I Spy Items – Food

The food set for the I – Spy bags was one of the most fun to actually make out of clay. My poor husband was having a difficult time wrapping his brain around it, though. The scale, or lack there-of, was really throwing him off. For instance, he kept pointing out that blueberries are not the same size as pumpkins. Sometimes he is a bit literal in his interpretations of things.

Food I- Spy Items include:

  • hot dog on bun (with ketchup and mustard)
  • corn in husk
  • chocolate chip cookie
  • oraneg
  • strawberry ice cream cone
  • blueberry
  • pork chop or steak (depending on whom you ask)
  • pumpkin
  • green bean
  • fried egg
  • pizza, complete with sauce, cheese, and toppings
  • pear
  • M & M
  • hamburger with ketchup, mustard, and pickle
  • apple
  • head of lettuce
  • carrot
  • pancake with maple syrup and slab of butter
  • banana
  • black tie mousse cake

Families Create! July Wrap Up

The pirates have invaded! Our theme for July’s Families, Create! Make and Play Carnival was “swashbucklers,” and almost every participant celebrated their inner adventurer by creating something related to pirates.

Check out what Families Create! participants created this month:

With cat-like tread, upon their way they steal, Zoie at TouchstoneZ‘s sons are inspired to perform a little dramatic piracy as captured in pictures.

Brittany at Mama’s Felt Cafe shares a tutorial for making an easy hand sewn felt pirate crown. No fancy stitching required!


Argh, mateys! Dionna at Code Name: Mama has written ye a tutorial to make easy pirate eye patches.

Lauren at Hobo Mama presents parrot play (sprinkled with humor) for your petite pirates.

A trip to a local botanical garden turned into a dinosaur safari at Living Peacefully with Children.

Shiver me timbers! If you have a pirate lover, check out “How to Make a Pirate Treasure Hunt Plus Other Fun Pirate Crafts and Activities” from Dionna at Code Name: Mama.

Our Family Creates! from Code Name: Mama and Living Naturally With Children

Be sure to join us for August’s carnival, our theme is “Weird and Wonderful.”

Families Create! Call for August Submissions

Please join us for a monthly blog carnival focusing on families and creativity. Families, Create! is a blog carnival with a purpose: we want your family to get creative and have fun! Read below for details on the August carnival, and check out the main carnival page for upcoming themes in 2011. (Check out January, February, March, April, and June if you missed them.)

Your co-hosts are Dionna at Code Name: Mama and Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children.

Here are the submission details for August 2011:

Photo by Patti Haskin

Theme: Weird and Wonderful: Childhood holds a wonder that abounds, prompting questions and curiosity at every turn. As parents, we are privy to the insight and creativity inherent in childhood and are reminded ourselves what is really important to us. While our children learn from us, we, too, learn from them.

Looking for some books to share the wonder of creativity with your children? Check some of these out:

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Five Children and It by E Nesbitt

The Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Where in the Wild? By David Schwartz

The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler

If you do use a book for inspiration, please mention it in your post so that we can read it too!

What will your post consist of? Each month we will have a theme, things like “Heroes and Heroines,” “Fantasy,” and “Weird and Wonderful.” You will craft a post (or 2 or 3) around one of those themes. You are only limited by your imagination! You can create a handmade craft that embodies the qualities of the post (publish pictures and/or a tutorial!). You can write a story using the theme as inspiration. Your family can act out a story (we will have a handy list of on-topic books for you each month that you can use or ignore, as you desire).
All we ask is that 1) you and your family create something that goes along with the theme; and 2) you post about it sometime during the month.

Deadline: Wednesday, August 31. Your post(s) must be published on or before Wednesday, August 31. Fill out the webform (at the link) for each post you publish for inclusion in July’s carnival. (If you publish three different posts for the carnival, you will fill out the webform three different times, each will include different carnival URLs and titles.)

Link-up date: Saturday, August 6. After we have compiled all of your links, we will send you an email with an html blurb to paste into your (previously published) submission(s) that will include all carnival links. Please edit your posts to include the links no later than Saturday, August 6. You’ll get lots of link love for your site and post(s), and you can check out all of the other creative ideas generated by this month’s theme! Please also help us spread the word about the carnival on your Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Please submit your details into our web form: This will help us as we compile the links list. Please enter your information on the form: Families, Create! August’s Make & Play Carnival

Please do: Write well. Write on topic. Write a brand new post for the carnival. Post great pictures and/or video. Please feel free to be creative within the gentle confines of the carnival theme. If your family is feeling so inspired, you could write a poem or children’s story, put on a one act play, craft a photo essay, or create a handmade craft tutorial instead of a regular blog post (though those are welcomed, too!), as long as what you write is respectful of the carnival’s intent. If you want help determining that ahead of time, please talk with us.

