Making Large Flowers With Pipe Cleaners

Since we had a pipe cleaner project for a little older group of kids on Monday, I thought it would be nice to do an easier pipe cleaner project for younger kids today. They might need some help holding the pieces together until the final wrap, but after that they can create to their heart’s content!

You will need a total of 7 pipe cleaners…5 for the flower petals, one for the stem and one for the center of the flower. I chose to use red for the petals, green for the stem and yellow for the center. Feel free to use whatever colors your child picks out! 🙂

The stem piece will be in the center of the petals.

For each petal, fold the pipe cleaner in half loosely as shown, making the 2 ends meet.

Place the ends in line with one end the end of the stem.

Continue bending and adding petals, placing them around the stem.

When you have all 5 petals lined up, it should look something like this:

Now take your pipe cleaner for the center and begin wrapping it around the bunch of ends.

Wrap it around and around the group of ends and try to cover up the ends so you don’t see any other colors.

Now comes the fun part! Bend each flower petal up and then design your flower! 🙂

The petals can be shaped in many ways. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Nicely rounded and oval shaped.

Put a little bend in the end of each petal.

Rounded petals that overlap each other. This one makes me think of a pansy!

Pointed skinny petals.

Petals bent in the middle to look like hearts.

For this flower, I bent the petals in half and looped the end over the yellow center of the flower. Then twisted the 2 pieces so they looked like smaller petals.

I’m sure you can come up with even more ideas! This is a simple but fun project for people of all ages. For older kids or adults, you could cut the pipe cleaners in half and make smaller flowers. I hope you’ll give this project a try! Maybe if we concentrate on making pipe cleaner flowers we can forgot how cold it is outside! 😉 Stay warm!

Taste Testing Tuesday #64 What Tastes Best on Apple Slices?

We’re back for another round of Taste Testing Tuesday! What goes well with apple slices? There’s no better way to find out than to have a Taste Test! Grab an apple and we’ll get started!

Start by peeling and slicing an apple. (If your family will eat apples with the skin on, all the better!) Look around your kitchen or pantry and see what ingredients you have on hand that might go well with apples. Make some separate little piles of apple slices and add a different topping to each one. I suggest leaving one group of apple slices plain.

Here are the toppings I used:

#1.) Just plain apple slices with nothing on them. (This might be the best way!)

#2.) Sour cream

#3.) Peanut Butter or another type of nut butter

#4.) Caramel sauce

#5.) Grated Cheese

#6.) Chocolate Syrup

Go with whatever you have on hand. A couple more suggestions might be cinnamon, brown sugar, Ranch dressing or cream cheese. For some added fun, make a chart and keep track of what each person doing the taste test thinks of each topping. This is the type of chart that I like to use for our taste tests. A smiley face means “Yum!”, and straight face means “It’s ok.”, and a frowning face means “No, thanks!” (Look at the picture to see who did this taste test. 🙂 )

Did you learn anything new while doing your taste test? Did you find a topping that you really like on apple slices that you never tried before? Which one was your favorite? I think my favorite is either the peanut butter or the caramel sauce. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed doing your taste test today!

Super Cute Tiny Teddy Bear Made With Pipe Cleaners.

I found this oh, so adorable little teddy bear while I was looking through Pinterest. I had to see if I could make him look as cute as the instructions showed him and I think my second try turned out pretty well. 🙂 I didn’t have ribbon that was really thin enough so my bow might look a little bit big for him, but he’s still adorable.

This would be a fun project for kids that are a little older, say maybe starting around 8-10 years old. You only need 1 pipe cleaner per bear plus a little bow and 3 seed beads and some glue. The bears are pretty little which adds to their “cuteness factor”. They fit in the palm of your hand.

Here is a link to the Pinterest page with a video that shows you how to make the teddy bears.

Or here is another one that has written instructions and pictures in case you want to see things a little slower than the video. 😉

I hope you and your kids will give these fun little bears a try!

Uncooked Peanut Butter Fudge

Oooo! Do you love peanut butter?? How about some homemade peanut butter fudge?

I came across this recipe again the other day that my aunt shared with us quite a few years ago. I have fond memories of helping to make this peanut butter fudge when I was still a child at home. Though we often made it at Christmas time, this recipe is good for any time of year.

It only calls for 4 ingredients and there is no cooking involved. It does take some kneading by hand but that’s a great way for your kids to use up some of that excess energy! 😉 You will need 1/2 Cup of peanut butter, 1/2 Cup Karo corn syrup, 3/4 Cup powdered milk and 3/4 Cup powdered (or confectioners) sugar.

First put the peanut butter into a medium sized bowl.

Add the Karo corn syrup and stir together. If you have younger children helping, this is a good part for them to do.

Next add the powdered milk.

And finally add the powdered sugar.

Stir the ingredients together as best you can and then knead with your hands.

