Friday, March 25, 2011

Rainy Day Play

Rainy, rainy day.  The kids don’t have school today and we are socked in by drippy, rainy, wet weather…our 3rd day of it.  Time to be creative with how to entertain the kids and their friends that are over.
I could just turn on all the screens in our house: TV, DSi, Leapster, 2nd TV, Wii, but that isn’t good parenting, right?  So, I always keep some toys stored away in the garage for days like today.
My husband doesn’t like keeping extra toys stored in his “perfectly neat, we can always park 2 cars in it” garage, but I insist that we store some compactly for emergency entertainment.  I have a bin of Lincoln Logs, a bin of Playmobil, my old Cabbage Patch kids and their wardrobes, a Barbie plane, and a basket of the all important Playdoh.  As I type this blog entry, I have boys playing Lincoln Logs in one room and little girls playing Playmobil in another room!
When you are ready to get rid of some of your kids toys, try to put some aside in an area that they won’t see, to use for emergency play purposes.  It is surprising what 9 year old boys will play with when they can’t go outside!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Art for Kids

I love to teach art!  It is my favorite volunteer activity I do at school.  I teach art in my son’s class twice a month and once a month in my daughter’s class.  Our school has an art program that is solely taught by the parents.  There are lessons to teach on famous artists, but I like to find my own or make them up!
This is a great blog for finding art projects to teach kids.  They always go with a famous artist and are tried and true (haven’t had one fail yet).
Below are pictures from a lesson I taught last Friday on the artist Paul Klee.  The class drew their own self-portraits with pencil, erased any extra lines they didn’t want, and then traced over the pencil with a Sharpie marker.  After the drawing portion of the project they used squares of watercolor tissue paper (it bleeds when it gets wet and transfers color to whatever it is touching) to cover their portraits and then painted water over the tissue for the final affect.  They removed the tissue paper at the end and after drying, have the project you see below.  They were able to complete this project in an hour!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Partrick's Day 2011!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!  I love to celebrate different holidays, especially the fun decorating part, and this one is no exception!
Each year we are visited by the Leprechaun the night before March 17th.  He runs around our house leaving his little green footprints, gold chocolate coins, various other green candy and a treat or two for my kids.
This year he left a box of Lucky Charms, a cereal my daughter had been asking for, a big treat in our house!  He also left a shamrock hat for my son to wear to school and a headband for my daughter that read “Let your Sham Rock”.
The Leprechaun footprints were an idea that I was given by my daughter’s pre-school teacher a couple of years back.  So fun, inexpensive, and easy.  Take any green paint, put a little on a paper plate, make a fist and put the outside of your fist (not the thumb side) in the paint, put imprint on floor and using your pinky finger paint on 4 or 5 toes!
My kids know that the footprints will disappear magically in 48 hours, long enough to enjoy and show their friends.  The magic part is using the Mr. Clean magic eraser to erase them off of your floor! (All this is hush, hush, so please don’t spoil the secret for kids everywhere)

You should see the wild delight in the eyes of my kids (ok, so my son may be onto it, but he pretends so he can eat the candy) and their friends when they describe what came to our house.  I win the award for “Most Creative Mom of the Day” by other moms and it only took me 10 minutes and about $4 every March 16th!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Girly Centerpieces

Our church is having a Sweet Pea Tea for mothers’ and daughters’ this Saturday!  I was asked to make the centerpieces and had such a fun time coming up with something pink that is in line with the theme.  We will all have tea, treats, and watch the Veggie Tales Sweet Pea Beauty movie.
I bought everything for the centerpieces at The Dollar Tree and 99cent store.  Each centerpiece cost around $3.75 and took me 5 minutes a centerpiece to make!  Such an easy idea for a girl party.  We will give them away at the end of the tea.  I am sure the girls will love taking home their own flower arrangement with a tiara!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Does technology ever just blow your mind?  I was having tech flashbacks the other day as I handed my Berry to my son and said, “Learn how to use Google maps so you can navigate”.  Wow, right!  I then flashbacked to when I was in elementary school and we had a TV with 4 channels, no remote, and cartoons were only on Saturdays.  Cordless phone, what was that?  All phones were large, clunky and attached to a wall by a cord!
My favorite is the time when our old Mercury wood paneled station wagon (not quite the metallic pea of Family Vacation, but close) broke down in the Stater Bros. parking lot and my mom, sister and I had to listen to Captain and Tennille on the 8 track till dad came.  I know I just severely dated myself by saying “8 track”, some of you youngsters may have thought an 8 track was an urban legend, but no, they were real!
Kids are so spoiled by technology that when we take a picture with our digital cameras they ask, “Can I see the picture?”  Remember when everyone used 35 mm and you had to wait till the whole roll was used, then wait a week for processing to be able to see your pictures at Disneyland?  Now we upload our SD card and play a slide show through FIOS on our TV, all within 5 minutes of taking the pictures!
My kids ask what kind of computer I had when I was a kid…computer, you were lucky if you had a type writer!  Look up computer in my Dad’s 1968 Encyclopedia collection and it shoes a large mechanical box the size of my living room with a very intelligent looking man in a white coat with a pocket protector standing next to it.  Computers didn’t really hit the scene until college for me and even then they were a boring little box with green letters and were only used for writing papers, unless you wanted to play Pong!
“What kind of Video Games did you play?”  The only ones we could, the Pac-Man and Tetris, oh, and don’t forget Frogger.  You had to convince your parents to take you to a pizza parlor to play them; our favorite was The Blue Banjo up in Nevada.  Those were some special nights, pizza and a game or two on Pac-Man!
We have come a long way in 30 years with the technology boom.  My kid story of, “Hey, we had phones connected to the wall, 4 channels with no remote, and you had to wait to get home to call someone isn’t as good as my Dad’s.  I think I will steal his to relay to my kids when they need a “look how good you’ve got it” speech…I had to get up 2 hours before school ride my bike to deliver papers all over town and I made my skateboard out of old roller skate wheels and a piece of wood.  Yep, I will use his, still sounds more hard knocks than mine!
Enjoy your technology today and remind your kids about the covered wagon days of corded phones, no remotes, and 35 mm pics.