Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Yard is Alive

Button Boy and I have made a pact to spend lots of time outside everyday this week. I'll be giving you updates of our adventure each day. Somehow we managed to spend 3 hours in the backyard and have PP&J sandwiches al fresco. It was a little chilly and very muddy but Button Boy had a ball. Here are some photos we took along with his observations.

The snow is melting along with the fort and snowman that he built.

The daffodils are sprouting.

He can make footprints in the snow just like rabbits and cats.

Some plants survived the winter.

We saw 7 squirrels, 1 robin, 1 cardinal, 3 bugs that looked like mosquitos, 1 fly and 1 ant that climbed all over my Button Boy’s finger. The animals were too quick for a photo op.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fishy Friday

We spent a snowy, fun filled day experimenting with crafts that made us think of warmer weather. First we painted our tropical water backdrop by mixing green and blue tempura paint with ample amounts of real water. We just let the brush go where ever it may - just like the ocean. Then we created a few tropical creatures to swim in our oasis of tropical waters.

Button Fish
What a simple, but cute idea. We used buttons instead of beads and came up with an equally nice project.

Pudgy Fish Sculptures

I loved the instructions on this site. They provided color photos of each step and made them seem really simple to put together. We used Crayola Model Magic instead of Fimo clay. I am not a fan of Model Magic, but we had some in our crafts stash. It’s really expensive and reminds me of stale marshmallows. One of the sealed packages was completely dried out.  I prefer homemade dough myself.

Paper Plate Jelly Fish
I have no idea what site this idea originally came from. I found a photo of it on on the link above at the very bottom of the page. We sort of made up the directions as we went. I think they used crepe paper for the tentacles, but I thought blue plastic bags strips made a nice swap.

Here's to sunny days and warmer weather!

Monday, February 21, 2011

There’s a Dinosaur in the House

I have been in a craft fog lately. There are just so many ideas out there for kids and I was really bored by all the winter and Valentine’s Day stuff. So I asked Button Boy “What’s on your mind?”  He’s really been into Dino Dan on Nick Jr., so we Googled dinosaur crafts and found this little green guy made from one paper plate.

Now I’m not the type of mom to take over and make Button Boy follow the directions exactly. I figure he’s got enough years of school ahead of him to cover that territory. That’s why I like to make my own version of the craft – then I’m not tempted to take over his. Plus his version always has loads more character than mine. He has no preset conception of how all the pieces fit together or even what colors to use. His finished dinosaur actually reminded me more of a turtle. Check out both of our creations. His is the first photo and mine is the second.

The whole process took about 30 minutes, excluding the 4 hours of drying time on the paint. We opted for the glue instead of staples. I’m still leery of the combination of staples and my 4 year old. I loved that we got a whole animal out of one plate, which ended up fitting together like puzzle pieces.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Getting Ready for the Party

Button Boy is really excited about the Steelers going to the Super Bowl and requested we have a party with all the trimmings. So we headed off to the dollar store for supplies and went to town on the decorations. First we took a cue from Christmas and made simple black and gold garland from construction paper loops.

Then Daddy helped him hang long strips of yellow crepe paper from the entry way between our living room and kitchen. They found a Steelers logo from a craft at the library and taped them to the walls with black footballs and goal posts.

Grandma helped Button Boy make a stuffed football pillow inspired by the Zee and Moose pillows they keep featuring on Nick Jr.

I have snack duty. I could not decide what to have and settled on a nice German Mexican theme.

Bratwurst simmered in beer with Sour Kraut on Buns - Fresh Bratwurst is nearly impossible to find in Pittsburgh. I found it homemade from Parma Sausage in the Strip District. It's not listed on their menu. I know most people around here prefer kielbasa or Italian sausage, but I can not deny my Ohio roots.

Hot Fiesta Dip from Amanda's Cookin  I also used her recipe for homemade salsa

We are finishing off the meal with a chessecake from the Cheesecake Factory provided by Grandma. We should all feel really good by the end of the evening. Here's hoping the Steelers win!