Saturday, May 28, 2016

Wet Chalk Exploration

Sometimes we create art because we want a finished product, and sometimes we explore it for the process. This art exploration was one we stumbled across, but we loved enough that we'll do it again.

I loved that not only was it colorful, creative, and hands on in many different ways, but it also became collaborative.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Summer Fun in the Upper Valley (VT/NH)

For quite a while now I've hoped to start sharing some family activity resources for the New England area. So with summer on the horizon it seemed like a great time to start sharing!

For this post we're focusing on summer activities in the Upper Valley region. The Upper Valley area is the Vermont and New Hampshire towns which border the Connecticut River. Visitors may be coming to the area for Dartmouth College, Dartmouth Hitchcock, the Vermont Law School, several local lakes, or favorite tourist stops like Woodstock and Quechee, VT. For many of us in the area, this is also the place we call home. Whether you're visiting or you live here, it's likely that at some point in the near future you'll be looking for something to do as a family.

We've collected some of our favorite places (and a few places we hope to get to) below.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Nutella Teddy Bear Snacks

We always love finding fun ways to create snacks. We invented these Nutella Teddy Bear snacks one night after dinner, and they've become a big hit since then.

What's fun about these is they can be used either as a dessert or an after school snack!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Painting Water Beads

Back in April (yes, April!) we soaked a batch of water beads for small world play in the sensory table. Amazingly, the beads are still in great shape. We've just continued to add a little fresh water every so often. But the other day someone left the top off and it rained (our table is out on the deck.) The beads became pretty huge and it was clear they're pretty close to the end of their timeframe.

Before we got rid of them, I wanted to try and get a little more fun out of them, which led to this art exploration: painting water beads.

This was a great deck activity, or could also easily be done inside. 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Photograph Paper Plate Flowers

Every year it's fun to think of something handmade and sweet we can make for the "grandmothers" for Mother's Day. But, we usually have to wait a little bit to share the project as my mom regularly reads our posts. (Proof that moms never stop supporting you, no matter your age or endeavor.)

We made these photograph paper plate flowers to decorate our Mother's Day gifts last weekend, and I just love how they turned out. Although we made them at home, this could be an easy classroom project too! 

In fact, the former preschool teacher in me would love to see a whole bulletin board of these in a classroom. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Fingerprint Athletes

In the past we've had fun doing different fingerprint art projects, like these fingerprint teacher bookmarks. We've also shared how to make fingerprint thank you cards, along with other fun fingerprint ideas. This was a fun extension project that also used some of our newest foam stickers: create fingerprint athletes.

We used our fingerprint athlete pictures as thank you cards, but they would also make really fun comic strips! 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Heart in Hand (Homemade Card)

If you follow us on Instagram you might have noticed the quick picture last week of lots of colorful handprint paintings covering our kitchen tabletops. We were busy creating thank you cards for Teacher Appreciation Week.

I love how simple this card idea came out, and it would be perfect for not just teacher appreciation cards, but also Mother's Day, Father's Day, thank you cards, and Valentine's Day. They didn't take very long to put together either, which is especially great if you want to make a whole batch of them.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Remembering to Celebrate Mom Wins (May 2016 Monthly Goals)

So today I forgot my boss' birthday . . . 

I should mention that I was supposed to be his "birthday buddy" and bring in a treat for the whole staff to share . . .

I should also mention that I work in a pretty small town, with one small store, and no bakery  . . .

So forgetting meant no treat for a happy staff to share. Forgetting meant totally having to own up to it. And, for me, forgetting the birthday treat completely ties into my monthly goals I'd hoped to set for May. (Only those too, like the chocolate cake currently baking in my oven, are coming a little late this month.)

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Everybody's Favorite One Bowl Brownies

This is one of our family's all time favorite recipes, and luckily it's one the easiest dessert recipes I know. If we're asked to bring a dessert to a potluck, but we don't have a whole lot of time to be in the kitchen, this is usually my go-to recipe. I used to think of them as my "Book-Club Brownies" as they were perfect to make on a week night and have ready to go the next night when my book club would meet. (Or sometimes I would even make them up the afternoon of the meeting.)

But I should warn you, they are still very much a TREAT recipe. There is nothing low-fat/low calorie/low-sugar about this recipe . . .