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Make Your Own Pickle Sickle

21 Feb

Ok, so some of you might cringe at the thought of a Pickle Sickle but some kids just loves these and you can make a sickle out of just about anything. If you are not familiar with a pickle sickle, allow me to explain.

It is a popsicle made out of pickle juice. For those kids who love pickles this is a fun snack and treat. There are many ways you can do this. The way I grew up making these is I took a plastic cup and I filled it with pickle juice. Then I put a popsicle stick or a spoon in the middle of the cup and held it there by tape. Now they have fancy little popsicle makers for around $4.

Popsicle Maker $4

Remember you can make any juice into a popsicle. Try lemonade, tea, soda, chocolate milk, apple juice, etc.

These are also fun as ice cubes. Just pour the kids favorite drink into an ice tray for a new treat in a drink. Eat them plain or put a fruit punch ice cube in a glass of water for a new treat! There are ice trays with all kinds of fun shapes.

Heart Shaped Ice Cube Tray

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Puppet Show

18 Feb

Any craft that allows children to be creative is a good craft in my opinion. Today I was reading the back of a Chick-fil-A kids meal bag and I was reminded of a craft that I did when I was younger. Puppets! They are easy, fun and you can make them so many different ways. The two ways I am most familiar with is from a brown paper bag or a sock. All you need is some googly eyes, yarn for hair, different colored Sharpies or markers, maybe some buttons, cotton balls, and anything else you can think of. Add some clothes and maybe a bow tie with fabric or construction paper.

Once you make your puppets now it’s time for the show. Set up some sheets or blankets on chairs or a table and perform!!

Make up a fun theme for a show such as a trip to the ocean, a princess trapped in a castle, a day at the circus, fun in outer space, dinosaurs, etc. The possibilities are endless!!!

I was babysitting and we spontaneously decided to make a puppet and we didn’t have old socks or a brown paper bag. We improvised and colored a napkin, put it over our hand and put a rubber band around our wrist. You can make anything a puppet!!

Say BYE-BYE to Messy Glue FOREVER!

10 Feb

I was working on some Valentine’s arts and crafts with two boys last night and I discovered a new kind of glue. I may be totally behind the times but I was amazed how easy and mess free this glue was. It’s called ZOTS, or to the kids “glue dots”. I am not very familiar with scrap-booking and apparently this is a well-known trend in that community. I found it wonderful.

Here is how the ZOTS work:

There is a rolled up piece of wax paper with little flat glue dots on it, similar to the clear, sticky glue that you find on a piece of mail used on flyers and what not, but this works better with crafts and not just paper. You simply take what you need to glue down, in the case of Valentine’s a piece of ribbon, and stick it on the glue dot while it is on the wax paper. Then you peel it off and VWOLA!! Glue.

Although it takes away the fun of glueing your hands together, letting the glue dry on your fingers and peeling it off later, it does make for mess free fun. I have posted some pictures below of the box of ZOTS so you know what they look like, the instructions on how to use them, and a picture of our craft fun.

I hope this helps make your Valentine’s Day crafts more enjoyable. Remember once you open the pictures in another page, if you click on them again you can view them larger.

Coloring Pages

24 Jan

So you are all out of activities, the coloring book is full of scribbles, and you need a nice, sit down craft to do with the kids. It’s EASY! Just go online and print off a few coloring sheets. It sounds so simple but sometimes people just don’t think of doing this. I use Google Images and I search for coloring pages or coloring sheets. It is that simple! If you know you are spending the day with the kids or if you are babysitting on a Friday night, print off a few coloring sheets and take them with you. If you know what the kids like you can be specific on your search like Dora coloring pages. If you think about it ahead of time, just print off a bunch and save them. You can also search activity pages for more than just coloring. It’s quick, easy, and FREE!! Here are a few pages to get you started. Remember you can click on the images to enlarge them.

A Snuggly Craft

22 Jan

Make a blanket or pillow case! It’s a fun and easy craft and it’s SNUGGLY!

