Playdough Party Time!

I did a guest post for Kierste at Brown Paper Packages awhile ago and want to share it with you too!

Are you looking for the perfect {Little Project} to chase away winter boredom?

Try a Playdough Party!

Note: this is NOT the regular stuff.  
This playdough  

{This Little Project} actually started out as a bribe (did I just admit that?) I told my kids that if they finished a (big) chore we would have a playdough party. It took a few days, but it worked! And we've had three parties now. The first time it was just us. The word "party" automatically makes something more fun-right?

But we had so much fun that first time that I knew we needed to share it with friends. Right now it is sooo cold where we live and I thought that a playdough party would be the perfect indoor playdate. But, a bigger group meant we needed A LOT more playdough. 

I felt like a kid doing a science project trying a bit of this and that for recipes and made a bunch of different kinds (including chocolate and SPARKLES!) and ended up with some favorites that we used for our playdough party to share with you!

Plus, to go with {This Little Project} I made some easy party favors so the kids could take some playdough home too.

First, the playdough!
To make {This Little Project} you need:
cream of tartar
vegetable oil
Plus the "mix-ins" of your choice:
food coloring
extracts (peppermint, orange, lemon, coconut, almond, etc.)
cocoa powder
and printable recipes below

Here are the details of how to make FOUR different kinds of playdough!

Below, are printable recipes for:
Plus, you can combine them and make your sparkle playdough smell like peppermint or oranges!

Chances are you either have little ones at home, grandkids that visit, or little people for neighbors that can appreciate all the squishy goodness of scented and sparkled playdough 
so feel free to share them with a friend!

And here are the Party Favors!!

I love to repurpose things and {This Little Project} came right from my "invention box." These party favors are perfect for sending home some of their favorite "flavors" of playdough. 

Plus, the monogram makes it personal. Oh, and I'm in love with tulle right now! Did I mention these are EASY and INEXPENSIVE to make?

To make {This Little Project} you need:
Stickers or Stamps to make the monogram
paper bag (like from the grocery store)
circle punch (size 1.75" or 2")
tulle (3" by 11")
Baby food jars (I used the larger jars for 2 or 3 "flavors" or dough. But you could use the smaller jars too.)

To assemble the Party Favors:
Punch your circles out of the bag. Then add the monogram letter for each child coming to your playdough party in the centers of the circles.
Use a little tape under the circle to stick it to the baby food jar.
Then roll up a few balls of playdough to fit inside, tie your tulle around the center, and you're done. With these and the printable recipe cards above, you are ready to PARTY!

These baby food jars (the plastic ones would work too)
keep the playdough from drying out but they are
so much cuter than a ziplock bag :)

Let me know if you have a Playdough Party!

Happy President's Day!

So, I can't believe it's been a whole week since I've put a new {Little Project} here. That's what happens when you have company, I guess!

I wanted to share another food {Little Project} with you. 

 I don't know what it is with me and food and holidays, but they all seem to go together and are an excuse to have something a little more fun!

Today we've been learning about the US presidents. I was singing the song, "My Hat, it has Three Corners..." to Ellie while I changed her diaper since I had just told Kay about George Washington and his hat. When I went to give her a graham cracker for a snack it broke into a triangle, and the idea for {This Little Project} was born!

Here is our Presidential Snack!

To make {This Little Project} you need:
Bread cut like their silhouette (or a try at least)
mini chocolate chips for eyes
marshmallows for the "powdered wig"
peanut butter to hold the hat and marshmallows on
pretzels for the "logs" of Abe Lincoln's cabin

If you want to follow-up with some presidential activities for your kiddos, we've been enjoying these games and coloring pages.  There are also some ideas in the {Little Project} archive.


Happy Valentine's Day

A fun way to celebrate any holiday is with a special meal.  {This Little Project} was a yummy one!  We like joining in with the fun at Muffin Tin Monday.  

If you haven't tried a muffin tin meal you are in for a treat! Today's theme was pink and red for Valentine's Day.  

Our muffin tin meal was heart toast to dip in pizza sauce, red jello and applesauce, strawberry jam heart breads, a juice, and m&m's with a candy kiss.  

We left these with the kids and the babysitter and my husband and I went for a quick lunch-just the two of us!  The kiddos didn't even feel left out :)

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day!

Love-ly yarn art

{This Little Project} is about texture, simply. 

To make {This Little Project} you need:


Frame (no glass needed)

glue (elmer's or hot glue)
Here's the background "i love you" that you can print out on cardstock. i love you.thislittleproject

Lay the yarn out a little at a time for each letter and put a few dots of glue to hold it as you go.  

Use your fingers to hold it in place while you form the next letter. 

I like the elmers glue because you can reposition it if you need to.  But the hot glue will hold it in place without it needing time to dry.

Let it dry.

And now it's ready to be framed or made into a card.

Enjoy your love-ly texture art!

For some ideas of how you can use yarn to make cards and 
{Little Projects} with your kids,

Valentine Candy Math

Want to know how to make a {Little Project} more fun? 
Add the treat part to it!

 Lately, we've been "playing with our food."  I figure we may as well learn something while we're getting cavities, lol.

We like to play these games for Halloween, and Easter too.  
This time we added speaking in Spanish to the games.  Obviously, that's optional :)
For the first {Little Project} Jay and Kay estimated how many red (rojo) and silver (blanco) kisses were in the bag and wrote it down. 

