Thursday, September 23, 2010

Great "in between" time activities (with recipes)

Here's a couple of great options for in between time activities. 

Home made playdo, and silly puddy. 

We make our own playdo sometimes ~ other times we buy it. Our playdo is made with Kool Aid so the colors are really fun and they SMELL so GOOD! This recipe doesn't call for Kool aid ~ but it looks great none the less. 

I haven't done the silly puddy ~ but think it would be fun. 

Sometimes when I'm working I will pull out a plastic table cloth, spread it out on the floor and let Hanna pull out all the play doh, silverware (from her kitchen set) and cookie cutters we've collected. This allows me to not worry about the play doh getting on the floor (and everywhere else) and let's me focus on work, and her have a grand old time. This activity can easily hold her attention for at least an hour. 

Here's the post with the recipes:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Make Homemade Applesauce... YUM!

We recently picked a bunch of apples from an abandoned homestead with a great big apple tree. (we did get permission first). We finally got around to making applesauce yesterday. 

We followed a really simple recipe:

Peel and cut apples (we did a big bowl full, not sure how much)
add a bit of water in the bottom of the pan
Add a bit of sugar ~ maybe 1/2 cup. (the apples were really ripe and sweet so they didn't need all that much sugar)
dash of cinnamon

Cook for 20 minutes or so until soft.

Blend in the blender. (I tried our stick blender and it didn't work all that well) added a little water to help the blender out a little bit.

Pour into plastic bags and allow to cool. Freeze.

Poured some in canning jar and stored in the freezer. 

It was delicious warm and even better cold. :)

Our apple tree has apples on it for the first time in 10 years. So we're going to be doing a LOT of apple related cooking and crafts over the next month or so. :) Any ideas very welcome. 

Paint Pumpkins for Halloween

Last year we had some volunteer pumpkins come up (they came up again this year, but not sure they're going to make it). We ended up painting a lot of pumpkins (they were little pumpkins ~ perfect size for toddler craft projects) :)  It was a great afternoon activity. 

Here's an article to help you paint your pumpkins this year. 

Shark Tale ~ A fun kids movie...

Today Hanna and I sat down and watched Shark Tale together. I think it is such a cute movie. You can see our full Shark Tale review at 

If you've seen this movie I'd love for you to add your review! Just scroll down to the comments section of the Shark Tale review and leave your review!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cardboard Dream House ~ Fantastic Afternoon Kids Project

@noflashcards has done it again. She's come up with a fantastic, imaginative and FUN project idea. This one is a cardboard dream house. I love how she's made it look like a gabled house and everything. :)

I'm sure Hanna will turn hers into a horse stable ~ you know she's horse crazy. :) This will be a great activity for this afternoon. Now I just have to find a box around here somewhere...

Monkey Gem: Fun Computer Game for Kids

This is a pretty cool game. It will help with colors, matching, eye-hand coordination. I thought it was fun, and I'm gonna share it with Hanna when she gets home from school today. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

This Week's Spotlight Crafts

This week we can make wallets, pumpkins, finger puppets, and so much more.

  • How to Make Felt Finger Puppets - Character toys make a child's imagination flourish. This video will teach you how to make some basic felt finger puppets that you can adapt to any character you want.

  • Drink Pouch Wallet Craft - Follow these directions and you can make a functional wallet using 2 empty juice pouches.

  • Decoupaged Jewelry or Desk Organizer - Find out how you can make a unique jewelry box or desk organizer using an egg carton and decoupage techniques.

  • Light Bulb Pumpkin Craft - Find out how to create a pumpkin or jack-o-lantern craft using a light bulb and a few other supplies.

  • Apple Print Craft - Try your hand at printmaking by making these nice prints using apples and other fruits.

  • Wizard Hat - Find out how you can turn an ordinary birthday party hat into a fun wizard hat.

  • Vampire Face Painting How-To Video - A how-to video from RoByn Thompson. Take a spooky vampire Halloween costume to the next level with colorful face paint. You can customize the steps and make your little vampire unique using these tips!

Enjoy, and remember, if you complete any of these crafts, take a few moments to send me a picture and it can be featured here too!

(Photo © 2010 Sherri Osborn licensed to, Inc.)

Here's some great craft ideas for kids.

Fun Pre K Reading Activity

I found this activity on Activities of Downstream Parenting. We started with the book "I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean". I wrote all the words out, and then we laid the notecards out on the floor. We used them like a matching game with the words in the book. It was a big hit. 

Hanna then grabbed a new book the next day and began working on note cards for each word in the book. She did a great job, had a lot of fun and stayed busy for quite a long time!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Can't Beat a John Deere

Hanna got a John Deere Ride On Gator for her birthday last year. She is loving it. She rides it all the time (when it's charged up). She has helped me bring compost to the garden, grab hay from the barn with it, and crate weeds from the garden to the burn pile. It's actually quite handy and a great way to get more outside play time. 

Whenever a friend comes over that's the first thing she wants to show them, and she takes them for a ride all around the property (if she can get them to let her drive ~ with the boys the answer is usually not). 

John Deere ride on Gator first ride

It's a little pricey, but I'd say for the time spent on it and the fun had it paid for itself. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fun and Imaginative Play

I just saw this Step 2 Neat and Tidy Cottage. It's super cute, with an electronic phone, working doorbell and built in sink, stove, table and seats. I think Hanna would have loved this when she was a little bit smaller.  It's a great way to get their imaginations going, and keep them busy for a bit!

What do you think? Does your little one have a playhouse? 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fun Project ~ Make Flubber

I'm always on the lookout for a fun activity to do with Hanna. I just found this video to make flubber. It sounds pretty fun ~ and I bet she'd like it.

Have you made flubber with your kids? I'd love to know how it went!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Our Scholastic Book Order (round one)

Today was the due date for the first of our scholastic book orders. (I wish someone had told me last year it would happen more than once lol). 

This time around we ordered the "Licious" set ~ Pinkalicious, Purplicious and Goldilicious


I also ordered some I Spy books and some Sight Words books to help her start the reading process ~ which she is dying to do. :)

What books will you be getting for your kiddo this year?

Get Moving Activity Calendar

Last night we went to Preschool open house. They handed out a great little calendar with simple activities to do with your kids to get them moving more. 

I have a goal to stop work for a little bit each hour while Hanna is home and play with her ~ this will hopefully keep her happier when I'm working.

Here's a couple examples of the activities:

turn on some music and shake rock and roll

help put clothes away by balancing them on different body parts as you take them to your room

roll across the yard as a little ball, a long long and a rolling wheel

Simple stuff, but a great way to get moving and stay engaged through the day.

Balance a paper plate on a paper towel roll as you walk.

You can find the whole calendar (and a bunch for the past few years) at