Smart Snacking

I love it when meals are meaningful learning experiences. Why not have a little fun with your food? We must be on a bit of a food project kick around here. We had a Smart Snacking Shape Matching game for our snack yesterday. The kids loved matching the cracker shapes with the cheese shapes.

To make your Smart Snacking Matching Game you need:
cheese, various shapes of crackers, knife, circular object (I used one end of a plastic egg).
The crackers we used were: circle: ritz, square: zesta, oval: flipsides, hexagon: wheat thins- 5 grain, rectangular: graham crackers, triangle: zesta cut in half along the dots :)

{Little Project Tip:} To make hexagonally shaped cheese, just cut each corner off the square.  I "stamped" the cheese circles with one end of a plastic egg, but I think a cap from a milk or juice bottle may work too.

To play the Smart Snacking Game: Separate the shapes of crackers and cheese and then have each child take a turn picking a cracker shape and matching it to the cheese shape.  Then eat :)

{Little Project Tip:} This would be a really fun snack for a play date or pre-school activity too!
Enjoy This Little Project!

Fish Food

You might say that we've been playing with our food around here, and it sure makes life more fun :)
Here is what we call "Fish Food." The little ice fish are made with the ice tray from IKEA
We make them with various kinds/colors of juice so that our fish come out looking like different species.  Orange juice works well for gold fish.
{Little Project Tip:} When you are serving these it's best to put the fish in RIGHT before you serve them.  The juice melts faster than regular water ice cubes.  It also helps the fish last longer if your beverage is already quite cold.  
Also, If you make juice fish ice you may want to serve them in juice, otherwise if you add them to just water it tastes like really watered down juice with the fish ice in it :)

Since we are not allowed to have pets where we live, this will have to do!  Enjoy This Little Project!

Lunch Puzzles

Get ready for a Yummy Little Project that is sooo easy and fun!  We call these Lunch Puzzles.  You can vary the difficulty level for older and younger kids to make lunch time even more fun!

I have been blessed to have easy eaters at my house (knock on wood) so I never wanted to ruin that by using the cut outs you can buy that remove the crust...because what if they decided they didn't want to eat the crust anymore after that?  

To make Lunch Puzzles all you need is a sandwich (or toast) and a cookie cutter of your choice.  Just cut through the sandwich with your cookie cutter and mix up the pieces to see if your child can put it together. For more puzzle fun, you can do cut outs of fruit too!

To play the Lunch Puzzle Game: You mix up the pieces on the plate when you serve it and see who can put their lunch puzzle together the fastest. 

This Lunch Puzzle is on the EASY level. It is just the cut out and the side pieces (mix them up before serving.)
To make the Lunch Puzzle more challenging for older children: cut the side pieces into smaller pieces and/or cut the original cut-out into more pieces too.  If you have trouble getting your kids to sit and eat lunch, this should be a fun game to play.  Take it to the next level by having a contest for who can FINISH eating all of their lunch puzzle.  If you offer a small prize for winning the game it's not bribery, right? ;)
Enjoy This Yummy Little Project!

On Vacation...

We've been to 5 states in the past few days.  Oh what fun it is to travel when the kiddos sleep and aren't crying.  No computer means no blogging, but don't worry it doesn't mean no Little Projects.  Now we are at my sisters house on the east stay tuned for more fun Little Projects...and happy weekend to YOU!

Organizing: The Books

I've blogged before about how I love the library. We currently have 51 items checked out. We were there three times this past week. I love it. My kiddos love it. AND we have an awesome library. 


That is a lot of stuff to keep track of. So I have established a new system. It works like this:
There are 2 Big baskets to hold the checked out items.

There are certain times when we get them out so that they don't get mixed in with home stuff.

We keep this library bag next to the baskets. {I LOVE these bags and they are so affordable!!!} 

When we are done with a library item it goes into the library bag and then it is ready to go the next time we go back. This way I don't have to try to remember to take a bag with us to carry checked-out items in.  I used to always forget!  Kay will run around the library if I let her down and trying to hold onto her with a pile of books in my arms was...impossible...but it's easy with my favorite bag!

We're loosing fewer things and returning more as soon as we are done with them. That is the kind of Little Project I should do more of around here ;)

Children's Book Week

You have every excuse to take time out and read to a child this week (FUN!) This week is Children's Book Week. In honor of that I will share one of our favorite books and some lesson ideas to go along with it to add to the Book Nook (you will find a link to our Book Nook on your left sidebar too).

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was one of our first "favorites" because Jay could read it by himself. It's a charming story with animals and colors. It also rhymes and is fun to read aloud because there is a rhythm to the words that is fun to say.

We have been having fun with some learning activities that go along with this book.  Reading together is fun and it leads to lots of other learning when you take it to the next level.

To see what I mean, check out these learning activities that coordinate with this book:

Have fun reading and learning with This Little Project. Check back for other fun book projects this week :)

Mother's Day Projects

If you are like me and haven't quite put the finishing touches on your Mother's Day projects, you may enjoy some inspiration. For our Grandma's I am sending some silhouettes of the kids. I was inspired by some sweet silhouettes I saw around the web. Search Silhouette Portriat on Etsy (photo above from Etsy link at left) and you will see what I mean. I'm totally inspired! 

