4.01.2014

Jimmy Kimmel Reaction to April Fools' Day

I've said before that we get a kick of April Fools' Day.  I have a family rule that there are no "mean" or "harmful" jokes, but I think my 8 year old would say that this fell in the "mean" category.  To his credit, I baked real brownies and had the smell going throughout the house as they finished jobs.  SO it was a real disappointment to find paper "brown" Es!  Enjoy our video, and forgive my son's major disappointment at the end!  {After I chuckled for a minute, they did receive real brownies!!}

For our other April Fools' Day tricks AND our silly April Fools' Day Dinner that never gets my kids disappointed, check out our website!

Happy Foolin'!

3.10.2014

Leprechaun Traps Inspired by The Night Before St. Patrick's Day book

My kids love the book The Night Before St. Patrick's Day  by Natasha Wing which is a twist on the classic "Night Before Christmas" poem. In the book, the children make various traps to try to "catch" a leprechaun. We have fun with this tradition as well. You can see some of our past leprechaun traps here and here. Last year, we made some simple leprechaun traps inspired by those in the book:

The first trap we made was based on the picture of a trap above that was on a hanger. We didn't have a collapsible vegetable steamer as it looks like the kids used in the book, so we just use a coffee filter (I buy packs of filters at the dollar store to use for crafts), that we hole punched and tied to the hanger with colorful yarn.

Inside we put some pretend gold coins to lure the leprechaun!



We also made a second leprechaun trap with a linking cube tower, topped by a toilet paper tube that we covered with green paper and St. Patrick's Day stickers. A homemade popsicle-stick ladder led up to the tube that had a  tempting necklace hanging from it, and it led to a cup covered with shamrock stickers and another fake coin in the bottom.

 This was inspired by the Lego/tin can/toilet paper tube trap shown in the illustration from the book above. It was fun to try to bring these "leprechaun traps" from the book to life. The next day, the traps were upset, and a little treat was left for the kids. I usually leave the kids chocolate gold coins from a pretend leprechaun. You can find gold coins at Trader Joe's, Party City, or sometimes the dollar store. We also like to throw a few things in our house topsy turvy as if a leprechaun has been making mischief. We hang toys from the ceiling fans, turn the kids' chairs upside down, and more. It doesn't take much to have a little fun and make a little magic with your kids. More ideas for leprechaun mischief can be found here.

Last year, one of our children was in the hospital with pneumonia on St. Patrick's Day, and he even made his own little trap out of things we were able to scrounge around the hospital. His trap was made from a styrofoam cup and pieces of paper he colored. The papers were all taped on his trap with medical tape the nurse gave us.
It taught us that you don't have to have something fancy or elaborate to have fun! Being sick in the hospital was miserable for him, but a special note from a "leprechaun" and a package of M & M's did wonders, cheering up this sick little boy on St. Patrick's Day morning.

For more St. Patrick's Day ideas, see our collection of previous posts here or my Pinterest board here!


2.28.2014

A Simple Mardi Gras Celebration for Kids


Next Tuesday is "Fat Tuesday" and it is another opportunity to have a little fun with your kids and family. I don't plan anything elaborate for Mardi Gras, but my preschool-aged children and I enjoy dressing up in costumes (it doesn't take much to convince preschoolers to dress up!), making our own parade float from a cardboard box, and having a backyard Mardi Gras parade.

The cardboard box we used for our float had holes in it and we threaded a rope through those holes. I then was able to pull my kids around in the box by pulling the rope and they loved it. The rest of the decoration on the box was simply created with crayons, construction paper, and dot painters. We also got bead necklaces from the dollar store for them to toss from the float as we paraded around. Even though the only audience for the parade was little sister and dad, the activity was a hit with the kids!

We also always like to pick up a few books about Mardi Gras from our local library. My kids' favorite Mardi Gras book was still hands-down Mimi's First Mardi Gras that I shared in an earlier Mardi Gras post. Since that book is written from the perspective from a young girl experiencing her first Mardi Gras, my children really connected with it. They also love to look at the illustrations with all of the different costumes that characters wear.

For dinner last year, I cooked this Gumbo-style Chicken Creole. The recipe was much less intimidating than traditional Gumbo and a little more appealing to my family who prefer chicken over seafood. It was very delicious!

Also, check out the Mardi Gras masks and necklaces we made from construction paper a couple of years ago. A little glitter and construction paper go a long way with preschoolers!

And above all, my kids love eating beignets! Here they are all with big smiles enjoying their beignets last year...

The recipe we used can be found here:

We can't wait for more fun this year. If you have any other great ideas for celebrating Mardi Gras, I would love to hear your comments!