Sunday, April 24, 2011

From our Bunnies

Happy Easter!

From our bunnies to yours!

Love, Us

p.s. click here to see a great video about what Easter is REALLY about!
It gives me chills and I know it is true!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bird Cookies

One more for Corduroy Dreams...

Yesterday our “eggtivity” was to whip up a little love for the birds in our lives. We live in the North East and I am amazed at the things that live in our backyard. We have woodpeckers, red birds, yellow birds, blue ones… (I’m ashamed to admit that I actually DID take a bird watching Zoology class in college and I used to know the difference between a finch and a swallow. Not so much anymore.) Anyway, the point is we’ve got company out our windows so I have been plotting some kind of bird activity for a while. I didn’t really want to do the pine cone birdseed thing so when I saw this idea I wanted to give it a try.

2011-04-22 birdseed 014

Alex (19 months) kept walking around calling these “cookies” so we named them “bird cookies”. We got 10 out of this recipe.

“Bird Cookies” (recipe from

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup water

1 envelope unflavored gelatin (2.5 teaspoons)

3 tablespoons corn syrup

4 cups birdseed

Mix everything BUT the birdseed. Add the birdseed and stir well.

(I accidentally just poured it all into the bowl and mixed it up at once. I think it worked fine, but I think it might be best if the gelatin dissolves in the water first… just an idea.)

2011-04-21 birdseed 001

Pick out your favorite cookie cutters. We used an egg, a bunny, a tulip, and a star. Spray the inside with cooking spray and place on parchment paper. Fill your cookie cutter with the gooey birdseed mixture. Spray your hands with cooking spray (this is really important because that birdseed sticks like crazy.)

Use those little fingers at your disposal to really smash that birdseed in.

These are the cubby fingers of my 19 month old little man.2011-04-21 birdseed 005

Make a hole using a straw or a chopstick or a skewer or stick or pencil… anything, really…

Abby is demonstrating here before the birdseed is in, but really you have to do it after you’ve got all the seed in.2011-04-21 birdseed 002

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can sample the birdseed like my Zack (who won’t even taste spaghetti or alfredo but he WANTS try birdseed… go figure!)2011-04-21 birdseed 008

He thought it was about as nasty as spaghetti…2011-04-21 birdseed 011

Let the bird cookies dry overnight. 2011-04-21 birdseed 006

Then add jute or ribbon or string and hang. 2011-04-22 birdseed 002

As we were making these, Zack said “HEY! We’re being nice to the BIRDS!!!”2011-04-22 birdseed 004

This isn’t Mickey Mouse… it’s an upside down bunny head…2011-04-22 birdseed 009

And you may have to be creative to get them into the trees…2011-04-22 birdseed 011

One tip, put the hole as close to the middle as you can. Though most of them withstood being carried around by my baby, they will break off of the ribbon if the hole is too close to the edge!

2011-04-22 birdseed 018

Now I just need to go research those birds that will be coming to visit!!

Don’t Eat Pete Update

We played Don’t Eat Pete again today and I had a genius idea I had to share. I was getting annoyed that the eggs kept rolling away but the kids were having so much fun with the eggs they didn’t want to play it without them. We were also having a hard time figuring out which squares had been eaten because they were putting the egg back on it’s square.

So, I tore the eggs in half (or if your eggs aren’t hooked together you could just use the one half) and we hid the treat underneath. Then when they had eaten that treat they just set it to the side. Perfection!

I took this with my cell phone in case my description didn’t make sense…IMAG0672

Thursday, April 21, 2011

“Don’t Eat Pete" Easter Style!

another one for Natalie...

Have you ever played “Don’t Eat Pete”… it is so simple but the kids absolutely LOVE it. LOVE. This morning I was trying to come up with an “eggtivity” and I realized I could capitalize on the love of “Pete” for this holiday.

2011-04-21 easter idea 001

The directions are simple. Here’s the adapted directions for my Easter purposes.

Take a piece of poster board or paper. You can do it on a regular piece of paper but I happened to have this poster board lying around. There is a regular “Don’t Eat Pete” game on the back that we used for a birthday party. If you wanted to decorate each square with cute eggs or bunnies you totally could. I don’t have that much energy today! Really, the size of the board doesn’t matter. (Here is a cute variation that you could use as well.)

