Sunday, March 20, 2016

Fox 6 Real Milwaukee...Keeping Kids Entertained!!!




DIY Tic Tac Toe

 I love when the kids are off for spring break, but I will be honest....the week can be a long one!  Thank goodness Fox 6 Real Milwaukee was ahead of the game on this one for me!  My upcoming segment on Monday, March 21st is on keeping kids entertained during spring break.  Let the "fun" begin!!

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Rocks (I got mine from Michael's...only because the lake was too cold to go collect rocks from!)
  2. Tree Stump slice (You can find these at craft stores now if you don't have a huge tree stump in your yard!)
  3. Sharpie
  4. Ruler
  5. Paint brush
  6. Craft paint
  7. White spray paint (optional)
  8. Acrylic sealer (optional) 


 We had a huge huge tree fall in our yard last fall which only meant one thing....send the hubby out with a chainsaw to cut me a slice of stump!  (Ok...he may have had to go back out 2 or 3 times to get it just "right" but that's only because I'm a perfectionist!!)
I didn't do any measuring and just eyeballed the tic tac toe lines....weird for my perfectionist self, I know.  I used a thin sharpie first with a ruler and then went back over the lines with a thicker marker.  That was it for making the tic tac toe board itself.
I wanted the stones to have a nice solid base coat so the paint color on top would look more vibrant.  I used a plain white spray paint to give the rocks one coat of white.
When the white spray paint dried, the kids painted half of the rocks teal and half of the rocks red.  They only had to use one coat of paint.  (If the rocks didn't have the solid white coat underneath it, they may need one or two more coats of the teal and red).

When the teal and red paint was dry they started decorating them to make them look like bugs.  Simple black stripes for the teal bugs and a little more detailed lines for the lady bugs.  They painted a white dot for the eyes and then added a smaller black dot for the pupil of the eye.  After the kids played a few games of tic tac toe I noticed the rocks were getting a little chipped up from the rocks getting knocked together.  I added a clear acrylic sealer to the rocks to hopefully prevent any more chips!!



We put the tic tac toe board in the middle of our kitchen table and game upon game has been played during spring break of tic tac toe!  I can't wait to add this set to our table on the front porch during summer!

Again, hours and hours of fun for so little money!  Happy family game time!!!
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Watercolor Stencil Painting

I don't know about you, but my kids LOVE to use paints.  Sometimes I can be quick to say no to painting because of the mess, but watercolors are the BEST paints to use for less mess and easy clean up.  We got a little creative and tried to incorporate sharpies with our painting project and we were so very happy with the final outcome!  It has my house decorated with flowers and getting me in the mood for spring, that is for sure! 

 Supplies Needed: 

  1. Thin tipped sharpie
  2. Watercolor paints
  3. Stencils
  4. Paint Paper 
  5. Thin paint brush
 First, you want to outline the stencil shapes onto your paper using the sharpie.  Be careful in the tracing because this will act as the outline for you to paint inside of.  You can set up a carefully laid out template to trace or you can be a little more free and trace without a game plan.
 Once you have your stencil shapes all outlined in the sharpie you can start painting inside the lines!  Make sure to use a very thin paint brush if you have small lines to paint inside of.
 Since we used such intricate stencils, it took the kids a bit of time to paint inside the lines....and that is exactly how you keep kids entertained during spring break!!!
 Some of the more "detail orientated" kids took their time and completed their painting...and some of the "not so detail orientated " kids may not have finished their painting!  (I mean, I guess playing with our chickens was a little more interesting to some than painting was!)



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Bunny Cupcakes

I decided to mix in some baking along with the crafting for this segment.  My older girls are really into baking lately so I thought this would be a good opportunity to introduce them to some simple decorating techniques and candy making.  This was a win for keeping them busy and a win for them to eat!!