Turn the mixture out onto a clean countertop and knead together until all the ingredients are mixed in. You can divide the fudge among the kids helping so each can do some of the kneading.

Spread it into a pan or cookie sheet to the thickness you like. I think my mom spread it more on the thin side, maybe so we 6 kids got to have a piece or two without getting totally “sugared up”. 😉

Cut into pieces. Running the knife under hot water occasionally can help with the cutting process.

The pieces will stick together so you might want to store them so they don’t touch each other. You can do layers with wax paper in between the layers. Or the way we used to do it was to tear off some rectangular pieces of wax paper…

Place a piece of the fudge in the center…

Fold the long edges in overlapping each other…

And then twist the ends closed.

And there you have it! A fun treat for the family and hopefully your kids used up some of their extra energy! 😉 Enjoy!

The Cutest Lego Set Ever!

There is a new Lego set out and I honestly think it must be the cutest set I’ve ever seen! It’s the Year of the Tiger #40491. This set has 193 pieces and is rated for ages 8+. I found it at Walmart for $9.99. Take a look at this:

It is even cuter when you make it!

This is what you’ll see when you open the box. There’s even a printed envelope for storing the extra pieces.

3 bags of Lego pieces and the instruction booklet are included.

You literally start building from the bottom up. 😉 There’s his back legs and part of the body.

He’s got front legs now.

Building on up…

Can you guess what part this is?

If you said his nose and mouth, you are right! 🙂

It’s rather hard to see without eyes, so it’s a good thing they were next!

Now working on his back…

Check out this awesome tail! It’s moveable!

Of course, he needs some ears too! And they also move!

There’s a little platform to put together for him to sit on.

And there you have it! All done!

This set was super fun to build and it’s just so cute! 🙂 I hope you can find one at your local Walmart store (or somewhere else) and have a great time building a new tiger friend!

Snow Day Fun!

Many places across the U.S. now have a fresh blanket of snow. Some of us will think that is great and some will not be quite as thrilled. But most kids LOVE snow! Lots of kids keep their fingers and toes crossed in hopes that the snow will be deep enough that school is canceled for the day! So if you live in a place that is “lucky” enough to have a lot of snow, just what can you do on a snow day? Let the fun begin!!

Probably one of the favorite things to do is to build a snowman! Big or small, we love them all!

Another favorite has to be sledding down a snow covered hill!

Some “people” just love running around in the snow! Can you guess who this is?

Yep! It’s our dog! 🙂 He LOVES the snow!

Do you see any animal tracks in the snow around your house? We often have these visitors to our yard.

What else is fun to do in the snow? How about making snow angels? Lay flat on your back in the snow and move your arms and legs in wide arcs in the snow and you will make a snow angel.

Build a snow fort or a snow wall.

Group of happy kids build behind snow wall. Group of happy kids together building behind the snow wall with fir forest on the background during winter day royalty free stock photo

Then hide behind your snow fort and have a snow ball fight!

Group of kids play snowballs game together. Standing behind the snow wall fortress with fir forest on the background during winter day stock images

If you can find some very clean snow, you can even make snow ice cream! Yum!

When you are all done playing in the snow, you can head back inside your nice warm house, put on some dry clothes and enjoy a warm drink snuggled under a blanket! 🙂 Have fun!

Making Snowmen From String Cheese Sticks

Making snowmen from mozzarella string cheese sticks is a fun activity to do with your kids. Or you can make them yourself and sneak one into your kid’s school lunchbox for some giggles at lunchtime. Aren’t’ they adorable?! 🙂

All you need are some string cheese sticks and some permanent markers.

I tried using regular Crayola Supertips markers, but the color didn’t show up very well and the snowman rubbed off even after allowing time for the marker to dry.

Using some permanent markers, all you do is draw a snowman on the side of the string cheese that has less words printed on it. If your kids are working on this project, I suggest putting some newspaper or paper towels under their work. You can design your snowman in any way you like. Add a hat, eyes, nose, mouth, bow tie or scarf and some buttons on his tummy.

You can make different kinds of eyes, noses or mouths to change the look of your snowmen.

Or give him curly blue hair. Or make a snow lady. 🙂

Maybe your snow person is feeling rather sleepy. 😉

These snowmen would also be a fun snack to share at school if you are providing a snack for your child’s class.

I hope you’ll try making these adorable string cheese snowmen! 🙂

Taste Testing Tuesday #63 Apple Cider

Welcome back to another Taste Testing Tuesday! Today we’re looking at ways to drink apple cider. Does your family like to go to the orchard or country market and buy fresh apple cider? There are so many ways to drink this delicious beverage! Do you like it hot or cold? Plain or add in something tasty? Here are a few suggestions you might like to try:

#1.) Cold and straight from the jug into your glass! Mmmm!

#2.) Heat the cider and add some cinnamon powder or stir the cider with a cinnamon stick. Apples and cinnamon are always great together!