Draw lines to make nine squares. Put an egg on each square. Each egg should have one piece of candy or cereal inside. (For “normal” Pete you just put the candy or cereal right on the square.)

Have one child leave the room. The other kids then decide which square will be “Easter” or “Pete”. (Really, you could call it whatever you want. If you think of something more clever, send me a note so I can copy you!)

Bring the first child back into the room. They choose one square at a time and eat the candy from that square. For this Easter version they will have to open the eggs to get to the candy. As soon as the child (or adult!!) opens the chosen egg everyone else yells “DON’T EAT EASTER”!!! If you are doing this without the eggs you just scream as soon as they touch “Pete”.)

Their turn is then over and the next person leaves the room and the fun just starts all over again!

For some reason, the kids think this is hilarious. Especially if Daddy is playing!

(this picture is from Lila’s birthday party. You can see that the regular Pete board just has random animal pictures. Really, you could adapt it to any theme… princesses, pirates… the possibilities are endless!)

2010-11-20 Lila's Birthday Party 055

Now hop to it and make your own Easter Pete game. You won’t be sorry (well… you might be sorry after you have had to play a thousand times, but your kids definitely won’t be sorry.)

edit: check out the update I posted here!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

You’ve Been Egged…

This is another post I did for Corduroy Dreams.

One of our big activities for the Easter Countdown was to “Egg” our friends. I got the idea from eighteen25 (again). I actually had this be two countdown days worth of activities. The first day we bought treats, tiny toys, and eggs and got everything ready. I imagined having to fill up most of the eggs by myself, but the kids were totally able to do it.

I had some non candy things (bubbles, tattoos, toy rings, bouncy balls, etc.) that I separated into Ziploc bags once they were inside the eggs. We were “egging” multiple families and I wanted to make sure that everyone got a little something.

2011-04-07 Egged 004

The second day (when daddy was home to assist in our getaway) we did the actual egging.

It was like a reverse Easter egg hunt. I put the eggs in their buckets and then they “hid” them around the yard.

2011-04-09 Egged 0042011-04-09 Egged 0102011-04-09 Egged 012

We left the cutest sign (found here on eighteen25) on their door to let them know that they had been “egged” and then we hopped in our getaway car and drove off.

I explained to the kids how some people “egg” houses with real eggs and it is mean. Zack could not stop talking about how people throw ROTTEN (he added that part) eggs at people’s houses. The kids thought that when our friends saw our sign they would think we had thrown eggs all over their house and they would be soooo mad… of course, this idea was hilarious to them!

The goal was to be super sneaky but we were discovered on 4 of our 5 deliveries!! The kids had a BLAST and couldn’t stop talking about how “eggcited” their friends would be when they found the eggs.

2011-04-09 Egged 016

This is definitely becoming an Easter tradition around here!! Now go find someone YOU can egg!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Paper Plate Bunny Baskets

another one for Nat's blog Corduroy Dreams...

Three years ago Lila and I made this little bunny basket out of a paper plate. I’m not sure where I got the idea but since it was easy and only required stuff I already had, it seemed like a good addition to our Easter countdown.

Lila, 3 years old

2008-03-20 020

Notice Zack’s is different than the original concept. It was totally his idea, but it turned out cute (in fact, I think it’s cuter than the original which I think kind of looks like a mouse!)

2011-04-13 Easter Bunny Baskets 070

Here’s some tips if you’d like to try it.

You will need: white paper, pink paper, a paper plate, ribbon, two pom poms, two googly eyes, some pipe cleaners, staples, and glue.

First take a white piece of cardstock (or paper). Fold it in half and cut out an ear shape. Then trace that shape onto pink paper.

Cut in a little bit to make a smaller shape in pink.

2011-04-13 Easter Bunny Baskets 0022011-04-13 Easter Bunny Baskets 016

Glue the two together.

2011-04-13 Easter Bunny Baskets 022

Next, fold a paper plate in half.

Cut a scrap of ribbon or paper to use as handles. Our ribbons were about 14 inches long.

2011-04-13 Easter Bunny Baskets 035

Staple the ribbon onto one side of the paper plate.

2011-04-13 Easter Bunny Baskets 042

Then put the ears wrong sides together and staple them into the paper plate. (Unless you’re Zack. Then you put one ear on each side of the plate and the eyes, nose, and whiskers in the middle…)

2011-04-13 Easter Bunny Baskets 065

One trick to get the whiskers to stay in place. Twist them in the middle…

2011-04-13 Easter Bunny Baskets 030

and cut a tiny slit into the front of the paper plate. Then insert the pipe cleaners and staple above them.

