Fun Stuff for Kids

Make It Monday – ABC Art

This past summer my kids and I created a schedule of activities to do each day of the week (to help our summer run a little smoother).  Together we came up with:

  • Make it Monday (art exploration)
  • Tell Me a Story Tuesday (read old and new stories together – usually in our storytelling tent or a special place and then  do an activity based on the story)
  • Wonderful Adventure Wednesday (go on a special outing or do a fun activity at home)
  • Tasty Treats Thursday (make a snack together)
  • Family Fun Friday (have family movie night, game night, themed dinner, etc.)

It was such a hit this past summer that we plan to do it again.  In fact, I have also started using it with my daughter on the days she doesn’t have preschool.  It gives us something to look forward to and keeps her entertained.

Thought I would share one of the ideas that was a huge hit for Make It Monday – An ABC Art Book.  This activity took us a couple of Mondays to complete and was a very interactive project.  I am a firm believer of giving a child materials to create with and letting them explore the materials on his/her own.

As you know, my son loves trains.  In looking for some ideas to do over the summer, I found an idea for a Train ABC Book by Craftulate.  This is a printable book that you can use to explore art while focusing on each letter of the alphabet.  Hank enjoyed it, but it got me thinking about other ABC art books that might be available.  In looking at the following resources, I compiled a list ways to explore art through each letter of the alphabet. I would also try giving your child a blank page and let him/her practice writing the letter at the top instead of pre-printed ABC papers.

ABC Art Ideas

Aa- Apple prints, Acrylic Paint
Bb- Blue, Brown, Black, Bubble prints, Block Stamping, Band-Aids, Beans, Bark Rubbing, Blending
Cc- Colorful, Colors, Collage, Cotton ball prints, Car Tracks, Carrot prints, Corn Collage, Coffee Paint, Cork Stamping, Celery Painting, Circle,
Dd- Dot Art (Dot Art painters, circle stickers), Diamond
Ee- Elbow painting, Eye collage (wiggly eyes), Engraving
Ff- Finger painting, Feather painting or collage, Fork painting, Fingerprint Flowers, Fabric collage
Gg- Green, Glitter Glue, Glitter, Glow,
Hh- Hand prints, Hearts, Hay, Hue
Ii- Ice cube painting, Ink (rubber stamps with a variety of inks), Illustration
Jj- Junk prints, Jewels, Joining
Kk- Keys Rubbing, Kleenex, Kaleidoscope
Ll- Lavender, Letter Collage, Leave Rubbings, Lace, Lines
Mm- Marble painting, Mosaic, Metallic
Nn- Newspaper Numbers, Nickel rubbings, Neon, Nature Rubbing
Oo- Orange, O’s (toilet paper tubes), Orange (the fruit) prints, Oval, Overlapping
Pp- Purple, Pink, Paint, Potato prints. Penny rubbings, Polka Dots, Photo Collage
Qq- Quarter rubbings, Q-tip painting, Quilt (squares of paper)
Rr- Red, Rubbings, Rainbows, Ribbon, Rectangle, Rock painting, Rice, Relief
Ss- Sponge paint, Stamping, Sand Art, Stickers, Stained Glass, Squirt Gun painting, Square Art, Stars, Shading
Tt- Torn Paper collage, Toothpick Triangles, Tissue Paper, Tire Tracks prints, Tape, Tinting
Uu- Upside-down picture, Underwater art, Unbelievable
Vv- Vegetable prints, Valentines, Vibrant Colors, Value
Ww- White, Watercolor, Wallpaper, Wooden Train Wheel Prints
Xx- X-ray (q-tips), X marks the spot map, X collage, X stamping, Xerox
Yy- Yellow, Yarn pictures, Yo-yo painting
Zz- Zigzags, Zipper rubbing

Printable Copy:  ABC_Art_Ideas

Let your imagination take flight!

Have a Great Week!


Tell Me a Story Tuesday – If You Give A Pig A Pancake

Tell Me a Story Tuesday is a day we celebrate children’s literature.  I pick one story to read with the kids, and then throughout the day we do activities inspired by that particular story.  Last week my daughter and I read the story, “If You Give A Pig A Pancake” by Laura Numeroff.  Here is a look at our day.


