Crafting

Lowe’s Build & Grow

Looking to do something fun and free with your kids this Saturday, September 24th? Hop online now and register for a free Lowe’s Build 7 & Grow class. Seats fill up fast, that’s why I say register now. Most start at 10AM and this weekend the kids are going to build a Fire Boat.

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Lowe’s Build & Grow Fire Boat project for Saturday, Sept 24th

Here’s the link to their site so that you can check it out and see if there are any more spots available. Lowe’s Build & Grow Program

Have fun building!

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Easy (er) cleanup

With kids, cleanup is never easy. However, I have found that you can make life a little easier for yourself and your counters with one step. Press’n Seal.

Whenever Tiny Destroyer wants to paint, I always start by pressing down a layer of Press’n Seal. It helps keep the paint from soaking through to the counter and when she’s done, I can just pull it up and throw it away.

There’s always going to be a mess to clean up. (See that pink paintbrush? Yep, that’s getting water color all over my clean counter.) But, it makes it just a little easier to pull up, throw away, and have less mess to wipe clean!

Happy Painting!

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Fun Indoors for the Upcoming Weather

Aside from Tuesday and Friday, the weather in Northern Delaware looks rainy this upcoming week.  What is the difference between “Scattered Thunderstorms” and “Isolated Thunderstorms”?  It sounds the same to me.  So, based on that weather report, here are some ideas of indoor activities:

Saturday, July 14:

1. 10:30AM Family Music Time at Kirkwood Library (Free)

2. 11 am is storytime at Barnes and Noble at the Christiana Mall. A really cute story area, great train set to play with, play area in the mall in front of Target if they get bored there. (Free- unless you can’t leave a bookstore without buying anything, which is totally me!)

Tuesday, July 17: Lots of ideas to choose from

1. 10:30AM $1 movies at Regal Theaters with their Summer Movie Express.  People’s Plaza is showing Kung Fu Panda 2 or Rango, Rt 202 is showing Adventures of Tin Tin or Puss in Boots.

2. 10:30AM Newark Library Storytime and Craft. This is usually pretty busy so be prepared for that. (Free)

3. 11AM Barnes and Noble Storytime (Free)

4. 1PM Family Movie at Newark Library (Free)

5. 10AM -3PM Terrific Tuesdays at Winterthur Museum (see previous post for costs)

Wednesday, July 18

1. 10:30 Regal Theaters- see #1 for Tuesday above.

2. 2pm “The Disenchanted Dragon” play at Kirkwood Library. (It’s also being done at 10:30 at Newark Library but I think it may be less busy at Kirkwood). (Free)

Thursday, July 19

1. 11AM Storytime at Barnes and Noble (Free)

2. Delaware History Museum– This is located in Center City Wilmington on Market Street.  Tickets are $6/adult, $4 for kids 3-18. They’re open 11AM-4PM.  The museum is great, lots of interactive stuff for the kids while learning about Delaware History.  What’s great though, and why you should get some friends together to go with you is that you also get into “Grandma’s Attic” in the same building.  Tons of Playtime Activities with a school setting, store, kitchen, puppets, dress up, books, etc.  LittleM had a great time there.  It’s open Wed-Fri 11-4, Saturday 10-4 and if you want to wait it’s FREE admission on the first Friday of each month.

Friday, July 20

1.10:15 Learn to make your own Sidewalk Chalk at Hockessin Library but registration is required so make sure to call them and reserve a spot. 239-5160. (Free)

I hope this gives you some fun ideas to keep everyone busy and entertained during this possible rainy week!  Let me know if you find anything else that you want me to add or share your adventures that you have during the rain!

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Summer Jars Finally Completed!

We finally finished making the summer jars!  Now we just have to complete all the fun activities that are in them during the summer! Look back at earlier post for the explanation of activities I put on the popsicle sticks and the inspiration for the craft here.

Here are a few pictures with explanation of how we created ours. We started with jumbo sized popsicle craft sticks that you can find at any craft store.  My husband was able to convince her to paint only the front of the sticks, as you can see here.

I save LittleM’s yogurt and fruit cup containers for paint activities.  We are not allowed recycle those containers here so I keep them to use for paint containers and then throw them out. Once the front of the sticks were dry, we were able to put the activities on them. I have plain white Avery address labels that I was able to type everything in their easy template, print them  out, and then it was the second part of the activity for LittleM.  Avery has a great thing with the labels where you fold the paper so the labels pop up making them easy peel.  I love it!  It made it so easy for LittleM to get the labels off the paper and onto the sticks.

We finished those 2 steps AWHILE ago.  Then the poopy hit the fan with family issues and my husband losing his job so we ended up going on a road trip.  These got put the the side but we finally got to it.

What I finished up by myself was the jars for the sticks.

I used 2 mason jars, paper, scissors, ribbon, a glue gun, permanent marker, and 2 very small metal frames I had for scrapbooking.

