Friday, March 6, 2015

How To: Ice Sculptures






 After the warmest and direst winter we have ever experienced we had given up on snow. You wouldn't believe how delighted we were to wake up to snow and it kept coming! We are taking full advantage because next week is supposed to be back up to 60. First up, Vev took it upon herself to build 17 snowmen in the backyard. No joke. she even dressed them all up in every spare winter accessory we had in our house. One of D's ties even made it out there!


At the first sign of snow, we filled up various household items with water and a squirt of food coloring then put them in the freezer. After the first batch were mostly frozen I stacked them up on each other to make room for more. We used cups, bowls, tupperware, two sizes of cupcake pans, and cake pans. 






And they are on their 15th snow cone...

Monday, March 2, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DR. SEUSS!

Read Across America Day!
Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

We love Dr. Seuss at our house! My kids read and read and read again all of his beloved books! Dr. Seuss comes up in conversation almost daily and my kids love to make up silly words and call them "Dr. Seuss words." Can you imagine a world without his amazing way with words?! I cannot. He has helped ignite a love of reading within my kids and for that I am so grateful. He is a hero in my eyes! At the last minute the kids and I decided to throw a birthday party for Dr. Seuss and we invited some of our homeschool friends. We have the best network of homeschool friends...that deserves a blog post all of its own. SO, on to the party!! 

 I found the book cover images at Michael's Craft Store (along with the prizes pictured below) for cheap. I stapled them to a rope to make a banner.

 I got the idea for this next craft some where on Babble.com. However, I can't find the original source to link back! I downloaded a Dr. Seuss font on dafont.com, then chose ten different Dr. Seuss Quotes for the bottom of a 5x7 piece of cardstock. The kids decorated it by making trufula trees using black and white bakers twine and pom-poms.
I picked up some paint swatches from our local Lowes and cut them in half (they don't have the long skinny ones they used to have.) The kids used punches and ribbon to make a book mark. 


I made the trufula trees using pipe insulation, yellow Duck tape and Martha Stewart's tissue pom-pom tutorial. I left the wires long on the pom-poms to attach them to the pipe insulation. These were so simple to make but made a huge statement. They'll stick around even after the party.


Because we partied with other homeschoolers we have a range of ages. One comes, they all come! I made red and blue play dough for the little ones as well as a beanbag toss game. I make play dough all the time. We use it a lot and the colors get mixed often so we just whip up a new batch. It's simple.
This is the recipe I use.  I'm pretty sure it is the same one my mom used when I was little. It has proven itself over generations. I doubled the recipe for today's purposes. 
PERFECT PLAY DOUGH
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoon cream of tartar (find it in the spice section)
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup water
food coloring
Mix first 4 ingredients in a pan. Add water and mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 3 – 5 minutes. Dough will become difficult to stir and form a “clump”.  Remove from stove and knead–add food coloring during kneading process. Play dough will keep for a long time stored in a covered plastic container or plastic sandwich bag.
This was a game we played, each kid had to find the specific pictures around the room. Once they found them all they received a prize. Find the printable HERE. Prizes from Michael's Craft Store


A few pictures from my phone...


 Everyone brought a little snack to share and while the kids ate their snacks I read Dr. Seuss books to them. These are some wild and crazy kids and they sat captivated! 






I'm trying to instill and love of reading and learning within my kids, big parties like these aren't necessary for that but they sure are fun for both the kids and me! If this isn't your thing pull out a Dr. Seuss book and enjoy it on the couch with your kids. That'll do the job, too!