Rock Crafts Part 2

Who wants more rock crafts?

We’ll just pretend everyone is excited by this. I told that I had tons of these. If I look through pictures, I bet I can find a few more.

One of the annoying things about living with my parents is a lot of my stuff is packed away in what I call “deep storage.” Like a meat locker but for my things. So all my crafting books, all my cook books, all my old scouting books, and a lot of my crafting supplies are out of reach. So annoying.

But I’m sure that I can find more crafts and activities to keep my tornadoes busy and your little ones busy.

 
1. Paper maché rocks. Cut up colorful tissue paper. Or just pretty paper. Glue the paper all over the rock. Seal it if you want.
2. Rock collage. Cut pictures or words out of magazines or print pictures and words. Glue them on the rock. Seal if desired.

 
3. Paint rocks gold or silver. Makes for great treasure to hunt for. I used to hide them in the sand box when I had young pirates.

 
4. Paint rocks with nail polish. I should do a whole post on what I‘ve painted with nail polish. Like so much.


5. Words! Paint the rock. Write names.


5.a Write words. Have kids make sentences and poetry out of word rocks.


5.b Write cool sayings and quotes on rocks. Give them away. Hide them around the neighborhood.


6. Ladybugs. Find round or oval rocks. Paint them red. Paint a small portion black for the head. Paint dots. You don’t really have to do red. I’ve seen them painted with other colors.


7. Ghosts. Paint them white. Draw a ghost face on them in black marker. I had the cubs do this one year. They loved it. Points for painting in glow-in-the-dark afterwards. We also made jack o lanterns as well.


More to come. Stay safe. Stay sane.

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Rock Crafts: Part 1

In one of my first craft posts, I mentioned rocks. Now I’m going to get more specific on crafts with rocks because it was my go to for years. Even in Cub Scouts.

Rocks are easy to find. They are cheap. Even if you have to buy a bag of water rocks, there are so many crafts you can do with rocks.

Right now two tornadoes out of three are studying rocks and Earth’s crust, so I’m scouring the internet for science projects to add to the study, so rocks are our thing.
1. Rock hunt. Find that perfect rock. Or rocks. Look at color, size, texture. Like hide and go seek, I can draw this game out for a long time. (Coming soon how to draw out games for a long time. ) Bring home the rocks and wash them. Let them dry. If kids ask why the rock is darker, water changes the light reflecting from the rock. (My boys asked why a lot; they get it from their Mama.)

 
2. Pet rocks. Glue some googly eyes on that bad boy and done. Maybe draw a smile. Make a little home for it with a box. Decorate the box. Name the rock. Teach it to sit.


3. Monster rocks. Paint the rock. Any color. Multiple colors. Draw eyes and a scary face. Bonus points for googly eyes.


4. Turtle rocks. Find the perfect rock for a turtle shell. Paint the rock, preferably turtle colors, but it’s ok to have a pink turtle. Leave it like that or add other rocks or pompoms for feet and a head.


5. Fruit or vegetable rocks. Again this means looking for a good rock to match the shape of the fruit or vegetable or vice-versa. Paint the rock to resemble the chosen fruit of vegetable. I used to paint strawberries.


6. Paper weight. Find a bigger, heavier rock. Paint it. (Makes for great gifts!)


7. A word on paint. I’ve done plain craft paint. We’ve done markers. Spray paint works. Nail polish works. You can seal it with sealer or clear nail polish.


Good luck. Stay safe. Stay sane.

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Egg Carton Crafts

Do you have empty egg cartons?

I just spent 15 minutes looking through pictures, searching for pictures of these crafts. I hope I explained them correctly. They are fairly easy crafts and a fun way to reuse an egg carton. Not as practical as making fire starters.

You can use cardboard or Styrofoam egg cartons. Though cardboard is easier to color.
1. Turtles. Cut out one cup; flip upside down. Let the child color the shell. Cut out 4 round circles and an oval out of green construction paper. Glue the circle at each corner for feet. The oval is the head. Glue it in the right spot.
2. Ladybugs/beetles. Cut out one cup. Flip it upside down. Let the child color it. Red with dots for lady bugs. All sorts of colors for beetles. Add googly eyes if you have them
3. Tulips. Cut out one cup. Let the child color the inside and outside. Put a hole in the bottom. Thread a green pipe cleaner through the hole far enough to knot it or glue it. Cup side up. Make a dozen!


4. Spiders. Cut out one cup; flip it. Let the child color it a good spider color. Poke 4 holes on one side of the cup and 4 on the other side. Cut 4 black or brown pipe cleaners in half. Thread a piece of pipe cleaner through each hole far enough to tie it or glue it. Bend the legs to make feet or “knees.” Glue googly eyes.


