Showing posts from December, 2014

I Felt Like It

Yesterday's post was about how our road trip has turned pirate.  In writing it, I had forgotten the other thing that helped me change my mind toward pirating- this Disney Pirates of the Caribbean personal CD player.  I bought it during the Christmas season because it was only $5 and I thought it would be convenient for our road trip.  I really like that it has a hanging piece, that the door to the CD chamber has a "lock," and that it has two "jacks" already on it (no need for a headphone splitter).

Today, I'm featuring some of the felt projects I've been working on for our trip (I didn't make them all today).  First is the car play mat I made for the boys (primarily).  The track fits a micro machine.  I got the design from this maze and used freezer paper to cut it out.  Everything has been hot glued down.  I wanted the boys to be able to make up their own ideas about the buildings on the mat, what they were or who lived/worked in them.  The pink f…

Pirate-Themed Road Trip

The kids got a bunch of pirate dress-up items (hats, treasure, hooks...) for Christmas from one of their aunts.  They've been having a lot of fun wearing the accessories and fighting with the swords I made them.  All the while, I've been obsessively planning the road trip.  Then, I ran into this post on Pinterest and the pirate themed road trip took on a life of it's own.

In my typical fashion, I've been pinning all sorts of treasures.  Like these adorable (and printable) peg peoplefor small world play or these Safari toob figures.  I've even found a free audio book version of Peter Pan and lots of Youtube videos of read-aloud books.  Of course, a pirate ship (across the unrelenting prairie) needs vittles like these fruit skewers.And, we can't forget costumes!

Dragonfly has already been telling everyone that we're having a pirate-themed road trip, even though she didn't even know what a pirate was until a few days ago.  We'll have to see what becom…

Crafting There is Half the Fun

The motto for road trips is "getting there is half the fun" but I'd say that "crafting there is also half the fun.  Our road trip is still 9 months away, but I can't seem to stop crafting for it.  I have at least six things in progress right now.  Today, I'd like to share three projects that I've finished, two originals and one slightly less original.

I have seen empty chapstick cases used for many things on Pinterest, but I haven't seen anyone make a first aid kit with them.  This one has a few ibuprofen in it.  It will go in a larger, child-proof bottle with a few more tubes of medicine.  The "stick" of medicines would be perfect for a day outing or even a vacation if one didn't need to worry about children accessing it.
 I first wrote about this game here.

I think this might be an original idea (at least I haven't seen one like it on Pinterest).  The game is velco, which I chose because it is safer for little kids.  The case is a…

Dress-Up Rack Reveal

The rack itself is made out of 1" PVC pipe.  It's just a rectangular box.  I created the hooks by adding metal hardware (key rings and such) to colorful chip clips.  I'm hoping that the design and wider "squeezy-part" will mean that the kids will be independent at getting the clothes down and put away again (a mom can only hope).  I like how colorful and inviting they look on the rack.
The first side has a clear plastic canister (from the Dollar Tree) zip-tied to the left corner.  The canister holds the insulation and duck tape swords (tutorial here).  Next to them hangs two Dollar Tree superhero capes (with breakaway velcro fasteners).  The boy's tie (with an elastic neck band) and his "just like Daddy" apron are in the middle.  The apron has a button down dress shirt and black dress "pants."  This is not what "Daddy" usually wears- just in case you were wondering.  The girl's "just like Mommy" apron dress is ne…

Mini Sensory Bottles

In my road trip preparations, I've started making sensory/discovery bottles again (I wrote about them first here).  The pink bottle is composed of mostly baby oil, a bit of water, food coloring, and glitter.  The clear one is corn syrup with floral beads.  Both bottles are hot glued shut (super glue didn't last long, in our experience).  I can't open them so I'm hoping that the kids can't open them either (especially in the car).

As I previously wrote, we love the 3oz travel bottles for this project.  They're just the right size for
my toddlers' hands.  I also like how light and transportable they are at this size.  Hopefully, they'll buy us some time on our road trip.

I've made a few more since I took these pictures.  A green one with "watered-down" corn syrup (to change the viscosity) and lots of glitter.  It's a nice "calm-down" bottle.  I've seen them made with glue but I didn't have any the house.  The corn syru…

Christmas Sneek Peek 2

Introducing the second Christmas sneak peek- a Rapunzel wig!  I've seen tutorials on Pinterest for yarn wigs and decided to risk my sanity making one.  I started with nearly 3 skeins of yarn and stretched them out between a fireplace hook and our play kitchen.  It looked something like this:
Learn a lesson from my mistakes- tie your yarn together into hanks when it's still taught on the hook instead of waiting.  It took me until the 3rd skein to do it right.  I tied spare yarn around the hanks about every foot, which greatly reduced my frustration as I braided.  If your going to add ribbon in the braid, it would be a good idea to tie it in with the rest of the yarn, instead of the way I did it which was a mess.  Here's a picture of the yarn ready for plaiting.

