Monday, July 28, 2014

Graham Cracker Traffic Lights!

My son's cub scout den was learning about traffic safety and Pinterest gave me some inspiration on snacks with a transportation theme.  We always had a snack at some point during the meeting and I thought sticking with the theme would enhance the learning experience.

These graham crackers were so simple to make.  I've seen variations where some folks have used white frosting/icing and some used popsicle sticks while others did not.  I chose to go with chocolate frosting, m&m's and yellow colored popsicle sticks.

Simply crack the graham cracker in half and take the smaller portion of the graham cracker, spread some icing, add the m&m's and voila you have a traffic light!  One more keep the cracker adhered to the popsicle stick I just stuck some icing to the back of the graham cracker and the stick and it stuck perfectly!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nominated for Liebster Award!

I am fairly new to the blogging world so when I received notification from Angel at The Loving House of Mama Casale I was flattered!  Since I was not sure of what the Liebster Award was all about I did a quick Google check and learned that it's a cyber award given from one blogger to another.  The way I understand it is I answer 11 questions chosen for me, in this case from Angel and then I pass on 11 questions to 11 other bloggers that I nominate for the award.  I look at it as a great way to learn about other people and their blogs!  My hope for other bloggers is that they can continue to network themselves and learn from others and my hope for my readers is to find other sites that they can also go to and learn from!

Before moving on I wanted to give another shout out to Angel at The Loving House of Mama Casale for taking the time to recognize my blog and to include me in her nominations!  Angel has a great site with lots of fun and creative ideas!  If you have little ones, which if you're reading my blog I'm sure you do, then you'll want to head over to see what Angel has been up to!

One more thing before moving on...I realize that this can be a bit time consuming so if for whatever reason any of the nominees choose not to partake, that's totally ok and completely understandable!  At the very least know that you have left an impression on me in some way, enough so that I wanted to acknowledge you all!!

The Rules of the Liebster Award
  • Each person must post 11 things about themselves by answering the questions that the nominator has set for you.
  • Create 11 questions for the people you’ve nominated to answer.
  • Choose 11 people (with less than 200 followers) and link to them in your post. 
  • Go to their page and let them know!
  • No tag backs!

Here are the 11 questions Angel has asked me to answer:

1.     What is the inspiration behind your blog title? I feel that I 'dabble' in a little bit of everything.
2.     Why did you start to blog? As a way to document the things I do with my children and to share with others so that they can share with their children.
3.     What is a goal you have for your blog? Since I'm a Stay At Home Mom I would love to be able to earn some income from my blog, eventually.  Although that is only icing on the cake.  I simply enjoy blogging to share ideas.
4.     What is your favorite activity to do with your family? Anything outdoors whether riding bikes, taking a walk or playing in the yard.
5.     What is one of your favorite quotes? It is what it is.
6.     What is your favorite song? Mandy by Barry Manilow
7.     What is your favorite food? I'm a sucker when it comes to cookies!  Especially chocolate chip!
8.     Which of your blogs post is your favorite? Learning about Seasons post.  My daughter had a ton of fun with it!
9.     If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be? My children's weddings!  
10. What story does your family always tell about you? How quiet I was as a little girl.
11.  What do you do on your free time? Blog, of course!

Now here are the 11 Bloggers that I would like to nominate!  I have most likely come across your blog through link parties and have been intrigued by your blog or else I wouldn't have stopped by in the first place!  I love what I learn from all of your creative minds, so thank YOU! 

Bernadyn - B is for.......
Jennifer - The Deliberate Mom

Questions for my blogging friends: (Please answer the questions and be sure to link back to this page so that I can see who accepted....have fun!)
1. What do you love most about blogging?
2. What is your favorite season?
3. If you could play any sport which would it be?
4. What is your favorite topic to blog about?
5. What is your favorite day of the week and why?
6. Name one thing on your bucket list, if you have one?
7. If you could choose to have dinner with anyone who would it be?
8. What is your favorite vacation spot?
9. Do you prefer ice-cream or frozen yogurt?
10. What is your favorite board game?
11. If you could have one super power, what would it be?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Flower Cutting and Fine Motor Skills

My 4 y/o daughter loves flowers and enjoys wandering in our front and back yard picking them.  Some flowers she can easily pluck off with her fingers but our Black Eyed Susan flowers require something more to get the flower off.  I saw this as an opportunity to let her use her scissors, with my supervision of course.  By no means should a child ever be left unattended with scissors.  I went over the safety rules of using scissors by explaining how to safely hold scissors when walking with them in your hand and that you should never use scissors to cut anything other than paper unless your are doing a craft/activity with Mom, Dad, Teacher or another adult.  We also use scissors appropriate for children which are not as sharp as regular scissors.

This cutting activity helped with her fine motor skills and is also a practical life lesson.  We even got a short lesson on bees since we have these beautiful white and purple flowers, which I don't know the name of, but the bees love them.  This gave us the chance to talk about bees and how they get nectar from the flower and bring it back to the hive to make honey.  

