Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Messy Valentine's

I LOVE everything about Valentines….okay maybe not the stuffed animals...or the big boxes of cheap chocolate but I love everything else. So when I thought of something fun to get my kids in the holiday mood I decided to make them a sensory bin.

We used to have a sensory table when I worked at a preschool and the kids loved it. Some would play in it all day if we let them. So I thought I would make one at home.

All you need is a big plastic container to start with. I found all of my items that I put in the bin at the dollar store. Oh the dollar store oh how I love thee…. Here is what I purchased.

2 bags of colored paper confetti, one red and one white

1 bag of rose petals

1 bag of plastic heart containers

1 bag of pink heart gems

That’s it! Let them go have fun.

P.S.- It may get messy!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

All you need is LOVE.....LOVE is all you need!

When it comes to holiday decor I would say I am rather traditional. Sometimes I steer away from the traditional color scheme but not all that often. 

So you can guess that all my Valentine decor is red, white and pink. It just suits me. I also happen to love phrases that sum up what the holiday is about or means.

So I went to Hobby Lobby...don’t tell anyone I may be addicted and found some chipboard letters on sale to spell out the word love. All I did was go home and paint them alternating red and white with craft paint. Then they found a place on my mantle. 

Sometimes simplicity makes a bigger statement than chaos.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

I play Doctor...Do you?

Well as we all know the month of February is the month of Doctors and Germs. So I thought a little lesson on staying healthy was in order.I feel like I am constantly reasoning with my daughter that there is a reason you have to wash your hands 50 times a day. I came up with a few ways to make her feel more comfortable with going to the doctor. Sometimes she just doesn’t like to go! I gathered a few things from around the house that we could play with to help her feel more comfortable.

You could also use a scale, measuring tape, and a rubber mallet as well.

I then found a really fun doctor’s checklist at Nick Jr. to help us remember what happens when she goes to the doctor.

We had a blast! I have to admit I actually liked being a patient for once!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chinese New Year

So I love to do fun little crafts with my daughter, and lets face it she does to so this year I thought I would try something that we haven’t done in years past…..celebrate Chinese New Year. Now I don’t me we will celebrate in the truest sense of the word but in a simplified Americanized way.

Some of the few things we have done have been looking up our Chinese Zodiac. Did you know that the Zodiac calendar has twelve animals and each is like a horoscope that describes the person born in that yea? Well, I found a little wheel that explains a little of how it works on one of my favorite blogs Blue Skies Ahead. She also has the link to the zodiac wheel.

I also found animal masks to print out and use. We sure have had fun with those as well.

Now for the Americanized part of Chinese culture….Fortune cookies!!!
I also found a link to The Jew and the Carrot where she tells you how to make your own cookies. How cool is that? So I thought I can do that….so we did. I made a few minor adjustments to the recipe like I don’t use almond extract so I substituted lemon extract and I was also really good. I also omitted cardamom since I didn’t have it and hate to say it have never even heard of it before. Here is my adapted version and for the original check out The Jew and the Carrot.

Fortune Cookies

1/2 c sugar
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp lemon extract
12 strips of paper with fortunes

In most cases you are supposed to mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients seperate but I never do. I just mix the wet ingredients then add the dry and it seems to work out fine. Mix the batter until smooth.

Heavily grease a cookie sheet before putting the batter on in about three inch circles. I used this cookie cutter as a reference to see how big I wanted them to be. Which ended up being pretty big! Oh well, next time!

Bake at 375 for 5-7 minutes. Mine took at least 7 minutes but they were a little bit bigger.
Flip the cookies over with a spatula and put your fortune inside. Fold in half.

Fold in half again and set over the lip of a cup to help you mold the cookie into shape.

Set into muffin tin and allow to cool which doesn't take long. 

Eat and enjoy!