Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's again that time again!

How's about a quick, easy to store, time capsule that you can check out again the following year?

You will need:
*cardstock or cardboard or colorful paper
*yarn or ribbon
*large envelope (you can make your own)
*camera, polaroid or digital (optional)

scrumdilly-do it!

This one is super quick and easy. It can be expanded in many ways so have fun with it. The idea is to capture a small bit of your child on the last day of the year. This time capsule stores flat so you can add it to your filing cabinet. A few days before the new year, add your child's name and address to the front of the envelope and pop it into the mail. Make sure to add a "Do Not Open until New Year's Eve" note to it and take a walk down memory lane.

Have your kidlet trace his or her dominant hand onto the fun paper. You can help or have their sibling help as well. On the back of their hand have them write their name, favorite color, favorite book and favorite memory. You can of course ask whichever questions are relative to you but make sure to ask the same questions each year. If they run out of room on their hand, trace another and attach the two together however you may choose.

Next up, unravel that yarn or ribbon and tape a smidge to the ground. Have your wee one stand on top of the taped edge and roll up to the top of their heads and cut. This will be a physical measure of how tall they are. Wrap it around a popsicle stick, craft stick or clothespin. Write their name and the date and the measurement onto the stick. You can also use a small piece of cardboard.

Take a picture of your tot and add it to your time capsule assortment.

Bundle it all up into the envelope and seal. If you like, ask your tot to write their name on the front. Store it for a year and then pop it into the post a few days before the New Year.

Happy New Year! May 2009 be most scrumdillyumptious!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Last Minute Snowflakes part 2

Once your snowflakes are dry, gently peel off the wax paper, admire and hang.And sometimes, there are casualties. This is why a thicker line works and just so ya know, if you try to unpeel your snowflake before it is completely dry, it will most probably break.I wish you all a scrumdilly holiday and tremendous New Year! Thank you for stopping by. Happy 2009! ~jek

**edit-I'm not sure why exactly, I'm thinking it is due to moisture but when I woke up this morning my poor snowflakes were all sloopy droopy. Maybe next time I will mount them to cardstock and cut out or I guess I could just make them on the cardstock. Whoop!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Last Minute Snowflakes

This is a great and easy project to do with your kidlets before bedtime. All you need is wax paper, white glue and glitter.Older kids can freehand their snowflakes, follow the pics for an idea how and younger tots can trace over a pre-drawn snowflake or, if you really want it to be open ended, let them come up with something completely different! Set out the wax paper, hand over the glue and go.You may need to go over a few lines that separated. Thicker is better but you want the lines to be definite lines.

Once your wee ones are done with their glue drawing, sprinkle your glitter over the whole thing and set it aside to dry. Overnight would be best. Some children get quite glue happy so the more resting/drying time, the better.

If you don't have any glitter on hand, you can use sugar or salt. Coarse salt would work super nifty-like. Powdered gelatin would work as well.
Once dry(ish), shake off excess glitter and admire. (You may want to shake that glitter into a container to reuse later).I'll show you how they look once mine are dry. Have fun!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Spool Snowflakes

If yer a frugal crafty type like myself. You may have an assortment of empty spools laying about. Even the non-wood variety are hard to toss. Turn them into printing tools for your kidlets and watch them make some nifty snowflakes!

You will need:
*empty spools (plastic variety are actually better for this than wood)
*tempera or acrylic paint
*glitter and/or salt
*blue or white paper
*paint friendly zone to work inscrumdilly-do it!

This is a super easy printing project that children as young as two can do. All you need to do is set it up and make sure there is a large pile of paper to print on.

Set out your paints. Use at least two colors for variety. I used the silicone cupcake liners for the paint and salt. The glitter here is stored in salt & pepper shakers. For a cleaner print, layer a few sheets of newspaper under the work area so that there is some give when your wee ones print. This will help the image pop a wee bit. It all depends on how much paint they slop on.

Add one empty spool for each paint color and let 'em at it! They can print willy-nilly or in ap attern. It is up to your wee ones.
While the paint is still wet, have your kidlets sprinkle (dump) salt and/or glitter on top. Set aside to dry and shake off the excess.

That's it! Easy peasy and pretty to boot! Use large sheets of paper or the back of your non-holiday giftwrap to make holiday giftwrap. Cut the art into card sized squares and make some holiday cards. Whatever you do, enjoy yourselves and have a happy day!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Eight Days of Hanukkah...

