Kids Summer Crafts on Sale at Joann’s!

If you are looking for some small craft kits for your kids to do this summer, stop in at your nearest Joann craft store! They have some great prices on some fun looking kits!

These are a few items included in the 60% off sale:

#1.) Melty Bead Kits. There were at least 3 designs to choose from. (Yep, they look very similar to the Perler beads.)

#2.) Scratch Art Kits. There are 6 in this package and it includes the utensil used to do the scratching.

#3.) Color-in Puzzle Kit. There are 2 sets in the package plus some markers for coloring.

#4.) Plaster Magnet Kit which includes a brush and paints. There were a few designs to choose from.

#5.) Wood Coloring Kit. These sets includes 3 markers and a few little gems.

I also saw a couple different types of terrarium grow kits that were 70% off! Normally they would sell for $29.99, but are on sale for $8.99! Wow!

If you like the Makit & Bakit kits, they have some cute ones on clearance for $2.47.

Hop on over to your nearest Joann’s for some great summer bargains that will keep your kids entertained! πŸ™‚

Save Those Bananas!

Do you ever have too many bananas and you don’t have time to use them before they become overripe? Don’t throw them away!

You can freeze bananas to use later and it’s SUPER simple to do! There are 2 ways (at least) to do it. Grab a small freezer bag and write on the outside that it contains a banana and write the date you are freezing it.

You can simply peel the banana, stick it in the freezer bag and put it in the freezer. Doesn’t get much easier than that, right? πŸ™‚

Frozen bananas can be used to make things like banana bread or muffins but my favorite thing to use frozen bananas for is MILKSHAKES! So with that in mind, here is another way to freeze bananas so they are ready to go in the blender to make a milkshake. Lay a piece of wax paper or parchment paper on a cookie sheet, cut the banana into slices and lay them on the cookie sheet so they are not quite touching each other.

Pop the cookie sheet into the freezer and go about doing other things while the banana slices freeze. After the slices are frozen, pick up the edge of the wax paper and quickly peel it back to loosen the banana pieces.

Pop them into the freezer bags and back into the freezer.

Now you have banana slices ready to dump into the blender with your other yummy ingredients at a moment’s notice. πŸ™‚ And you didn’t waste those bananas! πŸ˜‰

Here is my favorite recipe for using frozen bananas in a milkshake. (Shhh! Don’t tell the kids it’s actually healthy!)

Note: you can use the whole frozen bananas in this recipe or to make your own version of a milkshake. Just break the banana into a few smaller chunks before adding it to the blender. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

Taste Testing Tuesday #76 Ice Cream Cones

A summertime favorite (ok, year-found favorite!) of mine is an ice cream cone with chocolate and vanilla ice cream twisted together in it! OOOOoooo! Drool!

Yes, I know, it’s HUGE!! And that’s only a medium! Wow! But for this Taste Testing Tuesday, let’s think of OTHER things that could be eaten from an ice cream cone! Put on your thinking caps…here we go!!

#1.) Trail mix. Whatever your favorite trail mix ingredients are, I’m pretty sure they would taste great from an ice cream cone.

#2.) Vanilla yogurt and a cut-up banana. Yep, pretty tasty!

#3.) Miniature Marshmallows

#4.) Cereal. Have a bowl handy and you could even try adding some milk. πŸ˜‰

#5.) Pudding! This is one of my favorite ideas! Chocolate or vanilla or any flavor of pudding is delicious in an ice cream cone. Sprinkles make it beautiful too. πŸ˜‰

#6.) Crackers. Eat the snack inside the cone and then eat the cone!

#7.) Miniature cookies. These happen to be miniature Oreos but any mini cookies will work great.

#8.) Strawberries or other fresh fruit. This is another YUM! I’m imagining a little whip cream on top would be awesome!

So there are a few ideas to get you started! What can you think of that might work great in an ice cream cone? I’d love to hear your ideas and also hear about what you tried in your ice cream cone! πŸ™‚

First Day of Summer! Let’s Make Paper Fans to Keep Cool!

Summer has officially arrived today! And it’s come in with very warm temperatures here! One way to cool off might be to have a paper fan handy to wave in front of your face.

No electricity required so it’s good for wherever you might be. You will need a piece of paper, (I used a 12 inch square piece of scrapbook paper) scissors, glue, a piece of thin string or thread and 2 craft sticks or popsicle sticks.

If your paper has writing along the edge, trim that off first.

Fold your paper in half and crease it firmly.

Use your scissors to cut along the crease. Or if you want to, use a ruler and pencil to make a line on the crease on the backside of the paper that makes it easier to see where to cut.

