Peeps Diorama ~ Make Your Favorite Book Character

We love to do activities inspired by children’s literature.  For a fun activity before Easter (or afterwards, when you are up to your bunny ears in all that candy), make a peeps diorama. Let your favorite book characters inspire you.  Here are our peeps dioramas. 

Don’t Let the Peep Drive the Bus

From my 5-year-old’s favorite Mo Willems book, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. We worked on this together. 

Make a Peeps Diorama inspired by your favorite book character

Pirate Fairy Peep

My daughter was inspired by The Pirate Fairy and made her peeps diorama with Zarina and Tinker Bell (holding paper swords).

Easter Peeps Diorama -- The Pirate Fairy Zarina and Tinker Bell

Goodnight, Peep

And finally, our ,minimalist Goodnight Moon peeps diorama, by my 9-year-old son.

 Peeps Diorama -- Goodnight Moon

What characters will inspire you?

 Peeps Diorama -- Let Your Favorite Books Inspire You

 

Easter Egg Ideas ~ Mod Podge & Party Napkins

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and All You Magazine, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #lifeforless http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV.

There are so many creative Easter egg ideas out there. In addition to using eggs to learn during Springtime, we are excited to find some new ways to make some pretty eggs for hiding and hunting. Here is a super simple and fun Easter egg idea. All you need are Mod Podge and some pretty party napkins. 

Easter Egg Idea With Mod Podge and Party Napkins

 This idea came from All You magazine. I’m excited that All You has just launched nationwide in the U.S. and is now on the shelves at Target, Safeway, Kroger, Meijer, and Dollar General.

After hard-boiling your eggs, here’s what to do next:

Easter Egg Decorating With Mod Podge and Party Napkins

Didn’t they turn out just lovely? 

Decorating Easter Eggs

These were so easy and fun to make. 

Easy and Fun Easter Egg Decorating Idea

This Easter egg idea is just one of many in the All You April issue. You can get your own copy with a dollar off coupon, while supplies last. 

All You Magazine April Issue

Enter to Win a $50 SAFEWAY Gift Card

Who couldn’t use some free groceries?  To celebrate their nationwide debut, All You is giving away a $50 SAFEWAY Gift Card. Giveaway ends April 28, 2014.  You can enter here:

 
 
Easter Egg Ideas

Container Garden Vegetables ~ Grow With Your Kids

Gardening has been a wonderful learning opportunity for our kids and is a family project we all enjoy doing together. Our gardening project of choice:  Container Garden Vegetables.  We are gearing up for spring by starting our seeds indoors, as we do every year.  It’s a great opportunity for science learning (how do seeds grow?), reading practice (seed packets, books about gardening) and handwriting (marking which seeds are in which containers). We have some container garden ideas to share with you. It’s so easy and fun to garden this way, and it’s less work than a regular garden plot, too.

container garden vegetables

Choosing Seeds

First, we let the kids choose the seeds they want to plant for our container garden vegetables and I set up a seed learning area for them to plant, care for, and explore the seeds and soil. If you want to do organic container gardening,  organic seeds can be found at most garden centers and big box stores as well. We keep our seedlings indoors until there is no chance of frost (about May 1st where we live).  organic container gardening

Preparing Soil

We live in Virginia where the hard clay soil requires years of conditioning, to yield the ideal soil for growing vegetables. Raised beds are quite popular. We built those at our last house. For our current house, we put in a small plot directly into the ground in addition to patio and deck containers.  After two years of working the soil in the plot, we decided our efforts were best spent on the bounty of herbs and vegetables that were flourishing in our containers. Also, to get to our plot, we had to go down a flight of deck stairs from the main level and around the side of our house, making watering the garden an easily forgotten, if not dreaded, chore in the hot summer.  Watering the deck containers, on the other hand, was easy and fun. The kids loved to take turns caring for the plants there, and my husband, whose passion is cooking, enjoyed stepping out to the deck from our kitchen to cut some fresh herbs or pick some fresh tomatoes or peppers from the containers while he was cooking. We used a basic gardening soil mix from our local gardening center to fill our containers. Make sure the containers have adequate drainage. If not, drill holes in the bottom of the pots before filling with soil, or add a bottom layer of pea gravel or other small stones. Transplant the seedlings to the containers. container garden vegetables So what can you grow in containers? Well, almost everything, really, but here are the container garden vegetables, and a few other things, that we’ve had success with.

