Friday, April 21, 2017

Earth Day Sugar Cookies!

Earth Day is here! Well, tomorrow actually...but for once, I am ahead of the game. Tonight we ventured out and made Earth Day Sugar Cookies! I was skeptical to say the least about these because every recipe I found for "Earth Day Cookies" called for some weird ingredient. I decided to improvise (which in the kitchen...usually ends in a disaster for me) but these turned out great!

First, I followed this Sugar Cookie Recipe because it has NEVER let me down. I made the dough, just as she states. Follow it exactly! It is easy! I just omit the almond extract (because I never have it.) lol. but it is like she reads my mind...because she states that you CAN omit it! Whohoo!

Then, after you have the dough made...just simply split the batch into two sections. I used rubber gloves for this next part but you do not have to. Add in green food coloring to one dough section and blue food coloring to the other dough section. Knead the dough until it is the desired color.

Now, in hindsight...I would make the blue section much bigger...I ran out of blue and had a lot of green left that I just tossed. Oh well, we still ended up with a ton of cookies! No harm done!

Next, roll the dough into small balls and place on parchment paper (on a baking sheet.) 

Then cook as directed in the original recipe. (350 degrees for 6-8 minutes.) Again though...I cooked mine for about 11 minutes. I am not sure why that worked better...maybe the food coloring had something to do with it. Anyway, I would recommend cooking them around 11 minutes. :)

And there you have it! Earth Day Cookies! And holy cow...they taste amazing (if I am allowed to say that.) I really can't take credit...the sugar cookie recipe is the best!! 

So tomorrow we will do some fun crafts and eat some cookies! If you want to see more of my crafts in action with my kiddos...head over to my instagram and and facebook page! Have a great Earth Day!

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Mess-Free Earth Day

I love Earth Day! I used to love doing activities with my 3rd graders and 5th graders when I was a teacher. Now, I am excited to talk about Earth Day with my own kids. Olivia loves to paint but let's face it...she makes a huge mess! I am perfectly okay with that, but I knew this activity would end up a big blob on a plate if I didn't take some measures to make it "mess-free." :)

First, I prepped the activity! It wasn't hard, as you can see below...but I needed to have it all set up before I showed it to her. 

Just take a paper plate, a gallon baggie, and some blue and green paint. At first, I put the plate in the baggie and I was just going to squirt the paint in the bag, but I decided pulling the plate out was better, then I squirted paint on the plate and slid it into the bag. 

Basically, I just squirted the colors in various spots where I knew land and water are on Earth. :) I am no geography whiz though! lol.

Next, I taped it....PLEASE DO NOT FORGET THIS STEP! lol. I didn't take a picture of it, but it is so important! I used packing tape! Then, let the little one squish, squish, squish! 

After a few minutes, this was the finished product. 

Disclaimer: I took the plate and bag away from her before she wanted to be done. lol. I knew it would be a big green/blue blob if I let her keep going. Needless to say, she was sad...really sad...that I took it away. (mommy fail) lol. So...I squirted some more paint in a bag, taped it, and let her continue. Maybe that is spoiling her, or maybe I was just glad she liked the activity...the world will never know. But just a mommy may want have a spare baggie with paint on hand for when you snatch away the real one. :)

What do I love most about this? There was no clean up! lol. None. So I hope you enjoy this activity! 

Have a great week!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles!

Olivia has become very interested in cars and trains lately. I decided it was the perfect time to do a "transportation theme" for our weekly activities.

We started off the week with two really great books! Curious George On the Go and On the Go! I highly recommend both of these books for toddlers. They are interactive, inexpensive, and really fun for little ones!

Next we worked on our numbers (1-5) with this Numberline Train! Olivia loved putting the numbers in order, and naming the numbers. She can say all of her numbers (1-5) now!

Next we got really messy (but clean at the same time??) lol. Have you ever used shaving cream to clean your counter-tops? Sounds weird, but it is amazing! Now, I don't actually use it as a cleaner, but it did help clean my counter when Olivia was playing with it! 

I just squirted shaving cream, smeared it around, then let her run toy cars through it. 30 minutes at least of pure fun! She loved this! She made car noises and a mess! It was perfect!

Snack time came next and it was easy and yummy! Graham crackers, peanut butter, and M&M's! She gobbled it up! And note, it looks like traffic lights. :) 

Road Shapes from Mrs. Plemon's Kindergarten Blog were a huge hit too! My son loved them also! These were so easy to print, cut, (I laminated, but you do not have to) then just let the kids play! Oh the car noises! So cute! We talked about the shapes and she can identify most of her shapes, but a few were still too hard. 

