Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Super Bowl Party, Jr

Having any pint-sized guests for your Super Bowl Party? Keep them hydrated with these football themed drinks.

Get some of your kid's favorite boxed drinks and cover with brown construction paper. Cut out strips of white paper and glue on to make the football's laces. It's easy and your kids will love it!!

Thanks to CatchMyParty.com for this great idea!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Seasme Street Snacks!

Make a couple of best buddies snacks for your little best buddies. In order to make Bert and Ernie snacks, you'll need:

1 clementine, (reserve some peel)
1 banana, (reserve some peel)
1 red fruit roll up

Cut the peeled banana in half and use the top half for Bert's head. Cut a mini marshmallow in half to make his eyes and a small piece of raisin for the pupils. Cut raisins in half lengthwise for the hair and eyebrows. Cut some of the reserved banana peel for his ears and cut the reserved clementine peel for his nose. Cut out Bert's mouth and use a piece of fruit roll up for his tongue.

Use half the peeled clementine for Ernie's head. Use raisins cut in half lengthwise for hair. Cut a mini marshmallow in half to make his eyes and a small piece of raisin for the pupils. Roll a length of fruit roll up tightly for Ernie's nose. Cut out Ernie's mouth and use a piece of fruit roll up for his tongue. Shape the ears out of the reserved clementine peel.

Present to the kiddies and prepare to watch them shriek in delight! (Depending how young your child is, you may want to remove the peels before they eat.)

Thanks to KitchenFunWithMy3Sons for this great idea!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mess Free Kid's Painting?

Archer was insistent on painting yesterday so, as a dutiful mama, I laid down newspapers on and under his craft table and covered his clothing to prevent stray paint from soiling them. And of course, the first thing to come flying off was the covering for his clothes, and slowly, one by one, the newspaper I had carefully laid down fell to the wayside.

There has to be a cleaner, safer way, right?

I put some paint on the a piece of paper and put that in a Ziploc bag. Love that Ziploc double lock system...that paint is not going anywhere!

Your child is now ready for some clean finger painting!

It's so easy, even my 10 month old got in on the fun!
For some reason, I can't get this picture to format properly

You can also try this without any paper; just put paint in the the bag!

Monday, January 23, 2012


In honor of yesterday's game, make your kiddies (or other football enthusiasts) some football themed food!

Using your favorite dark bread, (I used pumpernickel), cut out football shapes.  Cut out the football's lacing using white cheese. The results are adorable! Use this bread to make either football sandwiches or football toast. If you're going to use this for a sandwich, I recommend toasting the bread and cheese first, that way the cheese won't fall off while you handle the sandwich.

This is the only way I can get my very picky 2 year old to eat anything other than white bread!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Homemade Playdough

Here's a fun activity to keep the kiddies busy on a rainy day...make some playdough! I know what you're thinking, "I don't have any cream of tarter. I don't even know what cream of tarter is!" (If you don't know what I'm talking about, the standard homemade playdough recipe requires this mystery ingredient.)

This recipe requires items found in pretty much everyone's kitchen:

1 1/2-2 cups flour
1/2 cup salt (thank you Sam's Club for your bulk items!!)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
food coloring
vanilla, orange, almond, or whatever extract you have in your pantry
1 cup boiling water

Have your child mix together 1 cup flour, salt, oil, food coloring and extract.
You add the boiling water and stir until combined. Add more flour until you reach the desired consistency for your playdough. The more food coloring and extract you add, the more flour you will need.

Once the playdough has cooled, it is ready for playtime! When you're ready to store, place in a ziploc bag or put in an empty Play-Doh container. (If you're anything like me, you'll have a couple of these lying around somewhere!!)

The absolute best thing about this playdough is that, unlike Play-Doh which smells like a chemical plant, it smells delish. If you use vanilla extract, it smells just like cookie dough. :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kiddie Kalamari

Not that kids need any encouragement in eating spaghetti or hot dogs, but here's a fun presentation idea for the kiddies.

Cut the hot dog into thirds. Break the noodles in half and stick them halfway through the hot dogs. Boil until pasta is done. Serve on top of steamed/sauteed vegetables.

Thanks to Steamy Kitchen for this great idea!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Book of Favorite Things

A pack of stickers can bring a smile to a child's face. It can also bring frustration into a parent's life as they try to scrape off said stickers from the floor, wall, little brother's hair, etc. In an effort to keep Archer's stickers in a concentrated, safe area, I stapled a stack of computer paper together and presented it to him as his Book of Favorite Things.

Me:    Archer, here is your new Book of Favorite Things!! (I used a really excited voice to build up
           some hype.)
Archer: Huh?
Me:       It's your Book of Favorite Things! Don't put the stickers on the fridge, put them in here. You
             can put all your favorite things in here, in your new Book of Favorite Things. (I am
             shamelessly selling this book to him.)
Archer: Ooohhh, ok.

Archer walks out of the kitchen, (he really was about to put stickers on the fridge), and places all of his train stickers in his new Book of Favorite Things.

Archer: I want to put more things in my Book of Favorite Things.

Now, I didn't have any more stickers left, but what I did have was an old Cooking Light magazine. So Archer and I hunkered down at his little table and went through my old magazine. When he saw a picture he liked, I cut it and handed it to him. Using a glue stick, Archer applied adhesive
to the back of the cut out and glued it to his book.

