Mother’s Day Cupcakes

Mother's Day Cupcakes

In the spirit of full disclosure these were actually made for my husband’s office, it’s his birthday today ( yay he’s older than me again) and he needed to take in treats. So I hit two birds with one stone and decided to make them mother’s day themed and make them with my little man. Kids love to help cook and bake and my main tips for a peaceful experience are, expect a mess, don’t worry about perfection and eat a healthy lunch before making them so when the sugar hits their belly it’s not as dramatic! We had fun writing out the letters and making shapes with the candy.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need your favorite cupcake mix and icing or recipes. Also to make the flowers and letter designs some rope licorice, and pink round candies.  Mother's Day Cupcakes
  2. Mix your cake – I have no pictures of this because I had everything laid out in bowls, the oil, water and eggs and my son was so helpful he through them all in. I usually pre crack the eggs into a bowl and let him dump them in when I am making something that egg shells are hard to fish out of.
  3. Bake and cool your cupcakes.
  4. While they cool tear the rope licorice apart into single strands.Mother's Day Cupcakes
  5. Cut into smaller pieces you can make into petals Mother's Day Cupcakes
  6. When cupcakes are cool ice .
  7. Make letters to spell out MOM on one cupcake each or..  put it on a single cupcake.Mother's Day Cupcakes
  8. Make petals ( it’s easier to make them before adding it to the icing ) by pressing the ends tightly together.Mother's Day Cupcakes
  9. Add to the cupcake Mother's Day Cupcakes
  10. Add a candy middle.Mother's Day Cupcakes

Have fun however you make them . Oh and a tip that worked great for us this time. If you have a mini cupcake pan, put a few spoonfuls in that and let your child have a little cupcake before decorating the larger ones.  This totally satisfied my son and made me feel better about how much sugar he consumed.  I also had a mini one ( ok 2)and was able to leave the big ones alone !

Mama Books That Make Me Cry

Here are my top 3 books that require kleenex:

A mama for owen

A Mama for Owen by Marion Dane Bauer makes me cry every time I read it, and not just because I am pregnant. It’s a true story about a baby Hippo who lost his mama in the Tsunami that so many other babies both creature  and human did . The story is one about friendship , about adoption and about love. See Owen the little Hippo finds Mzee a big old giant tortoise and even though they are different species, and Mzee is a boy, Owen treats him like his mama.

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch is perhaps the classic tear jerking picture book. I read this for years and years to children and had no problem getting choked up, it never bothered me, then I gave birth and I can’t read it without sobbing. The premise is simple, a mom sings this simple song to her son as he grows ” I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as you’re living , my baby you’ll be.” until she can’t sing it anymore and it’s his turn. For days after I read this I tear up as I lay my son in bed. * Edited to add that many readers have commented that they do not like this book at all! What do you think? Leave a comment and tell us!


Hair for Mama by Kelly A. Tinkham is beautiful. The story is about a little boy who is desperate to find some hair for his mama who has lost hers to chemotherapy. Marcus wants mama to be in the family photo but she doesn’t want to be the way she looks. His mission comes to a climax when he shaves off all his own hair hoping to give it to his mama. When the barber sweeps it up with the other hair on the floor Marcus is heart broken and goes home in tears. I was sobbing reading this, I knew it was a story about a mom having cancer but the way the author wrote it , it was magical. The complex emotions this little boy felt for his mom and she for him, jumped off the page and you can’t help but cry. I wasn’t sad ,I was touched by the love and desire to fix his mom and make everything better, and his parents tenderness to his feelings. I can’t recommend this book more highly. I should note that this is not a book for toddlers, I would probably wait until a child is 4-5 before reading them this gem.

