This is an update of a previous post: Printable Animal Masks
Need something to keep your kids busy for a while this summer so you can get a moment’s peace? Well hey, disposable cameras still exist! Hand one to your kids and tell them to go take pictures! Take a nature walk, or a stroll around the city, or just send them outside and let them snap away.
If you have more than one child, write their name on the camera so there are no mix-ups. Show them how the camera works by first taking their picture — this will also help to keep track of which photos belong to whom when you get them back from the printers.
Make it a project! For older kids, you could do a photo-a-day: take the camera wherever you go and take one picture every day to document your summer. The kids can make their own keepsake scrapbook with their photos.
This year, our family is attempting the Book-A-Day Advent Calendar, as seen around Pinterest. Over the last few months, I was able to screen more than FIFTY winter/holiday/Christmas-related books, thanks to our local metro-library network.
I was overall seeking secular books that were still morally relevant to the season, and maybe even with a poignant story, but also not totally discounting the entertaining seasonally-themed books for pure enjoyment. I ended up choosing 14 new selections to add to what we already have (weeding out quite a few from the original stash).
The books will be wrapped, and placed “around” (near?) our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, until we get the full-sized tree up.
Here is our complete 24-book plan for this month, in no particular order:
My 3-1/2-year-old and I have been furiously checking out children’s books at the library, and reading about three each night; burning through them pretty quickly to see which ones would be worth investing in to add to Nola’s bookshelf.
We had a great Halloween! Nola as Frog Princess, Gunner as Finn the Human, and me as (at least half of) Lady Rainicorn!
UPDATE: There is now a PDF available to download for these masks!
Today, Nola asked me if she could be a tiger. I told her she could not draw on herself with that black Sharpie she had in her hands from who-knows-where. Thankfully, she asked first! Needless to say, I had dashed her little two-year-old dreams to bits, and the dejected look on her face damn near broke my heart. So I asked if she would like a tiger mask instead, and she was so excited about it she was literally jumping up and down in anticipation. “Yeah, yeah, yeah!!”
I Googled “printable Tiger Mask”, and from the results found a really cool-looking one, which led me to an Angelfire page called “Child’s Play” FULL of printable animal masks! We printed out ten different animals, and they are beautiful! The kids are having a blast, and no Sharpie on the toddler.
I couldn’t wait to Pin it — but, lo-and-behold, “no pinnable images”. What the spark?! So, I decided post a blog entry, complete with pinnable thumbnail preview, and direct readers to this great resource.
So, yeah, I’m a bit late in posting this. HA-HA! Go figure!
I applied myself to the Elsie Marley Kids Clothing Week Challenge Spring 2012 with blazing ferocity, and the result is a cute little Southerny apron-style sundress! Even I was not expecting it to turn out so “country”, but that’s where the fabric led me. Seems appropriate, since we live in the country, after all.
Do-it-yourself snacks for those Easter baskets! Fill snack-sized plastic zipper bags with 1/2 cup cocoa puffs for “Bunny Poops”, or 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows for “Bunny Tails”. If you’re buying a fresh bag of marshmallows, you may want to spread them out on a paper plate and let them air-dry for about 30 minutes; they tend to clump together in sticky lumps if you put them in the zipper bag too fresh (learned the hard way).
I will be participating with the Elsie Marley Kids Clothes Week Challenge for Spring 2012 (April 23-30). This sounds wonderful! (and cathartic) — February and March have been so hectic and stressful, I’ve barely had time for any “leisure” sewing (or much leisure any-crafts or anything else). I’ve got pants to convert to shorts and summer dresses to make! This challenge will be a great impetus. Can’t wait to see what everyone does!
My little boy is 7-years-old!
To celebrate, we had planned a morning-to-night birthday Saturday — with family in the morning, friends in the afternoon, and a couple friends staying over night. BUT THEN: Ear infection sneak-attack the night before the party. Arg!
At the last second, had to push the friends/sleepover party back a week (with lots of phone calls at 10:30-at-night to attendees’ parents, *awkward*). Luckily we kept the “family” party as planned, so it wasn’t a total destructo-bummer for the birthday boy, who had been waiting in great anticipation of epic-birthday-party-day. Still had grammas, grampas, aunt & uncle, presents and decorations — and I forced the dozen family members there to eat the 4-dozen cupcakes I had prepared for the weekend. Who doesn’t love a birthday cupcake brunch?!
I made a 4-foot Finn doll for Gunner! This was my first attempt at a real “plush” sewing project, and it turned out pretty darn good (and big)! I call him Proto-Finn; I’ve made some planned adjustments to the pattern so I can make another and fix some of the wonkiness. He’ll still have the same noodle’y limbs, though — that’s the best part!!
He’s got magnets in his mouth and buttons for eyes, so we can make some other facial expressions for him, too! He still needs a backpack, and Jake the Dog will be made sometime in the future. Mathematical!
When I was a young girl, our local newspaper included “The Mini Page” with its Sunday edition. It had word finds, connect the dots, find-the-picture, trivia, jokes, even some science experiments. It kept me busy for a couple hours every Sunday after lunch, and I looked forward to it every weekend. Unfortunately, that paper hasn’t syndicated “The Mini Page” for years, so my kids will probably never have that same experience. I’ve ordered a subscription to Highlights Magazine for my 6.5-year-old son (another publication of fond childhood memory) but that won’t start arriving until January 2012.
I decided to hunt for some activity sheets online, to give him something to do while he waited patiently for me to clean up the kitchen and clear a space to put up the Christmas tree. It took me a good half-hour to find all these great printable pages! Turns out it was a good time-investment, as these activities have come in very handy in the last couple days that he’s been home sick from school.
So if you hadn’t already guessed by the lack of blog posts this summer, I have been staying very busy. My one monstrous undertaking is getting the house organized, with new shelving and storage, and rearranging all the closets. My hope is that having things well-organized will lead to easier maintenance of the house in general, plus I won’t have to “scoop & cram” everything into our bedroom when the holidays arrive and family comes over for festivities.
While sorting through some of our “keepsakes” storage, I came across many treasures from my childhood. It’s always the most fun going through these time-capsule-like totes, and discovering all these cherished items all over again. I decided to take some pics of my most favorite things among the nostalgic goodness…
This is what happens on a restless summer afternoon, when Mom falls asleep on the living room couch for half-an-hour:
I gotta admit, he did a really good job — it stayed up until bedtime.
Live Butterfly Garden… sounds great, right? How can you go wrong? Caterpillars are really neat, and butterflies are really neat; I love gardens, and I certainly do like things that are living. Its the part that occurs in between existence as a caterpillar and existence as a butterfly that is not-quite-so-neat.
It’s actually pretty gross.
Don’t get me wrong, metamorphosis is a fascinating and amazing natural process. However, this fascinating-and-amazing-natural-process normally occurs outdoors for a reason — because the aftermath is like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, at 1:64 scale (and, you know… with slightly more butterflies).
[insert Psycho shower-scene theme slasher-music here]
It starts off with the caterpillars’ backsides being amputated when they form their own chrysalis. Then when they emerge, they expel “meconium”, which is the bloody-looking substance all over — which looks bloody because it is basically unneeded tissue leftover from the metamorphosis.
Then you might get the one butterfly that has some kind of major malfunction during emergence, and is not dead but is crippled beyond repair, having torn most of his own wing off. Plus the two chrysalids on the bottom that fell off the cotton disc, and probably will not amount to anything, but still creepily squirm around.