A mermaid's tail

My Taderbug wants to be the Little Mermaid for Halloween….
Here is the start of her costume…

Purple shell boobies…  still to come.  I’m running out of time.

An Easter Craft, Egg-cellent Garland!

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I realize Easter is over, and while we may be done making Easter Themed crafts, this is still a fun craft that can be cut to fit any shape for any holiday!

You’ll need:

Colored Paper

Scissors

Hole Punches

Clear Contact Paper (I have laminating sheets, but contact paper is less expensive)

Ribbon, String, etc.

 

Because ours was Easter specific, we chose colors based on the poem often used for a Jelly Bean craft.

“Red is for the Blood He Gave,

Green is for the Grass He Made,

Yellow is for the Sun so Bright,

Orange is for the Edge of Night,

Black is for the Sins We Made,

White is for the Grace He Gave,

Purple is for His Hour of Sorrow,

Pink is for Our New Tomorrow!”

 

I gave my girls some paper and fancy scrapbooking scissors, while I punched holes.

Then I laid out three pieces of contact paper, sticky side up, and let them scatter the pieces all over.  Even Daddy joined in on the fun:

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When all the decorating was done, I laid a second piece of contact paper on top and used a dry erase marker to give the girls some egg shapes to cut out.  A final hole punch to the top of each egg and some leftover birthday balloon ribbon and TADA….  we had garland!

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Bubbagirl’s went over the back door.

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Taderbug’s decorated the fish tank.

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Doodlebug’s decorated the doorway between the kitchen and the living room.

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Try it for any occasion! It’s easy and the kids had a blast! (I only wish I could have found all my paper punches…  )

DIY Bath Salts, a healthy science experiment with a bonus!

Salt Crystals (150X)Image by kevincollins123 via Flickr

We have four (so far) little divas at our house, one of which is me.

Well, I’m a diva when I they aren’t around! 

Few things tickle these girls more than having something special to use in the bath tub: bubble bath, hotel soaps and shampoos, and mommy’s bath salts.

With a little looking I found an easy peasy recipe for perfect princess bath salts, and a groovy science experiment.

For the salts, we’ll need Epsom Salt.  How about we really start this from scratch and just make our own!
Here’s the how to on making epsom salt.  It takes a few days, much like making crystals or rock candy.  I can give you specifics soon as I plan on making some immediately!

I picked this recipe for the bath salts because they didn’t require glycerin.  They actually use baking soda which I have on hand.  I’ll be eliminating the oil because my girls don’t care much for the smelly part.  They think they are just magic princess crystals for the bath tub!

Now for the really cool part!  It’s good for you!  My midwife, shortly after I delivered Bubbagirl, told me to put 1/2 cup of Epsom Salt in my bath water because it was antibacterial (ok, maybe it just slowed it down, or something like that… but I’m pretty sure she was talking about killing germs). 
Here are a few more benefits I found:

“Researchers and physicians suggest these health benefits from proper magnesium and sulfate levels, as listed on the web site of the Epsom Salt Industry Council:

  • Improved heart and circulatory health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
  • Improved ability for the body to use insulin, reducing the incidence or severity of diabetes.
  • Flushed toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances.
  • Improved nerve function by electrolyte regulation. Also, calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, and magnesium is necessary to maintain proper calcium levels in the blood.
  • Relieved stress. Excess adrenaline and stress are believed to drain magnesium, a natural stress reliever, from the body. Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.
  • Reduced inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps.
  • Improved oxygen use.
  • Improved absorption of nutrients.
  • Improved formation of joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins.
  • Prevention or easing of migraine headaches. “
Health Benefits of Epsom Salt Baths a Care2 favorite by Melissa Breyer

I’ll let you know how our crystals turn out!  Let me know if you decide to make your own Princess Crystals!

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Entertaining Chaos Makers so you can get your turkey on!

Thanksgiving day is almost upon us and as usual most of our kitchens are about to become a buzz with baking and roasting and boiling and stirring and…. phew, is it time to eat yet?  All this planning on working and thinking about working is making me hungry.

I am being blessed this year, as I do not have to cook an all out Thanksgiving Meal.  I just have to bring pie, four three to be exact (the forth is a secret pie that only my mother will know about).  Despite my light workload, I knew I needed to plan ahead a few turkey day related activities for my chaos makers to keep them out of my harms way.

I was excited to find a few ideas that used stuff I already had laying around the house:

Paper Cup Turkeys from Kaboose.com!  Rated Easy for ages 6 and up!   TOO CUTE and great for name place holders.

