Saturday, October 30, 2010

Draw a Rhyme Story

I used to use draw-a-rhyme stories when I taught.  They help the kids to practice reading and rhyming, are interactive, and a lot of fun!

This draw-a-rhyme story is from the book, Phonemic Awareness by Creative Teaching Press.  And this story about a monster would be perfect to share for Halloween!

For this story, you draw a picture together by reading the story and filling in the missing rhyming words (those that are underlined).  The missing words will let you know what to draw next.

When you draw a monster, it is said,
you always begin with his head.

He'll be able to see when he flies,
if we draw two bright eyes.

To tell which way the cold wind blows,
our monster will need a great big nose.

Look to the north and look to the south,
now we can give our monster a mouth.

Some up above and some beneath,
our monster has a lot of teeth.

Now, under his chin, let's just check,
that's where we should put his neck.

So he won't be tipsy-toddy,
let's give him a polka-dot body.

If he really, really begs,
I guess we could give him legs.

To make our monster nice and neat,
we'll have to teach him to wipe his feet.

A notice sent by air mail!
We can't forget the monster's tail.

He isn't fierce, he isn't hairy,
but don't you think he's a little scary?

We did this tonight and these are my kids' monster creations:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Haunted House

I will admit that I am not the only creative and crafty one in our house.  My kids can be pretty creative and my husband comes up with some really crafty ideas too.  Most recently, he made this haunted house from scrap wood he had in his workshop.  He built it, painted it, added the details and the light.  It's about 2 feet tall and sits in our front window for all our trick-or-treaters to see.  I just wanted to share because he did such an awesome job!

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Chocolate covered pretzels are my go-to quick party snack to celebrate anything!  They are so easy to make but look so colorful and fun, and the kids LOVE them!

To make these, you need pretzel rods (short or long), chocolate chips (I like milk chocolate), vegetable oil, sprinkles and a wax paper lined cookie sheet.

I start by lining my cookie sheet with wax paper.  Then, I set up a double boiler to melt my chocolate chips.  I add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the melting chocolate to help it adhere to the pretzels better.

Once the chocolate is melted, I spoon it onto the pretzels, leaving a small amount of the pretzel uncovered for holding.

Then, I hold the pretzel over an empty bowl and shake some sprinkles on (the bowl will catch the extra sprinkles).  After the pretzel stick is covered well in sprinkles, I lay it on the wax covered cookie sheet. 

After all the pretzels are done, I put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator over night to set.  If you need these right away, you could probably let them set for an hour or two in the refrigerator. 

If serving at a class party, I will just lay them out on a plate.  If adding them to goody bags, I slip each pretzel into a pretzel bag for the long pretzel rods or smaller treats bags for the shorter pretzel rods.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Bracelets

I saw this really cute idea over at brown paper packages to make a halloween bracelet out of candy corn pumpkins (thanks for sharing your idea Kierste!).  They were so darn cute I just had to give it a try!  I used curling ribbon instead of regular ribbon but they turned out great.  My daughter loved it!

I knew my son would want something as well, and thought the pumpkin bracelets might be a little too girly for him, so I made some cool halloween cuffs for him.

I used an old pair of halloween pajamas and cut the cuffs off.

I cut some Halloween shapes out of felt and hot glued them to the cuff.  For this one, I cut out a skeleton head and 2 bones.  He thought they were pretty cool!

Halloween Pillowcase Dress

I made this pillowcase dress for my daughter for Halloween. I saw this Hello Kitty fabric at my local Joann's and knew I had to make something super cute out of it for her. I added some cute detail, like the purple ribbon ties at the top and the pom pom trim along the bottom. I used some of the leftover pom pom trim to add to the bottom of a pair of black leggings. And used some leftover fabric and ribbon scraps to make the headband.

She has gotten lots of compliments, but best of all - she loves it!

Sharing this cute craft:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Crafting with the Stars

I'm really excited to have had the opportunity to enter a really awesome contest - Crafting With the Stars!

If chosen as one of 12 winners, you get to work one-on-one with a craft blog superstar!  How exciting would it be to get picked?!?

You can go to Sew Dang Cute for all the details and to check out my entry (I'm way at the bottom with the fleece pocket scarf I made).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Halloween Goody Tubes

I've been making these Halloween goody holders for my son's class for the past few years and they are always a big hit.  I love that we can use items we already have around the house and that they are pretty easy to put together.  Even the kids could help make these!  To make these cute goody tubes you need toilet paper or paper towel rolls, party streamers, and a glue gun.  You can use googly eyes and colored paper or craft foam to add the details.

