Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mommy Crafts A....

Costume for Two

Gracie decided on hers and her little brother's costumes this year. She wanted to be Little Bo Peep and have Thomas be her lost sheep.

I love it!

I made his sheep costume from an old pair of sweatpants and a hooded shirt, lots and lots of yard, and hours and hours of time and glue gun burns.

I made her hat, staff and treat bag.

I used a straw hat from Ben Franklin and I covered it with white material and added ribbons and bows. The staff was an old candy cane lawn decoration from Grandma's house that was stripped of it's stripes and had bows and ribbons added. I decided to make her a more custom treat bag since Thomas wouldn't be with her for the entire night. I traced a sheep pattern on a canvas tote bag and added scraps from his sheep costume for the body and black felt for the head and legs.

I also dressed his costume up with a bell for his neck with ribbon to match her, and I had the great idea to cover a pumpkin treat bucket with green strips of construction paper to make it look like grass!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mommy Crafts A....

Candy Corn Shirt, Skirt & Matching Hair Ribbons

It all started when I stumbled upon a craft idea for a candy corn ruffled fabric girls shirt. The woman who created and shared the idea also made a matching ruffled skirt for her daughter. While I loved the shirt--I just had to make that skirt!

I didn't have a pattern, and stumbled upon a different crafter who had uploaded a tutorial on a riffled skirt. Hooray!

Today my daughter wore her shirt, matching skirt, and the hair ribbons to school to celebrate the Friday before Halloween on which they were having a "not-a-party fall snack."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Witches Hats

Mommy Craft

This was a fun snack that my first grader loved finding in her snack bag for school! And mommy loved how simple it was.

For this snack idea you will need:
  • Refrigerator crescent rolls (it has to be crescents and not regular)
  • Oven/baking sheet
  • Cinnamon or cinnamon sugar (optional)
Simply roll out your crescent shapes one by one and put them on your baking sheet. Fold up the bottom of the triangle to made it look like the brim of a hat. Then fold a small portion of the top peak over to one side to resemble the top of a witches hat.

I added cinnamon to mine and it gave them a neat color and flavor.

Bake according to directions minus a minute or two. I noticed mine baked quicker because they weren't rolled to the traditional shape.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Peek A Boo Ghost

(for)Toddler, Pre-K, K

This simple craft will delight your younger child. I made it for my toddler, and he found the disappearing and reappearing ghost hilarious.

For this craft you will need:
  • Paper or Styrofoam cup (I used plastic and it was really difficult to manage, save a McDonald's value meal cup and wash it out and let dry)
  • Popsicle stick
  • White construction paper
  • Glue
  • Paint or markers to decorate the outside
  • Googly eyes (optional)
Decorate the outside of your cup. If you use a left over fast food cup, you may want to paint over the logo, or even cover the entire cup with construction paper or paint.

Cut a small slit in the bottom middle of your cup, just long enough for your Popsicle stick to push through.

Cut a ghost out of white construction paper. If you aren't a fan of ghosts, a pumpkin would be cute too. Draw a face and add googly eyes if you want.

Push your Popsicle stick through the slit at the bottom. Now, glue the bottom of your ghost to the end of your Popsicle stick.

Your ghost will hide inside the cup until he or she is ready to play "peek-a-boo!"

Candy Corn Wreath

Toddler, Pre-K, K, 6 & Up

Even my toddler was able to do this craft, until his sister tried to sneak a candy and he realized he could eat what I told him to glue. After that, I had to take him away from the table because he had tasted the sweet treat and was no longer interested in the craft at hand. So, use your discretion--but if your toddler doesn't know what candy corn is, you may have fun doing this craft together.

For this craft you will need:
  • Candy corn
  • Glue
  • Paper plate (I used the desert sized ones)
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon (or yarn or string)
Cut the center of your paper plate completely out. Try and make a small hole in the middle to get you started, you don't want to cut at all around the outside ring.

