Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Best Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe

  • 1 cup margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Cream the margarine and add the sugar gradually. Beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at time, mixing well after each addition.
  2. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt gradually to the creamed mixture, stirring in by hand. Cover and chill dough overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Roll dough out on a floured surface to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick and cut into your favorite shapes. Place cookies onto the prepared baking sheets.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 7 to 8 minutes or until cookie has a golden appearance.
  6.  
Icing Recipe:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp milk
- 2 tsp light corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp almond extract (or vanilla)
- we added green food color
     

    Friday, December 16, 2011

    Friday, November 18, 2011

    Friday, October 21, 2011

    Thursday, October 20, 2011

    Friday, October 7, 2011

    Friday Family Funtime - Body Outline Art Wall Decoration

    This would be great to make for a Halloween decoration also! Design the outlines to look like a witch, ghost, monster, etc.

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

    Thrifty Thursday - Corn Necklace

    String
    Needle
    Multi-colored corn (Indian Corn)

    1. Remove the corn kernels from the cob.
    2. Cover the kernels with water and let them soak for a few days. When they were nice and soft, we rinsed and dried them.
    3. Thread a medium sized needle with embroidery thread.
    4. Pierce each kernel with the needle and pull through to thread.  Complete with desired length of string.

    As we worked with the corn, we talked about how each little kernel is a seed. That if we planted it and watered it, it would grow into a great big corn plant. We talked about how we cook corn, the different things we can do with corn. We talked about how people can grind the corn kernels into corn flour and make corn bread and corn tortillas.



    Monday, October 3, 2011

    Terra Cotta Pumpkins


    Materials
    • Terra-cotta pots
    • Yellow craft paper
    • Mod-Podge Outdoor
    • Short, fat sticks

    Instructions
    1. For each one, invert a terra-cotta pot. Cut eyes, a nose, and a toothy grin out of yellow craft paper. Brush Mod-Podge Outdoor on the surface of the pot where you want the features to go and press them in place.
    2. To weatherproof your creation, apply a final coat to the entire pot. Finally, insert a short, fat stick into the hole for a stem.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - Vegetarian Chili

    Ingredients:
    • ¾ c. onion, chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp. olive oil
    • 2 tbsp. chili powder
    • ½ tsp. basil
    • ½ tsp. oregano
    • ½ tsp. cumin
    • 1½ c. zucchini, chopped finely
    • ½ c. yellow squash, chopped finely
    • 1 c. carrots, finely chopped
    • 42 oz. canned tomatoes, diced
    • 1 can (16 oz.) light red kidney beans, undrained
    • 2 cans (16 oz. cans) dark red kidney beans, drained
    • 8 oz. soy cheddar cheese
    • oven
    • knife
    • large stockpot
    • measuring spoons
    Directions:
    1. In a large stockpot, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil. Cook until soft (several minutes).
    2. Add chili powder, basil, oregano, and cumin to the stockpot and mix.
    3. Stir in zucchini, squash, and carrots and blend well. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
    4. Add tomatoes and kidney beans.
    5. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until thick.
    6. Before serving, add 1 oz. of soy cheddar cheese to each serving of chili.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - Yogurt Dip with Pita Bread

    What you need:
    • 4 whole-wheat pitas
    • 1 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
    • ½ cup fresh or frozen spinach
    • ¼ of cucumber, sliced
    • pinch of salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • Food processor or blender
    • Knife
    • Baking sheet
    What to do:
    1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
    2. Have an adult help you with this step: Place yogurt, spinach, cucumber, salt, and pepper into food processor or blender. Process until smooth, about 1 minute.
    3. Place dip into a bowl and refrigerate until chips are done.
    4. Cut pitas into 8 wedges.
    5. Arrange pita wedges on a baking sheet in a single layer.
    6. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with garlic powder.
    7. Bake for 5 minutes or until light golden brown and crispy.
    8. Use the pita wedges to scoop up the yogurt dip!

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    Friday Family Funtime - Grandparent's Day Conversation Cards - 15366

    For Grandparent's Day, consider making your own conversation cards to spark a conversation with someone. Even if you don't have Grandparents, you can still use these cards to have an interesting conversation and learn something new about someone!

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - Peanut Butter Bars

    Ingredients:
    • ¼ c. margarine
    • 1 10-oz. package marshmallows (gelatin-free)
    • 6 c. puffed rice cereal
    • ½ c. peanut butter chips
    • ½ c. chocolate chips
    • ½ c. peanuts, chopped
    • knife (you'll need help from your adult assistant)
    • measuring cups
    • stove (you'll need help from your adult assistant)
    Directions:
    1. Coat pan with nonstick cooking spray.
    2. In a large saucepan, melt margarine and marshmallows over low heat, stirring occasionally.
    3. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.
    4. Stir until well coated.
    5. Press mixture into pan.
    6. Chill in refrigerator and cut into 2 x 1.5 inch bars.

