Terrific Thursday Blog Hop! Week 42

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Welcome to Terrific Thursday blog hop, hosted by Rondi from WAHM Resource Site and Vicky from Mess For Less. Together, we are hoping to create an awesome weekly blog hop to find new blogs and meet new blog friends.

Each week we will pick a random blog to be the guest host. This weeks guest host for the #3 spot is Domestically Seasoned!

The Guidelines for participating in the Terrific Thursday blog hop are as follows:

1. Please grab the blog hop button to spread the word. 
2. Please follow the two hosts and guest host – WAHM Resource Site and Mess For Less, and guest host  Domestically Seasoned via Google Friend Connect (feel free to follow on Twitter and Facebook as well).
3. Please do not link up your giveaways, blog hops, etc. (These will be deleted.)
Link up your blog, visit and follow the blogs that interest you and have fun! If you follow our blogs and leave a comment, we will always follow you back!

Now, let’s get blog hoppin’ and have some fun!

You only need to add your link to one linky for it to show up on all participating blogs. The linkys will open every Wednesday by 11:30pm CST

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Kid Made Christmas Ornaments

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We just put up our tree and the kids were excited to decorate it with some ornaments that they made.  I was thrilled with how they came out and how easy they were to make.  With a few simple supplies that you probably already own, you can make some fun and whimsical Christmas ornaments with your little ones.

christmas ornaments made by kids, popsicle stick ornaments

Supplies you will need:
  • Colored Popsicle sticks
  • Glitter
  • Glue and brush
  • Pom poms
  • Ribbon

I was thrilled to receive a box of crafting goodies from http://www.craftprojectideas.com.  Included in the box o'fun were colored Popsicle sticks and glitter shakers.  Don't have colored Popsicle sticks? No problem.  You will be jazzing these things up with tons of colorful glitter anyway.  While the kids were napping, I used hot glue to construct these snowflakes out of four Popsicle sticks.  You could totally have your kids do this with white glue, but I knew mine would not have the patience to wait for them to dry.  Also, with hot glue I know they will last for many years to come.

The kids "painted" their snowflakes with glue...

And then started shaking the glitter.  I just love these little glitter shakers.  They kept the mess in one place and were just so fun for the kids to shake.


When the snowflakes were dry, I glued some ribbon to the back and then the kids hung them up on the Christmas tree.  

The snowflakes turned out so well that I decided to make more ornaments using our cool new supplies.  Using my glue gun again, I made some Christmas trees out of green Popsicle sticks.  I used four Popsicle sticks to make the tree.  For the smaller branches on top I just broke the sticks in half.  They had some jagged edges so I just cut them off.  

Next, I gave the kids some pom poms and glue so they could decorate their tree with "Christmas balls."  

"A" is busy gluing on pom poms.  She made sure to cover every surface of the tree!

B left a little space between her pom poms.

Can you tell who made which tree?

Hanging on the tree.

Thanks to http://www.craftprojectideas.com/ for the wonderful craft items!  If you want some for yourself you can find their craft supplies at Walmart.

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Disclosure: I received no monetary compensation for this post.  I received the products to try and all opinions expressed are my own.  

This post contains affiliate links from Amazon.

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Pattern Block Math Game

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When I taught Kindergarten, one of my favorite teaching tools were pattern blocks.  Kids can explore  mathematical concepts such as shapes, symmetry, fractions and much more.  You can also create some really great art using these blocks.

In my teaching days, I created these pattern block template cards for my students to use.  They are very easy to make.  I just laid some pattern blocks in a design on a large index card then traced them, colored them in, and covered the cards with clear contact paper.  The numbers in the corner were just so I could keep track of the cards.  I recently found the cards and the pattern blocks in a closet and brought them out for my three year olds to explore.

The kids had a great time playing this fun game.  They were able to match up the pieces and complete the designs.  The girls were very proud when they were able to complete a card!  

When the girls finished their cards, they started using the blocks in other ways.  B built a pattern block tower.

"A" created an elaborate design that she said was a giraffe.  

I was so happy to see how the girls expanded on this activity.  The blocks kept them busy and playing for some time.

For some more easy math activities check out: You Can Count on Me

Linking to: ABC and 123, Red Ted Art
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Guest Post from Teaching "Good" Eaters: Making Oobleck

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I am so excited today because Julie from Teaching "Good" Eaters is here to share a fun and messy kids activity with us.  Over at Teaching "Good" Eaters, Julie helps all of us parents of picky eaters (I know I am not the only one!) find ways to make eating more fun and less stressful.  I am all for that and I always find plenty of good kid friendly recipes and ideas there.  

I am so pleased to be able to guest post here at “Mess for Less!” When I discovered Vicky’s blog, and saw the title, one thing stood out in my mind: Oobleck!  If there’s one thing that is both very messy, and very inexpensive- It is Oobleck.

So, what is Oobleck?  Named after the mysterious substance that falls from the sky in Dr. Seuss's "Bartholomew and the Oobleck," quite simply, it is cornstarch and water. However, when mixed in just the right ratio, the result is both a liquid and a solid. Apply pressure or friction and it acts like a solid. Remove the
pressure and it melts into a liquid.

To make Oobleck you need only two ingredients: cornstarch and water.  I used a ratio of one box of cornstarch to 1 ½ cups of water. Most recipes recommend a ratio of 2 parts cornstarch to one part water, but I often find it takes a little bit of experimentation to get it just right.

Start by putting your cornstarch into a bowl, bucket or bin.  Then, slowly add the water and mix it with your hands. Continue to mix the Ooblek, adding water, until you achieve a consistency that resists against your
hand when you pull it, but seems to melt when your hand relaxes.