Assembling eight days of gifts for under $15.00!There are two fabulous Hanukkah celebrating kidlets in my life. This year, I put together eight days of giftiness, sort of like how you would stuff a stocking, for each of them. They are a brother and sister so I got "almost the same" gifts for each of them, wrapped them up in pairs so that they would each open up the same gift on the same day and put them into a nifty craft paper giftbag. The idea is that there are eight sets of presents to open. Some have two packages, one for each, and there two that have one package to be opened by both of them. Nothing too fancy but still items that could be fun and not take up too much space. These kidlets already have a fabulous assortment of toys and such so my goal was to be quirky and a teeny bit useful here goes! Clockwise from the top left:

*handmade blank stuffies for drawing on
*small bead kit
*stickers & erasers
*quirky blank notebook for drawingn and creating
*glow in the dark alphabet magnets, the letters of their names
*altered kaleidoscopes
*light up top
*quirky japanese shortbread cookies

The mister made the stuffies after a design that he sells. We used what we had.
The beads, notebook and cookies came from a Japanese dollar store. Total, about $6.50. The kaleidoscopes and tops came from a party store about $2.00. The magnets were from a dollar bin, and the sticker were from Michael's about $3.00. Grand total without tax was about $13.50 for two kidlets! Like I mentioned earlier, you can easily translate this assortment into stocking stuffers or even an Easter Basket.

Have Fun and Happy (almost) Hanukkah!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

altered fun

When I was a kidlet, my most favorite part of Christmas, other than falling asleep in the living room with the lights on the tree twinkling away was and still is stockings. Oh how I adore a filled stocking. My mamos was ace in stuffing those things. It is one of my favorite memories and you can read all about it in the kids issue of Mixtape.

Moving along, I love, love, love putting together stockings. I love assembling fun and quirky gifts for people. Things that will make them smile. While I know that a large number of items that go into stockings are "tossable" items, my goal is to really think about those little things I put in. Here is just one simple thing you can do to breathe new life into something your kidlets already may or may not have. I just realized that this post was simply supposed to be about altering party favor kaleidoscopes and somehow it seems to be becoming something else. I will try to get back to the something else later. I won't have pics, but I'll chat about it.

If I know one thing about kidlets, it is that they have a magical ability to acquire. Some things grand and delightful, others, thorns in your side. Why put together another stocking full of things they will carelessly toss about? Stuffing a stocking should be joyful both for the stuffer and the stuffee. A long while ago I bought some mini holiday kaleidoscopes on clearance from a party store. I wrapped them in funky gift wrap and used them as Easter basket gifts. It was a six pack so I still have two left. Let's recover them and if your kidlets have already "outgrown" their last kaleidoscope, snatch it up and recover it so it looks like something incredibly new. Note, some of your kidlets may just be too smart for this so engage them into the covering and have them paint up a nifty picture to use for the covering.

You will need:
*toy kaleidoscope
*glue stick or mod podge if yer brave
*fun paper or your kidlet's artwork (I used origami paper)
*pencil and ruler (ruler is optional)
Get to it and scrumdilly-do it!

This is an easy one. Gather your supplies.

Measure your kaleidoscope and mark off the length on your scrap paper. If you're doing this, you can eyeball it, if yer child is doing it, hand them a ruler and teach them the metric system. You may want to adjust your mark so that is an eighth of an inch (Me? I don't know the metric system!) shorter.Cut your paper so you end up with a longish strip. YOu can always trim the strip if you feel it is too long.Slather it with gluestick and wrap it around your kaleidoscope. If you are using mod podge, apply the podge to the kaleidoscope first, then wrap. This gets twisty tricky so don't worry about it being perfect.

Smooth about bubbles and bumps, stuff into that stocking and let yer kidlets enjoy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday Wreath Revisited

Don't forget you can make this wreath for Christmas or Winter Solstice or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

faux snow

Here in sunny Los Angeles, we don't have much if any opportunity for snow. If you are in an area where there is snow, chances are it is cold out there. So, why not set up this fun faux snow activity that allows for experimentation in science, math and art?

You will need:

*1 or more bars of Ivory soap
*1 roll of toilet paper
*a cheese grater, a plastic one will work fine
*a baking dish or foil roasting pan
*a medium sized bowl or container
*large measuring cup with warm water
*a splat mat or mess friendly zone to work in
*craft bits like pipe cleaners, felt, glitter, etc. optionalScrumdilly do it!

Set up your workspace. We used a plastic mat and a glass baking dish. Have all your materials at the ready so it flows nicely.

The first thing your kidlets will need to do is to grate up that bar of Ivory soap.. Ivory soap is soft and whipped so it works perfectly for this. . A glycerin soap may work but we haven;t tried it yet. Three year olds can easily do this activity. If you are worried about them hurting themselves on the grater, use a plastic one. You can of course grate the soap for them but that may take away a bit of the experimentation and process from them.Next, in a separate bowl, have your wee ones tear up some toilet paper. Your younger tots may have a fun time with this while the older kidlets do the grating. They can make tiny pieces or large pieces. It is all about the experimentation. Tearing the paper by hand uses the pincher grasp and allows for practice with fine motor skills. It's also fun! You can also simply tear up a few bits at a time and add them directly to your grated soap.Add some of the torn paper to the soap in the dish and pour a small amount of the warm water in.Mix it up! Ask your kidlets questions as they do this. What does it feel like? What happens as you mix? Do you need more water? More paper? More soap? Much like the salt dough science project, children will learn about balance, texture and consistency. If you are doing this as a homeschool project, bring in the math and graph it up. Have one group use less water, one group use more.If you can mix up a solid batch of faux snow. Less water, more soap and paper; you can sculpt with it and make mini snowmen. To form a "perfect" ball, gather a blob of the mixture and wrap a strip of toilet paper around it to help hold the shape. The water from the mixture will seep through and the paper will blend right in but keep the shape of the ball.