Now you will make several creases in the paper that will help you fold it like an accordion. Using one piece of the cut paper at a time, fold the paper in half by bringing to 2 short ends together.

Fold it in half again in the same direction. It will look like a rectangle now. Crease firmly.

Open the paper back up one fold so you can see the middle fold.

Now fold each side in so the ends meet on the middle fold.

Open the paper all the way open now.

Next, turn the paper over. Beginning at one end, fold the front side of the paper in to meet the first crease. You will be making one fold in between each crease you already made.

Turn the paper right side up and make another fold in the other direction. This is the “accordion” part. Continue folding the paper back and forth until the entire paper has been folded into an accordion.

Repeat the folding steps with the second piece of paper.

We want to make the accordion part longer, so now you’ll need to glue the 2 pieces together.

You will have 1 piece of accordion folded paper.

Pinch it all together to firm up the folds.

Bend your fan in half to get an estimate of where the middle of the fan is.

Open the fan up again and wrap a piece of string or thread several times around the middle.

Tie a good knot and trim off the ends of the string.

Fan out the paper and glue the 2 sides together to form half of the fan.

Glue 1 craft stick to each side of the straight edges of the fan. Leave enough of the stick hanging out past the end of the paper so you have some stick to hold onto as you wave the fan.

And your fan is now ready to be used to keep you cool in the summer heat!

You can make one for yourself or make more for your friends and relatives. I hope you’ll have fun making fans and that you’ll have a wonderful summer! πŸ™‚

Storms + Wind = No Electricity. Now What to do With the Kids??

We had some strong storms roll through our state on Monday evening this week and a LOT of people have been without electricity. (Including us…for about 44 hours.) Some are still out. That means no TV, no Xbox and soon all the electronics run out of battery. And the kids are home…and they are BORED! Now what??! Here are a few suggestions that might entertain the kids for a while so you don’t pull all your hair out during the first hour of no power. πŸ˜‰

#1.) Coloring pictures. Yep, drag out the boxes of crayons and coloring books and color some pictures. Maybe you “need” some new pictures to hang on the refrigerator or maybe Grandma and Grandpa need some pictures in the mail. πŸ™‚

#2.) Play some card or board games. The more people that play the more fun it will be.

#3.) Read some books. Let the kids pick out their favorite book and read it together. Or read a story to them that they haven’t quite mastered reading for themselves.

#4.) Do some simple crafts. Maybe not painting, if you don’t have water available for cleanup. πŸ˜‰

#5.) Draw some crazy monsters. All you need is paper and markers or crayons. Some wiggly eyes can add to the fun.

#6.) Play with Lego!

#7.) Give your pets some extra love and attention. Maybe play tug-of-war with your dog or trail a piece of yarn for your cat to chase.

Or maybe play Qwirkle with your cat! Lol πŸ˜‰

#8.) Play the “connect the dots” game…only need paper and pencils or pens. Make 100 dots on the paper. Each person draws one line and then it’s the next person’s turn. If you complete the 4th side of a box, that becomes your box and you write your initial in the box. Complete the most boxes and you win.

#9.) Play with Dominoes. You can play the actual game of Dominoes or just have fun building with them and/or knocking them down again.

#11.) Make your own board game. Let the kids design their own board game, even if the rules are a bit wonky and constantly changing. πŸ˜‰ They will feel 10 feet tall when you play their game with them.

#12.) Matching game. Find several pairs of items and mix them up for your kids to match up the pairs.

So the next time your electricity goes out, don’t despair! You can definitely find things to keep the kids occupied with no electricity needed! If you are currently without power, I feel your pain! Hang in there!

Making a Birthday Card With Washi Tape

Today I want to share a super simple way to make a birthday card using Washi tape. In case you’ve never heard of it, washi tape can be bought at craft stores and big box stores. It comes in many colors/patterns and in different widths. Super cool stuff! Isn’t this card cute? πŸ˜‰

For this project you will need some blank cards and envelopes, a few different colors/patterns of Washi tape, scissors and some markers. You can pick whichever width of Washi tape you like and the number of different colors/patterns that you use, but I used 5 colors/patterns in about 1/4″ wide.

Begin by cutting and placing a piece of Washi tape perpendicular to the bottom front of the card.

Continue cutting and placing strips of Washi tape in a line across the front of the card with each piece right up against the previous piece of tape. I like to vary the heights of the “candles” by using different lengths of tape.

Continue adding pieces of tape until you have the number of candles you want on your card.