After breakfast we read the story (several times) together.


Find the Pig Game


We have the stuffed pig based on the story, but you can use any stuffed pig.  Faith and I took turns hiding the pig in the room, and the other one had to find it.  We worked on not peeking and giving word clues where to hunt.  She had a lot of fun.


Pig Craft and Game Time


We made about 5 pig balloons (like pictured above found on A Mommy’s Adventures blog) to use in our game time.  At first we just tried to keep one pig up in the air, then 2, 3, 4, and then we tried to get all of the pigs up in the air at the same time.


Pancakes for Lunch


Since the story was about pancakes, we decided to have pancakes, bacon, and juice for lunch.  Here is a quick, 2 ingredient recipe for pancakes from Totally the Bomb. Then Faith and I decorated our pancakes with Nutella, blueberries, strawberries, whipped cream and chocolate chips.  She had a great time making a pancake creation.


Flipping Pancakes


Faith loves getting her whole body into activities so we came up with our Flipping Pancakes activity.  Before our special day, I made some Pancake_Cards.  We laid the cards out in a path around the house.  Then Faith took a pancake flipper (I gave her a spatula from the kitchen) and we started walking the path.  When we got to a pancake, she used her flipper to flip the pancake and see what color was on the card.  Then we did the following action for that color:

  • Red – Jump up and down 5 times
  • Orange – Spin around in circles and count to 2
  • Yellow – Run in place and count to 6
  • Green – Bend down and touch your toes 4 times
  • Blue – Hop on 1 foot
  • Purple – Stretch up as high as you can and count to 3
  • Rainbow – Do a silly dance

We continued around the house until we reached the end of the path (or until she got tired).


Telling Stories


For the rest of the afternoon we relaxed and read other stories about pancakes and pigs.

  • The Runaway Pancake (an old family book)
  • Pancakes Pancakes by Eric Carle
  • The Three Little Pigs (any and all versions we can find in our collection)
  • Geraldine’s Blanket by Holly Keller


Do you have a favorite story that inspired a day of fun?

Have a Great Week!


Wonderful Adventure Wednesday – Polar Express Night

During the month of December we try to do a fun family activity a day to make the month special.  This year we are starting a new tradition – Polar Express Night.  A couple of things that you should know: 1. The Polar Express is one of my favorite books of all time;  2. The movie is already a favorite with our children.  So it’s only natural that we would incorporate it into holiday traditions. But it wasn’t until I read a post by Teach Mama  that I decided to make it an annual tradition.

So here goes, the plan for our Polar Express Night.



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During the day

  • Make Cookies

After Dinner

  • Get into Pajamas
  • Read the Book
  • Play the Polar Express Game
  • Watch the Movie  (Before the hot chocolate song starts – pause the movie and get hot chocolate and cookies for everyone to enjoy)
  • Make Polar Express Ornaments (Here is the inspiration for our Polar Express ornaments from Enchanted Homeschooling Mom.)

Do you have a favorite family tradition?

Have a Great Week!


Tasty Treat Thursday – “A Who Feast”

One of my all-time favorite holiday stories and movies is Dr. Seuss’ “The Grinch That Stole Christmas” (the original cartoon version is a family favorite).  I remember as a child eagerly anticipating the holiday season and the visit from the not-so-friendly Grinch.  Now as a parent, I love the message that the movie offers that the holiday season (this or any other holiday season) isn’t all about packages, decorations, etc., but the true meaning is something personal to each and every one of us.

This year during December family activities, I decided I wanted to have a “Who Feast.”  I saw a post by Express Yourself Creatively about a Who Pudding recipe.  This post also led me to Seussville – a magically website that I haven’t visited in quite a while.  While visiting Seussville, I found recipes for Santy Claus Grinch Treats and Who Hash and a noisemaker for the kids to make and use during a reading of the story or a showing of the movie.

