Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hand Print Christmas Card to do with your Child

We're having a blast crafting the last few days.  Emma and I have been making Christmas gifts and cards for all the family members!  Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends!  We're even thinking of doing one for the teacher :)  Its been going really well and we've been on a very good track of doing 3 per sitting! :D

I'm sharing this first one with you, its so simple and easy to do and really a lot of fun.

What you'll need:

Construction paper
Colours (brown, green, red, blue and yellow)
Brushes
Little hands

We only had red, blue and yellow colour. So we used blue and yellow to make green, and blue, yellow & red to make brown.... I didn't get the balance right with this last combination so our brown looks a bit purplish.  If you need brown, you should just mix red & green and it would turn out ok.  I skimped on yellow because we were running low and I really needed it for the green.

Take construction paper and fold in half to make a card.

Use brown colour to make the tree trunk.  Paint your child's hand green and have her stamp around on the page until you create a Christmas Tree shape.


toddler craft hand print Christmas tree painted hand
Emma LOVED doing this!
Once the tree is somewhat dried, have your child dip her finger in red paint and stamp around the tree to make red ornaments.

toddler craft hand print Christmas Tree finger print ornaments
toddler craft hand print Christmas Tree finger print ornaments
 toddler craft hand print Christmas Tree finger print ornaments

Continue doing so with as many colours as you like.  We used blue and yellow to create this beautiful Christmas card for her aunt and uncle :)

Emma really enjoyed herself, she really liked using her hands and fingers to paint.  She is so proud of her creation.  Its really hard for her to keep it a secret... (hopefully none of our family members will check out this blog before Christmas!).

** Jan 4, 2011: Just a small added update since we've made quite a few of these as Christmas gifts.  We also glued mini pompoms in addition to finger prints to the card.  Its the blue and white ones in this pic.

toddler craft hand print Christmas Tree card

toddler craft hand print Christmas Tree card



  

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday - Christmas II

Another week and another holiday theme.  And for us that's Christmas! 

Muffin Tin Meal Christmas theme

I'm using my orange Muffin Tin, not very Christmasy I know but Emma asked for it and what she says goes! :)

So, what's in the tin?  Homemade crêpe with blackberry jam (rolled into a funny looking ornament), homemade blackberry jam, grapes (more Christmas ornaments), Christmas Tree sandwich, the negative of the sandwich (Emma used it to dip into the jam) and plain yoghurt.



Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth



  

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Painting out of the box

Emma loves painting, whenever I ask her what shall we do, more often than not she'd say paint.

However, if I let her paint with her brushes I really need to be around to make sure she stops at the point where her work looks like a beautiful abstract painting, otherwise we'd pretty much be left with a giant brown blob :o)

So the other day instead of brushes, I gave her empty toilet rolls. And what she created was just beautiful.

toddler craft painting with paper rolls

toddler craft painting with paper rolls

toddler craft painting with paper rolls

toddler craft painting with paper rolls

toddler craft painting with paper rolls

toddler craft painting with paper rolls

toddler craft painting with paper rolls

I'm planning to frame and hang this somewhere very visible :o)

  

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday - Christmas

We've had a very busy weekend.... shopping, office Santa parties for kids, name days, guests & celebrations.... That's why I'm a little late with my Muffin Tin!

But with no further ado, here's our very rushed Christmas snack:

muffin tin monday christmas theme

Top row: cheese pie, Cinnamon covered squirrel & reindeer (or moose) chips which Emma helped create
Bottom row: apple (Emma's been into biting whole apples lately), homemade blackberry jam to dip the Cinnamon chips into and a mandarin.

I'll post the recipe for the chips soon! This is another great inspiration I got from the Muffin Tin Mom! :)


Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth


  

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Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm terrified of Plastics

I am more and more terrified of plastics.  There is so much of it out there and it's really confusing when it comes to choosing what's best for your family.

Every single time I hand my daughter a plastic sippy cup, plate or utensil I think twice. There are special plastics markings which we should look for when looking for safety but sadly there are more unmarked plastics out there than not.

safe plastics


Bisphenol-A (BPA) has received a lot of bad rep since 2008 and deservedly so.  In Oct 2010 Canada was the first country to declare BPA toxic and ban its use in food & drink containers such as baby bottles.  Today I found out that the EU has also banned the use of BPA in baby bottles starting in March 2011, and banned for import and sale as of June 2011.

According to Wikipedia, BPA is a chemical that mimics the action of the human hormone estrogen.

BPA has been found to stimulate prostate cancer cells and causes breast tissue changes in mice that resemble early stages of breast cancer in both mice and humans. One study found an association between ovarian dysfunction and higher levels of BPA in urine.

BPA is primarily used to make polycarbonate plastic food and beverage containers, plastic food wrap, and epoxy resins that are used to line metal cans for food, such as cans of soup. Polycarbonate plastic food and beverage containers that contain BPA will be labeled recycling #7.