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - Vegetable Salsa

    Ingredients

      1 cup diced zucchini 1 cup chopped red onion 2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced 2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced 4 tomatoes, diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 2 teaspoons sugar 1/4 cup lime juice 1 teaspoon salt

    Directions

    Wash vegetables and prepare as directed. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Toss gently to mix. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

    Friday, August 26, 2011

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - Apples with Cream Cheese Dip

    Ingredients

      8 ounces fat-free cream cheese 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts 1/2 cup orange juice 4 apples, cored and sliced

    Directions

    Place the cream cheese on the counter to allow it to soften, about 5 minutes.
    To make the dip, combine the brown sugar, vanilla and cream cheese in a small bowl. Mix until smooth. Stir in the chopped peanuts.
    Place the apples in another bowl. Drizzle orange juice over the apples to prevent browning. Serve the sliced apples with the dip.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - Roast Beef Wrap

    What you need:

    • ¼ cup light mayonnaise
    • ¼ cup fat-free Greek-style plain yogurt
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    • ¼ teaspoon horseradish sauce
    • 2 large romaine leaves, cut in half
    • 8 slices of leftover lean roast beef, thinly sliced
    • 1 small tomato, thinly sliced
    • 4 (8-inch) whole-wheat wraps
    • Food processor
    What to do:

    1. Place mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, salt, pepper, and horseradish into a food processor.
    2. Pulse until well combined, about 10 seconds.
    3. Lay wraps onto a flat surface.
    4. Top each wrap with a piece of lettuce, some tomato, and 2 slices of roast beef.
    5. Drizzle some dressing over the veggies and beef.
    6. Roll each wrap up. Serve immediately or wrap in foil for later.

    Sunday, August 14, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - Strawberry Smoothie

    Ingredients:
    • ½ c. vanilla soy yogurt
    • ½ c. strawberries
    • 2 ice cubes
    • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
    • blender
    • measuring cups
    • measuring spoons
    Directions:
    1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - Pizza Quesadillas

    What you need:
    • 4 whole-wheat tortillas (8 inches)
    • 2/3 cup fresh or frozen spinach, finely chopped
    • 2/3 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
    • 1 cup marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade)
    • Cooking spray
    • A 10- to 12-inch skillet
    • Thin spatula (metal preferred)
    What to do:
    1. Lay 2 tortillas on a flat surface. Divide spinach and cheese between the tortillas.
    2. Top with remaining 2 tortillas.
    3. Place skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray.
    4. Gently slide 1 pizzadilla into the pan and cook until light golden brown on one side (about 1-2 minutes).
    5. Using a thin spatula, gently flip over the pizzadilla and cook for 30-60 seconds more or until cheese is fully melted.
    6. Remove pizzadilla and cut into triangles. Repeat with remaining pizzadilla.
    7. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.
    8. You can wrap and refrigerate leftovers to take to school for lunch.

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    Recycled Robots


    Materials
    • Tin can
    • Electrical tape (optional)
    • Hardware, and various recyclables such as bottle caps, keys, etc.
    • Hot-glue gun
    • Strong disk magnets
     
    Instructions
    1. Open a tin can with a safety can opener so there are no sharp edges. (If you only have a regular opener, line the inside of the can's rim with electrical tape.)
    2. Empty, wash, and dry the can.
    3. For facial features, arms, propulsion devices, and communication arrays, look for items around the house and at the hardware store. We used bolts, brackets, hinges, keys, wing nuts, switches, bottle caps, washers, knobs, and more.
    4. Hot-glue the items to strong disk magnets.

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - Cream Cheese Cucumber Sandwiches

    What you need:
    • ¾ cup light cream cheese, slightly softened
    • half a large cucumber, thinly sliced
    • 8 slices of whole-wheat bread
    • Large knife
    • Cutting board
    • Plastic wrap (optional)
    What to do:
    1. Spread each slice of bread with cream cheese (about 3 tablespoons per sandwich).
    2. Place about 4 cucumber slices on 4 of the slices of bread and top with remaining bread slices.
    3. Cut into quarters and serve immediately or wrap sandwiches and save for later.

    Thursday, July 28, 2011

    Thrifty Thursday - Coffee Can Flowerpot

    Materials Needed:

    • Coffee Can
    • Spray Paint
    Instructions:
    Start out with a clean, dry coffee can. If you prefer, you can use different cans or any other container you want to recycle.
    Spray paint the outside of the can whatever color you like. Let the paint dry.
    Once the paint is dry, you can poke holes in bottom of cans for drainage or just place a cup holding fresh flowers or a potted plant inside. It is that easy!

