Got Broken Crayons? Don't throw them away!!! Make new ones!!!

If you have kids, chances are you have a few broken crayons lying around. Get a box or a baggie and start to collect your broken crayons, after awhile you will have enough to make new's how you do it:
It is so simple and fun! For older kids you can even incorporate science into it by talking about solids and liquids!  For the younger's just too fun!!!

First collect your broken crayons and unwrap them. We sorted ours! Sorting is a great activity to do for learning colors!

Then place them in a muffin tin.(No need to grease the pan!!!) We have a tin that we use specifically for crayon making but if you are using a tin you want to bake in later on use cupcake or muffin liners!

We wanted rainbow color crayons so we mixed the colors in each tin! 

Preheat your oven to 400* bake them for about 8-10 minutes or until all of the crayons are melted! Place them directly in the freezer for about 5-7 minutes or until hardened!

Turn the tray over and out pops your new crayons!!!
Let them sit until room temp. and ENJOY! The rainbow crayons are fun to make because when the kids color with them different colors show up on the paper!

I just bought this tin at Joann's Fabric and I'm going to make some Eater themed crayons for my son's Easter basket!!

These are going to turn out so cute!!!



Fishes Fishes Everywhere!!!

Today was a cold and rainy day...what to do... Well we recently watched the movie Finding Nemo and last night my Dad bought my son a very cute book about I decided this would be a fishy kinda day.

First we read our new book! It's called Hooray for Fish! and it came with an adorable DVD that is a short animated version of the book. It was so son and I read the book a few times then watched the short story with the book in our laps. It also came with a page of stickers or fish from the book.

                                           The Cute Stickers.

This book is great for learning many different concepts


Feelings! This one's my favorite with toddlers.
My son says "HAPPY" with a smile and "sad" with a deep voice and a sad face...too cute.

After our story and the short animated version we got started on making our fish.

take a coffee filter...
cut out a triangle...
then glue the triangle on the opposite side to make a tail.

I let my son use dot markers to decorate his fish.

we glued a button on as an eye and my son ran around with his new fishy.

Next we made a play aquarium.
I took a large tupper-ware and filled it with warm water and put in my sons play fish...I put down are catch-all mat for easy clean up.

Water play is not only for outside! It is a fun and stimulating activity that helps develop observation and gross motor and hand-eye coordination skills.

He was making the fishes kiss...

just like in the book.

Later in the day we read The Rainbow Fish...we have the 'bath book' version so it is a much shorter version of the original story.

I did the same thing I did with the coffee filter but this time I used a bowl and because we didn't have any foil in the house I used the top or a applesauce container.

You could have your child paint the bowl first then glue on the foil for the 'Rainbow Fish' scales.

We had a fun fishy day and I hope you enjoy these ideas.


Dot Art!

These are basically "bingo markers" and they fit great in little hands!!! 

This is a great activity for talking about colors and strengthening fine motor muscles! Notice how his hand is holding the paper...This is an important skill needed later for writing!


Point to one side of the paper and see if your child can "cross over their mid-line" The midline is an imaginary line that runs down the body, separating it in half vertically from head to toe thus dividing the body into right and left halves. "Crossing the midline" refers to the ability to move a part of the body-- such as a hand, foot or eye-- into the space of the other hand, foot or eye. Being able to cross the midline indicates that your child has reached the point in his or her development that the right and left side of the brain are working in tandem.

The best part's an easy projects and an even easier clean up!   ENJOY!

Fun ways to reuse water bottles!

I recently attended a workshop at the kindergarten conference in Pasadena Ca with the amazing Dr. Jean! It was a green workshop and she had some great ideas on how to reuse water bottles. Here is the link!

We made the "I Spy" bottle and the "Magnet" bottle!

These are a few items we put in our "I Spy" bottle

We added our items and then filled the bottle with instant grits through a funnel and glued the cap on. Let your kids move the bottle around and look for the objects!

This is the magnet bottle...I filled it with both magnetic items as well as objects that are not magnetic so the kids could see the difference. We filled this one with grits as well and clued the cap on. The kids can rub a strong magnet along the bottle and watch the magnetic items 'dance' around in the bottle.
Note: I first tried this in a Gatorade bottle but the plastic was to thick so we switched it to a thinner water bottle.


