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Playing Home



Living life day by day. Every day is a gift - playing-home.blogspot.com -



Last Build Date: Thu, 17 Sep 2015 09:04:04 +0000

 



Peppermint Pretzel Pops

Wed, 19 Dec 2012 10:16:00 +0000


These little tasty treats are so easy to make but so yummy!  Both of my kiddos helped me make them for a cookie party this past weekend!  Seriously....so good!


What you'll need:
Pretzel snaps
Hershey kisses (we used the candy cane kisses and regular milk chocolate)
Red & green M&Ms


Directions:
Preheat oven to 175 degrees.
Place a piece of wax paper or parchment paper on a cookie sheet and lay out your pretzel snaps.
Top each pretzel with a hershey kiss.
Bake in oven for about 5-6 minutes but keep a close eye on them.  After the first batch I found that the ones in the back were way more melted than the ones in the front so I started rotating my pan about 3-4 minutes into the baking.  
After about 5-6 minutes remove from the oven and place an M&M on top of each kiss.
Cool in the freezer for about 10 minutes and you're ready to go!!

Happy baking!!














Christmas Tree Name Craft

Tue, 18 Dec 2012 10:14:00 +0000

This little Christmas craft is similar to the rocket ship craft we did a while back.  It's pretty simple, but great for preschoolers who are learning to spell their name or love to write their name.


I started by cutting out triangles of similar size on green construction paper.
Then I had Anna write one letter of her name on each of the little triangles.


I handed her some glue and she got to work putting her name together and building her tree.




I  made one for my little guy too and he got to smear glue all over the place so he was happy.


We topped our trees with a little star and put them up in our window!

Christmas is getting closer!!  So excited!




DIY I Spy Christmas Ornaments

Mon, 17 Dec 2012 10:12:00 +0000

I searched and searched for what Anna and I could make her little friends for Christmas and I finally found the perfect gift....thanks to Pinterest!These I Spy ornaments are just too darn cute.  And they are so easy to make!  Anna and I had a lot of fun filling up the ornaments with cute little Christmas goodies...and Anna really enjoyed just playing with all the little pieces.I found all of the little goodies in the Christmas section of the craft store.  The store is kind of picked over right now, but they do have everything 60% off so you might just get lucky!!We used clear plastic ornaments instead of glass since I knew they would be getting lots of handling from little hands.I used a funnel to pour in filling beads into each ornament.   The filling beads are actually the same little beads they use in stuffed animals and other sewing projects.  They are with the batting and stuffing at the craft store.I hot glued on the lid after we were finished to make sure all the little goodies stayed safely inside.And then Anna called out all the little goodies inside the ornament and I typed up a little list to attach to each ornament!We made a couple extra to keep her and some to give to our neighbors!!  It's a perfect gift for a preschooler!![...]



Christmas & Winter Crafts for Kids

Thu, 13 Dec 2012 10:11:00 +0000

 We are in the full swing of Christmas here!  I'm busy working on my December Daily album and we are jet-setting up and down the east coast to visit friends and family.  Lots going on and so little time!  We've managed to fit in some fun Christmas crafts and activities but I haven't found the time to upload the pictures yet.  Hopefully soon.  In the meantime, here are some crafts from last year to tide you over!  (You know...for the all two of you who read my blog!)  Links are after each picture.

Hope you all are in the Christmas spirit and are enjoying life as much as we are!!


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Christmas Bingo & Books

Fri, 07 Dec 2012 12:29:00 +0000



One of our Christmas advent activities was to play Christmas bingo.  I found these cute printables on Pinterest and thought we could incorporate our Christmas books with our bingo game.  



Each person got a bingo card and then either Daddy or myself read one of our Christmas books.  After we went over all the pictures on the bingo card together, we listened for the words in our stories.  Just like in regular bingo, we used little counters to cover the words we heard while listening.  

It was so much fun to sit around the table, read books and play a game that my 3 1/2 and 2 year old can actually "play".  Anna "got" it much more than Drew, but he stuck right with us playing with his counters and listening to the stories!  

Print some off and play with your family tonight!!  Make some memories!!





Button Christmas Trees

Thu, 06 Dec 2012 12:19:00 +0000



We're totally in the holiday spirit at our house!  Our tree is up and decorated, our lights are up outside and even our little dollhouse is all Christmas-y!  No wrapped presents under the tree, though.  I don't trust Drew!  He will have those open in no time flat!

Anyway....Anna and I made these cute little button trees today using green felt trees and some buttons I had around the house.