Outside we go! We only had a few pretty days this week but sidewalk chalk was a must. We drew all kinds of things but we talked about red light, yellow lights, and green lights!

Here is another fabulous idea from Mrs. Plemon's Blog! These Melissa and Doug Reusable Sticker Books are AMAZING! We used them all of the time when Rex was little but I had forgotten all about them! They have all different kinds but I got the vehicle one!

These are great for fine motor skills and I love how she can peel them up over and over again!

Lastly, we finished up with boats! I ordered these Alex Toys Magnetic Boats! Super cute, and with a little blue food coloring, it looked like the boats were really in the ocean. :) Water bins are always one of my favorites! It is great for her sensory skills and she has so much fun! 

I have had a lot of questions about what my day is like with Livi. Believe me when I say, this stuff only takes about 1.5 hours a day. I do not "school" her all day. :) I do these things because I know they are good for her, it helps her learn, and gives us quality time together to interact! I love all of your sweet responses and questions. I am happy to share anything I have with you! 

I hope you have a wonderful week!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Edible PEEPS Play Dough!

Are your children obsessed with play dough? Mine are. It is played with daily at our house by both of our kiddos! I am always looking for new and fun recipes to make play dough (even though store bought works just fine!) lol. My kids love to make things though, so making play dough is always one of my favorites!

I was trying to think of something Easter themed to do today with the of course I went to Pinterest. I saw a fun recipe for PEEPS play dough! I would link the blog(s) but I ended up using a variety from different blogs...but fear not, searching "PEEPS Play Dough" will work too!

Here are the ingredients you will need: 
  • 1 pkg. of PEEPS (any color)
  • Powered Sugar
  • Coconut Oil

I am a huge advocate for getting the entire work station ready before sitting the kids down. If you don't, you will be pestered to the point of no return! So, I got everything ready before I even told the kids what we were making. 

The process is simple. Take 5 PEEPS and put them in a glass bowl. (I did 5 PEEPS in each bowl, so both my son and daughter could make their own.) Add in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to each bowl.

Microwave the PEEPS for 15 seconds (or until they expand.)

Begin mixing the oil (which will be melted) and the PEEPS together. Slowly add in a tablespoon at a time of powdered sugar. 

NOTE: It took me about 5 tablespoons per bowl, but add it a little at a time to see if that amount works for you. The rule is simple though--if the consistency is too stiff, add more oil...if it is too greasy, add more powered sugar! :) Have the kids mix, mix, mix. 

After it is mixed most of the way, the kids can take it out of the bowl and mold with their hands. It can be a bit greasy, if that bothers you, simply put is on a paper towel and push it around a few times. The paper towel will soak up the oil. 

At this point, it is play dough...and it is edible! My kids didn't eat it, but it can be eaten! :) Mine just loved rolling it, squishing it, and using cookie cutters to cut out shapes! The possibilities are endless! 

You can use different colors such as pink or blue...our Wal-Mart did not have these colors, therefore I just did yellow! My kids loved it so much though that I will do it with the other colors later! 

So, thanks for taking a PEEP at this recipe (lol, I know...very punny huh?) womp. Hope you have a great week!


Monday, April 3, 2017

Lady Bug Craft with my Little Lady Bug!

I was in search for a cute craft to do with Livi today, but I didn't want to buy anything. lol. I rummaged through our craft draws and compiled a few things to use! I had to share how cute it turned out! It was fun, she was able to do most of it by herself, and it turned out ADORABLE!

So if you have a paper plate, some red paint, and construction are set!

I squirted some red paint on a paper plate and flipped another paper plate over. I taped it down, so it wouldn't slide all over the place. She painted the entire plate. 

We let the plate dry for a bit, then I cut an arch out and some small strips. I had to staple this part...if you use construction paper, you could just have them glue it. We used this foam glitter stick-able paper!

I also cut out these shapes because let's face 2 year old can't cut yet! :) After that, it was so simple though...she just peeled and stuck! 

She still isn't great at peeling, so I started them for her, then she peeled the rest of the way!

Can you tell she is proud? :) Like I said, construction paper or card stock would work fine! I just had this pretty paper laying around from a project earlier in the year! 

I know this was a quick post! I hope you enjoyed this though! Quick little activities like this are fun, cheap, and make the most wonderful memories! :)

Have a great week!