Please don’t: Please don’t use profanity of the sort that might be offensive to more sensitive readers or their children. Please don’t submit irrelevant posts or posts that are purely marketing for products you sell.

Editors’ rights: We reserve the right to edit your piece or suggest edits to you. We reserve the right to courteously reject any submissions that are inappropriate for the carnival. Please also note that since there are two co-hosts on different schedules and conferring over email, our personal response to your submission might seem delayed. Don’t be alarmed. We also reserve the right to impose consequences if the responsibilities of the carnival are not fulfilled by the participants.

If you don’t have a blog: Contact us (CodeNameMama {at} gmail.com and LivingPeacefullyWithChildren {at} gmail.com) about potentially finding you a host blog to guest post. Please write your piece well in advance of the deadline in that case, so we can match you up with someone suitable. But if you really have something amazing to write — why not start your own blog? If you want advice, we find Scribbit’s free Blogging in Pink ebook to be a very helpful and down-to-earth guide, for beginners on up.

If you have questions: Please leave a comment or contact us: Dionna {at} CodeNameMama {dot} com and LivingPeacefullyWithChildren {at} gmail.com

Stay in touch:

Our Family Creates! from Code Name: Mama and Living Naturally With ChildrenShow off: If you are a participant or supporter and want our button to put in your sidebar, grab this code and proclaim to the blogosphere that your family creates!
Grab the Code:

<center><a href=”https://livingpeacefullywithchildren.wordpress.com/families-create/&#8221; _mce_href=”https://livingpeacefullywithchildren.wordpress.com/families-create/”><img title=”Families Create Button” src=”https://livingpeacefullywithchildren.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/families-create-button.jpg&#8221; _mce_src=”https://livingpeacefullywithchildren.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/families-create-button.jpg&#8221; alt=”” width=”125″ height=”125″ /></a></center>

Families Create! Call for April Submissions

Please join us for a new monthly blog carnival focusing on families and creativity. Read below for details, both for the April carnival and for upcoming themes – we have a whole year planned!

Your co-hosts are Dionna at Code Name: Mama and Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children.

So what is the “Families, Create!” Monthly Make and Play Carnival?

 

Photo by trazomfreak

Families, Create! is a blog carnival with a purpose: we want your family to get creative and have fun!

Each month we will have a theme, things like “Heroes and Heroines,” “Fantasy,” and “Weird and Wonderful” (see below for a complete list of 2011’s monthly themes). You will craft a post (or 2 or 3) around one of those themes.

What will your post consist of? You are only limited by your imagination! You can create a handmade craft that embodies the qualities of the post (publish pictures and/or a tutorial!). You can write a story using the theme as inspiration. Your family can act out a story (we will have a handy list of on-topic books for you each month that you can use or ignore, as you desire).

All we ask is that 1) you and your family create something that goes along with the theme; and 2) you post about it sometime during the month.

Each month you will publish one or more posts on the theme no later than the last day of the month. You will submit your post’s details on our webform. And after we have compiled the links and sent you an email with a little html blurb, you will edit your carnival post(s) to add that blurb. For extra blogger love and good karma, you will comment on a few of your fellow bloggers’ posts and tell them how creative they are.

Sound easy? It is!

Here are the submission details for April 2011:

Theme: Fantasy: fairies, dragons, magic, and more. Childhood is a fascinating time, filled magic around every corner. What can your family imagine and create?

Here are some books to inspire cuddle projects, but feel free to select your own book if you want to base your creation off of a literary cuddler:

If you do use a book for inspiration, please mention it in your post so that we can read it too!

Deadline: Saturday, April 30. Your post(s) must be published on or before Saturday, April 30. Fill out the webform (at the link or at the bottom) for each post you publish for inclusion in January’s carnival. (If you publish three different posts for the carnival, you will fill out the webform three different times, each will include different carnival URLs and titles.)

Link-up date: Thursday, May 5. After we have compiled all of your links, we will send you an email with an html blurb to paste into your (previously published) submission(s) that will include all carnival links. Please edit your posts to include the links no later than Saturday, May 5. You’ll get lots of link love for your site and post(s), and you can check out all of the other creative ideas generated by this month’s theme! Please also help us spread the word about the carnival on your Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Please submit your details into our web form: This will help us as we compile the links list. Please enter your information on the form embedded at the end of this post, or click here to enter it on a separate page: Families, Create! April’s Make & Play Carnival

Please do: Write well. Write on topic. Write a brand new post for the carnival. Post great pictures and/or video. Please feel free to be creative within the gentle confines of the carnival theme. If your family is feeling so inspired, you could write a poem or children’s story, put on a one act play, craft a photo essay, or create a handmade craft tutorial instead of a regular blog post (though those are welcomed, too!), as long as what you write is respectful of the carnival’s intent. If you want help determining that ahead of time, please talk with us.