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - Homemade Peanut Butter

    Ingredients:
    • 1½ c. unsalted roasted peanuts
    • 1 tbsp. peanut oil
    • food processor
    • bowl
    • mixing spoon
    • storage container
    • measuring cups and spoons
    Directions:
    For smooth peanut butter:
    1. Mix the peanuts with the peanut oil, and pour the mixture into the food processor.
    2. Process the mixture until it's very smooth.
    3. Store your smooth peanut butter in a sealed container in the fridge. It will be good for 2 weeks.
    For chunky peanut butter:
    1. Take about ¼ cup out of your 1½ cups of peanuts and set them aside.
    2. Mix the rest of the peanuts with the oil, and pour the mixture into the food processor.
    3. Process the mixture until it's very smooth, then stir in the peanuts that you had set aside.
    4. Process a few seconds more to create the chunks in your chunky peanut butter.
    5. Store your chunky peanut butter in a sealed container in the fridge. It will be good for 2 weeks.

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    Thrifty Thursday - Bubble Artwork

    Materials Needed:

    • Tempera Paint
    • Liquid Dish Soap
    • Paper
    • Drinking Straws
    Instructions:
    Stir together 1/2 cup water, 1-2 tablespoons paint, and 1/2-1 tablespoon dish soap; pour it into a shallow dish, such as a pie pan. Place one end of a straw in the paint/soap mixture and gently blow to make bubbles. Blow until the bubbles are almost over the edge of the pan. Place a piece of paper on top of the bubbles and hold it in place until several bubbles have popped and transferred their shape onto the paper - this makes a fun bubble print! Continue the process with different colors if you want. Blow more bubbles as needed. Set aside to dry. When dry, you can add drawings to your bubble pictures if you want.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - Fruit Kabobs

    Ingredients:
    • 1 apple
    • 1 banana
    • 1/3 c. red seedless grapes
    • 1/3 c. green seedless grapes
    • 2/3 cup pineapple chunks
    • 1 cup nonfat yogurt
    • ¼ c. dried coconut, shredded
    • knife (you'll need help from your adult assistant)
    • 2 wooden skewer sticks
    • large plate
    Directions:
    1. Prepare the fruit by washing the grapes, washing the apples and cutting them into small squares, peeling the bananas and cutting them into chunks, and cutting the pineapple into chunks, if it's fresh. Put the fruit onto a large plate.
    2. Spread coconut onto another large plate.
    3. Slide pieces of fruit onto the skewer and design your own kabob by putting as much or as little of whatever fruit you want! Do this until the stick is almost covered from end to end.
    4. Hold your kabob at the ends and roll it in the yogurt, so the fruit gets covered. Then roll it in the coconut.
    5. Repeat these steps with another skewer.

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    Thrifty Thursday - Bookworm Bookmark

    • Craft Foam

    • Pipe Cleaners
    • Wiggle Eyes
    • Ribbon
    • Fine-Tip Marker or Dimensional Paint (not pictured)
    • Craft Glue
    • Scissors
     1. For the body of the worm, cut several circles out of green craft foam (you can use felt or paper if you like). I cut 6 circles, the biggest one was about 2-inches across and all the others went down in size. The smallest was about an inch wide.



    2. Using dabs of craft glue, assemble the worm body as shown in the photo. The biggest circle, which will be the head, is on the top and the smallest circle is on the bottom.

    3. Shape a piece of pipe cleaner into a pair of glasses. Use the picture here as a guide or design your own pair. Cut off any extra pipe cleaner. Decide where you want the glasses on the face and glue them in place.

    4. Glue the wiggle eyes into the glasses.

    5. Using a marker or dimensional paint, draw a mouth on your worm.

    6. You can skip this step if you like, but I think a little tuft of hair gives the worm a little character. Cut several pieces of ribbon, about an inch and a half long. Glue one end of each ribbon piece to the back, top of the worm's head. Let the glue dry.

    7. To add a finishing touch to your bookmark, use the marker or dimensional paint to write a special message on your worm.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - Frozen Yogurt Pops

    Ingredients:
    • 1 8-oz. container of your favorite flavor of yogurt
    • small paper cups
    • wooden popsicle sticks (available in craft stores)
    • plastic wrap
    Directions:
    1. Pour yogurt into paper cups. Fill them almost to the top.
    2. Stretch a small piece of plastic wrap across the top of each cup.
    3. Using the popsicle stick, poke a hole in the plastic wrap. Stand the stick straight up in the center of the cup.
    4. Put the cups in the freezer until the yogurt is frozen solid.
    5. Remove the plastic wrap, peel away the paper cup, and eat your pop!