Birthday's Birthday's!!!

My son is now 2 and I can now say that I have 2 successful party's under my belt! I am by no means an amazing party planner but I wanted to share a few ideas and tips on ways to save money when throwing a kids birthday party.

I love a good theme party but sometimes buying themed plates, cups, napkins decorations ect. at a party store can get very pricey!
Last year for my son's first birthday we went with a music theme...I chose 4 colors, red, blue, green and yellow. I bought solid color plates, napkins, cups, table cloths, streamers ect. all at the Dollar Tree! It saved us so much money! Then I tied the theme in by adding music notes here and there.
(I don't have any pictures of the decorations)

This year my son's birthday theme was Superhero's (but not batman, spiderman type hero's) Kid superheros! Again I chose solid colors...this year was red and blue, I bought all solid color stuff from the Dollar Tree and then added the theme by printing out (BAM, POW, KABOOM) words and a cute little Superhero boy (cartoon) that looked like my son!

I payed $5 for an e-file of this cute superhero boy...and many other little (BAM, POW, KABOOM) printables!

  Here is the link!

My friend made these signs out of poster board and let me borrow them!


For my son's first birthday the music theme I may each kid a CD full of fun kid songs! I am a preschool teacher so I have a ton of kid music already but if you don't have any kid music ask around or download some from I-tunes...I put about 12 songs on the CD and I made labels with my son's picture and wrote "Cruz's Birthday Mix"

I also printed out a picture from every month leading to his 1st birthday then had a page for guest to sign.

I had a 'candy station' for the adults to leave with something yummy!

For my son's second birthday party Superhero Theme I made each child a cape and mask as the favors.

I wrapped them up in print-less newspaper and put a strip of ribbon with a BAM! on it and wrote their names...Super ALEX ...ect. 
I found some felt shapes with sticky backs and put them all over the table so the kiddos could open up their capes and masks and decorate them however they wanted!
This is what the boys capes looked like...

And the Girls capes....

This was a very FUN and very inexpensive  party favor!!!

Things you will need for the cape:
felt glue
iron on Velcro

I bought yards of felt from walmart...about $3 a yard...a yard made 4 capes and 4 masks. Then I used the small squares of felt (found in the craft section for about .49 cents each) to make each letter so for around a $1 I was able to make a cape and mask with the child's letter of their name on it! Pretty good!!! 

How to make the cape....I cut out a temp-let out of a BIG piece of paper first then measured it to my sons body and altered it were I needed it...

I got the mask temp-let from this site and shrunk it down to fit a 2 year old.

This is the basic shape of the cape.

Just cut, glue and I attached the iron on the Velcro to attach the cape in the front.

I made my son a special Birthday Boy Cape!

Next! Pinatas!!!

Now not all people are pinata people but my husband is Latin and we do Pinatas! I personally think that it is horrible to get your child's favorite character and then hang it from a rope and beat it.....but hey that's just me!!! lol

For his first birthday we just went with a big soccer ball.

For his second birthday I left it up to my husband and he came back from 'down town LA' with a 4 foot dinosaur looking thing....but it was really cute because he said it's 'Godzilla" and all the "Superhero's" have to save us! I LOVE him!

I personally don't think 1 and 2 year old's need bags of candy (although this year my husband put some candy into the pinata without me knowing) My son thoroughly enjoyed his lollipop!!!  I fill the pinatas with small toys, small packs of crayons, mini slinky's ect. (again all bought at the Dollar Tree) ....I'm really not cheap lol I just try to make good decisions with our money!

Next CAKE!!!!

Costco! Costco! Costco! They sell a sheet cake for $17

From his first birthday (music theme)

This year I bought the cake at Costco just plain no writing or decorations...I e-mailed my son's super-hero picture to a local 'fancy' cake shop and for $15 they printed out his picture onto rice paper and all I had to do was lay it onto my cake!

Next Balloons!!

Why, why, why would anyone every pay $3.99, $4.99 or even  $9.99 for a balloon that will either POP or Blow-away...Seriously...that's how much big party stores charge!!!
Okay I know, I know...I should just go work for the corporate offices for The Dollar Tree lol but seriously I got 8 'foil balloons' for $8 and the fill them up with helium and don't charge for that!  

So that's 2 party's down and a lot more to will next years theme be???