Punch a hole in the top of the paper plate ring for use later.

Use a thick craft glue to glue the candy corn on. We used a gel glue and it made a HUGE mess! It worked, but it made a mess. You also want to avoid glue stick, because it won't work at all. When I try this craft again, I will definitely pull out the Aleen's craft glue.

Give your wreath at least 24 hours to dry completely before you attempt to hang it up.

Put a ribbon or string through the hole and hang your art work.

Mommy Tip: Place your child's freshly made wreath on wax paper or even a piece of construction paper. When the glue mixes with the candy, it creates a messy syrup that will not only make the project stick to a surface, but will also stain the top of a white microwave.

Bat Treat Holders

Mommy Craft

When I came across this idea, I just had to make them!!

Of course the treats I had chosen for my own kids were too big to fit inside, but I had gotten some smaller treats for two friends that I knew would enjoy them.

For this craft you need:
  • Black construction paper
  • Ribbon or yarn or string
  • Hole Punch
  • Stapler
  • Scrap paper or wiggly eyes, or whatever other craft items you have to decorate the bat face.
Fold your black paper in to a cone shape. I can't really talk you through this one since I just fiddled and fiddled with it until I got the shape I was looking for. You won't get a perfect cone, so you will have to fold the excess over a bit, or you can leave it plain and it will be fine too.

Staple your cone into place.

Punch holes in either side of the TOP of the bat for your ribbon to tie to.

Have fun decorating your bat's face. I cut out white and more black construction paper to make the eyes and then used a Sharpie in black to add a happy smile. You could use wiggly eyes or whatever you have on hand.

Tie your ribbon or string or yarn to each side of the bat's head through the holes you punched.

Mommy Tip: Here's a warning--this will not hold much weight at all! Candy and light weight goodies will do just fine, but it will not hold Play Dough cups or things heftier.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ghost Footprints

Boo-tastic idea for feet of all sizes and shapes!

I planned this craft for my toddler, but my first grader wanted to do it this year as well.

For this craft you will need:
  • Black construction paper
  • White paint (washable is best)
  • Black permanent marker
  • An adorable foot :)
Simply paint the bottom of your child's foot and press (or have them press) down on the paper. Be sure to lift your child's foot straight up so his or her ghost won't smudge.

When the paint is dry, add your ghostly face. And don't forget to put your child's name and date on the paper. You will thank me for that reminder later! :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mommy Crafts A....

Halloween Apron

I found this idea and just had to have one of my own.

A little fabric, a lot of patience, and not too much sewing later I had an adorable apron to wear for the holiday!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pumpkin Paper Lantern

Pre-K, K, 6 & Up

I can't believe I had never made these before! What a cute and simple idea, and of course the colors add more "fall" to your home.

With all the crafting the kids and I have been doing this month, I didn't realize I had used up all my orange construction paper! So, I made a mini-lantern with a half sheet of orange scrap paper I later found. We did made some full sized lanterns with white paper and made them into ghosts--but I not only liked the pumpkin better--I like the mini size better as well.

For this craft you will need:
  • Orange construction paper (try tearing it in half if you want to make a mini one like I did--shown above)
  • Green construction paper
  • Glue stick or tape
  • Scissors

Fold your orange construction paper in half, long ways.

Start about a inch and a half from the end and cut lines from fold to open edge leaving about an inch and a half uncut at the top (see diagram it shows you better than I can tell you). Make sure you leave another inch and a half at the other end of your paper as well.

When you open the paper, glue or tape the solid ends to each other. (Tape seemed to better for me)

Cut a strip of green paper to make the lantern handle, and glue to each side at the top.

If you use a half a sheet of construction paper use the same instructions. I think they are such an adorable size!

Marshmallow Pumpkins

Mommy Craft

I am re-dating this post to match pumpkin week, but I made these for Gracie's fall snack not-a-party at school on 10/29.

I had originally thought about leaf cookies, but when I stumbled on this idea from another craft blog, I just had to do it.

