Thursday, May 31, 2012

Trucks and slides Oh my!

    Today my friends I have a fun and easy activity that your kids will love doing outside!  It is easy.  It takes no prep work just a slide and trucks or cars. 

     C and K loved racing the trucks down the slide.  They spent 30 minutes dropping the truck, watching it go down the slide, sliding down to the truck, and then climbing back up to do it all over again.  It was a good activity for taking turns.  They had to wait for the other to climb before they could use the ladder. 
     Modifications:   If you have preschoolers or older children you could use a variety of sizes of trucks and make observations based on their size and distance they travel.  Does a smaller car go farther or a bigger car?  What would happen if the slide was carpet?  Would it go slower or faster?  The possibilities are endless. 
    I hope you do this at home with your children!  They will love it! 

Thanks for stopping by!


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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fun in the kitchen-Whole wheat crackers

     Today I have an easy cracker recipe to share with you.   I know some of you may think I am crazy for making crackers.  I can go buy them in the store for $2-$4.  But after you make these, you can say bye bye to your store bought crackers.  These crackers are delicious, healthy, and easy to make.  We eat very little processed foods in our house and crackers were one of them that still bugged me, just look at the ingredients listed on a cracker box, even the organic ones. Then when I found  this recipe, I decided it was time to try making my own.

     Kids love helping out in the kitchen.  I try to involve them in as much as I can with making our lunches and snacks.  I believe that if kids help make healthy food from little on it can help create an overall healthy eater. 

  Here's how we made the crackers


I placed all ingredients in food processor except water and vanilla and pulsed the mixture until crumbly.

Then add water and vanilla and pulse again until evenly combined.  Form into a dough.
Next the fun part, roll out dough as thin as possible.

Take turns rolling.

Little A was trying to roll the pin sideways and figured out by herself that it was not working.

She self-corrected herself without any help just exploration.

Taking turns.  Look how patiently K and A are waiting.  Baking and cooking are  great ways to teach sharing and taking turns!  Each kid will stop and say your turn, my turn. 

    After you have finished rolling them out cut them with a cookie cutter and place them on a baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.
     The kids had a great time helping me roll out crackers! Seriously, crackers are so easy to make, dump ingredients in a food processor and mix and then roll the dough and cut into squares and bake! It takes about 15 minutes with the help of lovely assisstants to have homemade whole wheat crackers with wholesome ingredients. We usually eat the crackers with cheese for lunch along with fruits and vegetables.

Thanks for stopping by!


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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Transportation Beginning Sound Activity

     Several years ago I found  transportation cut-outs at the dollar tree.  And while I had yet to used them, I was saving them for when the idea struck me. 

    First, we sat in a circle and I showed the kids a vehicle and we talked about what it was and what sound it made.  The kids loved grabbing them and telling me what color each one was and making the sound.  

    Next, I laid them on the floor and got the letters out.  

I asked C what each vehicle started with  and she would go to the letter pile, find the letter, and then place the letter on the car.

Next we did helicopter.  She went and got the letter H and placed it on the helicopter.

M is for motorcycle

T is for train.  Then we took it up a notch and added an r to the t and worked on the blend tr.  She did such a great a job!

     This activity is wonderful for working on beginning, middle, or ending sounds.  The child sees the object and puts the letter sound that your working with on that object.  It's a great hands-on activity.  

Thanks for stopping by!  


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Adorable car organizer

After deciding my car was in need of help,  (read more about that here), I set out to make a car organizer.  I went looking for one at a few stores and didn't find what I was looking for so I looked on the Internet for inspiration.  I found it here.

And here is my version

 I love how it turned out!  I tried to follow the tutorial, but I made a mistake by sewing the bottom pocket on first where as the tutorial sews the top pocket on first and then moves downward.  I  realized I messed up and couldn't follow the tutorial so I made it up as I went along.  The pockets sag a little; I wanted several items to fit in there.   I wanted my pockets to hold toys and not just books.

    My car floor and seats are toy and clothes free!  I don't have C whining that she wants a certain toy or book that is on the car floor while I'm driving.  She is able to reach what she needs from her car seat by herself.  Mission accomplished!

Disclaimer:  I am a beginner when it comes to sewing.  I will show you how I made it and what worked for me.
Here's how I made mine

I used 4 different types of fabric.

I measured 2 pieces (the green my main fabric) to be 26 Length by 15 Width.
The other 4 (I ended up using 3) to be 15 x 16

I ironed all the pieces

I cut out 2 pieces of fabric that were 2 x 52.  You can do  3-4 strips if you want, but you want it to total up to 104 inches. 

Sew the strips together

Fold the strip in half and iron and then fold in half again and iron.  You will have a thin, long piece that is your binding.

Next, pin your 2 main pieces of fabric together.  Cute sides facing each other.  (You want the back of the fabric on the outside).  Sew the sides together.  Leaving about 8 inches open.  Then turn right side out and fold the fabric down and stitch that together.  You can also hand stitch.  This will be the bottom of the organizer and will not show.

Take your smaller pieces of fabrics (pockets) and fold ugly sides touching


Next, (from now on this is where my organizer is different from the tutorial.  I sewed the bottom pocket on first.) Pin the bottom pocket to the main part fabric and sew.

Next, take the next pocket and you will lay fold side facing bottom.  Then, at the top you will fold over the edge and sew.  I sewed a 1/4 seam. 

Pin the bottom pocket fold side down to the organizer and sew.  (Please note in this picture it looks like the top of the pocket is sewed to the organizer but it is not. Look at the picture below where I have pinned).

Repeat the same process you did with the previous one with this one.  You will lay fold side toward bottom and sew the top of the pocket to 1/4 seam. 

Pin the pocket to the organizer and sew.  Now you've finished sewing the pockets on.

Next, take the binding and at the fold wrap it around the edge of the organizer and pin. 

Keep wrapping the binding around at the fold and pin.

Sew.  The tutorial I used said to sew at the very edge of the binding but since I am not a sewing professional I had a tough time catching the binding on both sides of the organizer.   I found it was much easier to sew down the middle of the binding and still looks nice.

For the ties, I measured 2 strips of 2 x 20 and repeated the same process that I did for the binding.   I attached each string at the top of the organizer 2 inches in on each side and then stitched the ties on.  (Sorry no pics here)

I am so proud of the organizer!  I love the colors and it has been a lifesaver in my car.  Everyone that has clutter in their backseat should have one. 

When I put the backpack there, C is able to reach all of her toys while buckled into her car seat.  I have also used my purse.  For short trips, she picks out what she wants from there when she gets in the car and then she puts them away before she gets out.

I love my car organizer!  I cannot wait to make one more!  It helps keep extra clothes and toys off the seat and floor of the car.   I don't know what I did without one!  Oh car was a DISASTER!

Thanks for stopping by!