Fish Shaped Fruit Skewers

I made these skewers back in June for a preschool class party, but thought I would share them with you as an idea for school.  Wouldn’t these be a fun treat for kids to find in their lunch boxes?  I’m not talking about making these everyday, but maybe for special occasions or holidays? Or even if your child is having an off week, surprising them with a little something special and out of the ordinary could help to brighten their day.

Mini cookie cutters are perfect for cutting out fun, bite sized shapes for kids.   If you don’t own any yet and would like to get some, start off with some basic shapes — stars, circles, hearts, flowers…. I use these shapes all the time for cutting fruits, cheese, sandwiches and of course, cookies.   If you’re looking for a variety of different shapes, you can get some really cute ones online from Foose Cookie Cutters or from Fox Run (Amazon.com).  Have fun with it and get the kids involved — kids tend to enjoy their snacks much more if they’ve taken part in creating it.

Too bad it’s almost time to say “good-bye” to summer…..

Chalkboard Lunch Box

When my oldest daughter was in preschool last year,  I left little notes in her snack box every now and then just as a reminder that I was thinking of her.  For this upcoming school year, I thought I would incorporate a little message board right inside her lunch box using some chalkboard decals.

All you have to do is trace the lunch box shape onto the decal, cut it out, and adhere it on.  These decals can be found at any craft store and can be applied to plastic or metal.  They’re also a much cleaner and safer option than using chalkboard paint inside your kid’s lunch box.

Here’s something I always want to ask my daughter at snack time…..

Monster Cookies

I love chocolate….

I love peanut butter….

Add in some oatmeal (along with a few other yummy ingredients)….

and you get an irresistible batch of monster cookies…..

A Mix of Emotions

My oldest child will be starting full-day kindergarten in September.  With that comes a mix of emotions for me — EXCITEMENT, as I’m thrilled she’ll be off to start a new chapter in her young life… SADNESS, as I sit and wonder where the time has gone…and DREAD,  as I think about the inevitable morning chaos and the daily lunches I’ll have to pack!

I can’t offer any advice on how to make it through the mornings without turning into Cruella De Vil (I’m still trying to figure that one out myself), but I might be able to provide you with some lunch box ideas that will hopefully inspire you, or at least make you and your child smile.

PS  My girls couldn’t wait to eat up these fun faces I made using Babybels and seaweed.  I’m pretty sure they’ll be seeing more of these in their lunch boxes this fall….

(Inspiration source: Family Fun Magazine.)

Kids Crafts – Bird Houses

There’s nothing novel about painting wooden bird houses, but it’s a project that’s definitely worth doing with your kids if you’re looking for an end product you can actually keep and display (versus having it just sit in an “art” pile collecting dust).  The other great thing about this project is that it keeps the kids busy, entertained and quiet for at least 30-45  minutes (I’m sure you can appreciate the beauty in that if you have little ones around the house!).

I found the bird houses at Michael’s for $1 and my favorite paints to use these days are the Martha Stewart multi-surface paints.  They’re great to work with because they go on smooth and dry fast, and I also love that they come in so many bright and fresh colors.  The colors I used for this project were:  habenero, yellow jacket, surf and summer linen.

Blueberry Picking

I put the kids to work last week and took them blueberry picking after our trip back from the coast.   My kids had a great time — my 5 year old was hard at work searching for the biggest, bluest berries while my soon-to-be 3 year old had to be constantly reminded to not touch the green or white ones….

We spent about an hour and a half and picked 16 lbs worth of sweet, plump and juicy blueberries.  Don’t they look great?

They also looked (and tasted) great in the blueberry streusel muffins we made the next day (recipe to come)…..

Oregon Coast

This post has nothing to do with crafting, partying, or baking, but it’s just so beautiful where I’m at I just wanted to share it with you.  This is my absolute favorite part of summer — relaxing and enjoying the sunshine, ocean air and beauty of the Oregon Coast with my family.  These pictures were taken at Cannon Beach, where my kids can spend all day playing in the sand and checking out the amazing tide pools.