    Friday, July 8, 2011

    Friday Family Funtime - Make A Mad Lib

    One of my favorite websites, Eduplace, offers a variety of stories that you can create yourself!  "Mad Libs" are a great way for students to practice using the parts of speech.  If you get stuck on one, they offer an area for help with each type!

    When you finish typing in all of the needed words, they format each story for you so it can be printed.

    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    Thrifty Thursday - Homemade Body Glitter

    • Aloe Vera Gel
    • Glitter
    • Small container (recycle old makeup containers or 35mm film containers, or look in stores that carry beads, crafts, or fishing tackle)
    Instructions:
    Fill your container about 3/4 full with the aloe vera gel. If you are using food coloring, mix a few drops at a time in with your gel until you get the desired color. Stir in a sprinkling of glitter at a time to avoid clumps. Add as much or as little glitter as you like.
    You can try larger glitter and even small shapes such as stars; or, for a more shimmering look, use fine glitter.

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - Cinnamon Applesauce

    Ingredients:
    • 2 small red apples
    • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
    • 2 tsp. sugar
    • 2 pinches of cinnamon
    • knife (you'll need help from your adult assistant)
    • blender or food processor
    • measuring spoons
    • serving bowls
    Directions:
    1. Peel the apples and cut them into small pieces. Throw out the core.
    2. Put the apple pieces and lemon juice into the blender or food processor. Blend until the mixture is very smooth.
    3. Pour the mixture into two small bowls and stir in the sugar and cinnamon.
    4. Enjoy your awesome applesauce!

    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    4th of July Hat Craft


    Materials
    • Pencil
    • Yardstick
    • Scissors
    • 1 18- by 24-inch sheet of red poster board
    • Red, white, and blue curling gift-wrap ribbon, ¾ inch wide
    • Masking tape and Scotch tape
    • Glue stick
    • Yellow and orange crepe paper
    • 1 white or silver pipe cleaner
    • Pushpin
     
    Instructions
    1. Firecracker Hat Cut a 7- by 24-inch rectangle from red poster board. Using the yardstick, draw a line across the long end of the rectangle, 2 inches beneath the top edge. Draw vertical lines at 2-inch intervals across the top edge, as shown below in 1. Cut along each vertical line to form tabs. Place the yardstick across the bottom of the tabs and bend the tabs over the stick.
    2. Firecracker Hat Cut 20 lengths of ribbon, each 20 inches long. On a table, lay a 12-inch piece of masking tape sticky-side up. Press 10 of the ribbons onto the tape, as shown in 2. Repeat with a second 12-inch piece of masking tape.
    3. Firecracker Hat With the ribbons hanging down, press the 2 ribbon/tape strips along the tabless edge of the red rectangle, leaving 5 inches between the strips for your child's forehead, as shown in 3. Roll the rectangle into a tube. Scotch-tape the edges to form a cylinder that will fit comfortably.
    4. Place the cylinder, with the tabs folded in, onto the remaining poster board. Trace around it and cut out the circle. Coat the outer 2 inches of the circle with glue. Press the tabs of the hat down onto the glue-coated portion of the circle and hold in place for a few seconds. Turn the hat right-side up to dry. If necessary, lay a magazine across the top to flatten the hat as it dries.
    5. Firecracker Hat Cut five strips of crepe paper, each 8 to 10 inches long. Stack the strips and wrap them with a pipe cleaner, as shown in 5. Pull tight and arrange the crepe paper to form a flower shape.
    6. With a pushpin, poke a hole in the center of the hat top. Thread the bottom 1 inches of the pipe cleaner through the hole. On the inside of the hat, bend the tip against the underside of the hat and masking-tape it in place.

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - Low Carb Cheeseburger Soup

    Ingredients

      1 lb ground turkey 2 tsp onion powder 1 tsp basil 3 cups chicken broth 1 cup each of frozen brocolli, fozen cauliflower 1/2 cup frozen carrots 1 1/2 cups fat free half and half 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese

    Directions

    This makes about 8 large soup bowls

    Brown ground turkey and drain off any fat. Return to a large pot/dutch oven and add onion powder. Brown a little longer to flavor the meat. Add chicken broth, basil and frozen veggies. Bring to boil and simmer covered about 20 minutes until the veggies are tender.

    Add in half and half and then the shredded cheese. Take off heat and stir until cheese is melted. DO NOT return to heat or cheese will separate and not look creamy and pretty.

