Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Dinosaur" Excavation for Kids

Try out your paleontology skills with this activity! 

Books about dinosaurs/paleontologists
Chicken bones
Container of sand
Tweezers (if desired)
Paint brush

Digging Up Dinosaurs (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)

1)  Read a book like Digging Up Dinosaurs (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) to build background knowledge before you begin.

2)  Wash the chicken bones.  Allow to dry out for a day or so.

3)  Bury the bones in the sand.  "Excavate" the bones.  Use tweezers for an extra boost in fine-motor development!

4)  Dust the bones with a paintbrush!

This activity was perfectly-suited for my little one (she buried the bones over and over again), but I also used a Science Kit with my older daughters to excavate and build a model dinosaur!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Make and Do: May 26, 2011

Welcome to Make and Do!  Take a look at some of the great projects that linked up last week!  (You can see a few more over at Motherhood on a Dime, too)!

I Can Teach My Child shows how to make a caterpillar print from cups and forks!!

How To Make A Peasant Dress
Family Friendly Frugality shares an easy-to-make peasant dress!  I'm going to have to get out my sewing machine!

Sensory play is essential for preschoolers!  Check out this sensory tub from Messy Kids!

Mama Pea Pod shares a delightful puppet theater.  I love that it's small enough to store easily!!



Okay...now it's your turn! Just a few rules:
  • No giveaways or links to your homepage -- please link to your specific post. 
  • This linky is open to any family-friendly activities, projects, and recipes (posts deemed inappropriate will be deleted).  
  • Make sure to link back to The Amazing Mess -- it's just good blog etiquette! I've included a button you can place on your post. Just grab the HTML! You're also welcome to share a text link if you prefer!  
  • Try to visit and comment on at least one or two other posts! It's always encouraging to receive comments!
(If you're viewing this via email, head over here to link up!)


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dinosaur Snacks: A Yummy (and Icky) Treat!

I found this idea in an issue of the Mailbox magazine from, umm...1992!! 

These dino snacks are a fun treat!  My girls ate this up (literally and figuratively).  They really believed I was mixing up these "dinosaur" ingredients!!  Make sure to say things like "Let's mix the dirt in with the crushed bones!"  Your kiddos will love it! 

4 tablespoons cocoa (DIRT)
2 cups sugar (CRUSHED BONES)
1 stick margarine or butter (FAT)
1/2 cup milk colored with green food coloring (SWAMP WATER)
1 cup peanut butter (DEAD BUGS)
3 cups oatmeal (DRIED GRASS)

1)  Boil DIRT, CRUSHED BONES, FAT, and SWAMP WATER.  Let boil for 1 minute.  Add DEAD BUGS and DEAD GRASS.  Stir.

2)  Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.  Allow to cool. 

Yes, these are just no-bake cookies, so you can substitute your favorite recipe!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Paper Plate Dinosaur

Welcome to our Dinosaur theme!  Our very first project is a simple paper plate craft!

Paper plate
Glue or tape
Paper scraps (for eyes and teeth)

1)  Draw a line across a paper plate.  Free-hand a tail, legs, and head!  Cut out the pieces.

1)  Paint the body, head, feet, and tail.

3)  Tape and/or glue the parts to the body.

4)  Glue on an eye.  Add pointy teeth (if desired).

We have extremely colorful dinosaurs!


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday Savings: FREE Pint of Paint from Benjamin Moore

This might be perfect for an outdoor summer art project!!

Head over to Facebook and "Like" Benjamin Moore to get a coupon for a FREE pint of paint.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Eternal Encouragement: Marriage Bundle

"Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle." -- Amy Bloom

Coming up in June, John and I will have been married for 11 years!  (For some of you, that may seem like a lot -- but for others of you, it's just a drop in the bucket!)

While I still have a tremendous amount to learn about marriage, I have failed learned some lessons over the years!  One of my main goals is to never stop learning about God's design for marriage and ways to make our marriage stronger.  That's why I was excited (and privileged) to review a copy of the Marriage Bundle by Eternal Encouragement Magazine.


This bundle includes two audio sessions, five eBooks, seven eBooklets, and two past magazine issues.  That's a lot of material!  (To be honest, I scanned everything -- but I'm definitely looking forward to reading/listening more thoroughly!)