Please don’t: Please don’t use profanity of the sort that might be offensive to more sensitive readers or their children. Please don’t submit irrelevant posts or posts that are purely marketing for products you sell.

Editors’ rights: We reserve the right to edit your piece or suggest edits to you. We reserve the right to courteously reject any submissions that are inappropriate for the carnival. Please also note that since there are two co-hosts on different schedules and conferring over email, our personal response to your submission might seem delayed. Don’t be alarmed. We also reserve the right to impose consequences if the responsibilities of the carnival are not fulfilled by the participants.

If you don’t have a blog: Contact us (CodeNameMama {at} gmail.com and LivingPeacefullyWithChildren {at} gmail.com) about potentially finding you a host blog to guest post. Please write your piece well in advance of the deadline in that case, so we can match you up with someone suitable. But if you really have something amazing to write — why not start your own blog? If you want advice, we find Scribbit’s free Blogging in Pink ebook to be a very helpful and down-to-earth guide, for beginners on up.

If you have questions: Please leave a comment or contact us: CodeNameMama {at} gmail.com and LivingPeacefullyWithChildren {at} gmail.com

2011 Monthly Themes :
January: Cuddle Up
February: Heroes and Heroines
March: Animals
April: Fantasy
May: Characters
June: Adventure
July: Swashbucklers
August: Weird and Wonderful
September: Friends and Family
October: Phizzwizzers
November: Rhymes and Verse
December: Favorite Books

Stay in touch:

Our Family Creates! from Code Name: Mama and Living Naturally With ChildrenShow off: If you are a participant or supporter and want our button to put in your sidebar, grab this code and proclaim to the blogosphere that your family creates!

Grab the code:

<a href=”https://livingpeacefullywithchildren.wordpress.com/families-create/”><img title=”Families Create Button” src=”https://livingpeacefullywithchildren.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/families-create-button.jpg” alt=”” width=”125″ height=”125″ /></a>

I Spy Items – Animals

When I was making lists of items to make for the I-Spy bags, I had to include animals for my animal loving/pretending three year old. He is often some animal and asks that we refer to him as such.

I wasn’t feeling terribly inspired to make clay animals, however. In fact, the animals set was the fifth, and so far final, set of clay items I made for I Spy bags. I learned one very importnat thing about making clay items: 3-dimensional items look much better than their 2-dimensional counterparts. It’s something to keep in mind for any future creations.

The animal list:

  • giraffe
  • spider
  • zebra
  • butterfly
  • snake
  • sheep
  • bat
  • dog
  • rabbit
  • bee
  • frog
  • crab
  • fish
  • tiger
  • mouse
  • penguin
  • snail
  • ladybug
  • oyster
  • seal

March’s Families, Create! challenge was filled with awesome animal-themed posts. From Mo Willems to monkey finger puppets, our writers and crafters kept busy getting creative with the little animals in their lives.

Visit Code Name: Mama and Living Peacefully with Children to find out how you can participate in the next Families, Create! Carnival. Our April theme is “Fantasy” – childhood is a fascinating time, filled with magic around every corner. What can your family imagine and create?

Please take time to read the March submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Lizz at Am I a Funny Girl turns a family outing at the zoo into a picture book to keep.
  • Maman A Droit shares her easy pattern for a felt monkey finger puppet with you!
  • Aunalise at My Sweet Potatoes offers helpful ways for a child to remember calming techniques with a “Calming your Beast” basket.
  • Most of us have monkeys running around our house at times. Or lions. Or elephants. Make your child’s creative animal play even better with stuffed animal tails! Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares an easy tutorial.
  • Galit Breen at These Little Waves shares an easy way to get creative with Mo Willems’ “We Are In A Book.”
  • Maman A Droit shares her pattern for a felt bunny finger puppet-a perfect Easter basket filler!
  • Brenna at Almost All The Truth shares a look at butterflies through metaphor, books and a coffee filter craft.
  • Amy at Anktangle shares photographs of crocheting a lovable stuffed turtle for her son to play with.
  • Aunalise at My Sweet Potatoes knows a few ways to bring beneficial birds to the garden.
  • Lauren at Hobo Mama has a fun and easy game to make to stimulate your preschooler’s memory.
  • Aunalise at My Sweet Potatoes is making nature bags or field bags for nature journals and the other things we may need as we explore our planet.