Right now they are just sitting on the table.  I'm thinking of stuffing and sewing them up to make little ornaments!  You can never have too many homemade ornaments!!

Happy crafting everyone!!




DIY Christmas Gift Ideas

Tue, 04 Dec 2012 12:00:00 +0000

I always love homemade gifts.  I love making them and I love receiving them!  Right now I'm busy working on a special little gift for a special little two year old. 

Here are some of my favorite homemade gifts.  Links to each gift is below the picture. You have plenty enough time to make something homemade for Christmas!!  Get crafty!!


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December Daily 2012

Wed, 28 Nov 2012 12:00:00 +0000

I can't believe December is literally days away!!  December is my most favorite time of the year.  It truly is magical feeling to me.  There's just something about it.  Maybe it's the feeling of being a kid again, or maybe it's making others happy.  Regardless, I love it.  Every.Single.Minute.And I love documenting the days leading up to Christmas!!  I'm so excited to start my December Daily album this year.  You can click here to see my December Daily from last year.Below are a few peeks of my album.  I decided to keep it pretty simple by using a lighter patterned paper, a doily and a glitter star.  It turned out a little more "muted" than I had originally hoped, but I know it will work.For the inside this year, I've decided to just create several different pages that could be used for any day of December.  Last year I followed Ali Edwards' lead and had each date ready to go by December 1st.  I'm sure it will be a little more work this year, but I'm looking forward to playing around with all my supplies!Here are some of the pages I've made so far.  My sewing machine is probably my favorite crafting tool for making mini albums!!Lots of gold and white this year!!  Bring on the twinkle!!Anyone else doing a December Daily?  I know a few joined in with me last year!!![...]



Our Christmas Advent Calendar

Mon, 26 Nov 2012 12:00:00 +0000

I've decided to do something new and fun for our advent this Christmas.  Last year we put small toys and a piece of candy in our advent calendar, but I thought it would be fun to make little packages for the kids to open each day of December.  We'll still have a piece or two of candy in our advent calendar house, but these little treat bags will hold an activity and some Christmas goodies.The bags were so easy to make using some large paper bags that I receive from Studio Calico each month.  I was able to get six bags from each paper bag.  You could always use just a regular old brown paper lunch sack, which are really inexpensive and available at most any grocery store.Each bag will contain an activity for us to do as a family.  Most of them are things that we do anyway during December.After cutting out my bags, I used my sewing machine to stitch all around with red thread.  Then I stamped the numbers 1-25 on the corners of the bag.And then the fun part came.....I stuffed the bags full of goodies....our activity of the day, Christmas erasers (from the dollar store), Christmas stickers (I just cut several strips from a pack of stickers, some confetti, a few small ornaments and some Christmas jokes).Anna helped me sew up the bags "without peeking", she said, and she's so excited for December to come!!  We all are!![...]



Turkey Handprint Picture

Tue, 20 Nov 2012 12:00:00 +0000

Our "Sunday Funday" consisted of lots of arts and crafts!  This was one of the super cute things we made!  They are proudly being hung in our house (and even sometimes worn as necklaces!!).  Thanks again to Pinterest for the awesome idea!!  The kids started by painting their picture boards (just cut down cardboard) all different Fall colors.  Drew loves to paint!!While we waited for the cardboard to dry (it doesn't take long if you do a thin coat), we made our hand print turkeys.  Lots of laughing from the tickling of the paint brush!!And while everything was drying, Anna helped me finish up the little "Happy Thanksgiving" cards and  lace the pasta on our strings.When all the paint was dry, I attached the pasta laced string to the cardboard and glued down our turkey hand print, added nose, eyes and legs and little label.  I love them so much![...]



Thanksgiving Turkey Magnet

Mon, 19 Nov 2012 12:00:00 +0000

This is such a simple little craft but my 3 1/2 year old really enjoying making it so I thought I would share!  This little guy is hanging proudly on our refrigerator right now and keeps getting moved around by some little tiny hands!!  Supplies needed:Wooden discs of two sizes (or circles cut from cardboard)Brown paintFeathers of various colorsGoogly eyesRed and orange construction paperTape or glueStart by painting your wooden discs or cut circles brown.After your paint has dried, add the feathers to the back of the larger disc.  We are all out of liquid glue...akkkk..so we used washi tape.  It worked great!Then add your smaller circle, googly eyes, triangle nose and waddle.I attached a little adhesive magnet to the back of our turkey so he could hang on the side of our fridge.Happy crafting everyone!![...]



