Magic Pumpkin Seeds

I saw a post on Pinterest about planting "magic pumpkin seeds", and I knew it was something I wanted to do with my boys.  (I love that they all still believe in "magic".) 

In the version I saw (which you can find here), they plant seeds outside and grow baby pumpkins, but I came up with a fun "indoor" version.  Here it is:

First, we carved our pumpkins. 

Then, we roasted most of the pumpkin seeds, but set aside some "special" ones for planting.  (To roast pumpkin seeds: clean and pat them dry, spread on a cookie sheet, drizzle with melted butter, sprinkle with salt, and bake at 300 for approximately 45 minutes... stirring occasionally.) 


In order to make the "magic" seeds grow, we planted them in sugar and set them by the window so that the "night before Halloween moon" could shine on them while the boys were sleeping.

It totally worked... and tomorrow morning {Halloween Day}, the boys will see that the seeds have grown into cookie pop flowers.

I am so excited for the boys to see their cookie pops.  Would your little ones have fun waiting for magic pumpkin seeds to grow? 

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

PS (Look at what I just packed in my oldest son's lunch.  I wonder if he'll get the pun?  It doesn't really matter though... he'll only care about the Smarties anyway.  :-)

Make your own Bird Feeders

Recently, a good friend of mine told me about a cute bird feeder her daughter made at Preschool using a toilet paper roll, peanut butter (or shortening if you have nut allergies), and bird seed.  I thought it would be a fun activity to do with my boys... and it was!

In fact, it was such a success that we decided to make two other variations:  Cheerio bird feeders and bird feeders using pine cones we found in our yard. 

Here's how you can make three different kinds of bird feeders:

1)  Gather the supplies (pipe cleaners, pine cones, toilet paper rolls, string, bird seed, peanut butter, and Cheerios).

2)  To make the Cheerio feeders, all you need to do is bend one end of pipe cleaner (so the Cheerios don't fall off), and then thread the Cheerios on.  To finish, make a loop at the top to hang it on the tree.  {My two year old loved this one, and he was able to do it all by himself, which made him super-proud.}

3)  To make the Toilet Paper Roll feeder:
     a)  Use a hole punch to make two holes at the top of your toilet paper roll.  (This is where you will be attaching the pipe cleaner.)

     b)  Cover the toilet paper roll with peanut butter, and then roll it in bird seed until it is completely covered.  (This part is a bit messy.)

     c)  Attach a pipe cleaner, and you're done!

4)  To make the pine cone bird feeder, simply cover the pine cone in peanut butter, roll it in birdseed, and attach a string.  Easy!

We have already attracted a lot of birds with our bird feeders.  Let me know how it works for you.

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

New Halloween Tradition -- Booing!

As you have probably already guessed, I love holiday traditions.  I really believe they are the foundation for great childhood memories.

So.... when family friends introduced us to "Ghosting" this year, I could not have been more excited.  "Ghosting" or "Booing" is a tradition where you leave treats, a note, and a "You've been Booed/Ghosted" sign for your neighbours.... secretly.... kind of like a Secret Santa for Halloween.  :-)

It is a ton of fun!

You can find the printable that we used (from The TomKat Studiohere, but there are tons of versions out there in blog world if you do a search.  Find your favorite, and HAPPY BOOING!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)
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Giving Back this Holiday Season

During a discussion about how we could help people this Christmas Season, my oldest son came up with the idea of having a party, charging people to come, and giving the profit to charity. We decided to host a "Writing a Letter to Santa" party.  If you are in the Antigonish area, we'd love to have you join us.  If not, maybe this will {inspire} you to plan one where you live.  :-)

Here are the details:

“Writing a Letter to Santa” Party
(All Profits going to Charity)

Location:          Community Room at Superstore

Date:                 November 25, 2011 (6pm – 7pm) 
  (Note:  The Santa Claus Parade is the next day at 10am.)

· Kids will be given all the supplies they need to write a letter to Santa.  (Catalogues will be available for kids who haven’t quite decided what to ask for and for those that want to cut and glue pictures of toys to their letters because they are too young to write.)
· A snack will be provided (juice and a cookie).
· Kids will make Magic Reindeer Food to take home.

