Saturday, April 18, 2009

Teacher's Birthday Card

Maya's kindergarten teacher had a birthday last week. I volunteer in the class and so I know what an incredible teacher she is and how much she loves her students. So I wanted to do something special for her from her students.
I snuck in to the playground during recess time for a few days and had a little "craft station" set up where I was able to get all of the kids' hand prints with paint.

I then cut them all out with their signatures.
I glued them onto a poster board which I had folded in half to make a card.

I then had Maya and Kai paint and decorate a piece of paper with all the letters to spell "Happy Birthday". (I have found this easier to do then having them decorate each individual letter)
I cut those letters out when they were all done and glued them to the front of the card.

It was a HUGE hit. She loved it!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Alphabet Hunt

This was one of the quickest "game/activity" I have set up in a long time and it has produced the most interest, too.
I was inspired by a big stand-up sand table that is in Maya's kindergarten classroom. Instead of sand (WAY too messy) they filled it up with rice and then added some fun little trinkets, glitter and beads. Kai goes straight for this table every time I go to volunteer and he comes along with me.
So I searched the Internet to see how much one would cost.....$350 bones! NOT GONNA HAPPEN!
Then it came to me...why can't I make something like it here at home? SO, I did.....

I just found one of my large plastic storage boxes that I had laying around the house. I didn't want it to be too big because I, 1) didn't have that much rice and 2) I wanted it to be easy to bring out to the table and just as easy to stow away somewhere when it is not in use.
Then i just feeled 'er up with the rice.
I then added in some way cute pasta that we have readily on hand in our house (because it is healthy and Kai LOVES the abc's). I found this pasta at Trader Joe's (and my kids love it as a healthy meal BTW). Who knew it would have so many uses.
I went to google on the Internet and typed in alphabet grid and clicked on "images" from that search and printed one out that I thought would work the best.
as a final touch I added a cup, big spoon and a funnel for added fun.
Kai LOVES this thing.

The neighbor kids came over later to play and they all loved it too. I might have to find a bigger box, though! I am not gonna lie, I can be a bit messy. BUT rice is so easy to just scoop up into a pile and push it all back in to the box. Although, (as you can see from the pic.) it got a bit hairy when all the friends came over. I actually had to get the broom out that time...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rice Crispy Wands

For one of the projects that was a GINORMOUS hit, I had the girls decorate some rice crispy wands that I had made up previously.
I had bowls of diffrent princess goodies in the middle of the table.
We had prepared small snack size bags with a dollip of icing in it for each girl and then cut a little hole in each one so the girls could use it as the "glue"
Before the party I made a couple of sheets of rice crispy treats and then I took a star cookie cutter to it.
I then got a lollipop stick and stuck it into each one.
I iced each one and used the same cookie cutter star to cut out some fondant stars and attach them to each star rice crispy wand.
Like I said, this was a huge hit! The girls pilled on as much candy as they could and them we bagged them up in some more cellophane bags to take home.

Princess Gift Bags

I got some of the larger cellophane gift bags from target (back by the wrapping paper) and filled them full with lots of pink stuff. It is always so easy to do Maya's birthday with princess theme because it is right after Valentines day and so the possibilities are endless when it comes to pink
I put in some pink and white "kissables".
Pink hershey kisses
pink heart stickers
disney princess fruit snacks
a heart shaped eraser
a heart shaped bubble necklace
a pink pencil
a pink heart lolipop
a glittery star wand
a cute little tiara
and, last but not least... a cd i had made of a bunch of Maya's favorite songs and a recording of her thanking everyone for coming to her party.
I tied each bag with some white tulle that I got at the dollar store.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Maya's Princess Cake

This was my first (and quite possible the last) attempt at creating an elaborate, fondant cake. I was inspired by a cake I found on It took me far too long, it took far too many attemps at making and rolling out fondant. I think I may have even shed a tear or two in the process. But the look on Maya's face when she saw it for the first time was worth all the pain and frustration.

First, I baked four 9x9 sheet cakes. I then layered three of them and then took the last one and cut it into 4 squares. Then I took three of those 4x4 cakes and layered them.

I covered them all with a yummy cream cheese frosting
This is the step that made me so nervous. I learned how to make fondant from a recipe that I googled. After I spent about an hour making it and 20 minutes rolling it out, I went to lay it on the cake and it just crumbled. It was a disaster! SO, I tried another recipe called a marshmallow fondant....MUCH BETTER! When it came time to cover the cake I got nervous and made Anthony do it for me. He is so much more maticulous at this kind of stuff then me. He even knew how angry I was for messing up the first one and so he went to Michals and bought me a fondant smother. MY HERO!!!Once both layers were covered with fondant I then had to stack them on top of eachother. This made me a bit nervous, too. You only get one shot to get it on there right.

I took 5 sugar cones and frosted them and then covered them with purple fondant.
I cut out triangles and put them on a toothpick for the flags.

Then came the real fun...DECORATING!!!
I basically just purchased a bunch of candy from the Valentines day clearance. I had some strawberry whoppers, some pink and white "kissables", strawberry waffers, cute little heart shaped candies and, of course, pink and white sprinkles.I used fondant and small cookie cutters for the stars and the MAYA.
I also found some cute litte plastic princess's at the dollar store and put them around the castle.