5. Caterpillars. Cut out as many cups as you would like. Flip them. Let the child color it. Add eyes.


I have a bat one. But maybe I’ll save that for later. More to come. Stay safe! Stay sane!

Fun Kid Recipes

Oh no. I must be running out of ideas. Nah, I’ve got weeks worth before I start building this with new stuff.

We all hear how good it is to have kids in the kitchen. Teaches responsibility. Teaches math. Blah, blah, blah. Family fun time!

Of course, the best reason I heard was from Tornado E’s 7th grade math teacher. When you don’t follow directions when cooking, the consequences are immediate and disastrous. If that isn’t life lessons, I don’t know what are.

So I give you easy recipes to teach your kids how to cook. And yeah, I’ve got bunches of these.
1. Quesadillas. Try different cheeses.
2. Cheese crisp. Open face quesadillas baked in the oven so they are cheesy and crispy. Butter the tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, and pop into the oven until the edges get brown. Cut like a pizza Traditionally with cheddar. But I’ve done it with three different cheeses to make them look like candy corn once cut.
3. Trail mix. Kids love making it. Nuts, cereal, granola, pretzels, dried fruit, freeze-dried fruit, M&Ms. All kinds of fun and interesting combinations. I do this about once a year with my cubs. They love this. Their older and younger siblings love this. Their parents love this.


4. Popsicles. Juice in ice cube trays; plastic wrap over it; toothpicks or popsicle sticks stuck into the plastic in each square. No ice cube trays? Paper cups. Plastic wrap over the top. Stick a popsicle stick in. Freeze.


5. Peanut butter and crackers. Teach your kids early how to spread things. Mine are horrible at it.


6. Jelly and cracker sandwiches. My tornadoes loved these as kids. Regular crackers. Graham crackers. It can get a little messy.


7. Cheese and sandwich meat and crackers. Basically homemade Lunchables. Pick your favorite cheeses and meets. As a kid, I thought this was the height of sophistication.


8. Parfaits. Healthy: yogurt, granola, fruit. Layer. Dessert: pudding, cookies, whip cream (maybe a layer of chocolate syrup)


More to come. Stay safe! Stay sane!

Some Beauty Crafts

Let’s take a break from being messy for a little bit. Right now in this time of chaos and crazy, we need to take care of ourselves. Yes, yes, many of us are too busy to do so. Trust me, I know. Everyone seems to be telling me to slow down and focus on myself. Breathe. Yeah, yeah, I will…. after this.

But I am sure we can make a little time to pamper ourselves. Who doesn’t like a good bath? Who doesn’t like feeling pretty and relax?

So here are some beauty crafts for adults, teens, and tweens. Ok the first 2 are for kids too.
1. Bath salt. Mix Epson salts with a little food color, perhaps some vanilla. Tada You can use oils meant for soap or eating if you have them.
2. Milk bath. A cup of instant milk into a bathtub. Like Cleopatra. Remember this for sunburn season.
3. Avocado mask. Just mash up a ripe avocado that you forgot you had or were waiting just one more day to use and oh damn. You can add a little olive oil.


4. Body and face scrub. Equal parts salt, sugar, and oatmeal. Simple. Easy. Oatmeal oats by themselves are a good body and face scrub.


5. Coffee and sugar body and face scrub. Equal parts fine ground coffee, brown sugar, and coconut oil. 1t vanilla extract.  They say “fresh” ground coffee. But I’m a rebel.


6. Hair wash. 2 T of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water. Wash hair normally. Pour on hair wash. Let set for 2 minutes. Rinse.


7. Beer rinse. Wet hair. Rinse with beer. Let set 2 to 5 minutes. Wash hair normally. I tend to wash my hair really, really well after the beer rinse. Also they say flat beer is the best….


I have a whole book on this stuff, but it’s in deep storage. But now I’m thinking of trying some new ones and see how they work and add more here.

More to come! Stay safe! Stay sane!

Canned Crescent Roll Ideas

How many of you are getting bored with eating the same old thing? How many of your kids are getting bored eating the same thing? How many of you are bored with making the same thing?

Some of us don’t have the time, energy, or know-how to make gourmet meals right now. Here are a few ideas on using canned crescent rolls. All kid approved. It’s also a great way to start with some light cooking. Let the kiddos help. I find they are more likely to eat something that they made themselves.

At least, that’s what I tell myself.

Open up your rolls, spread them out, and add the ingredients. Roll them up and bake them like the directions say.

