Saturday, September 24, 2011

Birthday Gift Packaging

We created this Birthday Present in a bottle for my daughters BFF. We stuffed it with fingernail polish, lip gloss, bracelets, nail care kit, makeup case, etc. We couldn't find a way to wrap that we liked so I spotted a two liter bottle I had been keeping for something else and wallah the birthday gift in a bottle was created for her

What you need:

A 2 liter bottle

An instrument to poke a hole in a bottle(I use my corn holders)

A pair of scissors

Adhesive(Tape, Glue Dots, or Tape Runner)

Scrapbook Paper or Fabric to put around bottle



Here's what you do:

1.) Clean out a 2 liter bottle

2.) Poke a whole in the middle of the bottle as shown

3.) cut a flap into the bottle with scissors

4.) Wipe out any excess water that may be left in the bottle

5.) Stuff with gifts

6.) Tape flap shut with scotch tape(you don't want to use anything stronger because it will be too hard to remove later)

7.) Measure paper around bottle and use adhesive to stick on bottle. I used an adhesive runner but glue and or tape would work as well.

8.) Stamp name and adhere to bottle

9.) Tie Ribbon around bottle

It's that easy and my daughter is really excited about giving the "bottle" of goodies to her friend.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dollar Store Crafts

Woohoo! My crow invitation idea was featured on Dollar Store Crafts. Go check it out :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Multiplication Fun - Playing Cards

Natalie made it through the 3's without a hitch. Woohoo! The egg carton was fun and we may revisit for another set of #'s but for now it's adios egg carton game and hello playing cards. For the 4's we will be using our "modified" set of playing cards to play card games to help learn and reninforce our 4's multiplication tables. Last night we played pick a card, high card, and another game we made up.

Here's what you do:

Find a set of playing cards...old ones are preferred because we are marking them up a little. If you have rook cards you wouldn't have to mark them up, but I didnt' want to lose my rook cards so I bought a cheap deck of cards and got the markers out.

Get out the A-K and mark them up. If you have a joker to use as a zero you can get out the A-Q. I made my Ace a 1, Joker a 0, Jack a 11, and Queen a 12.

For the first game I shuffled the cards and spread them out in my hand. I said pick a card any card to make it more fun and she started selecting. When she selected the card she had 5 to 10 seconds to shout out what 4 multiplied by that number is. If she got it right she won the card. Whoever had the most cards when all cards were selected wins.

Next Game I divided the cards into 2 stacks. We then both flipped our cards over and yelled the answer to what 4 multiplied by the number was. Whoever had the highest card one.

The next game is basically the same with the exception that I spread the cards out to look like a memory game and we flipped the cards that way. Since there is an uneven number of cards whoever wins the last set, wins the remaining card if they get the answer right.

We had a good time "playing cards" last night while learing multiplication.

These games are fun for your child and they almost forget they are learning at the same time. In addition to the games we play we also every couple of days make a practice test and set the minute on the oven timer to make sure she is getting the information from the games to the paper. This helps reinforce learning and gets her practice for how the test will be in the classroom.

I hope you have fun mixing it up a little. Check back in two weeks. Hopefully we will be soaring to our 5's.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Halloween Party Game

I love creating new games for my annual halloween party. I found this idea on a birthday blog somewhere-I really should keep links but it's a downfall I just draw out the idea in my idea book and forget where it came from. If it's yours please claim it, I do not take ideas intentionally without saying where they came from..PROMISE. I took several pictures to show the steps that it took to make this cute game. Without further ado here they are for your viewing pleasure :)

What you need:

Spray Paint (optional)
Bolt and Nuts
Stencil (optional)
Paint (optional)

Step 1: Find a Board big enough to sit all your buckets on. I had 6 buckets but you can do less or more.
Step 2: Paint the board whatever color you want (I used spray paint)
Step 3: Place buckets on board and trace around them
Step 4: Drill holes in center of circles that you drew on board
Step 5: Drill holes in bottom of buckets. I learned the hard way that you should stack all the buckets together before drilling through the bottom. That way they will not split.
Step 6: Place the bolt on the bottom of the board and then place the bucket on top of it. Then thread on the nut inside the bucket.

Step 5: Look how pretty your work is so far. You could be done right now or you could kick it up a notch as Emeril might say.

Step 6: I like to stencil and paint stuff so I pulled out my Martha Stewart number stamps and my craft paint and stencilled the buckets with #'s.

Step 7: Admire your work. Go get some kind of throwing objects(ping pong, bouncy, bean bags) and start playing.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fun Ways to Learn Multiplication

Natalie is in 3rd grade and they are learning their multiplication tables. She is her mother's daughter in that she gets bored easily :). She mastered her two's by just doing the boring old let's practice your multiplication table and I'll set the timer to one minute on the oven but when it came to 3's she was a fussy mussy. She didn't want to practice them. I tried playing a game in the car where I asked her one and then she asked me one but that only lasted about 5 minutes before the boredom and I don't want to do this syndrome rolled in. I feel for her. I was getting sick of asking them to her as well. So for each set of numbers I plan on coming up with a fun way to learn the set of multiplication tables. So without further ado...Here is week 1 for the 3 times table but you could use it for every # if you want.

Here is what I did for the 3's:

  • Go to Fridge

  • Pull out an Egg Carton

  • remove all Eggs (otherwise this could get messy)

  • Take a pen or sharpie in my case and write the #'s 0-11 in the holes where the eggs go

  • Then write a 12 on the bottom flap

  • Cut off the top of the carton with scissors or it rips off pretty easily

  • Get a piece of candy or some other object that will fit in the holes of the egg carton and start tossing

How to Play

  • Take "tossing object" and throw toward Egg Carton

  • Mom or whoever is over "the game" yells 3 times "whatever # you land in" and the child yells out the number. If the object does not go into a hole that's when they have to answer 3 times 12.

So far we have played 2 nights in a row and my daughter can not get enough of it.

I hope you enjoy this game. Check back for more ideas as we go through the entire multiplication table.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Easy Halloween Crafts

My daughter is always saying she is bored. So we ripped up some fabric today and started on some halloween crafts. We started with styrofoam bases for the mummy balls and the candy corn cones. We ripped up some fabric and started wrapping it around. I love crafts that don't have to look just right. Here's how we did it:

For the mummy balls we used:

round styrofoam balls

Muslin Fabric

small piece of Black Fabric



Googly Eyes

tape a piece of small black fabric on ball

start wrapping muslin strips around ball

tuck in end of fabric to finish
glue on googly eyes


Project time: 20 minutes for 5 balls

Candy Corn Cones

What you need:

Orange Fabric Strips

Yellow Fabric Strips

White Fabric Strips

Cones in various sizes

Rip pieces of fabric in approx 1 inch strips

Start at the bottom of cone and wrap the orange fabric

Overlap next layer of yellow fabric and then white fabric, tuck end of white fabric under


Project time: 10 to 20 minutes for 3 cones

Give it a try. It's quick, easy, and cute and that's my kind of craft.