They were a HUGE hit as well!

For this snack you will need:
  • Marshmallows
  • Candy sticks (check the cake decorating isle)
  • Orange candy melts (you could use white and then color with food coloring after it is melted)
  • Green thin ribbon
  • Wax Paper
This was the most simple snack.

Get all of your supplies out and ready. Put the candy sticks in the center of your marshmallows and line them up in rows on wax paper.

Next, follow the instructions on your candy melts. I melted a few in a microwaveable bowl for 30 seconds at a time until the melted candy was smooth.

Dip your marshmallow in the melted candy and use a butter knife to evenly spread the candy coating all over the marshmallow including the top and bottom.

Put your finished pumpkin on the wax paper and move to the next one.

You will see that the coating doesn't take long to harden and get a pretty color to it.

When your pumpkins are all done and you have let them harden; add a green ribbon for the vine.


Jack-O-Lantern Pizza

Mommy Craft

Home made pizza kit + some imagination.

Your kids will love it when you play with you food!

I snapped a picture when it came out of the oven, and then I used the pizza wheel to start cutting it and realized that it looked even more pumpkin-like with the ridges in it!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Puzzle

Pre-K, K,
This was such a neat idea from DLTK.

Your child can create their own puzzle and put it together over and over again!

For this craft you will need:
  • A computer & printer
  • Printer paper
  • Crayons or markers
  • Heavy cardboard (8.5 x 11)
  • Contact Paper (optional)
  • Glue
First, print out this pumpkin puzzle template from DLTK.

Let your child color his or her puzzle. When they are done glue (thoroughly!) to your heavy cardboard.

I covered mine with contact paper to be sure the puzzle would last and last.

The directions on DLTK say to use a exacto knife, but I managed just fine with scissors when cutting the puzzle pieces out.

Keep your pieces in an envelope or snack sized baggie and they can be put together again and again.

Mommy tip: I save the backs of writing tablets, and other things that have stiff cardboard on them. I knew they would come in handy one of these days. You could also use the cardboard found in a new shirt, or cut open a gift box.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkin Shakers

Pre-K, K

Usually the crafts I do with the kids come from magazines or the internet, but every once in a while I find my own idea bubbles to the surface.

This is a craft for pre-K or Kindergarten to do mostly by themselves, but you can make these shakers for your toddler and they will LOVE them!

For this craft you will need:
  • 2 plastic "snack"cups. I used the cups from applesauce--if you get Walmart baby food in the round containers those would work well also.
  • Hot Glue (MOMMIES ONLY!)
  • Orange Paint
  • Popsicle Stick
  • Brown paint (optional)
  • Rice or beans (dry)
  • Green construction paper or pipe cleaner (optional)

First let your child pour a small amount of dry beans or rice in to one of the cups. Fill the cup about 2/3 of the way.

Take the empty container and make a slit in the bottom middle as long as your Popsicle stick.

Now and adult needs to hot glue the cups together making a dome shape. While the glue is hot, put your popscicle stick in the hole (about half of the stick in, half of it out) you just made and glue all around the stick making sure that no beans/rice escape your shaker. This will also help hold your stick upright.

Now the kids can have fun.

Paint your pumpkin. I used two coats, waiting until the first dried very well--but one coat looked cute too. I painted my Popsicle stick brown and added some green construction paper leaves. I couldn't find any green pipe cleaners in my craft box, so I made a cute little bow for the vine with a green piece of ribbon.

Jack-O-Lantern Fruit "Cups"

Mommy Craft

A very healthy snack idea perfect for the Halloween season!

For this snack idea you will need:
  • Oranges (one per child)
  • Canned fruit cocktail
  • Sharp knife
This is super simple to make.

Cut the top off of your orange. Scoop out all of the orange and pulp and juice on the inside. (If you are thrifty like me, squeeze your juice into something you can save for the kids' breakfast the next day). A spoon works best to get all of the insides out, but be careful you don't want to break any of the orange "bowl."

