Mardi Gras Candy Necklaces

twizzler candy necklaces for parties Fat Tuesday is March 4th this year and even though we don’t have any Mardi Gras parades locally I have been telling my kids all about it and showing them photos of the different parades and explaining how beads and other trinkets are thrown from the floats. We decided to make our own beads from purple, yellow and green Twizzlers. My daughter was game from the start but my son was not into the idea until his sister came down stairs and said I was letting her eat her finished necklace. Then he came up asking if he could make one too and honest to goodness I have never seen a child bead that quickly! These candy necklaces are fun ( and include a great patterning lesson) and could be made as party treats with any combination of colors.

Gather your materials. You will need some multi-colored Twizzlers , some stiff beading thread, scissors and tape. DIY candy necklaces

Cut your Twizzlers into beads. Even if the ends stick together you can give them a squeeze and the hole will reappear. mardi gras necklace craft

Tape the end of your beading thread down and start beading. edible mardi gras beadsMy daughter was very serious about beading.  But even a serious 3 year old may ask for help. I helped her when the steam started wearing off. I would give her a number to bead then I would add three pieces on and so on. Not only were we working as a team she was working on her math skills as well. mardi gras necklaces for kids

Once it’s long enough to slip over her head easily tie the ends and voila! mardi gras necklace for kidsAs I was cleaning up my son came up to the playroom and decided he wasn’t too cool to bead after all. mardi gras twizzler beads

I loved how he was doing it. I should have taken a video because the accompanying sound effects were stellar. mardi gras pattern necklaces

Don’t forget these are tasty too! edible mardi gras twizzler necklaces

Do you have Mardi Gras traditions you share with your kids? If you are planning on making pancakes I shared some great tips about cooking with kids over on Melissa & Doug yesterday.

3 Fruity Cheerios Activities

I bought these fruity cheerios for a fun craft at my daughter’s birthday party and decided to use them for a few more crafts and put it all together for you.  These smell awesome! Which make them even more fun to use for crafts since they add a deeper sensory experience for kids.  Each of these activities are distinct but so simple you could do them all in one day or spread over years!

Fruity O Sensory Tub

This was a fun colorful tub for my daughter to play with.  Using the cheerios let her explore with scooping and pouring with something that although I don’t usually have it in her diet if she did ingest it I wouldn’t be concerned. I didn’t encourage her to eat this though as I treated it like any other sensory tub where we are not suppose to eat. I should note that she’s never been fed these so they were not immediately thought of as food. As with any activity with young kids this is only to be done under immediate supervision , only you know if your child is ready for an activity, look at your child’s abilities not the age recommendation.

  1. Gather your materials . You will need a container ( I love light ones for babies so if they pull it off the table by accident you have a mess but no injuries). You will need a few cups of fruity cereal and fun tools to scoop with . You may also want some painters tape.
  2. Add a few loops of tape to your table and tape down your tray.
  3. Add cereal.
  4. Add tools and toddler !
  5. Watch out for fast moving preschoolers too!

Fruity Flower

This was impromptu and as you will see it evolved as we went. My original vision was not what my son wanted to make , so we changed it up mid craft. I like his vision better anyway and the end result was a really fragrant flower!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some fruity cereal, a paper plate, a sheet of colored paper, scissors and white glue.
  2. Start by gluing the paper plate in the middle of the paper and drawing the petals with glue.
  3. Add your cereal to the petals. Which he did… for a bit. 
  4. He decided that just putting one color on each wasn’t “seriously cool” but if we filled the middle , that would be.
  5. So that’s what we did! There are enough power struggles in every day life with preschoolers if they don’t like the craft and want to change it go with it, it’s great if they have an idea they want to make.
  6. Let it dry.
  7. Cut out. 

Fruity O Butterfly Necklaces

I loved these Butterfly treats from TeachMama and knew when I decided to use a butterfly theme for my daughter’s first birthday party that I’d need a craft for the kids to do. So I changed it up a little by turning it into a necklace craft.  The craft table was busy even though the sun was out at the party, and these are a fun craft to do any time.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need fruity O’s cereal, sandwich baggies, and some craft lace.
  2. Start by filling the baggies with a handful of cereal.
  3. zip it and separate the cereal to the edges. 
  4. Wrap a cut piece of craft lace around the middle and tie.
  5. When making it into a necklace loop the craft lace through one o first to make an easy stopper so kids can string the cereal on without them zipping off the end.
  6. Lace and tie . At the party we had kids from 2-8 enjoying this craft.
Believe it or not I have not been compensated in any way for this post – no one at Cheerios have contacted me although if they are reading this , wow those chocolate ones are so good!

