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Wrapping Paper Roads…

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So often some of my greatest ‘light bulb moments’ come out of necessity!  We ran out of wrapping paper the other day and I kept forgetting to pick some up in town.  Today my little guy was stir crazy and I knew we needed a ‘project’.  Here enters my ‘light bulb moment’ and out came the washable paints, a roll of craft paper and you guessed it, little man’s toy of choice, tractors!

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This was such an easy craft and I think the results are awesome!  All you do is pour some kid’s paint onto paper or plastic plates (we used red and green for Christmas…and for the Case and John Deere tractors we used), run your tractors through the paint so the tires are coated and then drive them all over the craft paper.  It was fun to use different styles of wheels too and see what tracks they created.  Once the paint ran out, I filled the kitchen sink with soapy water, gave E a scrub brush and we took our tractors to the car wash.  Bonus! It was two activities in one and both were a hit!

I can’t wait to wrap the rest of our gifts in this homemade paper and tie them up with some sparkly ribbons or twine.  I kind of wish we had done this craft at the beginning of the season so all our gifts were wrapped in it.  I’m thinking next year we do this again and create some fun potato carved stamps to use too! Happy Holiday-ing!

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Fleeting Fall & Hasty Harvest…

…And I thought summer went by fast.  I blinked and here we are with snow on the ground, a few days into November and I’m left with a phone full of pics that prove that indeed, fall and harvest did actually happen!  I have to apologize for being MIA for the last few months.  Harvest on the farm was long and busy and in amongst all my farm-wifely duties I wanted to still get in a few ‘summer bucket list’ items with my little guy so needless to say I was going to bed wiped and waking up hitting the ground running.  Here’s a bit of a highlight real from fall with some easy ideas to create some fun-filled memories with your own family!

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We had a riot going on some local hikes.  My little guy powered through a 2.5 hour hike by the lake nearby, a smaller trail through the valley right in our own front yard and the old train bridge hike here in our little town.  We collected leaves and acorns and of course brought home a few ‘fancy rocks’ as our treasures and then later we did some easy and colourful leaf printing art to get in the spirit for thanksgiving.

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This craft is super simple.  All you need is some kid friendly craft paint and a sheet of paper, the leaves that you’ve collected and some paintbrushes.  We used two methods to get our fall prints; we painted the backside of the leaves and then stamped them onto the paper AND we painted around the edges of the leaves to create a bit of a colourful outline.  It’s easy for little hands to do and is a fun way to remember the journey to find the leaves!

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We also made these cute little turkeys to adorn our thanksgiving table out of some old tin cans, a few buttons and some colourful feathers.  Little hands can help paint the tins and gather up the feathers as you hot glue them to the inside of the tins.  We also had a lot of fun jumping and plowing through leaves this fall and at our thanksgiving dinner upon telling E that I was most thankful for him and his daddy, he promptly told me he’s thankful for chicken!! (It is in fact the simple things isn’t it?!)

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Halloween came so quickly this year!  I honestly felt like I just got thanksgiving put away and out came the pumpkins and costumes!  E and I spent a day making this easy candy corn garland.  We painted a ‘bulls-eye’ of sorts on some paper plates (orange, yellow, to a white center) then we cut the plate into triangles, like a pie and taped the pieces to some string to hang over our big patio doors.  Super easy and colourful and a bit of a calorie-free gateway to all the yummy treats that are Halloween!

Left to Right: Tarantula Taco Dip (refried beans, salsa, chopped iceburg lettuce, guacamole, black olive spiders and sour cream web), Spooky Shakes (vanilla milkshakes in mason jars with spooky faces drawn on using whiteboard markers, topped with whipped cream and orange sprinkles), Spider Sandwiches (peanut butter and jam sandwiches cut into rounds with pretzel legs and raisin eyes) with mini mandarin jack-o-lanterns and Soup, and Boo-nanas (made with chocolate chip faces pressed into fresh, halved bananas).

I feel like this post doesn’t do the amazing memories we made this fall justice, it also included combine rides, meals in the swather with dad, yard work (so much yard work!), garden produce preserving, pumpkin carving, costume creating and a lot of time spent outdoors…but like I said, it’s kind of a highlight reel of our crazy busy harvest season.  It is my goal to do a much better job of documenting our winter activities, especially all the fun that Christmas brings…and boy is it coming quick!!!

 

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Trash to Treasures

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Toilet paper and paper towel rolls seem to accumulate quickly in our house (especially since I make my own baby bum wipes from paper towels too) and every time I come to the end of a roll I can’t help but imagine things to do with them.  Besides being great head bonkers I’ve come up with a few ways you can use them in these four fun projects to do with your kids!

With a bag of pom-poms and some painters tape you’ve got a bit of a plinko maze! We taped our tube runs onto the fridge and watched the paths the bright coloured pom-poms would take!

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We also made a few rolls into a riveting game of bowling!!! This is a bit advanced for E for now, he had the most fun scattering the “pins” with his hands and then setting them up again! Whatever works!

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Another easy and probably fairly redundant project to do is make binoculars! We painted our rolls, hot-glued two rolls together and added a ribbon to be able to carry them around our necks while we went on “nature hikes” and “safari hunts”. We’re also learning more about birds lately and come spring we can take them outside to further our bird-watching and nature hiking!

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And last but not least, this idea was created out of pure necessity…what else to feed the cows than bales and how else do we haul grain but with an auger to get it from the bin to the truck?! (Oh how far into the recesses of my brain do I go for my boy!!)

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E is a farmer through and through and I have to be honest, this makes me and his daddy very proud. So of course I try and make playing farm as real as I can…it looks like an auger right?! Regardless, E has been playing with these same three bales for months now!  The auger unfortunately didn’t fare so well and has since been pitched! (On a side-note, those beautiful bins are made from old snack containers and that shed, an old formula container! Ah the simple things!)

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One person’s trash can truly become another person’s treasure…but what’s great about these reusing crafts is they can still be trash in the end so they don’t add to the clutter for too long…once they’re wrecked or their novelty has worn off they make great fire starter…and it has to warm up sometime so campfires will be in our future! (I hope!)