Cut triangle eyes, nose and a mouth into one side of your orange.

Fill the orange "bowl" with drained fruit cocktail. Put your lid back on and here is a fun, healthy snack your kids won't be able to resist.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkin Finger Plays & Songs

Toddler, Pre-K, K

Have fun with your child by acting out these fun finger plays, or singing these very cute (and silly) songs with them.

Kids love to hear songs and to watch the movements that go along with them!

Five Little Pumpkins

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate
The first one said, "Oh, my it's getting late."
The second one said, "There are witches in the air".
The third one said, "But we don't care!"
The fourth one said, "Let's run and run and run".
The fifth one said, "I'm ready for some fun!"
Wooooo, went the wind
And out went the light
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!

Pumpkin song

( sung to "I'm a Little Teapot")

I'm a little pumpkin Orange and round. Here is my stem, There is the ground. When I get all cut up, Don't you shout! Just open me up And scoop me out!

Mr. Pumpkin

(sung to "Where is Thumbkin?")

Mr. Pumpkin, Mr. Pumpkin, Round and fat. Round and fat. Harvesttime is coming. Harvesttime is coming. Yum, yum, yum. That is that!

Pumpkin, Pumpkin

Pumpkin, pumpkin,
Sitting on the wall, (Sit on floor.)
Pumpkin, pumpkin,
Tip and fall. (Fall to one side.)

Pumpkin, pumpkin,
Rolling down the street, (Roll on floor.)
Pumpkin, pumpkin,

Paper Plate Pumpkin

, Pre-K

I used this simple craft to help my toddler work on identifying his facial features. And, I also made the craft two-sided so we can see the difference between a pumpkin and a jack-o-lantern.

For this craft you will need:
  • 1 paper plate
  • Crayons, markers or paint in orange
  • Brown pipe cleaner, or brown construction paper
  • Green construction paper
  • Black construction paper (optional)
  • Popsicle Stick (optional)
  • Glue Stick
  • Stapler

Paint the outside of two paper plates and let them dry. When you put the two plates together they should make a 3-D shape. Cut a stem from the brown paper, and one or two leaves from the green paper. You could also just draw these items on white paper and color it in and then cut it out if you don't have construction paper. Glue your stem and leaf (leaves) to the inside of one of the plates. (I added a Popsicle stick (taped) at the bottom of my pumpkin since I was also demonstrating the difference between pumpkin and jack-o-lantern. If you do this, tape your Popsicle stick on at the same time you do your other add ons.) Put the other plate on top and staple closed.

There's your pumpkin.

To add my jack-o-lantern side, I cut out eyes, nose, and mouth shapes from black construction paper and let him glue them on as we talked about his facial features and the pumpkins.

Mommy Tip: If you are doing one of the other pumpkin paint activities, this would be a good time to let your child paint the paper plate. You can then let it dry and put it away for later in the week or month and you only have to clean up the paint once!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Jack-O-Lantern Bagel Snack

A yummy fall snack, or a fun surprise at the breakfast table!

For this snack you will need:
  • Bagels cut in half (I used the mini size)
  • Cream cheese softened
  • Orange food coloring
  • Raisins
This snack is as easy as it looks. Simply mix in orange food coloring in to a little softened cream cheese. You'll need about a tablespoon per half of bagel. The use raisins to make it look like a jack-o-lantern.


Mommy Note: You may notice that I thought about shaping the raising about 2/3 of the way through my project. If you press the raisin between your thumb and forefinger of one hand, and the forefinger of the other hand it will make a triangle.

Pumpkin Thumb Print

Toddler, Pre-K, K

Another fun way to make pumpkins is to use your child's thumb. Thomas' thumbprint went on a pre-made paper that I have for his fall fun book...but you can do the same gourds with your child.

