Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How to Make a Diaper Cake

I really thought making a diaper cake was one of the hardest yet cutest things someone could make for a baby shower.  I figured my sister-in-law's baby shower was the time to try.  Surprisingly, its very easy!  Takes a little time, but not too much!

The first step is to wrap all the diapers with rubber bands.  I've heard you can skip this step, but it is harder for the diapers to stay rolled.  The color of the bands doesn't matter as they'll be hidden by ribbon.

The next step is is to make the bottom layer around another gift item, such as baby lotion.  Secure your layer in place with a big band.
Repeat this step to make the second layer.

 The top layer is created around a baby bottle for my cake.  My then 7 year old assisted greatly with the process up to this point.

Adding an "It's a Boy" lollipop and cute elephant for the cake topper. And tying ribbons around the layers to hide the rubber bands.
And there you have the result.  Easy, beautiful, and practical!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Vacation Idea: Trip to Gaitlinburg and the Smokey Mountains

I never did post about the second half of our Moonbow vacation.  We had visited Kentucky and saw one of the only 2 naturally occurring moonbows in the world, ate some chicken liver at the first KFC, and went horseback riding for the first time.  Then, we hopped back in the minivan and drove to Gaitlinburg.

Our first stop was the Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies.  I stumbled upon an amazing SAVINGS before our trip.  By showing our homeschool group membership card, our family paid LESS THAN HALF of the regular price for tickets!  This is an amazing deal and a great museum to offer such a substantial discount.

We stayed at a cabin in the woods but a short trip from town. We also saw a very tame black bear while staying there.  No, we didn't try to pet it!

Here we are hiking in the Smokey Mountains after a morning of ziplining with the older daughter.  No photos here either...didn't want to drop a camera from 50 feet in the air!

On our last day we visited Dollywood and rode this ride that reminds me of another park I'm seriously going to have to blog about someday.  Maybe many days as much as we visit it!

 This was my favorite attraction at Dollywood: high ropes course.  I could've stayed on this all day!

The hands-on attractions for the kids were great, too.  I would definitely recommend Gaitlinburg!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Art Project Idea: Eric Carle Style Illustrations

I recently had the task of teaching a single art class at my daughter's homeschool co-op.  Being the avid lesson planner I am (its my favorite part of teaching), I WAY overplanned.  I decided the artist I wanted to teach about was Eric Carle.  He has illustrated childhood favorites such as Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  He completes his work by painting tissue paper and then making a collage with the painted tissue paper.

Step one was to paint the tissue paper.  We used paintbrushes, toys with wheels, rollers to make designs, fingers, anything we could get to put paint on the paper.  Since I knew I would be short on time, we completed some paper at home before bringing it to class so the students would have dry paper to cut.  In the future, I would simply devote an entire class period to the tissue paper decorating.

Once the tissue paper was all painted, we set it aside to dry.  I read the students Brown Bear, Brown Bear to demonstrate a piece of Eric Carle's work.  Then the students decided on an animal to create and made it! I was surprised how little help they needed with this part!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Baby Shower Idea: Diaper Raffle

I attended a baby shower once that included a special prize raffle for those who brought a pack of diapers or wipes to the party.  I thought this was a brilliant idea! (And who doesn't like the chance to win something?!)  When I planned my sister-in-law's shower, I decided to incorporate the surprise diaper blessing at her shower.  You can see the prize sitting behind the starter pack: a beautiful bouquet of live hyacinths! As each guest arrived with their gift, if they also had a pack of diapers or wipes, they filled out a slip to put in the basket.  And the mom-to-be went home with a slew of diapers!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hopscotch and Letter Practice

I really can't take the credit for this one. It was all my 3 year old! She decided to play hopscotch, but wrote letters instead of numbers. The teacher in me started to think of all the learning opportunities here! You can do letter recognition as you hop, or letter sounds, or even throw the bean bags in succession to make words (B-A-G). Be creative!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How to Make a Perry the Platypus Cake

Oh there you are, Perry!

My kids are HUGE Phineas and Ferb fans.  Okay, its not just the kids.  We love a funny show that is squeaky clean we can enjoy as a family.  For her birthday, one of our daughter's requested a Perry the Platypus cake.  This required a little creativity as there isn't an already made cake pan for that!

Also, as we decided for some reason to have the kids' party the same day as the family party we'd be eating this cake at, it had to be easy!


Large handful of orange starbursts (or other pliable candy)
2 Large Marshmallows
2 Hershey Kisses
Toaster Waffle (such as Eggo)
Your favorite Cake Mix

If you look at the image, we decided to bake a plain 9x12 sheet as a base to feed more people. Perry's body is a loaf pan.  I also used leftover batter to bake a small cake which was cut into his legs attached at the side.

Toast the waffle, and attach the tail with toothpicks.  The eyes are made with the "pointy" end of the kisses inserted into the marshmallow.  To make the feet, unwrap the starburst and microwave them a few seconds until they are pliable.  Then shape into feet or beak. Not the most aesthetic of cakes we've made but our little girl was thrilled!