Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Princesses on the Avocado Dip Pirate Boat Snack

I originally got this idea from this recipe. It is posted on a list of 15 healthy snacks from Super Healthy Kids, a wonderful resource for recipes! I changed the recipe a bit, and expanded on the idea in a new way for my little girl so I decided to share it.

So, as you can see if you clicked on the link they were serving an avocado dip served in the halved avocado skin to look like a boat with a pirate flag stuck in and chips around it. I did this too, but made the pirate flag myself with black construction paper, white crayon, Sharpie, and scissors. Then I stuck it onto a bamboo skewer and put it into the dip. I also added Little People Disney princesses around it. The princesses were taking over the pirate ship!

My recipe for the avocado dip:
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 TBSP organic salsa
- 1/2 TSP freshly squeezed lemon juice, maybe a bit more depending

First you cut the avocado in half lengthwise and then you scoop all flesh out, and the pit of course. Reserve the half of the skin that you want to be your boat.

You put all the ingredients in a blender and blend them up until they are smooth. I had to do a bit of mashing of mine too because I didn't blend it too much since I wanted to leave some avocado bits in there too. Their recipe called for 1 TSP light sour cream. I opted not to use that as we try to be dairy free more often than not and I just didn't think it needed it. If I would have had some organic goat's milk yogurt I would have used that happily though, would have made it a bit creamier. But it was delicious just how it was.

Once it was ready I carefully spooned it into the better boat looking side of the avocado skin. Then I stuck the bamboo skewer pirate flag in and placed the chips around it. For the final touch I added the Little People Disney princesses.

My daughter absolutely loved this and devoured it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Chicky Foot Print Craft

This is similar to my last post, but very different because although we're using the same type of toy for this Easter painting activity, we're using it in a much different way. We didn't wind this one up and let it go to make a trail like we did with the bunny. We just dipped it's feet in paint and made prints with it the way you would anything else. They turned out adorable!

All you need for this is a wind up toy chick (they sell them at Target, and probably Dollar Tree, as well as other places I'm sure), a paper plate, orange tempera paint, and some white paper.

 You just put some paint on the plate so that your little one will be able to dip the chicks feet in and make their prints.

Hilarious Hopping Bunny Trail Painting

Have you ever gotten on of those bunnies that they sell around Easter time that you can wind up and they hop all over the place? They are too great to pass up. They always make my little one laugh so hard, and she laughed even more when it was leaving a bunny trail during this paint activity.

All you need for this activity is one of the hopping bunnies (they can be found at Target, and I think the Dollar Store, and probably a variety of other places as well), a paper plate, some white paper, and any color you'd like of washable tempera paint. My daughter chose pink for ours.

All you do is lay out the white paper on the table or whatever hard, flat surface you have for your bunny to hop on. Then you squirt some of the paint onto the paper plate in a little puddle that you can dip the bunnies feet into. Once you've done that you wind it up and set it on the paper. It will start hopping all over leaving a trail of paint behind it!

My daughter just loved this activity. I bet your kids would too! It's the perfect fun time Easter craft!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Invitation to Create Bunnies

This idea popped into my head one day, with Easter coming up, and I was amazed at how good the set up turned out. I love invitations to create and always love setting up a great one for my daughter. This one was absolutely perfect. I hope you and your kids will have fun with it too!

So, the idea was to set out some bunnies and books about bunnies that had pictures of them. These things serve as the inspiration for the child to make their own bunny or bunnies. I put out our Thumper stuffed animal, a Little People bunny and carrots, a carrot Easter egg, and some bunny books. There was also a Thumper Easter book laying nearby that by daughter ended up choosing to model her bunnies after in the following picture.

So, after I figured out what the inspiration was going to be, I needed to decide what art supplies to put out to give her enough options to get creative with the making of her bunnies, but to also keep with the realistic bunny theme.

I decided on three sheets of construction paper, one in white, one in orange, and one in green. I would have laid out a gray one too if I had one. I picked these colors because I was picturing bunnies on the white that she could color with the crayons, green for maybe some grass, orange for a carrot if she wanted.

I laid out 6 crayons (black, gray, orange, white, green, brown). I chose these for the colors of bunnies, grass, carrots, drawing a face or other details). I'll say now that I ended up needing to get a yellow sheet of construction paper and a pink crayon for my daughter as well for her background, and for the inside of the bunnies ears, per her request. I totally allowed that, as this activity is also very free flow.

