Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pipe Cleaner Earthworms

Last week I ran my annual preschool nature camp. Every summer for one week I run a small, morning only camp for 3 to 5 years at a local historical site. The beautiful grounds, gardens, and natural water sources give us lots of opportunities to explore nature. Unfortunately, the weather last week stumped me a little as there were several rainy mornings. However, one rainy morning lead us to the fun of exploring Earthworms!

Despite the rain, we got outside and looked through the gardens and mulch to find several different worms. And when we got back inside? We created these adorable pipecleaner earthworms. We also paired the experience and craft with several books about earthworms, which meant kids also learned several interesting facts about worms.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Hamburger Cookies - A "No Bake" Recipe

It's been a busy summer, and for the most part on our down times we're ready to just unwind with some swimming, playing, and and other summer activities. But occasionally we get inspired to tackle some new projects. 

In the last few weeks we've been invited to several barbecues. I used to make these fun and easy "no bake" cookies with my mom as a kid, and they are the perfect treats to bring to a barbecue! 

Even better, while they are super cute they are also a "No Bake" recipe which means you don't have to run your oven in order to enjoy them. Perfect for hot summer days. 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Red, White, & Blue Playdough

One thing I'm striving for this summer is to try and not sweat the small stuff and to keep things simple when possible. So when I realized that somehow the 4th of July Weekend has already snuck up on us I decided to keep our festive play simple and go with some playdough play.

We have a great basic cooked playdough recipe which can be tweaked in lots of different ways to create slightly different versions or play invitations.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Teacher Appreciation "Berry" Gift (with free printable)

It's been a busy month, as you might have seen from our June Monthly Goals post, on both the work and personal front. This has meant it's been one of our quietest months yet at Kitchen Floor Crafts. However, while we may have been distracted we've still had a few moments for crafting fun and family focused time.

This included putting together an end of year gift for Little Brother's preschool teachers. His year ended a little later than Big Brother's, which meant that the local strawberries were already in season. Who doesn't love fresh strawberries?

We paired fresh strawberries with a handmade card to create this sweet and memorable teacher appreciation gift. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

June Monthly Goals 2017

This year I have been setting goals each month using four themes: balance, purpose, health, and organization. These themes have helped me focus each month on specific steps towards creating positive changes and growth.

In June these themes still apply, but my focus is a little different. This month is a bittersweet one for me, as for the first time in over 10 years, I am preparing to change schools. On top of the normal craziness that always comes at the end of a school year, there is extra emotion, need for organization, and anticipated change.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Dandelion Painting

It's that time of year again when now that the grass is green the dandelions are popping up too. I have to admit, even though I know they are a weed, there is something so summery about seeing those bright yellow bursts all over the yard.

Of course, the boys love to pick them. And in addition to picking them, we've discovered how great they are for painting with. They make awesome designs!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Pirate Birthday Party & Treasure Hunt

If you've been reading our blog for a while than you know we love all things pirate. It was only a matter of time until one of the boys asked for a pirate themed party. So with Big Brother turning 7 - and asking for a treasure hunt - it was the perfect time for this theme. And of course, we were excited to again team up with The Oriental Trading Company and their awesome party supply resources to create this event!

This party took a lot longer to arrive than we originally planned. First, Big Brother wanted it outside, which meant waiting for the snow to melt. Then, everyone in the house got the flu - as did several of the expected party guests - which meant pushing the party out another week. And the day we finally were able to host the party? A pretty mixed weather day with several rainy spells - which made all our plans a little tricky.

But despite the delays and the weather - the party was a huge success for both the guests and the birthday guy himself.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Chocolate Dipped Fortune Cookies

This fun treat is something we've made a few times before - and even though it doesn't take a lot to make them, they look fantastic and special when they are done.

The other great thing about these treats is that even little hands can help with some of the steps so kids can feel involved. We recently made a batch for Teacher Appreciation Week and the boys loved helping make these sweet treats for their teachers. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

May Monthly Goals 2017

I keep thinking that we're into spring: the warm, t-shirt and shorts, pretty flowers spring that we are all desperate to see — and then another cold snap comes through and everyone gets a little bummed out again. Which all just reminds me that this time of year takes a little patience. Those warm spring days will come, but in our part of New England it takes a little longer.

Similarly March was pretty crazy, and while I felt like I kept waiting for things to even out a little in April, I'm realizing that too will take a little patience. Even now, I'm over a week into May without posting my monthly goals. 

