Walmart Clearance Gem

I just wanted to share a quick tip on a neat looking item that’s on clearance at the Walmart store close to us. That’s the Crayola Crayon Melter.

While I have never used one of these, it looks like you put Crayola crayons in the Crayon Melter which melts the crayons and allows you to create melted crayon art. It is normally priced at $19.97, but is on sale for the clearance price of $10.

So if you have been looking for one of these, be sure to check in at your friendly neighborhood Walmart. 😊

Toad-i-ly Fun!

We had another friendly visitor to our house this week and he was toad-i-ly fun! He’s brown and he hops around and his skin is all bumpy. Can you guess what I’m talking about?

If you said a toad, you are absolutely right! I was working in my flower bed when he hopped out of a hole and startled me. Has that ever happened to you? People used to say that if you picked up a toad, it would give you warts…but that is NOT true. (He might “pee” on you though!) Toads are actually a good thing to have around because they eat bugs! Here is a closer look at him although he was trying to hide in the grass so I wouldn’t see him.

He’s pretty cool, isn’t he? You can see him pretty well when he is in the green grass. But look at this toad when he is in the dirt.

Can you spot him? He’s harder to see, isn’t he?

How about a couple of toad riddles to try? πŸ™‚

What did the bus driver say to the toad? Answer: Hop on!

What do you get if you cross a toad and a dog? Answer: A croaker-spaniel!

What do toads drink? Answer: Croak-a-cola and Hot Croak-o!

Have a toad-i-ly great day! πŸ™‚

Turn a Small Milk Bottle Into a Piggy Bank

Here’s a fun (and maybe a little bit weird!) idea for you to craft with the kiddos! NOTE: It does require an adult to do a bit of cutting with something sharp like a utility knife. Do your kids get milk in a little plastic bottle when you go to McDonalds? (Maybe other places too.) We grabbed some breakfast items there the other day and I got a milk. Here’s what mine looked like:

Remove the outer wrapper carefully. I used a sharp knife to get it started.

Presto! You have a white bottle!

I had some Washi tape on hand that worked nicely for this project. In fact, I had just purchased it on clearance from a Joann store.

This pack had 7 different colors/patterns.

Starting at the top, right below the rim of the bottle, I taped a piece of the Washi tape around the bottle, overlapping a little.

You can continue wrapping the different patterns of tape down the bottle. Add as many or few pieces as you like. I left some space between my layers, but you can place them closer together too. Layer number two…

Layer number 3…

Keep wrapping until your bottle looks just right to you. πŸ™‚

There are 2 ways you can turn this into a bank…one requires cutting the lid and the second way does not. You can add Washi tape to the top of the bottle as decoration and remove the lid each time you wish to store money inside.

The other way is to cut an opening in the lid so money can be dropped inside without removing the lid.

And you have a new bank for saving money! It’s a great way to re-purpose an item that would usually just be thrown away. Have fun and save those pennies! πŸ˜‰

Joann’s Store Clearance – Run, Don’t Walk!

Do you shop at Joann’s? Or maybe you call it Joann Fabric’s? It’s one of my FAVORITE stores! If you’ve never shopped at one, NOW is the time! They are having a big clearance sale and I just had to share my sweet buys with you! I’m not sure how long the sale lasts because their flyer is a bit confusing to me with the mixture of sales dates, but HURRY in for best selection! Here’s a few things I picked up…

There are a few small things that I bought that are not included in the picture because I already used (or ate!) them. (Candy…I ate candy…I’m really not in the habit of eating crafts.) My total bill before tax was $27.48…but I saved a whopping $68.20!! Wow!

This adorable little wooden crate (6.5″ x 4.5″ x 3.5″) normally sells for $8.99…I paid $2.69!

I got this round iron container for $3.74 and it normally is priced at $14.99!

Same thing for this oval iron container…normally $14.99, on sale for $3.74.

Many of their Spring and Summer decor items are 75% off! I grabbed 2 bunches of these flowers, normally priced at $14.99 and got them for $3.74 each. πŸ™‚ (Stay tuned for a craft using them coming soon!)

The last of my awesome bargains I want to share with you today is this ADORABLE little pig!