To make this craft you need:
  • Orange paint (washable is best)
  • Paper
  • An adorable thumb
Once your child makes the thump print add on stems and leaves, and even a vine if you want.

Pumpkin Hand Print

Toddler, Pre-K, K

A simple and fun way to make apples for fall! For this craft you will need:
  • Orange paint (washable is best)
  • Green & brown paint (optional)
  • Paper of any kind
  • One adorable little hand
Simply paint the palm of your child's hand with orange, making sure not to cover any of the fingers. Press your child's palm down firmly and bring back up. There you have your pumpkin! Now, you can either drawn on your stem, or get out the brown paint, and paint your child's index finger to press down for the stem. You can stop there, or paint your child's thumb green to make a leaf, or even a vine with many leaves going down the side. Be sure to add your child's name and the date.

Mommy Tip: Your child's hand is already full of paint and you can get more than one apple out of the layer you just put on their hand. Have a second piece of paper ready and make a second apple (or more if they are having fun). Save the other apple to send to Grandma or for daddy's desk at work.

Pumpkin Week

I have so many fun activities and crafts planned for Thomas and I this week, and hopefully Gracie will have some chances after school to do a few fun things with us as well. And if things all go according to plan, we will carve pumpkins as a family at the end of this week.

So, come on and play with us!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Next Week...

Join us for PUMPKIN fun!

Mommy's Apple Craft

Mommy Project

This idea popped in my head about mid week and I just had to do it. Thomas is always getting himself so messy, or I can't hold him still long enough to get clothes on him--so, I find myself breaking one of my cardinal rules and he ends up running around the house in just a onsie.

So, why not make it cute!

For this project I used:
  • White onsie (I used a stained one so I didn't waste his nice good white ones)
  • Fabric paint in red, brown, green & black
  • Cut piece of cardboard
  • My hand & his precious little hand
I simply painted our hands in red fabric paint. If you do this cover yourself and him/her completely or let them go naked. Fabric paint will not wash off clothing!! It will come off your hands and you need to wash them right away, especially baby's since you don't want it in their mouth.

I made my hand print the night before and let it dry. I added his hand print the next day so it wouldn't smear. You need to put thick paper, cardboard, or a cut up paper plate between the layers of your onsie or it will bleed through and stick together.

I added a few finishing touches and let it dry for 24 hours.

Isn't it adorable?!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Mini Caramel Apples

Toddler, Pre-K, K, 6 & Up

I am not a huge fan of caramel apples (or giving my kids sugar ;), but when I found this idea, I just had to give it a try!

For this snack idea you will need:
  • Apple(s) I just used 2 for my family. If you have more kids, you will want more apples
  • Melon baller
  • Caramel for melting
  • Pretzel sticks or thin popsicle sticks


Mommy Notes:

The woman who made the original idea has hers looking so much prettier than mine. I did not have a metal melon-baller, and my plastic one was struggling, so I used a metal measuring scoop spoon. It is a really cute, and easy snack to make, and you can add nuts or other toppings. Her caramel looks better too, it may be the brand I used, or that she melted pieces, and I just bought a tub of ready to microwave and dip caramel. However they look, just enjoy making them and eating them too!

Here is what the original idea looked like that I based my apples on.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Apple Print Tote

Toddler, Pre-K, K, 6 & Up

Of course you can do apple prints on anything from paper to fabric. But, I love to have things I can use, and keep, that the kids have a hand in making. I had bought a 3-pack of canvas totes for a different project months back, and had this one left over. I think we will use it for a library bag to take to story time.

For this craft you will need:
  • Paint in red, green, and/or yellow (use fabric paint for fabric craft, washable for paper craft)
  • 1-2 apples. You will cut these in half, and you need one apple half PER color you want to use
  • Paper or fabric for your art
  • Paper plate for paint--one for each color
Cut your apple(s) in half vertically at the stem. Use paper plates to pour a little paint on, and be sure to have a different plate for each color.