Then, just start braiding from the center outwards.  I did about one foot on each side of the middle and then joined them.  This created a very natural-looking braid.  I also chose to twist my braid a bit so that th…

Pixar Games

My kids (3, 2, 1) love Pixar movies!  Skimmer's favorites are the Cars and Planes ones, while Dragonfly prefers the Toy Story series.  With their favorites in mind, I've created these two games in preparation for our family road trip (still 9 months away).

For Skimmer, I made this tic-tac-to-Mater game.  The game features Lightening McQueen and Mater in a friendly competition for 3-in-a-row.  I made the car pieces to fit on 1.5" wood disks (found here).  As you'll soon see, I'm a bit addicted to these wood disks.  I love that you can print something (like the Advent calendar), modge podge it to a disk, and create a decent, enduring game.  With 3 toddlers in the house, everything has to be durable or it just doesn't last.

Anyway, here is the free printable game for making your own set.

For Dragonfly's love of Toy Story, I made a character matching game using these cupcake toppers from Over the Big Moon.  I printed two copies and modge podge them onto more …

Road Trip Activity Planner

I've just found out that we're going on a road trip!!!  I'm super excited.  Road trips are one of my favorite things.  Unfortunately, the trip isn't until Sept.  Fortunately, that gives me lots of time to plan and craft.  And, boy do I have a big list! (these are all links to the original)

- magnetic treasure bottle
- marble sensory bottle
- static electricity sensory bottle
"Let it Snow" sensory bottle
- jingle bell ribbon pull
- printable road map for cars
- velcro sticks
- geo boards
- printable coloring sheets
- magnetic dancing ballerina
- printable Tangled Pre-K pack

- lacing cards/sewing kit
- velcro tetris blocks
- foam sticker sorting
- clipping mat
- printable "road trip" games (and here and here)
- tangram puzzle
- doll house
- hexicards puzzle
- velcro block puzzles
- PBJ game (planning to use this bread template)
- marble maze (or the cloth kind)
- button snake
- printable Mr Potato Head
- popsicle sticks puzzles

Jesus Storybook Bible Advent Devotions

“There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves His children and comes to rescue them. It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every story in the Bible whispers His name. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle- the piece that makes all the other pieces together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.”
Instead of doing 24 separate posts about our Advent devotions in the Jesus Storybook Bible, I've decided to do just one.  Our family has really been enjoying the stories.  We're using the ornament set from Joyfully Weary this year.  Eventually, I'd like to add more to our study - something like this:

Title: The Story and the Song
Verses: Psalms 19 and Hebrews 1
Symbol: puzzle piece
Name for Jesus: ?

Title:The Beginning- A Perfect Home
Verses:Genesis 1-2
Symbol: globe
Name for Jesus: Creator

Title:The Terrible Lie
Verses: Genesis 3
Symbol: frui…

Christmas Sneek Peek (princess apron)

I'm very excited to share this dress-up apron with you!  Dragonfly's favorite princess, and the only one she knows by name, is Rapunzel.  She watched Tangled 3 times with her Aunties over Thanksgiving and the princess era was born.  I'm not completely comfortable with buying/making costumes that only apply to a certain character.  Therefore, when I set out to make this dress-up apron, I wanted it to be reminiscent of Rapunzel, but not a clone of her dress so completely as to rule out other "pretends" and characters.  Whether I have succeeded or not has yet to be seen.
The apron was built from a yard and a quarter of sparkly purple fabric and a scrap of dark purple fabric.  Additionally, you need 1/2" elastic and basic sewing supplies.  I started with the skirt, a full yard of fabric folded along the bias (?), and rounded the corners a bit before sewing it together with the wrong sides out (don't forget to leave a hole for turning).  Turn the skirt right …

c is for cookie

This week, I feel like I've done well with sticking to the theme.  We made chocolate cookies and played with chocolate play dough.  I added some sugar to my regular play dough recipe and liked the slight difference it made to the texture.  We have also been watching Christmas movies and talking about "c" words (like cup and cocoa).  There were many other things we could have done like making cookie cutter ornaments or gingerbread houses.  Our songs this week were "C is for cookie " (Cookie Monster) and "It's Called Christmas- with a capital C" (Go Fish).

C is also for:

candy canes

Follow In Our Pond's board "c is for cookies" on Pinterest.

Sewing Up a Storm

I thought it would be fun to share all the sewing I've been doing lately.  I got the machine last Christmas, and am only now feeling confident enough in my skills for sewing to be enjoyable.  I've been sewing dress-up costumes, gift bags, things for the kitchen, and random things I saw on Pinterest.  Here are a few examples of the "kitchen things":

 First, a classic, simple hanging towel.  Nothing interesting about the way I made it.  Just some cuteness for this Christmas season.
 This was our old method of storing extra plastic bags.  It was convenient, but (as you can see) it didn't always work well.  This particular bag has been shred by the cat, who decided a plastic bag full of bags was the best toy ever.  It needed a better solution.
 Tada!  The solution- a cloth bag holder made from an "extra" kitchen towel.  I stretched elastic out as I sewed to give the opening a stretchy, ruffled top.  I also made "buttonholes" for the first time for…