Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hang a heart or two

Repurposed art heart garlands....Here's another bit you can do with your kidlet's artwork. Like the hearts to flowers, trace a heart shape onto the back of the artwork and cut out. You can do more than one size for fun variety.

Stack up your hearts and bring them with you to the sewing machine. Set your stitch to the longest you can, I set mine to 4 and place a hard under the foot. Stitch along the heart with a quick backstitch at the top to hold and continue running the machine as you get the bottom. Guide the heart out behind the foot and gently tug along the thread as you run the machine al ittle more, about six inches or so. Add another heart under the foot and stitch. Continue until you have a length of garland yo uare happy with. I did this from top to bottom for a vertical garland. You can do this from side to side for a horizontal garland if you like.Not into hearts? Stitch up squares or circles. It's all fun!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

hearts to flowers

I am sure you have all seen, if not made, the heart petal flower pops. The fun flowers that use a lollipop as the base with hearts for petals. It's all over the internet and if you're an old school Martha Kids reader you probably have that issue bookmarked like me. So, here's my take. It's pretty much the same thing but without the sugared center.You will need:
*3-4 hearts for each flower
*pipecleaner, chenille stems
*large buttons
*small hole punch
For this project, I used the artwork that was created for the shake and make painting.

Flip your paper or kidlet's artwork over so that the print and prettiness faces down. Trace a heart shape onto the back as many times as you can fit. I used the template from the memory game. An easy template can be made by folding a 3" by 4" piece of paper in half and cutting out a half heart shape on the fold. This size heart would use 3 hearts for each flower.Cut out the hearts. and stack three or four on top of each other. Punch a hole or two if using a small punch. One hole if using a regular punch. Give yourself some room from the edge so that your kidlet doesn't tear the heart as they thread the stem through.Thread a pipe cleaner/chenille stem up through the hole from the bottom. Add your button and bend the same point of the stem though a different hole in the button and back down through the same hole the stem has already been pushed thorough.Give the two bits of stem a twist and arrange your petals. Ta-da! A beautiful bouquet made from your child's artwork!

Monday, February 9, 2009

revisiting the shake and make

Also known as container painting! The cool thing about Valentine's Day is that you can bring out any of your favorite projects, use just pink & red and your are up to your eyeballs in festive love-fun!If you do not have an empty oatmeal container, you can use a coffee tin or a yogurt container. For this edition, I used a yogurt container. All you have to do is cut your paper to fit.Roll your paper into the container so that is sticks to the sides, add a handful of marbles, beads or buttons and a squirt or two of paint. The less paint you use, the more streaky fun the end result will be. Pop the lid on and hand of to your wee one for some shaking fun. Put on some favorite tunes and hold a mini dance party!When the shaking is done, pull out the art, set in a safe place to dry and add a sprinkle or two of glitter. Once dry, you can turn your kidlet's art into all sorts of valentine fun. Check back tomorrow for some ideas.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A heartfelt memory game for you to make

Make a lovely memory game!You will need:
*cardboard (a cereal box would work just dandy)
*a heart shaped template (you can draw this yourself)
*large sheet of gift wrap or fabric or construction paper for the backs
*spray adhesive, heat n bond, mod podge, etc.
*variety of printed papers or fabric such as origami for your pairs
*scissors and/or blade
This is a project for you to make for your kidlets. An older child may be willing to help or create it as well. But it takes a little time to finish. There is a lot of cutting involved, unless you own a Cricut, which I don't but wish I did.

Create your heart template by either tracing a large heart shaped cookie cutter or drawing one free style. You can also cut one from paper like I did. It doesn’t matter how heart shaped or wonky it may be, this will be your template for the entire game. Make it large enough for your wee ones to easily see it but not so large that you have exhausted your supply of cereal boxes. About three inches across at its widest point is good.Using your template, trace a minimum of twelve hearts onto your cardboard. Make as many as you have a variety of papers for the backs. Always make an even number so that you have two of each print/paper backs. Make an odd number of pairs if you want your game to have a "winner".Flip your cardboard over so that the hearts are facing down. Adhere your large sheet of gift wrap or fabric to the “blank” side using your choice of adhesive. A spray adhesive is the fastest. My paper is a little see-thru but as long as your kidlets aren't savvy enough to spot the differences, it's good to go. if you like, you can add two layers of paper. That spray adhesive really comes in handy!Once dry, cut out your hearts. Don't they look happy?Now it is time to gather your materials for your pairs. You will need two hearts per pattern. You can use solid colors, prints, words, or fabric. It is up to you. Adhere each print to two hearts making sure not to cover the backing pattern. I used mod podge for this and it went pretty quick. Don’t try to match up heart shapes to heart shapes. Simply adhere a swatch to each heart. To dry, layer your cards-to-be on wax paper and pop a heavy box or cutting board on top to keep your hearts from curling. If any glue leaks out the sides, it won't stick to the wax paper. Once dry, trim off the excess. You now have a nifty hearth shaped memory game!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