Families Create! Heroes and Heroines Wrap Up

February brought many heroic crafts to Our Family Creates! Check out some of the wonderful posts from last month’s participants:

Visit Code Name: Mama and Living Peacefully with Children to find out how you can participate in the next Families, Create! Carnival. Our March theme is “Animals” – what animals are your favorites and why? Get creative and share with us how animals are a part of your and your children’s lives.

I Spy Items – The Last Olympians and The Lost Heros

I have wanted to make some I Spy bags for my children for quite a while. However, I don’t have enough little things around my house already, discounting LEGOs, which we have in plentiful amounts, and purchasing single items is cost-prohibitive. After a failed attempt to get a swap going with others in order to take advantage of bulk buying, I decided to make my items for our I Spy bags.

I purchased a set of clay from JoAnn’s. The set contained 8 different colors and cost around $16-17. I used a 40% coupon, bringing the price down around $10. As of this date, I’ve already made items for 5 seperate I Spy bags around various themes and have a bit more clay left.

This first set is based off of Rick Riordan’s young adult/children’s series loosely based on Greek Mythology. I thought my bibliophillic children would love book-themed I Spy bags. The bags aren’t made yet (I’ll be posting a tutorial later this Spring on a new way to make I Spy bags), but if enthusiasm for the items that will go in them are any gauge, the I Spy bags will be loved. Greek heroes and heroines, children of the gods known as demi-gods in the books,  fit in well with this month’s theme for the Families Create Challenge.

Here are the the items for our Last Olympians/Lost Heroes bags:

  1. a crown – all gods and goddesses love to be acknowledged, prayed to, and crowned. Zeus, the king of the gods and father to Thalia and Jason, is no exception.
  2. a wave – Poseidon, one of the big three, is a favorite for my kids. Percy Jackson is the son of Poseidon. The ocean holds so many mysteries, most of which we have yet to uncover.
  3. a snake – Medeusa anyone? She’s a formidable enemy and not one to be triffled with, or looked at.
  4. an eye – representing cyclopes, both the friendly and unfriendly kinds. A little insight gives range to different perspectives.
  5. an orange T-shirt – sure, it doesn’t have the Camp Half-Blood emblem on it, but these are minature pieces of clay.
  6. a winged shoe – stolen from Hermes, messenger of the gods.
  7. a lightning bolt – a symbol of Zeus’s anger, pride, and any other emotion. Gods are flightly and temperamental at the best of times.
  8. a skull – a little cryptic, but what better way to present Hades, god of the dead?
  9. a lotus flower – mentioned in the first book and symbolizing knowledge.
  10. a sun – important if you happen to be Apollo.
  11. grapes – what camp or story would be complete without a crotchety old person with a chip on his shoulder? Cheers to you, Dionysis!
  12. the yellow sheep – it’s a golden fleece. Read the books. You’ll enjoy them, and learn or remember a little mythology while you are at it.
  13. golden drachma – flip one of these babies into a fountain and send an Iris message to one you love.
  14. a shield – it pays to have a little protection.
  15. horseshoe – symbolizing all of the wonderful hooved friends in the series – the pegasi (I admit BlackJack reminds me of Joey from Friends, and I tend to read him that way.), the satyrs (Grover and Coach Hedge, we love you guys and life wouldn’t be the same without you), and to the wonderful Party Ponies (sage centaurs making the most out of life).
  16. a bow and arrow – for Artemis. She’s a wonderfully strong role model with her tribe of immortal girls, racing across thy sky and battling monsters to save mankind. Sure, some of her companions have taken the male disgust a bit far, but she’s pretty grounded in who she is and doesn’t seem to feel quite the same distain.
  17. trident – Poseidon was my son’s first favorite god and the first series (ah, yes, the fun continues in the second series) revolved a great deal around Poseidon’s son, Percy.
  18. a hammer – a tribute to Leo and Haphaestus. Leo, you’ll never be a third wheel to us.
  19. a sword – what monster fighting hero or heroine would be without his or her sword?
  20. an owl – for those Athena fans. Don’t tell her, but she just couldn’t compete with Artemis for my daughter.

February brought many heroic crafts to Our Family Creates! Check out some of the wonderful posts from last month’s participants:

Visit Code Name: Mama and Living Peacefully with Children to find out how you can participate in the next Families, Create! Carnival. Our March theme is “Animals” – what animals are your favorites and why? Get creative and share with us how animals are a part of your and your children’s lives.