and made bracelets. One end was taped to the table so they all stayed on the string. They ate a few and then we put them in plastic bags so that they would stay soft and they could eat more tomorrow. Such a yummy treat! They loved it!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Painting Ceramics

The kids were admiring their pottery they painted at a "paint your own pottery" place we went to over the summer and asked if we could go back. At that moment I remembered something....At Michael's, they have little ceramic shapes you can paint and I grabbed some for $.50 a piece one time I was there. I ran to my craft stash and pulled out some acrylic paint and these little ceramic shapes and they got painting. It was a lot of fun, and they weren't the least bit impressed that I produced such an activity so quickly. :)

My son painted 2 cars, one of which he painted like the bat mobile and my daughter painted a lady bug and a butterfly.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Most of this recipe is from Martha Stewart. I added chocolate chips because our family LOVES all things peanut putter and chocolate. You could very easily leave out the chips and put the cute little fork marks on the top and sprinkle them with sugar...makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups flour
about 2 cups of chocolate chips (more if we are feeling crazy)

We usually do this in our standing mixer and just start tossing things in. We put the first 4 ingredients in first and mix it until smooth. Then we add the eggs, baking soda and baking powder and mix a little more. Then we put the flour in and mix it. We stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

refrigerate for 4 hours (this is VERY hard)
roll dough into 2 inch balls--i use a 2 inch ice cream scoop
bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes