- 10-13 year olds
- 5-9 year olds
- All ages.
- Birthday party ideas
- Cooking with kids.
- Earth Day
- Gifts for Pet Lovers
- Good Causes
- Homemade Gifts
- Make Believe
- Mother's Day Gifts
- Outdoor activities
- Paid Endorsements
- Places to visit
- Read and Do
- Recycled Materials
- The Basics
- Valentine's Day
- Wearable art
- Heart-shaped baking tin
- Plastic bowl or container that is wider than your baking tin and about 2″ deep.
- One cup sand
- One-half cup water
- Candle wick
- Small metal washer
- Candle dyes or crayons for color
- Candle scent (optional)
- Double boiler (Note: You can melt wax in the microwave or in a tin can in a shallow pan of water over low heat. Add color and scent after wax is melted.)
Fill bowl with sand and water. Press bottom of heart tin into wet sand. Pull out leaving a heart shape. If the sides fall in, press tin in again and add some more water to sand. Tie wick to washer and place in center of the sand-shaped heart. Tie other end of wick onto a pencil and set on top of container. Make sure wick is taut. Pour melted wax into the heart-shaped hole in the sand. Position wick so it is in the center. Let wax harden and cool, about 45 minutes. Carefully lift heart candle from container and place on newspapers. Trim wick with scissors.
One of the best ways to help wildlife flourish is to plant a special garden with nectar-rich flowers that will attract bees, butterflies and insects. If you don’t have a lot of room, a window garden or pot garden will do.
The following is a list of flower suggestions.
- Lace-cap hydrangea has lots of tiny flowers that attract bees and butterflies.
- Lavender has a strong scent that butterflies love.
- Hawthorn is a shrub that attracts insects and birds.
- Pyracantha is another shrub with berries that birds like to eat.
- Fuchsia with its sweet nectar attracts hummingbirds.
- Buddleia often called the butterfly bush has scented flowers that attract both bees and butterflies.
For more suggestions ask the salespeople at your local gardening shop
In anticipation of Earth Day coming up on April 22nd, I will be featuring Earth Awareness Activities every day until then. These are great projects to do with children at home or at school that help raise awareness about our most prescious resources– the air, the water, the land and our children.
How Dirty is Your Air?
- Seven glass- jar lids or bottle caps
- Large piece of white cardboard
- Marking pen
Write numbers one to seven on the cardboard. Leave enough space to be able to cover each number with a lid. Stick labels onto the jar lids and number them from one to seven. Lay the jar lids on the cardboard, matching the numbers. Put the cardboard and lids outside in a sheltered spot. At the end of the first day, take away lid number one. Each day take away one more lid. At the end of a week, take away the last lid. You can see how dirty the air is if the patches where the first lids were are darker than the others.
If your child is a budding doctor or nurse or simply wants to pretend, you can purchase your child his or her own medical scrubs online at the scrub store, Blue Sky Scrubs. Yes, they have scrubs for kids! And if your little one wants to look like mom or dad, don’t worry, Blue Sky Scrubs offers something for you too. They offer a full line of scrubs for men, scrubs for women, medical scrubs and nursing uniform scrubs. This is a great opportunity to inspire your children’s creative imaginations. Now when they play doctor or nurse, they can look the part.
This is a family recipe. My mother baked this cake every fall. Add a little extra apples for a moister cake.
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 cup of oil
- 2 1/2 tsp. of vanilla
- 3 cups of flour
- 3 tsp. of baking powder
- 1 tsp of salt
- juice of one orange or 3/4 cups of OJ
- 4 large apples
- 3 T of sugar
- 2 tsp. of cinnamon
Peel and chop the apples and sprinkle with the cinnamon and 3 T of sugar. Beat the eggs and add the 2 cups sugar and oil, juice of orange and vanilla. Sift flour in separate bowl and add to the eggs and sugar mixture. Put half of the batter in pan, half of the apples and then rest of batter and top with remaining apples. Grease and flour pan and bake 1 1/4 hours at 350 or until done.
You will need:
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 bag (10 oz) mini marshmallows
Yellow food coloring
8 cups combined peanut butter and chocolate puffed corn cereal
1 cup candy-coated chocolate pieces like peanut or plain M & M’s.
10 lollipop sticks
Tan and green raffia
Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper and set aside. Melt butter or margarine in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until melted and smooth. Tint with food coloring until you reach desired color. Add cereal and 1/2 cup chocolate pieces. Stir to evenly coated. Remove from heat.
Spray hands with oil and quickly divide mixture into 10 oblong pieces. Push lollipop sticks halfway into each oblong piece and shape to look like an ear of corn. Place on cookie sheet covered with waxed paper and press remaining 1/2 cup chocolate pieces into each “ear”. Let treats set. Tie or tape raffia to lollipop sticks to resemble corn husks.
1 pint cranberry juice cocktail
1 quart apple juice
1 cup water
6 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 lemon, thinly sliced
Mix all the ingredients together in a large saucepan. Let simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Strain and serve.
You will need:
2 lbs. firm apples cut into quarters
1/2 cup apple cider
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground allspice
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Place the apples, cider and 1/2 cup water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until apples are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and pass through a food mill. Return to saucepan and add the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, lemon zest and lemon juice. Cook over low heat and stir occasionally, until very thick and dark brown, about 2 to 3 hours. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.
Now that the kids are out of school you will need fun activities to entertain them and keep them busy and occupied. When my children were small they loved to finger paint, which, as you all know, is messy. When the weather got warmer, I would put my girls in their bathing suits and give each of them a paper plate “palette” with several dollops of finger paint colors. Then I would put a white shower curtain liner on the driveway and let them paint away. More often than not they ended up painting each other, but I didn’t mind. At the end of the day I hosed them down along with everything else. They had a blast. It was moments like that, watching my children experience sheer creative joy that I thought to myself, “Do not for one minute ever tell me that you did not have a wonderful childhood.”
Note: Make sure the finger paint is washable. I have learned from experience that certain colors, like green, don’t always come out. Just in case, make sure you and your kids wear clothing that you don’t mind getting a few stains on. Happy painting! If you try this project, please write in and leave a comment so we can all hear about how much fun you had.
Another great group activity for a birthday, play date or class project.
Small clay flower pots
Trowel or knife to smooth grout
Decorative objects like tiles, sea glass, sea shells, beads, acorns etc.
Give each child a small flower pot and some tile grout to smear on the outside of the pot. Explain to them that they are going to decorate the outside of the pot with the objects. They can cover the entire pot or make a pattern. It is up to them to use their own imagination and creativity. Once the tile is set and the objects are secure, gently wipe away any tile grout that is on the decorations. If you have time, you can take this project one step further by planting flowers in the pots.