Treasure hunt

This was a Hands on Play Challenge, but do you know what Maisy wanted to do on Thursday?  She wanted to go on a hunt - an idea she came up with because she had been watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  She went and hid a treasure box outside and then came in to draw a map for us to follow.  She said we needed to be sure to have our cameras ready for this hunt.

We followed our map and it took us to the sand box.  She dug the treasure right out - she was pretty excited about it for having hidden it herself just a couple minutes earlier. 

She needed to be sure she got a picture of me holding the treasure box.

And then she and Mina had loads of fun taking pictures of each other.  They played with these cameras for well over an hour.  Come to think of it, the only reason they had to stop was because Maisy wore out her battery. 

Before we started our treasure hunt, they were both fighting over this camera.

I let Maisy use this other camera of mine and I was impressed with the way she took care of it. 

Do you let your kids take pictures with your camera? 

Linked to Mama Pea Pod's Outcoor Play Party.

Creative Christmas Countdown begins tomorrow!


 Alissa at Creative With Kids is hosting a fun blog hop style advent this year called
Creative Christmas Countdown. 

24 different bloggers from around the globe will take turns sharing different activities for each day through Christmas Eve.  

Let Kids Create will be sharing on the 1st of December so be sure to check back tomorrow and join in some holiday fun. 

We hope that this fun advent will make the coming holiday season more magical for you and your children.

The schedule will be:

1. Let Kids Create
2. Dilly-Dali Art
3. Red Ted Art
4. Teach Preschool
5. Angelique Felix
6. Rainy Day Mum
7. The Imagination Tree
8. Mama Pea Pod
9. Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
10. Nurture Store
11. A Mom With A Lesson Plan
12. hands on : as we grow
13. Frugal Family Fun
14. Art for Little Hands
15. Kitchen Counter Chronicles
16. Living at Whitehead’s Zoo
17. My Creative Family
18. Sun Hats & Wellie Boots
19. Toddler Approved
20. Dinosaurs & Octopuses
21. Creative With Kids
22. Science Sparks
23. The Outlaw Mom Blog
24. Creative Connections For Kids

Be sure to check back each day to see what  things all these wonderful blogs have to share, or subscribe by email!

Stocking Advent Calendar

A few years ago we began this tradition after seeing it in Family Fun magazine.  The idea is to take 24 colorful socks you already have (although I did buy a few to make it a little more festive looking) and pin them up on a line across your mantle. 

Each  night in December (except Christmas Eve when we'll put up our real stockings) I will put in a note, activity, treat, etc. and each morning the kids will be able to take down a sock and see what fun we will be having that day. 

Now that my oldest daughter is in school all day we have to do it a little different.  We don't always have time to do a craft project between homework, piano practice, and whatever else may get in the way. 

Some activities we may do include:
  • Making paper snowflakes
  • Making our own Christmas cards to send out
  • Going to see the lights downtown
  • A service project for someone less fortunate (Sub for Santa)
  • Making Christmas cookies
  • Caroling
  • Painting pinecones
  • Making ornaments
  • Choose a new Christmas book
  • A simple game to play
  • Build with marshmallows
  • A simple treat
  • Watch a Christmas movie
  • Have a slumber party with the family
  • Leave a note to "Get out of Chores Free"

These are just a few of the things we will do (I am not much of a long term planner and like to see how things play out before I set it in stone).  We may also be following along a bit with the Creative Christmas Countdown {more about that tomorrow}. 

Another idea to do with the stockings is to put a puzzle piece in each sock and gradually build it over the course of those few weeks.  Or if your kids are into collecting sports or other cards, you could put one of those in each sock.

I have found that this is a great way to have a little Christmas fun each day leading up to the big day.  It makes that {long} wait more bearable for the kids. 

This is one of our favorite ways to count down to Christmas, but I will share another tradition we have started on Thursday when the Creative Christmas Countdown begins, hosted by Creative with Kids.

How do you count down to Christmas? 
Do you have a suggestion for something to put in the sock or an activity to do?