make a sweet snack mix

Snack happy and full of love, make a valentine’s day inspired snack mix for everyone to enjoy.This would be great for a small Valentine’s Day party or even a birthday party activity if you have a hike or walk planned. You can even host a Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt after the snack is prepared or just mix up a smattering of small bags to give as valentines.

You will need:
*cereal of choice such as puffed rice or granola
*mini pretzels or pretzel sticks
*dried fruit
*nuts if there are no allergies
*anything else you want to add

scrumdilly-do it!

Set out your ingredients in small bowls or cups or maybe even a muffin tin. Make sure each child has a baggie and a spoon. Allow them to scoop up what they want to add to their mix. 
You can make up a large batch and have your wee ones scoop a bunch into small baggies. Tie the baggies off with ribbon, add a message from your kidlet and give out for Valentine’s Day. Make sure there are no nuts if there are any known allergies!

Or you can take your wee ones out for a walk and count how many red objects you see. Add a camera, make up teams and take pictures for the scavenger hunt. Whatever you do, it is of course, all about the eating of the snack happy love mix! Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 2, 2009

rainbow cakes a-la dilly-do!

Rainbow cakes are popping up all over. Here's our take, just in time for Valentine's Day.You will need:
*white cake batter, homemade or boxed
*cupcake liners
*pink and/or red food color
*heavy whipping cream
*chocolate chips or marshmallows
*sprinkles if ya like
*paper & pens to keep track
scrumdilly-do it:

Whip up your cake batter like you would for any old cake. the lighter the cake batter, the brighter your pinks and/reds will be. Use only egg-whites if ya wanna get super fancy.

Divide your batter into at least four small bowls. You can of course do more but four works nicely to turn this into a science and/or math adventure. We're going to make a graph of sorts.

Pink and red food color are very similar. You almost can't even tell the difference but it still may be fun to use both. Set up your experiment by writing onto some small scraps the names of the colors if you are using both. On two additional cards, write out the number 1 and the number 2. One for each card. This will be your graph.In the row of bowls marked with a number 1, add 1 drop of pink food color into the bowl labeled pink and one drop into the bowl labeled red. Add two drops to each bowl in the number 2 row, make sure to keep your pink in your pink row and your red in your red row.Have your child mix up each batch of colored batter. Talk about color mixing and how red can turn into pink. Ask which bowl do they think will look the darkest? The lightest? The reddest, etc. If you have more batter, continue with adding drops of food color. If you only have one color of food color, mix a bowl for each drop. One bowl will be for one drop, one for two drops, one for three and so on.After you have finished with the mixing part of the experiment, make your rainbow cakes. Fill your muffin pan with cupcake liners and add a dollop or two of each variation until your cups are three quarters of the way full. Ask your child if he or she thinks you will be able to see the differences once they are baked. Have them draw a picture of what they think the cakes will look like while you wait for them to bake. Bake according to your recipe.When cupcakes are finished baking, top each cupcake with three or four chocolate chips and wait until they get a bit melty. When they are melty, spread to cover the tops and allow to set. You can also do this with a marshmallow instead or add both! While cupcakes are cooling, chill your mixing bowl for the cream by placing it into your freezer (this will help speed the whipping process). Once the cakes are cool, allow your child to whip up the cream using an electric hand held mixer. Supervised, of course! Add just a smidge of sugar, one tablespoon per cup of cream is perfect. Top each cupcake with a dollop of whipped cream and add some sprinkles for fun.
Keep a couple unfrosted and cut them in half so that you and your children can see the magic that is a rainbow cake. See how many variations of pink they can count. If you like, chop up a cupcake and make a parfait using whipped cream or vanilla yogurt. Either way, make sure no cupcake goes to waste! Happy almost Valentine's Day!