Add some pipe cleaner features or maybe a button or two or a pom-pon hat and you've made your own winter wonderland.This will keep for a few days. You can add more water to the sculpture to dissolve it and play some more. Add glitter for some pizazz or maybe a drop or two of food color to spice it all up. Word of the wise, DO NOT rinse this goo down your kitchen sink. Let it get all solid and put it into the trash. If you have inquisitive kidlets, they may want to try different types of paper. Tissue? Crepe? Phonebook pages? Have fun!

Monday, December 1, 2008

a different type of advent

 Christmas time is the time for advent calendars. It is the time for many things but advent calendars are used most this time of year. Why not build an advent calendar as you go? Rather than open a door or unwrap a small token to find a treasure for the day, why not make a new tradition for advent?

I do not have any delightful pictures for you but I am sure with your talents, you will know just what I mean. To create this new advent tradition, pick a time during the day to ask your wee ones to write down something special about their day. It may be something they saw or did or it may be a feeling they had. They may want to write a sentence about a favorite Christmas memory, cookie or gift. Whatever it is, the focus is to be on goodness and kindness and all things smile inducing. You may need to write as they dictate or maybe you want to make a recording. Keep it short and sweet and add the memory of the day to a large glass jar, bowl or decorated box. You may have your wee ones make up a box today to kick it all off.

On Christmas Day or Eve, you choose, gather your family together, no matter how large or how small. Wrap yourselves up in cozy comfort, add hot cider, tea or chocolate and homemade cookies or bars and read out loud all the good things that happened as you counted down to Christmas.

When you are all through, gather up the lovely memories and wrap them up in paper and bows to be opened by someone next year. Make it the pickle gift or make up a special ornament just for the box or gift it to someone different each year.

Next year, start on the first for a new collection of memories to be read on Christmas even and then, on Christmas day you will have last years memories to relive all over again. Wrap them up along with the new in an even lovelier box and carry on. It is the most simple gift and close to the heart. An evening of sharing with your family. It may even bring you closer and a little less stressed as your wee ones work hard at creating good memories to be put to paper.

Happy December! If you simply must make an advent calendar, check out the nifty flickr group. There are oodles of ideas, oodles1

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sandwich Bread to the Rescue!

For those of you who are in the frenzy of cooking up a turkey day meal, I give you a quick project that your children can make in the kitchen with what you have on hand. My love of baking came about at a very early age. My mother spent a lot of time baking and I always wanted to be a part of it. I had little patience to wait until I was "big enough" to use the "real" kitchen tools, my mother had to be quick thinking to create a diversion so she could get dinner finished. From allowing me to help out by rolling out pie-crust to making pie crust cookies or cracking the eggs or measuring the dry goods, she was always able to include me in the fun. Here is a quick and easy faux-baking project for your wee ones to whip up while you're basting that Turkey.

Sandwich Bread Turnovers

*a couple of slices of bread, white bread works best but any soft bread will do
*melted butter
*jam or peanut butter or cream cheese for filling
*rolling pin
*clean paint brush or pastry brush
*cinnamon and/or powdered sugar

Set out your supplies so that everything is within reach.Have your wee ones cut of the crust of the bread using the scissors. Even plastic play scissors should work. For the very young, hand them a slice of bread and the scissors and let them play. Most of the bread may wind up in their mouths and what doesn't can still be used for something else.Roll each slice flat using the rolling pin. This is one of the best parts and I remember LOVING this. If you don't have a rolling pin, peel off the label of a soup can or other canned food item and wash the outside of the can thoroughly.Using the paintbrush or pastry brush, "paint" the edges of the bread with the melted butter. Your wee one can of course paint as much of the bread as they would like. If butter isn't your thing, try a wee bit of olive oil and some apple juice.Add a dollop of jam or other soft filling on one half diagonal of the bread. Fold over other half making a triangle.Using your fingers, push-seal the edges and paint on some more butter. Use the fork to crimp the edges and add a decorative flair.Sprinkle with cinnamon if you like, or powdered sugar and place on a cookie sheet. Pop into a 350F oven for about 20 minutes.Add a bit more powdered sugar, place on a fun plate, pour a glass of something yummy to drink, cut each tart in half to aid in cooling the hot filling and enjoy!While the turnovers are baking, you can ask your wee ones to cut the crusts up into small rectangles. Add them to your stuffing or make some milk toast. You can also freeze for another use. They're pretty good toasted in a pan with a dab of butter and some seasoning and then added to a bowl of soup or homemade mac & cheese.Happy Thanksgiving!