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    Leaf Artwork with Polymer Clay



    Materials
    • Leaf samples
    • Polymer clay (we used Sculpey)
    • Waxed paper
    • Bowl, lid, or glass with a wide base
    • Toothpick
    • Tweezers
     

    Instructions
    1. Collect leaf samples from the trees and large bushes in your yard or on a walk. Use a guide to identify each one.
    2. At home, form clay into balls. Sandwich one between two sheets of waxed paper, then use the bottom of the bowl to press the clay into a disk. Peel back the top sheet, place a leaf on the disk, replace the paper, and flatten the clay with the bowl to a 1/4-inch thickness. Flip the clay over.
    3. Use a toothpick to carve the tree's name into the clay. Flip the clay over again and remove the leaf with tweezers.
    4. Bake the tokens leaf-impression side up according to the package instructions.

      Fun Tree Facts
      There are more than 865 species of trees in the United States.

      New York City has 5.2 million trees. Every year, they remove 2,202 tons of pollution in the form of ozone, sulphur dioxide, and other gases.

      Oak trees don't start producing acorns until they are about 25 years old

    Monday, June 27, 2011

    Homemade Lava Lamp


    Materials
    • Clear plastic bottle, cleaned and label removed (our is a 500-milliliter bottle)
    • Vegetable oil
    • Water
    • Food coloring
    • Pie pan
    • Effervescent antacid tablets such as Alka-Seltzer
     

    Instructions
    1. Fill the bottle just over halfway with the oil, then add water, to an inch from the top. Add 10 drops of food coloring.
    2. Place the bottle on the pie pan to catch potential spills. Cut or break an antacid tablet in quarters and drop one quarter into the bottle. When the bubbling slows, add another quarter-tablet to get it started again. (Adding too many tablets at once will cloud the oil with bubbles.)
    3. To store the lamp, let the bottle sit until all the bubbles have completely dispersed. This prevents the buildup of gas in the bottle. Cap it and put it in a safe place to prevent spills.

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Thrifty Thursday - CD Flower Wall Decoration

    Materials Needed:

    • 6 Unwanted CDs
    • Markers, Sequins, artificial flowers (optional)
    • Green pipe cleaners (optional)
    • Craft Glue
    Instructions:
    First, make sure that the CDs you are using are unwanted. Take the first CD and decorate it as the middle of the flower. If the CD is brightly colored, decorate the side of the CD with the printing. You can use sequins, markers, or anything else you like to decorate the center CD.

    Take the other 5 CDs and decorate them to be the flower petals. You should decorate the non-printed side of the CD; however, if you are using markers to color ion the CD, use the printed side as the marker may dry better.

    Now, glue the 5 petal CDS under the center CD. (You might want to do this before you glue any dimensional embellishments to the petal CDs). Let the glue dry.

    If you like, you can glue a pipe cleaner to the back of the flower. You can also use pipe cleaners to make leaves for your flower.

    When your flower is completely dry, use a tack to stick your CD flower to your wall. Now you have a beautiful flower!

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - Microwave Potato Chips

    Ingredients

      1 Medium Russet Potato Salt Any favorite seasoning

    Directions

    Wash potato thoroughly
    Peel if desired
    Cut the potato into paper thin slices (using a mandolin may help)
    arrange potato slices onto a glass dish or parchment paper
    Sprinkle with salt or your favorite seasoning
    Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until you see the potatoes start brown
    Open microwave and turn over potato slices
    Cook on high for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown

    Makes 2 servings.

    Monday, June 20, 2011

    Mail A Message In A Bottle


    Materials
    • Plastic bottle
    • Shells, flowers or other found treasures
    • Address label

    Instructions
    1. Stuff rolled notes and letters into an empty plastic bottle, along with shells, flowers, or other tiny treasures.
    2. Seal the bottle tightly and stick on an address label, then take it to the local post office to ensure that it gets the proper postage.

    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    Father's Day Craft - Dad's Caddy

    • Coffee can (or any large can with lid)
    • Magazines and/or Catalogs
    • Markers or alphabet stickers
    • Decoupage medium or diluted glue
    • Scissors
    Instructions:
    First of all, make sure any can you use is clean and dry. Page through magazines and catalogs and cut or tear out pictures of tools or anything else your dad will like. You can also use fancy, printed paper or photo copies of graphics you print off of your computer. Glue the pictures you chose all over the can. Cover the entire can. Use a marker or stickers to write a special message on your caddy, such as 'Daddy's Caddy'.
    Once you have the can looking exactly how you want it, you can seal the design to protect it. To do this, simply use these decoupage techniques using either decoupage medium or diluted glue. Let the decoupage dry completely and then your can is done!

    Saturday, June 18, 2011

    Father's Day Crown Craft

    You can download the template from here. Print and color!  Perfect for Dads, Step-Dads, and Grandpas!


    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    Thrifty Thursday - Chia Potato

    Materials Needed:

    • Large Potato
    • Grass seed
    • Potting soil
    • Sticks
    • Misc supplies
    Instructions:
    Take a large potato and dig out the center of it with a spoon. Add grass seed and soil. Use the sticks to make legs if desired. Decorate with misc supplies, and you can create a face on it. Water and watch it grow.