Isn’t he the cutest thing ever?! (This little pig didn’t say a word, allllllll the way home!) They had 2 sizes and 2 different poses and it was really hard for me not to buy a whole family!! He’s normally priced at $19.99 and I got him for $4.99. πŸ™‚

So if you are looking for some new Spring and Summer decor…and many other things on sale…(I ran out of time)…make a quick stop into your local Joann’s store for some great bargains! (Ok, is it even POSSIBLE to make a QUICK trip into Joann’s?! Not for me! LOL) πŸ˜‰

A Surprise Green Visitor!

Today I was walking across the yard with our dog, Rusty, when he stopped suddenly and started sniffing something. Then he jerked back and growled a little. When I got closer to where he was, I was surprised to see that we had an unexpected visitor in our yard! Can you guess what it was?

He carries his house with him wherever he goes. He’s dark green on the outside…has 4 legs and a tail. He’s hiding but I bet you can tell what he is by looking at his house. It’s a…..

TURTLE!! I bet you guessed that right, didn’t you? Let’s take a little closer peek at him…

Well, hello, Mr. Turtle! (Or maybe it’s Mrs.?) In this next picture you can see what size he was compared to the size of my foot.

Peek-a-boo! πŸ˜‰

As long as we were close to him, he stayed all tucked safely inside his shell. But when we walked away he moved on across the yard. It brought some excitement to our day! Thanks for visiting us, Mr. Turtle! πŸ™‚

Wacky Cake for Wacky Wednesday

Today I have another fun and easy cake recipe that’s great for kids to make. Yes, believe it or not, the name of this cake is actually Wacky Cake! It’s been a favorite in my family as far back as when I was a child. I know…all those eons ago… πŸ˜‰ My older sister, Susie, is the one I remember making it most often. I think they call it Wacky Cake because you mix it up and bake it all in the same pan.

Oooo! Doesn’t that chocolate cake look amazing?! Let’s get on with making it so you can soon be EATING it! Here’s what you’ll need: 1 C. white sugar, 1 1/2 C. flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 C. cocoa, 1 teaspoon soda, 1 Tablespoon of vinegar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1/3 C. oil and 1 C. cold water.

If you have a flour sifter, it will make the next part extra fun. I’ve never met a kid that didn’t like using a sifter. πŸ˜‰ If you don’t have a sifter, it’s fine without one.

Grab an 8″ x 8″ pan and your sifter, if you have one, and measure all the dry ingredients into the sifter. No need to grease the pan.

If using a sifter, let the kids take turns turning the handle and making the dry ingredients sift down into the 8″ x 8″ pan.

If you’re not using a sifter, just add all the dry ingredients to your pan.

Mix GENTLY with a spoon. Try to curb the enthusiasm level of the stirring or you will do what I did and end up with dry ingredients outside of the pan. Oops! Haha!

After you finish mixing the dry ingredients, make 3 holes in the mixture. (Maybe that’s another part of the “Wacky”.)

Put the vanilla in the first hole, the vinegar in the second hole and the oil in the third hole.

The vinegar will probably fizz up when it comes in contact with the baking soda and kids usually think that’s pretty cool. Pour the water in next.

Time for more GENTLE stirring. πŸ˜‰ Stir until the ingredients are mixed together and fairly smooth.

I like to take a paper towel and wipe off the upper inside edges of the pan, just to make it look nicer after it’s baked.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Your house will smell lovely! Stick a toothpick into the center of the cake to test and see if the cake has cooked all the way through. Your toothpick should come out clean when the cake is done.

Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting with your favorite frosting. I “cheated” and used a can of frosting. πŸ˜‰

I suggest spreading the frosting in one direction rather than back and forth or the top of the cake might lift off.

If you have some sprinkles on hand, you can add them on top while the frosting is still wet. (Sprinkles make everything better, right?)

Don’t you just want to eat some right now?? Wacky cake goes great with vanilla ice cream!

I hope you and your kids will have fun making Wacky Cake together! And I hope you will enjoy eating one of our favorite family recipes. Thanks for stopping by!

Awesome Pool Birthday Cake

Are you looking for a fun cake idea for a summer birthday? Look no further! Our grandson had his birthday yesterday and his mom made him a really cool cake! Our daughter, Megan, is quite talented at making cakes and I just have to share this one with you. Hunter asked for a swimming pool birthday cake. (Whaaat?) Yep, and his mama did it!

Isn’t that awesome? πŸ™‚ The cake started out with one layer of French Vanilla cake and a second layer of Chocolate Fudge cake.