Take your apple half and dip it into the paint making sure to cover the entire half. Stamp your paper or fabric and bring it straight up to minimize blurring.

Mommy Tips: Use a Popsicle stick or something else thick to insert in the back (skin) half of the apple to make it easier for toddlers to stamp their art. This keeps more of their fingers and arms out of the paint, and they have an easier time getting to do the craft. If you are doing a fabric craft and have a design in mind, make sure you pull out some paper so that your child can have fun making the prints without worrying over smearing the design on your fabric, or only getting to do so many stamps with the paint. Now you have what you wanted, and they can have fun stamping apples too!

With Gracie two years ago (2008) I did this fabric craft with apple prints. It is currently hanging in our living room with the other fall decorations.

Apple Sauce

Make for: Toddler, Pre-K,
Make with: K
, 6 & Up

A yummy tasting, and yummy smelling treat for fall!

If you want to make some for your kids, or with your older's how.

To make this snack you will need:
  • 10 lg. cooking apples, peeled, cored & sliced or cut in chunks
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 to 1 c. sugar
Put all ingredients into crockpot. Should be about 3/4 full. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours (high 3 to 4 hours).

Enjoy the smell through your house as it cooks, and then enjoy the yummy taste when it is done!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Paper Plate Apple

Toddler, Pre-K

This is just a fun and simple apple craft for littler ones. And what a HUGE hit it was with my 20 month old!!

**If you are doing one of the other apple paint activities, this would be a good time to let your child paint the paper plate. You can then let it dry and put it away for later in the week or month and you only have to clean up the paint once!***

For this craft you will need:
  • 1 paper plate
  • Crayons, markers or paint in red
  • Brown pipe cleaner, or brown construction paper
  • Green construction paper
Once you paint your entire paper plate red and it dries, cut the plate into an apple shape--just cut a curve out of the top.

Now cut a small vertical slit in the right side of your paper plate. Don't make it to large, about 1.5 inches long.

Cut a wiggly worm out of your green construction paper and add some eyes and a smile. Decorate him, or anyway your child wants.

Add a brown paper stem, or use a small cut from a brown pipe cleaner for a stem. Glue in place.

Have your worm wiggle his or her way through your paper plate apple and watch your small child giggle with delight.

Mommy Tip:

I laminated my wiggly worm since my toddler wanted to put the worm through his apple again and again, and I knew it wouldn't last too many times wiggling through the apple.

Here's a look at the original idea I based my craft on:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Apple Thumbprints

Toddler, Pre-K, K

Another fun apple painting craft is a thumbprint apple tree. Thomas' thumprint went on a pre-made paper that I have for his fall fun book...but you can do the same apples with your child.

To make this craft you need:
  • Red, green, and/or yellow paint (washable is best)
  • Paper
  • An adorable thumb
Draw and color a green bushy tree top, or you can cut one out of construction paper. Add your drawn or cutout tree trunk.

Paint your child's thumb the apple color you want and have them add apples to the tree. They can make as many as they want, and don't forget a few that would fall to the ground for the animals to eat.

If you don't feel you are artistic enough to draw or cut out your tree top and trunk, print the below picture and you or your child can color it in and add painted thumbprint apples, or use as a pattern.

You can get the free PDF version where I got it, by clicking here.

Apple Print

Toddler, Pre-K, K

A simple and fun way to make apples for fall!

For this craft you will need:
  • Red, green, or yellow paint (washable is best)
  • Brown paint (optional)
  • Paper of any kind
  • One adorable little hand
Simply paint the palm of your child's hand with your preferred apple color paint, making sure not to cover any of the fingers.

Press your child's palm down firmly and bring back up. There you have your apple!

Now, you can either drawn on your stem, or get out the brown paint, and paint your child's index finger to press down for the stem. You can stop there, or paint your child's thumb green to make a leaf for the side. (This is what I did with Thomas, and thought it looked super cute)

Be sure to add your child's name and the date.

