Monday, August 25, 2014
We are in the last week of Summer, and I still attempting to make vacation at home a little less boring (or a little less focused on the computer games). One of the ideas I had was making a camping fun in our backyard, using mostly what we had at home. To make it more real, we made this sign with chalk in a little piece of wood leftover from the school art show. I had these branches drying in the yard, that held the sign well. The bag of old water balloons were hanging on the closet since someone's birthday. So I filled them a third way with water, and the rest with air, to make some "fishies". I made little faces with a Sharpie, to make them float in an old baby pool. Then I tie a rubber band in the end so they could be grabbed with a hook. The fishing pole was made with some more old tree branches, with a string tied in a hook made from our pipe cleaners(sorry I didn't take a close up picture of that). For some camping inspired food I made these little camp fires, using pieces of celery on top of a dollop of hummus, and the fire was made out of turkey bacon, that I cut up after baked. Then I also used the celery to make fishing poles, cutting a very thin piece also to use as a string. In the end I tied a Goldfish Cracker. And that was our quick camping in the yard. We didn't have enough to make the S'mores, but it was a few hours of making believe fun.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
So it all started last week, when in our trip to Michaels my son saw this book called Star Wars Origami. Since I have been making folding paper since I was a kid, I thought it would be a good idea, to develop manual skills, concentration and patience. But in the first few minutes, my 9 year old could not finish any project, and he was close to tears. So why not try to be a hero and go to the rescue of your child? After my second page of instructions, I was the one frustrated and about to cry. But because he was watching me, and I didn't want to show that I give up easily (which I wanted to). And between meals and laundry I tried again, we took turns, took breaks, tried again... and after 6 days a few paper creatures were completed. There are other projects that I have no idea on how to make, and I hope he forgets about them. And all this work deserves a proper photo shoot, before these paper dolls disappear or get destroyed. My son had the idea of taking pictures in the sand, because it looks like Tatooine. So this morning we grabbed our towels and bathing suits, plus the paper dolls, and went to the beach. And we played Star Wars! Finally all that work paid off.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
I got so excited that Shark Week on the Discovery Channel is here again! So we used this opportunity to make another Shark Party! Especially because we just came back from Toronto, and we went to the incredible Ripley's Aquarium. We saw sharks galore and tunneled into their big tank. So with them still in my mind,I went to my pile of paper and markers, to make some paper sharks and covered a serving dish to place some chips. But then the sharks inspired me to make decorations for the muffins. I thought a few flags would make more colorful for the table. The watermelon shark was present too, like last year. But fun stuff for the kids was missing, so the styrofoam plates gave me a good idea. I cut up a plate with big teeth, painted and used elastic strings to the sides. Then the plates also gave me another idea, and I cut up two pieces and glued together to make a finn. They played shark in the pool and out in the grass. The day was beautiful and we have the whole week to learn about sharks. And the great sharks will always be in my head.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
We are already through half our Summer vacation, and we didn't have a proper fun party. So we decided that this time we should have a Dinosaur Party, and called our friends Kevin and Diane for a fun afternoon. After a visit to the Dollar Store, we were able to get a couple of toys to use for decoration and the games. The first game we did was to dig for some bones. I had the Kinetic Sand at home, so I hid the bones inside for them to dig. During my research though the web, I came across The Great Cretaceous Walk, and they had the footprints and their respective dinosaurs. I wasn't able to print from the computer, so I hand drew and made copies. I called it "Keep Track of the Tracks", and made this little sign in paper. Then I had the kids hunting for the footprints, that I drew in chalk. Another great idea I got from this site called Surviving a Teacher's Salary. She made dinosaur eggs using flour and coffee grinds (click on her site to get the full recipe). I made little baby dinosaur in clay, then used the recipe to cover them and make the eggs. Then the guys opened the eggs and discovered the babies. I decided to use an old board for a past science project to make a "toss the ball game". I wrapped it with the inside part of leftover wrapping paper. Then I painted with all available paint I had at home. The boys loved the game. For the snacks I found these Dinosaur Shaped Chicken Nuggets. How perfect. When it was time for the drinks, I froze some of the little dinosaurs we had in the bottom of the cup. The decoration I made using construction paper. I made sugar cookies, and after they cooled, I used food coloring pens to make these pre historic drawings. I made little carrot pancakes, and after cooled, I cut them up in the shape of dinosaur paws. A big dessert should be a volcano, so I made this placing layers of ice cream, cookies, whip cream and more ice cream to cover and shape the volcano. Then more whip cream for for snow, and chocolate syrup for lava. Now that we are all very tired, and full of sugar, I feel the I accomplished my mission: bring another set of good memories for the kids.