Monday, August 29, 2011

SNACK/LUNCH: Back to School!!!! :)

With the beginning of our homeschooling year, things have been a bit busy.  However, I really wanted to make a fun snack for "Back to School" so this is what I came up with.

Snack Details:

*Notebook:  peanut butter and banana sandwich with a thin layer of white cream cheese on top and chocolate details.

*Pencils:  american cheese with chocolate chip points, marshmallow eraser, and chocolate details.

*Muffin cup #1:  graham crackers with a thin layer of chocolate "blackboards" and cut up string cheese ("chalk").

*Muffin cup #2:  vanilla yogurt ("milk") - I wanted to add a straw, but we are apparently out of those so I will need to add that to my grocery list.  :)

*Apples:  small tomatoes with pretzel stems and slivers of green gummy for leaves.

*Lettering details:  chocolate - yummm!!!

Please note that not all our "fun" lunch/snacks are as healthy as our normal snacks are.  It is just nice to take a break once a week and get a bit more creative with some fun treats like the lunch/snack above.  :) 
Need some more "snack"spiration?  Check out the muffin tin mom website or Jill Dubien's blog!  :)

Linking up to:

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Confessions of a Stay At Home Mommy

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wooden Spoon Puppets (Family Theme)

Our theme for this week is: FAMILY! :) One of the activities we have been doing almost every day is to make a new family member puppet to add to our puppet theater center.   These are some we have already finished so far...

These are so easy, inexpensive (I think a bag of different sized wooden spoons is about $0.88 at Walmart which is where we purchased ours), and fun! My daughter LOVES them and even though they were made for playing with in the puppet center, they have already taken "field trips" into our home and gone on a walk with us. :)  In fact, I believe they are sleeping on our couch tonight on top of some beds she made for them out of mega blocks.  :)

For those interested in the "family" theme, I have posted some other activities/ideas we completed this week (or will be doing tomorrow) below the puppet instructions.  Enjoy!

Wooden Spoon Puppets:

Materials needed: wooden spoons, google eyes (optional), yarn for hair (optional), material for "clothes" (optional), popsicle/craft sticks, yarn or string, markers, glue and glue gun.

Puppet making process:

1. Hot glue a craft stick into place for the arms of the puppet. I tied mine with yarn as well to make sure it would not be coming off despite the rigors of child "love".  (See picture below.)

2. Let your child glue the google eyes onto the "face" and use markers to decorate the other parts of the face.

3. Let your child (or you could do it yourself with a hot glue gun) glue pieces of yarn to the head for hair.

4. While these are drying, let your child cut out some rectangular pieces of cloth for the puppet's clothing. Cut a slit in the middle of the cloth rectangle for a head opening (make sure it is large enough for the spoon head to fit through).

5. Dress your puppet in his/her stylish new clothes and PLAY!!!! :)


1. Read books about family.

2. Discuss families, people in our families, how families help each other, adoption and birth into families, etc.

3. Make a word web showing what we discussed (link all ideas to the word "family" at the center).

4. Learn and sing a song asking members of the family how we can help them. Here are the words (sing to the tune of "Oh My Darling Clementine"):
How can I help?
How can I help?
How can I help, Mommy dear?
How can I help?
How can I help?
How can I help, Mommy dear?
Other verses: just switch out "Mommy dear" for other members of the family.

5. Make lists of how different people in our family help us and others.

6.  Decorate thank you notes and then put all family member names into an envelope.  Without peeking, each person picks out a name and writes a thank you note to that person, telling them how grateful they are for them and for how they contribute to the family.  Hide the notes in places where each family member is sure to find them during the day and enjoy the happy looks when the thank you notes are read.  :)

Linking to:
The Shabby NestTickled Pink at 504 Main

Tidy Mom

The Girl Creative

Confessions of a Stay At Home Mommy

Monday, August 22, 2011

BACK TO SCHOOL First Day Part 2

Part 1 of my last post stated how we began our first day of Kindergarten homeschooling - a fun breakfast and treasure hunt. The rest of the day was spent schooling, a first day photo shoot with mommy of course, meeting daddy for lunch, and to close the day on an especially sweet note - we ate some little treats we had made: apple-surprise-inside cupcakes! Yes, there is actually a surprise inside each cupcake - read on...

