Thursday, February 24, 2011

Play dough!

Okay, so we all know what play dough is and what a mess it can make.  But when it entertains my children for an HOUR AND A HALF, I will for sure have it in my house! 

I had thrown all our play dough away as it was all dried out.  Josie has been asking daily if she can play with play dough.  I gave in today!  A recipe on line caught my eye so I thought I would make some homemade play dough.  Josie and I got to work and made 3 big batches. We have more than enough play dough for a while!



2 tablespoons oil, 3 cups water, 3 cups flour, 1 tablespoon cream of tartar, food color, flavor extract or kool-aid for smell/color

We used food coloring and glitter!

Mix it all and cook on medium on the stove and stir until it forms into a slightly sticky ball.  Take it off the stove and knead it for a bit.  Store in an air tight container!

After school, the kids were eager to get to playing.  They had an excellent time.  They played with the play dough for 1 1/2 hours!

I got out pipe cleaners, gems, puff balls, googly eyes, straws, play dough tools and let them make what they wanted!  I loved watching their creativity!




We had some aliens, robots, snowmen, pizza, and some frying pan concoction.  That’s the first picture.  So much fun!

Even though play dough is messy and we sure had a mess when we were done, it’s worth the creativity you see coming from your child.

On a side note: 


We use Kevin’s old white t-shirts for our “messy shirts.”  Of course, they are HUGE on the kids.  To keep the sleeves out of their way we use the food package clips.  Easy to take on and off and keeps their oversized shirts in control.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Absorbing Paint

Not for sure what to call this activity. But this was the name that the Family Fun magazine gave it.  I had ripped this out of the magazine a few months ago and put it in my stash of things to do.  I don’t actually remember what month it was actually in.  So, I will call it absorbing paint and leave it at that!

Materials: card stock, eye droppers, glue, colored water, salt, a cookie sheet or something with sides

Colored water: 1 tablespoon of water/5 drops of food coloring. 


1.  Make a design with glue!


2. Sprinkle a good amount of salt over the glue. Remove extra salt.


3.  Use the eye droppers and put drips of colored water over the salt/glue.  Watch it spread!


Now, this activity in the magazine said it was for 3 and up.  Not for sure a 3 year old would have the patience.  Unless they are a child that likes to do tedious things.  Josie(4) had a hard time just dribbling a bit of water onto the salt.  She finally figured it out and was thrilled to watch the colors run through the salt/glue.  She got pretty excited for herself when she did it right.  Jayden, who is 6, had a bit of an easier time. He still used too much colored water in the beginning.  He was also thrilled when he figured it out!  They both said about 10 times how they liked this activity.  It was a hit!  We will for sure do this one again!


This was the part that blew my mind!  I had no idea my son could make bubble letters!  He has been talking a lot about the USA and presidents at school.  He said he wanted to write USA. So..I figured he would just make a normal letter.  Nope!!!  He did bubble letters!  And by this point he had the eye dropper figured out and did an excellent job!  PROUD MOMMY MOMENT!


And of course, Josie had to copy her big brother!  She actually did a good job, too.  Very impressed with my kids today!

Great activity!  Just make sure you have the time and patience to make it work! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

I Tried to Sew some Book Holders

I sometimes like to pretend that I know how to run a sewing machine.  I had home-ec class in middle school!  Of course I know how to sew!  My mom also helped me learn, too!  I purchased a sewing machine last fall.  I had wanted one for awhile.  Not so much to sit down and make a quilt.  But just to sew up some quick things or fix something that needed to be fixed. 

I have wanted book holders for my kids’ bunk beds for awhile.  They have book lights and love to read/look at books at night when they are going to bed.  But then they tend to sleep with the books under their pillows or somewhere in their beds!  I usually send these types of projects to my mother-in-law!  Now, that woman can sew!  And she can always take something so simple and make it quite fun and something I never thought it would look like.

