Miniature Food

By , June 21, 2010 1:30 pm

minifood

We are very late for last month’s Unplugged Project theme of bread, but since it is my blog, I am just going to slip it in anyhow!

Inspired by my recent emotional reunion with my beloved childhood dollhouse after about 30 years, I thought the kids and I could make some miniature food out of a glue-bread mixture that is commonly used by miniature designers (and me, many years ago).

First take a slice of white bread and tear it up into smallish pieces.  My 4 year-old was a great help with this step.

Pour some white glue on to your bread crumbs and mix it together with your hands (VERY MESSY PROCESS!). Don’t overdo the glue at first, you can always add more if you need to but it’ll probably end up being nearly as much glue as bread crumbs.

Squeeze it and knead it until you have a smooth ball of “dough.”  You’ll know you have the right consistency when it is smooth, looses its stickiness, and feels like real bread dough.

Next, decide what you are going to make and whether you want to pre-color your dough.  If so, you can divide it up and mix in some food coloring or paint to achieve the desired color.  We mixed in paint.  Here we are making green dough for lettuce:

Adding red paint to make cherries for a pie:

Mold your food.  A bottle cap makes a nice little pie dish or plate.  A toothpick is an excellent tool for both shaping and painting.

Leave it out to dry and harden, about 24 hours.  Once hard, you can spray it with a clear acrylic to protect it and create a shiny finish.

Here is some of the food we made:

~Some of my favorites~

Spaghetti and meatballs (in a bottle cap):

Chocolate chip cookies:

Cake and bread:

Hot dogs (with ketchup and mustard):

Now the dollhouse residents won’t be hungry anymore!

PS.  This month’s Unplugged Project theme is sleep.  Why don’t you join us?  Read more about how it works here.

Quick, Fun & Free Road Trip Idea

By , June 12, 2010 8:58 am

License Plate Scavenger Hunt

  • Download and print a free, printable map of the US (or your country/region).
  • Give one to each of your children and see how many license plates they can spot while on the road.
  • They can color in the states as they spot them.
  • For US mainlanders, a special prize for Alaska or Hawaii makes it even more fun.

The map format (vs. just a list) gives them a real sense of geography.  On a recent road trip,  I found my kids saying things like:  “The farthest state we have seen from where we are now is New York” or “Look!  We have all the states that border Arizona!”

TIPS – For extra learning, choose one with state capitals*. Younger children will just enjoy coloring the map.

* For a printable PDF file of a US map with state capitals (free for personal or classroom use), go to this site, scroll down, and click on the link “United States: Capitals.”

(Photo from Wikimedia Commons.  Licensing and author information here.)

Early to Bed…

By , June 9, 2010 8:30 am

“…and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
~ Benjamin Franklin

And it also makes kids learn better!

Debs of Little House on the Lees reports today on an interesting study of the benefits of regular, early bedtimes for young children.  They need 11 hours of sleep per night.

I have always been a huge fan of early bedtime for children so I feel reassured.

Now I can say with certainty that my kids go to bed early not just so I can have my own evening peace and quiet (as a Consistently Substandard Slacker Mom, I’ll confess that has always been my main reason for being a bedtime drill sergeant).  According to the study, by sending them up to their rooms earlier than most of their friends, I am actually helping them learn more easily at school too.

Thanks Debs!

Sleep – Monthly Unplugged Project

By , June 8, 2010 7:37 am

I have been busy with summer activities and have not been feeling tremendously bloggy lately, so please excuse my tardiness in announcing this month’s Unplugged Project theme.

This month’s theme is inspired by one of my favorite activities:

Sleep

If you have never joined our Monthly Unplugged Project, please read more about it here.

There are very few rules.  The main ones are that the linky below is only for people who have done a project that is somehow, in some way, arguably related to sleep.  Also, please link to your project post, not just your blog in general.  Finally, I’d really appreciate a mention and link to Unplug Your Kids in your project post.

Thanks and have fun!

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