Good morning! This morning I'm posting a simple craft that can be done however you please. Definitely let your child use his/her imagination on this one. M1 just happened to request a house when we made ours, so I assisted her with making a stick house.

Supplies- *Glue, *Paint, *Craft Sticks, *Large White Paper, *Small Colorful Paper/Magazine Scraps
1. We began by gluing the craft sticks to the paper where we wanted them & in the shape of a house and tree.
2. Once they were glued down, M1 went ahead & painted the sticks, a sun & the tree.
3. After painting, I helped her choose all the green pieces of scrap paper she could find. Once she had a nice pile, she glued the scraps onto the tree as leaves.
4. Using the scraps again, we found a door, window & a small chimney.
Very simple, yet fun art activity for kids of all ages. It could be as basic as just gluing sticks to the paper & painting them. Craft sticks have ooodles of uses!
Enjoy! s.b.


Earth Day Coffee Ground Fossils

I'm going to continue with at least one more Earth Day project this week (if not more). I think it's ok since we should be doing things to help the environment all year round, right?!! This project is a messy one that reuses coffee grounds & a 1/2 cup of leftover coffee. I found this one HERE @ Kaboose.com. Definitely caught my interest & is completely different from anything we had ever done w/ M1 & M2. We read over the directions & then chose to do our own thing, so ours are not exactly like the ones on Kaboose. They turned out great & it was a super fun activity for the girls.

Supplies- *Salt, *Coffee Grounds, *1/2 Cup Coffee, *Wax Paper, *Large Bowl, *Spoon, *Flour, *Measuring Cup, *Cookie Cutters or Objects to Press into the Fossil
1. Stir the together 1 c. coffee grounds, 1/2 c. cold coffee, 1 c. flour, and 1/2 c. salt.
M1 enjoyed all the measuring & mixing.
2. Lay out a large piece of wax paper.
3. Once mixed well, grab large portions of the mixture & flatten like a pancake. Lay the pancakes onto the wax paper.
4. Then you're ready to start creating your fossils. We started by making one with M1's hand.
It got quite messy, but it was so fun. Luckily, it was very nice out & we were able to do this all outside!

5. If you choose to do a hand print, great! If not, go ahead & use your cutters & random objects to press into the dough to create fossils.
We used a few animal cutters that were part of our Play Doh collection, but you could use anything...small animal figurines, coins, rocks, etc. M2 even got to participate! Her little hand is pictured below.
6. Allow time to dry & set. We let ours sit out for an entire day & they dried well. M1 has been playing with them outside. She enjoys hiding them & then searching for her fossils.
Enjoy! s.b.
p.s. We are in the process of selling our home & relocating due to a job change for my hubby. Why tell you this??! I'm apologizing in advance if there are weeks that I'm not posting as much as usual. Hopefully we're settled soon & it's a smooth process! We've done some packing already but the crafting stuff will be the last to get boxed up!


Coffee Filter Earth

Happy Earth Day to all! I'll be posting a few other Earth Day activities over the next few days too.
Here is the "Earth" that M1 made the other day. This is a fun project that I did with my younger students years ago & it was one that came to mind while thinking about Earth Day activities. I found similar directions HERE at DLTK's. I've seen other activities like this one that use food coloring & wax paper v.s. markers. (You could definitely search that if you're looking for something a little more difficult.) But in my case, this was nice & easy for M1. What kid doesn't love to scribble?

Supplies- *Coffee Filter, *Spray Bottle w/ Water, *Green & Blue Washable Marker, *Scotch Tape, *Newspaper
1. Tape the coffee filter down to help it stay flat. I taped it onto a round piece of plastic to protect our table.
2. Have your child scribble green "land" & blue "water" all over the filter. (If your child is a bit older, you may want to have a picture of the Earth for them to copy or use as a guide to make it appear more realistic.)
3. Transfer the filter to a piece of newspaper.
4. Have your child pick up the spray bottle & spray water all over the colored filter. It will start to bleed right away. Spray until it's blended to your liking. (We reused an empty bottle of stain remover, cleaned it out & filled it with water.)
5. Allow some time to dry & you've got one cool Earth!
If you're interested in doing a bit more, I've also seen them glued onto a piece of blue or black construction paper once they're dry.
Enjoy! s.b.


