Category: Projects

Ten Ways to Make Folding Laundry Fun (and Educational!)

folding laundry tipsLaundry. A part of life that you cannot escape. My oldest started helping me “fold” laundry when he was about 11 months. I use the word “fold” very lightly since he usually just threw the clothes out of the laundry basket. We always had fun, though. He now helps me fold, and, for a kid his age, he doesn’t fold that badly. (I sometimes refold the stuff when he isn’t looking, but that is  just for my peace of mind.) My little one is now at the stage where he takes everything out of the basket. He has started to put articles of clothing into the drawers, which lets me know he is understanding the process. (I usually take them out and fold them nicely. Again, for my peace of mind.)  (more…)

Earth Day Project–Using Materials from Around the House

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Earth day is such an important concept for our kids. And not just the one day but all year round. Every little thing we do helps to protect our mother Earth. We have one planet and we need to be careful with it .
Today I want to share with you a project I did with my boys that uses materials you already have, which goes with the whole reduce, reuse, recycle mantra! (more…)

Leap Day Activities!

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Leap years always excite me. I don’t know anyone who has a February 29th birthday.  But the idea of having one is kind of cool. (Unless you are that person and you only celebrate your birthday every four years. Still kind of cool though!) Nonetheless,  this day seems special to me.

I decided I wanted to research some fun activities to do with the little ones and came across this site. There are lots of activities. My favorite was creating a time capsule that would be opened four years later on the next leap day. Waiting four years to open it is totally doable! We have not completed this yet but when we do I’m going to have my little ones choose a small toy to include in our box. I’d also like to include pictures of us, a letter telling about our life now, and some fun things we have done. A survey about our likes and interests would be fun too but my boys will need help completing it. In four years, though, they will be able to write most of it themselves. Crazy!




 

In retrospect, on the last Leap Day in 2012, we had no kids. I was only eight weeks pregnant with my first. A lot has changed in these last four years. I can’t wait to see what life will be like in 2020 on our next leap year. Let’s try to take it slow. Time has a way of speeding up when you least expect it!
I hope you all have an amazing  Leap Day!  Live (or should I say Leap) it up :)

What are some fun activities you will be doing on Leap Day? Comment below!

You can also contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

A fun( and very last minute) Thanksgiving Project: Baby Food Jar Turkey

I always do my best work at the last minute. I think things through so much but my best ideas come through when I am down to the wire. Today, I am going to share with you a cute and very easy Thanksgiving gift idea I am going to send my oldest in for his teachers. You can use this for anyone or even as a seating card on Thanksgiving.

Materials:

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Clean baby food jar with the label peeled off

hot glue gun (you can use Elmer’s glue but I was in a pinch and hot glue holds things in place better. If you use a hot glue gun, then this project is NOT for the kiddos.)

marker

Turkey template (Click here for the template I used)

scissors

Step 1: Fill the baby food jar with candy corn all the way to the top. Make sure that you can put the lid back on.

Step 2: Cut out the turkey template. Glue the face together. Then Glue the face on to the front of the turkey.

Step 3: On each of the turkey’ feathers I wrote something my son liked about his teachers. We discussed why he was thankful for each of his teachers and then I transferred it on to the feathers. I then hot glued them onto the jar.

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**I didn’t paint the lid of the jar. I probably should have to finish the look of the turkey but life got the best of me. (And I covered his teacher’s name. You can never be too careful 😉 .) It still looks cute right?

And there you have a cute and very easy Thanksgiving gift. It is also something from the heart. Aren’t those the best gifts?!

I hope you enjoy making these!

A simple, yet fun, Halloween Project: Candy Corn Garland

hi everyone! I know I have been MIA for awhile. I have finished my online course for this semester. The school gives you until January to finish it but I did it in five weeks. Every nap time, every time after the kiddos went to sleep, pretty much every waking moment,  I was focused on that class. Now, some (or maybe very little) free time. On to the fun stuff!!

I found this simple Halloween project in the October 2015 issue of Highlights magazine. My three year old loved helping me and was even more excited to pick a place to hang it. (I have conceded to the fact that my decorations will not look neat until my kids are 15. I don’t mind, though, He has so much fun with it!) What is even better is that you most likely have all of the supplies at home.

Here are the materials you will need to make:

Candy Corn Garland

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white paper plates (I suggest getting the ones that do not have a wax coating. It will be easier to color.)

yellow and orange crayons

black yarn

a small can from your cabinet

scissors

hole puncher

Step 1: Place the can in the middle of the paper plate. Trace it with the yellow crayon.

Step 2: Leave the inside of the circle white. Color from the outside of the traced circle to the indent on the plate right before the crimps yellow. Then, color the crimped part at the top of the plate orange.

Step 3: **This step involves scissors*** Cut the plate in half. Then cute each half in half. Then cute each quarter in half. You will end up with eight slices, or eight pieces of “candy corn”.

