Tuesday, March 13, 2012

st. patrick's day fun with the kids

Have you ever totally forgotten that it was St. Patrick's Day and had your kid come home in tears because he got pinched and teased, and he was also just crushed because he felt like he missed out on all the greenish fun?

Oh...you haven't...?
Yeah, me either...
I mean of course I would never let something like THAT happen,
I was just wondering if, um, you ever did, and stuff...
Not that I would judge you if you had or anything...
Moving on.

I've found that making a "big deal" out of St. Patrick's Day helps keep it fresh in my mind, and I am more likely to remember to send my munchkin out for the day in some serious greens.

I am LOVING all of the amazing pinterest ideas out there and I am going to share and rate them for you here!

The first {and probably my favorite} one?
Oh my.
Inspiration here.
My end result?



{a.k.a. FIVE stars for this pinterest project.} 

If this little lady {ahem, me}who has tried - almost successfully...TWICE - to burn down her kitchen can make these in one attempt...then this project deserved every last star I awarded it. It was really fun to do, and such a delightful departure from the green eggs that made me oh so gaggy last St. Patty's Day.

HINT: For best results, use a non-stick griddle on LOW heat. I usually cook my pancakes at 350 degrees, but that browns the entire sides of the pancakes, and it dims and ickies the colored ones, so I cooked them at 200 degrees and that was perfect. They took about a minute and a half on the first side to get firm enough to flip, but the gorgeous, vibrant colors stayed fully intact. Score!

And for mamas on the go, another really darling way to make your kiddos feel special first thing in the morning is a newly packaged serving of Lucky Charms.
Inspiration for the cereal idea here.

I loved this idea, but didn't want to get quite so crafty with it, and that is where none other than Utah's own "The Crafting Chicks" stepped in and saved the day. {Oh the irony...just when I don't want to be too crafty, some cute lil' crafting chicks help me to...not be so crafty.}

 They shared utterly fantastic St. Patrick's Day printables {they're free, btw} on their blog last year, and thanks to pinterest, I found, and have gotten a ton of use out of them for this year. Blogs are gifts that just keep on a-givin'.

For The Crafting Chicks' AWESOME printables, go here.

{a.k.a. FIVE stars for this pinterest project.}

All in all, it was simple, and my kids will LOVE getting a naughty, sugary cereal on Friday...plus a love note from mom letting them know how much they mean to me.

And for my last trick...


{a.k.a. FIVE stars for this pinterest project.}

Kay, so I am only giving four stars to this pinterest project, because my project turned out reasonably uglier than the one I originally found. This isn't her fault, but the rating is based on how well at basic-level {and even a little spacey...maybe?} mama can execute the project.The idea is WONDERFUL though, and I plan on sending these to all of my son's teachers and the secretaries who run his school's office...mostly as a kiss up bribe in hopes that they'll let him keep coming to their school despite his general spaz-i-ness. {He gets it honestly, folks, my genetics are NUTS... the least I can do is bribe a few teachers on his behalf}.

I also Rolos instead of gold coins, which doesn't look as cute, but tastes OH so much better than those icky chocolate coins!

Inspiration here.

2News This Morning Segment

leprechaun trap.

With St. Patrick's Day just around the corner, now is the perfect time of year to try and catch a leprechaun!  So we took on the challenge and put together a sophisticated trap...... OK, not really.  We used the oldest trap in the book.  The classic box (bucket, laundry basket or whatever container you have handy) and a stick. 
Of course the most important part of any trap is the bait!  So we used what's been widely known to attract a leprechaun..... Lucky Charms.  We also added fake gold coins and colored and pieced together a paper Leprechaun so it would fool our green guest that it was safe.... all of this made for quite the deadly combination.

Well, we definitely had a leprechaun in the house but he escaped!  He ran wild throughout the house, messed with the furniture (strong little bugger!) leaving behind him a path of destruction.


He got into the fridge and made a green mess.... and yup... he even turned the milk and eggs green.

He left green treats, complete with Irish Ale...or what we call, Cream Soda. 

He may have gotten the better of us this time around, but that little guy better watch out because we've already started scheming for next year!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Fun Food for Kids on Channel 2 News

Fun Food for Kids.

Fruit Cars:


Simply slice apples and oranges, then use toothpicks or skewers to attach grapes for wheels!

Hot Dog Hybrids:
Skewer sliced hot dogs with uncooked spaghetti, then boil...
and serve!