Frugal Flower Craft

Pool Noodle Garland

This pool noodle garland  is not a preschool craft , but younger children could easily thread the ribbon through the middle of the flower instead !  Either way this frugal craft is a great way to decorate for spring for only $3 which is exactly what I spent on the materials. Hope your Friday is frugal and fun!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 or more colors of pool noodles ( check to see what shape the are on the ends), some ribbon, a bread knife and scissors. I also used a dry paint brush as a “needle”. Pool noodle garland
  2. Start by slicing your noodle into sections with your bread knife. Pool Noodle Garland
  3. Cut your ribbon to the length you want and make a large knot. Pool Noodle Craft
  4. Next using sharp scissors make a hole through one of the petals. Pool Noodle Craft
  5. Push your ribbon through the hole – using the end of a paintbrush, or chopstick. Pool noodle craft
  6. Alter colors to make a pattern. Pool Noodle Craft
  7. Pin up and enjoy flowers inside for as long as you want!

Book

The Gardener

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart Is a really touching book that I would happily recommend for school age children. It’s a beautiful story about a little girl during the depression who is shipped to the city to work in her uncle’s bakery because both her parents are out of work.  She is obviously nervous but knows that it’s something she has to do.  She takes a little of the country with her in seed packets which she plants in the city while she learns about baking and becomes friends with her uncles employees. This is more a story about making the most of hard times, and would be a great way to talk about the great depression with your child. There are so many little things in the illustrations by David Small to talk about , from a picture of FDR to traveling by train and  the general sense of sadness .  In the end it’s a warm hearted book that I can’t wait to share with my son in a few years.

Pop Out Flowers

Toilet Paper Roll Flower Craft

I love using toilet paper rolls for crafts, it’s one thing that the vast majority of households have on hand at any given time. I love the 3D aspect of this craft and the fine motor work it demands for coloring the petals. It can also be used to teach patterns- or simply art done any way they choose! Toddlers can get in on the action by dipping the cut rolls into plates of paint instead of coloring the petals one by one! You may notice my son is absent, he was outside enjoying the sun and making houses for worms.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2-3 toilet paper rolls, a piece of heavier paper ( construction paper or card stock), some markers or paint, scissors and glue. Toilet Paper Roll Flower Craft
  2. Start by cutting your rolls into smaller pieces. Toilet Paper Roll Flower Craft
  3. Cut vertically into the roll and fan it out to make petals.Toilet Paper Roll Flower Craft
  4. Color the petals with markers, or paint. Toilet Roll Flower CraftThis takes patience , which makes this a great group project hand a group of kids a small number of flowers and have them each make the number they wish , so it’s not overwhelming.
  5. Add glue and place the flowers on your paper- ours is pink and looks great in person but is washed out in the pictures. Toilet Paper Roll Flower Craft
  6. Pop on the paper and let dry. We let it dry for 4-5 hours before moving it. Toilet Paper Roll Flower Craft

Books

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle is a story about a tiny seed who unlike the other seeds from his flower makes it against all odds to continue the cycle of life. I really enjoy this book and love how it shows all the obstacles along the way for a simple little seed. My son liked this book but didn’t make it all the way through, which I expected since it is a long book for a 2 year old.

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes is a lovely book about having confidence, loosing confidence and regaining it in the end. Chrysanthemum is a little mouse who loves her name until she goes to school and is picked on for it being out of the ordinary. Who can’t relate to this? I know I can . Thankfully my son  has yet to experience this all too common, but still so heartbreaking experience . I love that I have a book like this to share with him and open up about it before it happens. Ultimately Chrysanthemum learns to love her name again and regains the confidence she once had. Another fantastic book from a consistently wonderful author.


The Boy Who Grew Flowers
by Jennifer Wojtowicz is one of those books that stays with you. Rink is a little boy who’s family is strange, Rink is no exception, with every full moon he sprouts flowers , from his head. At school he is an outsider and only when a new girl comes to school does he make a friend. He reaches out to her because she too is an outsider, not at school, in her own family. In the end the kindred spirits celebrate their uniqueness. This odd romantic story will warm your heart and serves as a great lesson about how we all feel different and like an outsider sometimes. The illustrations by Steve Adams will stun you, they were so vibrant and paired so perfectly with the story. Wonderful!