After my daughter is finished cutting the flowers I always make sure to display them!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Outdoor Slate Chalkboard

After seeing some play spaces involving chalkboards I wanted to add one of our own to the backyard.  The chalkboards I had been admiring on Pinterest were mostly DIY and since I'm no good when it comes to creating things involving wood and tools I instantly went to my husband!  We talked about what materials we would need, where it would go and I was getting excited that our chalkboard was becoming more of a reality!  Only a few days later my husband calls me from work and asks me if I remember what one of his companies buildings use to be?  I thought it was a strange question but I answered his question as I recalled that one of his companies buildings use to be a schoolhouse.  My husband remembering our chalkboard discussion took it upon himself to ask the facilities manager if they by chance had any old chalkboards lying around from when it was a school.  Low and behold they did!!  I was super excited that we would be acquiring an authentic old schoolhouse slate chalkboard!

Once my husband and a co-worker transported this massive chalkboard to our home my husband quickly got to work.  He cut some wood pieces for the frame, nailed everything in place and voila, our chalkboard had found its new home!

We hung a small bucket (yard sale find!) threw in some chalk and the kids were ready to go!

My daughter is learning to write her name so we have been practicing that alot on our chalkboard.  

The kids enjoyed a few rounds of Pictionary too! 

We have an easel in our basement that has a chalkboard on one side and we have used water to 'paint' the board.  Since it's in our basement I've always had to be extra careful with the water.  Now that we have a huge chalkboard and it's outside my kids can use as much water as they want!  I grabbed a bowl, a paintbrush and some rags and I let the kids go wild!  My daughter said she was making a maze and my son was having fun simply 'washing' the board!

So far I have been really pleased with how well the chalkboard is working out!  It's one of the first things my kids go to now!  I especially love that the chalkboard easily allows the children to express their creative and artistic sides!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ice-cream and Birthday Cake Play dough

My 4 year old loves play dough whether home-made or store bought.  Personally, I love home-made!  We have tried several different home-made play dough's my least favorite being peanut butter, not sure why just wasn't fond of it and my most favorite.....frosting!!  I first learned of  ice-cream play dough from Smart School House.  After searching a bit further I came across a few other blogs who shared their experience with this fun and easy to make play dough:  Wildflower Ramblings and A Little Pinch Of Perfect

After reading these posts I quickly checked my cupboards to see if I had the ingredients needed.  I had the frosting and I had the powdered sugar so I chose to go with the recipe used by Smart School House.

I paid close attention to the instructions on how to make and the most important is to be sure that when you add the powdered sugar that you add it slowly until your play dough is not too sticky or too dry.  I like a drier play dough so I may have added a bit more of the powdered sugar.  

After mixing both the frosting and the powdered sugar together this is how the play dough should look.

My daughter happened to have a friend over for a play date when I decided very last minute to make this.  Please note that this play dough is SUPER EASY to whip up!  After the girls were finished playing outside I had 2 cones with the play dough sitting on top of them.  Of course the first thing they wanted to do was eat it!  Being that this is a completely edible play dough I let them know that it was ok to take a tiny bite but that was it and they complied!!

Both girls enjoyed making what they called, 'birthday cakes!'  The candles were a big hit!  I used up the entire bag of candles that I had on hand!  I also gave them some sprinkles, a rolling pin, plastic knife and cupcake liners.  

This play dough was so much fun to play with and this activity kept the girls busy for 30 minutes!!  I won't lie the clean up was more than I had expected BUT I didn't mind because my daughter and her friend thoroughly enjoyed this!  
I would do it again in a heartbeat! 

I would love to hear about your favorite play dough recipe!  Please share in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Spell With Stickers

We think of ourselves lucky to live in an area that has lots of yard sales!  Our Saturday mornings are spent browsing the local yard sales and I must say I find TONS of great deals! The stickers used for this activity were purchased brand new, never opened from a yard sale and I spent $1 on them and got some foam crafts thrown in for FREE!!  Another great find was an assorted bag of gems for .25cents!

If you have letter stickers lying around or if you have to buy some at the store this is a great way to help your child learn how to spell their name.  We dumped all the stickers out on the table and for each name we practiced my daughter had to find the letters to make the name. My 4 year old knows all the letters in her name and the order they go in so she had no problem finding the stickers of her name.  For her brother I wrote his name on a post it and had her search for the letters and spell it out.  Finally, we sounded out MOM and DAD and she had to tell me the letter for each sound and spell them out.

This activity also helped with fine motor skills by using those little fingers to peel off the backing of the stickers!

Here are some other ideas on how to help your child spell their name:

If you have a favorite way to teach your child how to spell their name please share in the comments below!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Leaf Creatures

I love gifts that keep on giving and this Sesame Street craft book is no exception!  This book was given to my son about 5 years ago from his Grandparents.  We used this book back then with my son and we are still currently using it with my daughter.

Our most recent craft is one that Tiffany asked to make from the book called Leaf Creatures.  We have a good amount of trees in our backyard and with them all so beautiful and in full bloom I thought this craft would be a good one to attempt.

We started off by picking out some leaves of different sizes and shapes.  Once our leaves were gathered it was time to assemble our leaf creatures!

Making the creatures were fun and super easy:
We glued our leaves to card stock
Used markers to draw arms and legs
Cut out pieces of paper to make teeth and a smiley face
And of course.....googly eyes

My daughter wanted to do two creatures, a happy face and a monster face!  This craft was great for fine motor skills since their was a lot of gluing going on with the hands, feet and facial expressions.  Once our craft was complete we hung it on our fridge and they were SO adorable, I smiled every time I looked at them!

If you and your little one(s) would like to try your hand at Leaf Creatures, here's what you'll need:
Card stock or construction paper
Googly eyes