Mommy Tip: Your child's hand is already full of paint and you can get more than one apple out of the layer you just put on their hand. Have a second piece of paper ready and make a second apple (or more if they are having fun). Save the other apple to send to Grandma or for daddy's desk at work.

Apple Games

Toddler, Pre-K

I needed a fun way for my toddler to play with apples this week, and I stumbled across these two very fun game ideas.

For these games you need:
  • Cut out apples. I cut out some red, some yellow, and some green apples from construction paper. I also laminated them for future use. (well, I use contact paper)
  • Cut out worm on brown construction paper. I just free handed this worm and laminated as well.
Game 1:

Hide the apples around the house or room and let your toddler or preschooler find them.

Game 2:

Lay the apples out on the floor and hide the worm under one of the apples and let him or her find the missing worm by turning the apples over.

Mommy Tip:

I turned these two games in to many more with my Thomas. Since I used three different color apple shapes we worked on sorting, and we worked on counting and colors. Talk about a multi-use activity.

The above picture shows my laminated apples that I put up on Monday for this week. I wanted a place to store the apples when we weren't using them, plus a I wanted a way to show the different colors and for him to be able to count. So, I got the idea to make an apple tree. The board and the plastic clips came from the Dollar Store. I painted a bushy green tree and hot glued on the clips (15 for $1 and much safer than the old fashioned wooden ones!). Thomas has had a ball playing with these apples today. I think I will recycle my idea and make a new board for next week and turn it into a pumpkin patch!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Apple Week

When I was planning out all of my fun things for Thomas, I totally forgot that Gracie was out of school Monday. So, I slid apple week back a day and he and I will start our fun activities tomorrow.

Fall is my favorite season, so I find lots and lots of great activities to do with the kids.

So, come and join us for apple week and have fun right along with us!

Come with us!

Sailor Hats

Toddler, Pre-K, K, 6 & Up

You have to have a sailor's hat to steer (or race) a boat don't you?!

My kids seemed to love these simple newspaper sailor hats. And, what a great idea for Columbus Day.

To make this craft you will need:
  • An old newspaper
  • Tape (optional)
I am going to add the picture directions that I used to make my kids hats. I think they do more justice than me trying to type it out. (Click to enlarge and read it better)

We hope you and your child have had as much fun with these Columbus Day activities as we have!

Columbus Boat Snack

Toddler, Pre-K, K, 6 & Up

I am so glad I found a great opportunity to try out this fun snack! Of course you don't have to do it on Columbus Day--your child will love this any day of the week!

For this snack you will need:
  • Oranges (I just did 3, obviously you would need plenty for a party)
  • Jello in any color or flavor (brighter colors make more of an impression)
  • Toothpicks
  • Paper
Now, I prepared my kids snack the night before so I would have less mess, and it takes time for the Jello to set.

First, cut your oranges in half. Squeeze the juice out and get all of the insides out. I cut around the fruit and then scooped it out with a small measuring spoon.

Make your Jello according to instructions, and pour inside the orange cups. (I waited for mine to cool down before pouring, I was worried that the boiling temperatures could boil the skin).

Once the jello sets, cut your orange half in half again. Now add your tooth pick and sail. I made my sails look like the sails from the Columbus boats to tie in our theme, but you could just stick to triangles if you wanted.

Here's a look at the original idea I based my snack on:

Columbus Spy Scope

Toddler, Pre-K, K, 6 & Up

A very simple and fun craft for children of any age!

For this craft you will need:
  • Empty paper towel roll
  • Construction paper in black and yellow (or another bright color)
  • Tape or glue
Simply wrap your paper towel roll with black construction paper, holding it in place with tape. Then, cut a medium sized strip of yellow construction paper to put around the end of your spy scope.

Let you kids explore the new world...or your great backyard,

Mommy Tip: If you have more than one child (like I do), you may want to see if the kids would choose different colored ends for their spy scopes. This makes it easier to tell them apart.

