Today is my son Jackson’s third birthday so I figured I’d share the pictures from his birthday party this weekend. He is all boy and requested a “Pirate – Firetruck – HOT WHEELS!” party. We settled on a firetruck theme party with a monster truck bounce house. I decided to go pretty simple this year and used some party supplies I had from Audrey’s last birthday. I took the Pottery Barn Kids Skyline Boxes from her Superhero party and added flames using some craft foam. Plastic table cloths and tissue balls I made finished off the scene. The cutest thing on the table was the cake that matched the invitation perfectly!
Hello! I’d like to share my new tutorial for Red River Moms magazine. It’s a fun little craft that I actually adapted from a lesson plan for with my art students. It’s easy to do, fun for kids and creates a very pretty result.
Coffee filters (not the cone shaped ones)
Small plastic containers (Yogurt, Sour Cream, Small cups, etc)
Green pipe cleaners or florist wire
Green construction paper
Vase or other container
Start by cutting the coffee filter into an organic flower shape, wavy edges or cut with pointed petals. You will use two coffee filters per flower. Make sure you cut one shape a little smaller to create the inside layer of your flower.
Next have your children color the coffee filters using the markers however they wish. Since there will be two layers for each flower make sure they coordinate the colors.
Lay your coffee filter on top of your small container and spray liberally with starch. Using your fingers you can “sculpt” the flowers into a shape you want. You will need to allow the filter to dry for several hours, apply another coat of starch then dry overnight.
The next day lay the smaller flower inside of the larger one. Using a x-acto knife cut a small slit in the two flowers. Twist two pipe cleaners together to make a strong stem and push them through the hole in the flower. Twist your pipe cleaner into a small knot or loop in the inside center of the flower to help hold it in place and another knot on the underside of the flower.
Using scissors cut two leaf shapes out of the construction paper and glue to the stems as leaves. You can also use the pipe cleaners to make leaves as I have done in the pictures.
Place your flowers into a container or vase of your choice. Fill the container with colored gift wrap shred or valentines’ candies and enjoy your beautiful arrangement.
WRITING THANK YOU NOTES WITH KIDS
Teaching your children to be gracious, compassionate and authentic is a very important lesson that they in turn will pass down to their own children one day. Writing thank you notes for many children seems like a chore but the trick is to make it creative and fun so they are free to express themselves. Spend a few minutes talking about the gifts and what made them special. This is especially helpful for a child who’s great aunt gave them a hand knitted sweater instead of a fun toy. You can discuss the time that she spent creating a special, one of a kind gift and how thoughtful that was. When you are ready to start, help your children create their own correspondence kit. In their own labeled container gather a favorite pen or pencil, stickers, their own address book and personalized stationery or blank thank you notes they pick out themselves. Another fun addition is to purchase their own personalized address stamp to make them feel a little bit more grown up. You can now find multi colored stamp pads at most hobby stores and kids will love this added touch of color. Allow a block of time to get it done, if it’s rushed no one will have fun and it will seem like a chore. Writing thank you notes can be a bonding time as well as a learning opportunity. Write a list of synonyms for your child so the note doesn’t become so repetitive, this is helpful for older children capable of writing their own notes but may get stuck on what to say. For younger children you can help them by allowing them to dictate to you what they want to say but leave a spot for them to sign their own name or draw a picture. One last way to make note writing a fun experience is to take photos of the child wearing, using or playing with the gift. Have them printed and then write the thank you note on the back.
IT’S ALMOST CARNIVAL TIME…..
January 6 is the start of Carnival Season with the Feast of the Epiphany or the Twelfth Night and lasts until midnight on Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras. Anyone who knows me knows that this is my favorite time of year. Mardi Gras is a celebration of food, fun and all things Louisiana, what’s not to love? The three colors of Mardi Gras have special meanings, Purple for justice, Green for faith and Gold for power. You can host your own special Mardi Gras celebration for children with a few fun crafts and yummy treats.
Party Invitations: Children can get involved making their own party invitations by decorating simple circle cardstock cutouts with markers and glitter. They can create their own Krewe emblem on one side and the party information on the back. Punch a hole in the top and run ribbon or a bead through it and you’ve got your own custom bead invitation.
The Children’s Mini Parade: This is an annual event at our party. Guests decorate their own wagons, bikes or tricycles and parade in front of the house. This can be a wonderful activity especially if you theme their parade by picking your child’s favorite movie or cartoon character. Gather some “judges” and award prizes to the funniest, best decorated and most original floats.
Décor, food and fun: Decorations are pretty easy to find in this area but you can get your kids in the spirit by having them make their own. Cut the center out of a paper plate, flip it over and allow kids to decorate them like king cakes. Add extra embellishment by adding glitter or streamers. String them all together to create a fun party banner. Speaking of king cake, it’s a must at any party! Add a fun twist by serving it with Mardi Gras, simply add purple or green food coloring. Dip the rims of the cups in melted chocolate and roll in colored sprinkles. Play Cajun or jazz music to get everyone in the Mardi Gras spirit.