These are the basic apple cupcakes you see floating around on the web celebrating many a commence of school - but with a fun twist. We scoop out part of the inside of the cupcake and insert either "apple seeds" which are really chocolate chips, or a gummy worm (thus the worm inside the apple idea). Then we close them back up and enjoy seeing what we get when we bite into one at the end of the first day of school. :) BTW - I did not have pretzels on hand for the stems so out of necessity, I found some candy canes in the cupboard, broke them into pieces, and we dipped those in chocolate and used them as stems instead. I like how they turned out - different and very tasty. :) The leaf is actually part of a gummy fruit slice - also very yummy. :)

A view of the inside of a couple of the cupcakes before we filled them back up and put the tops back on.  :)  I must admit that I found myself secretly hoping my apple surprise cupcake would yield the "seeds" when I bit into it.  :)

Linking up to these great parties:

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

BACK TO SCHOOL First Day Part 1 :)

Our homeschool started up today with a good deal of fun and excitement!  We had a special back to school breakfast, a treasure hunt for new school supplies and first day of school outfit (yes, we have a first day of school outfit even though we homeschool), first day pictures, exploring the changes made in the home classroom for this year, and of course we had our first day of classes too!  Phew!  Lots of fun = a tired mommy and kids by the day's end...  Here are some pics of the day's activities....

Sausages and numbers "added" up to a fun start this school year!

A pancake artist I am not, but it was fun to attempt these anyways.  The pencil is a banana with a chocolate kiss on the end (for the point) and foil and banana for the eraser end.
The table cloth is a piece of black fabric I wrote on with chalk.

This is a real apple with the inside hollowed out and filled with apple juice.  I then stuck a straw through the top, tied it with a ribbon and voila:  sipping the juice straight out of the type of fruit it came from.  :)

These are clues for the treasure hunt.  They eventually lead to a child's backpack with new supplies gift-wrapped inside and a new outfit for the first day of school.

This was our simple centerpiece - books, our countdown can filled with pencils and a couple of pointers, a school block calendar showing today's date and the first clue of the treasure hunt wrapped with ribbon sitting on top awaiting eager little hands and eyes.  

Lots of fun and a super start to the year!  :)

Linking to:

Tickled Pink at 504 Main

Monday, August 15, 2011

SNACK/LUNCH: Summer Sun!

This lunch/snack (because what my daughter does not finish for lunch she will sometimes have for a snack later) was a fun salute to the summer heat (which isn't so much fun)...

Snack details:

Sun- American cheese slices surrounded by orange slices.  Carrots and strawberries compose the sun's rays.  Banana and blueberry eyes with a dried cranberry smile display this snack's cheery disposition.

Muffin cups 1,2, 3:  A fluffy "cloud" amid blue skies (a.k.a. blue muffin cups) show off yummy treats:  banana slices, blueberries, and a few marshmallows tossed in for fun!

Muffin cups 4,5,6 (NOT SHOWN) - Organic blueberry yogurt with more blueberries and marshmallows!

For more fun snack ideas, be sure to visit the muffin tin mom website and Jill Dubien's blog!  :)

Linking up to:

Confessions of a Stay At Home Mommy
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Back to School Pencil Wreath!

2 boxes of pencils + 1 cardboard circle + glue + embellishments 
= 1 pretty cute back to school wreath! :)

Two recommendations I suggest after making this wreath:

1. Buy a chipboard (I think that is what you call it) or wooden wreath instead of making one from cardboard. Why? I think the chipboard or wooden one would be more sturdy and easier to work with.

2. Make sure the adhesive/glue you are using will stand up to the outside hot temperatures of your area.

To make this wreath:

1. Glue four pencils to your cardboard or chipboard as shown below, divided equally at the top and bottom and sides.

2. Glue another pencil in between each quarter created by the first pencils, trying to keep the same distance between each pencil.

3. Add yet another layer in between the pencils. Continue in this way until you have filled up the wreath to your satisfaction.

Here is a picture of what mine looked like:

4. Complete the wreath by adding your own creative embellishments (or ones your children come up with) to welcome in the new school year, then hang and enjoy!

Linking up to:

A Crafty Soiree

Tickled Pink at 504 Main