Saturday, October 21, 2017

Not So Spooky Halloween Food and Lunchbox Ideas!

Fall is my absolute favorite season.  The clothes, the decorations, the the crafts and activities, the crisp air and crunchy leaves...I love every single thing about the idea of Fall.  Every single thing except for the fact that it's still 200 degrees in south Georgia (when I started this post)  Fall has finally somewhat arrived. We're where it's cold in the morning, 90 degrees in the day, and back down to 40 degrees at night.  That's the south for ya. I took the babies for a run the other day, prior to our Fall weather greeting, and I was sweating before we started.   So it was taking me a while to get into the Fall mood and I hadn't even begin to make some of the lovely freaky Fall food for the littles.  Say that three times fast. 

So to encourage my Fall mood and to give you guys some fun ideas, I've pulled together some of the fun foods we've been making and some made in years past for Halloween! 

Today, my littlest monsters were all happily giggling and making lots of messes helping in the kitchen.  Never mind my little Halloween sign back there.  I opened it up and it was missing an A.  I keep saying that I'm going to let Caleb color me one, but I haven't.  I think it fits in with the chaos around here anyway.  We are making little ghost and jackolantern cakes here.



Ghost Sandwiches!
Cookie cutters are your best friends for making quick and fun treats for any occasion.  I pulled out the ghost cookie cutter and some raisins and turned our ordinary sandwiches into fun creations.


Jack-o-lantern Blueberry Muffins!
Holiday food molds are another favorite of mine.  They come in a lot of different forms and designs and I would love to have them all!  However, the way my account set up.....
Therefore, the trick to these is buying them after the holiday when they are on clearance, preferably 75% off or more.  I always go in and check the holiday clearance for things that I want but would rather not pay full price for.


Mummy Dogs!
The kids will love these!  They are just as fun for them to make as they are to eat.  Cut up dough/crescent strips and wrap hot dogs in.  Bake and add candy eyeballs for fun.

  
Candy Corn Fruit cups!
Now I'm not going to say I like candy corn because I believe it belongs in the trash.  Note that one glass on the table with Recess pieces!  Layer pineapples, mandarin oranges and whip cream in a cup.  Add candy corn for decoration and you're all set.



Pumpkin Pancakes!
Again cookie cutters here made breakfast just a tad bit better.  Raisin eyes, a candy nose, and a sausage mouth pulled this pumpkin breakfast together.


Love how Caleb added whipped cream eyebrows here.


Silly Face Tacos for Taco Tuesday?
Yes!  Use candy eyes, a food marker to draw a mouth, and arrange the cheese for hair!  I love these.  They are almost too cute to eat.  You could always replace the eyes with something else.




Cinnamon Roll Pumpkins!
Make a pack of cinnamon rolls as usual.  Use food coloring to change your icing.  Add raisins for a face and we used a spinach leaf up top.  We can pretend that makes this healthy. 



Owl Toast!
Now, I discovered these a while back and decided that I had to give them a try.  Variations of fruit make the horns, wings, nose and eyes.  Cereal makes the little feat.hers at the bottom.  I can't wait to make these for the twins.  I can just see their facial expressions.  They probably won't eat it at all and throw it on the floor. lol


Halloween Hot Chocolate Station
Since we have finally been blessed with some cooler temps, hot chocolate is back on the menu.  Our little station usually consists of a few snacks and different little goodies to put in the hot chocolate.


This is this year's station. 



These little ghost and jack-o-lantern cakes are what the littles were cooking in the first pic.  We had little cakes and hot cocoa tonight.  If you saw my Instastory, you might remember my epic fail on these. lol



Spider-Man Waffles
If you have a Spider-Man fan, then they are going to love these!  First, you can find these waffles at Walmart.  They are Eggo brand and berry flavored.  I cut grapes in half to make a spider for the "web."  Cut the tops off strawberries and add icing for the eyes.  It's easier to outline with black icing first, then fill with the white.




Ghost Marshmallows
Use marshmallow bags to stuff marshmallows in.  Then, draw a face on the outside of the bag.  We gave these out as preschool favors one year.



Ghost Cheese
Same concept here just with cheese sticks.



Pumpkin Patch Breakfast
Mini pancakes on a scrambled egg vine technically counts as a pumpkin patch, right?  Use food markers to make faces and pick away!



Witch Hats
We have a mini Halloween party every year and I like to deck the table out.  However, the rest of my party pics are somewhere in a sea of many. lol  So here's witch hats!  These are made from those fudge cookies that are just turned over and a Hershey's kiss.  Use peanut butter as your glue.




Fall and Halloween Lunch Ideas
As you already know, I love packing lunches and I love challenging myself to make themed lunches. I also love the look of excitement on little faces as they open their lunch boxes.  I'm only doing them now for Caleb as the other too have outgrown them.  However, they still think it's kind of cool.  #winning  So Caleb and the twins will be showered with my creative side in the meantime.




