Thursday, April 17, 2014

Another Fun Yarn Easter Egg Project

(4 Years)

We had so much left-over yarn from the Yarn Easter Eggs, that we made another Yarn Easter Egg craft this time by cutting out an egg shape from a paint chip card, making random notches around the perimeter and then wrapping yarn around the egg.  This project is SO easy!
They each chose which colored yarn they wanted to begin with.  I had them tape the end to the back of the paint chip and then they began wrapping.  
This would have been much easier using rainbow yarn, but since we had do much yarn left over, I decided to use those skeins instead.  They wrapped about three feet of each color.
Do you notice their finger grips?  They are practicing holding a pencil.
Little Miss was busy creating a checkerboard pattern.  She loves patterns.
Wild One liked the idea of chunking colors together.
The entire project only took about ten minutes.  When they finished, they asked if they could wrap a balloon in yarn again.  It's a good thing we STILL have so much yarn left over.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Yarn Easter Eggs

(4 Years)

I've always loved the look of those starched yarn decorations.  I thought it would be a great Easter project.  Glue + mixing + goopy hands = Fun!  Right?

Well... this was a bit harder for us than I thought it would be.  I didn't take into consideration the fine dexterity that is needed.  The ballon is very slippery, due to the glue and water solution, and you need one hand to hold and rotate the balloon while the other hand wraps the saturated yarn in various directions.  It probably is not the best project for a newly-turned four-year old, but he did it (with help).  Would I do it again?  Yes, but we'll wait a few months.

Here's how you do it:
Empty one bottle of glue into a medium bowl.  Fill the empty glue bottle with water and pour that into the same bowl.  This solution was just enough to make three large Easter eggs.

 Stir to combine.

 Add the yarn to the solution.

 I wouldn't recommend using a fork to mix the yarn into the solution, it tangled the yarn.

 Wrap the wet yarn around the balloon.

Wrap in different directions. Remember to leave a little opening to get the popped balloon out.

Wild One's wrapped balloon.  You don't need to saturate the yarn that much.  Wild One liked the goopy feeling and insisted that it "needed" that much glue.

Let dry on waxed paper, turning the balloon over after the top side is dry.  It took two days for our balloons to dry completely.  All that's left to do is to pop the balloon and pull it through one of the openings.  Ta da!  I don't know who was more amazed with the results of this project, the kiddos or my husband!  "Wow, can we do that again?!"

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Minion Easter Eggs

(4 Years)

It's the Minions!!!!  I saw an image of Minion Easter eggs on Pinterest and knew we would be making these this year.  They just look so much fun!  The kidabunks had a great time decorating these.
I set out the plastic eggs, three sizes of googly eyes, school glue and a black permanent marker.  The kids went straight to work designing their Minions.
I love watching them work, their faces alternate from serious looks of concentration to big, toothy grins!  I know he's mine, but isn't Wild One just the cutest little guy?
We made a Minion with a pink bottom for Little Miss.  She jumped up and down when she saw the yellow and pink Minion.  She's so adorable!
After she finished her Minion, she asked to decorate a solid green egg.  I already had out the colored glue (left over from this project- see here).  She went straight to work decorating.
When they finished they called their Minions "The Minion Family" and introduced each Minion to their daddy.  So CUTE!

Chocolate Fudge (Black Bean & Quinoa) Cookies

(4 Years)

I'm so excited about sharing this post with you!!!  I finally, finally, finally created my very own healthy cookie recipe- not tweaking someone else's recipe by adding just a pinch more of this and a dash more of that.  I mean, my own recipe! Look at that glossy, chocolatey cookie!

So... we love baking, and we bake a lot.  A lot!  We make something sweet and delicious almost every day (and sometimes twice a day).  My Little Miss is the inspiration for this cookie.  She refuses to eat black beans.  However, when I turn that same can of black beans, that she pretends to gag on, into a brownie or cupcake or cookies... well, I turn into "the best mommy in the world" ~ and take a bow!
She is the messiest eater!

Over the past week, we've made four or five batches of quinoa cookies, and I wanted to find one that also combined black beans.  I couldn't find one.  So, we tried to create our own, and IT WORKED!  First we tried with only 1/2 cup of quinoa, and they turned out great!  So, we tried again with an entire cup of quinoa, added some walnuts and they are spectacular (I usually don't rave about my baking, I just can't help it this time).
 Scoop the cookies about an inch apart.  Leaving room to flatten the cookies (see below picture on the left).
The picture on the right, shows the difference in baking when you flatten the cookies out 
with wet fingers (the first two columns) vs. a measuring cup (the last two columns).  

These cookies are gluten-free and can easily be made vegan (swap out both the honey and chocolate chips).  They are packed with protein, thanks to an entire can of black beans, one whole cup of cooked quinoa, walnuts and peanut butter!  They are dark, rich, fudgy and guilt-free.  Do you want to get instant smiles, "Who would like to have chocolate brownie cookies for lunch?" "Yes, you can have another cookie!"

So, how do I bake these miracle cookies that even my picky four-year old daughter will devour?  Easy!  Oh, and it's made entirely in the food processor!
Would you like a free printable copy of the recipe?  Click here.