The Gingerbread Houses are Coming!

It’s that time of year again…for me to make a bazillion gingerbread houses.  In past years I have made them both for the mommy’s group I used to belong to and also my son’s school.  This year I made them only for my  son’s class so the number was smaller, only 18.

One of the most popular attractions on my blog is the free mini gingerbread house template with recipes for the gingerbread and the icing.  It’s a one-stop-shop and it is very popular on the web.  During November and December I get about 200 hits a day just from that one link.  My pattern has been downloaded thousands of times in two years.  For the full instructions and free templates, see this link to the original post:

Free Gingerbread House Instructions and Template Download

DSCN2784-1

Mini Gingerbread House

DSCN2785

DSCN2783

Aren’t they adorable?!  And this made my heart smile:

DSCN2787

DSCN2788

600_20304957

DSCN1303

photo(9)

Toddler Square Toss/Sort Game

When the kids are bored, sometimes I randomly make up silly games to entertain them because the brain strain to make up a silly game is less than what it takes to deal with whiny kids.  :)  So as a result, I am sharing an easy, fun and successful activity which you can try with your children.  All it requires is some painter’s tape and random colored/shaped objects.

Toddler Square Toss

Use painter’s tape to make a tic-tac-toe box on the floor.  Then give instructions to the kids that the boxes are numbered 1-9 from left to right, top to bottom (use very simple terms to explain the numbered boxes of course).  Then use colored shaped objects as the “tossers”.  We chose pretend food shapes from a play kitchen.  When the game starts, instruct them one-at-a-time to:

Choose a green one and toss in square 1…or

Choose a red one and toss in square 5…etc.

My son is almost 5 and he loved the challenge and the math involved and trying to toss it into the right square so that it stayed without bouncing out.  My daughter is 2.5 years and we gave her more simple instructions like:

Choose a red one and place it next to the bacon…

Choose a green one and place it next to the croissant…

She really loved finding the right food items and colors.  The numbered squares were a bit tricky for her, but just naming objects and placing colors was great.  That’s actually her running out of the picture after placing her item successfully.

Give it a try on some rainy day when you are stuck inside with the kids!

Thanksgiving Skittles Turkey Activity

I love this idea for a quick and fun holiday activity for the little ones.  This is called a Skittles Turkey, and as you would guess, you give them Skittles candies to sort by color and place in the circle areas.

Skittles Turkey

I saw this cute idea on the website makinglearningfun.com.  Click the link to see the original.  However, their version had WAY too many slots for Skittles in my opinion.  I mean WAY too many.  My kids would be bouncing off the walls!  So I made this “reduced Skittles version”.  My version only requires 10 Skittles which is plenty enough for one sitting.

Free download below:

Build a Fort!

One night a few weeks ago, we were bored and I couldn’t think of anything interesting for the kids to do.  I walked into my bedroom and got an idea.  Build a fort!  And the kids loved it!  I sent my husband along with the kids on an “errand” to get them out of the house.  While they were gone, I made this surprise for them.

Step 1:Find an unsuspecting four-poster bed to overpower.

DSCN2338

Step 2:Gather all the sheets you have in your house and start attaching them to the posts.

DSCN2340

Step 3:Have fun inside!

DSCN2344

DSCN2345

DSCN2346

DSCN2347

Kids Craft- Spring Caterpillars

This is a cute and very easy preschool or toddler craft for spring.  I saw this at my son’s school and wanted to share it.  It requires paper egg cartons (our teacher solicited the parents to gather everyone’s used ones), some Tempera paint, a marker for the eyes (or pre-made googly eyes) and pipe cleaners.

Spring Caterpillars!

DSCN1845

Cut the egg cartons and have the children use the Tempera paint to color them.  Draw on the eyes and help them poke in the pipe cleaners.  Super easy.  They can help with the wall display too, if you choose to have one!

Spring Caterpillars Craft

Spring Caterpillars Wall Display

DSCN1844

You can include this activity along with lesson plans to learn about the morphing stages of butterflies.