2011-04-13 Easter Bunny Baskets 059

Then glue on the eyes and pom poms. One pom pom for the nose, one for the tail. (Zack’s has the tail on the back.) I used hot glue to make sure they would stay. Lila even folded down the ear of her bunny to make it look more realistic. We left a little opening in the top of the plate between the ribbons because the kids think they are going to stuff candy in them.

2011-04-13 Easter Bunny Baskets 070

Happy Easter!

(maybe tomorrow we will have to make bunny MASKS…)

2011-04-13 Easter Bunny Baskets 033

Easter Egg Dough

As part of our Easter Countdown we made “Easter Egg Dough” yesterday. I posted it on Nat's blog today and I thought I would share it here as well.

2011-04-12 Dough Eggs 021

I used this recipe when we did a Play-doh birthday party for Lila’s 3rd Birthday. It is definitely my favorite salt dough recipe.

(text of the recipe is included at the end of this post for easy printing)2011-04-12 Dough Eggs 007

First you have to pick out your favorite flavor of Kool-Aid. This adds color to the dough and makes it smell yummy. (Yummy enough that someone will almost definitely taste it before you are finished. Though my baby would tell you it is definitely “bleeeck”)

2011-04-12 Dough Eggs 011

Add your dry ingredients…

2011-04-12 Dough Eggs 012

2011-04-12 Dough Eggs 016

Then add the oil and water. If you are using food coloring add it to the water first so that the color is consistent in the dough. The Kool-Aid does a great job of coloring the dough so you really don’t need food coloring for most colors. I added a little bit to the yellow but the other colors were great on their own.

Then mix and mix and mix… You can use your hands or if you’re squeamish (or lazy) you can use your electric mixer.

2011-04-12 Dough Eggs 017

2011-04-12 Dough Eggs 018

This is my favorite salt dough recipe because the kids can be so involved in putting it together. Not to mention that after they make it they played with it for hours. Can't beat that!

"Easter" Egg Dough

1 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

1/2 tsp alum

1 pkg Kool-Aid (any flavor)

1/2 cup water

1 tsp oil

Food Coloring (optional)

Combine dry ingredients. Add oil. If using food coloring add it to the water. Add water and mix to make a dough. Mix with hands or electric mixer. If dough is sticky add a little flour until desired consistency. Keep in tightly closed jar or plastic bag. If dough gets hard add a little warm water.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Easter Countdown

I saw this GREAT idea on one of my favorite blogs, eighteen25. I thought this would be a fun way to teach the kids about Easter and get them excited. We've had a few great chats about why we celebrate Easter and I think that despite all the egg related activities, the kids really get what it is about!

It has turned out so great that I wanted to spread the word. It is TOTALLY easy. I wrote on the eggs with a sharpie and stuck them in an egg carton.

added later: Lila has been calling these events "eggtivities" The name has totally stuck...

I don't even put the activity idea paper in the egg until right before Lila gets home from school so I can decide what I feel up to that day. Yesterday it was "go to the park with your friends" and they were thrilled.

(Zack doesn't LOOK thrilled, but trust me... they love this!
And YES! Zack DOES wear that shirt every. single. day.)

If you end on Easter and do a dozen eggs you need to start TODAY (the 13th). I had an 18 egg carton so the kids and I have been doing this for a few days now. They LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. Seriously. Nat and I will be posting our activity ideas on her super cute blog Corduroy Dreams. We'll post a new activity each day so come check us out if you want some ideas.

One great idea that I had to plan ahead for was to watch "Easter Dream". As our church's librarian, I saw this in the library and thought it would be a perfect Sunday activity. Johnny ordered it (for $4.50... seriously cheap!) and it should be here in a few days.

So far we have:
-colored Easter pictures for the local grocery store coloring contest and we got ice cream while we were there!!
-"egged our friends" (more on this later... it was awesome)
-made Easter Egg Dough (more on this later too)
-made egg shaped cards for friends
-played at the park... (sort of a stretch but it was 71 degrees outside and we had to take advantage!!)

Tons more to come so check out Nat's blog!

Happy Easter!!