I cut a piece of ribbon that fit once around my mason jar.  Using my glue gun I put one piece of glue in the middle to stick to the back of the jar, then glued the two ends at the front of the jar.  I was so tired when I was making this that I totally forgot to take any pictures of any other steps.  Sorry.  The reason that I glued it on the front is because I put the labels for the jars on the front so the seam is easily hidden.

Here is the finished product.  I used the paper to write the 2 labels “To Do” and “Done”, glued those to the frames, then glued the frames to the jars.  Obviously they do not lay flat on the jars but I kinda like it that way.

Here is the finished product from the side. You can easily see our One Side Painted popsicle sticks in the jars! They are are an easy height for LittleM to reach when we get the “I’m Bored!” comment soon to come up. I’m also hoping to use these to help LittleM with her reading, having her help me read each stick and work on letter sounds. Let me know if you have any questions!

Happy crafting!

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Noisy Letter Jump Phonics Game!

http://www.theimaginationtree.com/2012/06/noisy-letter-jump-phonics-game.html I saw this on the Imagination Tree Blog and had to share this fantastic idea. LittleM has the alphabet down pat so I’ve been trying to figure out ways to get her to learn letter sounds. This looks like something we’ll be trying soon! Anything to get us outside and moving, along with learning!

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Squeezie Sidewalk Chalk

LittleM and I tried an experiment yesterday.  I saw a great idea on No Time For Flashcards blog for Squeezie Sidewalk Chalk and thought it was a great idea.  The directions are very simple but I couldn’t seem to get the right consistency for it to meet my taste.  It didn’t matter though because LittleM still had a fantastic time, and that is all that matters.  Here are some pictures of our playtime.

The ingredients that you need include- a box of cornstarch, food coloring, a big bowl and spoon for mixing, squeeze bottles.  I bought the bottles at the dollar store in a 2 pack, as well as the food coloring.  I didn’t have any food coloring left at the house so I got some at the dollar store instead of the grocery store saving me more than $4.  The cost of this craft then was about $4 for 2 sets of squeeze bottles, 1 box of cornstarch, and food coloring.

Pour the cornstarch into the bowl and add water, stirring until it is thin.  Now, here is where I had problems. When I thought it was thin enough, it only came out in dribbles from the squeeze bottles, then I would add more water and it was too thin.  So trial and error at this point.

After it is the consistency that you think is thin enough, pour into the squeeze bottles.  Here is LittleM showing off her picture taking skills.  She’s getting really good with the camera.

 

Next add a few drops of food coloring to each bottle, put the cap on, cover the squeeze bottle hole and shake to mix the color.  Now you’re ready to play!  Note that this can get messy so make sure you child is not wearing anything that can’t get dirty.

Let the fun begin!

So this picture perfectly shows my consistency problem.  The hearts that I tried to draw show how the cornstarch mixture was coming out in dribbles.  I tried cutting the squeeze tops to make the holes a little larger but that didn’t work.  I ran inside to add a little more water and then it became too watery and started running down the driveway.  LittleM was much happier with it being runny though because it came out of the bottles easier.  Trial and error people, trial and error.

LittleM then started mixing the colors.

And now two at a time!

Our Pup decided he would come to oversee the crafting and get a suntan at the same time.

The end result.  Once LittleM ran out of liquid in the squeeze bottle she starting putting her hands in the wet mixture to swirl it around.  It did dry fairly quickly though and easily washes off the driveway with the hose.

Now for the messy results. Remember how I said don’t let the kids wear anything that can’t get dirty.

LittleM’s toes got decorated while she was playing.

As for her hands…

Her hands stayed a little blue for a while after we washed up afterward.  It took going to the pool that afternoon until all the dye came out of her hands.

All in all, it was a fun morning and LittleM had a blast.  Hope you have as much fun as we did!

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New Castle County Happenings Guide

Parents and Delawareans, if you haven’t ever taken a minute to look at the New Castle County Happenings Guide then you are doing yourself a great disservice.  This guide is put out by our County Executive every quarter to tell you about activities occurring through that season that you could be taking advantage of.  There are lots of free and payment required activities through Community Centers and the Libraries to keep you and the little ones busy until the next Happenings Guide comes out.

Just quickly looking at it, I found a dance class that I may sign LittleM up for in July.  They meet for 8 one-hour sessions and costs only $48 dollars.  I don’t think you can do better than $6 a class for beginning dance.

It also lists all the great programs that the Libraries run and during the summer our libraries offer some pretty great programs in New Castle County.  Story times with singing, story times with crafts, water fun days, bubble making days, creating your own sidewalk chalk, and puppet shows are just a few items to whet your appetite.  I am a huge proponent of the library, and we spend at least one day a week there, not just during the summer either.

There are also Adult only programs at the libraries.  Classes to learn about technology, knitting clubs, movie nights, and book clubs.  Lots of opportunities to get out of the house, meet people and get involved.

Some of the programs require registration so make sure to call to reserve yourself a spot for the event.

So I say again, being the very pushy person that I am, take a minute to look at the New Castle County Happenings Guide.  You’ll be glad you did!

Happy Adventuring.