I just took photos of the kids at profile, cut them out...and put them on black.  I am also doing some on fabric to put on a pillow. It's one way to do a long distance hug.  Happily, mine are almost done for our Grandmas because I want to make some of the kids for my house too :)

If that isn't your style, here are some more ideas:
Messages in a handmade box

There are some darling free printables for Mom: a card and bookmard as well as tags from Living Locurto.
Many Moms I know love chocolate, so this chocolate painting idea seems like a fun way to personalize the chocolate giving.
For the kids, this MACARONI PORTRAIT idea caught my attention.
This Photo Project from our archives would also be a nice personalized I love you.

Happy Mother's Day to all you FABULOUS MOMS! Thanks for stopping by :)

How to Make Homemade Maracas

As usual, we look forward to an excuse to have a little fun around here. Being that today is Cinco de Mayo, we went for some homemade maracas (from plastic Easter eggs) and a skirt made from 2 place mats (from the dollar store) and quesdillas for lunch (of course).

To make some noise and celebrate, here are some easy directions for homemade maracas (being a music teacher, I'm excited to add these to our collection!)

You need: Plastic Easter eggs, beans, rice, flour, water, salt, crepe paper, modge podge or other sealer.

Put some rice and beans into your plastic egg and then close it. (of course, you may choose anything that is noisy. Beans and rice were handy and appropriate for the day.)

For the "glue" you need one part flour to two parts water. I added about 1.5 teaspoons of salt. The amount of mix will vary depending on how many you make.

Cut your crepe paper (I used the kind that you can make streamers with and comes on a roll) into pieces. Dip the pieces of crepe paper in the "flour sauce" and put them over your plastic egg. Cover it with a couple of layers and let it dry.

When it is dry put a layer or two of modge podge to seal it so it will last through lots of fun noise making.

Play, shake, and listen!
I put a few more flowers hair clips in the shop so you can crown your princess with flowers too :)

I've had this white trim for awhile and it seemed like the perfect thing to dress up a skirt I made from 2 dollar store place mats. Little Kay loves it!
Happy Cinco de Mayo!


I just finished a really good read: These is My Words. I have to admit that there were times I couldn't put this book down! The book follows the life of a woman named Sarah in the late 1800's as she learns, loves and lives life. She wrestles with the same kinds of things women wrestle with now and deals with the struggles of settling the west. It is the kind of book that makes you realize how blessed you are and how alike life really is for all of us.

Sarah loves to learn and books are her treasure. She never had the chance to go to school. Don't let the title fool you, the book is well written. But she dreams of higher learning possibilities. She is constantly trying to fill her well of knowledge. Her husband was trained at West Point, but she actually doesn't learn this until after they are married. When she finds out she is worried that he sees her as ignorant. This is one of my favorite quotes from Captain Elliot, her husband, "Sarah, In the first place, you aren't ignorant...and in the second place, Education doesn't keep a person from being a fool, and the lack of it doesn't keep a person from being intelligent."

She is so thirsty to know things and later in the book she says, "Blue Horse said to me...'wisdom is not a path, it is a tree.' At the time I was too busy to give it much thought, so I nodded politely but didn't pay much attention. Now I see that he was surely right. I have been sad almost a whole year, thinking that taking that test was somehow the end of my learning and that not having that as a possibility in my future left a big empty spot in my life that the children and the ranch didn't fill. But my life is not like that, it is a tree, and I can stay in one place and spread out in all directions, and I can do more learning shading this brood of mine than if I was all alone. I declare, it is like some other part of me made up some rules about happiness and I just went along with them without thinking. My heart is lightened so much that I am amazed at how sad I felt for so long."
"I have donated a box of books to the library of the university, and paid for a tree to be planted near the fountain which will be built by the front steps..."

I think most Mothers have felt this way to some degree. Like there are so many things that they want to do and know. They want to be free to fly from tree to tree. But their children have ahold of them. And they are holding onto those children also. And really, that is the best thing there is. And there are other ways to fly. But if you grow as a tree then things do fly to you.

I have to say that I do love to read. It's one of my favorite Little Projects. I'm a big fan of words. They feed me somehow. And when I read them I feel like I do fly from one tree to the next. It's easiest when the children are napping...

new look Little BLOG Project

Sara at has been busy creating a new DESIGN look for This Little Project. I'm hoping you will like the new look. If you are looking for something and can't find it, please leave a comment. It should be up and running soon.

MORE Edible Finger Puppets

We made these edible finger puppets for Family Night and the kiddos thought it was really fun to try and make their finger puppet look like them.  They are easy to make and tasty to eat!

Here is what you need: peanut butter (or honey) to use as the "glue" to hold the eyes (mini chocolate chips), hair (colored with sprinkles), and mouth (different shaped sprinkles) on.  Then of course you need some bananas and pretzels too!

For smaller kids, it helps if you put the peanut butter on and they just "decorate" their yummy finger puppet.  Mine loved to choose the colors out especially.

To make your edible finger puppets:
I just used the top and bottom of the bananas for our finger puppets.
Spread the peanut butter like it is glue and then use your sprinkles and mini chocolate chips to bring your banana finger puppet to life!
I used the middles to stand up the ones that were done while we made a few more.  Just don't leave them sticking into the banana for too long because the pretzel gets mushy :)

If you missed our other edible finger puppets, go HERE

This Little Project was tasty! Can you see any family resemblance?

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