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - Yogurt Jello

    Ingredients
      1 package sugar-free Jello 1 cup boiling water 1 cup lowfat Yogurt, plain

    Directions

    Mix the sugar-free Jello envelope with the 1 cup boiling water until dissolved.

    Stir the jello/water mixture into the 1 cup yogurt until well mixed, being sure to do this very slowly so as not to curdle the yogurt.

    Divide into 4 half-cup servings (the little Gladware containers are great for this!) and refrigerate until set, between 2 and 3 hours.

    At less than 50 calories a serving, this is a refreshing and satisfying snack or dessert that I should liken to a parfait. One could make 2 1-cup servings for a very satisfying snack under 100 calories. I like using raspberry or blackberry flavored jello, myself, but let your imagination run wild trying different flavors!

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Beaded Summer Sunglasses Strap Craft


    Materials
    • 2 plastic eyeglass holders (available at drugstores)
    • 3 yards of plastic lanyard
    • Plastic beads (1/4-inch diameter)
    Instructions
    1. Beaded Sunglasses Strap Thread one of the eyeglass holders onto the lanyard, placing it in the center of the strip. Fold the lanyard in half and then tie a knot, forming a small loop.
    2. Thread a plastic bead onto one strand of the lanyard. Send the other strand through the bead in the opposite direction. Pull on both strands to tighten. Continue adding beads using the same method until the strap is as long as you would like.
    3. To finish the piece, thread the other eyeglass holder onto one of the lanyards. Tie the two lanyard lengths together with a knot placed close to the last bead, leaving a small loop. Trim the ends and hide the knot by pushing it inside the bead.

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    Thrifty Thursday - Flower Pen

    Materials Needed:

    • Pen
    • Silk or Plastic Flower with Stem
    • Green Floral Tape
    • Scissors
    Instructions:
    Hold the flower next to the pen and clip the flower stem so it is about 2-inches up from the tip of the pen. The flower should sit on the end of the pen. Remove and leaves. While holding the flower stem tightly against the pen, wrap the entire length of the pen with floral tape. This will secure the pen and flower together. With the floral tape you do not need tape or glue!

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - No Candy Trail Mix

    Ingredients

      1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts Small bag 1 bag Sunmaid vanilla yogurt cranberries (170 grams) 2 bags Sunmaid Fruit bits (198 gr.) 1 box (10 indiv) Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks 6 3/4 cups Golden Graham Cereal

    Directions

    Open all packages, dump in a bowl and mix up gently. Then put 1/4 cup each in those snack size baggies. This is what takes the time. Refrigerate. to keep them fresh. Great for kids, lunch boxes, walks, snacks.

    I did figure on 1/4 cup servings, two servings won't hurt that much.

    Number of Servings: 53

    Tuesday, June 7, 2011

    Waterproof Beach Bag Craft


    Materials
    • 13-gallon garbage bag
    • Scissors
    • Colored duct tape (we used red and white)
    • Marker or pen
    • Yardstick or measuring tape
    • 4 (2-foot) pieces of white cotton cording
    Instructions
    1. Waterproof Beach Bag - Step 1 Turn the garbage bag into a large sheet by cutting along one side seam and the bottom seam. Tape the sheet flat to your workspace and draw a 16- by 30-inch rectangle on it. Cover the rectangle with slightly overlapping strips of red and white tape.
    2. Waterproof Beach Bag - Step 2 Cut out the tape rectangle and flip it tape-side down.
    3. Waterproof Beach Bag - Step 3 Lay 2 pieces of cording across the rectangle about an inch from one of the shorter ends. Fold that end over the cording and tape it down to make a casing. Repeat this at the opposite end with the other pieces of cording.
    4. Waterproof Beach Bag - Step 4 Fold the rectangle in half and tape the sides together to form the bag.
    5. Waterproof Beach Bag - Step 5 To make the drawstring, pair up one cord from each casing and knot them together at both ends. Repeat with the remaining 2 cords, then pull one knot at each side to cinch the bag.

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    Button Flower Arrangement



    Step 1 - Bloomin' ButtonsMaterials
    • 26-gauge green florists' wire
    • Colorful buttons  

    Instructions
    1. For each flower, thread an 8-inch length of florists' wire up through a stack of colorful buttons, then back down, as shown.

