Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pirate Princess Party on a Budget

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Chiquita wanted a princess/pirate/flower/frozen/Dora/Smurf/kitty party.  I made her narrow it down...
After she picked Pirate Princess as her theme I started looking for inspiration.  You can check out my pinterest board here.

1. Loot - I decided not to do goodie bags, but to give out plastic coins during the party and let the kids pick their own toys from a little treasure chest.  That way I hoped they would actually like what they got and not just throw it away.  Here's what we included in our treasure chest:
Every kid took a bag home but I still had so much left that I think it will cover Halloween trick-or-treaters.  Spent: $35 
 2. Activities
  • Pirate dress up: When the kids first arrived I had a dress up station with pirate bandanas, pink or black paper pirate hats, and tp roll telescopes.  Some kids came already in costume.  I had a few older neighbor girls help me with the party (in return for cake and loot) and that was particularly helpful here.  Spent: $16
  • Princess Jewels and Pirate Necklaces: I got pretty pony beads for the princess jewels with pink wrapping ribbon to string them on.  For the pirate necklaces I had black and red pony beads, skull beads and black wrapping ribbon. I popped them into ziplock baggies and the kids could pick pirate, princess or both!  Chiquita of course did both - on one necklace!  Spent: $15
  • Walking the plank:  Just a board on top of two boxes.  We happened to have a blanket my sister made with an alligator on it to put under.  It would be fun just with a blue tarp or some ocean toys under the plank. Spent: $0
  • Treasure egg hunt: I spray painted a bunch of left-over easter eggs silver and filled them with plastic coins (to buy loot). The idea was to have an egg hunt outside but it rained TONS.  So I did some quick thinking and came up with:
  • Fishing for treasure: I just took a shower curtain rod and shower curtain and set it up in a doorway.  The kids had a fishing rod made from a stick, some string and a paper clip.  Spent: $8
  • Storytime: I found a book, "Pirate Pearl" that was perfect for this party.  A princess is raised by pirates and gets the best of both worlds.  I let any kids who wanted come into another room for storytime.  It was nice to bring a little quiet and calm into a very high energy party.  Spent: $5 (Could be free if you could find it at your library)
  • Pin the Eyepatch on the Pirate Girl.  I enlarged a picture of a pirate girl and cut out a bunch of pink eye patches.  Really easy!  Spent: $0
  • Treasure Chest Pinata: I knew I could make a pinata that was basically just a box!  I found an easy tutorial at and then filled it with fruit snack and pirate lollipops.  Spent: $15
3. Decorations - I didn't do a lot for decorations.  I honestly expected to be outside so didn't do much.  I printed out these pirate pennants from this website and glued them on burlap triangles.  I sewed the triangles onto yarn with a zigzag stitch and hung it in the kitchen.  Done!  Spent: $6

4. Food - I won the cake at a neighborhood service auction.  Awesome right?  It was delicious as well as beautiful.  I added some goldfish, Pirate Booty and cut a watermelon into the shape of a ship.  I got the idea from this post by Fit Body Full Life.  I also served lemonade in these cute little skull sippy cups from Walmart.  Spent (with napkins and plates): $25

I spent $125 total and we had over 15 kids come!  That means I spend less than $8.33 per child.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pronouncing Rs: 31 Days of ABCs

This post is part of a series, 31 Days of ABCs.  Scroll to the bottom for the full schedule of posts.
Until I was 4 or 5 I had trouble with my Rs.  My grandpa gave me a doll and named her Mary Rasmussen to give me an excuse to work on my Rs.  Now I see Chiquita is having trouble with her Rs (both in English and the rolling R in Spanish).  I know she and I aren't alone.  What can parents do to help kids that struggle pronouncing this tricky letter?

I read this article on Mommy Speech Therapy that was helpful.  I feel much better know that R really is a tricky letter, in English there are "at least 32 different R sounds".  The author suggests identifying which specific R sounds your kids struggles with so you can work on that specific sound.

North Shore Pediatric Therapy posted this article with very specific suggestions.  My favorite was making animal sounds like roosters, cats and tigers.  She also put my mind at ease by stating that the age for master of the letter r could be anywhere from 5 1/2 to 7 years old.  Chiquita and I are totally normal and on track!!  Yeah!

While I was looking for suggestions in English I wanted to check on info for pronouncing rollings rs in Spanish.  Basically in Spanish if there are two rrs together (used to be it's own letter erre) then it's prounounced with a trill.  A single r is barely pronounced (so Chiquita has no issues) unless it's at the beginning of the word, in which case there's a very slight trill.