Jelly Bean Door Hanging

Not only is April 22nd Earth Day, it's also National Jelly Bean Day. It is a perfect opportunity to use up all the left over jelly beans & have an excuse to keep eating them a month after Easter!! The Earth Day posts will arrive later this week & into next week, so be on the look out for those also. But for now, use up the jelly beans & create this cute door sign with your little one. It's a great activity that promotes sorting & letter recognition too.

Supplies- *Jelly Beans, *Glue, *A Piece of Cardboard, *White Paper (To cover the cardboard), *Scissors, *Crayons, *Stickers, *Ribbon for Hanging.
1. Cut a piece of cardboard to your desired size & cover it with white construction paper using glue to secure it.
2. Use crayons that match the jelly beans to write your child's name across the paper, seen below. (We chose to do M1's initials instead of her name.) If your child is old enough to write his/her own name, they can do it themselves.
3. Have your child sort through the jelly beans picking out the colors used to write their name. Put them into small piles according to color.
4. Once there are sizeable piles of bean created, go ahead & put a thick line of glue over the letters.
5. Place the similar color jelly beans along the crayon line until the entire letter is outlined with beans.
6. Allow at least a few hours of drying time. If it doesn't dry completely, the beans will fall off when you stand it upright. It may even be beneficial to leave it set overnight.
7. Punch two holes in the top of the hanging & string the ribbon through the holes, knotting at the ends.
8. Optional- Give your child some time to jazz it up a bit by adding stickers.
8. It's ready to be displayed on a bedroom door or where ever you choose!
Enjoy! s.b.



I was shocked to find out that I received my first blogger award this weekend! A fabulous follower & fellow blogger Kim @ A Girl and a Glue Gun passed the award on to me & I feel so honored!
Sorry, no acceptance speech but I am supposed to share 10 things about myself & pass this award on to another fellow blogger, which I will do towards the end of this post.

Now, 10 things about me...my husband would be much better at this than I am. (He's always got something interesting to say!)
1. Each of my family members' names begin with a consonant, followed by an "ar"... Sara, Gary, etc.
2. I am addicted to sugar (candy, desserts, cookies)... I eat pretty healthy & work out to justify all the sugar I eat in a day.
3. In high school, I was a tour guide @ Lambeau Field although we do not live in Green Bay now.
4. We're in the process of trying to sell our home & will be re-locating due to a new career opportunity for my husband.
5. I am a teacher but CAN NOT stand the thought of chalk...instant goose bumps!
6. I love television & I watch it way too much once my kiddos are asleep. Private Practice, Parenthood, Cougar Town & anything reality.
7. I eat the same breakfast (a bowl of Kashi cereal) & lunch (Vanilla yogurt mixed w/ more cereal) every day.
8. My hands are always cold & even turn purple due to Raynaud's Syndrome. It got me out of doing recess duty for many years!
9. I love Thursdays because it's the day that the new USWeekly arrives in my mail box. It's great nap time reading.
10. I really do enjoy all the kids crafts that we create... sometimes even more than M1 & M2.

Ok, so now I pass the award on to Michelle over @ Dilly Dally & Flitter She has some amazing posts on her blog featuring great projects for all!  With all the crafts for little ones we're always doing around here I can use a good "mom" project every now & then.
I have a few Earth Day projects to post in a week or so, but Michelle has a head start on reusing! I know you all have these laying around your house....
So why not turn them into this...

Head on over to her site for the full tutorial.
Her blog isn't necessarily for little ones like s.b.creatively but I'll be posting a kids project similar to this one (using similar recycleable containers) the week of Earth Day.
Enjoy! s.b.


Brown Grocery Bag Shopping List

Both of my girls seem to enjoy the grocery store these days. M1 just likes throwing random things into the cart when she sees something she's interested in. Because of this, I decided to let her create her own grocery "list" so we had something for her to follow while we went through the store. My own list was a bit more complete & detailed but this gave her a chance to pick out some things she wanted from the store.

