Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Make a Four Leaf Clover Egg Carton Sticker Stamp


    


4 Leaf-Clover Recycled Egg Carton Sticker Stamp


Recycled Egg Carton Sticker Four Leaf Clover Stamp:

You will  need:
  • Recycled egg carton
  • Foam heart stickers (I used 16, but you could use less)
  • Green tempera paint
  • paper plate or washable plastic plate for paint
  • Construction paper in color of your choice
  • Scissors
  • Paint brush
  • Paper towel to blot paint if desired

     Cut the egg carton so that you  have four parts (where four eggs used to be).  Attach the foam stickers to the back side of the carton in a four leaf clover pattern.

Attach the stickers to that flat side of each section.

     Layer the stickers to the desired thickness for your stamp.  I used four hearts per clover leaf. 

Your finished stamp will look like this, leaving a handle to hold in the center of the other side.

Ryder was excited that he made his very own Four Leaf Clover shape.

        Pour a small amount of green paint onto a plate and have your child dip the stamp into the paint holding on to the center of the egg carton as a handle.  If you would like a finished four leaf clover, take the paper after one stamping and provide another paper so that your child can stamp multiple times.  Have your older child draw a stem or you can do that for younger children.  If desired, use a paper towel to blot the excess paint for a more polished finish.  
    

Sunday, February 24, 2013

BIG Potty



     We have been working on potty training with all four of the Sugar Snaps, but so far, Capri is the one  who has really taken off.  She is at 95% success during the day not including naps.  We have even started taking her on outings with her underwear and so far, so good.  She had been using a small potty seat which is great for home, but she was scared of the 'big potty' whenever I encouraged her to try it.  So we purchased a child size potty seat which fits onto the adult toilet.  I made several attempts to have her sit on the big potty and was met with bursts of tears and terrified cries of "down!"




     One day last week, she said she needed to go potty.  I asked her if she wanted to use the big potty or the little potty, fully expecting her to say "little potty."  Much to my surprise, she said, "Big potty." She proudly sat on the big potty and giggled at her own success.  I was ecstatic too at her accomplishment and called Greg who was on his way home from work while she was still on the potty.  As soon as he said "hello" I told him enthusiastically that his daughter was sitting on the big potty for the very first time.  I then put the phone up to Capri's ear and she announced, "big potty" into the phone.  I was expecting to hear Greg's enthusiasm as she told him the news, but he only said "hello" several times.  I took the phone and asked him why he did not congratulate his daughter on using the big potty.  A male voice said, "Hello?  Who is this?."  I said, "I'm very sorry, wrong number" and hung up the phone, a little mortified that I had shared Capri's big potty success with an unsuspecting stranger. 

     Do you  have any potty training stories or embarrassing moments to share?  I'd love to hear from you.  As always, comments are welcome.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Bath Fun



    



St. Patrick's Day Bath Fun

You will need:
  • Green food coloring
  • Foam pieces in green--if desired
  • St Patrick's Day stickers-if desired
  • Construction Paper (if laminating stickers)
  • Laminating sheet and Laminating Machine-if desired
  • Empty containers such as cups and Tupperware to fill with green water and gather Shamrocks

             If you wish to add the stickers, you can use the stickers alone if you do not have a laminating machine.  Or, if you have a laminating machine, stick the stickers on a sheet of construction paper.  Place it inside a laminating sheet and laminate.  Cut out the stickers with construction paper.  They are now more water resistant and can be used for multiple baths.  Add a few drops of green food coloring to the running bath water until it achieves the desired color.  Sprinkle the green foam shapes into the bath which will stick to the sides of the bath when wet.  Add the stickers or laminated stickers and empty containers to the bath.  Your children can now play in the fun green water and stick the foam shapes and stickers to the sides of the tub or collect them in the containers.  They can learn about Shamrocks and St. Patrick's Day while enjoying the fun sensory experience.
       


    Saturday, February 16, 2013

    Grown-up Getaway

       

         When we were engaged to be married, my soon-to-be sister-in-law gave us the generous gift of a one night getaway which included a massage for each of us at the hotel's spa. Somehow this certificate was misplaced at Greg's house where he lived before we got married. We never found it until recently at our own house when we were organizing things. What a welcome surprise! Grandpa and Grandma came for a visit and offered to watch the Sugar Snaps for a night so that we could get away. We gratefully accepted their offer and booked the hotel. I was preoccupied with making sure that the Sugar Snaps and their grandparents had everything they needed as I got ready for our night away. Greg had already thrown his small suitcase in the car when I asked him if we should share a suitcase as it was only for one night. My other suitcase is large and seemed too big so I grabbed a colorful Trader Joe's reusable tote bag along with another shopping tote and put my things in there.