1. Spread cream cheese and sprinkle your favorite seasoning. I prefer garlic. To add extra flavor, brush melted butter and add a sprinkle of seasoning.
2. Half a stick of string cheese. To add extra flavor, brush on melted butter and sprinkle dried garlic or Parmesan cheese.


3. Half a stick of string cheese and few pepperoni slices. To add extra flavor, brush butter and sprinkle garlic, Italian seasoning, or Parmesan cheese. Add tomato sauce as a dip.


4. A few chocolate chips. I went a little crazy and made and added chocolate shavings.


5. Nutella. Chocolate shavings on those too.


6. Butter cinnamon and brown sugar.

7. A friend recommended ham and cheddar. Her son loves them, so she makes them and freezes them two in a bag.


Somethings we haven’t tried, but I want to. Cheddar. A slice of turkey or ham and cheese. A slice of apple. Jelly.

Good luck. Stay safe. Stay sane.

Stamps! Create your own stamps!

Kids love working with paint and ink. It’s fun. Try it.

So why do I have so many ideas? Because I have been working with kids for a long time and busy kids are happier and less trouble than bored kids. Even as a teenage babysitter, I did crafts with the kids.

The more you do with your kids, the more memories you make. But really it’s about keeping them from destroying the house and your sanity as well as keeping the next battle to the death from happening. Art is good for the soul. For the kids and you.
1. Yesterday I mentioned using leaves and paint for stamps.
2. Potatoes and Paint. Cut a potato in half; it doesn’t matter which way. Toddlers don’t care if you leave like that. Just make sure they are stamping cut side down because toddlers don’t care. Older kids will figure it out. You can carve the potato into a shape. You can carve something into the potato bottom, like a smiley face. Or get really good and carve out something from the potato.
3. Apples and paint. I’ve always cut horizontally across the apple. But now I wonder what vertical apples do. You can carve a shape, but the seeds and the shape of the apple are cool. Apples are more slippery to hold than potatoes.


4. Sponges and paint. Sure, you could stick with rectangles. Or you could cut sponges in all sorts of shapes. I used hot glue to create handles on mine to help toddler hands.


5. Craft foam and paint. You can cut craft foam into shapes and then use them to stamp. I glued the individual shapes onto squares of craft foam to give a better grip to the stamps.


5.a. Craft foam stickers and pant. Stick the stickers on craft foam squares or blocks of wood. Or you could stick them onto lids from milk containers or soda bottles.


6. Hands and paint. The internet is filled with cute things you can make with hand prints. You can just leave it has hand prints or you can decorate them into objects and animals. Everyone remembers The Turkey. I have had my boys put hand prints on shirts, towels, tiles, and Christmas ornaments. It’s also fun to just play with paint and hands. Ink is cool, but there’s something about the feel of paint squishing between your fingers.


Bonus. A great time to go over those hand washing skills!
More to come! Stay safe! Stay sane!

Easy Science Crafts – with Glue

Always with glue. Most of these are astronomy related. I like astronomy.

The reason I will not move from the desert is because of the stars. They’re amazing here. So I made, built, remembered a lot of ways to get my kids interested in the stars.
1. Take cotton balls and stretch them and glue them on paper (preferably blue paper but orange or pink would be cool) like clouds. Make cool designs. Go outside and observe the clouds.

1.a. Look up different types of clouds (if your child doesn’t know them or quiz your child if s/he does know them. They will roll their eyes and be annoyed that you don’t know them. But review!) Make the cotton balls into the different types of clouds and label them.
2. Make constellations on black or blue paper. Drip glue in a pattern of dots and sprinkle glitter. Connect the dots with black marker or white chalk. Make real constellations. Make fake.
3. You can make constellations with star stickers too.


4. You can make constellations with white chalk dots and connect the dots. To keep the chalk from wiping off, spray the paper with hair spray.


5. You can use white paint and q-tips to make the night sky. Or white fabric paint. (For some reason I always have fabric paint at my house.)


6. Go out each night and observe the sky. Have the child draw the moon every night.


7. Have the child draw the stars every night. If you go out the same time every night for several nights, your child will notice the sky changing. Or go out several times in one night.


8. Extra points for using Oreos in the phases of the moon. Top off exposes the cream, making it a full moon. Top on makes it like the no moon or eclipse, whatever. Then break the top part of the cookie in different shapes revealing the different phases of the moon or remove the top cookie and cut the cream in different shapes revealing the different phases of the moon. I can’t take credit for this so type in “moon phases oreo” in a search bar an you’ll see what I mean.

