100th Day of School Poster

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Lil’ M1’s 100th day of school is coming up. His teacher asked us to make a poster of 100 items of their choice. We made one of his favorite Lorax scenes, the marshmallow explosion. I thought the poster board would be too big for 100 mini marshmallows but lesson learned-different items at 100 count can look big or small. Can’t wait for him to see his classmates projects and see how different 100 can look – even Momma M learned something.

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Snowflake Cutting

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It snowed here last night so it inspired me to do a snowflake crafts with the Lil’ Ms. I got a little lost on the Internet with all the snowflake crafts available and came across these templates from http://snowflakes.jumpsquares.com/star-wars-snowflakes

My attempt is pictured above. I had to take my time and use an Xacto knife but I think I did a good job.

So many fun Star Wars snowflakes, this Boba/Clone one was free. Try out Darth Vader too. Check out how they included the Imperial logo in the center. My favorite is the Han Solo snowflake.

Pennies for the Philippines

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Lil’ Ms love going to their local Coinstar machine. Seeing the coins disappear into the machine is so exciting for them. Did you know Coinstar machines accept your coins, without a processing fee and donates to a charity. We wanted to do our part for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan. So we selected UNICEF for emergency relief. Lil’ M recently started a penny jar for school and I thought I’d teach him about those less fortunate and a part of the world where his family is from. No matter how small, a little goes a long way if everyone were to do it. Got any extra pennies or coins around? Take it to your local Coinstar, take your kids and donate to the UNICEF emergency relief.

Going nuts with nuts – getting them to play and eat nuts.

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The produce department setup a nut display and the first thing I thought, how much fun would it be to smash nuts with a hammer. So Lil’ M1 & 2 picked out one of each kind, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and Brazil nuts.

It’s the first thing they wanted to do even before I could put away all the groceries. I asked them to feel the texture of each one, shake it and then time to smash it. After cracking each one, Lil’ M1 tasted it. (Lil’ M2 has an allergy to nuts but he still smashed them). And his favorite, the almond.

I really enjoyed this activity. My favorite part was his eagerness to taste the nuts. What a great way for Lil’ M1 to try nuts instead of just opening a bag.

My First Sensory Bags

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I like to call them Gloppity Goop cause it sounds way more fun then “hey guys you want to make your own sensory bags?” Don’t know why I never did this before, it’s so easy and mess free. What you need:

Freezer bags (much stronger against all that squeezing and squishing)
Hair Gel (my dollar store only had pre-colored hair gel)
Misc sensory bag items such as beads, jewels, glitter, Pom poms, googly eyes etc – just nothing too sharp that it could poke a hole

I had the kids participate in the making of their bags, even had Lil’ M count his pieces before dropping them in. After you’ve put all your pieces in, push out as much air, then seal with duct or packing tape.

Squish away!

My Very Own Paint Your Own Studio

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Forget expensive paint your own studios-make, bake and paint your own salt dough creations at home. When I first took Lil’ M1 to one of these places, it was a bit pricey. He couldn’t make a decision on a piece and after a few strokes he would ask for another. Salt dough your way to an endless supply of “sculptures” to paint. I even had the chance to make each M’s hand print. After the paint dries, I’ll have to see if Modge Podge will seal it. Do it with your kids. Easy to make with only 3 ingredients-flour, salt and water. Paint away!

Going Green – Italian Ice Style

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Nothing like beating the heat with some ice pops or better yet green juice ice pops! These two weren’t used to eating pops on a stick so I crushed them in a bowl-just like having Italian ice. They enjoyed it as much as they enjoyed chewing on cubes of ice. The possibilities are endless. Can’t wait to try it with our other juice recipes.

POLL: The Alternative Aquarium

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Make sure you stop by the lobster tank to see the lobsters in action. It always makes their trip to the supermarket that much more fun.

Another great place to go is the pet store – there are so many fish available it will be sure to entertain your little one.

Quick & Easy Lego Clean Up

Lego clean up can take what seems like forever. And as you try to pick up all the left over pieces your lil’ guy is already getting into something he shouldn’t be. My solution, the Lego toddler blanket. Pour all the Legos on a large blanket. Play, imagine and pretend with Lego fun. When you’re finished, wrap up the corners of your blanket and pour it into your Lego container. Voila! Lego clean up in 5 seconds.

Quick & Easy Lego Clean Up