Making Valentine Crayons - Guest Post from Toys in the Dryer

Jamie and Lindsi are joining us today from Toys in the Dryer. I recently discovered their blog and have not only been inspired there, but gotten a few laughs as well. And I can always a use some laughs especially when the kids are crazy. I am excited to have them posting here and I think you will love their blog, if you are not already a follower. Today they are showing us a fun treat to give to your kid's classmates that doesn't involve candy. Is it possible? Yes, read on...

Toys In The Dryer

heart shaped crayons

Painting with Golf Balls

We had so much fun playing with our golf tees and golf balls that I decided to use the balls again, this time for painting. We have done marble painting in the past and I wanted to try something similar with golf balls. I was curious about the results we would get since the golf balls were bigger and had some texture to them. 

Supplies you will need:
  • Paint colors of your choice
  • Golf balls
  • Shirt box
  • Paper (I used plain copy paper)

I had a Valentine's Day craft in mind for the finished product, so I used red and white paint. I squirted some in the center of the box but used a little too much and B's golf ball got kind of stuck.

I used a little less paint for C and the ball traveled more smoothly.

After a while, B wanted another golf ball to add to the mix.

I love how the red and white would combine to make pink.

The tracks made by the golf balls were so unique because of their texture. Here is show off A, painting with 3 golf balls.

This was a messy activity but the kids painted page after page. Stay tuned to see what we end up doing with our golf ball paintings.


Food Fun Friday - Apple Crescents

Apple Crescents, Crescent Roll Recipe, Apple Pie Crescents

Just added 11/9/2012 - If you think these look good, check out the simple recipe for Strawberry Crescents!

Make this NOW. I'm usually not very demanding, but oh my goodness this is GOOD. We love crescent roll recipes. There is just so much you can do with them. To think for the longest time we just baked them up and spread some butter on them. While they are very good that way, it doesn't take much time or imagination to dress up a crescent. In the past we have made Pepperoni Pizza Crescents and those were a huge hit. I was in the mood for something sweet and thought we would try making Apple Crescents. Think of them as an easy apple pie. I love apple pie and crescents so how could this be wrong? Read on to see the recipe...

Bubble Wrap Hearts at Tutus and Tea Parties

We recently did some fun Valentine's artwork that I shared in a guest post on Tutus and Tea Parties
Here is a sneak preview...

While you are there check out all of the wonderful ideas and inspiration!


Thrifty Thursday - Making Money by Taking Surveys

Image: anankkml /

We are all looking to make a little extra money. I discovered there are legitimate ways to make money online by taking surveys. There are lots of free survey sites out there that will pay you for completing surveys. You can investigate them and decide if they are right for you. Will you become rich or make enough to quit a job? No, at least that has not been my experience. My experience has been earning a couple of extra bucks here and there, maybe enough for a dinner out. 

Winter Day Activities - Guest Post from Creatively Content

Today is a first for Mess For Less. We have our first guest poster from Turkey. That's right, Turkey! Mess For Less is international! Please welcome Becky who blogs at Creatively Content. There you can find lots of her projects and ideas. She also shares ideas on her faith. Becky is a mom of three and has plenty of ways to keep your little ones busy. Just take a look...

Hi! Winter is here and Christmas has past soooo ... I am passing along a fun indoor idea to break up the mundane and create some extra squeals of delight in your home.  I hope you can find some benefit from this simple activity that we are sending to you from our little west corner of Turkey.

Birthday Prints and Portraits - Guest Post from mk inspired

I know you are going to love this craft from mk inspired.  I just adore it and will be adding it to my birthday traditions.  Krista shares all her fabulous ideas and creations over at mk inspired. She is  mama of two and I just love all the sweet activities she does with her kids. Please visit her and say hi!

Hi! I am THRILLED to be guest posting here at Mess for Less today. I am so thankful and honored that Vicky invited me to share a project with you!  My name is Krista and you can find me (and my two little ones) speckled in paint or stuck in glue over at mk inspired

I have to admit that I am overly sentimental at times. Having two pre-schoolers doesn’t make things easy, as I am holding on to their early years for dear life. I enjoy finding creative ways to capture and document their growth. So I would like to share a little birthday project that has become a family tradition each year.