Supplies- *Scissors, *Glue, *Brown Paper Bag, *White Paper, *Grocery Store Ads or Coupons, *Brown Marker
1. Cut out a grocery bag "list" using the brown paper bag as shown below. Paste the brown bag onto a sheet of white paper.
2. Using the brown marker, draw lines down the side of the bag to make it appear dimensional.

4. Give your child some time to browse through the grocery ads & coupon sections to find various items he/she would like to find at the store. I had to explain to M1 that we were looking for things that we normally buy when we're at the store. She did a great job with this & definitely picked out items that were often on our weekly list.
5. As he/she finds things they would like to ad to their grocery bag list, cut them out & place them in a pile set off to the side.
6. Once all the items are cut out & you've got a good amount of items, go ahead & glue them onto the brown paper bag.
7. Now you're ready to make a trip to the grocery store with your little helper. Don't forget the list!!
M1 really enjoyed shopping through the store & finding all of the items she had glued onto her paper bag. Luckily, all of the things she chose were fairly healthy (minus the Froot Loops!) so we didn't have any arguments about her choices!!! Using the grocery ad from that week was also a great perk. All of the items that she chose were on sale!

Enjoy! s.b.


Hand Print Butterfly

We haven't spotted any butterflies around our yard just yet, it's a bit too early... But never to early to make one of our own!
We made this one yesterday using simple supplies that we had in our craft area in the basement.

Supplies- *Patterned  & Solid Colored Paper, *1 Large Craft Stick, *A Pen/Pencil, *Glue, *Paint, *Paint Brush, *A Pipe Cleaner, *Sequence, *Black Marker, *Small piece of ribbon/string, *Tape (not pictured)
1. Allow your child some time to paint the craft stick with their choice of color. M1 chose green, so then I picked out some matching paper scraps to use for the wings.
2. While the craft stick is drying a bit, begin tracing your child's hand four times. We traced two matching pairs; a patterned pair & a solid pink pair. 
3. Cut out each of the four hand prints. Depending on how old your child is, he/she may wish to cut them out on his/her own. M1 is really into cutting scraps, but not able to cut out things just yet. 
4. Help your little one glue the four hands together. (As shown below)
5. Glue the craft stick right in the middle of the hand prints.
6. Glue the sequence onto the butterfly wings for a little added fun. We had some small white sequence in our craft area that we decided to use to help give the butterfly some detail. If you don't have sequence, some other ideas that would give the same effect would be the circle scraps from a hole punch, small dried beans, rice or pasta.
7. Use the marker to create two dot eyes & a smile.
8. Cut the pipe cleaner to your desired length & fasten them to the back of the butterfly head with a piece of tape.
(Optional) 9. Using another small piece of tape to attach the string to the back of the butterfly. I decided to add the string so M1 could hang the butterfly from a small hook in her bedroom.
Done! Hopefully your little one is as proud of her creation as M1! It's fun seeing how excited she gets about her projects & she loves telling everyone about them. After we finished this butterfly & before taking the picture below she said, "Mommy you have to take my picture so we can see it on the blog." She's got the routine down!!! 
P.S. Welcome U Create followers! I'm so excited to have my blog featured on her site this week!!!
Enjoy! s.b.


Chocolate Birds' Nests

We have so many left over jelly beans in our house, it's crazy. I have to find things to do with them so I STOP eating them. They were the perfect Easter treat for M1 since they do not contain dairy like the majority of the Easter candy does. (She is allergic to all dairy.) I'm working to find a way to get rid of them & this was our first project, Chocolate Birds' Nests. Unfortunately, it involves eating them which is what I'm trying NOT to do!! They were so easy for M1 & M2 to make & fun since we've finally been seeing and talking about all the birds outside again now that Spring has arrived.  Give them a try but don't throw away your other left-over beans just yet... I've got other activites coming up the week of April 22nd. Check back & see!