#3.) Heat and add some dehydrated apples. Maybe even some dehydrated apples that have cinnamon too.

#4.) Warm up the cider and stir in some maple syrup. My mouth is watering at the thought! 😉

#5.) Warm the cider and stir in some caramel topping. Oh my, but that sounds delicious!

Have you tried apple cider all these ways? I hope this will help you and your family find new ideas to try and that you will find one you think is delicious!! Warm cider on cold days is so nice and comforting! Enjoy sipping your cider! 🙂

Learning Fun With Foam Letters

Hello and welcome to another post on The Kids Niche! Hope you are doing well! 🙂 Today let’s talk about a few ways to have fun playing with foam letters with the kiddos. They can practice learning the letters of the alphabet and have fun doing it. I found a bag of 2 inch foam letters that have adhesive on the back at Joann’s a while back. You could do these activities with any type of cut out letters. Your child’s age and ability will determine which of these activities will be appropriate for them right now. Let’s start with…

#1.) Give your child a set of all the letters in the alphabet and let them lay them out in the correct order. If your child is just beginning to learn about letters, start with just a few letters at a time.

#2.) Lay out 3 each of 3 letters and let your child match the letters.

#3.) Using 2 sets of the letters, lay one set out in the correct order and have your child lay their letters out to match the first set.

#4.) You can use the same idea in laying out the letters of the child’s name and having them put their letters in the right order also.

#5.) Another way to practice using the letters in their name would be to give them all the letters in their name and let them put the letters in the right order without having another set to look at to do it.

#6.) Practice making rhyming words. Start with the ending sound…like “at”. Then have your child add a letter to the beginning to make another rhyming word.

#7.) Place letters in a bag and have your child pull them out one at a time and tell you what letter they have.

#8.) Play the game of “Go Fish!” using letters instead of cards. Start by finding 2 of each letter of the alphabet.

Mix the letters up and give 5 to each player. Our example is for 2 players.

Place something between the players so they can’t see each other’s letters. I found that a large cereal box laid on its side worked nicely.

After dealing 5 letters to each player, put the remaining letters in a paper bag where they can’t be seen.

The object of the game is to get 2 letters to make a match. And the player with the most matches at the end is the winner. Play begins with 1 player asking another player for a certain letter. For example, “Do you have an H?” If the player that is asked has the letter that was asked for, they must give it to the player. If the player gets the letter he or she asked for, they get to take another turn. If the player that is asked for a letter doesn’t have that letter, they reply with “No, go fish!” The player whose turn it is then reaches into the bag…no peeking!…and draws out 1 letter. If the letter they pull from the bag is the letter they asked for, they can take another turn. If it is not the letter they asked for then their turn is over and play moves to the next person. When a player gets a match, he or she sets the 2 letters together in front of him or her. Play continues until all letters have been matched.

When a player runs out of letters, they may pull one letter from the bag. The player that has the most matches at the end of the game is the winner. 🙂

I’m sure there are more games that can be played with a bag of foam letters, but I hope you will enjoy giving some of these a try! Remember, learning can be fun! 🙂

Toy Clearance at Walmart!

Hurry over to the closest Walmart store and check out their toy clearance prices! They have some good deals happening but the clearance sale is about to end. There are great sale prices online too at I’m not being compensated for any of these deals. I just like helping other folks find great prices! 🙂 Here are a couple of sales that I thought were worth noting:

#1.) Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Frozen 2 Coloring Set – $3.36

Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Frozen 2 Coloring Set, 18 Pages, Child Ages 3+

#2.) Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Baby Shark Coloring Set – $3.97

Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Baby Shark Coloring Set, 23 Pieces, Beginner Child

#3.) Barbie Rewind 80S Edition Career Girl Doll – $10.88

Barbie Rewind 80S Edition Career Girl Doll (11.5-In Blonde) with Fashion & Accessories

#4.) KidKraft Rainbow Dreamers Waterfall Grotto Dressing Room Play Set – $4.88, normally $29.99.

KidKraft Rainbow Dreamers Waterfall Grotto Dressing Room Play Set

#5.) Crayola Colossal Tub of Glitter Art Set, 81 Pieces – $9.99, regular $24.97.

Crayola Colossal Tub of Glitter Art Set, 81 Pieces, Gift for Kids

#6.) Doodle Drawing Mat 40 x 32 inch Large Aqua Magic Water Drawing – $23.99, regular price $99.99!

Doodle Drawing Mat 40 x 32 inch Large Aqua Magic Water Drawing Mat Toy Gifts for Boys Girls Kids Painting Writing Pad Educational Learning Toys for Toddler 2 3 4 5 6 Years Old

I could go on and on sharing these great deals, but go check them out for yourself! Here’s a link to the beginning page of the toy end-of-year deals.

These deals might help you be ready for lots of birthdays this year! 🙂 Have fun shopping!