Using a black thin marker, draw a short line on the top of each candle for the wick part of the candle.

Next take a yellow marker and draw a tear-shaped flame on the top of each candle wick. Use an orange marker to outline each flame. I drew my flames going in different directions, but you might like to make yours all lean the same way so it looks like someone is blowing on them.

Now all that’s left to do is to add whatever message you’d like to include. For instance, you might write “Wow…that’s a LOT of candles! Happy Birthday!” You can write on the front of the card and/or put a message on the inside of the card. It’s all up to you and what you want to say to the recipient.

Super simple card to make but so cute when you’re done! If you don’t have washi tape, you could cute strips of scrapbook paper or use construction paper of different colors. Your imagination is the only limit! πŸ™‚ Have fun!

Let’s Make Super Soft Cloud Dough

Sorry to be away for a few days. I was feeling under the weather and we also lost a close friend to leukemia. So not the best days recently, but today let’s do something fun and make some amazing cloud dough! This was my first time to make cloud dough and I will say that I like it better than regular homemade play dough. Cloud dough is so soft! Best part is, there is no cooking!! πŸ™‚

And it is so super easy to make and you only need 2-3 ingredients. You’ll need some lotion and some cornstarch and if you want to add some color to it, you will also need food coloring.

Grab a bowl, a spatula, some measuring cups and some wax paper or parchment paper and let’s get started!

All the recipes that I looked at called for using twice the amount of cornstarch as you use for lotion. For example, 1/3 cup of lotion to 2/3 cup of cornstarch or 1/2 cup of lotion to 1 cup of cornstarch. Pour the lotion into the measuring cup (I used the 1/2 cup size) and then put it into your mixing bowl. Use your spatula to get all the lotion out of the cup and into the bowl.

Next add a few drops of food coloring, in the color of your choice. I went with blue.

Using your spatula, mix the 2 ingredients together.

Add the measured cornstarch to the bowl next and stir slowly so the cornstarch doesn’t “poof” all over everything. πŸ˜‰

When your cloud dough is mostly mixed together, dump it out onto a piece of parchment paper or wax paper and knead it together.

If it seems a little too sticky, you can add a little more cornstarch. Keep kneading until it is smooth and soft.

That’s all there is too it! Now the fun really begins!

You can break it into smaller pieces and roll them into balls. (No, I don’t think you should throw these balls in the house!)

Pinch off a piece and roll it between your hands to make a long thin piece. One thing you can do with long skinny pieces is to make a smiley face.

Use an old rolling pin to roll your cloud dough flat and then use cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes.

I think you’ll be glad you tried this easy recipe for cloud dough! If you made enough dough, I bet your kids will let you play too! πŸ˜‰

Store in an airtight container. Since this is my first time making cloud dough, I’m not sure how long it will keep. One person said, if it starts to feel dry, add a little more lotion and work it into the cloud dough and it will be good as new.

Hope you have a ton of fun! πŸ™‚

Yes, I Went to Dollar Tree Again…

Ok, I have a confession to make. I’m hooked on finding fun things for kids at the Dollar Tree stores! I met a lady today that was buying items for a vacation trip to the Outer Banks and she had a cart load of stuff! What a great way to save some money!

So let’s look at my find for today…a sticker book, but a different kind of sticker book. Sticker book puzzles.

In this book you use the numbered stickers to make 4 pictures.

You pick a numbered page and a page of numbered stickers. Sticker #1 goes on the #1 spot on the numbered page, then #2, etc.

This book is all about Mermaids but there was at least one other type about Carnivals. Check your nearest Dollar Tree store for what’s available close to you! πŸ˜ƒ

Taste Testing Tuesday #75 Blueberries

Warm weather brings on lots of yummy foods! One of my favorites is blueberries! In Ohio, it’s still a little early for fresh from the bush Ohio blueberries, but they are showing up in our grocery stores now from other places in the U.S. What do you like to do with blueberries? Here are a few suggestions you might like to try:

#1.) Just plain blueberries! I love them just like they are with nothing else added. πŸ™‚

#2.) With milk and honey. Mmmm!

#3.) Blueberry muffins, of course! πŸ˜‰

#4.) In a fruit salad

#5.) Blueberry cobbler. Oohh, yummy!

The list goes on and on! Blueberry smoothies, blueberry sauce, lemon and blueberry scones, blueberry pancakes or waffles, blueberry pie, blueberry jam, blueberries in salads, blueberries on ice cream…you get the idea! Blueberries are wonderful and so versatile! I hope you’ll taste test a new blueberry recipe today! πŸ™‚