Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bunny Rabbits and Butterflies

My daughter had to get needles at her well-check yesterday and has been in a grump all day today; so, it was the perfect day to stay at home and do some crafts. 

For a week or so we had lovely weather - it was more like summer than spring. Now, the temperature is hovering dangerously close to 0C. Since it doesn't feel much like spring outside we decided to make it feel like spring inside!

Our first craft is: Coffee Filter Butterflies

What you need:

5 round coffee filters, flattened
Food colouring
Pipe cleaners
Hot glue gun

How to make it:

Fold your coffee filters in half four times, until you have one small triangle.

In your bowls, add food colouring and a splash of water. Adding too much water and not enough food colouring will make for pale, barely there colours. My best results involved using 2-3 drops of colouring and a tablespoon of water. You can always make more if you run out.

Take your folded triangles and dip them in your colours. I Let the excess drip off them. I used three colours per triangle. For some, I used a spoon to drop the colour on them for a different design.

I let my triangles sit folded for about five minutes before opening them and placing them on paper towels to dry.

To turn them into butterflies you have two options; the first is the one I used. I folded my circle in half and cut them into a butterfly shape. Then, I glued on a pipe cleaner body and antenna. Your other option is to fold the circles accordian style and hold it together in the middle with a pipe cleaner, folded in half and twisted at the top (with the two ends forming the antenna).

Then, I hung mine to the ceiling! (I used dental floss to hang them since I didn't have any fishing line) I made little flowers to cover the green painters tape I used to stick the string to the wall.

Simple and lovely! My son likes to stand before them and fan them to make them fly.

Our second craft is more Easter-y and is a Handprint Bunny!

What you need:

White paint
Pink paint
Black paint
Paint brush

How to make it:

Paint your child's hand white and press it onto the paper with all the fingers pressed side by side (so, not spread apart). I traced my daughter's hand on white paper since she's too little for hand painting (hint: tracing baby hands is easiest when they're asleep!) In our first attempt, I painted my son's thumbs, too, but didn't like they way that looked so only painted the palm and fingers for the final attempt.

Draw a round face with the white paint. Once this is dry, paint on a bunny nose, eyes and whiskers. I added pink to the ears, too.


Ta-da! A little bunny! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Lambs

Baby animals are popping up all over our house today! I posted this morning about our baby chicks and this afternoon we were joined by two spring lambs!

This craft is easp-peasy. All you need are:

Some form of paper
Black paint
White glue
Cotton balls
White paint

Simply paint your child's hand black and press onto the paper. Try to arrange the fingers so they are spread apart. I traced around my baby's hand and filled it in with a brush because I didn't want to try to use the paint.

Then, once it's dry, spread some glue on the palm part of the hand. Stick your cotton balls to this. You can either leave them intact or pull them apart to make them extra fluffy.

Then, using white paint and a small brush, add on eyes and a smile.

Ta-da! Some lovely spring lambs.

Our chicks have hatched!

I continue to forget that Easter is so early this year; which means I am seriously slacking on my Easter crafting.

So, today we set out to get our house Easter ready!

Our chicks have hatched!

What You Need:

Cleaned egg shells (I have a nasty habit of putting the egg shells back in the carton after I've used them for cooking. This came in handy for this craft)
Paints (pink & purple were what we used)
Yellow egg dye
Orange & yellow paper
Black and white paints
Easter basket filler (you know, that stringy paper stuff that gets everywhere)
An egg carton
Glue gun

How to make it:

Dye your clean egg shells yellow and leave to dry (I did this the night before). Paint your egg carton in your desired colours and leave that to dry, too.

Cut little orange triangles out of cardstock, these will be chick beaks!

Paint eyes onto your dry egg shells (I let my toddler do this, so they look a little wonky) and glue on the beaks. I found it was easier to use hot glue to keep the beaks on.

Then, you want to put a dot of hot glue on the side of an egg and press it lightly to the side of the carton. This is to keep them in place and stop them from sinking down.

After all your eggs are in place stuff some of your Easter basket filler paper around them. I only had 10 egg shells so I filled two of the egg spots with the paper.

We chose to make a "Happy Easter" sign and glued that to the top part of the carton.

And, TA-DA! We have some lovely Easter chicks!

Don't want to use real egg shells? Buy some plastic eggs and use the yellow ones. You could even fill them with candy (just don't glue them down) and then use it as a countdown to Easter (like an advent calendar).

Monday, March 19, 2012

Easter Printable

Easter is just around the corner. So, it is time to say "goodbye" to my St. Patrick's Day artwork and "hello!" to my Easter ones!

To me, Easter is all about family, candy, egg hunts, and pretty pastel colours. My son is just old enough this year to somewhat understand what's going on and I find myself very excited to be getting into the Easter mood.

Plus, I'm SO happy to finally have some nice weather!

To download this file go here!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Whatever's-in-my-fridge Pasta

Sometimes, when we're nearing the end of the week my weekly meal plan has gone out the window. When Thursday rolled around this week I knew I had planned to do a pasta for dinner, but I didn't really know what was going to go into that pasta.

And that is when I throw together a Whatever's-in-my-fridge Pasta. Often, it's the meals that I throw together at the last minute that my husband likes the best.

Now, some people are afraid of pastas...you know, those terrible carbs. I love pasta. It's possibly my favourite food, next to potatoes, chocolate, and soup. I would eat pasta every day of the week if I could.

This pasta was wonderful because it was light, flavourful and totally satisfying.

