Saturday, May 30, 2015

Pretend Play: Dandelion Soup

We've been having a lot of fun sharing images over on Instagram lately, so you may have already caught a preview of this activity earlier this week.

It's dandelion season, and despite my husband's best efforts, they are popping up all over our yard. I'd been waiting for a hot day to set up this pretend play invitation with a nature connection. It was also great water play for a hot afternoon on the deck.

I love finding simple ways to play with things we have on hand. Before we started playing I set up a bunch of kitchen materials that the boys could use to pretend to make soup with. I also had the boys pick a large container of dandelions, including stems and some leaves. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Chicken Sausage Kebabs

As soon as the snow melts we pretty much start grilling, it's definitely our go-to cooking method in the summer. We love to our keep our dinners simple, so we can have even more time to play during the warmer weather. This recipe is easy to put together, cooks in very little time, and can be enjoyed by everyone in the family!

I've always enjoyed making kebabs, and love mixing up the ingredients we use. And although I enjoy using other meats, recently we discovered how easy using sausages on kebabs can be. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Cardboard Airfield

Okay, so I'm not going to lie, I had a little too much fun putting together this cardboard airfield for the boys.

They've been really into airplanes lately, and I knew they would love it. But, I also just loved having a chance to be creative myself. And even though I could have let them help me put it together, I again have to admit I was having too much fun to let them help and decided to put it together all on my own.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Red Clover Painting Exploration

We're really excited to be participating in the first "Tour the World by Flower" blog hop as hosted by Playground Parkbench. Bloggers from all over the world are sharing their state or national flower and a fun kid project idea focused on that flower. It's been really fun to see all the different ideas pop up from the amazing group of bloggers.

This week the spring flowers are in their full glory here in Northern New England. Everything seems to be blooming, each day the boys and I are excited to see something newly opened up. And although some of the currently blooming flowers (lilacs, tulips, apple trees, irises to name a few) are family favorites, none of them are our Vermont state flower: the Red Clover.

The red clover is such a simple, almost practical flower. Of course it makes sense to be our state flower when we think of all the farm fields full of the clover plants, blooming a little later in the summertime. Perfect for animals and insects like bees, adding just a pop of color to the green fields. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

20+ Fun Fingerprint Craft & Activity Ideas

This month we've discovered the fun of fingerprint art! Mostly we've been using it to create a variety of thank you cards, but we're feeling inspired to try some other fingerprint arts and crafts.

We've rounded up some of the fun ideas we've found, who knows which one we'll try next!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Invitation to Build: Create a Dam

As Big Brother is getting older it's really interesting to see both his interests and skills develop into more specific skill sets. Lately he's been really interested in the building of things (mostly stemming from a love of Legos, Magnatiles, and our wooden railroad track.) As he leans that way I'm finding myself looking for other creative ways to develop those interests and skills.

A few weeks ago he had the chance to observe a beaver dam up close with my husband on one of their nature walks. This lead to some great questions. A few days later I followed up with a drive to a local man made dam which he was able to inspect from a distance.

When we came home I set up this building investigation in the yard. It was inspired by a great tinfoil river activity we did last year from the amazing book 101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever by the team over at Kids Activities Blog

Friday, May 8, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Gift: Seed & Flower Craft

We had a lot of fun this week thinking of ways to treat the boys' teachers. Although I always appreciate the things I receive as a teacher during this week, I also know how much I value the teachers who take care of my boys when I need to be working. It takes a lot of energy, care, and dedication to be a teacher of young children and we definitely know some of the best.

Throughout the week we thought of small ways to say thank you, so that we could provide treats for more than one day. These Teacher Appreciation Seed & Flower craft gifts were easy to put together and such a great kick off for spring. Our inspiration for the gift came from our Teacher Appreciation Sunflowers a few years ago. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Ocean Birthday Party

As we've mentioned before, we love sharing our birthday party ideas here at Kitchen Floor Crafts. This Ocean Birthday Party for Big Brother's 5th birthday was especially memorable as it was the first time he really participated in preparing for the event.

But I should add these are real parties planned by me, a real mom. Sometimes I love the party themes and ideas I find on Pinterest, I'm in awe of how coordinated they are. But then I realize many of them are put together by professionals. These parties are our real parties, captured in the moment as I also try and run the party. They are still hugely successful, and we've loved every one!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Monthly Goals: May 2015

The past two weeks have been more about thinking about what's going on now, and dealing with the present, rather than planning ahead and focusing on goals. 

I have always prided myself in being a pretty healthy and active person, which allows me to maintain the busy pace we set for our lives. An injured knee in the winter has now lead to some new health discoveries, which are definitely compromising my energy level and approach to our daily lives. While not life threatening, and treatable, it will need to be something I think about in terms of slowing down and taking time for myself. So for May, my goal is going to be a little simpler: Take Care of Me.