We Made: Kid Art Pumpkins…

kid art pumpkins kid art pumpkins kidartpumpkin2 kidartpumpkin3 kidartpumpkin4 kidartpumpkin7 kid art pumpkins kid art pumpkin kid art pumpkins One of my kids favorite activities is drawing. They can stay busy for hours with just plain old copy paper, markers, crayons, and coloring pencils. They draw at least 5 pictures a day, if not more. While I love all their artwork, it can quickly pile up. And I’m forbidden to throw any of it away.  My kids know me and know my penchant for, “cleaning out.” They put all of their drawings in what they have declared the safe pile. As it turns out, every single drawing has been marked as safe. I could do a book and have plans to do so, but I would have to do the equivalent of an encyclopedia set.

I’m always looking for alternatives to books.  I was out shopping this weekend, when I spotted these white artificial pumpkins on sale at Michaels. I’ve seen others that have been decoupaged with tissue paper, so I thought it would be a lot a fun for the kids to cut and glue their artwork onto the pumpkins. I picked up three different sizes and brought them home. I knew Savannah was going to be my hardest sell. She is very attached to her art, in it’s completely unaltered state. The only way she would go along with my idea, is if I agreed that she could keep her pumpkin out year round. So, I did.

For this project you’ll need the following supplies:

White artificial pumpkins (or you could paint them)
Mod Podge
Foam brushes
Scissors
Kid’s artwork (pictures drawn with waterproof materials, such as crayons and colored pencils)

First, we went through their artwork and picked out pictures that were suitable for decoupage. You can’t use anything with washable inks, as it will just smear when you add the Mod Podge. Then, I had them cut them up and place them all in a pile. Once they had their pictures ready, I showed them how to add just enough glue to the backs of the picture. Things can go downhill fast when we are working with glue, so this was a must. Next they began placing them on their pumpkins. Some of the bigger pictures will wrinkle, but that’s okay. After all the pictures were glued onto the pumpkin, they applied the top layer of Mod Podge. At this point, they can smooth out some of those wrinkles, by just pressing on them with their fingers. You’ll want to add the top layer in sections, letting the previous dry to the touch, before moving on.

I adore how they turned out! I’m always a sucker for my kid’s artwork even when it’s taking over my house. I just love knowing I will have these out every year for Halloween. Or in Savannah’s case, everyday.

Chocolate Trail Mix Lollies…

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After seeing these chocolate mendiants on Pinterest, I knew I had to do a kid friendly adaptation.  A traditional French mendiant is made with tempered chocolate. But I wasn’t really feeling the whole tempering chocolate thing. Mostly because, I’ve never tempered chocolate and honestly, it scares me. Just for my purposes of keeping it low maintenance and kid easy, the microwave or a double boiler will work just fine. However, if you wanted to give these as gifts and are a master of tempering chocolate, I say go for it! Tempering the chocolate, will pretty much keep it from melting in your hands and all over your face.

Gather your supplies:

Chocolate chips
Dried fruit
Nuts
Yogurt covered raisins
Pretzels
Parchment paper
Baking sheet
Toothpicks
Scissors (for cutting dried fruit)
Lollipop sticks (I used Halloween straws I found at the dollar store)

Before you melt the chocolate, put out all the ingredients so your kids can create their designs. Mine did this for about an hour.  Once they are finished, melt the chocolate. Then lay a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Next place your lollipop sticks. I only did about two at a time, just to make sure the chocolate didn’t set up before they had a chance to decorate it.

Using a spoon, carefully place chocolate over the top 2 inches of your sticks or straws. Add more chocolate if needed and spread it out with the back of your spoon. Now, let your kids transfer their designs to the chocolate. Depending on their age, this step might require help from an adult. Use the toothpicks to help move stuff around in the chocolate. After their designs are complete, pop in the fridge and allow chocolate to set. Repeat for remaining lollies.

These were a huge hit in this house! I was really impressed with their creativity. I only managed to come up with about two things, while they were pumping out designs left and right. I loved Savannah’s lion, but she loved it too much and bit his head off before I could get a good picture. We will for sure do these again!

In Search of a Passion Fruit Vine…

fruitscapes12 fruitscapes2 fruitscapes4 fruitscapes14 fruitscapes15 fruitscapes12 fruitscapes10 fruitscapes9 fruitscapes11 fruitscapes9 fruitscapes13 fruitscapes13 This last summer, we vacationed in Texas Hill Country. The house we stayed in had hummingbirds zipping through the landscape everyday. They were so fun to watch! We have a few feeders that attract Doves, Blue Jays, Mockingbirds, and Cardinals. But, I’ve really been amping up my efforts to attract Hummingbirds. We put out a feeder, but I don’t think it’s enticing enough on it’s own. Also, you have to refill the sugar water every 2 days and that’s already proving to be something I can do without. I’ve been researching which plants will draw in the tiny little birds and passion fruit vine kept popping up.

So, we headed out to a favorite local fruit tree farm in search of a passion fruit vine. The kids love going, because there are endless pathways in which to get lost among the fruit trees. I love going to try some of the exotic fruits. I finally sampled a star fruit. It wasn’t as I had imagined it, but still good. After spending an hour meandering we finally found the purple passion fruit vines and bought 2 of them. I’ve never had passion fruit, except in juice. I hope it’s as good as all the reviews I’ve read. And I’m really hoping the Hummingbirds like it and come to visit often.