Sunday, July 17, 2011

Children's Book Review: A Great Book for Boys

One of the librarians, a friend of mine recommended this book to my boys, who giggled uncontrollably simply at the title!

I am a mom  now, so i no longer understand why underpants are so funny, but they are the best of comedy to my two older boys (the baby doesn't quite get it yet). My kids also love dinosaurs, so i believed my friend when she said my boys would love it!

It tells the story (in verse) of how cavemen made themselves underpants so they wouldn't be naked anymore, and the dinosaurs got jealous. Then they fought each other mercilessly over these underpants, and that's why there aren't anymore dinosaurs today (don't worry, it's not gory!)

It's so fun to read a book to my children and listen to them giggle, even if we are talking about something kinda rude. And i must say, even though I'm the mom, and supposed to be the mature one, i loved this book too.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Toddler Travel Tray

... try saying that ten times fast! haha!

Our family is gearing up for a road trip, and I've been working hard to find ways to keep my brood entertained. They travel extremely well, and will sit mostly quiet for more than an hour even if they didn't have things to do.

But this trip is 10 hours long - a bit much, even for them. R loves cars and trains and planes, but inevitably they all end up on the floor as he tries to drive them on his lap, and i'm stuck retrieving them every two minutes (and getting carsick from turning around so much).

Here's my solution:

I got out a metal serving tray that i had purchased during a Christmas clearout sale, some cardstock and some Mod Podge and turned it into an activity tray! I kept it nice and simple. I had the kids draw grass on some thin paper for the background - cardstock was too thick for the magnets, and tissue was too thin, as the pattern on the tray would have shown through.

I cut out a pond and a tree, then put two ducks in the pond. R said, "look, a mommy and a daddy!", so i made three little ones. My boys love to play with things in families, and love it even more when they can model them after OUR family, so i made a mommy duck, a daddy duck, and ducks for E, R, and J. 
And five apples on the tree, so he can practice counting (and so there's something for his toys to eat).

 He picked out all the colors for the house.

And the best part??

Even upside down, the cars will stay put! 


I used a heavy-duty craft glue to stick good strong magnets on the bottom of the cars so they wouldn't slide around with every bump of the car, but R can still easily push them around to drive them. And the rim on the tray will help contain any dinosaurs or people he wishes to add to the scene.

I can't wait for him to try it out! (too bad i have to hide it until we leave - but if he's never played with it before, it'll keep him entertained longer in the van)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mr. Potato Truck

Things have been crazy busy and chaotic around here, but i had to stop in quick and show you this gift i made for a little boy's birthday. My boys were invited to the party, and i wracked my brain trying to think of a gift. We are pinching pennies around here, so it had to be homemade (i like homemade better anyway), and it had to be made from things i already had on hand.

This boy loves cars, trucks, trains, etc. He's very much like R. So, i meshed together something fun, drawing inspiration from this tutorial on Make it and Love it, Disney/Pixar's Cars, and Mr. Potato Head.

I am very aware of the flaws - it's a first draft, done without a pattern, and i was in a hurry. Despite that, i think it turned out pretty cute!

there's velcro on the sides, top, windshield and front bumper so the pieces can be changed up. I only had time for three different costumes:

The Rock Star

The Major Leaguer

The Cowboy
The pieces
The license plate - i'm no great shakes at embroidery - this is the first time i've done words, and had to free hand it. I ran out of room for the 's'...
I think i might just do this again - only better next time! I had grand intentions to make a carrying case in the shape of a garage (with "Garage" written on the side). I had some brick print fabric, and even drew up a sketch, but i had no time.

Also, too late, i thought it would be a laugh (and a nod to one object of inspiration) to make a tiny burlap sack labeled "Potatoes" to put in the truck bed. Next time!

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