    1. Twist the wire just below the stack to secure it, then insert the flower in your plant's soil.

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    Make A Balloon Barometer


    Materials
    • Scissors
    • 12-inch balloon
    • Widemouthed jar (such as a large mayonnaise jar)
    • Wide rubber band
    • Clear tape
    • Needle or straight pin
    • Plastic straw
    • Tacky glue
    • Cardboard or poster board
    • Pencil or pen

    Instructions
    1. Cut the neck off the balloon and discard it. Stretch the balloon over the mouth of the jar and secure it with the rubber band.
    2. Tape the needle or pin, point facing out, to the end of the straw. Use a generous pool of glue to attach the other end of the straw to the center of the balloon.
    3. Prop the cardboard against a wall with a fairly constant temperature and set the jar just in front of it, but not touching. Label "high" and "low" as shown. Mark the spot at which the needle now points. Check the barometer every few hours and mark the changes on the board.
    4. Why it works: As weather patterns shift, the air pressure around the jar changes, while the pressure inside it remains the same. As the pressure outside increases, the balloon is pushed down, forcing the needle up. As the pressure outside falls, the balloon swells, sending the needle down.

    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    Thrifty Thursday - Bagel Bird Feeder

    Materials Needed:

    • String
    • 1/2 of a Stale Bagel
    • 1 Teaspoon Peanut Butter
    • 1 Teaspoon Shortening
    • Bird Seed
    • Scissors
    Instructions:
    Cut a piece of string about 24" long. You can adjust this length depending on where you want to hang it. Put one end of the string through the hole in the bagel and tie both ends together to make a large loop to hang up your bird feeder with.

    Mix together the peanut butter and the shortening. Spread this mixture onto the flat side of the bagel. Pour the bird seed onto a plate. Press the peanut butter/shortening side of the bagel into the bird seed.
    Hang this bagel bird feeder in a tree or anywhere outside and watch the birds make it disappear!

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - Lowfat Chocolate Brownies

    Ingredients

      14 oz. Fat Free Sweetened condensed milk 1/3 c. cocoa (baking, unsweetened) 3/4 c. Semi Sweet chocolate chips 4 egg whites 1/4 c. flour 1 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. vanilla extract

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray Pam/cooking spray to coat a 13x9 dish. In a glass bowl, mix cocoa, milk, and chips. Cook in microwave until chips melt, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining ingredients. Turn into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until set. COOL.
    Cut into 18 bars.

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    Homemade Wreath Birdbath Craft


    Materials
    • 3/8-inch manila rope
    • 15-inch grapevine wreath
    • 10-inch terra-cotta saucer
    • Artificial grape leaves (optional; available at craft stores)

    Instructions
      Cut three (5-foot) lengths of rope and knot them together at both ends. Nestle the wreath inside the ropes, as shown.
    1. Easy Wreath Birdbath  - Step 1 Place the saucer inside the wreath. If you like, tuck grape leaves into the wreath and wind them around the ropes.
    2. Use more rope for hanging the birdbath, if needed.

    Monday, May 30, 2011

    Make Your Own Sidewalk Chalk Paint


    Materials
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch
    • 1/4 cup cold water
    • Food coloring
    • Paintbrush

    Instructions
    1. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and cold water. Stir in as many drops of food coloring as you need to get your desired color. Repeat this process for each paint color. Use a paintbrush to make fun designs on the sidewalk or driveway. To wash the paint off, simply spray the area with water.



      TIP: Super Sidewalk Paint isn't just for sidewalks. Put it in spray bottles and use it to color sand castles and snow sculptures.

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Thrifty Thursday - Community Scrapbook

    Have your child decorate a plain 3-ring binder or even a composition book or plain notebook to use as a tool to help them learn about different places and people in their community along with history and special events and community celebrations.

    Materials Needed:

    • 3-Ring Binder
    • Cardstock
    • Markers
    • Magazines
    • Glue Stick
    • Hole Puncher
    • Scissors
    Instructions:
    Have your child decorate the 3-ring binder however they want. One idea is to cover it with photos from around your neighborhood or town and then personalizing it with markers.
    You should use cardstock because it will hold up better to glue! You can make the cardstock pages fit in your book by punching 3 holes in the side of each piece where the binder rings will fit through.

    Now, your child can start to make their book! Talk about different community workers such as police officers, fire fighters, mail carriers, doctors, and anyone else who serves the people in their community. Page through a variety of magazines and find pictures related to different community workers and cut them out. Make a page for each job and make a collage using the pictures you found.

    You can also plan a visit to places such as a fire station, a police station, post office, restaurant, and so on. Have your child take pictures or make drawings related to what they see. Add these to the 3-ring binder.
    Another ideas well suited for older kids is to interview different neighbors and include pictures of them and perhaps their home to include in your book.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - Frozen Chocolate Banana


    Ingredients

    -7 Small Bananas
    -4 Tbsp Peanut Butter
    -14 Popsicle Sticks
    -2 tsp Cocoa

    Directions
    Peel and cut bananas it half. Put a Popsicle Stick in each half.
    Melt 4 tbsp of Peanut Butter in the Microwave for 1 minute, on half power.
    Mix in cocoa with the Peanut Butter.

