My daughter really enjoys art in any way, shape or form! We already think Ed Emberley's drawing books are wonderful but I came across two Joy Sikorski drawing books that she loves! My daughter didn't get her art interest from me, I'm not even good at doodling (it was fun to do in a boring school class though)!
Do you watch Minute to Win It on NBC? The first week of school we were still holding tight to summer so one evening we had fun outside playing a couple Minute to Win It games! We picked two of the simpler games and changed their blueprints a little. My kids wanted to win a million bucks but they settled for a fruit roll-up and a later bedtime!
Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) is in May when artists like Andy Runton, author of Owly graphic novels, have free comic booklets at comic book stores. This year I planned to have my kids and husband head to the comic book store down the street so we could add more Owly goodness to our collection! Unfortunately we all forgot since we were preoccupied with a newborn. Thank goodness Andy is kind enough to share free PDF downloads of Owly FCBD fun! You can also order FCBD Owly booklets from past years for cheap + shipping (US Media Mail $4.95) from Top Shelf(scroll all the way down)!
Not sure what graphic novels are and if they're right for your kids? Read Using Graphic Novels with Children and Teens on Scholastic's website. It says "graphic novels have emerged as a growing segment of book publishing, and have become accepted by librarians and educators as mainstream literature for children and young adults—literature thatpowerfully motivates kids to read."
It's really a no-brainer but when I saw Make and Takes idea to use hot glue and felt to make beanbags I was in love. We went to town for Valentine's Day and made 25 hearts for a school V-day party plus a quick heart beanbag toss set for some cousins (reused a cool whip container covered with felt to hold the hearts). Then we made shamrocks and rainbows for St. Patrick's Day. The rainbows fit right in to this spring set too and the adorable bunny beanbag idea came from Two Straight Lines (her bunnies are definitelymuch cuter though). I ran out of beans and had old rice so that's what I used for all of the beanbags shown in the picture.
I have fond memories of playing hopscotch in elementary school and loved having my own hopscotch marker. Last year in my daughter's bunny basket there was chalk and a Hoppy Taw and she had no idea what it was for! Now she regularly draws her own hopscotch and gets jumpin'-- I even join in the fun now and then!
My parents had a Polaroid Camera and I always thought it was interesting how the film developed and how the pictures looked. Believe it or not, someone has created a free application that mimics a Polaroid using digital photos!! Poladroid Image Maker can be downloaded to your computer really quickly so you can start snapping some poladroids!! I found out about this photo fun while browsing through This Mama Makes Stuff.
I take my son to Circle Time every Thursday where they read a few books on a topic and do a craft. Yesterday was all about frogs and the kids made this fun frog blower. I asked the teacher where she got the idea and she said they've done it for a couple years now and she couldn't remember. I traced and scanned my son's frog so you can make an easy frog craft with the kids. Find the download on google docs: frog craft with blower.
Trace the frog pattern on foam, cut it out, and glue on googly eyes. Then push a party blower through the cut slits.
The dreaded question. My family is bored with my dinnertime selections so it's time to try out some new recipes. Whenever I get a thumbs up for a new recipe at my dinner table I'll let you know! This delicious picture was dinner last Friday!
Once in a while I like to share something fantastic of my own. These adorable penguin puppets can be duplicated with a free printable penguin finger puppets pattern downloaded on Google docs. *note: I made the above finger puppets (not my children).
Easy instructions: Trace penguin puppet pattern pieces on felt. Cut out the felt pieces and glue with a low-temp glue gun(adult supervision please!). The wings and feet are glued in-between the body pieces. Only glue the top and side edges of the body so a little finger can fit inside! Don't forget the googly eyes!!
Here are some penguin books to go along with the penguin finger puppets. You could pair a puppet and book together for a fun kid birthday gift!
BBQ Chicken Pizza
sauce- KC Masterpiece Hickory Brown Sugar
shredded mozzarella (or mixture of moz and cheddar)
cooked shredded or cubed chicken
optional toppings: pineapple, olives, green peppers, cooked bacon pieces
add more shredded mozzarella
sprinkle with grated parmesan if desired
garlic and ranch pizza sauce (adapted from Wonder Mom Envy)
¾ cup Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 spoonful sour cream
1 tsp. garlic powder
¼ to ½ tsp. onion powder • enough for 1 large pizza with some left or 2 medium pizzas
2 lb. bread machine pizza dough(1½ lb. recipe with directions HERE) recipe source: my Breadman recipe booklet
1½ cups warm water
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. salt
4¼ cups flour
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. yeast • dough makes 2 large pizzas
Andy Runton, author of Owly graphic novels, has made his first Owly full-color picture book!! Owly & Wormy: Friends All Aflutter will be released in March but is available for pre-order at many places, including Amazon!! "Owly and Wormy want butterflies! But when they come home from Mrs. Raccoon's nursery with a milkweed plant that's supposed to attract some fluttering friends, what they get instead are chubby, green bugs!"--from Top Shelf
I like reading books about friendship with my kids because it's an important topic to be talked about before a child starts school and continues to be a huge part of life. Each of these picture books has a lesson on friendship. I'm a little lazy to write a brief description for each book so if you want to read a synopsis click on the title and it will take you to Goodreads. Happy Reading!