Friday, August 26, 2016

Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers



Well, it's upon us - the end of summer. I can't believe it! We've enjoyed sharing some summer fun activities and recipes with you and today is our last summer fun post. Today, I'm sharing a yummy treat to make with your kids or to surprise your kids with after school. My kiddos have been in school for a couple of weeks now and yesterday I heard plenty of cheers when I pulled out this special treat. It's a new take on the timeless classic milk and cookies - chocolate covered graham crackers! So, if you are still enjoying some easy, breezy summer days, make this treat with your kids. They'll love decorating the graham crackers. Or, you can be like me, and make chocolate covered graham crackers as a fun after school snack. 

You'll need one 12 ounce bag of chocolate chips. I used semi-sweet. Graham crackers broken in halves. Sprinkles, mini M&Ms, chopped nuts, etc. Anything you want to use to decorate your graham crackers. 


First, melt your chocolate chips. Put your chips in a microwave safe bowl. Set your microwave to a low power setting. Microwave for one minute. Then, stir the chips. Next, microwave for 30 second increments stirring in between until the chocolate chips are melted and smooth. Don't microwave too long or at too high of a temperature because your chocolate will seize.


Now, dip your graham crackers. I dipped half way up the cracker. With a knife, wipe off any excess chocolate.


Place your dipped graham crackers on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. After you dip a few crackers, sprinkle your decorations on while the chocolate is still warm.


Once all your graham crackers are decorated and looking delicious, place your cookie sheets in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to harden.


Then, serve! They were delicious and my kids loved them - so did I! This treat would also make a great gift around the holidays. You could stack a bunch of graham crackers in a cellophane bag and hand them out to friends. Enjoy!




Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Printable "Friends are the Flowers...." Tags & Picks


I was driving home today 
and spotted pots of mums at our local home improvement store.
Fall must surely be coming, right? 
Even though it says 90˚ on the school marque.
Summer is hanging on for awhile.



 But, I couldn't resist these lovely mini pots of mums.
Thought they would make the perfect gift for a friend.


I wanted to add a little extra touch of fun 
so I designed these cute friend picks.
You can print off your own {here}


I trimmed them down and mounted on black card stock.


Take a thin wood skewer, cut in half
and hot glue to the back of the tag.

I took some cellophane and wrapped around the pot,
to help catch any dripping water and
to dress it up a bit.


Tied it with raffia.
Remember when raffia was used all the time with crafts?
And one bunch would pretty much last you forever.
Well, I had some laying around and used it for the bow.
Raffia is very Fallish.


A sure way to brighten someone's day.


I got such a great deal on the mums ($1.58 a pot!)
That I went back for a few more.


You can never spread too much cheer to those around you.


And I can't wait for Fall!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Kid Friendly Chili


I grew up in a home that didn't add a lot of "heat" to food and I've continued this tradition in my home (although I do have one child that would enjoy a little more kick to his dishes here and there). Growing up, my mom made a yummy chili that I loved smelling as I walked into the kitchen. This chili is not at all spicy, but is perfect for young children or for those of us who like things a little tame. It was a staple in my childhood home and has become a staple in my home today. With the weather changing, you may want to add this comfort food to your Fall line-up.

Kid Friendly Chili 



1 64 oz. can of tomato juice
1 can of Italian recipe tomatoes
2 cans of pinto beans (drained and rinsed) 
1/2 onion diced
1 green pepper diced
1 pound of hamburger, cooked and crumbled

Throw all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for the day. Enjoy your chili topped with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, diced red onion, or diced avocado. 



Friday, August 19, 2016

Kid Olympic Crafts


What kid doesn't dream of being in the Olympics?
It's been fun to watch the games in Rio the past two weeks.
Today we've got some fun craft ideas for your little Olympians.
We used these at our last Kid Camp.
This would be fun for a party too.
Start out your Olympics with the torch.
We got our torch inspiration off Pinterest {here}.

We cut a torch/flame shape out of card stock.


Then we cut the outline of the torch handle out of foil and hot glued it in place


Next, the kids glued on square of orange, red, yellow and gold tissue.