I also had out scissors, a small bowl of googly eyes in various sizes, a bowl of cotton balls (think bunny tails), and a bottle of glue. We also needed to grab some qtips to use with the glue, because that's how we like to do it sometimes.

This was her selecting her bunny (Thumper) in the book. It was her idea to also wear the bunny ears during this activity, such a cute addition!

First she took the white piece of paper and the gray crayon and drew the outline of her bunny. I was amazed by it! She cut it out a little bit and then asked me to do the rest because she didn't want it to loose the shape she had designed. I gladly helped, and then she used the crayons to color the bunny the way she wanted to, trying to model it off of Thumper.

Once she was finished coloring the bunny and his ears, we used the green construction paper to make grass for her yellow background. I held the paper for her while she cut little lines on the paper to make it look like grass. Then she glued that on to the paper, then she glued her bunny on to the paper and glued his tail on as well.

She then decided to take the brown crayon and just draw another bunny right on the paper next to her Thumper, she was drawing his sister Daisy. Then I put the carrot inspirations out for her to look at while she drew carrots for the bunnies to have.

Then we made the decision to add the googly eyes to the bunnies because they looked a little funny without them. 
This was the finished product of my daughter's Invitation to Create Bunnies. Beautiful! 

Your little one will have so much fun doing an invitation to create based on bunnies like this! You can put out whatever bunny things you like, including Easter bunny stuffed animals, any books with bunnies in them. You can put out any supplies you like, if you're modeling yours off your Easter bunny collection maybe you'll need pinks and other pastel colors. Just make sure you keep it free flow for your kid to create, and try to let go of trying to control the process. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Watching the Rain Paint

Watching the rain make beautiful art that they helped to make is such a fun Spring activity for kids.

When it's about to rain you go outside with a piece of white paper and some food coloring bottles and let your little one put some droplets of color around the paper. Then go inside, watch it rain on the paper and make beautiful art!

Tops & Tails Veggie Exploration

Aw, my girl when she was younger!

This was a great activity for her and would keep her occupied when I was cooking dinner. I would give her the parts of veggies I wasn't using in the meal. This time it was the tops and tails of yellow squash and zucchini. She got to explore the sensory aspects of them and play around.

Cotton Candy Cloud Dough Recipe and Pretend Play Shop

I am going to share a fabulous cloud dough recipe and warm weather outdoor pretend play set up.

First, here's the fabulous cotton candy cloud dough itself!

- 8 cups of flour
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- a packet or two of Duncan Hines Frosting Creations cotton candy

Stir it all together in a big bowl.

Then take it outside and set it up for your little one to open up a pretend play sensory cotton candy shop.

I made a sign with pink construction paper that said Cotton Candy $.25 and put it out on an outdoor table along with pretend money, two little bowls, a measuring spoon, and a big bowl full of the cotton candy cloud dough.

I also provided my daughter with an apron.


She did her pretend play shop for a while, and then I gave her another large bowl for her to transfer, like toddlers love to do.

And for anyone who knows us, these pictures are obviously from a while back lol.

Spring Bento Box

Since today was the first day of Spring I put together this Spring Bento Box for my daughter. 
To make it I used her laptop lunchbox, and my PopChef.

In the first section I have two flower shaped organic pb&j sandwiches, topped with sun shaped dutch goat cheese. I also added a heart shaped dutch goat cheese, all made with the PopChef. I folded up a paper towel and put it in that section to prop up the sandwiches a little bit so they could be seen better. Also because a paper towel is needed with lunch.

The second section has a special treat in it. Annie's Organic fruit snacks. They were perfect for the theme being shaped like bunnies.

The third section has Annie's Organic bunny shaped mac and cheese.

The fourth section has raspberries and halved green grapes.

Hosting a St. Patrick's Day Play Date

I hosted a St. Patrick's Day Play Date for my daughter and two of little girl friends the day before St. Patrick's Day. I'm going to post a bit on the set up, food, and activities.

This was how I had the food out on the counter. For drinks I had Honest Kids organic Appley Ever After Juice. I picked this flavor because it had a green part on the drink. Then we had a cookie cake, "rainbow" parfaits, and spinach four leaf clover tortilla chips. The other mom brought over hummus with a green lid for dip! I also had gold coins sprinkled about for decor.