Making a blanket is the perfect craft to do this time of year. It’s pretty chilly outside and this is a fun and easy craft to do with the kids. I used to make these all the time on my volleyball team. We made blankets and pillow cases since we were on the road a lot. Kids love to add more of their favorite colors and decorations to their room and this is a perfect way to do that and keep them warm. I am planning on doing this craft with my two girls next week. Here are a couple that I have done. You can click on the images to enlarge them.

Here is how!

1. Pick out two fabrics. They can be the same fabric or different. I have always used two fleece type fabrics but you could use one fleece and one cotton if you would like. It is probably best to have at least one of the fabrics be fleece. Find their two favorite colors or patters. Usually I use one as my favorite pattern and one as a solid color so it doesn’t look too crazy.

2. Cut the fabric into the desired size. The blanket will end up a little smaller than what you start out with so cut it about 3-4 inches bigger than you want on all 4 sides. You can make a blanket or pillow case. If you decide to make a pillow case be sure to have the pillow with you so you can make sure to measure the fabric with the pillow.

3. Lay the fabric out on a flat surface like the floor. Line up the edges of both fabrics together. If you are making a pillow case put the pillow in between the two fabrics and line the edges of the fabrics together. If you are making a pillow case then be sure that the fabrics are big enough to completely cover the pillow, even on the sides, and still leaving about 3-4 inches extra room.

4. Cut slits in the fabric 1 inch wide and 3-4 inches deep (into the fabric). Make sure that the slits on the top piece of fabric line up with the slits on the bottom fabric.

5. Once you go around the entire blanket or pillow case, take a one inch piece from the top fabric and tie it to the bottom blanket in a double knot. Then go to the next one inch piece of fabric on top and tie it to the bottom piece of fabric and do this until you go around the entire blanket. If you are making a pillow case just tie the two blankets around the pillow so that the pillow is in between the two fabrics as you are tying them together.

6. And you are DONE!!! Now snuggle!!

Make sure that if they are too young YOU should cut the fabric but they should be able to tie the fabrics together. Just make sure to check and after they tie that they are tied together tightly. These make great gifts. The kids can make this craft for parents, relatives, friends, etc. Or you can make these as gifts for people you know.

Let me know if you have done this craft in the past and how you liked it or if you make it after reading this blog, let me know how it worked for you.

Remember if you have any questions regarding this particular blog, other entries, or just anything in general you can e-mail babysitterblab@gmail.com. I hope this was helpful!!!

Cootie Catcher Craft

9 Jan

The other day I was babysitting 2 girls. They are 12 and 5 and both of them LOVE this craft. I made them a “Cootie Catcher”. Some people call these things fortune tellers but really you can make them whatever you want. It is an easy craft that is good for ages 5 and older, girls and boys. It’s great for a rainy day and it’s cheap!

Here is what a Cootie Catcher looks like:

Chances are you have seen one of these but maybe you have forgotten how to fold them. Here are some instructions on how to fold it then I will tell you how this works.

**click on the picture if you are having trouble reading the instructions.**

So that is how they are made. Now for each of the outside flaps you can make any types of categories: colors, animals, names, places, etc. The outside will only have 4 words. The inside flaps will have 8 words. Choose another category, or the same one if you would like, but make sure you make the words AGE APPROPRIATE to where the kids can SPELL the words you use in the categories. Under each flap of the final 8 write a funny sentence or “fortune”. For example, when I played this game with Sloane and Sophia, they chose things like:

“You will fall in the toilet”, “You will be chased by pickles”, “You will win a billion dollars”, etc.

OR you can do things like:

“You must give away 1 piece of candy to a friend”, or “Run the door and back as fast as you can”, etc.

How to play:

1. Hold the Cootie Catcher with only the outside 4 options visible.

2. Have someone pick one of the 4 options (color, animal, etc.)

3. Spell out whatever they pick by moving your fingers up and down and back and forth.

4. Reveal the inside 4 options and have them pick one.

5. Spell that word out the same way.

6. You can do this as many times as you like but eventually when they pick one open up one of the flaps to reveal what it says.

You can make the game more educational by adding math problems. Or use adding money or telling time by drawing nickels and pennies or a clock and having them tell time.

If you are still not clear on how to make one or how to play here is a link to a tutorial:

Cootie Catcher Tutorial

I hope this was a helpful activity!

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