What we need to know (taken from eHow): 

PETE, Labeled 1, Polyethylene Terephthalate - Common in drink containers (soda, water, etc.) food jars and cosmetic holders. This material is not designed for repeated use due to leaching and bacteria growth.  
HDPE, Labeled 2, High density Polyethylene - This is common in milk and juice containers as well as grocery and shopping bags. From what we know, it appears to be safe. 

PVC, Labeled 3, Polyvinyl Chloride - This is found in vinyl shower curtains, baby mattresses, window frames, meat wrap just to name a few. PVC is known as the Poison Plastic because of the dangerous toxins it contains.  

LDPE, Labeled 4, Low density polyethylene - Found in sturdy trash bags, bread bags, squeezable bottles and food wrap. This one also appears to be safe. 

PP, Labeled 5, Polypropylene - Common in medicine bottle, cereal bags, straws, chip and snack bags, and food storage containers. Also in children's sippy cups and bottles. This one also appears to be safe. 

PS, Labeled 6, Polystyrene - Used in CD/tape cassettes, plastic cutlery, egg cartons, and take out containers. Avoid this one as it is a possible carcinogen and hormone disruptor. It may leach styrene.

The most confusing is the one labeled 7, which is "other" OR "PC" which is toxic Polycarbonate. This is sadly found in baby bottles, baby food containers, formula containers, pacifiers, and car parts. It is better to be safe than sorry and avoid this one. The concern is from leaching of Bisphenol A which appears to cause chromosomal damage.


      • I've done some further research on label #7 and have found that there are some bottles marked with number 7, and promoted as BPA free, underneath it's written Tritan, BPA Free.  However, although it is BPA free it doesn't actually mean that it's safe. This is because the ingredients that make up Tritan have been kept secret.  So we have no way of knowing whether its safe.  It could contain some other dangerous chemical, or not.... we just don't know. 
      • I should state that there are some number 7 plastics which are safe but do not belong to any other category so are sadly lumped here. Such as Biobased plastics which are basically plastics made of plants instead of toxic chemicals.  But those plastics should be marked as such.

Now the scary point is that when heated, even the safe plastics emit BPA.  So basically, we should not microwave food in plastic containers, and we should really avoid putting them in the dishwasher as well.  We should not put hot foods in plastic containers for storage but wait until cooled to do so.  The more the plastics are used, scratched and worn out, the more chances there are of BPA leaching out.

I've basically made a decision to completely reduce the use plastics with Emma and all my future children. I'm switching to stainless steel as soon as I can get my hands on a bottle. There are even stainless steel baby bottles.   I've actually decided to go so far and import stainless steel baby bottles, sippy cups and sports bottles to Cyprus.  So if anyone in Cyprus wants one, please let me know!

  
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MuffinTin Monday - Snack

Here's our latest muffin tin! There's no theme this week and these are usually my favorite....

muffin tin monday

So here's what's in our tin:  
Top: soft buttered bread sticks, cheese roll ups, red grapes (pitted)
Bottom: honey, Special K cereal, cubed plums

Emma ate everything except the plums... granted the skin was a little sour.


Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth


  

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fun Lunches Make the World Go Round!

Here's another of Emma's teddy lunches with a bit of a twist.  She loves getting her lunch served like this....
Bento Lunch box

Bento Lunch box

So its a Butter sandwich with Cinnamon teddy and teddy bear bourgouri with yogurt and cucumbers.  This box was gone in 60 seconds :P

  

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday - Thanksgiving

Its thanksgiving theme over at Muffin Tin Monday.... and I was totally going to bail on this theme until I visited MTM website.  I'm totally taking her idea and posting the Foods we are Thankful for.... FRUIT! :)

Here's that tin :)
muffin tin monday thanksgiving theme
Apples, Mandarins, Bananas

Emma loved it and that's what I'm thankful for :)




Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

  

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas (Rudolph) Craft to do with your Kids

Here's another great craft to do with your kids, its simple and quick for those short attention spans :)

It's the same technique we used in the Turkey Craft a few weeks ago.

toddler craft hand print and foot print Rudolph


What you'll need:
Orange & Brown Paper
Scissors
Glue
Goggly Eyes
Markers

Trace two feet on brown paper and two hands on yellow paper. Cut out with scissors.  Depending on the age of your child you may need to do this yourself.

toddler craft tracing hands and feet to make Rudolph

I let Emma colour the back of the foot while I cut out the hands to keep her occupied.  Then we glued the antlers and the other foot to cover the back.

toddler craft gluing Rudolph

toddler craft gluing Rudolph

toddler craft gluing Rudolph

Then we cut out a round nose and coloured it red and glued it to the face together with the goggly eyes to the face. And then Emma drew the smile...

toddler craft gluing Rudolph's eyes

toddler craft hand and foot print cut out Rudolph

Let me know how yours turns out if you try to do it :)

  
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