The "rainbow" parfaits were made with dairy free coconut milk yogurt, and food coloring. I didn't have red or yellow to make red, orange, or yellow. So I used pink, green, blue, ad purple. I scooped some yogurt into 4 different bowls, added some food coloring to each one and stirred each up separately. Then I added a bit of each color, starting with purple into the clear little serving cups. I also had 3 green spoons for the kids to each have one with them!

Now, for the spinach four leaf clover tortilla chips, I will refer you to this recipe

For decor I had this leprechaun taped up to the wall that I purchased at Dollar Tree. I also had green flowers on the table, clover and leprechaun decals on the window, and magnetic clovers and a leprechaun on the fridge. All (except the flowers) purchased at Dollar Tree.

For the activities, we made necklaces, made Shamrock Man, and played bingo 

For the necklaces I dyed some uncooked pasta noodles green, and cut some shamrocks out of green construction paper that I then punched holes in so they would be able to be strung along with the noodles. To dye the pasta noodles I put them in a ziploc bag, then added in some rubbing alcohol and shook it all up until the noodles were all coated, then did the same with green food coloring. Once they were all colored I put them on a foil covered baking sheet to dry. 
I had my daughter do her necklace in a pattern of two noodles, then a shamrock. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

St. Patrick's Craft

I love this craft I made with my daughter the other day! It is so cute and gets kids in the holiday mood for St. Patrick's Day!

For this craft you need washable tempera paint in all the colors of the rainbow, and black for the pot of gold. Then you need gold glitter glue, construction paper (I used gray so all the colors of paint would show up). I also used a sticker of a leprechaun that came in a pack from Dollar Tree, as well as a circle sponge paint brush.

First, paint the black pot on the paper, or have your child do it. Then instruct them to dip the circle sponge paint brush into each color, one by one (you'll have to rinse it in between) and then put them in arching rows like a rainbow coming out of the pot.

After that the black pot should be pretty much dry, and your child can use the gold glitter glue to top the pot off with! Then the sticker can be added as well if you have one.

St. Patrick's Day Word Wall

As always, we do a word wall for the upcoming holiday, and in this case that is St. Patrick's Day.
I think it turned out pretty cute, although I am in no way a good shamrock drawer! I tried for my daughter though, but the most important part is the literacy aspect and learning the words, being in a print rich environment, etc.

I wrote the words on index cards with a green Sharpie:
- gold
- Irish
- St. Patrick
- shamrock
- green
- Blarney stone
- jig
- rainbow
- trifolium
- clover
- pot of gold
- luck
- harp
- march
- leprechaun

Then I used a different green marker to draw/color a shamrock on each card, and used other markers to make a rainbow on the "rainbow" card.

Teddy Bear Bath

Want to delight your little one with a teddy bear themed bath? Just follow these simple steps!

Use a teddy bear shaped cookie cutter to press into some craft foam sheets in various colors, and then cut them out the rest of the way. They will stick to the walls of the tub when they get wet. 

To make the teddy bear bath paint mix shaving cream and brown washable tempera paint in a bowl until you get the desired color. Then carefully put some drops of black washable tempera paint on for the eyes and nose. Use a paint brush with black paint on it to make the ears and mouth though.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Dr. Seuss Day Breakfast

Here was our Dr. Seuss Day Breakfast!

We had green eggs with organic ketchup, Cat in the Hat skewers, and Pink Ink Drink. Pink Ink Drink is my own idea and we have it every year! I'll share the recipes on this post.

For the green eggs I used Trader Joe's organic brown eggs with added omega 3's. I cracked them into a bowl and whisked them a bit, then I added in quite a few drops of neon food coloring, and regular green food coloring. They mixed together to make just the color I wanted when I whisked the rest of the way. They came out beautiful after cooking as well, as you can see.

For the Cat in the Hat skewers I put some slices of organic bananas and organic strawberries on a skewer to look like the cat's hat, and then I put a jumbo marshmallow on for the cat's face. We didn't have a food marker or I would have drawn him a little cat face on there.

For the Pink Ink Drink (which I was inspired by One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish to make) is made by blending some organic strawberries with some organic almond milk.

Mulberry Street Playdough

This brilliant idea, like most brilliant ideas, came straight from my daughter herself! I asked her what kind of playdough she wanted to make and told her to keep in mind that St. Patrick's day and Dr. Seuss Day were both coming up. She then said she wanted to make blue playdough so she could make her own Mulberry Street. What an amazing idea! I love it because it brings a book to life.

So we made the blue playdough together, and then flattened it out on her table and added some of the animals and Little People we thought fit the descriptions from the book, and then some of her own ideas as well since she was making it her own after all.