Fine Motor Work with Golf Tees

I've mentioned in the past how I have this out of control craft/activity closet. Every time I pick up a new item for a fun kids activity, I just throw it in there and I usually end up forgetting about it. Once in a while, I get a bee in my bonnet and clean the whole thing out. Then it's like Christmas morning as I discover all these cool supplies. Recently, during one such cleaning fit, I discovered these golf tees and balls that I bought at Walmart. I don't recall the exact price, but if I bought them, they were plenty cheap. My plan was to use them with some Styrofoam I already had, for some fine motor practice. 

Food Fun Friday - Valentine Swirl Cupcakes

With Valentine's Day less than a month away, we thought we would bake some special cupcakes. Hey, it's never too early to get ready for the big day. I thought we would try and make some color swirl cupcakes using squirt bottles so it would be easier for the kids to help. These were simple to make, and the mess was somewhat contained because of the bottles.

Thrifty Thursday - 29 Cent Hair Clips

As a mom of three girls, I go through lots of hair accessories. I was buying tons of hair clips at first but when I saw how inexpensive and easy they were to make, I started making them myself. There are lots of great tutorials out there on making hair clips. This is not one of them. But this is how I make hair clips. If you look closely, you might notice that some are crooked and not perfect, but my life is not perfect and my clips reflect that. 

Comb Painting - Guest Post From Tutus and Tea Parties

We have been on a painting kick here at Mess For Less. Today, I am honored to have Lauren from Tutus and Tea Parties here to share a way to paint that you probably haven't tried yet. Lauren is a crafty mom who shares all her great ideas on her blog Tutus and Tea Parties.  She does lots of fun mommy and kid crafts, so be sure to check her out and get inspired. 

Review of Zoocational and Giraffe Art Activity

My little ones were so excited to meet some new friends recently. Cuddle Barn was nice enough to send me some of their Zoocational animals.  Cuddle Barn is a top designer and manufacturer of animated plush toys. The Zoocational line includes eight cuddly creatures that will teach your child about animals. The animals include a chimpanzee, panda, elephant, lion, manatee, zebra, tiger, and a giraffe.

Shape Paintings Made with Mega Bloks

We love making messes here. You may have figured that out by the name of the blog. One way we love to make a mess is by using paint. Today, I will be sharing how we used our Mega Bloks and some paint to create shape paintings.

Review and Giveaway: Skateboard Bible

I recently had the chance to review the Skateboard Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers. This Bible would be perfect for boys who love skateboarding and sports as it has cool graphics on the front and comes with a free skateboard decal.  Maybe you know a girl who likes skateboarding. This would be ideal for her as well. 

Food Fun Friday: S'more Cups - Guest Post from The Taylor House

Are you ready for a tasty treat? Good, me too! Chrissy is here today to share a recipe for S'more Cups. It's an easy recipe that the kids can help make. Best of all you can now have S'mores anytime! Like I need an excuse to eat S'mores. Anyway, Chrissy blogs over at The Taylor House. She is a mom who does it all from cooking and crafts to decorating. Be sure to visit her and tell here how you liked the S'mores.

Thrifty Thursday - Saving on Housekeeping Using Pinterest

Are you on Pinterest yet? I won't go through a lengthy explanation of what it is or how it works, since most people have at least heard of it. Basically it's like a virtual bulletin board where you can "pin" cool ideas you find around the web. These ideas can then be shared with followers and users of the site. It's a great place to go for any kind of inspiration you are looking for.  Warning: It is addictive and a bit voyeuristic and you get to know a lot more about what all your friends are into. "Wow, Jane loves Star Trek, I never knew."

Making Flowers with Recycled Materials - Guest Post by Simply Frugal Mom

If you love saving money like I do, then I know you will love Simply Frugal Mom. Erin blogs about crafts, recipes, organization, and party planning with us frugal moms in mind. She also has great coupon tips and tricks. I am so happy she is here today sharing a wonderful children's craft project.  You will love making these pretty flowers with items you already have at home. Take it away Erin!

I don’t know about you, but this time of year starts to get me down. On those rainy days when I’m stuck inside with my son, I start dreaming of sunshine and spring flowers. Today, I’m thrilled to bring you an easy project that will bring a little bit of spring time into your home anytime of the year.

