Sunday, April 20, 2014

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #15

Welcome to the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop!

My favorites from last hop:
dreamcatchers | a 10 minute project by Crafting Connections1. Dreamcatchers: A 10 minute project from Crafting Connections.  I loved the simple craft and that she talked with toddler about the idea behind dreamcatchers and how it could help her sleep better.

Diego Rivera Collaborative Multicultural Art Project
2. Diego Rivera for Kids from Kid World Citizen.  Diego Rivera is one of my favorite painters so of course I loved this project.  I really liked how they made it cooperative with another class!  That takes the concept of a mural as community art to a whole new level for me.

  It's very easy, and simple to participate! Just follow these simple guidelines:
  • Please follow your hostesses:

  • Follow us via email, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.  Please let us know you're following us, and we will be sure to follow you back.

  • Link up any creative kids culture posts. Such as language, culture, books, travel, food, crafts, playdates, activities, heritage, and holidays, etc. Please, link directly to your specific post, and no  giveaways, shops, stores, etc. 

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop

  • Please  grab the button above and put it on your blog or the post you’re linking up. You can also add a text link back to this hop on your blog post.  Note: By sharing your link up on this blog hop you are giving us permission to feature your blog post with pictures,  and to pin your link up in our Creative Kids Culture Feature board on Pinterest. 

  • Don't be a stranger, share some comment love! Visit the other links, and comment!

  • The Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop will go live on the 3rd  Sunday of the month. It will run for three weeks. The following blog hop we will feature a previous link up post, and if you're featured, don't forget to grab the button below: 

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop
  • Want to know when is our next Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop? Click here


Monday, April 14, 2014

Homemade Peanut Butter Chocolate Eggs

This is more work than I usually go to for treats, but I'm really excited about these yummy Easter treats!  They are easy, just take a little time and two stages.  I'm planning on putting some of them in plastic Easter eggs for our Easter egg hunt with friends.  Kids could easily help with this, but Chiquita didn't this time (so they would turn out more uniform).

First Stage: Yummy peanut butter and chocolate centers!

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey (or molasses or corn syrup)
  • 1 cup Chocolate Nesquik (you can use powdered milk if you want it to be more peanut buttery)
First wash your hands, cause you're going to use them!  Mix it together with a spatula first and then finish mixing with your hands to get all the Nesquik mixed in.  It should be about the consistency of playdough.  Take small amounts and roll them into egg shapes.  I was able to make 48 eggs, but it will vary depending on how big you want them. Place them on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper (or a left over Ferrero Roche tray like me) and freeze them until hard.

Second Stage: White candy coating!

Melt White Almond Bark (3 squares was exactly right for me) over low heat in a small sauce pan.  Dip the frozen eggs in the chocolate.  As you take them out let them drip over the pan a little to get off extra almond bark before placing them back on the wax paper.  They can just harden on the counter top. 

I wrapped some in foil  and stuck them in the freezer again so they wouldn't melt during our easter egg hunt.  The rest stayed out for eating and they are DELICIOUS!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Learning Spanish Through Music and Play with the Itsy Bitsy Spider

Welcome Guest Blogger Frances from Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes.

One of my favorite go to activities to teach my son Spanish is through music, and play.  I recently had his friends (ages 3-5 yrs. old) from his Spanish playgroup come over to visit,  and I wanted to do something fun for them. Plus, I needed to "keep the Spanish going" since they often tend to speak in the community language: English. 

We kicked off the play date with book  La Araña Muy Ocupada (Spanish Edition) Board book. In a Pinterest search I found a super easy spider finger puppet craft.  We made the cutest arañas for them to sing-a-long to Hap Palmer's La Pequeña Araña/The Itsy Bitsy Spider song.  The arañas are made  out of craft foam.  Once everyone finished their arañas we all got up to sing the song: 

♫♫ La araña pequeñita subió, subió, subió 
Vino la lluvia y se la llevó 
Salió el sol y todo se secó 
Y la araña pequeñita subió, subió, y subió
Trepando y trepando poco a poco 
Esa arañita no se rendía 
Seguía subiendo y seguía tratando 
Hasta que el sol salió brillando
Hay una araña en tu pie 
Hay una araña en tu rodilla 
Hay una araña en tu estómago...♫♫

You can read the full lyrics here.  

After a fun session of singing we used Spanish Playground's Itsy Bitsy Spider's sequence cards. The children had fun coloring them, and putting them in order.  As they colored the cards we practiced key words in Spanish such as, araña, casa, sol, nube, and the colors as well: rojo, azul, morado, and anaranjado (the colors of their spiders). 

Do you have a favorite Spanish song? Please share, and comment below.

Frances is a part-time blogger, mommy and wife of a beautiful multicultural familia.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a certification in Human Resources.  She blogs about  heritage, culture, bilingualism, multicultural children’s books, and discovering the world through her son’s eyes.  You can follow her at Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sneaky Protein for Picky Eaters

I don't know if Chiquita's type of picky eating is common, but it is something I think about constantly.  She's great in the fruit and veggie area - she'll eat raw produce day and night - but she is VERY picky about protein.  When it comes to meat, she'll only eat chicken nuggets, in the dairy aisle she will very occasionally drink a little milk, she does like yogurt, but cheese is only acceptable on pizza and even then she sometimes manages to pick it off when I'm not looking. She will occasionally eat peanut butter but she's not a big fan of that either and she won't touch beans (at least not in bean form!).

We've had our share of food showdowns, but they weren't very effective so most of the time I resort to sneaking protein into the foods she'll eat.

