Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Two months already!

Baby B is two months old already!
The other day her big brother T aka #3 was making faces at her to get her to smile. He told #1 what face to make, and when #1 tried it B did not smile. #3 casually said, "It only works when her favorite brother does it."


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sweet Smile

I've been waiting for weeks to catch this with the camera...

Cures for the summertime blues

I have been collecting papercrafts on the computer for a while. Some of them are quite complicated and I may never get around to making them, but its nice to know I have them on file if I need them.

If your kids are bored this summer, here are a few of my favorite papercrafting sites.

Canon 3D Papercraft has a wide variety of paper models to download for free. You can even build a paper town complete with roads, train tracks, people, vehicles and buildings.

PaperToys.com has vehicles, animals, and several famous buildings. One thing I really like about this site is that many of their models can be downloaded in black and white so that you can color them yourself and don't have to use precious printer ink.

Making Friends is great for younger kids. There is a huge variety of paper doll patterns to be downloaded with various themes. You can download them in color or color them yourself. There are even cub scout and girl scout paper doll clothes and holiday clothes as well as different sports and other themes. We have used these in our co-op preschool and the kids love them.

Toy-A-Day is a blog done by a guy that makes simple paper toys using a basic template. His goal is to make one toy a day for a whole year. There are links to download toys on his blog. Favorite characters from movies, TV and video games can be found there and the models are easy to build. Joe, who runs the blog recently hosted a contest and asked people to design paper toys using his template. Three of our boys and I entered the contest and the boys have been having a lot of fun just using the template to make their own paper toys.

There are many more papercraft sites out there, so try one out today and beat the boredom!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Make your own beanbag balls

In my quest for ways to beat the summertime blues, I went to the website for Family Fun Magazine and looked up some crafts to do with the boys. This project was one of the first ones to catch my eye so I bought the supplies I needed and we made some today. You can follow the link to the project, or you can follow this tutorial.

For each beanbag/juggling ball you need the following:

A funnel, three balloons, (they say 11" balloons, but I used 12" and they turned out fine. I imagine that 9" balloons would work as well), and the filling of your choice. Their website called for lentils, but I used brown rice, and I have heard of people using birdseed or just dry beans as well. Rice is what I had, and it worked fine.

Take the first balloon and blow it up about halfway. Hold it closed like that for about 30 seconds and then let the air out. Using the funnel, fill the balloon with your filling. I found it helpful to squeeze the balloon to compact the filling inside so that I could fit more. Once the balloon is filled to your satisfaction (It took between 1/2 to 3/4 cups of rice for ours) make sure there is no filling in the neck of the balloon (squeeze it all down into the main part). Cut just the thick end of the neck off.

Next you will cut the whole neck off of the second and third balloons.

Stretch the second balloon over the first one, folding the neck of the first balloon over so that it will be smooth. Make sure the opening of the second balloon ends up opposite the bottom of the neck of the first balloon. Repeat this step with the third balloon, making sure the opening is once again opposite the opening of the previous balloon.

Here is our finished products. I bought themed balloons for 99 cents at a discount store. I thought it made the balls that much cooler. Its also a good idea to get multi colored balloons, that way if two people like the same color they can just choose a different color for the second balloon and you can still tell them apart.

These make great juggling balls. They are the right size and weight for it. Years ago I had bought a set of juggling balls and they were filled with flax seed. They were great, but I think flax seed is a bit on the spendy side.

We thought these were a fun project, and they are inexpensive to make and easy to replace if something happens to one. I also tried filling one up with cornstarch instead. It made for a lighter weight ball along the lines of a stress ball, but getting the filling in was much messier and more time consuming. I hope you enjoy this project!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Losing his memory...

#5 aka C just turned five. His teacher at church gives each kid in class a paper wrist band after each lesson in order to help the young kids in his class talk to their parents about what they learn on Sunday.
Every night at dinner D asks the boys about what they learned or did that day. When it came to #5's turn we asked him if he had a different teacher today. He said "Sammy's Mom taught, but she didn't give me a wrist band, so I don't remember what I learned about today."