Then they sorted them (I made two piles-one for each of them to sort so there weren't any tears involved) and as they sorted them the said the color in Spanish they were holding.


When they were all sorted we counted them (in Spanish) and wrote down the numbers.

Then we compared the count to our first estimation.  
There were actually 26 of each color!  
Jay was very close!

 This other {Little Project} is a game we like to play with  
conversation hearts.  
I use a cookie cutter to trace hearts of each color of candy onto paper.  Then the kids sort them by color (we said the colors in Spanish this time) and then count them to see which color has the most!

 It's also fun to graph them by color to "see" which color has the most 
(this photo is from our jellybean graphs)

When we finished playing math games they both asked,  
"Can we do this all again tomorrow?"
I guess that means it was a fun {Little Project}!

Sweetheart Hair clips

I made {This Little Project} in 2 minutes.  
Yes, really!

And what little girl wouldn't want to dress up her hair with heart clippies 
this time of year?

Kay wore these little red "sweetheart clippies" to church on Sunday.  I would have loved to take a picture of her in them, but I made the mistake of waiting until after church to take a photo.  The first thing she did when we walked in the door was undo her hair!  That girl doesn't appreciate them, but yours might :) 

 I'm making a few more to go with a little outfit I'm making for Kay and Ellie for Valentine's Day.  So I thought I would show you how I did them.

To make {This Little Project} you need:

Ribbon of your choice for hearts
alligator clip
Ribbon of your choice to cover clip
hot glue gun

First, cut your 2 "heart" ribbons to the shape seen in the photo above.  Mine are about 3.5 inches long.  You need to trim them at the end to make the bottom of the heart.

Next, cover your alligator clip with ribbon using your hot glue gun.   I like to wrap the ribbon down and around the high part of the clip and secure it underneath with glue so the part you pinch is also covered.  You will want to heat seal the ends of your ribbon so they don't fray.

Then, glue two corners of the "heart" ribbon together like this, at the end of the alligator clip.  I put this part on the tall end of the clip that you pinch to open it.

Now fold the two ends down to the other end of the alligator clip and overlap them a little.   Play with it a little to see how it looks best and then trim any extra ribbon off.

You may want to heat seal the ends with a match.  I played with these a little too much and they frayed a little before I heat sealed them.  Your hot glue gun is actually pretty good for heat sealing too, if you just run it along the edge.  

Now you've got some cute sweetheart clippies!

See, that was a quick {Little Project}!  

For Love Day: Give Hope

Have you ever read a book that changed your life?

Last January as I was considering the past year and looking toward the coming year I was trying to decide if I should cut time for reading out of my life.  Reading takes time, of course. And I was trying to decide how to balance everything.
Stack Of Old Books
photo by Paul
Then I came across this quote:

"You are the same today as you will be in 10 years, except for the people you meet, the books you read and the web sites you visit."

and I decided I couldn't risk not reading

Really, reading is one of the best ways I know of to broaden my perception of the world. And to change and enlarge my version of reality-which can be too narrow.

I decided to test the quote.

I have found it to be true again and again.

I just read a book that has changed how I see the world, and my place in it, forever.
The book is called, Half the Sky. It's titled from the Chinese proverb, "Women hold up half the sky."

I had to read it in small bits. Because it's overwhelming to be served so much suffering in the world as you will find in these pages. 
But, it is equally soul-stretching to read the stories of triumph found therein.

Each chapter is about challenges that women face.  We're talking human rights-type challenges.  And social challenges.  It's full of stories about REAL people.  And the statistics are staggering too.

For instance: More women are dying in childbirth RIGHT NOW than in all the wars combined. About one woman every minute.
Baby Feet
Photo by Johnathan
I am a mother. 
I have three children. 
I have never lost a child due to dirty scissors being used to cut the cord. 

I have never been denied medical care BECAUSE I am a WOMAN.

Did you know that if you are reading this: you and I are the exception, not the rule? 

I had no idea. 

My heart aches for these women-who suffer in part because they are women-not men. 

There are many ways to change the world

But mostly, we have to start right where we are standing to do it

When you learn about so much suffering from real people you want to do something. ANYTHING. To help.

Imagine how excited I was to find that Craft Hope is doing a project RIGHT NOW to help women in Haiti! The project ships maternity kits to hospitals to help the mother and child survive childbirth. The kit includes things like hand sanitizer, clean string, a pare of latex gloves, and a few other things, including a blanket for that new baby to be cherished in.

Sometimes I look at the world and think: HOW UNFAIR. How could the world be so lopsided? How can a loving Father in Heaven stand it? I was reading this article today and it helped a little. It helped me find my place in all of this.  

I can't do everything.  But,
I can do something.  

So my kids and I picked out some fabric for our baby blankets and bags and we're looking forward to sending them to the mothers and little babies that need them.

With Valentine's Day coming up, it seems like one way to make love real is by giving hope to someone.
If you are looking for a meaningful way to do that, I hope you join me in participating with Craft Hope!

Craft Hope Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time

P.S more info on how you can be a part of the Half The Sky Movement Here.

Brotherly Love

Maybe all the talk from our valentine countdown about loving our neighbor is sinking in. 

I walked into the music room and saw Jay holding the pedal down for Kay while she was playing the piano-since she can't reach it. 

Moms need to see things like this!  I'm glad my camera happened to be sitting right there on the piano so I could capture this sweet moment. 
It makes me smile every time I see it!