Supplies: *Jelly Beans, *Chow Mein Noodles, *Chocolate Chips, *Wax Paper, *Spoon, *Microwaveable Bowl
1. Melt 1/2 bag of chocolate chips in a glass or microwaveable bowl in 30 second increments until melted, about a minute & a half. The bowl does get a bit warm so hold off on letting the little ones help with this step.
2. Now the little ones can join in. Have your child add a heaping amount of the Chow Mein noodles & stir until they are completely coated with chocolate.
3. Tear a large piece of wax paper & set it on the counter where you'll be working.
4. Using a large spoon, help your child scoop out a fairly large amount of the noodle mixture & place the clump onto the wax paper.
5. Again using the spoon, make a small divot in the top of the "nest" where the eggs will soon be placed.
6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 until the chocolate/noodle mixture is gone.
7. Once all the nests are created & on the wax paper, allow your child to begin placing 3-4 jelly bean "eggs" on top of each nest.
8. Refridgerate for an hour to allow time for the chocolate to set.
Don't forget to check back in a little over a week for some other fun ways to utilize all the extra jelly beans!
Enjoy! s.b. 


Finger Print Rainbow Mobile

(The following is a Guest Blog Post for Mom4Life. Be sure to head over & check out her great products!)
We are so excited that spring is officially here, but unfortunately so is the rain. We tried to make light of the gloomy weather this week by creating something a little more colorful, a rainbow! Even though we see & talk about them all the time, this is my daughter's first experience creating a rainbow. Great project, but can get a bit messy since we used finger prints to paint the rainbow. I planned on having her use her fingers to paint the clouds also, but plans changed & we used a brush instead.

~Supplies: *White construction paper, *Washable Paints, *Glue, *Scissors, *Crayons, *Paint brush, *Colored Ribbon
To Begin- 1. I started by cutting out a rainbow. Basically a half circle that I made even by tracing a large bowl I had in my kitchen. You can choose to do it free hand or use this one HERE. I also cut the clouds free hand. If this isn't for you, use the cloud template HERE.
2. Start by using a red crayon to draw a line along the outside edge that will be used as a guide for your child's finger prints. (The red line below her finger prints is visible in the picture below.)
3. When the red line is covered, go ahead & draw an orange line next & let your child start placing prints along the line.
4. Repeat with the colors yellow, green, blue & violet.
5. Once the colors are finished, cut out the unpainted "U" shape below the purple line to complete the rainbow.
6. Now for the clouds. You can let your child place blue prints all over the clouds to cover them OR you can allow them to paint the blue on with a brush like we chose to.

7. Allow time for the paint to dry & then you can tie the pieces together with string/ribbon to make your colorful mobile!
p.s. I'm working on a project that will utilize some of the left-over jelly beans... so don't throw them away just yet!!
Enjoy! s.b.


Cork Stamp Basketball

We're down to the wire with all of this March Madness Basketball & tonight is the big game. M1 & M2 have enjoyed many basketball games with Dad over the past few weeks. A few too many for my liking! Even though I'm almost all basketballed out, to keep with the spirit we had to make time to create a basketball.

Supplies: *Orange Construction Paper, *Black Paint, *Marker, *Scissors, *A Cork

To Begin - 1. Cut out a large circle using the orange paper.
2. Draw the basketball lines on with your marker. The lines will be the guide once your child starts stamping. (Picture #2 shows the lines if you've forgotten what they look like.)
3. Pour a small amount of black paint into a bowl. Allow your child to begin "stamping" along the black lines using the cork as the stamper. Continue until all four lines are covered with stamped circles.
4. Allow to dry & display.
Have fun watching the game tonight if you're a fan.
Enjoy! s.b.


Easter Egg Dippers

This was a last minute creation that we made today. We're headed over to a friend's house for dinner & to Grandma's tomorrow so we'll bring half to each house. I saw them on a commercial & then found the recipe http://www.ricekrispies.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=rice%2Bkrispy%2Btreats&utm_campaign=Brand#/recipes/easter-egg-dipper-treats  I shaped the eggs & then let M1 help with the dipping which was right up her alley. She also ate two of them before we even began dipping... We love festive treats!
Happy Easter to All...Enjoy! s.b.