Transitioning to a Toddler Bed - Review and Giveaway of Sleep Buddy

My twins are 3 1/2 and as of two days ago, were still sleeping in cribs. We've gotten a lot of flack about this from friends and family, but we don't give into peer pressure. When the girls were 2 1/2, B climbed out of her crib a few times. We panicked and bought toddler beds and consulted a sleep expert.  Yup, there are sleep experts out there, who knew? I had a won a free consultation with a sleep expert and it seemed like the perfect time to use it. She advised that we wait to take them out of their cribs. She said it was very difficult to have 2 year old twins in a room who will stay in bed and not have a party each night. She told me she had seen it before and it could be a very difficult situation.  She suggested if I wanted to spare myself a big headache, wait until they were 3 when I could reason with them a little more.  

Simple Science - Chemical Reactions for Preschoolers

If your kids are anything like mine, they love bubbles. Bubbles outdoors, bubbles in a bath, Bubble Guppies... You get the point. I knew my twins would enjoy this simple science experiment where they could combine vinegar and baking soda to make foam and BUBBLES! We have done Baking Soda Experiments before and they have always been a hit. Bonus: I already had all the items needed and I bet you do too. Let's have some fun with Chemical Reactions for Preschoolers.

New Blog Design, Same Mess

You may have noticed that things look a little different here at Mess For Less.  Well, I am proudly showing off my Christmas present from hubby.  He knew I had been aching for a unique blog design, but that I was too cheap to do anything about it.  So he gave me the gift of a re-designed Mess For Less. It will still be the Mess For Less you love, or at the very least mildly tolerate, but prettier!  Special thanks to Kim at Seven Thirty Three Blog Design for her creativity and tech skills.  She was super easy to work with and I had lots of questions.  If you are thinking of a new look for 2012 check out her portfolio.  She does awesome work!

Grab our new buttons on the sidebar! We would be SO happy if you displayed them.  Thanks!


Food Fun Friday - Pepperoni Pizza Crescents

If your kids are picky eaters, raise your hand. Yup, that's me with both hands up. If I had a third hand that would be up too since I have three picky eaters. If you have been a reader for any length of time you already know that. So, when I find something that they will actually eat, I stick with it. One thing I discovered that they love are crescents. You know, the kind in the tube. I have tried many variations from pigs in a blanket to peanut butter and chocolate crescents and they always eat them. I was trying to think of more ways to fill a crescent and came up with a pepperoni pizza filling.  It was a hit!

Thrifty Thursday: Saving on Birthday Parties - Guest Post from Summit Street Joy

I am so happy to introduce you all to Lauren from Summit Street Joy.  She is a mom after my own heart.  She has three kids and loves doing things on a budget. I think she might be my long lost twin. Lauren has some great decorating and organizing ideas that we all can use. Today she is sharing some of her tips for saving money on children's birthday parties. Little C is turning two in a few weeks so I will be taking notes.  

Guest Post from Mama Mia's Heart 2 Heart - Ice Cream Cone Counting Station

One of my favorite things about blogging is getting to discover new blogs and learning from all the creative mamas out there.  One such mama is Mama Mia from Mama Mia's Heart 2 Heart. Her experiences as a teacher and a mom help her to create fun learning experiences for kids.  Today she will be sharing how to make ice cream cone prints for counting.  I love this idea because it us frugal, fun and reinforces math concepts!  Visit her at her blog for more fun activities.  

Marshmallow Sculptures

We did a lot of holiday baking this season.  A LOT. I noticed that we had a lot of marshmallows leftover, and remember having seen marshmallow sculptures in various places in blog land.  The idea is simple enough - give kids some mini marshmallows and toothpicks and watch as they attach them to make sculptures.  So let's get this straight...I will be cleaning out my pantry, the kids will be occupied (while practicing fine motor skills) and there is no mess to clean up afterward?  This sounds like a win all the way around. 

Layered Foam Snowflakes

If you read last week's Snow Scene post, then you remember I got a big bag of winter related foam shapes at a yard sale for $1.  We have made many fun kids crafts for my small investment.  Today I will share how we made these layered foam snowflakes.