These torches looked great,
time to start the games!


We set up a slip and slide in the backyard
and had slide competitions.
Water sponge relay races, balance beam (walking across a pool noodle), cartwheel competition and sponge darts (drew a bullseye with sidewalk chalk on the patio and they threw sponges in center).
A favorite was paper plate tennis.
The rackets were paper plates decorated with markers and a large Popsicle stick glued on the bottom.
(We glued another stick on the back in the center for extra support.)
They hit a balloon back and forth.  
They had a lot of fun with this tennis game.


Everyone got a medal.
You can find our gold medal template {here}
Print out on golden yellow card stock and cut out.
We pick up this great ribbon on clearance from the 4th at Hobby Lobby.


Fold the ribbon in the middle and staple on the medal.

 
They decorated their medals--so cute.


A fun Friday at the Olympics!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Teacher Survival Kit


School is right around the corner.
As you know, we have several teachers in our family.
My oldest daughter will start teaching 6th grade next week!
As a brand new teacher,
I thought she could use a "Teacher Survival Kit" 
to start out the year.
Here is what we've got in the kit:


I think she's going to love it!
I found the items mostly in the travel size item section at Walmart & Target.
The pen, apple post it notes and colored paper clips from Michaels.
You can always find cute thank you cards at Marshalls.
Pick up a gift card to some place local where your teacher can stop in for a treat!

Use a large cellophane bag for your items.
And tie it up with some cute ribbon or tulle.


Add our fun survival item list.
You can print off your own Teacher Survival Kit list {here}


I just trimmed down the list and mounted it on black card stock.

I was so excited about making one for my daughter,
that I made a few more for some of the other teachers we know.
Make one for your teacher to kick off the year!


Friday, August 12, 2016

Superhero Day


Each summer my older kids put on a "Kid Camp"
It's a way for them to make a little money over the summer--
keeps my teens and tweens busy and creative.
Moms like it too,
especially when you get to that point in the summer when it's hard to keep kids entertained.

Kids ages 3-9 years can sign up to come.
They have crafts, games and snacks.
And a theme for each day.
Our last camp had a Superhero Day.
These ideas would be great if you were throwing a Superhero party too! :)

Every Superhero needs a cape.
We cut out these simple capes from a dollar store plastic tablecloth.
You can get 16 capes out of one cloth!
First, take it out of the bag and only unfold it so it's one long vertical piece 
about 9 feet long and 13 1/2 inches wide. (You'll still have a lot of folds in-between!)
Cut this piece in half so you have two 4 1/2' pieces.


Now, cut these in half so you have four 2 1/4' pieces.
In each of these 4 sections you'll have 4 layers of plastic.
Cut along the sides to give yourself 4 individual pieces of plastic.
You should end up with 4 pieces in each section that are 6 x 13 1/2"= 16 cape rectangles.


Fold this in half length-wise,
Cut an arc, starting along the fold side and ending at the top,
leaving about 2" on the side.


Unfold for your cape!


You can find more details on cape instructions  {here}

To make these a little more individual,
the girls had the kids design their own hero logo on half a piece of white paper.
Then we ran it through our sticker maker
and stuck it right on the back of the cape. Easy!
Check out some of these cute logos...

 

 

These heroes needed a shield too.
They decorated the back of a paper plate with markers.
We cut 2" wide strips of poster board, measured around their arm for easy on/off access and stapled.
Then hot glued these arm holders in place on the opposite side of the plate.




Now ready to "stand up for justice in a single bound!" 


The capes and shields provided tons of fun being superheros!
We had a snack and then made 


You never know when you might need some!
All of a sudden, we realized our prized pup, Sunnie,
was missing and the kids found this note:

That tricky Joker!
The kids had to go on a treasure hunt and solve the riddles
to find that pup and missing jewels!
(Joker note font {Earwig Factory})

The Joker was no match for these superhero kids!
They found the pup and the candy necklace jewels!


This was a lot of work for the girls,
but one of our favorite Kid Camp days.
The kids had a blast!
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