Columbus Paper Plate Ship

Toddler, Pre-K

While big sister was making the floating armada...little brother was working on his ship.

Thomas LOVES to color & paint, so mommy let him make a ship that he could do.

For this craft you will need:
  • 2 paper plates
  • Crayons, markers or paint (your choice)
  • 2 Popscicle sticks
  • Stapler
  • Glue
This is a very simple craft. If you are doing it with your toddler, pre-cut the pieces. If your preschooler can use safety scissors what a great way to introduce fractions!

Cut one plate in half. Take 1/2 of the newly cut plate and then cut in half again, giving you a 1/2 peice and two 1/4 pieces.

Paint/color the top of the whole plate blue for the water.

Paint/color the 1/2 plate brown on the OUTSIDE. You will staple/glue the brown to the blue to make a pocket once they are dry.

Glue the 1/4 pieces of plate to the popscicle sticks (one piece to one stick). Glue the sticks inside the brown half of your plate (the boat). You now have sails for Columbus' ship.

You could let your toddler or preschooler decorate the sails or add stickers to make it more fun. Or you can add the first line of the famous poem to the boat like we did. If you are interested, here's the entire poem you can read to your child:

IN 1492

In fourteen hundred ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

He had three ships and left from Spain;
He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.

He sailed by night; he sailed by day;
He used the stars to find his way.

A compass also helped him know
How to find the way to go.

Ninety sailors were on board;
Some men worked while others snored.

Then the workers went to sleep;
And others watched the ocean deep.

Day after day they looked for land;
They dreamed of trees and rocks and sand.

October 12 their dream came true,
You never saw a happier crew!

"Indians! Indians!" Columbus cried;
His heart was filled with joyful pride.

But "India" the land was not;
It was the Bahamas, and it was hot.

The Arakawa natives were very nice;
They gave the sailors food and spice.

Columbus sailed on to find some gold
To bring back home, as he'd been told.

He made the trip again and again,
Trading gold to bring to Spain.

The first American? No, not quite.
But Columbus was brave, and he was bright.

Mommy Tip: Don't forget to add your child's name and date to this craft and all others! You will really enjoy that later on. And, if you don't have the space to save all of your child's crafts, snap a picture of them with it--you can save the picture on your computer with out taking up that much space. Here is a look at the original craft, I based mine on:

Columbus' Three Ships

Pre-K, K, 6 & Up

In honor of Columbus Day, Thomas, Gracie and I are having some navigational fun today.

We made, and later raced, Columbus' famous three ships: The Nina, The Pinta, and The Santa Maria.

For this craft you will need:
*the original craft called for egg carton cups, but when I finished off one of the small Pringles packages the other day I thought "hey, I bet this would actually float!"
  • Snack sized Pringles containers or 3 cutout egg cups from an egg carton
  • Brown paint (optional)
  • Toothpicks
  • Clay (I used play dough)
  • White paper (looks more historical with white, but my Gracie wanted colored paper)
  • Permanent marker
  • Glue or tape

First, paint your egg cups brown (do not paint Pringle cups--I tried this, it does NOT work and all the paint comes off when you float them (see picture above)--lesson learned ;) to make them more like boats. Once they are dry you can use a permanent marker to label the ships.

Pat out some clay or play dough and put in the bottom of the "ship." This will hold the ships sails upright.

Cut or fold your paper into three small sails, and tape or glue to your toothpicks. Insert your new sails into the play dough or clay. Note: you will want to tape your sails on at three different heights on the toothpicks, gives it an old fashioned look.

If you use a buoyant bottom like the Pringles cups, you can then let your child, or children race them to see who hits land first.

Mommy Tip: If you are looking for a fun book to go with this day and your Kindergartner or older likes Junie B. Jones, read them "Junie B. Jones First Grader, Shipwrecked." We read it last week, which actually helped me come up with the ideas to crafts for today!

Take a look at the original craft from which I based my idea...