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Cupcakes (made of course!)
  2. Frosting (we made a simple buttercream frosting)
  3. Green food coloring (I like Wilton)
  4. Frosting bag and grass tip
  5. Bunny butt candy mold (we found ours at Michael's)
  6. Chocolate, pink and white candy melts
  7. Knife for spreading frosting
 We started off by baking the cupcakes and setting them out to cool.
 When the cupcakes were completely cool we put a base layer of the green on the cupcake.  (a crumb coat as the "real" baker's call it, I think)
 We filled the bag with the green frosting with the grass tip secured on the end.  This took just a few squeezes to get the hang of making the grass.  Push down and pull up.  Again and again.  Our grass was a little longer and some was a little shorter.  We are no professionals here!
 The bag can get a little hard to squeeze for tiny hands so they helped with the crumb coat while the big kids helped make the grass.
 Next, we got on to making the bunny butts.  We melted a little of the pink candy melts in a small bowl in the microwave.  When it was nice and smooth we actually took a medicine dispenser (the kind you use to give small kids liquid medicine) and sucked up the pink frosting inside it.  Then, we squeezed just a little bit inside the paw marks to make the paws turn up pink.
Next, for the chocolate bunny butts, we melted the white candy melts and added the white to the tail part of the candy mold.  
Then, we finished by filling the rest of the bunny butt with the chocolate brown melted candy.  

 For the white bunnies, we just added the pink to the paws and filled the rest in with the white melted candy.  The more bunny butts we made, the better we got!


 We put our candy mold in the fridge for about 10 minutes for them to cool and then popped them out.    We placed them right on top of the grass and Boom....we had the most adorable cupcakes!
 The kids LOVED making these, but I do feel they loved eating them more!  My older girls love to make candy with the candy melts and molds.  The possibilities are endless with candy melts and all the molds you can purchase!  Happy baking!

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Clay Donut Necklaces 

Let me start off by saying, "Yes, these are as cute in person as they look in pictures!"  This craft was the biggest hit with my kids and their friends.  In one day, the clay was pulled back out 4 different times.  Imagination was in full gear and each child loved creating clay creatures and necklaces.  My four year old was even making donuts and animals!  I would highly encourage you to try this with your kids!!!  

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Polymer clay (I bought mine at Joann's while it was 50% off and with an additional 25% off coupon.  We used the "sculpey" brand.  It is the kind of clay that you bake...not modeling clay) If you are making the donut you need a beige color, a frosting color and sprinkle colors.
  2. Mod Podge dimensional magic
  3. Oven
  4. Cookie sheet
  5. Eye pin (I found in the jewelry section)
  6. Pliers
  7. Brown chalk
  8. Tape
  9. Paint brush (we used the end of a paintbrush to make the hole in the middle of the donut)
  10. Necklace
 I made these with a group of my daughter's friends over spring break.  I am pretty sure I had more fun then they did making these....they are just so adorable!
 We started by rolling a small ball out of the beige clay.  It is really easy to work with after you roll it around for a few seconds.  Our ball was about the size of a dime.
Next, we used our thumb to make the ball flat on the top and bottom.  
 Then, we took the end of a paintbrush and made a hole in the middle of our donut.
 You don't have to do this next step.....we took a very thin thin piece of washi tape and wrapped it around the middle part of the donut.
 We took some brown chalk to color the donut and then peeled off the washi tape.  This makes it look like a real donut that has been fried in the donut fryer!  (how do I know that?...I used to fry donuts....for reals!)
 After our donut was made we covered the top with a small piece of teal to make it look like the frosting.
 Once again, we pushed the paint brush end though the hole to finish off the donut.
 For the last step before we baked the donut, we inserted an eye pin into the clay.
 The girls got creative and made some basketballs and popscicles  and smiley faces.  We placed the clay on a cookie sheet and preheated the oven to 275 degrees.  (we baked our clay shapes for about 20 minutes...this hardens the clay)
 While the clay was baking, we rolled some of the clay into super thin "snakes" and placed them on a plate.  Then I put the plate in the freezer so the clay would harden.  When it was nice and hard, I took a small knife and cut the "snakes" into tiny pieces to make it look like sprinkles.
 To add the sprinkles, we squeezed some of the mod podge dimensional magic on top of the frosting (after the clay had cooled down from being baked) and then added the sprinkles.  The mod podge makes the frosting and sprinkles "pop" a little bit and make it look more like a real donut!
 I inserted some paper clips into a few donuts to use as a book mark.  I baked the donut with the paper clip in it.

