In my house lately it’s been all about this one question, “Mommy, what starts with A…or B…or C”…and the list goes on.  I have two busy preschoolers that are learning their alphabet at school and every week they learn a new letter.  Another thing that is on the top of their list is coloring.  I came across these fabulous coloring animal alphabet pages from education.com and had to share.  If you are looking to help your little ones learn their alphabet (and animals that start with that letter) these are for you.  These would be fun to frame after the little ones are done and place on their walls.  That way you could practice every day and have a little artwork from your little ones on the walls.

Hop over and see the complete letter animal alphabet and print your own set for free.  Have fun and happy coloring! 

Halloween is almost here and I don’t know about your house but I have 2 little girls who are very excited about Halloween this year.  We’ve already been doing several Halloween crafts and decorating the house.  They can’t get enough of Halloween this year!  You can see the Indoor Halloween Wreath I made for their door on the mom side of the blog.  I have been on the hunt for other Halloween crafts to do with the little ones and thought I would share some of my finds.  I can wait to do some of these Halloween crafts with my munchkins.

Pictured Above: Bat-O-Lanterns, Hanging Bats, Frankenstein, and Spider Pumpkins

Pictured Above: Playful Bats, Candy Corn Garland, Play Dough Monsters, and Spooky Shadow Makers

Have fun and happy Halloween crafting!

Around my house play dough is my go-to activity on a rainy day.  The girls can play with this stuff for hours.  Most of the time they end up pretending to make me a “salad” and my husband “pizza”.  Or in some cases they will decide ice cream is there choice.  The play dough we have is now a dry mess and yes I know you can add water and it comes back to life but I thought it would be fun for us to get in the kitchen on another rainy afternoon over the past weekend and make play dough.  I actually asked the girls if this is something they would want to do, they were so excited!  Actually so excited that as soon as they woke up from their nap they were pulling their chairs up to the island of the kitchen so we can start making playdough.  I decided I would do a gluten-free play dough.  If you follow my food page, then you know gluten-free is a choice in my house as of late.  However, if you aren’t a gluten-free house you can easily use regular all-purpose flour in place of the rice flour.  I’m sure if will work just the same.  The play dough is quick and easy to make and with little helpers it makes making this stuff a whole lot of fun!

Homemade Gluten-Free Play Dough

1 cup rice flour (I used brown rice because that’s what I had)

1 cup cornstarch

1 cup salt

2 cups water (warm)

2 teaspoons oil

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients together in saucepan, cook on low heat, stirring occasionally for at least 5 minutes or until it forms a ball.  Don’t be worried if it is really watery, just keep stirring until it starts to form a “dough ball”

Color Options:

Food Coloring

Food Gel (such as Wilton’s)

Suger-Free Kool Aid (this adds a nice smell to the dough too)

When the dough has cooled off slightly divide into small balls and work in the coloring of choice with hands.  I used a combo of Kool Aid and Food Gel.  You can find food gel at your local craft store in the cake aisle.  I had a lot and the girls wanted pink so the gels worked better.  If you are using the gel, it doesn’t take much to achieve the color.  If using Kool Aid the colors will be subtle, but your play dough will smell yummy!

If you opt for food coloring or the gel and still want your dough to smell nice you can use scented oils, like lavendar or other calming type oils.  That way the kids stay super relaxed when playing with their play dough, wink. 

Once you have made your play dough colors, wrap them up in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container.  I happen to find these little containers around the house.  They used to hold paint, which had actually dried out so it was great to re-use for the play dough.

 

Have fun!!  And I hope your little ones enjoy making (and playing) with their own play dough as much as mine did.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner which means it’s almost time for the kids to exchange cards with their friends at school.  This year I was trying to think of a fun alternative besides candy and the boxed cards and this little idea came to my mind.  Here is an easy and fun Valentine idea that the kids will love to help in making for their friends.  If your house is anything like mine, you have a large bag of broken crayons just sitting there and not being used.  After all, unbroken crayons are always the first to be used which leaves the broken ones left at the bottom of the bag.  I made these recycled crayons a few months ago and I thought about the idea of doing a heart shaped recycled crayon for Valentine’s paired up with a simple Valentine coloring page.  A perfect Valentine that is fun for everyone to make and give.

Again, these are really easy to make and the little one’s can join in on the fun of making them and helping you package them up to give to their friends.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

Wilton’s Mini Heart Silicone Mold (I found mine at my local Michael’s Store)

Broken Crayons in colors of choice (I used Valentine inspired colors – reds, pinks, white, etc.)

Ribbon

Clear Bags

Coloring Sheet

Now here’s how to make the heart crayons:

First cut the crayons up into small pieces.  Just a note when cutting these up, use a cutting board you don’t mind recycling after using.  I learned this the hard way because I was too excited about the project and just started chopping away.  Can you see the crayon crumbs embedded in the cutting board?  Very hard to get out.

Next place the small pieces of crayon into your heart shape mold arranging them any way you like.  Just make sure you cover the bottom of each heart completely.  And you don’t have to fill them up a lot. 

Then place the mold into a preheat 200 degree oven.  Let the crayons melt down completely.  This can vary in time depending on how many crayons you placed into your mold.  Keep checking them and once they are completely melted remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely.

Once cooled you can remove from the pan and you now have a super cute Heart Crayon

Now all you have to do is package them up with this Free Valentine’s Coloring Page

Have your kids help in packaging them up for their friends at school.  Then hand them out and let the fun begin.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!!!

Little ones are out for the holiday break and why not have some fun as you wait for Santa’s arrival.  It will keep everyone from going crazy and keep everyone smiling.  And even help with those last minute gifts.  Here are a couple ideas to keep the little ones busy while they are out of school these next few days. 

Gumdrop pops a super cute idea that is if you can keep the little ones from eating them.

These Sweet Little Snails would make anyone smile.  Great idea to even add to Santa’s cookie plate.

Do you have a box of buttons in all shapes and colors?  Here are two cute ideas to use them up and make something to enjoy on the Christmas tree for years to come.  Or even give them away as gifts.  Homemade gifts are always that much better.  Button Wreath Ornaments and Christmas Button Ornaments.

Another cute idea that the bigger kids can help with are these adorable chocolate snowman bowls.  Love these!

Have fun these next few days with the little ones with these super fun holiday ideas.

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