Ooops, I almost drooled on my keyboard! πŸ˜‰ The outside of the pool is Kit Kat candy bar pieces. Some blue frosting for the water, some Lifesavers candy (Get it? Lifesavers in the pool…) with Minecraft characters floating in them plus some graham cracker crumbs around the bottom and this is one cute cake! I think it turned out great and I think Hunter looks like he thinks so too. πŸ™‚

This would make a great cake for someone you know and it doesn’t require any unusual items to make it. I only wish I was close enough to help them eat it! haha! Happy Birthday, champ! πŸ™‚

Let’s Draw Bubbles and Juan the Hippos

Hello and welcome to another fun drawing post here at The Kids Niche! Today let’s try drawing Bubbles and Juan the Hippos. Doesn’t he/she look friendly and excited to meet you? πŸ™‚ You will draw the hippos the same until the end when you can decide if you want to draw Juan (a boy) or Bubbles (a girl)…or both! πŸ™‚ My grandsons named these hippos for me! πŸ™‚ Thanks, Hunter and Kendan!

Grab a piece of paper and a drawing utensil and let’s go! Starting with the top of her head, draw part of a sideways oval.

Next draw the area that will be Bubbles’ nose. Almost like another sideways oval but one side dips in.

Next is the area for her mouth.

She’s looking a little odd so far, isn’t she? So let’s start adding some things that will make her look like a hippo! We’ll add 2 small ears on the top of her head…and a little line inside each ear.

Next, draw 2 eyes and 2 little marks, 1 mark above each eye.

Now let’s draw in the details of her nose. Add 2 ovals and color them in for her nostrils. Add 3 dots close to each nostril.

Bubbles is looking much better, but we need to draw her mouth yet. Draw a second curving line close to the first one at the bottom. Add 4 teeth…or however many you want Bubbles to have. And lastly, add a line down the middle to divide her nose a bit.

Great job! Now you can draw a hippo! The finishing touches to make Bubbles, is to add eyelashes to her eyes and a bow on her head.

To make Juan the Hippo, you can add a hat to the top of his head. This hat even has a feather added.

Thanks for joining me today to have fun drawing hippos! πŸ™‚

Kids Making Easy Cornbread

Are you looking for simple recipes that kids can help make? Or for older kids, even make on their own? This is a great recipe for yummy cornbread that comes from the Quaker yellow cornmeal canister. It’s been a favorite in our family for a long time. This recipe works great if you want to make it dairy free by just using water instead of milk.

Gather up your ingredients…flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, milk OR water, oil and an egg. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease an 8 or 9″ baking pan.

Put all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Mix together.

Break the egg into a cup and beat it with a fork.

Add the milk or water, oil and the beaten egg to the dry ingredients.

Stir together with a spoon and pour into the greased pan.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

We like to eat cornbread with butter and maple syrup or molasses. It goes great with soup! If you need more cornbread, this recipe works well when doubled and baked in a 9″ x 13″ pan. Just extend the baking time…start checking to see if it’s done at 30 minutes.

Baking with kids is a great learning experience for kids and a way to spend some quality time together. And the cornbread tastes great too! πŸ˜‰ Enjoy!

More Re-purposing With Kids

Hello! Hope things are going well for you! Today let me show you a couple more fun ways to re-purpose things you might have around your house into some entertainment for the kids. This first one I have to show you is using and empty…and washed…plastic container that had spinach and artichoke dip in it. (Oooo, that’s making me hungry!)

The outer plastic wrap came off very easily for me.

The sticker on the lid however, didn’t come off so I simply cut a circle out from a white piece of paper and glued it on top.

Then I cut a slightly smaller circle out of a piece of scrapbook paper and glue it on top of the white paper circle.

Your project can be finished here or you can add a piece of ribbon or duck tape around the side of the container. You’ll want to glue it in place.

And there you are! Another great little container for storing special treasures inside!

Item #2 on today’s blog post is super simple! Do your kids like to play outside in the warm weather and use squirt guns on each other? (Or on an unsuspecting parent or grandparent! Ha!) But you really don’t want to pay the price for squirt guns? Save up a few dish soap bottles or spray bottles…make sure they are washed out and rinsed well. Fill them up with water and let the kids have a grand time spraying each other to cool off! (That actually sounds really good for today – it’s currently 92 degrees with the “real-feel” temperature of 95. Whew!)

Hope these suggestions spur you to do something similar for a fun project today! πŸ™‚