Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Doorknob Chore Chart

My 8 year old has been asking for an allowance and I'll admit that my husband and I have been slacking on enforcing our son to do house chores.  We have a chore chart or shall I say, chore tube for my 4 y/o and it has worked our perfectly for her.  Not sure why we never really put together any kind of chore chart for my son but.....better late than never!

I came up with the idea of using a door knob chore chart after my daughter wanted an 'in' and 'out' sign for her bedroom door.  After we made my daughters sign (post coming soon!) I immediately got started on the doorknob holder chore chart for my son.

I used 2 pieces of foam just because I wanted more thickness.

To make the doorknob hole I used one of my measuring cups and traced around it to make the circle and cut it out.  I also trimmed about an inch of foam off of each side just so that it would lay better against the door.

One side of the chart says TO DO and the other side says DONE.  I wrote the name of the chore on one side of a clothespin and on the other side I wrote, GOOD JOB!  How it works is all of the clothespins are on the TO DO side, once a chore is complete the clothespin is turned over and moved to the DONE side.  To make the chart more fun I added a few stickers for decoration!

We keep the chore chart hung on my son's bedroom door mainly because most of his chores are done either in his room or near his room with the exception of taking out the trash.  So far this chore chart has worked great and each day my son completes his chore and moves his clothespin!  If he completes all of his chores he receives an allowance every Friday.

I would love to hear about chore charts that have worked for your children.  Please feel free to share in the comments section or on our facebook page.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Graham Cracker Traffic Lights!

I first made these for my son's cub scout den while learning about traffic safety.  We always had a snack at some point during the meeting and I thought sticking with the theme would enhance the learning experience.  The kids loved them and luckily I had made extra's because they were asking for seconds!

These graham crackers were so simple to make that I tried it again but let my kids create their own! I've seen variations where some folks have used white frosting and some used popsicle sticks while others did not.  Initially, I chose to go with chocolate frosting, m&m's and yellow colored popsicle sticks.  However, something new has hit the market or at least it's new to me, Whips by Jif.  It's basically whipped peanut butter.  Since this traffic light recipe involves graham crackers and Jif makes one in a s'mores flavor I grabbed a tub of s'mores and whipped peanut butter...score!

Simply crack the graham cracker in half twice taking the smaller portion of the graham cracker, spread some Whips or frosting, add the m&m's and voila you have a traffic light!  To keep the cracker adhered to the popsicle stick I just stuck some Whips or frosting to the back of the graham cracker and it stuck perfectly to the popsicle stick!

My kids had fun making their own and enjoying them afterwards!

They both gave this treat a 2 thumbs up!

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 my daughter asked to make from the section of 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.  This would also be a fun Autumn activity with the different color leaves!

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.  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

Have fun and let your creativity come alive!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Making Slime or Goo

I've been wanting to make slime or goo for awhile and with both kids home for summer vacation I figured now was the best time.  I've seen several recipes for making slime/goo but I searched for one that seemed to be the easiest for this first time goo maker!  Teach Preschool used only 2 ingredients and since I was looking for simple I chose to use their recipe.

Here are the 2 ingredients used: (I also added a few drops of blue food coloring)

Making it was SO easy and not messy at all!  I am not one for messy projects although I realize the importance of them for my children, this one was not a messy one to put together! In a small plastic container I poured in glue which I used the entire bottle of, about 1/2 cup.  I then poured in the liquid starch which was also a 1/2 cup.  I read enough about making slime to know that it's important to first shake your bottle of liquid starch before pouring and to keep kneading and kneading until the slime gets to the right consistency.  The slime should not be super slimy or wet and should not be too stringy.  After the slime is exposed to the air it will begin to get more solid.  If you have a failed attempt at making slime you may want to check out this post from Fun At Home With Kids which has some great tips on how to fix failed slime!

This is how the slime looked after just making it:
Sorry it's not a closer shot but the slime kind of looks like....brains!  Sorry, but true!

This is how the slime looks after playing with it:

My 8 year old son took to it immediately while my 4 year old daughter wanted nothing to do with it!

In this picture he is burying one of his Lego men in the goo!

Finally and only after the following day when the goo had become a bit more solid did my daughter decide to give it a try.  She said she was putting her squinkies in the 'pool!'  To my surprise she asked for the goo again this morning!

 All in all I am happy that I attempted making the slime because my kids truly have had fun playing with it and using their imaginations on what to do with it!!