I found this hilarious video on facebook.  I'm not sure it will help Chiquita, but it certainly made her laugh.  She will watch it over and over again.

at least 32 different R sounds to consider as separate distinct sounds! - See more at:
at least 32 different R sounds to consider as separate distinct sounds! - See more at:
at least 32 different R sounds to consider as separate distinct sounds! - See more at:
at least 32 different R sounds to consider as separate distinct sounds! - See more at:
at least 32 different R sounds to consider as separate distinct sounds! - See more at:

Anyone have any suggestion?

31 Days of ABC - October 2014
Check out the rest of the series:
31 Days of ABCs

Anything ABCs – October 1

A – October 2

B – October 3

C – October 4

D – October 5

E – October 6

F – October 7

G – October 8

H – October 9

I – October 10

J – October 11

K – October 12

L – October 13

M – October 14

N – October 15

O – October 16

P – October 17

Q – October 18

R – October 19

S – October 20

T – October 21

U – October 22

V – October 23

W – October 24

X – October 25

Y – October 26

Z – October 27

123’s – October 28

Prewriting – October 29

Books, Songs, & Apps – October 30

ABC Pinterest Boards – October 31

Saturday, October 4, 2014

I'm on a Blogging Break!

Maybe you've notice things have been quiet here...  I've had to take a little break from blogging while my family moves house!  I hope to be back soon with new adventures and ideas.  In the meantime please enter my giveaway that ends on October 15th!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Upcycled Sleep Mask

I feel like there is so much STUFF in this world that the more I can reuse and repurpose the better.  I sell, giveaway or use for fabric all my clothes that don't work for me - or almost all.

There are some things that shouldn't be second hand and bras are one of them.  I had some that were really never used because they didn't fit right, but I still felt weird about donating them.  I had been thinking about making myself a sleep mask (as a mom that cosleeps I often need to sleep with the lights on).  The ruffles, stretchy bra straps and pad were perfect to make a very easy and cute sleep mask.

I just cut two strips and sewed the top and bottoms, right sides facing out.  I trimmed any extra fabric and slipped in a square of padding and sewed the sides with the strap in.  I adjusted it to fit my head and sewed the straps together.

So cute!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Giveaway -Dia de los Muertos Nail Wraps

When Jamberry's new fall catalog came out I was SO excited for the Dia de Los Muertos nail wraps.  Featuring bright colors and traditional sugar skulls, they just made me so happy!  I ordered them right away, but I couldn't wait until November 1st (Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead) to wear them.  I paired them with purple herringbone.  This month is Hispanic Heritage Month and I decided that was all the excuse I needed!

I am sharing the love - one reader will win a complete manicure of Dia de Los Muertos nail wraps!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month, check out
For fun activities and info around Dia de Los Muertos, check out Multicultural Kids Blog Day of the Dead pinterest board.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Diez Esqueletos

We are participating in Multicultural Kids Blogs Hispanic Heritage Month.  Please scroll ALL THE WAY down for the blog hop!

Dia de los Muertos is one of my favorite Mexican holidays.  Last year we learned this fun Skelton song at the Provo library's Spanish storytime.  Diez Esqueletos has really fun rhythm and rhyme.  It's a great song to go with our Skeleton craft.

There's bunches of variations on the lyrics, here's the version we learned:
Cuando el reloj marca la una
Los esqueletos salen de su tumba,
Tumba, laca tumba, laca tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las dos
Los esqueletos miren su reloj,
Tumba, laca tumba, laca tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las tres
Los esqueletos vuelvan al revés,
Tumba, laca tumba, laca tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las cuatro
Los esqueletos miren su retrato,
Tumba, laca tumba, laca tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las cinco
Los esqueletos pegan un brinco,
Tumba, laca tumba, laca tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las seis
Los esqueletos juegan ajedrez,
Tumba, laca tumba, laca tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las siete
Los esqueletos se montan en cohete,
Tumba, laca tumba, laca tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las ocho
Los esqueletos comen bizcocho,
Tumba, laca tumba, laca tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las nueve
Los esqueletos todos se mueven,
Tumba, laca tumba, laca tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las diez
Los esqueletos duerman otra vez.

It's a great song to do with rhythm sticks.  Also easy to put actions to.  We also found another version on youtube that was fun.

heritagemonthWelcome to the Third Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop, hosted this year by Multicultural Kid Blogs and 22 of our member blogs! Don’t miss our amazing giveaway, and share your own posts at our linky!
Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 every year, “celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America” (from

Be sure to visit all of the participating blogs (listed below) and follow our related Pinterest boards:

MKB HHM Twitter PartyDon’t miss our Twitter party “Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Kids,” Tuesday, September 23, from 9 – 10 pm ET! Follow #mkbhhm to participate!