 Here are some of the finished products the girls made.  Some of the pieces fell off the eye pins because they were larger in size.  If they fell off we just put a little bit of super glue back into the small hole and re-inserted the eye pin!  We used the pliers to open up the eye pin and wrap it around the necklace and then pinched it back together.

 The kids kept coming back to make more and more!  I was hoping to be able to return some of the clay I had purchased, but they used it all up!  It was a full day of clay making and baking!  The older girls pulled up Pinterest and did a search for "Polymer Clay Animals" and they created the day away!

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Hand-Made T-Shirts

My daughter's team was headed to the national basketball tournament this past weekend and I thought it would be fun to make our kids matching t-shirts.  (I am not sure they thought it was very cool to have matching shirts, but that's why I am the mom!) I was super happy with how they turned out and I think they kids loved wearing them at the tournament....secretly of course!  

Supplies Needed: 

  1. Iron on material ( I used cricut iron on and silhouette iron on material)  
  2. Cricut...optional.  (If you don't have a cricut, don't panic...you can use the material the same way and just hand cut out your letters!!!)
  3. Iron
  4. T-shirt (I found ours at Michael's on sale 2 for $6 and then added and additional 20% off coupon....I also did wash and dry it before we made the t-shirts) 


I used my cricut to do my cutting for me.  I programmed it to cut out the letters I needed and placed the dial on the iron on setting.  If you are using a cricut, make sure you don't forget to click the "mirror image" button and place the material liner side down.  (follow the directions on the box for cutting...they are way better than my directions) 

 Once the letters are cut out, you need to remove the excess paper so you only have the letter you want to iron on left on the sticky liner.

 Here is an example of pulling the extra material off to leave the letter on the liner.  If you are not using a cricut you could trace your letter on the paper and then cut out your letters.  You won't have extra liner hanging off the sides like we did, but it will still iron on and work.

 My husband and I did all the cutting and circuting and then the kids did the rest.  I showed them how to peel all their letters off and peel away they did!
 Once the letters are good to go, we placed them on the shirt.  The shiny liner side will be on the top now and the sticky part will be on the t-shirt.
 We placed a thin kitchen towel down once our letters were in place and with our iron on the hottest setting, we started to iron the letters down.  We have a super old and super cheap iron so our hottest setting might be different if you are using a real legit iron....just keep that in mind!  You have to get it pretty hot for it to iron on.
 You will be able to test by pulling up the shiny liner.  If the letter pulls up with it, it's not ironed down.  We ended up letting the iron just sit in one place and counting to 15 seconds.  Then we would move it and count again.   The shiny liner will come right off when it is done and you will throw that away.
 Once our front side was ironed down, we flipped the shirt over and added to the back of the shirt.  We put our name and the birth order number for each of our kids.
 I love the way they turned out.  A few of our letters did start to peel off after the kids wore them because we hadn't ironed them down enough.  It was the letters on the far ends of the shirts that didn't get as much of the heat.  Keep that in mind if you make some shirts for your family!
I don't think there was a cuter bunch of kids at the national tournament wearing matching shirts....but I am a little biased!  






And....today our spring break ends.  The kids head back to school tomorrow morning and I head to Fox 6 Real Milwaukee to talk about what we did to stay busy during the week!  I know many of you haven't had your spring break yet....and that's a perfect time to craft!!!  

Happy Spring!
and 
Happy Easter!  

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