Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Not A Stick

I found another great book at our library; Not A Stick by Antoinette Portis. It is a very simple book that reminds us (adults) that a stick is not just a stick. I don't know about your children, but my boys are always picking up sticks on our walks. They normally end up as swords, but sometimes they are walking sticks, cabins, bug collectors, and more.

I was hoping to come up with a great art activity to go along with this book. I got some great ideas from my fellow KBN blogger friends, which are listed at the end of this post. I had all my ideas ready to go and then my boys decided to take control.

See, not everything is perfect in the real world. Kids sometimes do not want to do what you have planned. I just roll with it.

If you are looking for great activities to go with the book check these out:

Growing a Jeweled Rose Alligator Stick

Stick ideas from The Good Long Road

The Outlaw Mom's Twig and Ribbon Princess Wand

Teach Preschool had a guest post on No Time for Flashcards about this same book!

Boy Mama has a great post on sticks and outdoor play

Red Ted Art has a stick man

WordPlayHouse has acorn fairies and stick rafts and fishing rods

What do you do with sticks?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Strawberry Time

It is that time of year again; strawberry picking time. I love it and so do my boys. We eat them, make jam, and of course mash them up to put on yogurt, ice cream, and pancakes. It is delicious.

This year I could not make it to our MOMS Club strawberry picking outing. Luckily a mom picked some up for me, as you can see below (just a few).

We washed them, cut the tops off, and then mashed them up. 

I then added a bit of sugar to sweeten. I was not sure when I could make them into jam, so into the freezer they went. A select few went into my favorite popsicle maker (Zoku) and we made real 100% fruit popsicles!

I wish I had a picture of the final results, however my family ate them faster than I could make them and photograph them! UPDATE- I found one!

I also kept a batch out so we could put it on our home made yogurt (this is a new venture for us), and to put on pancakes.

What do you do with your fresh picked strawberries?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Our Bucket List

As promised I am posting our bucket list. We are starting right off as we are heading up to a beautiful portion of Michigan to spend an extending weekend on a lake.

This is in no particular order:

  1. Cook with MaryAnn F Kohl and Jean Potter's Cooking Art.
  2. Build sand castles on the beach for as long as my boys want.
  3. Play with pudding or paint in the tub like this.
  4. On a rainy day play with boats outside (has to rain a lot).
  5. Make our own slip and slide.
  6. Fill the pool with gelatin.
  7. Try a new play dough recipe.
  8. Ride our bike to Farmers Market.
  9. Visit the library every week.
  10. Have my oldest write a sentence a day about what we did. (keeps those skills up)
  11. Eat cake for breakfast. mmmmm
  12. Make a fairy house out of sticks.
  13. Catch bugs. 
  14. Play with colored ice in the water table.
  15. Can fruits and veggies with my boys.
  16. Play mini golf.
  17. Go to a water park.
  18. Go camping. This is easy we do this already.
  19. Make our own field day (gross motor skills) with neighbor kids.
  20. Wash dad's car.
This is a start. I have so many ideas in my head and it is hard to keep track. 

What do you plan on doing this summer?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Home Made Yogurt!

I said it, homemade yogurt! I did it and it rocks. We are on a serious home made kick over here. I love to please through food and nothing says love like home made (in my book).

I found the recipe on the Year of Slow Cooking Blog. If you do not know this blog, it rocks. I love my slow cooker and she has a ton of easy and yummy recipes. I was so excited to try this one out since my three year old was eating his college tuition money in yogurt faster than I could open a yogurt.

You will need a half gallon of milk (I used organic whole as it was on sale for $2.99 a half gallon!!!!), a small plain yogurt, and any add ons you want to put in it. I did real vanilla (Costco).

Now I read several different blogs and this is made several different ways. The one thing in common was to find non Ultra Pasteurized milk. Not sure where you get that. If you don't, your yogurt will be runny, just like fat free yogurt even if you use whole milk. There are a few ways to remedy; powdered milk, gelatin, or straining. I just left it as is. I will strain it next time to get more of a Greek feel.

I followed the recipe to a t and it was amazing. My husband was totally on board after tasting it. My youngest need a spoonful of jelly in his since there is no sweetener added to this batch. Next time I will add honey or stevia. We top it off with our favorite fruits and enjoy.

Yummy, yummy, in my tummy! Have you made your own yogurt?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

D is for Dad

I am ahead of the game this week and I have our Father's Day art activity all planned out. Scary, right. I am ahead of the game. Any way, we are doing a simple D is for Dad art piece. I saw this on a blog and I am forgetting it. I am putting the word out so I can find it and give it credit where credit is due!

Supplies: white paper (preferably thick), shaving cream, food coloring, spatula, and a bold/dark color of construction paper.

Spray your shaving cream onto a tray (this will get messy). Then add drops of food coloring onto the shaving cream. Make sure to place the drops all over the shaving cream.

Next spread the color around with a toothpick or the spatula. Have the child do this, but closely supervise because it can become a whole different activity.

Then gently place the thick white paper on top of the swirled shaving cream mixture and lightly press all over. The goal is to pick up the color and shaving cream as it shows in the photo below.

Once this is done you will gently scrap off the shaving cream and you are left with the color swirls on your paper! Neat, right.

Then you will let this dry. After it dries cut it out in the shape of a D. You may have to help your child with this one. Then paste onto a bold color of construction paper for a nice mat frame effect.

Simple, yet fun, yet messy, and your child will love it! Dad just might too. Perhaps you can attach a gift certificate to it or a "free pass" to watch the sports game with a buddy. Then he may really like it.

What are you doing for Father's Day?