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Step 4. You can repeat these steps with another plate if you want your garland to be longer. Then make two holes at the top of each candy corn with the hole puncher.

Step 5: Weave the black yarn through the holes of the candy corn. Once they are all on, you can hang it up and then adjust each piece to make it look even.

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And, tada! You have your own candy corn garland! I know the crayon looks pale in the picture. The plates we used had a waxy feel to them. That is why i mentioned to get plates without. I think next year we might use paint. if you decide to use paint, send me a picture. I would love to see!

Have fun with this project! I know we did :).

Decorating for birthdays

Sometimes I feel like I spread myself too thin. But this is my thinking. I want my kids to grow up knowing their Mommy tried her hardest. It might not have been smooth sailing all the time. But, hopefully,  it will have been a memorable childhood.
So, here is a short post about decorating for my son’s birthday.

Finding Paw Patrol decorations can be hard. And spending money on decorations annoys me. So, Google has become my friend. Ask and ye shall find. I found a happy birthday banner, paw patrol characters, and I even made my own paw patrol wrapping paper.  (I had found a roll on Amazon for $20. That wasn’t happening!)

I found most of my printables from here. Big shout out to Nick Jr. for having this available!
Here are some pictures of the final product.

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Let me know what you think. And how do you make your little’s days special?

Fun first day of school picture project

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The new school year is well underway.  School supplies are bought. Teachers are met.  Friendships are starting to form. First day of school pictures taken.
Then you ask yourself,  ” How do I share these beautiful first day photos with my loved ones?”. Sure, you can email them. That is a very 2015 thing to do. I am more of a hands-on project person. Hence, the following super cool project you can do with your kids and share with everyone special in your life.
I cannot take responsibility for creating this project. I found this in the September issue of Highlights magazine High Five. It is a school bus with your kid’s pictures as the windows. And the materials are definitely things you have at home.
The materials you will need are:

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Yellow construction paper
Empty paper towel roll
Glue
Crayons
Pictures of your lovelies from the first day of school
Step 1: Fold the construction paper in half like a hamburger (if you aren’t sure what that means, look here. This is a throwback to my teaching days). With the crease at the top, cut a square out from the top right. I also put tape at the bottom to keep the two ends together.

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Step 2: **This is an adult step** Cut the paper towel roll into 2 inch pieces. Then cut a slit in the top of each piece.

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(While I was doing this I had my son decorate the yellow school bus. His idea of decorating at this point in his life is scribbling, which actually turned out great for the final product.)

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Step 3: Glue the pictures to the school bus. Let it dry completely before you do step 4. Here is what it looked like in the magazine :

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Step 4: Place the yellow school bus into the paper towel wheels where you made the slit. And, tada, you have a beautiful keep sake of your kid’s first day of school photos.

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We made one each for both grandmas and one for ourselves. Simple and soooo cute!
I hope this project puts a smile on someone’s face in your life.
You can contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

There’s nothing like good friends and a friendly project exchange

Happy Wednesday loyal readers!
Today’s post is twofold. One part of being a teacher is the socialization with your colleagues. You become very close with the teachers on your grade, and most likely, with the grade above and below you. However, teaching can be a very solitary profession. Once class starts, your door closes and it is you and your students for most of the day. You see other teachers in the hallway. Most times you only have time for a friendly “Hi” and “How are you?”. Then the bell rings and it is show time again.
Since becoming a mommy, as well as a stay at home mom, I have become close with two great mommies. I worked with them in the same building for many years and we use to just say hi as we passed in the hallway. Motherhood and our common bond of having all boys (there are five boys between the 3 of us) have brought us together as wonderful friends. We have had countless email chains and numerous playdates.
Since all three of us are teachers, many of our conversations are about projects we do with our children. Yes, I admit it: I do run my home slightly like being in a classroom. You can take a teacher out of the profession (for awhile), but you can’t take the profession out of the teacher. The three of us swap project ideas all the time. This simple project was given to us by Vanessa. Thank you Vanessa for this super idea!! (And Tracy, don’t worry. One of your project ideas will show up here soon :). )

For those of you who have toddlers and want to foster their knowledge of colors, you will love this. It is simple too.
These are the materials you will need:
Large sheet of paper (I used chart paper)
3 pictures of objects that are red, blue, green, and yellow (or any colors you choose. I used Google images)
Markers
Crayons
Glue or tape

On the large paper make four sections. Label each section with the color name. Put all of the pictures in front of your little one and let them categorize the pictures into the correct category. Let them glue or tape the pictures on. My son loved this part! You can then ask them the name of the pictures. I decided to write the name of each object after my son told me. We also went over the letter sounds of each beginning letter. My son didn’t want to stop so I gave him crayons that corresponded with each group to color each section. Below is a picture of the final product:
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We had a lot of fun with this! Since this winter has been super cold and being stuck inside because I’m not taking a newborn out in this weather, projects like this are a lifesaver. Thanks again Vanessa!