DIY Spring Book Page Banner

This past Monday was the first day of Spring, and boy am I ready for some sunshine!   This weekend, in anticipation of the arrival of the new season, I made this simple “Book Page Banner” and I absolutely love the way it turned out!  Book Page Banners are great, because they are so inexpensive to make and you can modify them to fit any occasion.

For this Bunny Rabbit and Carrot Banner you will need…

  •  pages out of an old book (I got mine from the dollar store)
  •  bunny & carrot template (google bunny silhouette & carrot silhouette to find ones you like and size them to fit your book pages)
  • white, orange, and green card stock
  • scissors
  •  ruler
  •  pencil
  •  paper cutter
  • glue stick
  • scotch tape
  • twine

Watch my tutorial above to make your own Spring Book Page Banner.

Happy Spring!

Trolls (Poppy & Branch) Marshmallow Pops

We are a bit “Trolls Obsessed” in our house!  The CD currently plays on repeat in my car and my daughter likes to sing the songs at the top of her lungs… which might embarrass her big brothers a bit!  Let’s just be thankful that the soundtrack is seriously one of the best kid movie soundtracks ever!

I’ve been wanting to have a special mommy/daughter Trolls day for quite some time, so this week, we made it happen.  I rented the movie from Redbox, planned a couple of Trolls crafts, and together, my daughter and I, made these super fun Poppy & Branch Marshmallow Pops.  My sweet girl had so much fun…and so did her mama!

Watch our tutorial, above, to learn how to make these Marshmallow Pops for your own  little Trolls fans.  I’ve included the template that I used so you can print it off to make the candy Poppy & Branch silhouettes.

Trolls Silhouette Template

Blogposts Coming Soon:  Trolls Felt Scrapbook & Trolls Popsicle Stick Frames

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DIY Tinkering Workshop for Kids

My son Micah is that kid who is always trying to figure out “how things work.”  He absorbs information like no one I know and often amuses us with the most off the wall, interesting facts that he “read somewhere in a book.”  He also loves science and technology.  We always say that he’s going to be a famous inventor someday!

For the last couple of years, Micah would often say, “Mom, I wish I had a workshop of my very own!   I wish I had a place that I could just go and build stuff.”  Whenever he said this, I was left feeling like I didn’t even know where to begin, so I’d look up a project on Pinterest or try to get him engaged in a creative activity.  I never really thought it would be possible to make his dream a reality.

Recently,  I started talking to Micah about what he wanted for his 11th birthday.  He didn’t have a specific gift in mind.  Then inspiration struck!  I started dreaming about how we could make a special workshop just for Micah in our house.  We have this random, small utility room between our living room and garage that had basically become a storage space for all kinds of  random things.  I realized that this could become a perfect tinkering space for Micah.

I knew that I wanted to start with large pegboard on one wall, so we took a trip to Lowe’s to see what we could find.  In a matter of days, Micah’s workshop came together, and I was very pleased that we were able to keep the cost down to under $60 by using a bunch of thing we already had in our garage and in our house.

I put together this little video (below) of “The Making of Micah’s Tinkering Workshop” which includes a cost breakdown and a few fun moments with Micah too!  Micah is thoroughly enjoying his “place to go build stuff.”  The first day it was finished, he spent over 4 hours in there working on building a robotic arm that was given to him by a friend.

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We would love to hear from you!  If you know of any cool building projects for kids or ideas of what Micah could do in his workshop, leave us a comment and let us know!

3 Simple St. Patrick’s Day Treats

If you are planning on making some St. Patrick’s Day treats, here are 3 simple options for you…  Pretzel Shamrocks, Shamrock Oreo Cookie Pops, and Shamrock Marshmallow Pops.  All of these treats use Wilton’s Candy Melts, which you can find at crafts stores like Michael’s and JoAnn Fabrics.  Watch my tutorial to learn how to make these tasty treats!

SHAMROCK TEMPLATE

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Click on these links for more St. Patrick’s Day fun…

St. Patrick’s Day Treasure Hunt

Make a Rainbow of Color: Skittles Science Experiment

Rainbow Fruit Kabobs 

Portal Cookie Pops & Birthday Party

My son, Micah, is a huge fan of the video games Portal and Portal 2.  So for his 11th birthday, he decided to have a Portal themed party.  I wanted to send a special treat for Micah to bring to school on his big day, so I went to work making these super tasty Portal Cookie Pops.  He was so thrilled to bring them to share with all of his friends!  You can watch my tutorial above if you want to make some of your own Portal Cookie Pops!

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portal cookie pop topper template pdf

The party itself didn’t require a whole lot of preparation because Micah wanted to have it at a local “fun center” so that he and his buddies could play laser tag and ride go carts.  I did want to add a couple of fun elements though, so I created these labels to make “Propulsion Gel” and “Repulsion Gel” to give to each of the kids.