My Four Year Long Themes:
Balance - Find balance across all areas of my life.
Purpose - Reflect on the purpose of the things I own and my time.
Health- Spend time focusing on improving my own physical and mental health.
Organization- I am always striving for better organization, everywhere.

As these are big goals, I'm working on approaching them in manageable chunks. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Rock Buddies

Sometimes the best crafts are the simplest - and I forgot how simple and fun these Rock Buddies can be. I didn't remember until earlier this week when we made some with Little Brother's best buddy on a playdate.

So of course we had to make some more once we remembered how simple and fun they are! 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Tissue Paper Forsythia Bush

Nothing is making us happier than the fact that spring has officially arrived here in our part of New England. One of my favorite parts of early spring is seeing the bright yellow flowers of the forsythia bushes. I've pointed them out so often as we drive around town now the boys are eager to spot them too.
Unfortunately, we don't have a forsythia bush in our own yard so we decided to create our own tissue paper forsythia bushes.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Glue-Resist Easter Egg Painting

Glue-Resist Painting is something we've enjoyed doing before because it takes minimal materials and is easy to create. So when we were looking for something fun to do to get us in the mood for Easter, we definitely got inspired for trying some glue-resist painting with an Easter theme.

What's great about these eggs is they are colorful and done with watercolor, so even little hands can help create them. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Painted Wrapping Paper

It's that time of year when lots of fun things are coming up — Mother's Day, Father's Day, Teacher Appreciation days, not to mention birthdays and baby showers too. And all of these fun events may wind up in need of wrapping paper. Making our own wrapping paper is a great way to add a little more sentiment to a gift.

Using Oriental Trading Company's craft selection can inspire a wide range of projects, so we were excited to team up with them again. This time we were definitely inspired by their bright paints and fun paint stampers to make wrapping paper. I found almost all of the materials below on the Oriental Trading Company's craft website.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April Monthly Goals 2017

March wound up being a crazy month, which made getting to my goals harder. But, it also made me think about the importance of the goals too.

My Four Year Long Themes:
Balance - Find balance across all areas of my life.
Purpose - Reflect on the purpose of the things I own and my time.
Health- Spend time focusing on improving my own physical and mental health.
Organization- I am always striving for better organization, everywhere.

As these are big goals, I'm working on approaching them in manageable chunks. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Painted Snowballs

It's hard to believe it's the end of March and that as I write this we are getting another batch of fresh snow. As much as I love winter fun, I'm ready for winter to be over. However, the outside world currently looks like a Christmas card. So while I may be tired of the snow, it's what we have outside to play with so we're getting creative.
One day after school we decided to try painting snowballs. The boys loved this colorful, messy project. And, it is actually perfect for spring snow as it's warm enough out to take off gloves and mittens.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Dinosaur Playdough Play

As we were getting ready for Little Brother's Dinosaur birthday party this month we were excited to set up a new playdough play invitation. This invitation uses one of our all time favorite playdough recipes - we call it "Chocolate Cake Playdough" because it has the amazing scent of real chocolate.

For this playdough play invitation we added in a few key pieces: miniature dinosaurs, floral rocks, and fake plants so that the boys could create a dinosaur world.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Dinosaur Birthday Party

This month Little Brother turned 4, and if you've been reading with us for a while now you know that we love fun birthday themes over here at Kitchen Floor Crafts! For this birthday we decided to go with a "Dinosaur Birthday Party" theme!

For this post we were excited to team up with Oriental Trading Company to come up with some great favors, paper goods, and more! We also created some favorite old activities that fit perfectly this birthday party theme.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Simple St. Patrick's Day Playdough Play

The boys are already looking forward to St. Patrick's Day, which means we've been doing some fun, little things already to get ready to celebrate. Which is how we came up with this Simple St. Patrick's Day Playdough Play invitation.

As with most of our playdough recipes we started with our Basic Cooked Playdough recipe and then tweaked it a little to make it match the St. Patrick's Day theme. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

March Monthly Goals 2017

February seemed to fly by, which meant getting to my monthly goals and my four year-long themes was not as easy as it might be in longer months.

My Four Year Long Themes:
Balance - Find balance across all areas of my life.
Purpose - Reflect on the purpose of the things I own and my time.
Health- Spend time focusing on improving my own physical and mental health.
Organization- I am always striving for better organization, everywhere.

