Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Valentine Door Hangers

My husband was trying to work from home the other day.  Of course, this does NOT work well at our house.  We have no “office” that he can go to, close the door and work in peace!  He gets to hold up shop on our kitchen table!  Most of the time, this doesn’t work so well.  As long as I keep the kids busy and out of his way, it works!  Josie was bored and in need of something to do!  I decided that it was the day to start doing some Valentine’s fun!

I had picked up some foam hearts in the dollar spot at Target.  Went through my stash of buttons and picked out red, white, pink, and purple.  Gave her some glue and now we have some CUTE door hangers!


She decorated two with buttons.  Then we got out the smaller foam heart stickers.  She made one with these.


I also found some “jewels” and she got to decorate one with those.


This kept her busy for about an hour.  She could have kept going, but I wanted to save some of our big hearts for another Valentine project.  It was fun and she did really good with this project.  Simple but still fun!


And now we have some very cute door hangers!  I punched a hole and tied a ribbon.  Then she picked four doors in the house to decorate! 


Monday, January 24, 2011


Yep, it’s true!  I finally have a Lego-maniac on my hands!  Over the last couple years, Jayden has accumulated a few Lego sets.  We would put them together but he really didn’t seem interested in them.  The magic year must be when you turn 6!  He is now into Legos and acts like he has never seen them before!  This Christmas he added about 6 more sets to his collection.  They had been sitting in a pile waiting to be put together.  I kept looking at them, but it’s such a chore!  Last week was pretty cold and we really didn’t have anything going on.  What else to do but put together 6 Lego sets!

It all started out fine.  We put together all of the ones that were still in their boxes.  Jayden was happy.  But then we decided to put together al the other sets he has.  The only problem with that is all the pieces were mixed together!  I grew impatient trying to find pieces and my organizing self kicked it!  What could I do to organize the pieces so we could find them all? 

I wondered around Michael’s and Wal-mart and decided to use bead organizers and smaller tubs/containers.  After two hours of organizing the mass chaos of pieces, we now can find all the axles, lights, smooth pieces, etc.!



Now we can find everything we need!  It is so nice!  Jayden was very excited and his frustration was downgraded to minor!  I LOVED sitting and watching him use the map to build something!  It was so nice to see.  He was very appreciative of our new system!  I took these pictures after we had already made a bunch of stuff so the stash of Legos seems little!   


The pieces that couldn’t fit in the little organizers, I spread them out in the sensory table.  These are all the odd pieces that would be easy to find in an open area!  Examples: hoods, windows, extra large pieces, etc.

Jayden spent ALL day on Sunday.  No joke!  Building and playing with his Legos.  By nighttime, we had a city!  He is very proud of his city!  Now if only I had somewhere to put this city besides my front room!  (We need a bigger house)


The picture doesn’t do it justice, but I am really proud of him!  Some of the things in the “city” are: camper, tow truck, parking lot, police and fire station, semi truck, tanker truck, cherry picker, car, ambulance, police car, etc.

We talked about when we are done with the Legos and when he wants to put one away, that we are going to put the pieces in a big baggie and label it what it is!  I’m not spending two hours sorting Legos again!  Then we’ll just store them all in a bigger bin!  He’s a happy builder and I am a happy organizer!


This made me giggle.  This is his gas pump/gas station.  The building we made didn’t make it into the picture.  But he had to make the pump area like he sees in town.  Have to have the roof over the pumps!  And the big open area there is a circle Lego.  This is where is tanker trunk can unload the gas!  Just love it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Recycled Calendar Puzzles

I found this idea from a blogger whom I follow on a regular basis.  She is an amazing, artistic woman!  A lot of her ideas I don’t seem to touch, or wish I was “artsy” enough, but this one I decided to tackle!  It looked fun, looked pretty easy, and thought the kids might enjoy it.  Here is the blog I got it from.  It’s called “Pink and Green Mama.”  It is a blog to follow if you like to make crafts!

If you want more clear directions on how to make these puzzles, than please go to her website!  She does a much better job! I give all the credit to her blog for this idea, but I wish I had her talent and art ability!

I, of course, did not save any of our calendars from 2010.  I recycled them quickly!  I always get excited to put up a new calendar.  It’s like a new start!  I knew Michael’s had had some calendars for $1.  I decided to check it out and see if they had any left.  It was my lucky day!  Not only did they have some, but they were $.50 a piece!  Bonus!!  I then looked for the cube blocks that she had used to make the cube puzzles.  Michael’s did not have enough on hand, I need 9 of them.  So, I decided to see what the Dollar Tree would have that would be cubed shape to use!  Well, my luck again!  They had these cubed toy puzzles that were a little bigger than I wanted them to be, but I knew they would still work.  So I snagged some up to use.

Now, I don’t know if I would do this craft again as it was pretty tedious.  And my kids really aren’t kids that get into puzzles, but I wanted to try it out anyway.  But, if your kids like puzzles, than it’s worth a shot!  So here is how I did this project.


I did find these flat squares and thought making two sided puzzles would be fun!  I cut “perfect” squares and mod podged them to the wood pieces.  This puzzle, I used 12 squares. 


One side is a butterfly and the other side is a snail.  You notice a little square of the same picture?  That is from the back of the calendar that has all the pictures of the calendar.  I cut those out and use them as the guide so the kids know what the picture is supposed to look like.


These are the blocks I found at the Dollar Tree.  I then used 6 different pictures from the calendars.  I made sure they were all different colors so it was easy to tell what picture you want to put together.  This was the tedious part.  Doing one side at a time and waiting for the mod podge to dry!  But in the end, it turned out pretty cool!



These are just some pictures of my daughter enjoying the puzzles.  The fourth picture is the blocks all done.  On the top is a “map” of the six different pictures!  I used my laminator.  I just got one of those this summer and finally put it to use.  I will have to say it will probably be something I use a bit more often now!  Kind of fun!

Below, are some other puzzles I made.  I cut out some pictures and used my laminator.  Then I just cut them in to different shapes.  They are smaller puzzles, but seem enough of a challenge for my daughter.  I put them in individual baggies so we can just pull what one we want to put together out.



When my son got home from school, he got in on the fun too.  He’s definitely not my puzzle kid!  He did seem to enjoy these though! 



Thank you Pink and Green Mama for the awesome idea!

It’s fun to step out and do something different.  I enjoyed making these for the kids, for the most part!  It’s fun to see them getting into them and playing.  Using those little minds!


Friday, January 7, 2011

Welcome to the Zoo!


We made this a few weeks ago, before Christmas, and I forgot to post it!  We made a zoo last year around this time and it went over so well.  The kids had fun playing with it.  So, I thought we would make another one and see how it goes!  I had been saving Kleenex boxes to use for our zoo this time.  I thought they would make excellent cages!  With a hole punch and some pipe cleaners, they turned out pretty good!


We got out the foam stickers and started decorating the “cages”.  We also gave all the animals we have a new home! 


And what is a zoo without an aquarium!  I had found this wooden bowl at Goodwill and figured I would use it sometime.  It made the perfect aquarium!  We added blue puff balls as the water!


We have quite a few animal figurines at our house. These worked out perfect and the kids had a great time playing!  Such a cheap, fun activity to do!  Let’s the kids be creative and use their imagination!



And what is a zoo without visitors!  I had bought a people foam kit at Michael's.  This has come in very handy with many things we have done!  Josie made these fun little people!  Jayden also used a couple as the zoo keepers! 


What a good way to spend a cold winter day!