Dr. Seuss Birthday Cake

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My friend Shelly made this Dr. Seuss cake. So beautiful and whimsical! The best part is, she lives in Salt Lake so I can have her make me one like it the next time I have a Dr. Seuss Party.
cat hat cake Urry1
Check out my guest post about Granite Bakery's amazing cakes over at I Heart Salt Lake today.

Book Order Bucks, Reading Incentive Bookmarks

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Book Order Bucks - Bookmarks
This past year I created Book Order Bucks for my first-grader. For each chapter book she finishes reading she fills out the title on the blank bookmark/buck. She has been flying through the Rainbow Fairy series. 
If she reads five books she gets $5 credit for the next book order that she receives at school. We love getting book order forms from Scholastic. They have great prices and everything is divided by reading levels. It can add up when my daughter circles 13 books she wants. This incentive program helps her learn to budget what she has earned.

During the summer I tell her she can pick out five books at the thrift store as her reward. This is a better deal for me because the books are only 50 cents. It motivates her to keep reading and she loves seeing her progress and tracking how many books she has read.

Book Order Bucks: Free Printable for non-commercial use.

Book Order Bucks 5 ObSEUSSedClick on the picture. Copy and paste into word, resize if needed. Print on green paper to look like money.
Happy reading!

Lego Birthday Party Ideas and Printable

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

We created a simple and inexpensive Lego birthday party this year for my son.  Here are some of the things we did.
I got cheap yellow construction hats at the party store and made a label to go on front.
We got a small race car Lego kit for each child to build then they raced them down a car slide in our hallway.
We put the Legos on felt mats (just a 8x11 felt sheet) so the pieces would stay put while building.

Lego Builder Hat Sign:
I found the amazing Lego font to make these labels. You can print them out for the hats. Copy and paste into word and print them.
lego builderFree Printable. For non-commercial use only.
I made a 9x13 cake then added 6 cupcakes to the top and frosted it all yellow. Then I added mega blocks all around the edges for some color.  I’ve seen much fancier cakes done but I was in a rush and my 5 year old could care less, it was the thought (fitting with the theme) that counts.

legoJar_1 Mini figure Lego head jar party favors. Click here to see how I made these out of baby food jars.

106_9310_1Then we threw mega blocks all over the floor and had them race to see who could build the biggest tower in 1 minute.

Incredible Lego Star Wars birthday party, a Lego Head cake and Indiana Jones Lego birthday party from Ashlee at I’m Topsy Turvy.
Make Lego Crayons or Lego Gummy Snacks with a mold by Ashlee too.
Great Lego printables, games and Lego cake pop ideas at Living Locurto.
Colorful lego decorations and a cute bunting banner at Busy Me, Busy with Three.
Fun Lego Party juice box covers, invitations and games at My Many Colored Days.
Awesome party with a Lego head cake and pin the smile on the Lego head game @ I saw that going differently in my mind.
Make your own Lego Mini Figure Photo Op Boards @ Big D & Me.
Picture Mix up with Mega Blocks from I Love Chesterrific.

If your kids like Legos, get them excited about reading by picking a book featuring Legos. Here are some cute and INEXPENSIVE (check out the one for only a penny + shipping) ones we'd recommend.

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Linking this idea to more great projects at:
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Lego Storage Jar, DIY Craft and books

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I created these Lego head storage jars out of recycled baby food jars. I had saved a month's worth of jars and knew I could use them for some type of craft. Their shape reminded me of Lego mini figure heads so I spray painted the jars all yellow to make these fun and functional Lego storage jars.  These would be great as gifts with a Lego set or as party favors.  See our Lego Party Ideas here.

(Intended for display and storage only, not to be used as a toy.)
You’ll need baby food jars.  Yellow spray paint.  A black sharpie. Clear spray paint. Super simple!

I used Krylon 'Sun Yellow' gloss, indoor/outdoor spray paint and Krylon Crystal Clear Satin spray paint.

Peel off the wrappers and take off the lids.
Lay out newspaper on a flat surface or use an old box to set the jars on.
Turn jars upside down and spray the first coat to cover the bottom & round edges of the jar. Once dry, turn over and spray 1-2 more coats. Spray the jars and lids (while off) from all angles. Don't paint the inside.
Tip: 1 can of spray paint covered about 30 jars & lids with 2-3 coats. Next time I may not spray the top of the jar (where the spirals are) because it makes it more difficult to put the lid on.
Once they dry you can draw on them with the permanent marker. Let your kids try drawing some. (Using a vinyl cutting machine like the Cricut or Silhouette would look more professional but the markers were cheap and easy.)
Once you've drawn all the faces on, add the coat of clear spray paint to seal it all. Once everything is dry, then add the lids.


I looked up some ideas for Lego mini figures on Google images for inspiration.

Now you’ll have a great place to store those tiny Lego pieces.  The jars would be a great display for your child’s room or to take along on a trip.

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    Here are some of the other faces we tried.
Lego Pyramid crop

UPDATE: Fall 2011 we used these jars at my son's birthday party. We gave each child a mystery mini figure they put together and could store it inside the jar as a favor.

Linking Life to Literacy LO june 11
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And since my son is a huge Lego fan, I’m so happy they have created beginner reading books to get him excited about reading.  Here are a few of his favorites we got from the Scholastic Book Order.

We also signed up for the FREE Lego Club Magazine that comes in the mail. He loves the comics and puzzles and they have building ideas too. Another great tool to help your boys to love reading. See more tips here.

Also see how we made these larger Lego storage containers here:
See our LEGO party ideas here:

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I shared this craft at the following great blogs (check out all the other fun ideas):
Somewhat SimpleTip Junkie handmade projectsDIY under $5Shibley Smiles

Celebrating the 4th of July with the Statue of Liberty

Friday, July 1, 2011

I do believe New York City is the most patriotic city in America.  Thinking of the Statue of Liberty and the heroes from 9/11 make me cherish the freedom we have.  Just the ability to travel so freely is a blessing I want to take advantage of when possible. We recently visited NYC as a family and made sure to check out some related books before our trip so the kids would know more about why we love America and our freedom so much.    IMG_2487_1

We took Flat Stanley on our trip with us.  He loved the Statue of Liberty.

These are some of our favorite books about Lady Liberty:

The artwork is beautiful in Lady Liberty, a picture book and biography by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Matt Tavares.

The L is for Liberty book is part of a series. I like the simplicity of the pictures and words.

The Statue of Liberty by Lloyd G. Douglas was my favorite for my 5-year-old because it had real pictures of the statue and nice short facts with very few words on each page.

The Step into Reading version of The Statue of Liberty has great illustrations and was a nice easy-reader for my first-grader.

Even if you don’t get to take a trip to NYC, just open one of these books for a quick mini trip to celebrate America’s Independence Day.

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