Preschool Painting Fun

Fri, 16 Nov 2012 12:00:00 +0000


I'm sure it's no surprise that Anna loves to paint and do crafts.  She would do them all day long....picture after picture, craft after craft.  Sometimes, though, I don't run out of ideas (like after the 10th activity of the morning) or either I just don't feel like getting all the stuff needed together.

Thankfully, I found Learn.Create.Love.  It's an amazing site with awesome painting printables.  Anna actually asks to browse the site by name to see what she feels like painting.  Below are just a few of our recent creations.  You just have to check out the site!  It's a go-to when I need something quick, easy and relatively mess free for my preschooler!!














Marbled Leaves

Thu, 15 Nov 2012 13:14:00 +0000

More shaving cream fun here!!

This week we decided to make leaves.  Shaving cream is always fun!  Anna squealed when I got out the cans!  

Click here for more directions and see how we do shaving cream art!!















It's beginning to look a lot like....

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 13:53:00 +0000

Christmas!

My favorite time of the year!

I count down the days until December 1st starting January 1st.  Shh...don't tell my husband!

I have my Christmas shopping mostly done, Christmas music on my Pandora station and I'm dreaming of my December Daily album.  Although I document our everyday with Project Life, I love love love the December album.  It truly is magical....just like the season.

I'm trying to get everything in order for this year since we have a super busy December coming up full of trips to Disney World, 2nd birthdays, a girls trip to NYC, cookie parties and preschool Christmas shows.  

For most of my album I will be sticking with the kit from Studio Calico.



Beautiful, isn't it???


Anyone else doing a December Daily album?  I'd love to hear from you!!





Making Mini Books

Thu, 08 Nov 2012 12:37:00 +0000

Anna is really into storytelling right now and is starting to make up her own stories.  Most of her stories closely follow other stories that we have read or she has heard....and most of them are about Dora, the Snow Princess or Mariana the Mermaid (all from Dora books).I want to continue to encourage her storytelling so I put together these little mini books following this simple tutorial from Playful Learning.  After the books were assembled, I invited Anna over to make up some stories with me.  We talked about how stories have a beginning, middle and end and we talked about some of her favorite stories.  Of course, all the Dora stories were the top of her list so she told me a few stories and I wrote them down for her.She wanted her little books to have a picture on the front so we looked online and I printed off several pictures that correlated with her stories.Below is the story of Dora and Mariana the Mermaid.Anna carries these books with her everywhere and reads them to anyone who will listen.  She's quite proud of her books and I love that she loves them.  We will definitely be making many more!![...]



Rocket Ship Name Craft

Wed, 07 Nov 2012 16:10:00 +0000

Anna loves spelling and writing her name right now and Drew loooooves rocket ships, so when I saw this cute little name craft on Pinterest, I thought it would be lots of fun for my two.


I started by cutting up some squares of construction paper and two triangles for the top of a rocket ship.


Then Anna wrote her name on the little squares.  I wrote out Drew's name.


Next we put our names in the correct order and made our rocket ships.  For Drew, I tried to work on color recognition.


We finished them off with some "fire" and stars!








Preschool Journal: R is for Rainbow

Mon, 05 Nov 2012 12:00:00 +0000


Anna is still loving her preschool journal.  She carries around with her most places and asks to write in it a lot.  I let her draw, color or whatever she wants in it any time, but I'm always trying to think of new and creative ideas for her to incorporate into the journal.

One day last week she was really obsessed with rainbows and wanted to put one in her journal so I decided to cut out some shapes for a rainbow and let her put them in the correct order.

She loved gluing them down (she loves gluing anything).  My shapes aren't obviously the best, but she didn't seem to mind!!


After she put together the rainbow, I had her write a letter "R".  Below the rainbow is her "R".  I don't really correct her as she's writing her letters, but sometimes I will have her trace the letter after me so she can see how the letters are made.  I'm not that concerned about how she writes them.  I just love that she loves to write, color and draw.






Preschool Journal: Big and Small

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 11:00:00 +0000


This is another entry in our preschool journal.  

Anna and I were talking about big and small things one day and we decided it would be pretty cool to trace our hands to see the size difference.  I traced our hands, but she filled in our names and wrote "big" and "small" at the top of the pages.




Making Monsters

Thu, 01 Nov 2012 15:43:00 +0000

This kind of wraps up our Halloween-type crafts.  This simple painting craft is from Learn.Create.Love.  If you haven't visited them you just have to!  The site is awesome for printable painting crafts!  


Mike the monster was fun to paint and assemble for our Halloween activities!!