Here is the plan for our “Who-liday” evening:



Read “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”



Make Grinch Treats




Make Noisemakers



Have a “Who Feast”

  • Roast Beast Sandwiches
  • Who Hash
  • Grinch Greens (Green Beans)
  • Beezlenut Splash (Green Punch – Hirschy Family Tradition)
  • Who Pudding (pudding with m&ms)



Watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”


Have a Great Week!


Family Fun Friday – Chopped Family Dinner

This month I have been sharing ideas from our families activity schedule:

  • Make it Monday (art exploration)
  • Tell Me a Story Tuesday (read old and new stories together – usually in our storytelling tent or a special place and then  do an activity based on the story)
  • Wonderful Adventure Wednesday (go on special outing or do a fun activity at home)
  • Tasty Treats Thursday (make a snack together)
  • Family Fun Friday (have family movie night, game night, themed dinner, etc.)

Last up is Family Fun Friday – Chopped Family Dinner.

Our family loves the television show Chopped, on the Food Network.  In each episode, four chefs compete. Their challenge is to take a mystery basket of ingredients and turn them into a dish that is judged on their creativity, presentation, and taste with minimal time to plan and execute. The show is divided into three rounds: “Appetizer,” “Entrée,” and “Dessert.” In each round the chefs are given a basket containing between four ingredients, and the dish each competitor prepares must contain some of each ingredient in some way.

Hank is always talking about wanting to do a Chopped Challenge here at home, so we finally did a modified version together one Friday night.  The night before the event, we looked in our pantry and fridge, selecting random items to include in our appetizer, entrée and dessert baskets.  Here is what we came up with:



Appetizer Basket –

  • Fresh Cauliflower
  • Canned Salmon
  • Pineapple Chunks
  • Canned Garbanzo Beans



Entrée Basket –

  • Chicken Apple Sausages
  • Fresh Cabbage
  • Vegetarian Vegetable Soup
  • Cheddar Cheese Crackers



Dessert Basket –

  • Mini Chocolate Chips
  • Frozen Sweet Potatoes
  • Jiffy Popcorn
  • Salted Roasted Peanuts (in shell)


Our rules are simple –

  • Use everything in the basket
  • You can use items from the fridge and pantry as needed
  • No time limit.

On the day of the event, Hank helped me gather all of the ingredients together and place them in the baskets.  Then when my husband got home from work the fun began.  We started with a family meeting, talking about what we could make with the ingredients in each basket and coming up with a game plan.

We divided the tasks and got cooking – appetizer first.  We decided on salmon/pineapple patties with a side of roasted ranch cauliflower and garbanzo beans.


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Once things were underway with the appetizer, we also started the base for entrée – a cabbage/sausage soup with a butter cheesy cracker crumble.

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After both of those were well underway, we started on the dessert – sweet potato pudding w/whipped cream topped with homemade caramel corn flavored with roasted peanuts and chocolate chips.

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When all was said and done – Hank was so excited to try all of our creations.  To tell you the truth, we really did a pretty good job.  We had a lot of fun preparing the meal, and Hank learned a lot about working in the kitchen and communicating and working with others during the experience!  In fact he wants to do it again, but next time he wants to do “Guys Grocery Games” challenge.




Have a Great Week!


New Year – New Challenge

So many times we get caught up in our lives and don’t take the time to be kind to each other. I want to teach my children that being kind is something we should do all the time, not just on holidays or special occasions.  So this year our family is going to work on Kindness – with each other, with our family, with our friends, and with others we don’t know.

I remember that when my son was in preschool, he learned how to “Fill A Bucket.”  At the beginning of the school year the children read the story, How Full is Your Bucket for Kids, ByTom Rath and Donald Clifton.  Then they worked on filling buckets throughout the year.  Basically,  while at school, if someone is caught being kind to someone else, the child gets to put a cotton ball into his/her bucket.  On the other hand, if a child was not being kind, he/she had to lose a ball from the bucket – Dipping from the Bucket.  At the end of each week, the kids brought their individual buckets together and poured the cotton balls into one big bucket.  When the large bucket was full, the school would have a kindness party to celebrate.  My son still tells us if he thinks we are “Dipping from His Bucket.”

