Little Leprechauns

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Well, a day late anyway…We had a lot of fun celebrating. We spent the last week of our exercise time learning a simple jig, which you can see a very liberal version of in the video 🙂 And during handicraft time Engineer designed and crafted his hat and the girls worked on their shamrock headbands. Yesterday we made mint shamrock cookies (oops, ate them before the camera came out 🙂 and talked about the trinity using the shamrock as a model. A simple, but very enjoyable holiday! What did you do for St. Patty’s?

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Ornaments!

Ornaments!

After finding that I had “undesirables” living in the kilo of whole-wheat flour I just bought,we decided to use it for our salt-clay ornaments! So we invited over some friends and had an ornament party! We’ve made them several years and in several different ways and I’ve messed with the recipe until I’ve found one that we like:

1 kilo whole-wheat flour (you could substitute any flour, corn flour for gluten-free)
1 cup salt
1 cup white (“school”/all-purpose) glue
1/4 cup cinnamon
Enough water to make stiff dough (similar to chilled cookie dough)

Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch in thickness and cut out the shapes you would like. Bake at 350 degree F for about 20 minutes or until thoroughly baked (will look and feel like a cracker). Paint and glitter to hearts content! We’ve also just left them plain, for a fun country look. Use a clear acrylic paint (we use a spray-paint) over the top to have them keep longer. We’ve had some for several years now!

Kid-Craft: Flannel Turkey

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This project turned out so cute I just had to share. We’ve been working on sewing during our handicraft time and this past week was a flannel project. My 5 yr. old wanted to make a pumpkin (pattern coming soon!) and my 8 yr. old chose a turkey. I made the pattern for the body and showed him how it would go together and he did the rest, meaning all the other details and sewing. It took him a total of probably 1-2 hours over the course of a week.  I will just add a pattern for the feathers and face or you can freelance it if you want. He also chose not to have wings but you could add them easily (even using the feather pattern). Here it goes, first time sharing an idea with a downloadable pattern and trying to explain what we did! I tried to take pictures but I would appreciate feedback so I can improve further pattern sharing:)!

Terms of Use: This and other patterns on this site represent our original ideas and work. Please do not redistribute, sell, or use this or any other pattern on this site for commercial use. Thank you!

Flannel Turkey Pattern0001

Instructions:

1.) Cut out pattern

2.) Use pattern to lightly pencil onto your desired flannel colors (we used orange for the belly and feathers, brown for the back and head, and red for some more feathers. Keep in mind that you are cutting out just one piece of flannel for each pattern piece (for each turkey you make), EXCEPT for the feathers. We used four feathers but you can cut out however many you wish, just remember that if you want your turkey to sit up by himself you’ll need him(or her:) to be balanced.

3.) Once pattern(s) have been transferred onto the flannel cut out all pieces.

4.)Sew together the belly and back first. The belly goes underneath the back, similar to a diaper. We sewed the front, then under-belly together and then turned it “inside-out” so that we could stuff it and then just sewed up the backside. (In the picture the belly is orange and the back is brown)

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5.) Tack (lightly, using small stitches) on the head just at the “neck” area so that it will stick up above the body a bit.

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6. )Tack on the eyes and beak onto the head.

7. )Sew on the feathers in a “fanned” fashion on the backside.

8.) Add any details you want (wings, feet, etc.)

9.) Set up your cute turkey to decorate for the season!

A Stampin’ Good Time!

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So while we were studying Ancient China we discussed the invention of printing. The kids had a hard time visualizing the wooden stamps so we decided to create our own version!Image

We cut a potato in half, “drew” the outline of our desired image with the point of a paring knife, and then carved away the edges on the outside of the design to create our stamp.

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Then we diluted some food coloring to use as our “ink”

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The kids all had fun, they began to understand why the invention of printing was such a big deal, and we had some fun wrapping paper by the time we were done!

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Happy Stamping!

Celebrate Spring!

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We started our celebration of spring with a some “flower power” pancakes!Image

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, we do a lot of the “traditional” Easter customs on the first day of spring to keep Easter a bit more sacred. This year, in an effort to be budget friendly and lower the sugar intake of my kids I opted for more fun activities to celebrate spring this year with just a touch of sweetness. This is the “marshmellow bouquet” that the kids made for their Dad (after eating theirs of course!)

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Can you see the egg? I thought I was so tricky but my son found even the most well-hidden eggs in our hunt this afternoon!

What is your family doing to celebrate spring?

Spring Eggs

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So, at our house, in order to keep Easter a bit more on the spiritual side, we do the more secular traditions in connection with the first day of Spring. Image

We dyed our eggs today and tomorrow the kids will get their fun chocolates and candies and we’ll hide and hunt for the eggs. The kids also like to watch an old clay-mation version movie of the “Easter” bunny. We’ve found this works well for us because then we can use the coming of spring to introduce Easter and the “New Beginning” we were all given in relation to those events.Starting with Palm Sunday on to Passover, Holy Week and Easter… we use plays, props, stories, scripture and even have a passover meal to help celebrate this wonderfully renewing time of year!

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Cookies!….well, almost

Cookies!....well, almost

Here are the butterfly metamorphosis salt-clay creations my children were creating when they decided to also “act it out” in the video I posted yesterday. I forgot to tell my husband about our activity though and he thought the one’s my two year old had created (the round ones at the top) were cookies! Oops! Needless to say he got his salt intake for the day!