Archer's most favorite thing in the world is Toy Story. So I bought some Toy Story stickers to bribe...er...reward Archer when he is being a good boy. These stickers go straight into his Book of Favorite Things and they truly do motivate him to listen to me.

A fun idea for the Book of Favorite Things is to go on a "safari". Go to the zoo and take pictures of exotic wildlife, (or go for a walk outside your home and take pictures of local wildlife). Print these pix from your computer and add to your Book of Favorite Things. 

Adults love to scrapbook and this is essentially the child version of that. Your child will love documenting things that are important to him. And when your child outgrow this Book of Favorite Things, it'll make a great keepsake for you.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Personalized Place Mats

Your little ones are going to love helping you make their very own personalized place mat! First, cut out a piece of cardboard into the shape and size that you want the place mat to be.

Pull out some old photos and ask your child to pick which ones they want on their place mat. After you've finished cutting out the photos and have determined their placement on the mat, have your child glue them to the cardboard. After the glue has dried, laminate and enjoy!  If you don't have a lamination machine, like me, click on this link for directions that only requires you to have some wax paper and an iron.

If your child spills some food or drink on their mat, just wipe away. (Please note that these place mats do not enjoy the same life expectancy as their store bought counterparts.)

I used photos, but the possibilities are endless.  You can make place mats depicting the alphabet, numbers, animals, the seasons, artwork, U.S. states, etc.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pizza and Movie Night!

Not that pizza needs any help in being made attractive to children, but here's a fun idea anyways...Mickey Mouse Pizza!! Take some fresh pizza dough, (the amount you use will depend on how much you think your child will eat). If you don't have a recipe for pizza dough, click here.

Twist off about 1/3 of the dough and set aside. Roll the larger section into a circle, (Mickey's head) and place of your baking sheet. Divide the smaller ball of dough into 2 even sections and roll them out into circles as well, (Mickey's ears). Position the "ears" on the "head". Bake in an oven set at 425 degrees. Bake time will vary depending how thin you roll out the dough. The pizza should be done between 8-12 minutes, but you'll know when the pizza is ready when the crust becomes a golden brown.

Add the sauce and let your child add the cheese and toppings. They are going to love eating the dinner they helped to make, especially if it looks like one of their favorite cartoon characters!!

A great way for you to round off your child's Mickey Pizza experience is to let him/her enjoy it while watching a Disney movie. :D

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Eyes Only for You

I'm always looking for ideas that take ordinary household items and turn them into fun things for the kiddies. I was in this frame of mind when I came across a packet of googly eyes at the dollar store and thought, bingo!!

I went through the house looking for things that would benefit from the addition of a couple of googly eyes and found a shirt, book, and plastic cup.


Another fun idea would be to add googly eyes to kids' birthday cards/invites. What other ideas might you have?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Super Bowl Sundae

Here's a fun way to make edible ice cream bowls for kids of all ages. Instead of baking cookies on a cookie sheet, bake them on an upside down muffin pan. Be sure to grease the entire muffin cup. This makes popping the bowls off much easier. To make make the bowls even more fun, add crushed candies to cookie before placing on the muffin pan. You can also add food coloring to the cookie dough, (sugar cookies work best for this), to match a theme. For example, for Valentine's Day, add red food coloring, for St. Patrick's Day, add green, for a kid's birthday party, divide the batch into 4 and add a different color to each for a festive look.

If ice cream is not your thing, you can fill the bowl with freshly whipped cream and berries. Yum!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Apple Panda

Here's a fun way to get your kids to eat a healthy snack. Peel and core an apple, making sure to scoop out all the seeds.  Do not cut the apple into pieces, keep it whole. Fill the cavity with items of your choice. I like to fill it with alternating layers of peanut butter and jelly or nutella. (You can also add nuts if you'd like.)

Decide where you are going to place your panda's eyes and nose and then carve a shallow hole in that spot with the tip of your vegetable peeler. Fill with peanut butter and stick on a chocolate chip. Push in a chocolate chip on either side of the apple for the panda's ears.

Your little ones will love it!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Some Good Clean Fun - Part II

Ready for some good clean fun? Just add water..and shaving cream and some food coloring.

Put some shaving cream in some small containers, (small tupperware, cupcake tin, paper cups, ect.), add a couple drops of food coloring, mix, and voila! You are now ready for some good clean fun. When the kids are in the bath, they can paint/fingerpaint on the walls along the bathtub.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Some Good Clean Fun

We were at the toy store and Archer was instantly drawn to a toy vacuum that was on display. This model included vacuum lights and sounds and beads in a clear canister that would fly around once the toy was turned on. After a few passes with the vacuum, Archer stated that it wasn't working and that the dirt "is not going anywhere". Even though there was "dirt" flying around in the vacuum, the dirt on the floor wasn't, (as Archer put it) going anywhere.

So now what? Archer still wanted a vacuum to play with and I am not giving him my full size upright.

I got a Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld vacuum. It's the perfect size for a preschooler to wield plus by the end of play time, you'll have a clean floor to show for it. (Of course, I wouldn't recommend unsupervised playtime with this "toy".)

You can buy this handheld on Amazon.com for $28.54 or you can spend an additional $10 and buy a toy vacuum.  And the toy vacuum won't clean your house.