One of the first things I did was listen to an audio entitled "One Life to Live, One Man to Love."  The first story Lorrie Flem shares is about a ship that runs aground because the captain and his crew are down watching a soccer game.  It was a completely avoidable accident that actually killed quite a few people, but it came about simply because of neglect.

The same thing happens in our marriages.  We allow various things to creep in and neglect one of the most important relationships in our lives.  Before you know it, your relationship has crashed.  Not necessarily because of big events, but because of a series of small happenings that change the course of the relationship and cause it to run aground.  We must take time for our marriages daily!

Okay...enough of my sermonizing!!

Another part of the bundle I really enjoyed was the Praying for Your Husband:  31 Day Plan.  I printed this out and stuck it in my Bible (along with another plan I have for praying for the girls).  God has so often used prayer to change my heart towards my husband (*note*  I did not say prayer has changed my husband -- it has changed me)!

There is also a fun list of frugal ideas (75 of them) for getting out of a romantic rut!  I also liked the book of quotes about marriage and parenthood, because I find them inspiring (and funny)!

All-in-all, I really loved this bundle!  I'm not the greatest at reading eBooks (I find it challenging since I'm on the computer more than enough already -- thankfully, you can get a copy shipped to you if you prefer), but if you're looking for some hope and encouragement for your marriage, you'll definitely find it in this bundle!

I received a copy of the Marriage Bundle as part of my involvement in the Gabby Moms review program.  All thoughts and opinions are (of course) my own!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Make and Do: May 19, 2011

I knew this would happen.

I loved every single post that linked up with us last week on Make and Do!

I just have to do it.  I have to share them all!  So as not to overwhelm you, I'll be sharing some here and some over at Motherhood on a Dime!

Wow!  You have to head over to Child Central Station to see the amazing instruments they made out of recycled items!  That backyard is magical place!

Leaning, Loving, and Learning My Way Through Life has the most precious game of Memory I have ever seen!  I will definitely be making a set of these. 

Preschoolers love pranks!  Head over to Fumbling through Parenthood to see this "shampoo"! 

This is such a whimsical idea at Having Fun at Home!  The girls would absolutely love to make these hat magnets and "paper dolls"!

I love parachutes, but I've never thought about getting one of my own.  However, after seeing the marvelous activities over at Messy Kids, I might just need to invest in one!



Okay...now it's your turn!  Just a few rules:
  • No giveaways or links to your homepage -- please link to your specific post.
  • This linky is open to any family-friendly activities, projects, and recipes (posts deemed inappropriate will be deleted).
  • Make sure to link back to The Amazing Mess -- it's just good blog etiquette! I've included a button you can place on your post. Just grab the HTML! You're also welcome to share a text link if you prefer!
  • Try to visit and comment on at least one or two other posts!  It's always encouraging to receive comments!
(If you're viewing this via email, head over here to link up!)


Make and Do @The Amazing Mess -- My First LINKY!!!

Make and Do (Childcraft -- The How and Why Library, 11)

Have you seen this book?!! 

It's a book from my childhood!  My mom said it never stayed on the shelf for long.  It was always missing!


One of my sisters and I loved this book.  We made all kinds of creations from it.  We played the games.  We tried the projects.  It was an amazing book called Make and Do

My mom still has it!


With a little inspiration from that book, I'm very excited to be launching my own weekly linky entitled Make and Do @ The Amazing Mess!  I'll be hosting it every Thursday!

It's easy to do...you simply share something you've made or done (Make and Do)!!  I'll be picking out my favorite post ideas each week and sharing them the next week.

I'm so excited because I'll be using the same linky here and at Motherhood on a Dime.  Not only will your post be visible here, it will also be seen by the readers over there!! 

Just a few rules:
  • No giveaways or links to your homepage -- please link to your specific post.
  • This linky is open to any family-friendly activities, projects, and recipes (posts deemed inappropriate will be deleted).
  • Make sure to link back to The Amazing Mess -- it's just good blog etiquette!  I've included a button you can place on your post below.  Just grab the HTML!  You're also welcome just to share a text link if you prefer!


One last thing...if you link up, please head over to at least one other post and leave a comment!  Let's spread the love and make someone's day!

I can't wait to see your ideas!!

(If you're viewing this via email subscription, please head over and link up your post(s) here!)