    Get a brush (I use a silicon one) and brush on the mixture on all sides of each banana. Place on parchment paper. You can put them in the freezer just like that, but I put them in a fridge for a few to harden them a bit, then wrap each pop in plastic wrap and put them in the freezer.
    Freeze for at least an hour.

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Plantable Note Card - Recycle


    Materials
    • FOR EACH CARD:
    • 1-1/2 cups of 1-inch scraps made from newspaper, construction paper, or used printer paper
    • Large bowl of warm water
    • Masking tape
    • 6- by 10-inch piece of window screen
    • Blender
    • 9- by 13-inch baking pan
    • Packet of wildflower seeds
    • Bath towels
    • Markers

    Instructions
    1. Plantable Greeting Card Step 1 Place the scraps in the bowl of warm water and soak overnight.
    2. Fold strips of tape over the edges of the screen to make it easier to handle.
    3. Place the soaked paper into the blender, then fill the blender halfway with fresh water. Blend until the mixture looks like a thick, creamy soup.
    4. Plantable Greeting Card Step 4 Add water to the baking pan until it's a quarter full, then pour in the blended pulp. Add the packet of wildflower seeds and mix well with your hands.
    5. Plantable Greeting Card Step 5 Slip the screen into the pan so that it slides beneath the pulp and seeds. Lift it gently, catching the pulp mixture in an even layer on top and allowing the water to drain off.
    6. Lay the screen on a bath towel, moving it to a dry area when the fabric below is saturated. Let the paper dry for at least 24 hours.
    7. When the paper has dried completely, gently remove it from the screen. Add a message with the markers.

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Make Your Own Chia Pet Head


    Materials
    • 2 tablespoons grass seed
    • Nylon stocking foot
    • 1 cup potting soil
    • Plastic yogurt container
    • Water
    • 2 googly eyes
    • Permanent marker
    • Double-sided tape
    • Card stock, craft foam, and so on, for clothing

    Instructions
    1. Spoon the grass seed into the stocking foot, and the potting soil on top of the seed. Tie a knot in the stocking, leaving the excess fabric hanging. Fill a yogurt container halfway with water and place the stocking head on top with the nylon tail in the water to serve as a wick. Attach googly eyes to the head and draw on a mouth with permanent marker. To decorate the yogurt container, tape on clothing made from card stock or other materials.
    Tips:
    Be sure to check the water level in the yogurt container every day, keeping it at least half full.

    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    Memorial Day Craft - Paper Poppies

    What You'll Need:

    Red crepe paper
    Green chenille stems
    Scissors
    Large needle

    In the spring, red poppies bloom on European battlefields where thousands of soldiers died.

    Many veteran's organizations sell poppies to earn money for disabled vets. You can make your own crepe paper poppies.

    To make each poppy, cut out three 4-inch circles of red crepe paper.

    Lay the circles on top of each other, and ask an adult to help you use a needle to make two holes next to each other in the center (go through all the circles).

    Put the end of a chenille stem through one hole, bend the chenille stem, and bring the end down through the other hole.

    Twist the end around the long part of the chenille stem to secure it.

    Pull the crepe paper petals slightly away from each other to form the poppy.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Thrifty Thursday - Garden Markers

    Materials Needed:

    • Wooden Spoons
    • Paint
    • Seed Packets or Catalogs/Magazines
    • White Glue or Decoupage Medium
    • Permanent Markers
    • Clear Acrylic Spray
    • Paint Brush or Foam Brush
    • Scissors
    Instructions:
    Paint the entire wooden spoon whatever color or colors you desire. Let the paint dry.
    Cut out pictures of the produce or flowers that you will plant or have already planted in your garden. The packets from the seeds you planted are perfect for this project or you can use catalogs from nurseries. Trim these pictures so they fit in the 'bowl' of the spoon.

    Glue the pictures onto the 'bowl' part of the wooden spoons. Glue them so that when the handle of the spoon is poked into the ground the picture is not upside down. Let the glue dry and then coat the 'bowl' area with a few more thin layers of glue or decoupage medium, letting each layer dry.

    Use the permanent marker and write the name of the plant running down the handle, starting near the edge of the spoon's bowl. Seal with several light coats of the clear acrylic spray.

    Once the spray is dry, take your new garden markers outside and poke the handle of the spoon into the ground.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - Rainbow Fruit Snack

    Strawberries
    Mango
    Grapes
    Blueberries
    Banana
    Oranges
    Marshmallows

    Organize the fruit in a rainbow pattern and enjoy!