Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Art Activity for Kids: Watercolor Animal Silhouettes

My kids and I did this fun art activity the other day with some friends. 
We made watercolor animal silhouettes.

 Each child picked an animal and then us moms printed it and cut it out for them. We discovered that the activity worked better for the kids if the animals were printed on cardstock. 

We really wished we had some rubber cement to adhere the animal silhouettes to the watercolor paper, but we didn't so we just used lots of tape and it worked fine. 

Then we just let the kids go! They seemed to enjoy the painting, and it was an activity that allowed for a lot of freedom and success.

I was so impressed how each child without any discussion or suggestion did it so differently. We had horizontal stripes, frames that started from the outside and worked in, outlines, radiating brush strokes, and for the little 2-year-olds just random splashes of color. So fun to see the individuality!

watercolor paper
watercolor paints
paint brushes
animal silhouettes printed and cut out on cardstock
rubber cement or in a pinch, tape

How to
adhere the silhouettes to the paper
provide brief instruction on how to use watercolor paints if necessary
let the kids create!


Monday, January 26, 2015

Body Outline Block Activity with Kids

What fun this was!
Block outlines of our body.

We were playing with blocks the other morning and came up with fun activity. 
It's perfect for the foggy cold mornings we've been having (well, when we're not out in it taking pictures of the fog at least). 

With this little active 2-year-old it was a bit of a struggle to get her to hold still--I can't believe she laid there long enough to make an out line of her body let alone for me to get a picture of it! 

We decided it needed a face. :)

This "running girl" pose was a bit trickier but it was fun too. 

Just one of the thousands of ways to use blocks when playing with kids. I've heard it said many times that blocks are the best toys a kid could have. Now after 3 children of my own, several sets of blocks, and hours and hours spent playing with them in more ways than I can count, I agree: blocks are the best. 

Give these body outlines a try sometime with you kids--if you can just get them to hold still long enough (you have to be fast!) then they will be delighted with the results. They even made a body outline of me. :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sugar and Spice Bark

Emily has told me about these cookies a few times now, and I don't know...I just never really got around to making them.

Boy was I missing out!

I made some this last holiday season, and we LOVED them!
They are such a great cookie for the holiday season due to the warm cinnamon and nutmeg in them, but it would be a shame to only make them then. 

These Sugar and Spice Bark cookies are a great texture--soft with some structure--and less sweet than the traditional cookie, which I found appealing. Of course, I really enjoyed dunking them in my hot chocolate, which completely negates any health benefits of having less sugar, but whatever. They were even perfect for that! While a lot of cookies would be overwhelmingly sweet once dunked in your hot cocoa, these were perfection. :)

So, they have the perfect texture, a subtle nice sweetness, a warm spiciness and they are just plain adorable! Sprinkled with coarse sugar and cinnamon and engraved with elegant wavy fork marks, what's not to love about them?

Many thanks for the folks over at Better Homes and Gardens for once again making such wonderful cookies. :)
Here's the recipe link:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Vegetable cups

Look how cute these little veggie cups are?  

 So cute and yummy!
It's a fun new twist on a veggie tray--everyone gets their own individual vegetable cup. 
My mom brought the supplies to make these last time we were having a dinner party at my place, and it was a big success.

Each "cup" is a hard roll that has been hollowed mostly out, filled with vegetable dip and sliced vegetables. 

They are portable, fun, attractive, and healthier than most appetizers out there.

Want to make some? Here's what you do.


Hard rolls
Vegetable dip or ranch dressing
Vegetables prepared for snacking:
Sliced carrots
Sliced cucumbers
Cherry tomatos
Sliced celery
Sugar snap peas

1.  Prepare rolls by slicing the tops off and hollowing them mostly out (not too thin!).
2. Place about 1/4 cup of your vegetable dip into each cup.
3. Arrange the vegetables in the cups, and you're done!
(You can make all the cups the same, or do what my mom and I did when we made them: leave some without tomatoes, celery, etc so your guests have options.)


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