As these are big goals, I'm working on approaching them in manageable chunks. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain (Family Fun in New England)

In January we launched our Family Fun in New England series by sharing about a favorite, local spot for us, The Montshire Museum of Science. This month we're happy to share about another New England family attraction which we've enjoyed several times - ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. ECHO is a science center and lake aquarium located on the Burlington, VT waterfront.

Although ECHO is a bit of a drive for us, we still make it a few times a year and the kids look forward to it each time.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Ripped Paper Rainbows

As happy as I have been to have a real winter this year, it's that time of year where I start to crave color. Not just because the world is white - but because I know that pretty soon we'll enter New England's fifth season - Mud Season- and everything will turn brown.

So while putting together our post on Paper Plate Wreaths I got inspired to try creating a paper plate rainbow with the boys and that lead to these Ripped Paper Rainbows.

This was a great project to try on a "stay home day" that didn't require a lot of prep, materials, or project time. Yet, the result was pretty and it could easily be done by several different age groups.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Paper Plate Wreaths for All 4 Seasons

In the last few years we've discovered how easy it is to make a "Paper Plate Wreath" using a paper plate and some decorations. In fact, we find them so easy we've made them for several different seasons and holidays!

Which is what inspired collecting all of these awesome posts from other bloggers too - because if they're that easy to make, why not make one for every season of the year?

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Bunny Valentine - Lunch Box Treat

One of the fun things I like to do near the holidays is find little ways to surprise the boys in their lunch boxes. These sweet treats will be headed into their lunch boxes on Tuesday in honor of Valentine's Day.

When I spotted these yummy Annie's bunny grahams at the grocery store the other day they inspired me to create this fun Valentine's Day Lunch Box Treat. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

February Monthly Goals 2017

This year I'm continuing to keep my monthly goals based on four year long themes. Each month, I try to work on these goals in a new direction.

My Four Year Long Themes:
Balance - Find balance across all areas of my life.
Purpose - Reflect on the purpose of the things I own and my time.
Health- Spend time focusing on improving my own physical and mental health.
Organization- I am always striving for better organization, everywhere.

As these are big goals, I'm working on approaching them in manageable chunks. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Salt and Watercolor Thank You Cards

For quite a while I've loved using this watercolor technique with kids, but we've never used it as a way to create thank you cards before. It's such a great strategy to use with a wide age range of kids as it is both easy and colorful. 

Little Brother especially got into this project, and in the end they are so colorful and pretty I was glad we wound up with a few spares for other times we need thank you cards. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Easy Cardboard Bird Feeder

As we're solidly in the middle of winter, it is a great time to be thinking about the wild creatures who are surviving the winter outside. We decided to create some easy cardboard bird feeder treats to hang outside for the wild critters in our neighborhood.

If you've been reading our blog for a while now, you know we love projects that use materials you can easily find already at home or at a local store, and this project is definitely one of them. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Montshire Museum of Science (Family Fun in New England)

For quite a while now I've been excited about running a new series and I've decided that kicking it off in January is the perfect time! Although we'd love to be able to travel farther abroad, at this point almost all of our family travel takes place in New England. We look for easy day trips or car trips where we may stay for just a night or two.

We have family and friends across New England, and as we travel to see them we always are on the lookout for family friendly activities across the New England States. Sometimes we've visited big attractions, other times we've found our way to smaller, less frequented locations. But now, we're excited to share these great places with you and your family as you look for things to do in New England!

For our first post, we're happy to share about a location that's local for us, and definitely a family favorite: The Montshire Museum on Science in Norwich, Vermont!

Monday, January 9, 2017

"Shades of People" Handprint Wreath

For the third year in a row we are honored to be participating in a Blog Hop in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. hosted by the Multicultural Kid Blogs. Each year a group of bloggers share resources and activities in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and the causes he stood for.

This year the boys and I reread a book we've liked for quite a while titled "Shades of People" by Shelly Rotner. Afterwards we created a paper plate handprint wreath celebrating all the ranges of skin colors in the world.

Friday, January 6, 2017

January Monthly Goals 2017

In the past few years, I've enjoyed participating in a Monthly Goals series with several other bloggers. Each month bloggers share their goals and update on the progress they've made. By posting my goals here, for all of you to see, it's made me feel much more accountable to meeting the goals.

After a few months off from goal making I've decided to refresh the practice for the New Year. This year I've decided to do year long goals, with monthly check-ins.