Friday, March 13, 2015

How to get kids interested in cookies

I don't get the appeal of eating baked goods on sticks, but toddlers do. My 3 year old suggested cookie pops as a birthday treat for his friend, so we tried it with a delicious soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe and it worked. 

Maybe there's an easier way to do the sticks part, but I just made up my own approach. I wrapped all but the tips of the lollipop sticks, which I already had, in aluminum foil and stuck them about an inch into the ball of dough parallel to the cookie tray surface. After the cookies come out of the oven, wait until the cookies are cool before you move them. The sticks will come out of the cookies if they haven't set. And you'll have to eat those ones right away. After the cookies were totally cool, I wrapped them in individual cellophane bags and tied them with ribbon. 

I'm perfectly happy eating a cookie that's not on a stick, but the stick and packaging definitely adds dimension to the presentation.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Quickie Love-Themed Party Decorations and Playdate Idea

This is from a Valentine's Day playdate, but hearts are never out of season.

My favorite crafts are simple crafts that you can do quickly using stuff you already have in the craft bin.  For a simple heart-themed playdate or party decoration, why not hearts on wirePunch out some hearts, sandwich each pair of hearts around fishing wire using glue and then tape the wire to the ceiling. You can have all sorts of fun with paper hearts, but these hearts can serve as a centerpiece as well as a photo backdrop.  After the hearts came down, I used the hearts as gift tags, so yay for that. 

And for a playdate activity for a pair of 3.5 year olds and their younger siblings, I basically put everything red or pink I have onto trays and called it an activity.  I gave the older ones materials to make two dried pasta necklaces each as well as  gift wrap and a bow, so they could give one necklace as a gift.  The babies had sensory toys like bean bags and things I hoped they wouldn't choke on.

Everything came together really easily and the kids had fun.

Last but not least, make sure to get your dog in on the theme.  The theme needs to trickle down to all levels.  Just kidding.  This picture was from another day and we just have a lot of red stuff.

Our dog loves a theme, too.  Can't you tell?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Heart Attack in Brooklyn

Photo from Park Slope Stoop via Carryboo. 

I don't know how long those two big, red hearts had been dangling from up there on the mystery wire above 5th Avenue in Park Slope, or why someone put those hearts there.  But they were a happy fixture on our street from the day we moved into our apartment in June 2012 until they were ripped down during a storm in October 2014.

That was...heartbreaking!  Those floating hearts were like a little wink.  You might miss them if you didn't know they were there, but when you saw they caught your eye, you smiled.  I liked how they played off something I think of as a New York tradition since I've never seen it anywhere else: shoes on a wire.

Right after the hearts came down a year and a half ago, I thought about replacing them, but I didn't get my act together until the eve of Valentine's Day this year.  Love would be in the air again!

Armed with some red nylon that was sitting around, webbing, batting and my sewing machine, I got to work. 

More about our criminal mischief (?) after the jump

Monday, March 9, 2015

A travel journal pin board idea for kids for your next vacation

Before our recent family trip to Austin, I was trying to come up with ways to help my 3.5 year old remember our vacation. That's when I thought of collecting business cards and pictures of all the places we visited and turning it into an activity using a board and some velcro.

My son really likes to rearrange the cards and talk about what we did at those places. I was thinking of also printing pictures that we took at the places and then Greyson could make a matching game out of the board.  

We laminated the stuff since we happen to have a laminator, but you don't have to laminate to have the same effect. 

I like that we made an activity out of stuff we just collected during our trip. It took very little effort to make this project, which is my kind of project. 

Happy Trails!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

When Life Gives You Scratched Lenses...

Kids' sunglasses don't last that long around here. Before you know it, the lenses have been ground into the sidewalk.

To salvage what were a cute pair of sunnies, we popped out the lenses and made some (annoying? sporty?) hipster frames out of them. I thought they turned out fun and both of kids liked them.

More pics after the jump!