I used whatever veggies I had leftover at the end of the week and it all worked wonderfully together. So, I give you my recipe for Whatever's-in-my-fridge Pasta:

What You Need:

Serves: 6

1- 18oz can diced tomatoes with herbs
1 small zucchini, peeled and chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 small head broccoli, chopped
1/2 small head of cauliflower, chopped
1 small can tomato paste (about 2tbsp)
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 cup breadcrumbs (mine were mixed with oregano and basil)
2 large cloves garlic, finely grated
1/2 package penne pasta

1 cup cheese, grated
Oregano, basil, salt and pepper (to taste)
1 tsp margarine/butter
Cooking oil

How to Make it:

Bring a pot of water to boil and add your pasta to that. Preheat your oven to 350F.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add some oil and all of your veggies, minus the canned tomatoes. Add in your garlic, some oregano and basil and salt and pepper. Cook until the veggies are cooked, but still slightly tender (you can cook until soft instead).

Drain your pasta and place into a 9x13 glass dish. Add your veggie mix to this and stir together.

In a bowl, mix your canned tomatoes (with juices) together with your tomato paste until blended. Pour over your pasta and veggies and combine it all together.

Melt your margarine or butter and mix it into your breadcrumbs until they are all coated. Add in your grated cheese and then sprinkle over your pasta.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are crisp.

Optional: Once out of the oven, top with even more grated cheese!

Eat and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Frozen Banana Bites

Yesterday, my toddler asked for a banana and then decided he didn't want it...after I had peeled it. So, I decided to make us a snack to have instead!

All you need...

A large banana, cut into thin slices
Yogurt (I used vanilla and strawberry)
Peanut butter
Wax paper and a baking sheet
A fork

Take your sliced strawberries and dip them into a bowl of yogurt, use a fork to take them out and then place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.

I put some organic peanut butter into a bowl and cooked it in the microwave for about 20 seconds, just to make it easier to dip. Then, dip your banana slices in this and place them on the cookie sheet. Another option would be to sandwich the peanut butter between two banana slices (if you're having a hard time dipping the peanut butter). I drizzled my peanut butter topped ones with honey, too.

Then, simply freeze overnight, or until as frozen as you desire.

My toddler LOVED these! All day long he's been asking for banana popsicles. The peanut butter ones are my favourite.

I tried placing a popsicle stick in half a banana, dipping it in yogurt and freezing it. That was delicious, too, but I prefer the smaller bites.

Mud, Bubbles, and Paints...Oh my!

We made up for our lack of crating today with an entire day dedicated to crafts and sensory play. My toddler didn't know what hit him and had a blast doing one thing after another.

Warning: some of these crafts are a little mess. But, in this house we aren't afraid of messy hands, tables, or floors.

We started our day making White Mud!

What You Need:

1 roll (or less) of toilet paper
1 bar of soap
Warm water (warm enough to melt soap)
Cheese grated
Container (I used a 9x13 baking dish)

This craft was the perfect way to get rid of one of those hotel soaps I always have around but never use. Grate your bar of soap into a bowl. Then, give your child some pieces of toilet paper and have them rip it into smaller bits. Mix your toilet paper bits into your bowl and then add water. Let your kids mix this with their hands until it becomes thick, you don't want it to be too soupy.

I turned mine out into the baking sheet and let my toddler muck around in it! This is a great sensory tool and even I was getting my hands in there. It's slimy, soft, warm and mucky all at the same time!


We played with Green Playdough!

I used my no-cook dough recipe and gave my toddler forks, blocks and whatever other toys he wanted to use to play!

Just before lunch we tried our hands at Marble Artwork

What You Need:

A 9x13 roasting pan
Shaving foam (white)
Popsicle stick
White paper

How you do it:

Spray a layer of shaving foam into your pan then drop some globs of paint onto the shaving foam. Give your toddler a popsicle stick and let them mix the colours together. Then, take your sheet of paper and press it into the shaving foam. You'll be able to see the colours seeping onto the page.

Peel it off and leave it to dry for at least 10 minutes (mine were closer to 15 since I was getting lunch ready). Then, using paper towel, wipe the shaving foam off the paper!

Once it dries completely you will have a lovely marbled painting!

After lunch we got to play with one of my son's favourite things...bubbles! Well, it's actually Foam! The link to this site was posted on a Mom forum I'm a member of and I knew I had to try it with my son.

What You Need:

Liquid dish soap
Measuring cup

How You Make it:

I didn't measure anything with this recipe, it was all eyeballed. I simply squeeze some dish soap into my measuring cup and then added about the same amount of water. I would guess it was about 1/3 cup soap and 1/3 cup water. Mix together with a spoon and then dump into your blender.

Mix it until it becomes thick and foamy. The longer you mix it the thicker it becomes.

Then, turn it out into a bowl and set it on the ground with a plastic table cloth or towel underneath.

My son had a BLAST with this one! He played with his cars in it and then grabbed a cloth and scrubbed my fridge, dishwasher, and oven! He got to have fun and he cleaned for me. Win-win!

After the foam was gone I made him another batch....then another...then another!

I think this would be fun to play with in the bath, too, but maybe using body wash instead of dish soap.

Our final craft of the day helped bring a bit of Spring into our home.

What You Need:

Popsicle sticks
White paint
Green paper
Blue paper (or white paper painted blue)
White paper
Red, pink, and yellow paper
Hot glue gun

How to Make it:

Paint your popsicle sticks white and leave to dry. Cut clouds out of your white paper and flowers out of your red, pink and yellow paper. Don't forgot to make stems and leaves out of green paper! (If you're painting white paper blue this is when you'll want to do it, so it can dry while you cut out your shapes.)

Cut out some grass from green paper and a sun (orange rays optional) out of yellow paper.

Once your popsicle sticks are dry you want to use your hot glue gun to glue them together to make a fence.

Glue your fence onto the blue paper using your glue gun. Then, glue on your green grass, flowers (with stems and leaves), sun, and clouds.

Ta-da! A lovely Spring picture!