10 Things You Can Grow in a Container Garden

  1. Carrots – my kids’ favorite!
  2. Strawberries – You want these in a container anyway, because they tend to overtake other plants.
  3. Mint – another plant that should be contained, otherwise it takes over and you will be up to your ears in mint.
  4. Any and all herbs: Basil, Oregano, Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme, Dill.
  5. Tomatoes – We’ve grown all varieties successfully in containers but especially love grape and cherry tomatoes in our container garden. Add a small trellis or cage to support them as they grow.
  6. Lettuce – This is a favorite with the kids because it grows quick and early and can be replanted again throughout the growing season.
  7. Radishes – Since they are small and compact, they can grow in smaller, more shallow containers.
  8. Peppers – All varieties of hot peppers are small plants that grow well in containers (jalapenos, habaneros, banana, cayenne) and we’ve also successfully grown bell peppers here as well.
  9. Cucumbers, melons and squash. If you have your containers on a patio where the vines of these plants can travel to the ground, where the fruit will develop, you can grow them in containers, too. 
  10. Flowers! We love to mix flowers into our vegetable and herb plant containers. It makes the deck look even more colorful. Plant low growing flowers like petunias, which will cascade down the sides of the container and cover some of the exposed soil. 

container garden vegetables

My little Love Bug as a toddler, helping his Aunt Francine with her container gardening.

Thank you to our sponsor, HALLS®, for sponsoring this post. Disclosure.

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vegetables you can grow in a container garden

I was compensated for this post by HALLS via BlogHer network.  

5 Pin Boards to Help You Nurture Your Child’s Creativity

 {Thank you to the folks at Disney and BlogHer for sponsoring this post.}

How do we encourage our kids to think innovatively, whether they’re painting a picture or building a Lego tower?   Creativity is more important now than ever.  The ability to think about things in a whole new way.  Think Steve Jobs creative. Think all those successful-entrepreneurs-by-the-age-0f-25 creative. 

Creativity is now as important in education as literacy.                                                  ~Sir Ken Robinson

I have some wonderful Pinterest boards to share with you and they all focus on ways we, as parents, can nurture creativity in our children. Everything from art to music to building with unique materials and cultivating inventions. These pin boards have it all.  nurture your child's creativity So, without further ado, here are the pin boards. Get your pinning fingers ready and click on each link and follow these boards for lots of great ideas in your Pinterest feed every day.

5 Pinterest Boards to Follow to Nurture Your Child’s Creativity [Read more...]

Sea Turtle Facts for Kids

Sea turtles are amazing creatures! I’ve been collecting sea turtle facts for kids to prepare to learn more about these awesome animals. Much of the science learning my younger kids do is centered around animals.  A recent trip to Florida got us curious about sea turtles.  

Sea Turtle Facts For Kids

What do sea turtles eat?  Where do sea turtles live? We set up our own pretend sea turtle habitat and began exploring some great learning resources.

What do sea turtles eatHere are the resources we used:  {affiliate links} 

where do sea turtles live Safari Ltd Loggerhead Turtle in our Step2 Water Table.  You may have noticed that we use this table a lot, filling it with various things. I have a big Sterilite container that I keep the sand in, so we can use the table for other things like cloud dough, shaving cream (makes great snow) and more.

 where do sea turtles live

 Turtles, available in paperback or Kindle edition.

sea turtle facts for kids

Our sea turtle dug a hole and laid her eggs (we used mini-marshmallows), then she went back to the sea.  While my kids were playing with the pretend habitat, I read them the book about turtles. 

What do sea turtles eat?

Well, it depends on the sea turtle.  Loggerheads have strong jaws so they can eat things with shells, like conch, while green turtles eat seagrass and Leatherbacks eat jellyfish.  You can read more about what sea turtles eat at seeturtles.org. 

Where do sea turtles live?

Sea Turtles live almost all of their lives in the ocean, except for females who come ashore to lay eggs.  They live in all the world’s oceans except the Arctic.  

On-line resources for sea turtles:

Follow me on Pinterest for more hands-on learning ideas. 
creekside learning