         We arrived at the hotel which was fancier than we expected. It was valet service only with young men dressed in vintage hats gathering luggage and opening the doors. We felt a little embarrassed by the bright grocery store tote bags as they were lifted onto the shiny gold luggage carts, but it was too late. We arrived early so our room was not yet ready and we cringed a little as our baggage sat visible on the fancy gold cart. Once our room was ready, one of the vintage hat guys pushed the cart to our room. Once we could stow our bags, we were able to blend in. We had booked the couple's room at the spa where we each had a heavenly massage. My knots of tension melted away and we felt like we were on vacation.


    This was the view of the ocean from our balcony.

      
    We were enchanted to see the ocean from the chipmunk's perspective.

      
    The Harbor Seals gathered in a party on the rocks

      
    while the Pelicans convened for a bath on the shore.


     We marveled as a man and a Harbor Seal body surfed the same wave


         We had a wonderful time on our ocean getaway.  When it was time to go home, we gathered our bags and stood in line to check out.  The man in front of us was dressed impeccably and carried expensive designer bags.  He wore a beautiful belt with a Fleur-de-lis pattern carved all the way around into the first layer of dark brown leather revealing a lighter brown suede underneath.   Once again, we were bemused by our bright tote bags.  His belt alone cost more than our outfits and baggage combined.  The old children's song, "one of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong" played in our minds.  We checked out feeling rested and rejuvenated as we waited for the guy in the vintage hat to bring our car.  We were excited to see Grandpa, Grandma and the Sugar Snaps.  After our grown-up getaway, we returned with renewed energy for our children.

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

    Brownie Hearts-a fun treat for Valentine's Day or Mother's Day


    Heart Brownies:

    You will  need:
    • Brownie Mix and added ingredients (or make from scratch)
    • 13" x 9" pan
    • Heart shape cookie cutter (of any size you prefer)
    • Frosting (use store bought or make your own) If you are making your own, add red food coloring to make it pink if desired.
    • Butter knife or spoon to spread frosting
    • Sprinkles and spoon to sprinkle with if desired 
         Make the brownie mix according to your recipe or package directions.  I used the recipe from the back of the Nestle's Chocolate Chips.   Bake in the 13" x 9" pan until done.  Allow to cool.  Cut out hearts with the heart shape cookie cutter.  Place an individual heart onto a plastic or paper plate for your child to decorate.

    The brownie heart ready to be decorated...

           Make the frosting or open the store bought container.  I used this recipe to make the frosting. Have your child spread the frosting on the brownie using a spoon or butter knife.  Then, have your child add the sprinkles using a spoon or fingers. 

    Grayson enjoyed sprinkling his brownie using a spoon.

         I am sure your children will not let those bits of brownie leftover from the heart shapes go to waste. Having leftover brownie bits is half the fun.

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

    Shaving Cream Hearts with Candy Sprinkles

     
        



     Shaving Cream Hearts with Candy Sprinkles:

    You will need:
    • Shaving cream (I used one for sensitive skin with no scent from CVS)
    • Container to mix up shaving cream 'paint'
    • 2 spoons
    • Bowl for sprinkles
    • Red food coloring
    • candy sprinkles (or you could use glitter)
    • White glue
    • Wax paper (or any paper you would like to use to protect your table)
    • Construction paper in pink and one other color of your choice for the background

     Ryder enjoyed spreading the pink shaving cream paint onto his heart.

         Dispense desired amount of shaving cream into your container and squeeze a generous amount of white glue into the shaving cream to create the consistency you prefer.  Stir the shaving cream and glue with a spoon and then add red food coloring and mix until it achieves the desired color of pink (or red).  Cut a heart out of the pink paper and place it on a sheet of wax paper.  I used wax paper so the heart would not stick during the process but you can use any paper to protect your table.  Have your child spread the pink foam 'paint' onto the heart with the spoon (or fingers can be used).  Then give your child a bowl with a small amount of candy sprinkles and demonstrate how to sprinkle them on the heart (letting your child take over and finish the heart).  Then, add glue about the size of the heart to the background paper and lay the heart on top.  Set the project out to dry.



         
     


     
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