Cost:                $10 a child (and $5 for an additional child from the same family).  ALL the profit (after expenses) will be donated to the IWK Health Centre Foundation.
You MUST sign up in advance… (planning for the right number of people means more money raised for charity).  Email me at to sign up or ask any questions.
You can download a pdf poster (with all the details) here.
Update (after the party):  Click here to see how the party turned out.

Fall Tradition... a Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

For our family, one of the highlights of Fall is our annual trip to a pumpkin patch.  It is a great adventure for the boys, and they love running around trying to find the perfect pumpkin.

Not only is it a great family outing, it is a perfect photo op.  :-)  Check out some of our pics over the years:





I highly recommend doing a "google" search and finding a pumpkin patch in your area.  I guarantee you'll have a great time, and make wonderful memories with your kids.

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Homemade Kites

What is more fun on a beautiful fall day than getting outside and flying a kite?  Making your own kite out of a brown paper bag is lots of fun and super easy.  My boys loved it!

Here is how we did it:

1)  Decorate the paper bag. 

2)  Use a hole punch to make four holes (two on each side of the opening of the bag).  We used little stickers to reinforce the area around the holes and make them a little stronger.

3)  Use two pieces of string (equal in length), and tie one end around each hole.  See below.

4)  Hold the two loops (the middle of each piece of string), and tie them together using a long piece of string.  Wind the other end around a popsicle stick.  {This will be what you hold onto when you are flying your kite.}

That's it!  Add a little wind, and you are ready to fly your homemade kite.

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Halloween Costumes and Project Re-Cap

We went to an early Halloween Party, so I thought I would share a few pictures of my boys in their Halloween costumes.  Seriously, could they be any cuter?????

My five year old wanted to be a clown, and he fell in love with this rainbow wig from Walmart.  I bought a $6 plain white shirt and added some craft foam buttons (in colors that he chose).  We added a foam nose and a bow tie from the Dollar Store and voila!

My four year old wanted to be Spiderman... no surprise.... he LOVES Spiderman.  I bought this costume second hand for $5, and he loves it.  I think he might actually think he IS Spiderman.  lol

I had an adorable monkey costume I wanted my two year old to wear, but he insisted on being a Super Hero.  {He does look pretty cute in his mask and cape.}  If you want to make your own, you can find the tutorials here and here.

And now that you are in the Halloween spirit, here is a recap some of the Halloween Projects we did this year, in case you missed them.  Happy Halloween!  

Ghost Oreo Pops

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)
** If you haven't already "liked" me on facebook, I would love to have you join me here.

Oreo Cookie Pops

In my opinion, Amy at The Idea Room is the queen of Oreo Cookie Pops.  If you want to make some fancy and adorable pops, you should check out her blog.  Her Frankenstein Oreo Pops are {almost} too cute to eat. 

I thought they looked like fun, so I let the boys take the lead making our "ghost" cookie pops.  The ones the boys made are not pretty like Amy's, but they didn't seem to notice.  :-)

Here's how you can make some of these fun treats:

1)  Gather your supplies.  You will need:  Double stuff Oreos, white chocolate chips or candy melts, wooden stir sticks, and wax paper.

2)  Insert stick into the middle of the Oreo -- gently.

3)  Melt the chocolate according to the package directions.  We put ours in the microwave for two minutes at 50%.

4)  Spoon the melted chocolate onto the Oreo until the entire surface is covered, and then lay on wax paper to dry.  (We coated the front and the back, and then the sides.  Make sure to put some around the base of the stick so that when the chocolate hardens, the stick will be secure.)

5)  Decorate as desired (while the chocolate is still soft).  We just used mini chocolate chips because we had them in the pantry, but any kind of candy/decorations could be used. 

6)  Wait for them to dry/harden.  You may want to transfer them to the fridge to speed up the process.  If your kids are anything like mine, they will find it hard to wait.

Sugar and mess.... does it get any better for little boys????  Give it a try with your little ones, and let me know how it goes.  
Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Don't miss any of the fun....