Here are my top tips:
  • Add eggs.  I'll beat an egg into her rice or macaroni and cheese just before it's finished cooking and it's almost impossible to see.  If your kid's picky enough to notice the slight yellow color of a whole egg in rice then you can use just the egg white but it's not as much protein, but don't despair because you can add double just yolks in the macaroni and cheese without detection!
  • Turn juice into SUPER Juice! I make my own green smoothies every morning and Chiquita is a fan - she'll even drink it if it's actually green.  So I always make sure to add lots of protein with greek yogurt, a handful of almonds (extra blending!), chia seeds or old fashioned protein powder.  I also use Super Juice to make juice pops which Chiquita eats all the time.  You don't have to blend up smoothies every day to get this benefit.  You could just stir protein powder into a glass of juice.  I bought soy protein powder in bulk that was nearly tasteless.
  • Switch out flour in baked goods.  Just using whole wheat instead of white flour adds protein to baked goods, but there's so much you can do to punch up the protein.  I put a bunch of recipes on here for cupcakes, bread and cookies made with canned beans and I honestly make these all the time for breakfast, snacks or dessert.  Recently I've been experimenting with bean flour.  I just took dried white beans and ground them to flour in my baby food grinder (a food processor or wheat grinder would work too).  I replaced up to a fourth of the flour in any recipe with bean flour and have had good results so far - a little denser but not radically.  Here's a good article on ways to use all different types of bean flour.
  • Buy Special Products. Pediasure makes juice boxes and flavored milks that have additional protein as well as vitamins and minerals.  We found a brand of spaghetti noodles (Barilla Plus) made from lentil flour (see, beans!) that are super high in protein and Chiquita hasn't noticed a difference.  I always read the labels on bread to choose the highest protein count (not all "whole wheat" is the real deal and protein count will tell the truth).

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Inspired By You: TP Roll Bunnies

When I saw these adorable tp roll bunnies from Red Ted Art I knew we would be making them.

I cut out the ears and colored the pink part.  Chiquita helped me with the glue and we used binder clips to hold them together while they dried.  Chiquita decorated them while they dried with colored pencils and markers.  She told me what scribbles were the eyes, nose, arms, legs, etc.  As a result ours are a little less defined than Red Ted's but that's ok.  We used a bit of cotton ball instead of tissue paper for the tails (also easy to find upcycled from store-bought pill bottles).  We made five all together and as Red Ted states, it was fast and we could easily have made more.

So far we've just played hide and seek with them and version of 'where's the ball?' like the street hustlers.  I was impressed that Chiquita was able to follow and guess the right bunny everytime.  I'm not as deft a hand as the hustlers though.

How would you play with these bunnies?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Health Explorium: DIY Recreate

Chiquita and I had a chance to check our Intermountain Health Care's new instacare and specialty clinic and learn a little about our bodies at their Explorium, a carnival style event.  They had lots of games to get kids (and adults) moving and learning about their body, not to mention sweet swag and yummy treats.

I got thinking how much fun it would be to recreate an event like this, any age would love it.  So here's a round up of activities based on some of those we did today:

Fitness Dice: Talk about why exercise is important and get bodies moving with these DIY giant dice from Growing a Jeweled Rose or buy an already made set.

Giant Operation Table:  You could play the classic game, orA  if you're motivated make your own.

Inflatable Lungs: The Explorium had huge inflatable lungs you could stand in, but you could make a cool homemade model lung from recyclables that really demonstrates how the human lungs and diaphragm work!  There's a fancier store-bought version too of course.

Whack a Snack:  Again, at the event they had an actual arcade style game. At home you could check out this free online game of Whack-a-Snack (available in Spanish too!) from Nourish Interactive and talk about healthy eating.

Skin Safe Photo Booth:  This might be the easiest to recreate.  Participants dress up in funny sunglasses and silly hats.  You can have a chat about why wearing these protect our skin from the sun.

Water Bottle Ring Toss: They had 4 foot tall water bottle cardboard cut-outs and hula hoops for rings.  You could make a miniature version with real water bottles and paper plate rings.  A great reminder that we need to drink lots of water to stay healthy.

A yummy fresh-fruit Yogurt Parfait (like we ate) is a perfect way to end this "Body Tour".

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The New Living Planet Aquarium

We loved the old aquarium and have been waiting for months for the new location to open so of course we had to visit opening week.

Apparently that's how the rest of the Wasatch Front felt because the line was out the door and the place was packed.

It's huge!  Two stories of amazing and it's obvious they planned in space to grow.  Everything is stroller accessible by ramps and/or elevators as well as short cut stairs for those without wheels.  They are still in the process of moving fish so there were lots of vacant tanks.  Nevertheless we spent two and a half hours exploring everything that was there and it did NOT disappoint.  The highlights:
  • We've always loved watching the otters.  At the new location they have indoor and outdoor areas to frolick in.  Chiquita ran back and forth as the otters swam around their much bigger tank.
  • The penguins have separate under and above water viewing areas. The below water area is curved so you get a little bit of a look under the penguins.
  • The Journey to South America is warm (dress in layers on cold days or you'll boil) and very cool!  Chiquita didn't try out the suspended rope bridge this time (there was a long line) but we loved seeing all the frogs and I'm excited to go back when they populate all the touch tanks that snake around the bottom level.
  • My personal favorite was the shark tunnel.  Surrounded by the tank we not only saw sharks but turtles, stingrays and lots of fish.  The wavy blue light that filtered through made it absolutely magical.  I could have hung out there the whole time.