Friday, March 30, 2012

Kid's Co-op

It's Friday and you know what that means? It's time for the Kids Co-op! Link-up your favorite kid-related post and make sure and check out all the fun that has been linked up from other bloggers!

Since Easter is coming up soon, I thought I would share three of my favorite posts from the 175 posts that were linked up last week. (Yep, you heard that right 175 awesome ideas!)

B.Inspired Mama got the kids in the kitchen and made these adorable Easter Bunny Pretzel Treats. Yum!

Happy Hooligans made the cutest Easter chicks and nests from empty cardboard tubes.

Creative Connections for Kids has some great ideas for activities that use all those plastic eggs.

Now it's your turn to share! Please join up and share your favorite post. (And, we'd love you forever if you'd link back to us!) Your link will show up on all of the hosts blogs. It's time to link up, visit some new blogs, and have a lot of fun! 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

10 Ways to Keep Kids Occupied While You Cook Dinner

I know I'm not the only one who's struggled with trying to keep the kids busy so they're not underfoot while I'm making dinner. I'll admit that I've turned the TV on more times than I would like just so I wouldn't have to worry about splattering oil or sharp knives. (Why yes, I am terrified of dropping a knife on their head... probably won't happen, but it can stress me out nonetheless!)

So, for your benefit (and mine too), I've gathered 10 activities that are easy, self-directed and require little supervision (if any). Hopefully, you'll find something to make dinner prep a little less stressful!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Owl Masks

While learning about birds, there was no way we could forget the owl. Plus, the girls love just about any excuse to run around the house "hoo-hooing" at the top of their lungs. 

To encourage a bit of owl play, we got out our supply of paper plates and made a couple of owl masks.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Daily Buzz Moms 9x9 Spring Fever!

I'm thrilled to be writing this post as part of the Daily Buzz Moms 9x9: Spring Fever

When I think of spring I think of flowers, birds, warm breezes and new warmth. 

Lizzie and I set out to capture that feeling by creating our own indoor garden. Not only did we want to create a beautiful garden, we also planned on making it all from items that were in our recycle bin.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Textured Eagles

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more details.

During our bird week, we wanted to make sure we talked about one of our favorite and one of the most impressive birds, the bald eagle. 

We found a wonderful book about eagles at our library, Soaring with the Wind: The Bald Eagle by Gail Gibbons. After learning all we could about the bald eagle, we decided to make a couple of our own. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Weekends: How to Sew a Button

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more details.

After having the book How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew by Erin Bried on my "To Read" list for over a year, I decided it was finally time to pick it up. 

I do know how to sew a button, but I knew there are many bits of wisdom that our grandmothers knew that have been forgotten in these modern days. 

After realizing she was losing her ability to take care of herself, Erin Bried turned to 10 women from all over the United States. Through this interview process, Erin compiled over 100 bits of wisdom from how to carve a roasted bird to how to wear red lipstick. The information is useful and told with a humor sure to appeal to our modern times.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Kid's Co-op

It's Friday and you know what that means? It's time for the Kids Co-op! Link-up your favorite kid-related post and make sure and check out all the fun that has been linked up from other bloggers!

Here are a few of my favorite posts from last week. Make sure and pay them a visit!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

10 Ways to Learn About Birds

We've been enjoying our time learning about birds this week. 

Birds are all around and fun to learn about. 

They're fascinating and so different from me or you, or even the family dog. 

If your kids are interested in birds, I've compiled 10 fun ways to help your kids learn about birds.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more details.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Art Lessons: Creating Feathers

Since we are learning about birds this week, I thought it would be fun to make some pretty artwork with feathers. 

Feathers are both beautiful and easy to draw, so I hoped the girls would have a fun experience creating them.

In order to help them out, I cut stencils from an empty cereal box. 

I cut basic feather shapes in several different sizes, so they could cover their paper with unique feathers. 

We used oil pastels on black construction paper. But, if you don't have oil pastels, crayons would also work well. (I would use a lighter color of paper if using crayons.)

I showed the girls how to use the stencils and instead of instructing, I worked alongside them.

AJ used her stencils and scribbled a few lines inside each, which is how she does all her artwork. She creates scribbles in as many colors as possible! 

Lizzie watched me carefully and noticed that instead of coloring my feathers all one color, I was using different colors. 

The more she worked, the more creative she got. I love her multicolored feathers!

This was an easy project to set up and a nice way to create a beautiful picture!
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Exploring Nature: Bird's Nest

This past fall, we discovered a bird had built a nest in our garage on top of the garage door opener. 

It had been abandoned at some point (probably when the poor birds realized just how loud a garage door can be). 

We pulled it down, showed the girls, then it was placed in a plastic bin and forgotten about. 

When Lizzie requested that we spend this week learning about birds, I happened to spot the nest again. 

Perfect! I got out the nest, took it outside, and we started exploring.

We found the perfect book at the library to help us learn about this nest of ours, A Nest Full of Eggs by Priscilla Belz Jenkins. The book was written for young children and my preschool-aged child easily understood and enjoyed this book. 