The other day I started looking at other ways to promote kindness in our home.  Some of the resources I explored were:

So I combined some ideas into our very own:

kindness challenge


  1. On January 1st, we read the story “How Full Is your Bucket for Kids,” introduced our “Bowl of Kindness” that will sit in the middle of the dining room table, and made kindness wands.
  2. Each week (as the kids tell me) we are going to write down how we have filled someone else’s bucket (caught myself being kind to others), or another person has filled our own bucket (caught someone else being kind).  We will put those slips of paper into our Bowl of Kindness.
  3. At the end of the week we will join the acts of kindness together into a chain and count how many acts of kindness were caught during the week.
  4. Each month we will do at least 1 act of kindness as a family (donating to the food pantry, making cards for soldiers, donating toys, making cookies for neighbors, etc.)
  5. When the Kindness Chain gets to100 links, we will have some kind of celebration – special meal, night out, go away for the weekend, etc.




What new tradition are you starting this year?


Have a Great Week!


No School – No Problem


If your child’s schedule is like mine, we just got back into the school routine, and now we have a couple of scheduled days off in the near future.  Here are some activities that I plan to use to give my son something to look forward to for the days at home.



Icy Monsters from Best Toys 4 Toddlers



Art Bot from Hands On As We Grow



Lego Challenge Cards from Playdough to Plato



Paper Cup Party Popper Craft from Red Ted Art



21 Fun And Delicious Recipes You Can Make With Your Kids from Buzzfeed Life


Snowstorm in a Jar from Growing a Jeweled Rose



Jingle and Seek Game from Fantastic Fun and Learning


Indoor Picnic from Hoosier Homemade


Do you have a special activity planned for your child?

Have a Great Week!


Family Activity – Photo Scavenger Hunt

Lately my son has been really into photography.  He loves taking pictures of EVERYTHING – finished puzzles, toy trains, etc.  The other day we decided to turn his love of taking pictures into a family outing – a photo scavenger hunt.  Basically you go around (either on foot or by car) to take pictures on a list.  Where we live, the county has the Garfield Trail that lends itself really well to a photo scavenger hunt.  We drove around to the different Garfield statues and took pictures of one or more of us posing with each Garfield.  How fun!  Eventually I will get around to printing the pictures from the outing, and we will use them to make a scrapbook.

You can do it too.  Find some interesting things in your home county (or surrounding area) to use on a photo scavenger hunt.  You could also use one of the readily available   “Photo Challenges” (usually designed for a month or special season) or use one of the resources below for inspiration.



How to Create a Photo Scavenger Hunt from Premeditated Leftovers  



Click-tastic Photo Scavenger Hunt with Kids from My Kids Adventures   


Photo Scavenger Hunt from Skunkboy  

Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt

Neighborhood Photo Scavenger Hunt from Pretty Printables For You


These are just a few ideas for photo scavenger hunts.  Search Pinterest for even more ideas.

Have a Great Week!


A Rainbow of Fun


The other day I read a blog post from Preschool Book Club inspired by the book A Rainbow of My Own, by Don Freeman. This got me to thinking about having a rainbow day at home with my daughter. So I did some searching and came up with some activities that we can do some special day in the near future.


Rainbow Activities



Books for Storytime:

  • A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman
  • Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
  • What Makes a Rainbow? by Betty Ann Schwartz



Music to use with the Rainbow Shakers:

  • Rainbow Connection by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher
  • Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole
  • The World Is a Rainbow by Greg and Steve
  • Minnie’s Rainbow by Disney

*videos for each of these songs can be found on youtube


Ideas for Rainbow-Themed Food:

  • Rainbow Pancakes
  • Rainbow Fruit Salad (Red – Strawberries, Orange – Mandarin Oranges, Yellow – Pineapple, Green – Green Grapes, Blue – Blueberries, Purple – Purple Grapes)
  • Rainbow Lunch (Salad with Red – Tomato, Orange – Pepper, Yellow – Cheese, and Green – Lettuce, Blue – Blue Tortilla Chips, Purple – Crangrape Juice)


Have a Great Week!