Hope everyone had a fabulous Halloween!!  We sure did!!  My two cuties had so much fun! 






Spooky Ghost Counting

Wed, 31 Oct 2012 11:00:00 +0000


Happy Halloween to everyone!!  We are busy having Halloween parties, making pumpkin cupcakes and eating lots and lots of candy!!


I still managed to sneak in a little learning fun at our little Halloween get together today!  I found the haunted house printable at Sarah Jane Studios.  I just cut out her template and traced it onto black construction paper.  Then I cut out and numbered some yellow windows and some numbered ghosts.

I covered both the house and the ghosts with contact paper so I could use tape on the back of the ghosts.  



Both my kiddos have loved playing with the little ghosts and the house.  Drew loves taking off the ghosts and putting them back one.  Anna loves matching the numbers up!!  

Hope everyone is having a fabulous Halloween!!


http://sarahjanestudios.com/blog/2012/10/halloween-traditions/



Preschool Journal: My Favorite Things

Tue, 30 Oct 2012 11:00:00 +0000


These pictures are probably Anna's most favorite thing ever.  She loves the pictures and she loves looking at them in her journal.

Her preschool class had each child create an "all about me" page using their favorite "things" and Anna requested to add one to her journal book.

All of the images are just printed from Google images.  I printed a thumbnail of each one and then cut them out for her.


She carefully placed each picture in her journal.


With her favorite...the mermaids....front and center!!


The journal has kind of turned into her own little "scrapbook" and I love it.  I'm sure it will be fun to look back through all her pictures, words, letters, drawings, etc.  in a few months!  They grow fast, don't they!!







Five Little Pumpkins

Mon, 29 Oct 2012 11:00:00 +0000

The "Five Little Pumpkins" story has been repeated numerous times over the past few weeks in our house.  Seriously....like every other minute.So I decided to just enjoy it and Anna and I made a little picture to go along with our story.  I drew some pumpkin shapes onto a piece of paper and she drew some faces and colored in her pumpkins.While she colored away, I cut out a "gate" for our pumpkins to sit on.  Then Anna colored some grass, sky and a moon on our picture.  And of course...it just had to have a witch (please excuse my awful representation of a witch!)Then we told the story using the pumpkins!  Anna loved this!  We've done this little activity too many times to count!  Hurry up Halloween!!  :)And in case you don't know the Five Little Pumpkins, here's our version...Five little pumpkins sitting on a gateThe first pumpkin said, "Oh my, it's getting late."The second pumpkin said "There are witches in the air."The third one said "But we don't care."The fourth one said "Let's run and run and run"The fifth one said "I'm ready for some fun"Then whoosh wind went the windAnd out went the lightsAnd the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight[...]



Making Pumpkins: A Color Mixing Experiment

Fri, 26 Oct 2012 11:00:00 +0000


I love trying to incorporate some learning into craft activities and this one is perfect for preschoolers.  

We have done lots of color mixing activities, but I figured with Halloween right around the corner we could do some mixing to make some pumpkins.  Mess free pumpkins, that is!!

You only need a ziploc bag, some yellow and red paint and a marker if you want to give your pumpkin a pretty face!


Have your kiddo squeeze some yellow paint into a ziploc bag.  (I'm pretty sure the squeezing part was Anna's favorite!)


Then add some red paint.  And squish away.


Soon you'll see your orange "pumpkin" appear!  
After we mixed our colors to make orange, I handed Anna a sharpie marker to make her pumpkin face.

Simple, easy, but educational!  Love it!




Our Fall Family Tree

Tue, 23 Oct 2012 11:48:00 +0000

Drew and I painted leaves for our fall family tree one afternoon.  It turned out to be such a cute little project and the kids loved looking at all of our family.  It was pretty simple to complete too....you know my style...simple and easy.Here's how to make one:Start by painting some "fall colors" onto a piece of paper.  Just let your child paint away (unless you have an older child who could actually paint leaves freehand).While your child is painting, cut out a tree with some branches.  Tape it up to the wall and then tape a piece of contact paper over the top with the sticky side out.  After the painting has dried, cut out leaf shapes from the paper.  I think it's pretty cool how the colors are all mixed. Then print off some pictures of your family members, tape them onto the leaves and laminate the leaves.Stick the leaves up on your tree and then play around.My two really loved seeing all of our family!Happy Fall![...]



Halloween Cookie Cutter Paintings

Mon, 22 Oct 2012 11:00:00 +0000



The kids and I did some Halloween cookie cutter paintings one rainy afternoon.  It's an easy way to pass some of that lazy day time!!