Good luck, parents! Stay safe! Stay sane!

Mustard

Tornado E: (From outside, moving closer) MOOOOOOOMMMMYYYYYY!

I had been grading for an afternoon and a day. But I was finished. I wasn’t in a normal head space. But I was finished. It was not how I wanted to spend the weekend. But I was finished. So what fresh hell was this?

Tornado E got to the sliding glass door and ripped it open.

Tornado E: Mommy! Tornado S squirted mustard at me!

Me: What?!

Tornado E: Tornado S squirted mustard at me!

Me: Where?

Tornado E: On the trampoline!

Me: He squirted what?

Tornado E: Mustard! He squirted mustard! At Me!

Me: Where did he- nevermind,

I got up and followed Tornado E outside. No one was on the trampoline. No one was in the backyard. Right.

Me: BOYS! NOW!

I stormed across the yard to the trampoline.

Tornado A: (From behind the shed, in what he must think was a whisper) You’re going to get in trouble.

On the trampoline was a small mustard stain. From a mustard packet.

Me: Tornado S! Where did you get- nevermind.

Tornado S smuggled about half a dozen mustard packets out of a restaurant about two months ago to put in his backpack in case he didn’t have lunch one day. I caught him and placed emergency snacks in an outside pocket of his backpack. I thought I had confiscated all the packets. Apparently not.

Me: Tornado S. Now.

Tornado S and Tornado A walked out from behind the shed. I looked over my shoulder to see Tornado E dragging the hose across the yard to spray off the trampoline.

Me: Tornado S, explain what happened.

Tornado S: I thought it would be funny to squirt Tornado E with mustard. (I gave him a look.) It wasn’t. I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.

Me: Where did you get the mustard packet?

Tornado S: In the living room.

Me: In the-

In the living room. With the good furniture. With the antique furniture. With the new carpet. With my kid’s library! Wait. My mom would kill me. You know because of her nice things. The living room was for reading only. Though we couldn’t keep the kids out of there. The forbidden and all.

Me: (sigh) Kid. No more taking mustard packets. No more taking mustard into the living room. No more squirting mustard at people.

Tornado S: Ok, Mama.

I climbed onto the trampoline and grabbed the mustard packet. Once I got back on solid ground, I took the hose from Tornado E and sprayed down the trampoline. Then I looked over at my boys. And sprayed them too. Tornado S and Tornado A still had their swimsuits on. Tornado E was dressed. But clothes dry.

I sprayed them until Tornado E jumped into the pool. His brothers followed. And I watched my kids enjoy the last Sunday of the school year.

The Problem with Toddler Naked Time

Tornado S wants to be like his big brother Tornado E.  Tornado S follows Tornado E around the house.  He sits to play with Tornado E; though often instead of building a Lego tower, Tornado S destroys it.  Tornado S often mirrors Tornado E’s best sword fighting moves and Kung Fu Panda exercises.  So why should it surprise me that Tornado S is attempting to potty train himself and join Tornado E in naked time?

 

If for some unreasonable luck Tornado S is allowed to run off without pants or shorts, then he is out of his diaper in a turn of a head, in a turn of my head.  Being a clever child, Tornado S waits for the moment when I’m engaged in some other task before he whips off the diaper and runs, chasing his naked older brother.

 

Last night I was engrossed in making fried rice (anyone looking for a quick, easy, child-friendly meal, fried rice is it as the kids gobble it up with tons of vegetables and an electric chopper can do all the work), and the boys were supposedly engrossed in PBS.  As I chopped the onions up, I noticed out of the corner of my eye Tornado S squatting at the other side if the room.  I glance over to notice he’s banging his hand on the floor.  Hmmm.  Somewhere in my subconscious, I noted something was wrong with this picture.  I turn for a second glance to realize that Tornado S is no longer wearing his diaper.  As I quickly wash the onion juice from my hands, annoyed I asked Tornado S were his diaper was, and I see it in the family room.  As I came closer, I realized there was a small puddle at Tornado S’s feet and that Tornado S was actually patting it to make splashes.

 

What could I have spil- Oh God, no!  Tornado S, no!  I ran the last couple feet and pick him up, facing him out away from me.  Tornado S, we do not play with our pee!  I stomp off into the bathroom to scrub, scrub, and scrub his hands.  I laid him down to secure the diaper and to lock a pair of jeans in place.  Get out of that, Houdini. 

 

I look over to see Tornado E quietly watching PBS, naked and violating penis rule # 1.  Tornado E, stop playing with your penis unless you’re alone and in your room.  Where are your clothes?

 

Maybe we should move to a nudist colony.

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