Reduce, Reuse, Re: Fun!

Why, good morrow my dear friends!

As I am sure you are aware (since only enlightened, conscious people read this blog) this coming Monday is Earth Day.  Now, I’m not going to pretend that we have one of those pristine, super-efficient houses, where we have zero carbon emissions, eat only raw food and recycle our rainwater.  But we do try to do a little carbon tiptoeing around here.

Before I was married with kids I hoped that the bigger picture would solve itself.  My single self would ask my single brain things like, “Does it really matter if I throw my plastic in the garbage can?”  Or, after locking my single apartment door, “Is it really going to make a difference if I leave one light on all day while I’m at work?” You know, stuff like that.

However, once I had kids the questions were more like, “By running an extra spin cycle, am I reducing my children’s future access to clean water by 10 years, or 15?”  The gravity of things shift a little when your extended self (a.k.a. your children) have to endure the consequences of your actions by a margin of about 30 years.  Also, the need to set a good example really sets in, once you look into those love-me-teach-me-prepare-me eyes for the first time.  And believe me, if it doesn’t automatically, it certainly will come crashing home the first time you hear your child use a swear word.  Not that mine ever have, I’ve just heard other kids say swears.  Obviously the result of terrible parenting.

Anyway, as parents, I subscribe to the idea that if we adopt practices of conservation, social awareness and a general concern for the state of the planet we inhabit, then hopefully, these traits will be an intrinsic part of our next generation.  From there I am hoping, if i do it right, I can let them do all the work while I drive my retirement-savings-funded Hummer to the McDonald’s Drive-Thru on my way to the golf course.  See, there is a point.

So why not make this Earth Day super fun with lots of crafts and a celebration?  A celebration that focuses on the fact that EVERYONE is trying to do their part to abuse this world a little less.  Maybe don’t make a cake that looks like a dying world-turned-raisin complete with a fiery finale, but you know, something Earth-love related.

I thought I’d share with you a couple of the eco-crafts we’ve done around here lately, and if you like them, you can do them too!

The Paperless Painting Station

Window Paint Pads

As some of you super-sleuths may have recognized, this photo was taken this winter.  I am only pointing that out because they stayed up, and were used regularly until recently.  And by “recently,” I mean, “until Ben ripped them off the door in a two-year-old rage.”  To make these, I took two heavy-duty freezer bags, and put in several gobs of finger paints.  Finger paints work best because they’re more gel-ish.  Watercolour paints mix too easily and you end up with one brown gob.  Not quite as inspiring.

Continue reading “Reduce, Reuse, Re: Fun!”

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Crafty Little Buggers

This morning I set the kids up to do a craft, which involved paint, picture frames and father’s day.  I don’t want to give away any secrets in case Chris reads this.  We’re good with secrets around here.  If you’re looking for tips, here’s how Ruby kept her Father’s Day crafts a secret.

Secret Keeping Tactic Part 1:  Saying, “Dad, today we’re going to do a craft for…Mother’s Day, NOT Father’s Day, okay?”

Secret Keeping Tactic Part 2:  Saying, “Dad?   Nothing!”

Secret Keeping Tactic Part 3:  Saying, “We’re not painting anything for you, Dad.”

Secret Keeping Tactic Part 4:  Deciding that as long as Dad is in the next room, we can feel free to scream out every detail regarding the secret craft at the top of our lungs.  And when I say “our” lungs, I mean “Ruby and Emma’s” lungs.

So I set the kids up with their secret craft, and I got to work on my grocery list.  While I was coming up with the list I overheard the word “tattoo” several times, but it didn’t really sink in.  Until I turned around to find this:

I think I would have been more mad if it didn’t suit them so well.  Like, really, they look pretty cool right?

Anyway, here’s what went down:

Continue reading “Crafty Little Buggers”

Our Earth Day Eco-Craft

As I’m sure you all know, Earth Day was last week.  And, as I’m sure you all know, we like to do a lot of crafts in this house.  And, as I’m sure you all know, I am totally trying to pass this craft off as my brilliant Earth Day craft.

The truth of the matter, however, is that I rarely know what day it is, unless it is a day where I am supposed to give or receive gifts.  Every other day is just a counter to the next birthday or major holiday.  Honestly, this craft just happened to be earthy, and took place near Earth Day.  But despite all that, this would make a great Earth Day craft for you and yours next year.  Right?  Ugh.

Okay, I’ll just come clean.  Really, when I called this an eco-craft…the “eco” was just an abbreviation of “eco-uldn’t be easier!” so you may want to give it a go.  Here’s what we made.