MKB Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop: Participating Blogs

Hispanic Heritage Month GIVEAWAY!

This year to celebrate we are giving away fabulous prizes! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post for a chance to win!
Please note that there are shipping restrictions on some prizes. In the event that the winner lives outside of the shipping area, that portion of the prize will be added to the following prize package.

Grand Prize Package

Smart Play Pad
Smart Play Pad (SRP $ 24.99): Interactive tablet like electronic toy makes early learning fun and exciting for little ones. More than 30 touch sensitive keys teach language and pronunciation skills to help prepare children for school. Bilingual feature helps kids learn in English & Spanish. Lightweight and truly portable for on-the-go learning. Ships to US and Canada only.
Traditional Mexican toys and games.
A basket of fun from Escuela Falcón in Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico. This prize includes educational games, ceramic Day of the Dead skulls, a hand-painted ceramic box, wooden toys, and a certificate for 5 hours of Skype Spanish lessons with Escuela Falcón.
A basket from Lanugo that includes Lanugo’s new book, “Lula la Consentida,” a limited edition “Latino de Corazón” infant apparel, and Seventh Generation’s earth conscious baby product essentials. US shipping only.
Spanish games for kids.
A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.
DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.
DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.
Bilingual poetry book from Lee and Low.
Spanish poetry book for kids from Lee and Low.
A Movie in my Pillow and Poems to Dream Together – Books of poetry in English and Spanish from Lee and Low.

First Prize Package

Peru prize basket - Kid World Citizen 
A child’s sweater and bag from Peru courtesy of Kid World Citizen. The handmade, wool sweater is typical from the Andes and might fit a child ages 2-4. The little backpack is also handmade with gorgeous details typical of the region.
Spanish games for kids.  
A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.
Spanish songs for kids.
Chocolalala – CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.
Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi. 
Hola Hello – A CD of children’s songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.
Spanish poems for kids.
Mis primeros poemas – A book of poems and audio CD for Spanish learners from All Bilingual Press.
Spanish color activities from Mundo de Pepita.
Digital download of Spanish Colors Activities Pack with printable minibooks, games and activity pages from Mundo de Pepita.
Lingua Toys 
Spanish activity book with an audio CD with listening exercises for kids between 3-10 years old (value: 12€) from Lingua Toys.
Bolivian Guiro 
Hand-crafted guiro (traditional instrument), hand-carved from a gourd in Bolivia with a sun and moon pattern. Great instrument as well as a piece of folk art. From DARIAMUSIC. US shipping only.

Second Prize Package

Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua.
Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua courtesy of Spanish Playground.

Spanish book for kids from Libros Arellano.
¡Las letras! and Señorita Bienvenida en el aeropuerto – Two children’s books in Spanish from Libros Arellano.
Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi.
A CD of children’s songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.
Children's songs in Spanish from Mister G.
ABC Fiesta – CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.
High frequency words books in Spanish.
Digital download of 6 printable Spanish high frequency words books from Custom Literacy.

Bonus Prize: France Shipping Only!

Las piñatas de Laly 
Beautiful piñata created especially for this contest by Piñatas de Laly.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hello Bali Review

Chiquita and I love doing yoga together! When Giselle Shardlow was looking for bloggers to review her new book "Hello, Bali" we jumped at the chance!  We received an electronic copy of the Spanish version "Hola, Bali".

First off, this book is ideal for language learners because of the repetition.  Each page introduces a word/pose and then says "Hola, ______".  It was natural to have Chiquita says this phrase along with me as we did each pose.  So apart from the yoga aspect, for language learning it was great to have an action with each word to help her learn the vocabulary. 

At the end they even had a section to learn Indonesian!  It would be a fun extension activity to do the suggested actions with a partner repeating the phrases in both languages!!

The flow of the poses was great.  It was very natural to move from one to the next.  After the story the author has a couple pages reviewing each poses and it makes it very natural to learn the poses with the story and finish by repeating the poses in a flow sequence.
Ironically, the first time I got Chiquita to read this book with me she didn't want to.  She kept asking if we could do "the other yoga book", Giselle Shardlow's "ABCs of Australian Animals".  Ha!  Once we started she was VERY enthusiastic about being the baby monkey for me to groom.

I haven't made a secret of the fact that I'm a big fan of Giselle's yoga books.  I think these would be ideal for any kids yoga class or personal practice.