I decided though I wanted to try this one on my own.  I knew it wouldn’t be perfect, but I knew I could make something that would work!  I found some fabric to match their rooms and went to work. 

I am not going to explain how I did this one.  It was all in my head.  They didn’t turn out quite like I wanted, but they work for now and the kids love them.  I might send the remaining fabric to my mom-in-law and see what she can come up with.  For now, I guess I can be proud of what I attempted to make!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Flowers of Love

I like Valentine’s Day.  I also thinks it’s an overrated day!  Why is it we use ONE day a year to celebrate and say “I Love You?”  It should be an everyday thing! 

Of course, it is fun to do activities with the kids!  I was browsing around some of my favorite blogs I like to follow.  I came across this one by Teach Mama,

I liked this idea, but right now it’s –20+ degrees in our neck of the woods!  I wasn’t feeling like freezing my toes off to find sticks that would work for a tree.  So my creative brain had to get to work!  I pulled out my tub of  random items and this is what I came up with!


This picture shows two things: two very cute kids and one awesome vase of flowers! 


I took various colors of pipe cleaners inserted them into straws. These are the “stems.”  I think we made about 30 of them.  Then I found a vase and Josie and I used some colored glass beads to put in the vase.


Then I put all the “stems” into the vase.  I actually put the stems in first, then filled in around it with the colored beads.


I had bought a stash of scrapbooking paper at the Dollar Spot at Target.  Chose some patterns and used two heart cookie cutters and made some hearts!


When the kids got home from school, we went to work!  They had to think of ALL the people they love.  And let’s just say, their list is long!  We are blessed with lots of fun people in our lives that the kids adore!  We had to include two special people: Jayden’s teddy bear and Josie’s baby doll that they sleep with.  I was really happy with the thoughtfulness they had.  And of course their teachers and the teachers’ helpers made the flowers too!  I hope they learned something about love and why so many people are special to us.

I had paper punched a hole in each heart.  When they got done writing a name, I put it through the pipe cleaner and bent the pipe cleaner so that the heart would stay on.


Here is looking up at the flowers and the names on the bottom.


I arranged the flowers like a bouquet.  What was nice was I could pull as much of the pipe cleaner I needed to out of the straw and the straw stayed secure. So we had a nice full bouquet of flowers!


And now we have a cool centerpiece for our table.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The House the Minnis Kids Built

For Christmas we had given the kids a Discovery Kids Color Me Playhouse.  Now, I of course found a great deal on this at Kohl’s.  I think I paid under $15 for it.  It was a super good deal.  I knew I wanted to save it for a snow day or something  like that.  Well, this week, we had our first snow day of the year!!  Great time to get it out and have some creative fun with the kids.

The kids were excited and really got into making their house really colorful and fun!


It’s pretty good size!  And has a ton of room for the kids to play inside. 


We started out with markers, but found out it would take FOREVER to finish.  I knew the kids would lose interest.  A lot to color, not a lot a patience to make that happen!  So, we got out the tempera paint. I was a bit nervous about the paint as we had set it up in the basement, on carpet. But luckily, we all painted nicely and no paint hit the carpet!    The kids let me do the roof.  They wouldn’t have been able to reach the top.  They also let me help with some of the other things but for the most part, they did it all themselves!


The coolest thing about this house was that it had two doors, two mailboxes and they each had two sides to decorate.  This worked out perfectly for them.  Jayden’s side was “Jayden’s Farm house.”  Josie’s side was “Josie’s Cottage.”


Josie drew some purple clouds and blue sky. Oh..a blue dog too!


All done!  Super job done by my two awesome kids! 



They are more excited to make cards and “mail” them to each other.  They each made one and “delivered” it to their mailboxes.  Josie drew a tractor for Jayden.  Jayden drew a doll with a suitcase.  It said, “This is Josie’s favorite doll.”  So cute!!! 


We ended the afternoon with a movie in their house!  This was a big hit!  They still have to decorate the inside of their house, but that will come in time.