A cutie patootie Tissue Paper Turkey from FamilyFun.go.com!  My eight year old could do it, but it is trickier than the paper cup turkeys.  Perfect centerpieces!

Danielle’s Place (of Crafts and Activities)
has several “Paper Plate” turkey crafts to choose from.  Simple to more educational crafts these are going to be easy, quick and fun!

and if turkeys start to bore them….  you can always head over to my favorite “how to use up a empty roll of tp” craft site!  DLTK-kids.com!  They have some really adorable Native American and Pilgrim crafts and activities.

And if all else fails… play this:

Powered by ScribeFire.

A Counting Up Craft

My daughter is having some math issues. This gives me great grief as I am pretty proficient mathematically. I’m very visual and it was driving me nuts every time she would add 5 + 1 by starting with 1,2,3,4,5…….. 6! The number one reason for this is simple… well, she’s in Kindergarten. She turned six after the “Birthday Cut off” for public school. THEY say she’s in Kindergarten, I say she’s almost in First Grade. Doesn’t matter now, she’s home schooled… I can teach her whatever I want. SHE wanted to learn addition. She did okay with it, once I convinced her that 2 + 2 was NOT 22!
It wasn’t until we purchased the “Hooked on Math: Addition” workbooks that I realized the concept I was trying to teach her actually had a name: Counting Up. They put a little line on the top of her work book pages that had the numbers 1-20 on top. She could put her finger on “2” and count up 2 more numbers to get the answer 4…
We started using her ruler as our number line for all of our math worksheets. Worked well until we had 8 + 9. Her ruler stops at 12. So I created a “counting up” chain for her to use. The instructions are below:

Counting Up Supplies

Supplies:
The numbers 1-20 printed on cardstock… feel free to use mine Number Cards
Plastic straws (about three will do)
String, or cord… anything your kids would normally use to make bracelets or beaded keychains etc. Mine was some sort of plastic stuff
Tape
Scissors
Beads, to weigh down the ends.
1. Cut out the number cards
2. Tie a knot in one end of your string and add three to four beads.
Beaded Ends
3. Cut the straw into pieces (at least as wide as your tape, not wider than the number cards) and add them to the string.. you need twenty total pieces of straw.
Attaching the cards
4. Add three to four beads, leave some room (at least six or seven inches) then tie another knot.
5. Be careful with this step… make sure your numbers are all facing the same direction and in order and tape the cards to the straw pieces.
My daughter lays hers across her table. She finds the first numeral in the equation, and slides over the number of numerals to be added to the first one… the last card she touches is the answer!
Final Counting Up Pic
Ok, it’s cheesy, but it got her to do her math homework 🙂

Turkey Sam, Turkey Jo and Momma Turkey… Puppet Crafts

Thanksgiving Turkey Puppet Craft
by Momma TaderDoodles
Great for young ages too!
Turkey Puppets
Supplies:
(per puppet)
One brown paper lunch bag
One paper plate
Feathers (colored feathers sold very inexpensively at local craft stores… i.e. Wal Mart 🙂 )
Glue
Stapler (because I have little patience)
White, Black, Red and Orange construction paper, fun foam sheets, felt, etc.
(you can also use “wiggly eyes” instead of making your own… I just couldn’t find mine)
Crayons or Markers (paint if your brave… I was not)
1. Color the bottom of the paper plate. I tried convincing my girls that this part should be brown but they both insisted their turkeys did not have brown behinds…
2. Fold the paper plate in half, and staple feathers between the edges, so that if forms a fan. This can be glued. I would recommend that you apply the glue and feathers and pinch it together with clothespins until it’s dry. I do not have that kind of patience and neither do my children, so we stapled ours together.
Turkey Jo’s Tail…
3. For the face, cut out a red “beard” and glue it under the folded bag bottom (i.e. inside the mouth).  Jo still thinks this is his tongue, I got tired of arguing with her…  once she started playing with it the “tongue” theory made it quite funny!
4. Cut out an orange triangle for the beak, white circles for the eyes, and black irises.  Use whatever glue you want, based on the type of paper/foam/felt your using.  We used basic elmer’s school glue and it took forever to dry.
5. Lay your tail down on the table, apply glue to the middle. Don’t drench it, but this is pretty heavy so be generous.  Lay your bag on top and press it onto the tail.
6. Allow ample time to dry.
Doodle Bug had a blast playing with a turkey on each hand.  She went in the other room and had long involved conversations with them.  Tader Bug (my baby) stole my turkey and with a bird on each hand she ran the hallway pretending she and the turkeys were flying!
Have fun! and Happy Thanksgiving!
Momma