Monday Madness #10

Welcome back to Monday Madness.  I think we may need this week's party more than ever after our Thanksgiving holiday (especially if you went out and did any shopping this weekend).  I always love reading all the great things you all have to share.  This week some of my favorite posts were:

Living and Learning at Home made these necklaces from Indian corn.  Didn't they turn out great?

Babblings and More shared this simple and clever barrette holder (her son actually came up with it).

Reading Confetti shared with us her Christmas book advent plans.  She tied each book to a fun treat or activity for each day. 

If you have been featured here go ahead and grab the "featured at" button from my side bar!

Now on to this week's party!  Art for Little Hands and I would love if you would share something to brighten our day and start our week off on the right foot.  Go ahead and link up one (ok, maybe 2 or 3 if it's fantastic) blog post: new or old posts welcome.

Don't worry if you don't have a craft to link up, it can be absolutely anything to help brighten our day!  One of us will be by to comment on your post and each of us will share some of our favorites next week.  I would also love it if you would "follow" me in one way or another. 

Feel free to add this button if you are submitting:

*with your link you give me permission to use pictures from your post to share with others.

Don't forget to share some comment love while you are checking out some of the other great posts linked up this week.

Coffee filter and paper tube trees

We started this project way back on the first of October...

by getting the coffee filters wet and then painted on them with these bingo markers.

The girls loved to see the way the colors ran together - they made such pretty designs. 

Even the paper towel underneath was made beautiful.

I love the way the light shined through.

We tried to do a few without wetting the coffee filter first - they had more distinct dots,
                                                                  but we preferred for the colors to run together.

Once they were dried we had quite a stack of colorful coffee filters - they eventually got put away in a drawer.  Isn't that sad?  I just didn't know what we could do with them - I wanted to do something fall related, but couldn't figure out what.

Eventually - a month and a half later we took them out once again.  The girls got some scissors and began cutting them up into triangular shapes. 

In fact, that's all Mina wanted to do - cut, cut, cut.  She LOVES her scissors.

Once we glued and taped them to some paper tubes we had some little fall trees.  I like them all - Some trees are at a different stage than others it seems. 

This is our first coffee filter craft ever.
What have you made with these?

Leaf nests (Outdoor play challenge)

Our weather can be so unpredictable - just a couple days ago it was snowing  heavily and we made a snowman, then yesterday the temps soared to around 60 degrees.  It was so beautiful out there, we finally went out and had some serious fall play time. 

We don't really have trees in our yard except for some small babies we have planted.  But it's been so windy that quite a lot of leaves have been blown into our yard from all the neighbors.  I brought out a couple of rakes and started to gather the leaves from the edges of the yard and made a nice big pile for the girls to come and jump in.  Mina came and jumped right in and was really enjoying it. 

Then her sisters came out and grabbed the rakes and decided to do something else with that nice big pile I had raked.  Lou decided she wanted to make her own little fort with the leaves...

Which really turned out to look like a birds nest. 

So then Maisy wanted to make her own nest, luckily she was willing to share her nest with Mina.  Actually the older girls were both trying to beckon Mina to their nest, but this is the one Mina chose first. 

While Lou was taking a little rest in her nest...

                                                                        The other birds were flying around the yard.

(This was the 11th challenge, although we did this one way out of order)
Are you getting out there to enjoy the last of the beautiful fall weather?
Or are you lucky enough to have this kind of weather year round?

Mixing our own concoctions - Hands on Play Challenge

Day 10 of the Hands on Play Challenge was to mix concoctions.  We had another little friend joining us this day and we had a blast mixing to our hearts content. 

Everyone started out with a jar filled up with some water so we could first do a little science experiment.  Everyone had to have a similar container - I started out with bowls and my 7 year old (yes, that's right - the oldest one) had a serious fit about not getting the one she wanted.  So everyone got a jar instead.

We added some pepper to the jars and everyone stuck their finger in to see what the pepper would do - it clinged right to their fingers.