The more kids who will be playing with the Oobleck, the larger your container should be and the more Oobleck you’ll want to have. I was going to have my three kids plus one of my neighbors, so I made 4 batches split into 2 large buckets.

My older kids have played with Oobleck before, but this was a first for my little one. He was a little unsure when he first put his hands in the Oobleck...

But it didn't take long before he was fully engaged in the fun! (Perhaps overly engaged? Check out the Oobleck in his hair!)

The kids spent quite a long time simply grabbing handfuls of Oobleck and letting it drip off their hands.

After a while, I joined in the fun and showed them that you could grab a handful and roll it into a ball...

and then, stop applying friction and allow it to melt.

If you punch Oobleck, it will react like a solid, and your hands will stay on top, but if you stop applying pressure, your hands will sink into the Oobleck.

After about an hour, we washed everyone off (a bucket of warm water did the trick) and came inside to do Oobleck dribble painting.

I thinned the Oobleck just slightly with a little bit more water and then added food coloring.

I covered the table with brown craft paper ($1 at Dollar Tree) and let the kids dip into the paint cups and dribble the Oobleck onto the paper with their fingers.

We threw away the paper when we were done, so we were sure to take lots of pictures to capture their art.

Have you ever played with Oobleck before? If not, I encourage you to give it try. You're kids will have a blast (and I bet you will too!) If you decide to try an "Oobleck Adventure," be sure to stop back and let use know how it went!

Thank you Julie!  How awesome was that?  I love how the kids made some colorful drip paintings after they were done playing with the Oobleck.  We will have to give it a try.  Please stop by Teaching "Good" Eaters for more great ideas like this one.  

Here are a few of my favorites from Julie:
There's Love in Your Lunch
Scaffold Your Way to a Healthier PB and J
Where to Start with Picky Eaters
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Heaven is for Real for Kids

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I received the book "Heaven is for Real for Kids" to review.  The book, published by Thomas Nelson,  is by Colton Burpo as told to his parents Todd and Sonja Burpo. When Colton was 4 he was hospitalized and claims to have visited heaven and come back.  This book chronicles his experiences there and his message that Jesus really loves children.  The book is recommended for kids ages 4-8.  I shared it with my 3 year old and she really enjoyed it and was able to follow along as I read.

We have talked about heaven with our kids and they know that God and Jesus live there.  This book helped give a picture to this place we have been talking about.  My daughter just loves the book.  She calls it the "Jesus book" and enjoys all the colorful illustrations.  The book is very captivating for her.  She recently fell and bruised her knee.  She was very upset and went and found "Heaven is for Real for Kids," sat down on the sofa, looked at the book and calmed down.  

Here you can see some of the colorful illustrations.  To view more, check out the Heaven is for Real for Kids flip book which will give you a good representation of what the book will be like.  

As a way to extend the book I have downloaded these free coloring sheets from the book's website.  There is a lion, a rainbow and flowers to keep your kids busy.  

Disclosure:  I was sent this product for review.  All opinions expressed are my own. I received no monetary compensation for this review.

Buy it here:
Amazon sells this hardcover book for $7.50.  

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Food Fun Friday - Christmas Tree Bread

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This easy kids recipe is the perfect way to celebrate the Christmas season.  My kids loved making their own snack, and who doesn't like an edible activity?  When you see how simple it is to make Christmas Tree bread, you might just add it to your list of Christmas activities.

Supplies You Will Need:

  • Sliced bread
  • Christmas tree cookie cutter
  • Milk
  • Green food coloring
  • Brush
  • Butter (optional)
  • M and M's

I used a large Christmas tree cookie cutter to cut some trees out of sliced bread.  I them added green food coloring to some milk.  I used about 7 drops of food coloring to get a deep green color.  

I gave each girl the green milk, a brush and a tree and had them paint it.  I did not give them the M and M's until the trees were ready.  They were just included above for the purpose of the picture.  The girls took the job of painting their bread tree very seriously.

When the trees were all painted, I popped them in the toaster oven for a few minutes.  When they came out they were warm and I added some butter for flavor.  Hubby made some stars from some colored marshmallows we had around.  Now it was time for the kids to decorate their trees.  

The finished products!

Little C is more abstract than her twin sisters.  She decided a star doesn't necessarily need to be on top of a tree.

For more fun with milk and food coloring, check out Colorful Dancing Milk.

Linking up to: Friday WhipperberryFor The Kids FridaysGrowing Up GardnerIt's PlaytimeWeekend Wanderer  The Play AcademyWeekend Showoff PartyPity PartyCreation CornerTatertots and JelloLamb Around, Delicate Construction Saturday: Homemaker in HeelsShow and Tell SaturdaysThe Gingerbread BlogYoung and CraftyFamily Ever After Sunday: No Time For FlashcardsFlaming ToesSeasonal SundaysSunday ShowcaseSundae Scoop  Monday: Made By Little HandsMaking the World CuterMotivate Me MondaySumo's Sweet StuffEmbellishing LifeWhat I Whipped UpHey Mom, Look What I Did Tuesday: Too Cute TuesdayHope StudiosGet Your Craft on TuesdaySugar Bee CraftsABC and 123 LearningShow Me What Ya GotTuesday Time OutCreative Creations Tuesday Linking to: Wednesday: Blue Cricket Design, Milk and CuddlesWe Are That FamilyMy Backyard Eden, Someday CraftsCreations by KaraGinger Snap CraftsRed Ted Art Thursday: Fireflies and JellybeansHouse of HepworthsCreative Juice ThursdayWhat's Allie Making Now20 Below ThursdayA Glimpse Inside
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