We learned about how birds make nests, lay their eggs, how birds grow from egg to adult, and the different kinds of nests birds build.   

While we were reading, we examined the nest. 

We looked closely to see what materials the bird used to build this nest and came to the conclusion that the bird must have gathered a lot of materials for a nearby farm. 

We each held on to a side and tried tugging. We learned how strong a bird's nest is since it didn't come apart at all. 

We felt inside and discovered how soft it is. We decided it would be a very comfortable spot for an egg to rest. I know that my girls learned a lot through our bird's nest exploration. 

We had fun, asked questions, drew our own conclusions, and now how more knowledge of the natural world we live in.

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Weekends: Exercise Outdoors

Spring came early this year, so I decided it was the perfect time to bring my exercise outdoors. 

Heck, maybe that will even motivate me to exercise! 

I don't know about you, but it's always a much more pleasant experience to bring my work out outdoors.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

10 Ways to Explore Dramatic Play

Dramatic play (or pretend play) provides many benefits to your child. 

According to an article on Scholastic Parents, The Importance of Pretend Play, pretend play helps with cognitive development in such areas as social and emotional skills, language skills, and thinking skills. 

And, in additional to all the wonderful benefits, dramatic play is something most kids enjoy!

Here are ten ways to explore dramatic play:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Will It Float? Making Boats

Yesterday, Lizzie looked up at me and said, "Mom, I want to make a speed boat. One with a window on the front." 

Well, okay... let's get started!

Keep in mind that unlike most of my other projects, this time I had no plan whatsoever going into this. We were winging it, but we were up to the challenge. 

We dug through our recycled parts and came up with an empty toilet paper tube. Was it lightweight? Check. Will it float? I hope so.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Egg Carton Rainbows

Instead of recycling the egg carton we just emptied, we decided it would be much more fun to craft with it. 

With all the spring-like weather we've been having and the upcoming St. Patrick's Day holiday, rainbows have been on our mind. 

We decided to transform our egg cartons into pretty rainbow mobiles.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Weekends: Being Original

Do you ever feel uninspired? Boring? Or just feel like you have absolutely nothing to offer? 

You're not alone.  I think we've all felt this way at one point or the other. 

The more you feel this way, the less creative you feel. But, how do you stop these thoughts? 

Take some time for self-reflection. 

Are you feeling stressed or too busy? Or have you gotten bogged down in mundane day-to-day happenings? 

Both scenarios can leave you feeling uninspired. 

Maybe you just need to get through a busy time in your life and that's okay. But, if you're ready to kick-start your creativity, I've got a few suggestions. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

10 Ways to Create With Cardboard Tubes

Quite possibly one of our favorite things to create with is the lowly cardboard tube. 

But, really, it's the perfect craft supply. It's readily available, completely frugal, and very "green." 

Is there anything better? 

I've rounded up 10 fun projects to do with the empty cardboard tube.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Making Umbrellas

Winter is winding down and spring is on it's way. 

To celebrate this upcoming season, we decided to make these fun umbrellas. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Favorite Craft Supplies From the Recycle Bin

It's no secret that we're constantly digging around in our recycle bin for our craft projects. 

So, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite recycle bin supplies. 

These are the items that don't even make it to the recycle bin anymore; they go straight to our craft supplies bin.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Around the World in 12 Dishes: United Kingdom

Welcome to Around the World in 12 Dishes: United Kingdom edition! 

My girls love to get in the kitchen with me and they especially love it when I get out the flour and sugar. 

That's why I decided scones would be the perfect recipe to try and make. I went with this Buttermilk Scone recipe as I was hoping for a more authentic British scone.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more details.

Around the World in 12 Dishes: Intro

Welcome to "Around The World in 12 Dishes". We will be taking you on a journey around the world, following in Phileas Fogg's (from Around the World in 80 Days) footsteps, exploring 12 different countries with our children, and cooking 12 dishes with them. One for each country visited.

The world is such a wonderfully diverse and colorful place. Our children see maps, flags and books. They see postcards and sometimes they see films about the world.. but let's really bring it to life through food!

Adventures In Mommydom, Creative Family Fun, Glittering Muffins, Juggling with Kids, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, Make, Do & Friends, Mom 2 Posh Little Divas, Mummymummymum, Rainy Day Mum, Red Ted Art, The Educators' Spin On It and The Outlaw Mom have come together to help you on your food journey and will each cook a dish with our children and post about it - to help inspire you to have a go! Then go out there, cook, blog, and join in the linky fun!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Weekends: Keeping Warm

It's been a busy week full of cleaning, organizing, running errands and getting lost (in the most literal sense). 

My weekend is still going to be busy, but I hope to grab a few moments for myself and relax with a warm drink and a good book. This weekend is all about keeping warm.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more details.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

10 Ways to Have Fun With Dr. Seuss

Since Dr. Seuss's birthday is tomorrow (March, 2nd), I couldn't think of any better topic for my "10 Ways" series this week. But, unfortunately, we haven't done any Dr. Seuss activities. So, I asked some of my favorite blogger if they wanted to share. And, wow, do I ever have some good stuff to show you!