One of the easiest ways to make a lunch more festive is by adding a Halloween napkin.  Add a lot of the methods from above to give your lunches a holiday makeover.  Holiday molds, cookie cutters, food markers, candy eyes easily transform lunches.



For more school lunches, click here.




Create silly or spooky faces with sandwiches.











Monday, August 28, 2017

Afterschool Homeschooling - Week 3

Hello everyone!  I'm getting this post done as fast as I can being that the twins have finally taken a nap. lol  This past week, Caleb's class was learning about magnets in science so I decided to build on that.  We have magnets at home so I knew that'd be easy for me to do. 

So here's one of our first activities.  We cut up some pipe cleaners and put them in a plastic container, like the Crystal light kind.  I gave him a small magnet and a bigger one for him to try and pick up pipe cleaners through the container.  Then we switched containers and added them to a glass jar and did the same thing.  He said he was able to pick up more pipe cleaners through the glass than through the plastic.


    

The twins were determined to get in on this too.  They climbed into a chair to investigate.  Cason saw Caleb hold the magnet on top of the jar and he was trying to copy to see what happens.  If you follow me on Instagram @cuddleskissesnchaos, you probably saw a video of Cason screaming over the magnets.


We also watched two videos on YouTube over magnets and magnetism.  Then, I created a little "fill in the blank" type sheet for Caleb to do.


So... What is magnetic?

I dumped some beads and string out of this Melissa and Doug box and filled it with some random things around the house for him to test.  You can get these big red and blue magnets are from the Dollar Tree.  I think the smaller ones came as a prize from some school fundraiser years ago.  I can't really remember, but they probably sell them somewhere too.



We did this one Friday or Saturday night.  The whole house was kind of in on this one.  I found this experiment on YouTube and decided it would be fun for the kids to do.  We got three different liquids to see how magnets respond through liquids. 
We put three paper clips in each jar.  I had them make predictions on what they thought would happen and/or how the paper clips would move through each liquid.  Then, we tested them.  The paper clips moved quickly through the water and oil, but slowly through the corn syrup.  We talked about why that was.  This became a messy sticky experiment for us.  We have impatient and quick pouring people over here. 


Ice cream addition

To make math facts more fun, I decided to make little ice cream cones.  Who doesn't love ice cream?  These were just drawn and cut out of the construction paper.  I think I should laminate them because they are just too cute (in my opinion).

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you can use some of these activities with your little ones!

XOXO
Miranda

After school Homeschooling - Weeks 1 and 2

School started back on August 1.  We have a 10th grader, a 7th grader, 1st grader and twin tot schoolers ( we are starting tot school at home).  Everybody but the teenager was excited.  No surprise there.  I was partly ready.  I was more ready to get back into some type of a routine with the twins.  The summer puts them off because everyone is at home and busy, which means not much down time.

Over the summer we've continued to add little learning activities and "homeschool" lessons every now and then.  It is just my nature.  I can't help it.  However, I am often asked by the first and seventh grader for activities to do.  Of course, I'm happy to do that.  Since school has started back, I've really started back with the mini lessons.  They are mostly for Caleb because middle and high school kids already have enough to do.  However, if I have something that I think will help them, I'll pull it out. 

I like to look at what Caleb is learning for the week and plan activities to reinforce and build on what they are learning at school.  I also go ahead on my own with some things, especially if he seems ready to move on.



We took this pic the week before school.  We were reviewing all of the site words we had when Cameron started to throw them on the floor.  We decided to make the most of it.



They didn't have homework the first week of school.  You know they are busy learning all the rules and routines, but we did a few activities.  Caleb is always looking for something to do anyway.  We are trying to get his books of the Bible down so I pulled out our popsicle stick books to sort.



We've been doing math facts on and off for about half the summer.  We just put three sums at the top here and had him fill in the facts that created the sum.  I put out a box of random counters if he needed some help.  These are just old game pieces and dominoes that I've saved to use as manipulatives.


    

We had a little STEM activity set up and Cate decided to join in on this one.  Marshmallows are a good motivator.  Caleb did get a little frustrated with this because the toothpicks and the marshmallows kept falling over before he could finish anything.  I helped him out a bit after escaping the twins.  I think we'll use gumdrops next time.  We've using them before and they work well because they are more sturdier.



This week was the first week of homework.  They receive a homework packet that is due on Fridays and usually a phonics sheet. Well, he had finished all but one page of his packet by the time he had gotten off the bus.  He finished the rest when he got home and was bored.  He operated like this last year too.  Amazon prime boxes to the rescue!  I asked him if he wanted to make a rocket and he agreed to that.