Lucky Charms

Shamrock Kids Craft

Friendship is something that should be cherished and making something special for a friend is a great way to show friends how much they mean to you. Shrinky dinks can be found at any large craft store or here Shrinky Dinks Craft Kit. They are fast and fun to watch shrink , these can be made into zipper pulls, key chains or necklaces.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some shrinky dink paper, black and green colored pencils, a hole punch, a brown grocery bag ( or parchment paper), a cookie sheet , scissors and some ribbon or chain.Shamrock Kids Craft
  2. Start by drawing some shamrocks- I can’t hide the fact it took me a while to get it right . Shamrock Kids Craft
  3. Next color it green. Shamrock Kids Craft
  4. Cut out
  5. Punch a hole in it.Shamrock Kids Crafts
  6. Place it on the paper bag on the cookie sheet and place in the oven ( follow the instructions given for the temp).
  7. Watch the WHOLE time. It only takes a minutes or two.
  8. Let cool.Shamrock Kids Craft
  9. Thread the ribbon through and give someone you care about some luck of the Irish! Shamrock Kids Craft

Napkin Ring Necklace

Napkin Ring Necklace

We were at the dollar store getting art mats ( the plastic place mats I use) when I spied these napkin rings. Perfect for beading when hands are still not nimble enough for smaller beads. This is a quick craft to make but one that is fun to play with long after. Make one for grandma or mama for Valentine’s day or use it as a basic patterning lesson.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some napkin rings, ribbon and scissors. Napkin Ring Necklace
  2. Start by cutting your ribbon into a piece log enough to comfortably fit over your child’s head.
  3. Tie one ring on to make a stopper for your rings. Make sure to leave enough room to have some ribbon to tie.Napkin Ring Necklace
  4. Thread them on.Napkin Ring Necklace 003
  5. Loop the last one through is you want, this is just a astetics thing for me I like them all squished together . Napkin Ring Necklace
  6. Invite your child who announced that ” I am too big for this craft.” to model the necklace for all the “Other kid’s mommies”.Napkin Ring Necklace

Books

Norman Noggs

A Valentine For Norman Noggs by Valiska Gregory is a quite cute , it is about a new girl in school who has caught the eye of all the boys. Normal hopes and dreams that she will look at him and fall in love, but all the other bigger, stronger boys seems to be catching her attention. He is kind to her in class though, offering help without being boastful and although he doesn’t notice she does notice him. When he is made fun of by the bigger boys about a Valentine he made her she comes to his rescue. I like that her character was strong but didn’t like that she physically hurt the other boys. This is a longer picture book , my son zoned in and out while reading it, but would be great for 4-5 year olds.

IfYou'llBeMyValentine

If  You’ll Be My Valentine by Cynthia Rylant is a great book for preschoolers because it doesn’t just focus on romantic love or love of a parent and child but rather love of all the things this little boy is grateful for. He writes little valentines to his family members, teddy bear, even the bird and tree outside. It’s very sweet and cute without making you cringe one bit!  My son loved this one , it was perfect for a 3 year old.

When We Are Apart

My son and I are often together. He doesn’t cry when I leave him at preschool, or with family but by bedtime he wants one person only. Mama. This week I am going to Nashville for Blissdom, a social media conference for women and it will be the 3rd time I have been away from my son in his life. I hate leaving him and this activity was as much for me as him. His hand will be for me to wear when we are away and mine for him to wear if and when he misses me. * I wanted to add an idea that a Twitter follower had which was using this for military families during deployment! Fantastic!

  1. Gather your materials. Today we are using Shrinky Dinks- yes they still exist! I got ours at Micheal’s, as well as colored pencils, scissors, a baking sheet with parchment paper, a hole punch and some ribbon or plastic thread.  My son picked his out, honestly I would use ribbon if I were you, the plastic thread doesn’t lay flat when you wear it.Kissing Hand Necklace
  2. Start by tracing your little one’s hand with a colored pencil.Kissing Hand Necklace
  3. Ask them to dictate ( or write if they can) what they want to say.Kissing Hand Necklace
  4. Have them color it.Kissing Hand Necklace
  5. Make your own hand as well. Remember your hand will be worn by your child so write them a note.Kissing Hand Necklace
  6. Cut out.
  7. Punch a hole in each.Kissing Hand Necklace
  8. Watch them shrink.Kissing Hand Necklace
  9. Don’t take your eyes off them when they lay flat it’s time to take them out.Kissing Hand Necklace
  10. Let cool and thread the ribbon and thread through.Kissing Hand Necklace
  11. Pop it on and when you miss each other you have a message to remind you of the bond and love you share! He is showing me how he will kiss it when I am away ! Kissing Hand Necklace

Book

This is the book that inspired this activity and it would be wrong not to include it!

The Kissing Hand by Audry Penn is an absolute favorite . Chester is a raccoon who like most of us doesn’t like change. In his case it’s starting school. He wants to stay home with his mama and play with the friends he already has instead of going to school away from her and his friends. So his mama explains to him the magic of the kissing hand . The real magic is the message that we have to do things that scare us sometimes but that the love of our family is always with us to help us through. Go get this book. See how perfect is this, mostly for me this week, I hate leaving my son, letting go is good for me but man I miss his snuggles when I am away!