Cute right?

Here’s the thing.  Sometimes Ruby gets an idea for a craft.  She’ll talk about it for days.  Like for example, with this one, a few days earlier she wanted to start collecting leaves so that we could make a tree.  Of course, when I’m outside, walking down the street with three kids under four, I rarely pay attention to anything other than traffic.  You see, I would liken taking a stroll with my kids to balancing marbles on an upside down dinner plate…it’s possible, but you better have all five senses honed on that one task or someone’s going over the edge (likely me).  So, the short story is, unless we’re alone or in an enclosed area, I always try to keep her on the beaten path and away from doing things like collecting leaves.

So the other day she starts on me first thing in the morning asking, “Can we make the trees today?  Can we make the trees today?”  So I said okay, forgetting that we never collected the leaves she wanted.

She was heartbroken.  But luckily, nothing mends a broken heart like some cutting and pasting!  So I just cut a bunch of leaves out of some craft paper, put a piece of tape on each one, and she stuck it to a recycled (see, very eco-ish) paper towel roll.  And for the trunk we just glued some brown-ish craft paper around the bottom half.

Then to get them to stand up, I just drew a circle the size of the roll on a square piece of foam, cut a bunch of slits from the centre to the edge of the circle, and taped them to the inside of the roll…like this.

I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I am hoping to win the Pulitzer Prize for Photography with that shot.

Continue reading “Our Earth Day Eco-Craft”

God? Bless the kindergarten teachers…

Why don’t we hear of more kindergarten teachers gone mad?  Seriously.  Like at the very least I should have seen a headline by now of some crazed woman, taking all of her kids lunches and burning them in the middle of the classroom.  Or using the craft paint to paint her face like a warrior and running through the school hallways chanting, “Me hate kids.  Me hate kids.”

I should probably start at the beginning of this thought process before hitting you with the punchline.  Or was that just me showing off my journalistic chops?  You’ll never know, meager audience.  Muwahahaha!  I’m sorry, I just watched Megamind with the family.  I’m in a super villain sort of mood.  I love you guys…don’t hate me?

Anyway…

When we think of those lovely ladies who sent us off on our scholastic careers, we picture these sweet, patient saints, that never had any other ambition in their lives than to cater solely to me, or you, and our childhood fun and innocence.  At least, that’s what I think of when I picture Mrs. Senyshyn.  She was kind, beautiful and just plain amazing.

And why would we think any differently, really?  Their only job is to supervise some kids and do crafts all day, right?  As a job description, that all sounded fine and dandy as far as I was concerned.

Then these happened.

Continue reading “God? Bless the kindergarten teachers…”

Christa and Jenny go Shopping

Let me preface this post by saying that it is pretty much for family only.  I would not be so arrogant as to think that everyone and their mom wants to hear about every little detail of our lives…and with that said, this one will be interesting to a very specific circle of people.

So, on with the post!

In case you haven’t guessed already, craft time is a regular time around this house.  The other day, for craft time, we decided to make puppets.  The only stipulation was that they have “googly eyes” and “crazy hair.”  Here’s what we came up with.

Come to think of it, the puppets aren’t the only things with googly eyes and crazy hair in that picture.

Continue reading “Christa and Jenny go Shopping”

Feel Well Card…

The other day I had a cold, and I was laying on the couch in the living room.  Ruby was in the kitchen making me a “feel well card” and I overheard this conversation she had with Chris.

RUBY:  What should I draw for mom?

CHRIS:  How about a picture of mom doing jumping jacks?

RUBY:  No  dad.  That’s too silly.

CHRIS:  How about a picture of mom riding a unicorn?

RUBY:  Yeah ok!

Here’s the very not-silly card I got.

Wish you had one?  Don’t hate…procreate.

Lora

Two Birds on a Wire

Today Ruby directed our craft, and while I had to do almost everything (hot glue guns were required) she came up with 100% of the design.

They’re birds.

Ruby’s is the pink/purple one and it’s a princess (obviously), and Emma’s is the yellow/orange one which is my husband, Chris.  Anyway, once they were done, the girls were playing with them and this conversation took place:

RUBY:  Chris?  Would you like to marry me?

EMMA:  No!  I too busy.

RUBY:  What are you doing?

EMMA:  Practicing dance moves, kid.

These kind of dance moves do take practice, but once perfected?  Gold.  Definitely worth a one-way ticket to spinsterhood.

Lora