He could already spell his spelling words too, but we needed to practice writing and forming letters correctly.  I dug out an old laminated writing sheet to use just because it makes it more interesting.  That red and yellow thingy there is an electronic math fact thingy.  Yes, thingy.  You can rotate the numbers in each row.  You can listen to it recite the math facts and answers or you can listen to it ask one.  You bop the end when it says the correct answer.  I found this little gem at the Goodwill.    Reading practice for the day was "Go Away, Dog."



More writing practice made more fun with shaving cream.  The twins got in on this action too.





Nerf bullets and site words

Our class has a site word folder where they are tested weekly on the site words.  We read through them and he kept reading through each page until he got to ones he didn't know.  So since he knew a good bit of his site words, we opted to start on week 12 vs week 1.  That way he is still learning, but not stagnant.  We also practice using the site words and spelling words in sentences.  If you don't have spelling words yet and want to start, the Dollar Tree has some good little spelling books in there.  We practiced with those over the summer.





Math facts.
These are a few things we did leading up to the new school year.



We had to build a bridge to get the people safely across from the bears.  I love how he decided to just use the slide at the end to slide in the car.  This was also another "I'm bored" day.  Well, here you go little dude.



Nature study with trees and leaves.  We are supposed to be making leaf journals, but haven't made them yet.



The book "Mouse Paint" with mixing colors and trying to spell the color words.



We used old 75% off gingerbread houses to go along with the video story of Hansel and Gretal.  We talked about shady people (strangers).

So this pretty much wraps up the first weeks.  I'll be getting last week's after school homeschooling activities up and also our tot school toddlertivities this week.

Thanks for reading.



Thursday, August 24, 2017

Eclipse 2017

Well, the eclipse had to be one of the most exciting things that happened this week.  I admit that I was probably more excited than the kids were.  We were not in the totality area, but I do believe we were at 97 percent.  However, the clouds took over throughout the day and messed with our view.  We were able to see the moon passing over the sun at different times though.  I wish we would have charted it like I planned.  However, the eclipse must have had a terror effect on the twins who seemed to just be screaming the majority of the day. lol

Cate knew she was staying home the day of the eclipse because she wanted to see it.  AJ went to school because he had football practice, but we checked him out early.  Caleb went back and forth between not wanting to miss school to being scared of being at school during the eclipse.  We changed his form 3 times and eventually just kept him home.

We did do some activities leading up to the eclipse and the day of it.  Check them out below!




Moon phases!
I printed these free cards from firstschoolyears.com.  Just Google phases of the moon cards.  We talked about each phase of the moon, drew them, and used oreos to create each phase.  Of course, that was the best part for Caleb.  He was really concerned about eating them afterwards.


Stages of the eclipse
We had looked at some videos about the eclipse earlier.  Then, the actual day of the eclipse, we used the phases of the eclipse cards to talk about them as we watched it on the tv.  I printed these free cards from cosmic Montessori .com. I was so glad I found them to use with the kids.  Then we decided to use the golden oreos to represent the sun and the regular oreos to represent the moon.  The kids put them over different parts of the (sun) as the moon passes over. 


Now you know, of course, there was some type of party.  I told you guys I was probably more excited than the kids plus I just like to create things.  lol  I decided to make crescent sandwiches to represent the moon and you can see our galactic popcorn back there.



A closer look at our galactic popcorn.  It was actually kind of a fail.  We were trying to melt candy melts that refused to melt so we could drizzle it.  So we ended up slinging it. Then, we decided to just use cake icing and food coloring.  TA-DA! We added sprinkles for that extra space touch.


Pretzels and marshmallows made constellations and an easy stem activity.







They were camped out in the yard trying to see the eclipse.  Aj went in and out because he said he didn't want to go blind. 
It was pretty sunny at first.  Then it got really cloudy and even drizzled a bit.  These two came inside for umbrellas and went back out.  Cate really wanted to see the diamond ring in person and not just on tv.  She did get to see it on tv though and said, "that's the ring daddy should have got mama!" Haha!  Caleb wanted to see the Bailey's beads.  He said that it was his favorite part.


This is one way Caleb watched the eclipse.  Andre taped his glasses into one of his superhero masks.  He's wearing a different superhero mask in the picture above this one.  That one covers half the face, but we noticed a small crack in it and decided to switch it up just to be safe.


Documenting their eclipse day experience was made easier by this little doodle sheet that was printed from skiptomylou.org



I attempted a very not together word search.  Very not together. 


Cate decided to help her mama out! 


Earlier in the week, Caleb started working on a rocket and Cate helped him. They picked today as the day to launch it off.  The twins climbed in too.




How was your solar eclipse experience?  Did you get to see all the phases?  Did you do any fun activities to share?