Friday, February 24, 2017
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Ghost Mud OK. You’ve made the Expanding Soap with Ivory soap. Toilet Paper Roll (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Now, you want to know what to do with all that brittle, expanded soap. It’s not in the shape of a bar anymore. While you can still use it as perfectly good soap, there is something else fun you can do with it with your grandchildren. Materials Bar of soap, either grated or shaved into small pieces or, if Ivory soap, expanded in the microwave until it is brittle Roll of toilet paper Warm water Measuring cup Large bowl Instructions Remove all the toilet paper from the roll. If it’s... (Read More ...)

Merry Christmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Cards for Hospitalized Kids. Fun with Grandchildren My grandmother was the Principal in the school at the University of Michigan’s hospital. She was responsible for making sure that children who were hospitalized for a long time did not fall too far behind in school. Today, there are still children who will be in the hospital over Christmas. Cards for Hospitalized Kids was founded by an 11-year-old girl, Jen Rubino, in 2006, because of her own chronic illness, multiple surgeries and extended hospitalizations. You and your grandchildren can make much-welcomed... (Read More ...)

Advent Calendar (Photo credit: Pedronet) Advent Calendar for Kids There are some very creative people making homemade Advent calendars for kids. In the photo accompanying this post you can see an example of how your grandchildren can use construction paper to add windows that open for each day. In the related articles below, Advent calendars range from pinning numbers on a string on your wall to printing off a Santa beard with numbers you can cut off. The one I liked the best though is easy and mailable and reminds me of the ones my Grandmother used to mail to me that had beautiful pictures behind... (Read More ...)

How Do You Make an Alphabet Book? The older children and grandchildren are now back in school. Do they have younger brothers and sisters at home who feel left out? Construction paper colors (Photo credit: Wikipedia) This activity will not only help get them get ready for reading and school,  they will be involved in important activities, just like their older brothers and sisters. I’ve always kept construction paper around the house and you can simply fold a stack of 6 pages of paper in half and staple a piece of construction paper around them to make a simple book, or follow some of these... (Read More ...)

What Can You Do with Leftover Crayons? Georges Seurat This activity requires adult supervision, because you use candles to melt crayons. You are going to make a pointillist crayon art picture. Although the craftster who made this originally used white tiles as backing, and then they were so beautiful she put them on her mantelpiece as decorations, you could as easily use white posterboard for the backing. You will need: Leftover crayons (it is particularly striking if you use variations of a single color, like light and dark reds and pinks) White posterboard or white tile Paper to make large... (Read More ...)

Bar of Soap Soap. Pieces. What Can You Do With Leftover Soap? What do you do with leftover bits of soap? Or, do you have liquid soap dispensers now, instead of bars? I just smash the old piece of soap onto the next bar. But, creative people collect them to make new bars or molded soap. The simplest recipe is to grate the soap, add water and melt it down. Pour into a mold, like an old margarine container, and let rest until dry and hard. Make New Soap from Old Here is a recipe from Make Soap at Home for a slightly fancier version. You can also add coloring, oils and fragrances, found at crafts... (Read More ...)

Image via Wikipedia When my younger son was little, we used to go to art museums. I’d read a book by a former Montessori teacher about an easy way to introduce children to art by playing games with art postcards. You could buy pairs of postcards and play the memory game, Concentration, turning 20 to 30 postcards upside down and turning over two at a time to see if you could match them. (This worked best if you taped the postcard to a piece of construction paper or cardstock so the backs would all be the same.) You could try to match up paintings by the same artist. You could try to put the... (Read More ...)

Ladybug An ink pad. A marker with a fine point. Fingers.  A piece of paper. That is all you need to make thumbprint art. It helps, if you need help with design ideas, to see what others have done. I recommend Ed Emberley’s landmark book: Ed Emberley’s Complete FunPrint Drawing Book. It shows you, step-by-step, how to start with a thumbprint, then add just a few lines to make creatures ranging from spiders to ladybugs, from turtles to caterpillars, from trains to clowns. He even shows you how, with just a few lines, to make a skier, a football player, or a basketball player. The essence... (Read More ...)

Flowers from grandchildren I recently put away the last of the flower vases after the last grandchild’s visit. Every time either my grandson or granddaughter visits for a few days, picking flowers and filling vases in every room is one of our first activities. Sometimes we add something seasonal, in this case, acorns. Sometimes we have cut flowers from flowers I’ve planted. Sometimes they are mixed, as they were this fall, with the miniature daisy-like wild flowers growing at the edge of our lawn and the tiny grass strands that look somewhat like pussy willows. In all cases, the house full... (Read More ...)

Image via Wikipedia I told my daughter-in-law I was starting a blog for mothers and grandmothers, loosely themed, “That was then. This is now,” and that I was going to include a Frugal Friday feature on cheap or free things to do with children and grandchildren. She immediately told me about the bathtub crayons she had just made by shaving old bits of soap, mixing them with food coloring, melting them and forming them into chunky crayons. You can use the soap bits you have collected, buy ready-made soap for the purpose, or buy Ivory flakes.  (Read More ...)