Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Witch Family by Eleanor Estes

I read The Witch Family by Eleanor Estes when I was in 2nd grade and thought about it from time to time as an adult. I tried to find it for years and was thrilled when I finally found a copy.  I still love the book as much as I did when I was 8 years old.

The Witch Family is about two best friends, Amy and Clarissa and their bumblebee friend, Malachi.  The two girls make up stories and have incredible imaginations and a grand sense of adventure. The story takes place at Halloween and the girls meet witches and mermaids.

Amy and Clarissa have banished a wicked witch to a bare glassy hill as punishment for being so wicked. They only allow her off the hill on Halloween night. They soften up her punishment and send a witch girl, who is their same age, to ease the witch's loneliness.

The witch girl changes the witch's life and transforms the glassy hill into an enchanting land with other whimsical creatures.

This book is perfectly written for young girls and those who are still young at heart.  It is full of magic and charm and it is an especially fun book to read at Halloween time.

Happy reading!!

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Monday, September 12, 2011

How to Make a Mermaids Welcome Sign

I usually buy plain white art canvas at Hobby Lobby for about $10 or $15. I used an 8 x 10 canvas and painted several coats of an ocean shade on the canvas. I used white paint to paint the words, Mermaids Welcome onto the canvas. It was so simple, easy, and inexpensive. If you're uncomfortable painting words freehandedly, you could use scrapbook chipboard letters or use a stencil. Your child's writing would add a lot of whimsy and charm too.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mermaid Dreams Book Review

My daughter and I are both big fans of mermaids. Just tonight, she told me that when she grows up she wants to be a "beautiful mermaid." Luckily, there are so many good mermaid books available. One of our favorites is an adorable tale about a girl who hates taking a bath.

The book illustrations are gorgeous and the writing is clever and features a twist at the end of the story.

Mermaid Dreams is written by Mark Sperring. This book is a must-have for mermaid fans.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Mermaid Nesting Dolls Fun

I bought a set of 6 plain nesting dolls from Hobby Lobby for about $8. This was my first attempt to paint nesting dolls.

My daughter and I brainstormed different themes for nesting dolls. I think it would be fun to do a Halloween theme with a ghost, witch, pumpkin, mummy, black cat, and a bat. You could also draw an outline of a shape such as a pumpkin and let your child color it with markers or paint pens. The possibilities are endless for holidays. You could paint Santa, Mrs. Claus, reindeer, and elves for Christmas; bunnies, chicks, and candy for Easter; pilgrims, Indians, and turkeys for Thanksgiving, etc.

You could do fairy tale themes such as Cinderella and paint Cinderella, the prince, the fairy godmother, a wicked stepsister and stepmother, and a mouse or a bird.

It was more time consuming than I thought...but isn't that how all projects are? Most importantly, it was fun, relaxing, and a lot cheaper than buying nesting dolls online.

Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Easy Way to Journal Your Child's History

Ever since my daughter was 3 months old, I have kept a journal on Microsoft Word. I update it monthly and e-mail a copy to myself in case my computer crashes. She's 6 now, but I still faithfully chronicle her life. When I go back and reread it, I am always amazed at how quickly I forget the little details. I think she will enjoy this a lot when she grows older. I am especially glad that I wrote down memories of her relationship with my mom. My mom passed away last year and they were very close to each other.

It's never to late to start a simple journal and preserve some family history and wonderful memories.

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

What's in Ned's Head Game Review

Ned has all sorts of gross things in his head like a rat, diaper, spider, Q-Tip, a gym sock, and a blue alien. It's a simple game that produces lots of giggles and silliness. You just have to pick up a card and find the matching item in Ned's head. Whoever has the most cards wins the game. My 6-year-old had a play date with another 6-year-old and a 3-year-old. They all enjoyed playing with the items.

My daughter also likes to play it with her Grandpa and he really hams up how grossed out he is by the contents in Ned's head.

My dad bravely reaching into Ned's ear.

It retails for approximately $30. It is for 2-4 players, age 3 and up. I rate this game 4 stars for its simplicity and fun factor.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

How to Make Butter With Kids

This is a fun and easy activity to do with your child.  You will need whipping cream, salt, and a baby food jar or any glass jar with a lid like a mayonnaise jar or a Mason jar.

1. Pour the whipping cream into the jar.
2. Tighten the lid and strongly shake the jar for 10 minutes.  The cream will separate into a liquid (buttermilk) and pale yellow clumps of fat (the butter).
3. Spoon the butter into a bowl.
4.  Use a wooden spoon because a metal spoon will ruin the butter's taste.
5. Rinse the butter with water until the water is clear.
6. Lightly salt for taste.

Laura and Mary Ingalls used to have to pound the churn's dasher up and down for a long time. Pioneer children used to sing: "Come butter, come Peter's standing at the gate waiting for a butter cake. Come butter, come." to pass the time.

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