Then everyone got a little squirt of soap on their finger and stuck it in the peppered water again.  The pepper magically resisted their fingers this time - no they were not very amused so we moved on.  I asked them what else they wanted to add to their jar.

A waffle?  Well, alright.  I went for a piece of bread instead because I didn't want to just waste our all too precious Eggos.  One of the girls put her whole chunk of bread right in, two of them tore it up into smaller pieces and dropped them in, and...

Mina decided she would rather eat hers. 

The other girls stirred up the bread in their water and it began to look pretty mucky as the bread dissolved in the water.    After  they were done stirring up their bread water, we started new again with some clean water - this time only filling the jars up half way.

And they began to add some food coloring.  They loved to mix the colors and see what combinations they could come up with.  We also stirred some baking soda to see if we could get another reaction once we added some vinegar.

It took more vinegar than I thought - probably because we started with so much water.  This green jar ended up spilling over though - finally a little more exciting reaction. 

Finally I helped them add a little bleach to their colored concoctions.  Mina watched as her mixture slowly began to change color.  Of course with bleach I made sure no one was putting anything into their mouth anymore or getting it onto their hands. 

Eventually, they all had nearly clear water once again.  I had everyone wash their hands off with clean water and soap just in case there was any bit of the bleach on their skin. 

They all wanted to keep going but...I was ready to be done :-) 

Monday Madness #9

Welcome back to Monday Madness!  Can you believe it is already Thanksgiving week?  Before you begin your holiday week sit down and take a look at these great posts that were shared here last week.  And of course, come and share some of your own .


Kitchen Counter Chronicles had a bear hunt on their way home from school.  What a fun idea to get you outside on a rainy day.


Dirt and Boogers had a feverish baby and made the lukewarm bath a little more fun by adding colored ice cubes.  I plan on using this idea this winter as we battle through sick season.

Pinned Image

One Artsy Mama is doing a series on 5 Homemade Gift ideas and started off with ideas for homemade ornaments - among them this cute handprint snowmen ornament.

If you have been featured here go ahead and grab the "featured at" button from my side bar!

Now on to this week's party!  Art for Little Hands and I would love if you would share something to brighten our day and start our week off on the right foot.  Go ahead and link up one (ok, maybe 2 or 3 if it's fantastic) blog post: new or old posts welcome.

Don't worry if you don't have a craft to link up, it can be absolutely anything to help brighten our day!  I will share some of my favorites next week.  I would also love it if you would "follow" me in one way or another. 

Feel free to add this button if you are submitting:

*with your link you give me permission to use pictures from your post to share with others.

Play Dough Exploration - Hands on Play Challenge

A boy's influence - a rocket ship!

Yes, this was the day 5 challenge and we just barely got around to it - but the point is that we did it!  I just needed to find that clever place I put my new box of salt so I could make a new batch of dough. 

This time I made this Kool-aid playdough recipe - I had mixed reactions to it.  I loved the smell and colors of some of the dough, but I really didn't like others.  Maybe it was all the different fragrances entering the air at the same time that put me off.   Ok, enough about me not liking the smell - the kids didn't seem to mind it.  In fact, they loved this dough and have played with it almost daily since we made it last week. 

I gave them some things to help them hopefully explore the dough in a different way than they usually do.  Usually my kids like to "bake" with their dough.  This day wasn't really any different except we had some play friends over (boys, that is) so it did turn out a tiny bit different because of this boy influence. 

Of course I love the rolled out birthday cake. 

And here are some little nuggets of some sort (I know what you're thinking, but this is some of the dough we made from Maisy's birthday party and it is very brown).

I brought out some rubber stamps to see if the kids might be interested in making imprints in their dough.  Mina liked to stick a bunch on and leave them. 

Lou did branch out a bit from the food theme she normally sticks to and made a little volcano (would have been perfect for the concoction challenge).

And I had a little bit of fun with them, too.  I made a Thansgiving turkey (I hope you can tell). 

Have you joined the 30 Days to Hands on Play Challenge?


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