Monday, November 26, 2012

Bottlecap Magnets

Here is a project perfect for a wide range of ages...preschoolers will love the simplicity with beautiful results, while older children can get as detailed and creative as they desire.
Fill some bowls, divided container, or muffin tin with the supplies needed. 
You'll need some unbent bottlecaps, circular magnets, and an assortment of beads, sequins, stickers, pictures, or other small items.
 I chose to use glossy Mod Podge for this project because it dries clear.
 Spread a layer of Mod Podge in the bottom of each bottle cap.
The older children can do this themselves, but for preschoolers, it is a good idea to do it for them.
 Let them drop in whatever items they want. 
Older children may take the time to make special designs or scenes.
 Set the bottlecaps aside until they are dry.
 Then, put on another coat of Mod Podge to seal in and protect the decorations.
 Attach circular magnets to the back.
 Wrap them up for gifts by putting them in jewelry boxes. 
See, how they shine like jewels?
Putting them in the boxes and sticking on the bows are all things your preschooler can do.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Buttons (and, a LOT of Glue)

 Put out a piece of foam board and a bowl of buttons, then hand your preschooler a bottle of glue!
 Oh, the fun!
 This will take a couple days to dry.
Put it in a frame. 
(NOTE:  Simeon didn't want to smile for this picture, because he is sick.)
This was such a hit that Simeon did three foam boards for gifts and still wants to do more.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Household Happenings

REALLY ugly spider!

 Simeon leaving some seeds for the flock of super-cute, itty-bitty birds that live around our house.
Close-up of Jason's favorite apple pie.


It is easy to make your own toothpaste and it comes with great health benefits. 

From what I understand, the ingredients in regular storebought toothpaste coat your teeth such that minerals your teeth need cannot be absorbed.  Plus, they contain unhealthy ingredients such as sugar and flouride.  Making homemade toothpaste with xylitol, which has been shown to prevent cavities, is a great alternative.  You can read some of the other benefits in this article.

I am not fond of the flavor of this recipe, but I LOVE how my teeth feel when I use it.  Our family will be making our own toothpaste from here on out!

Here is the recipe that came from "Everyday Paleo", modified slightly with my own preferences:

  • 5 Tablespoons of Calcium Carbonate
  • 2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda
  • 4 Tablespoons of Xylitol
  • 1 Tablespoon Liquid Castille Soap
  • 3-5 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil (amount varies with personal preference for texture)
  • 20+ drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 10 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract (optional-to preserve longer)

  • After mixing the ingredients, I put it into little baby food storage containers and give one to each family member. 

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    Survival Bracelet

    It isn't easy finding cool crafts for boys.  BUT, we just recently came across this awesome project. 

    Emmett has just learned how to make these paracord survival bracelets, which he plans to make as Christmas gifts for family and friends. 

    Each inch of bracelet contains approximately one foot of paracord which can be used for "camping, boating, lashings, indoor and outdoor clothes lines, hanging food bags in trees...". 
    The color shown here is olive drab, but paracord comes in a vast array of colors.  Here is a sampling of what is available on Amazon.
    While you can make keychains, lanyards, or just about anything, there are special buckles for bracelets that also come in many colors. 
    Here is a link to a printable of easy instructions so you can make your own. 

    Monday, November 5, 2012

    Fun Boxes

     MANY years ago, in preparation for a family vacation, I got this box for Emmett and filled it with things that would entertain him and make the boring parts of the trip (such as driving) more enjoyable.  It has been a while since he has taken it on a vacation,
    but he uses it to store tools and fun activities.
    Now, my niece (5) and nephew (3) are flying in from Pennsylvania in December,
    and I have prepared similar boxes for them to enjoy on their flight home.
    My intention is to wrap some of the items to prolong the excitement factor
    and help it last throughout their day of travel,
    but here is a little peek into some of what I've prepared. 


    Horribliss -- the combination of the words "horrible" and "bliss".  Example:  Last night was horribliss because the baby was up all night.  I am horribly tired but it was blissful to hold and cuddle my sweet boy.

    Ta Da La -- "Ta Da" with "La" added for flair.

    Hookers -- Those things on pens that allow you to hang them on your pocket or notebook.

    Licker (pronounced "liquor") -- Lollipop.

    What Emmett Has Been Up To Lately

     Lego Mazes:  The objective here is to get the pile of gold at the end while avoiding traps such as clone troopers (or whatever they are called) and flowing lava. 
     Emmett's creation for this lego challenge round on which is to build a car that can go long distances -- we actually did not have enough space to give this vehicle proper testing as it traveled nearly the length of our house (with carpet in spots).  Emmett estimated that it could easily travel 25+ feet if we had the space and proper flooring. 
     But, after the challenge was complete,
    Emmett felt the need to modify his creation with weaponry and such. 
    This is Emmett's "experiment".  See those crystals? 
    Can you guess what Emmett let dry out to get these marvelous beauties? 

    Z Loves His New Walker!