Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kids Yard Sale - Fun Learning Activity

I thought this would be a great activity that incorporated both a "fun" factor and learning money values and names as well!! I had each child bring three things they would like to sell at our sale (I asked for cheap toys - nothing worth money). I also asked that they bring in a bag with a mixture of different coins. I laid out all of our items and then talked to them about recycling unused toys and making extra money with things we aren't using anymore, etc. To start the sale, I pulled names out of a hat to keep it fair with who went first and last. At their turn, each child picked up the item they wanted. For the younger kids, I would tell them which coins I needed from their pile so they could "buy" it  (I kept track of who sold what and for how much on the side). For example, I would tell them, "I need a dime, nickel and penny for that item" (and they would have to find those coins). For the older kids, I would say, "I need 48 cents for that item", which made them work on their "counting money" skills. We did this for three "rounds" and the kids really enjoyed it. By the end, they were all getting the hang of the coins without any help from me! They each got three new toys to play with and earned some money as well ;0)!!

I was thinking this would be a great activity to do with the entire neighborhood! Get all the kids involved before school starts. Make it a "Back to School Bash" and include school supplies or do a bake sale theme and sell homemade goodies. Make it a crafty theme and only bring things that are handmade. The possibilities are endless!!!! Have fun with this. I would love to hear how your "Yard Sale" turned out!

Loads of Fun - Homemade Pom Pom Shooter

I have seen "marshmallow shooters" or "pom pom shooters" on the Internet. I thought the kids would love this activity so we tried our own version today.

The shooters I have seen call for plastic cups, balloons, scissors, pom poms or marshmallows. I didn't have the plastic cups, but I always have a basket full of toilet paper rolls and paper towels rolls for crafting and creativity. So, I thought I would cut the toilet paper rolls in half (this was our "cup"). Then, I tied the bottom of the balloons and cut about 1/2" off the top of the balloons. I also used a rubber band to help hold the balloon in place on the roll.

You just put the cut part of the balloon over one end of the roll and then secure it with a rubber band (make sure the tied end of the balloon is coming out at the end). This picture shows what it looks like all put together. Now the fun begins...... put the pom pom or marshmallow inside the roll and then pull back the tied end of the balloon and let go!!!! Sometimes the tied end of the balloon goes inside the roll, but my daughter found out if you just blow inside the roll, it pops right out! What a cheap activity to make and how much fun they had with this! See how fun recycling can be!!!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

My Toadstool/Mushroom Garden is Complete!!!

I finally found some more wood bowls to complete my toadstool garden! I found a set of salad bowls (one big and 4 small bowls) at a yard sale for $3!!! I brought them home and painted them different colors. I added the white spots and then polyurethaned them. My husband cut down limbs from dead trees to use as the bases! I love how they look in this spot behind our porch (it has been pretty bare since we built it). My husband bought a bunch of plants on clearance and planted them here as well. Next year, it will be fun to see how this all grows and turns out!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ice Cream Cone Makes Perfect Snack Cup

The other day, I served the kid's snacks in an ice cream cone. You would have thought I handed them a gold nugget! They were so excited! I just filled the bottom with mini marshmallows and then put some crackers on top. They loved that they could eat their "dish" too! Sometimes it is the easiest things that make them so excited! I love those moments!!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Upcycled Flag

I found this flag at a yard sale for $3. I loved it so much, I wanted to hang it in the house.
My husband made a frame out of wood we had in the garage to fit the size of the flag.


I love the patriotic addition to our family room!!!

Shutters Make Great Wall Cover

After we built our porch on the back of the house, I didn't like the siding of the house showing on the wall where the TV was. My mother-in-law was doing some renovations to her home and was getting rid of these shutters that she always used hinged together as a divider. I thought they would add some great texture and color behind our TV. AND, they would also cover up the siding! I love how it turned out!

Our fireplace and some pillars are now underneath the TV shelf. I will take pictures and post the final look at a later time!

Outdoor Egg Carton Hunt for Kids

I can't remember if I have blogged this before, but this is such a fun outdoor activity to do with the kids!!

Paint the inside of an egg carton with different colors and let dry over night.

Have the kids head outdoors and hunt for different things in nature that corresponds with the colors in the egg carton.

It is always so neat to see what they come up with at the end of the hunt. Even the "hard" colors can be found!

Another Upcycled Old Door

I bought this old door for $20. I loved the look of it just the way it was. The window was not there so I had my husband cut a piece of thin wood to fit that part. I painted the wood with chalkboard paint. I added a wire basket underneath the chalkboard. I wanted to put it at the top of the stairs in our house, but it didn't fit right so I sold it at our yard sale. It was one of the first things to go! Someone loved it as much as I did!

You Think You Are Having a Bad Day......

Just when you think you are having a horrible day, check out this poor bird! He was trying to get into this birdhouse, but his beak got stuck in the wood part of the hole. He was trying and trying and trying to get out and could not do it. Other birds were even coming and pecking at his back (notice the feathers missing off it's back)!! The kids and I felt horrible! I was trying and trying to gently lift it with a broom, but the beak was not coming loose at all!!! I had to call Grampy (my dad) to come and help. I knew I would be too freaked out to grab the bird. (On a side note, Grampy's biggest fear in life is birds, but he has a BIGGER heart!!!)

This is what I saw when we walked out in the back yard. Just a bird going into his house......... right?

Then, it started moving all around and I could tell it's head was stuck! Poor bird was using it's little legs to try and push his head out!

Here Grampy comes to save the day! He just lifted the bird's body and it flew away happily! The end!

Old Garage Door and Some $1 Finds, Makes Cute Lemonade Stand!

This post gives new meaning to the saying, "If you have lemons, make lemonade!" 

Got an old door you aren't using?? Make a lemonade stand!!!

I took my "message center" that I made with my old garage door (previous posting) and thought it would make a great base for a lemonade stand!!! My husband did all the "labor" just by using what wood we had in the garage.  

The blue window covering I found at a yard sale for $1!!! I also found the chalkboard for $1. I painted the whole thing yellow (it was miss matched paint at our local Menards for $1!!!)

We were using this at our yard sale and so many people loved it and wanted to buy it, but my friend came to the sale early and really wanted it so I sold it to her. Again..... I just love what you can do with things that would otherwise be thrown out!!!! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Easy Red, White and Blue Lunch Idea for Kids

Fourth of July Lunch!

This was a quick and easy lunch I put together for the kids today. We had a red, white and blue day so our lunch and snacks had to match, of course!!!

The "red" was tomato soup. The "white" was cottage cheese and the "blue" was blueberries. They also had a turkey and cheese sandwich cut out in a star shape! It was a hit (and easy for make).

Our morning snack was red, white and blue jello. This afternoon, we are going to have pretzels and Bomb Pops of course!

Happy Fourth of July!!!!! 

"Chalk the Walk" Summer Activity

This was a fun summer activity that kept the kids not only busy, but entertained for a long time!! I had each child pick out a "square" on our driveway (you could also use sidewalk "squares"). I gave them each a package of dollar store sidewalk chalk. I wanted them to design their own concrete square. Our driveway was full of amazing masterpieces!!! I took pictures of each child next to their end product and sent it to their parents. Fun activity!!!

They started out slow, but soon had their entire squares pretty much filled!!!