Monday, May 16, 2011

Zoo Theme: Making Animal Figures for Pretending

After last week's Blogger fiasco, I fell a little behind on our zoo theme.  I wasn't able to access my account or post (thankfully, all of my posts have been restored), so I have one more zoo idea!

If there is one toy I highly recommend, it is a nice set of wooden blocks.  The possibilities are limitless with them!  If you are able, I also suggest a set of animals.  A sweet friend gave us a whole set of very realistic animals in a plastic toolbox (it's the barn)!  The girls have played and played with them.

We built a "zoo" for our animals!

If you don't have any animal figures, you can easily make some to put in your zoo!

Animal sheet or stickers
Toilet paper tubes

1)  Color a sheet of animals.  You can make your own, use the quick sheet I made (sorry it's a little lame -- I just used the clipart I had!!), or use a printable sheet with animals from Goodnight Gorilla.

2)  Cut out the animals.

3)  Glue the animals to the toilet paper tubes to make movable animal figures!  If you use stickers, you can just stick them to the tubes!


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Raising Playful Tots!!

Raising Playful Tots Index

Yippee!!!  I am so excited!!  I just found out The Amazing Mess is #36 in the Raising Playful Tots index!!  I was not expecting this at all, because I wasn't even in the top 100 last time!!  Head over and check it out -- there are so many amazing blogs over there!

Thank you all so much for reading this blog and sharing it with others!!  I am so appreciative of all my readers!! 

Hmmm....looks like I might need to host a thank you giveaway!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Masterpiece Monday: Henri Rousseau (Part 2)

Oops!  Just a day later than I promised...here is part 2 of the project we started Monday!


1)  Collect several types of small leaves.  Cover the leaves with a thin layer of paint.

2)  Press the leaves on the painting to make prints all over the background.

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Masterpiece Monday: Henri Rousseau (Part 1)

Because he painted many jungle scenes (and because our theme is zoo animals), I've picked the artist Henri Rousseau for our Masterpiece Monday!

Henri Rousseau was born in France in 1844.  He was a self-taught artist and painted in his spare time.  Although he never visited a jungle, he often painted jungle scenes -- using his imagination and time at zoos and parks to create his paintings.  You can find out more about him here.

Paint brushes
1)  Paint the body and head of a "jungle" bird.

2)  Add handprint wings.

3)  Paint a beak and tail.  Add feet if desired.  Use an index finger to dot on an eye.

*If we do this project again, I will definitely use a larger sheet of paper.

I found this project from The Usborne First Book of Art. This is one of our favorite art books...and a springboard for many ideas! We'll finish the project in Part 2 tomorrow!

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Saturday, May 7, 2011

FREE Personalized Keepsake Scroll (Shipping Not Included)


Celebrate Express is offering a FREE 7"x9" Personalized Keepsake Scroll (regularly priced at $7.99). Use the coupon code freescroll (valid thru 6/30/11) at check-out. Shipping charges are $4.95.

Make sure you pick the 7"x9" inch scroll (there are several other sizes available, but the code is only good on the 7"x9")!  I think these are adorable and would make a great baby gift or cute keepsake to put in a baby book!


Saturday Savings: Pizza Hut Book-It Program for Homeschoolers

Love Kids. Love Reading.

Homeschooled kids grade K-6 are eligible to sign up for the Pizza Hut Book-It Program! Enrollment closes September 1.

Thanks, Nola!


Saturday Savings: Family Fun Magazine - As Low As $1 For A New Subscription

One-year subscription to Disney FamilyFun magazine ($10 value)

Eversave is offering Family Fun Magazine for $5 for one year -- or $10 for two years. While that isn't necessarily the greatest bargain, if you are new to Eversave, you'll receive a $4 credit when you sign up! This would make one year of Family Fun just $1!  This offer is available through Monday, 5/9.  It is only good for new subscriptions!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Last Minute Mother's Day Card: Fingerprint Flower

Nothing like waiting until the last minute to make Mother's Day cards...

I'm interrupting our zoo theme to bring you a quick idea for Mother's Day!  I was inspired by this card over at Serving Pink Lemonade, so I adapted it to what we had -- and let the girls have free reign!  They each made a completely different variation!


1)  Press finger into paint and use fingerprint to make a "flower" shape.

2)  Use a toothpick (or a thin paintbrush) dipped in green paint to add stems and leaves.

Each is a unique creation!

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