Remembrance Day and Veteran’s Day

Paper Poppy

Poppy Craft

I am Canadian and today in both Canada and the United States it’s a holiday celebrating those who fight for our respective countries. In Canada it’s Remembrance Day and In the US Veteran’s Day.   In Canada the Royal Canadian Legion sells little poppy pins for people to wear and show support for our defenders past and present ( this is also done in the UK). In the United States we often see yellow ribbons. So today I am dedicating this craft to my country but if you are looking for a patriotic American craft do not fear I have a list ready for you too.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper grocery bag, a marker, scissors, some red paint, dried black beans and glue.Poppy Craft
  2. Start by cutting open your bag and drawing a poppy.Poppy Craft
  3. My son informed me he was going to make his own poppy just with scissors… he worked on it the whole time I did the poppy. Never force a child to do art , I wanted to post this today so I had to get it done but I can re do it with him if he asks. He was creating too, and we chatted the whole time about veterans and why I am making a poppy.Poppy Craft
  4. Paint with red paint. Poppy Craft
  5. Add glue to the center.Poppy Craft
  6. Add your black beans.  Let dry.Poppy Craft
  7. When dry cut out. Poppy Craft

Patriotic American Crafts

Flag

Flag Place Mat

Patriotic Treats

For even more click on the Crafts tab on the menu bar , then on By Theme on the dropdown menu! You’ll find all sorts of crafts for every holiday!

Recycled Flower Art

Easy Cut & Paste Flowers

Aflower 014

This craft was fast which was perfect for our day. Sometimes my son is all over the place, and a quick sit down activity like this will center him enough that we can go one to something less fun ( like errands) without a fuss.  I love using things in my recycle pile and today I had the fall parks and rec brochure that was begging to be turned into art. If you don’t have buttons, pom poms, or even just colored paper could be substituted in their place.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper , some newsprint, buttons, glue, scissors and a marker. I originally was going to have my son use the markers to color the flowers but he had no interests and I am glad he didn’t I liked how they turned out better! Aflower 001
  2. Start by drawing a flower on the newsprint. If your child is able and willing, have them do this step.Aflower 002
  3. Cut out
  4. Cut out some stems and leavesAflower 003
  5. Add glue to where you want the flowers to be. Aflower 005
  6. Add your flowers.Aflower 007
  7. Add glue to the middleAflower 010
  8. Add your buttons. Aflower 011
  9. Add glue for the stem and leavesAflower 008
  10. Add the stem and let dry.Aflower 009
  11. Add glue for the leaves.Aflower 012
  12. Add the leaves. Aflower 013
  13. Share these flowers with someone special- they last longer than real ones.

Song

Feeling musical? Click here to see our “Daisy Song” video with lyrics.

Books

A Gardeners Alphabet

” A Gardener’s Alphabet” by Mary Azarian is a fresh and so richly illustrated alphabet book you will likely have the same thoughts I did while reading it with my son ” I need to frame these pages!” they are that awesome. What I think the main benefit of this book is , is that the words chosen for each letter are not the same old ones you see over and over in alphabet books. The words used are things like Japanese Garden for J, Lawn Ornaments for L and my favorite was Underground for U with a cool illustrations of worms, root vegetables and roots !

“Planting A Rainbow” by Lois Elhert is a wonderful book to use for teaching about flowers and colors. The illustrations are bold and bright, perfect for little curious minds. I have always liked this book because you can sit down and dive into it reading each flowers name on every page , or browse it more casually with a younger child simply noting the colors.

chrysanthemum

“Chrysanthemum” by Kevin Henkes is a lovely book about having confidence, loosing confidence and regaining it in the end. Chrysanthemum is a little mouse who loves her name until she goes to school and is picked on for it being out of the ordinary. Who can’t relate to this? I know I can . Thankfully my son  has yet to experience this all too common, but still so heartbreaking experience . I love that I have a book like this to share with him and open up about it before it happens. Ultimately Chrysanthemum learns to love her name again and regains the confidence she once had. Another fantastic book from a consistently wonderful author.