I also made a Mulberry St. sign for it by using a popsicle stick and ripped a Post-It note down to just the size I needed to write that at the top, and stuck it into the playdough.

If you're wondering how we made the blue playdough, here's our recipe:
- 1 cup of all purpose flour
- 1 cup of water
- 1/4 cup of salt
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- 1 TBSP vegetable oil
- Blue food coloring, as many or as few drops as it takes to get the color you desire

Step 1:
Put all the ingredients into a pot and stir them together with a wooden spoon.

Step 2:
Put the pot on the stove over medium heat and stir CONSTANTLY with the wooden spoon. Once a ball forms gather up all the playdough out of the pot and put it into a bowl. Once it cools down a little bit knead it until it's not sticky anymore.

Delicious and Healthy Breakfast for Kids

I know most parents are always looking for new ideas for healthy meals to feed their kids, especially breakfast since it's the most important meal of the day. Look no further than this post for a lovely breakfast idea for your toddler or preschooler. 

On the divided plate pictured above there is sliced organic strawberries, vanilla soy yogurt, and what I like to call Chocolaty Hemp Heart Banana Slices.

Here is my recipe for them:
- 1 organic banana, sliced
- Trader Joe's Cocoa Almond Spread
- Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods Hemp Hearts

Step 1:
Take a slice of banana, and use a butter knife to coat one side of it with the cocoa almond spread.

Step 2:
Pour some hemp hearts into a small bowl, and roll the coated side of the banana in them so they stick to the cocoa almond spread.

Glitter Hot Air Balloon Craft

As part of our transportation theme we made this Glitter Hot Air Balloon Craft. It looks so cute hanging in our classroom/playroom. 

To make it you need:
- a paper plate
- hole puncher
- yarn
- glue
- glitter
- paper cup
- tape
- scissors
- a puppet of your child (you make a puppet of your child by cutting out a picture of them, and taping a popsicle stick to it

Step 1:
Punch a hole in the top of the paper plate so you can put some yarn through it. Use enough so you'll be able to hang it down from the ceiling, taping it to the ceiling and tying it around the paper plate's hole. You can also tape it down to the paper plate for more security.

Step 2:
Punch a hole in each side of the paper plate, and do the same for the paper cup you'll be able to hang the paper cup from the paper plate. You can tie the yarn around the holes and then tape it for extra security like you did with the plate.

Step 3:
Smear/squeeze glue all over the paper wherever the glitter is wanted. Shake the glitter over top of the plate, trying to get most on the glue, then shake paper plate over the trashcan to get the excess glitter off. Set on the counter or somewhere to dry.

Step 4:
Once it's all dry, put the puppet of your child into the paper cup. Use the popsicle stick to poke a hole through the bottom of the paper plate and stick the puppet down far enough into the paper plate until it looks normal for this craft.

Step 5:
Tape it to the ceiling if you want!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Homemade Protein Packed Pops

Homemade Protein Packed Pops:
Put some organic almond milk, organic almond butter, and organic strawberries into the blender and blend them up together! I don't measure these ingredients when I put them in the blender I just go by how it looks to me. Probably a couple spoonfuls of almond butter I'd say though, four-five strawberries, and like 1/2-3/4 cup of milk for about two popsicles of this size.

Cat's Hat Bath Paint and Thing 1&2 Bath Paint

Dr. Seuss Day was yesterday and I made this awesome bath paint for my daughter the other day to get her excited about it!

For the Cat's Hat Bath Paint I used a small baking sheet, squirted some shaving cream on it in the shape of a hat, and then put a few drops of red food coloring in rows to make the stripes, took a paint brush and spread the food coloring drops out to make the stripes. 

For the Thing 1&2 Bath Paint I just put some shaving cream in a little plastic bowl and then mixed in some blue food coloring. Just like their hair! 

Pretend Play Driver's License

We've been doing a transportation theme and to kick it off we started by making a Pretend Play Driver's License. 

What you'll need to make your own is:
- Contact paper
- Construction paper
- A small picture of your child's face
- A car sticker (or draw your own car)
- A marker 
- Scissors
- Glue stick

Cut the construction paper down to size, and glue your child's photo onto it. Use the market to write "Driver License" at the top and the child's name to side. Put the car sticker on. Then use the contact paper to laminate it. Do this by cutting the contact paper into to two pieces that are a little bit bigger than the driver's license and put one on the back and one on the front, then trim off the excess.