Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cardboard Kitchen

I found this idea in the Family Fun magazine a long time ago.  When I get an idea from somewhere, I have a binder I put them into.  Then I can refer to this when we need something to do.

The idea was to make a kitchen out of recycled products and cardboard.  I cheated and went to Home Depot and bought boxes that would be perfect and the right size.  I also added a couple boxes that I had at home.  I usually save recycling items that I think that I can use at a later date.  I finally had enough to make the kitchen!


I found a few things at the Dollar Tree that I wanted to add to it, but most of this stuff we had in the house.  This might be one of my favorite projects yet, and the kids really love it!



Here are my little cooks having fun!  Of course, Jayden wanted real working water in the sink, but I told him to use his imagination! Maybe you have some ideas for your own kitchen!  We still had some of our play kitchen stuff.  I had held on to all the Melissa and Doug stuff we have.  It worked great for our fun activity!



Here are some of the things we used.  Mrs. Dash, soap dispenser, tiny juice jugs, drink lids for handles, red coasters for the stove, sticky back hooks to hang up the towels and pot holders. 

Why Not Paint With These?

A few weeks ago, I was walking around Dollar Tree.  Out of the corner of my eye I see these random things hanging up:


Yep, they look like mini mops.  Bet you can’t guess what these are supposed to be used for?  To spread sauce on your meat when you grill!  Of course, when I saw them, I didn’t see a big feast at the grill.  Instead, I saw a fun utensil to use to paint!

We had some plywood pieces sitting around in the garage so I decided we need to paint one!  I put out six colors of paint and let the kids go to work.  They thought this was the coolest way to paint.  Both really liked it! 


We just used tempera paint to do the painting.  It worked like a charm!  I even got to get into the fun and help paint.  It was a good time!


Here is our finished product!  We really don’t have anywhere to put this, but it was still fun to paint!  Maybe we can paint the other side another time!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Baby Girl Turns 5!


This was us, five years ago today!  Me, holding my new baby girl.  Feeling scared.  Thinking, “What do I do with a girl?”  It was a different feeling than when I had my son.  I remember how hard it was to name her.  We had a different name picked out every week.  We couldn’t decide.  I don’t remember where I heard her name, but when I did, it clicked!  And I knew she was going to be a Josie.  And that she is!

She is full of spunk. She is full of life.  She doesn’t always listen, but what kid does?  She makes me laugh, she makes me cry.  She loves her brother.  She loves a lot of things.  She loves her Barbie's. She loves her dresses.  She loves anything girly. 

It’s funny raising such a girly girl.  I was a tomboy.  Still am a tomboy.  So when she started wanting to wear dresses and skirts ALL THE TIME, that was an adjustment!  But, when she puts one on and that big smile goes across her face and she starts twirling around, I know she’s happy.

My baby girl will be heading to Kindergarten this fall.  EEEK!  This mama is not quite ready for that.  She’s ready, yep, she’s ready.  But for me, I am not.  Partly because I will be alone and have to figure out what I want to do.  I think I am going to go back to work, in some capacity.  I would love to say that it’s figured out, but it’s not. I know whatever happens will happen and I will go from there!  Life is an adventure, right?

My baby girl is the 3rd best thing that happened to me!  Of course, my hubby is number 1 and my son is number 2!  She completes me.  There are days that she can really push it, but there are days like today where she’s the best thing ever! 

I love you more than you will ever know.  I will do anything to make your life happy.  Thank you for being YOU.  I love you, Peanut!


Monday, June 13, 2011


I had researched some ideas for sensory tables and made a list of the things I wanted to experiment with!  It was yet another yucky day here so we needed something fun to do.

I cooked up two boxes of spaghetti.  One box I added purple food coloring.  The second box I added green food coloring.  I also added baby oil.  This keeps the noodles slick and they won’t stick together!  Plus, it smells good!


The kids had super fun with this!  I got out a couple little strainers, utensils, and plates and let them go to work! 


Josie thought it looked like worms.  The whole time she kept talking about worms and she HATES worms!  She’s actually slightly petrified of real worms.  But, these worms” were okay to play with!


Jayden surprised me!  3 or 4 years ago he never would have touched these noodles.  He has a texture issue with many things.  But, he dug right in and it was awesome.  He loved.  They both thought it was fun to squish it between their fingers!


You don’t have to add the food coloring into the noodles, but if you do, make sure your child has old clothes on!  I am sure we will be doing this activity again!  Enjoy!


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kool Aid Playdough

I like to make different kinds of playdough!  I think it’s more fun to play with a home made kind than to buy the stuff at the store!  So, Josie and I got busy and made some with kool aid.  This was really easy and it smells really good too!


This is how you make it:

1 1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup salt

1 pkg. kool aid (whatever flavor you like)

1 cup boiling water

1 1/2 teaspoon oil

Mix flour, salt and kool aid.  Stir in water and oil.  Knead.  Store in air tight container or zip lock.  The site I used said you can keep it up to two months.

Here is our finished product!


The kids kept busy with this fun dough! 