I start by adding the goodies to the tube.

Then, I put a small strip of hot glue on the tube to keep the streamer in place and wrap it around from end to end twice.

Next, I hold the streamer in place and start wrapping it around the rest of the tube until it is covered.  I add one more strip of hot glue to hold the other end of the streamer in place.  Then, using googly eyes, colored paper and craft foam I add on the details.

You can make a bat...

a spider...

a mummy...

or even a witch!

Happy Halloween!

Sharing this craft at the following blogs:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fall Exploration Box

Fall keeps sneaking in and out on us here in Maryland. Two days ago my kids were in shorts and t-shirts and this morning it was pants, long sleeves and jackets! But, the signs of Fall are all around us. So a few weeks ago, we gathered some Fall items to add to our exploration box - a box of items that the kids can explore and observe.

This month our exploration box is all about Fall.  This box was pretty easy to put together because we found almost everything right in our own backyard or at our local garden center.  The Fall exploration box includes leaves, acorns, pinecones, pine needles, chestnuts, walnuts, twigs, corn, corn tassels, small pumpkins, small gourds, and fall grass (sorry not everything is pictured, my little scientists were busy exploring some of them).

The kids also have science journals and magnifying glasses to assist them with their exploring.  It's really fun to see what they do on their own when checking out the exploration box.  In their journals, my daughter did some leaf rubbings and my son drew the items he observed.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Leaf Suncatcher

Here's another fun and easy fall craft you can do with your little one.  For this craft all you need is some clear contact paper, yarn or string, a hole punch, and a collection of fallen leaves.

First, take a little nature walk and collect some leaves.  Try to find leaves that are newly fallen and not dried out. 

Next, cut a long rectangle from the contact paper.

Then, peel off the backing to half of the contact paper and start arranging your leaves on the sticky side.

When you are finished, peel off the rest of the backing and fold the contact paper over, sticky side to sticky side. 

Decide how you would like to hang your leaf suncatcher and use the hole punch to punch two holes at the top.  String through a length of yarn or string and tie a knot.  Then hang in the window for all to see!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Guest Blogging at Cool Progeny

Did you hear?  I'm guest blogging over at (cool) progeny today with a bunch of fun fall activities!

Heather has done a great job putting together all the coolest activities for your kids and family that are happening in and around the Baltimore area.  Be sure to check out the blog and follow on Facebook to keep up to date on the latest happenings, contests, and more!

A big thanks to Heather, for welcoming me to (cool) progeny to share some fun craft ideas with her readers!

You can check out my guest blog HERE.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sweater Vase

Remember I made that twine vase to pretty up one of my many plain glass vases?  Well, I still have a few plain glass vases and decided to pretty up another one!

This time, I used an old cable knit sweater.  This sweater of mine had been totally spent, just didn't fit well anymore (after a dryer incident), and had a lot of pilling.  But, it was too cute to just throw away, so I decided to repurpose it.

So, I cut off one of the sleeves, slipped it over the vase, and gave my vase a new look!  I used a little spray adhesive to keep the sweater in place and trimmed it up along the bottom.  This was so simple to create and this vase will add a nice textured look to my fall and winter decorations.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Elmer's Craft It! Club

I just heard about the new Elmer's Craft It! Club today and thought I would share it with you.  "As a member of Craft It! with Elmer's you'll get the inside scoop first, plus chances to receive exclusive free samples!  Watch for crafting newsletters, information on the latest featured designers and new product updates to be delivered directly to your inbox."

You can see all the details and sign up at the Elmer's website

Leaf Tokens

My kids are big nature collectors, so Fall is one of their favorite seasons for this reason alone.  Unfortunately, leaves are one of those items that just don't keep very well.  So, when I saw an idea in Family Fun magazine to make leaf impressions in clay, I knew they would love it!

We started off by collecting leaves in different sizes and shapes.  The kids rolled out small portions of clay, and placed a leaf (right side up) onto the clay.

Using the rolling pin, the kids gentle pressed the leaf into the clay.

And, using the stem, gently pulled the leaf off the clay, leaving a really neat impression!  My son especially loved this because they reminded him of fossils.  This was a really easy, fun and inexpensive craft to do.  Hope you'll give it a try!