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Summer Jars

I started writing this blog because I was worried about hearing from LittleM, “What are we going to do today Mommy?”.  Now that we are steps away from summer, that is even more on the front of my mind.  I found on the From Weeds to Wishes blog a fantastic idea that I can’t wait to create with LittleM tonight!

Summer Jars

This is a fantastic idea for the kids to have immediate access to a ton of great ideas to combat the “I’m bored, let’s watch tv” phenomenon that will immediately take over the second that summer starts.  One each popsicle stick is an idea of an activity to complete together.  The blogger, Cristi, gives a great list of ideas on her summer list, I have added a few others of my own locally to Delaware because of different memberships that we have to local attractions. 

Our Summer list

5 dollars at dollar store

Blow bubbles

Camp in the backyard

Catch Bugs

Feed the birds

Finger Paint

Fly a kite

Go on a hike

Go to the Zoo

Have a baseball catch

Have a Happy unbirthday

Have a paper airplane contest

Have a photo walk

Have a Picnic inside 

Have a Picnic outside 

Have a Water fight

Have lunch at McDonalds

Learn to draw something new

Make a craft

Make a fort

Make homemade bread

Make Homemade Lemonade

Paint a picture

Plant something

Play Hopscotch

Play in the Sprinkler

Play with a Frisbee

Play with Ice

Roast marshmallows

Roll down a grassy hill

Scavenger Hunt

Sew something

Sidewalk chalk

Snuggle up for Storytime

Soccer Game

Stare at the clouds

Take the dog to the dogpark

Throw a football around

Try a new park

Visit Longwood Gardens

Visit the Farmers Market

Visit Winterthur

Walk the dog

Watch a movie with popcorn

Water balloon fight

Since I just found this idea, I’m not totally sure how we will set our jars up.  I’m not even sure if we will use jars.  Please go to the From Weeds to Wishes blog for complete instructions and I will post what we did as soon as we have completed our project.

The “Play With Ice” idea comes from a new blog that I follow called The Imagination Treewritten by a woman named Anna.  This will take some planning because Anna had the kids go around the house and outside to find things to freeze into ice blocks.  After the containers froze, she used that opportunity to talk with the kids about how materials change (water to ice and back again) and worked with motor skills because she had them try to get the objects out of the ice with hands, forks, and any other tool they thought to try.

I hope this gets your creative juices flowing for summertime ideas.  I can’t wait to get started myself!

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Flower Crafts

“April Showers Bring May Flowers,” is a rhyme from my youth that I cannot ever forget.  This year though, we haven’t gotten much rain in April, more of it coming in May so the flowers may take a little longer to get here.  I think in our house, we’re going to have to add some flowers ourselves.

A fantastic blog that I follow with oodles of craft ideas is No Time for Flash Cards.  Her latest post has 21 ideas for flower crafts, and with many of the craft ideas she adds books for you and your child to read that would go along with the craft.  It’s really fantastic.

I am particularly interested in the  “Pop Out Flowers” that are in the above picture and use toilet paper rolls, which I currently have a ton of in my house.  I think that we’re going to add that craft with the family picture idea to create some Mother’s Day crafts for the Grandmothers and one for LittleM. 

I’ll let you know how it goes but I wanted to share this great resource with you because I find some interesting ideas on it.

Happy Crafting.

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Big Events This Weekend

If you’re looking for some good things to do this weekend, here are some big Events.

Saturday, April 28th is University of Delaware’s Ag Day in Newark, Delaware.  It is 10am-4pm and has a lot of family fun activities to participate in.  The food is good and you’ll be supporting different groups at UD, there are animals for the kids to see, good music to hear, lots of activities.  Parking is free and the kids activities (like face painting and pony rides) are not that expensive.  There are also a lot of plants to purchase to beautify your garden and support the University of Delaware Agricultural Program.

If you’re not interested in Ag Day, head over to Hagley Museum for NatureFest from 10am-3pm.  Cost is $3 per nonmember, children under 5 are free.  They will have hands on craft activities, nature walks, tree climbing, etc.  I know I’ve said this before but I always have a great time at Hagley.

Sunday, April 29th is the 8th Annual Wildflower Celebration at Mt. Cuba Horticultural Institution in Hockessin, Delaware from 10am -4pm. Parking and admission is free on this day, the only day of the year that they have free admission.  The first 100 families will also get a free potted wildflower to take home.  They also have what they’re calling “a family friendly adventure” about the journey from caterpillar to butterfly through different learning stations.  I have never been to Mt. Cuba but I love visiting Longwood Gardens so I’m interested in checking this out, and saving $15 dollars since we won’t have to pay the $5 per ticket.

If you’re interested in Baseball, make sure to check out the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Fridays (Including this Friday, April 27) for baseball and Fireworks. They put on a great family game and fantastic Fireworks display every time.

Saturday, May 5th the Home Depot has their Kids Workshop from 9am- 12 pm where the kids will be building their own planter boxes.  I definitely want to make it to that one because LittleM is all about building and growing plants right now.  Check your local Home Depot for availability of this project.

Happy Hunting for Adventure!

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