Encouraging Summer Reading

I wanted Jayden to keep on his reading this summer.  He ended the school year being able to read small chapter books and I didn’t want him to back pedal by the time school started.  Of course, he had different intentions and didn’t think he needed to read daily.

I was going to do the summer reading program at the local library with the kids, but decided I would probably not be that dedicated to the program. But of course, the new Family Fun magazine saved the day!  They had included this idea in this last month’s issue:


Basically, you reward the reading by making a beaded bookmark.  I got out the yarn and the beads.  I decided that we would read 10 minutes per day and add more minutes as the summer progresses.  After each reading session, Jayden gets to earn a bead to string on some yarn. This, becomes his bookmark.  I told him that when he collects 10 beads then he can either get a matchbox car or we can go out for a special treat.  I am sure that he will choose a matchbox car, but to me it’s worth it to keep him reading!

He is super excited about this and actually brings me the book and timer to start reading!  I hope this can work all summer!


Got to love the cheesy smile! 

Hopefully this can encourage your young reader!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Got To Love To Paint!

We like to paint at our house.  We do a lot of it.  The kids like it and it keeps them busy!  Last week we had went to Hobby Lobby to pick up a couple things I was looking for.  We were strolling around and made it to the unfinished wood aisle.  I LOVE THIS STUFF!  Lucky us, it was on sale!  And when it’s on sale, it’s usually a good deal because they are cheap to begin with.  It makes for an easy little project.  So, I let the kids each pick out something to paint.  Josie picked a cute little wood “bucket” with a handle.  Jayden picked a treasure box. 

This week has been super hot.  It was time to paint our treasures!


It was nice to see them actually get into this project.  They are finally getting to the point where they will take their time and paint for an extended period of time!  So nice!


After they dried I put a clear coat on them.  They turned out really cute!  And both kids are very proud of their work.



Jayden hasn’t decided what he’s putting in his yet.  Unless he did today and he didn’t tell me.  Josie is using hers on her vanity.  She put her fake make up in it that I made her at Christmas. 

Might have to make another trip to Hobby Lobby to do some more painting! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My Girly Girl Has Her Vanity!

Josie’s 5th birthday is coming up this month.  I was having a hard time thinking of what we were going to get her.  We had stumbled across her playing with a toy vanity at our neighbors and it hit me: MY GIRLY GIRL NEEDS A VANITY!

I had a vanity growing up and used it all the time.  It was one of my favorite things in my room.  So, I knew this is what I wanted to get her.  Yes, she is only going to be 5, but it’s something she can grow in to and use it for many years.

Here’s the problem: apparently no furniture store carries them anymore.  I hunted all around our area, but had no luck.  I had found one on line I liked, but was not quite sold on it.  A couple people told me to try out an antique store.  So, I drug my friend out to a couple local ones and we find one!  It wasn’t quite what I wanted, but it was close enough and something I could work with and make it special.  Plus, the price was right! 

So, this is what I had to work with:


A vanity from 1960!  The original pamphlet was still with it!

Here is how it turned out after I got my creative hands on it:


Here is the stool it came with and I recovered it with some fabric to match her room.


I decided to leave the wood alone.  I don’t know if we will ever change it.  It wasn’t in that bad of shape and I think it gives it some more character.  So we’ll see how this goes for awhile.

Of course, we couldn’t hide it until her birthday!  We have no where to store something this big in our house.  So, we just gave it to her early!

Do you think she likes it?


I am happy with the way it turned out and I hope she appreciates it for a long time! 

This was the first day she got to “play” with it.  I watched her from the hallway.  It’s fun to watch your kids when they don’t know you are watching them!  She had just got out her fake make up and was playing with it!


Such fun for such a girly girl!

Shaving cream!

I love messy things!  I love to get dirty and just have fun doing it!  Last week, it was raining and we were stuck inside.  I had planned for the rains so earlier in the day I cut out some shapes, using cookie cutters, on some white cardstock paper. 

After the kids were home, fed, and had some time to wined down, we got busy!  I had bought a couple cheap cookie sheets at the Dollar Tree for activities like this!  I set the table up and it was time to get messy!

WARNING: If doing this activity inside, cover all areas!


I gave each kid a blob of shaving cream.  They then got to choose a color (food coloring) that they wanted to make the shaving cream.  I put some drops of food coloring on the shaving cream and gave them a popsicle stick to mix it up!


Once it mixed to their liking, they pressed the paper shape into the shaving cream.


They did this for awhile.  We changed colors a couple times.  But they got sick of using the sticks and started using their hands!  Remember: food coloring stains!  But it was fun!  They only had colored hands for about 24 hours! 


I guess I didn’t get a picture of Josie using her hands, but Jayden got into it!  This really surprises me as Jayden has always had texture issues!  He would not have done this a couple years ago!  It’s fun to see him get messy! 


I didn’t get a good picture of our colored shapes, but this gives you an idea.  And I didn’t keep them to see how they would dry.  But it was still fun! 

I got this from one of two website, but I can’t remember what site.  They did it a bit differently too.  Their idea was Easter related.  It was either from “Dresses and Messes” or “Glue Sticks”.  Look them up!  They are good sites!