Use mashed potatoes as your "dirt," then add dino chicken nuggets, broccoli and cauliflower trees, and even a nice cool wading pool {ranch dip with blue food coloring} for dipping.

Bird's Nest:
Spruce up spaghetti by shaping it into a nest with bird meatballs. To add extra nutrients, put them on beds of spinach to act as the leaves on a tree!

Garden Fun on Fresh Living

Name Garden

Your kids will love seeing their names grow out of of thin air {or thick dirt} with this fun project. Just follow these simple steps:
1. Fill a tray or cookie sheet with a layer of garden soil.
2. Have your child trace their name in the soil and then fill the letter-shaped trenches with grass seeds.
3. Cover lightly {careful not to distort the design} and water very often {soil should never ever dry out}.
4.Watch your child's excitement peak as they see their very own name growing out of the soil.


Pebble Pets

Rocks, paints, glue, googly eyes, and some pipe cleaner make for some serious garden-y fun! Let kids make their own pebble pets to decorate the family garden.

If you want to bump up the crafting intensity, try this fun {and more labor-intensive} tutorial to make colorful wax wings for pebble butterflies.

First: Grab a box of old {or new} crayons. Peel the wrappers off, and grate them into colorful piles on a sheet of wax paper. This part is fun for kids in and of itself.

Second:dig into those colorful piles and drop shavings into fun designs on a clean sheet of wax paper.
Third: cover with a second sheet of wax paper.
Fourth:take a warm iron to it. {Set the iron to medium-low heat. Mine was set on really high, and it burned some of the colors, and to be honest... that was kind of devastating ;). }
Fifth: Let your masterpiece cool, and then cut the wax sheet into wing shapes.
Finally: take a slender rock and glue the wings to it.
* I tried this with hot glue first, and it totally didn't work because the hot glue melts the wax. {um, yeah.} So use a cold glue like Elmer's {it takes forever to dry, but it works}.
*Hot glue gems and antennae to the rock body, and voila!  You have a beeeautiful pebble butterfly.


Paper Garden

Have some dirt-free garden fun with your kids by making a fun paper garden!
1. Let each child decorate their own flower pots {paper cups} and then fill their "pots" with beans or rice.
2.Then, simply cut out lots of different colorful shapes and petals with different colors and prints of craft paper and let the kids use glue sticks to create flowers and bugs for their paper gardens.
3. Finally, attach Popsicle or craft sticks to the bottoms and "plant" them in the bean-filled pots.


Dino fun with the kids.

Themed play-dates are a great way to add a little structured {and hey, maybe even educational} fun to your summer days! With a few simple items you have right around the house, you can turn your kitchen, dining room, and back yard into a prehistoric wonderland.

Dinosaur Eggs:
This fun and simple project gives you a reason to dye eggs that have nothing to do with a fuzzy white bunny.Trust us, your kids will love this one!
1. Hard boil some eggs.
2. Bang them up and make them crackle-y all over, but DON'T peel them.
3. Mix up egg dye using food coloring and vinegar {Follow the instructions on the back of the food coloring box.}
4. Put the crackled eggs into the dye and let sit for a few minutes.
5. Take them out, peel, and enjoy! They are perfect for your dinosaur theme, and are a healthy snack to boot!

To make your fossils, you're gonna need some Play-dough. It's totally fine to use store bought "Play-Doh" but if you wanna get your cheap on, feel free to mix some up with a few simple ingredients.
We have a fantastic home made play-dough recipe here. 

Once you've got your play-dough situation figured out, make little balls, smash them down into pancake-y patties, and then let the kiddos mush dollar store dinosaurs into them.

They can also smash larger-sized dino feet into them.
 Put the "fossils" on a baking sheet and bake them at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Take them out and let 'em cool. They will look something like this:


Now that you've had fun MAKING the dinosaurs, the kids can enjoy playing with them too! Take all of your fossils and bury them in your sand box and let the kids excavate with paintbrushes/toothbrushes/whatever you have handy and see how many fossils they can dig up.

If you don't have a sand box, one variation is to hide the fossils and/or the dollar store dinos all over your house/yard and let the kids go find them. Let everyone take a bag-ful of dino-goodies home with them.

Other Activities:
1. Learn all about dinosaurs, or read fun and funny dinosaur themed books together.
2. Have smaller children act like dinosaurs. What do the meat-eaters act like? What about herbivores?
3. Watch a dinosaur movie.
4. Make and decorate a volcano cake together.