Tag Archives: kids

DIY orange surprise balls

9 Dec

Did you get an orange in your stocking when you were growing up? I always did, right in the toe. Something to do with Santa paying someone’s dowry or my grandpa having to eat the orange “peel-n-all” during the depression or something like that. I thought these surprise balls would be a fun twist on that old tradition. They can be made big or small, I tried to keep mine close to the size of a small grapefruit (it’s supposed to be an orange after all).#DIY orange surprise balls

Supplies:

several different colors of crape paper including orange

small surprises (stickers, erasers, etc.)

white glue

scissors

green construction paper

a button

First cut the crape paper in half (HonestlyWTF suggests using crape paper sheets and cutting it into stripes but I wasn’t sure where to find that in town so I used streamers). This step was a little tedious.

Start wrapping your surprises up! I started with something round (a light-up ball) to help get the right shape. Just wrap the first surprise in crape paper until it is fully covered. Then switch colors and add another surprise. Keep wrapping and adding items until everything is inside! Make sure to use orange for the final layer.

WrapingSurpriseBallNow that everything is all wrapped up. Use a dab of glue to secure the end. Then cut a couple small leaves from the construction paper and glue them over the end and glue the button on top of the leaves. Let it dry and it’s ready to be unwrapped!

If  you wanted to tell the story behind the tradition, you could add it on strips of paper with the surprises.

Side note: Dogs don’t really like crape paper

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Pumpkin Spice Chai Rice Krispie Treats

7 Oct

Since my foodie pen pal sent me a canister of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte mix, I thought I would share this amazing recipe that uses it. Pumpkin spice is one of my favorite things about fall and I am fine with it making it’s way into practically everything! It’s so delicious and seems to make me feel like putting on a sweater even if it is still 85º outside here.

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats from MakingMondays.wordpress.com

Basically you just add the Latte Mix to standard Rice Krispie treats, but here’s the recipe for good measure.

Ingredients:
3 TBS butter or margarine
4 cups mini marshmallows
6 TBS Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte Mix
6 cups rice cereal

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat butter and marshmallows for about 3 minutes. Stir after 2 minutes and continue to heat.
  2.  Stir in drink mix.
  3. Add rice cereal. Stir until well coated.
  4. Spread mixture into a buttered pan or onto a piece of parchment paper (use wet hands to keep it from sticking). Cool and serve.

I imagine this recipe would work with a lot of other drink mixes, but I’ve really only tried it with this. I’m thinking of trying Salted Caramel next time!

DIY watercolor sand dollars

24 Jun

On a past trip up the coast, we stopped at this beach that had an abundance of sand dollars. At the time they were rich in color from the algae and I really loved them. I had big plans to display them. But after sitting with my craft supplies for a year, they have lost their color and turned dingy yellow. I wanted to do something different and add the bright color back into them. So I used watercolors.

#DIY watercolor sand dollars by makingmondays

Supplies:

Sand dollars

Watercolors and water

Brushes

Bleach water solution (optional)

I began by whitening my sand dollars with a simple bleach/water solution (1 TBS per gallon of water). Simply mist with the solution and allow to sit in the sun to dry for an afternoon. If you buy sand dollars from a gift shop or online shop, they will probably already be bright white.

#DIY watercolor sand dollars by makingmondays

They absorb color really well and you can play around to get whatever effect you want. With some I just colored the star in the center which looked nice. But since the color spreads really easily it a little difficult to keep it contained. But that’s ok because as the color spreads it reveals more of the natural texture in the sand dollar. My only real tip for painting is to use water to blend the colors and blend out any rings that may appear. They will a grey tone when wet, but that will go away as they dry.

#DIY watercolor sand dollars by makingmondays

This project is easy, fun, and super kid-friendly. It really doesn’t require much artistic ability, but I liked the way they turned out. I glued magnets to the backs of mine to use on the fridge, but they would look cute in a shadow box display or basket too.

Pen Pal Kit with *FREE PRINTABLES*

27 May

Everyone loves mail! Chris and I sent a pen palling kit to his little sister this week. She is 9 and she wrote him during the school year for class. Her letters were great and it gave him a chance connect with her in a different way. It was interesting to see what was important to her and what she choose to write about.  He’s learned things that he wouldn’t have even thought to ask about, like she learned cursive this year and after about 4 letters it started to be readable. Did I mention her drawings? Amazing. Anyway, he is hoping this will keep her interested now that it’s not a requirement.

But this would also be a great way to start pen palling with someone you don’t get to see enough.

#DIY pen pal kit by makingmondays

Items to include:

Photo Box to put it all in

Envelopes

Postage Stamps

Construction Paper/Scrapbook Paper/White Paper/Stationary

Die-cut shapes

Stickers (letters and cool things)

Tape

Glue stick

Scissors

Pencils/Pens/Markers/Colored Pencils/Glitter Pens

Notebook (optional, we decided to send a notebook back and forth rather than traditional letters, so the conversation is complete for her to look back at later)

Choose a notebook that appeals to you and personalize it. On the back inside cover, we added a handmade envelope to send secret messages, pictures, and other finds. And on the first page, we put a map of the US with our location and her location marked so she has a better understanding of where we are.

#DIY pen pal kit by makingmondays

Make your letter fun and personal. If your pen pal is young, it is important to give them examples of what they can do through your letter. And there is so much you can do. You could paste in comics and photos . Or start a correspondence game of tic-tack-toe or hangman. Or write a secret code key and include a message to decipher. Be sure to give them something to write back about. To get the process started, you can print these fill in the blank questions for your pen pal to answer.

FILLINTHEBLANK printable by makingmondays

Lastly, we attached our address to the lid of the box, so it can’t get lost. If your pen-pal hasn’t mailed a letter before, you may want to use this as an address label and an example of how their envelope should look.

envelope printable by makingmondays

FREE PRINTABLES click on the images above to open them as full size PDFs, then you can save or print the files from there!

P.S. How great would this be as a going away present?

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