According to theportalwiki.com , “Propulsion Gel is a bright orange substance that greatly reduces the friction of objects moving across the surface to which it is applied. Propulsion Gel also increases velocity, as objects covered in Propulsion Gel also have their friction reduced, causing them to slide around and be moved more easily.  Repulsion Gel is a light blue substance that repels objects, and any player or object that hits a surface coated with Replusion Gel will bounce off.”

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We used orange slime that we found in the dollar section at Target for the Propulsion Gel and blue Gatorades for the Repulsion Gel.  It’s close to Easter, so we could only find orange slime in “carrot” containers.  We transferred the slime into 4 0z extra small ziplock square containers with lids.  These were the perfect size!  I bought a 12 pack of 12 oz Gatorades, which were just the right amount for Micah’s party.

Here are the printable templates I created for the Propulsion Gel and Repulsion Gel.

propulsion gel template pdf

repulsion gel template pdf

 

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In Portal, there is also a specific cake that is talked about throughout the game.  We definitely had to make a Real Portal Cake for Micah’s 11th birthday!  Click here for my recent blogpost on How to Make a Real Portal Cake.

I would definitely have to say that Micah’s Portal Birthday Party was a huge success!

How to make a Real Portal Cake 

How to Make a Real Portal Cake

Portal and Portal 2 are popular video games.  Truthfully, I’ve never played either of them, but according to my son they are the “best video games ever!”  Here’s a bit about the games according to my son Micah…”In Portal, you are a test subject in a huge underground facility called Aperture Science that is supposedly under Michigan.  You go through the tests (which are puzzles), solving them, and they get harder and harder along the way.  At a certain point in the game, you acquire a tool which makes portals that objects and you yourself can pass through.  This tool is official called the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, but is more commonly referred to as the Portal Gun.”

Micah’s 11 birthday was March 3rd and he wanted a Portal Themed Birthday Party!  Micah chose to have his party at a Fun Center in our city so that we could play laser tag and ride go carts, so the cake became the main thing that represented the Portal Theme.

In Portal there is a gigantic robot named GLaDOS at the center of the facility.  GLaDOS runs everything and she promises you cake at the end of the test, but it turns out that she’s lying.  She actually puts you on a platform headed towards a fire pit.  In the game, there is a message written on a wall in a secret room, written by a scientist that says, “the cake is a lie!”   Here are a couple of images from the actual game.

This was a super fun cake to create!  You can watch my tutorial to learn how to make one of your own.  This cake is definitely NOT a lie!

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St. Patrick’s Day Treasure Hunt

What is St. Patrick’s Day really all about?  Is it about leprechauns, shamrocks, rainbows, and pots of gold?  Who was St. Patrick anyway?  Every year, on March 17th we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but as I began thinking about some fun things I could do with my kids this year, I realized that I didn’t know anything about St. Patrick.  So I did a little reading, and what I discovered gave me a whole new perspective on this Irish holiday.

Patrick (Patricius) was a teenage boy living in Britain when he was kidnapped and put on a slave ship headed for Ireland.  He spent 6 years as a slave and it was in those years that he encountered God and received Jesus Christ as his Savior.  One day he had a dream that he was going back to his own country and he heard a voice say, “see your ship is ready.”  Patrick escaped and returned home.  Sometime later, he had another dream that he was to return to Ireland as a missionary.

St. Patrick was a man of God who brought the gospel of Jesus Christ to a very Pagan country.  In 432 A.D. he built the first Christian church in Ireland.  Over the course of 29 years, St. Patrick planted 300 churches and baptized over 120,000 Irishmen.

According to legend,  he used the three leaf clover to explain the trinity.  He used the one plant with three leaves as an analogy for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. unknown-1

 

With all of this in mind, I had an idea for a St. Patrick’s Day Treasure Hunt for children that would highlight the God who St. Patrick lived for.  I’m all about good old fashioned holiday fun!  We always wear green on St. Patrick’s Day so we don’t get pinched 🙂 and for the last couple of years, we have celebrated by making these Rainbow Fruit Kabobs.  But I love an opportunity to teach my children about their identity in Christ.  I love to create fun experiences for them to learn Biblical truths.  So I think we have started a new St. Patrick’s day tradition in our house!

Here’s How the Treasure Hunt Works:

Print out the free templates I have included (at the end of this post) for the Gold Coins and the Bible Verse Cards.  Cut out the circles and use a glue stick to attach them to the chocolate coins.  I found my coins in the dollar section at Target. Cut out the Scripture Cards and have them ready.  Hide your gold coins out in your yard (or inside if it’s a rainy day).  Gather your kids and tell them that you are sending them on a treasure hunt.  Have them each collect the same number of gold coins.  Bring them inside, sit down together at the table and lay out the scripture cards.  Now your kids can match up their coins with the cards that have the same scripture references.  Have your kids take turns reading the verses that they found.  This fun experience will give kids the opportunity to discover the treasure of who they are in Christ.  As you wrap up your time together indulge in a little chocolatey goodness!

Here are some pictures and a video of our family enjoying our St. Patrick’s Day Treasure Hunt.

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Sources: Patricius: The True Story of St. Patrick, Saint Patrick, The Shamrock, and The Trinity, Shamrock Image