Number Crafts {Number TWO}... Butterfly and Fish Crafts

I have started a Craft Club in my home for preschoolers, and we are doing different number crafts each week.  This week, we are focusing on the NUMBER TWO, and we are crafting a butterfly (with two wings), two handprint fish (inspired by the Dr.Seuss book One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish), and a magic wand.

To make the fish:

1)  Download and print the template for the "One Fish Two Fish" craft, which you can find here.
2)  Trace the child's hands onto the sheet.
3)  Have the child color the fish, and finish by adding googly eyes.

To make the butterfly:

1)  Draw butterfly wings on a piece of card stock, and cut them out.
2)  Punch or cut holes in the wings.
3)  Glue tissue paper over the hearts.
4)  Attach a popsicle stick and googly eyes.

You can also add this little poem to the back.  To download a copy of the poem, right-click on the picture below, save it to your computer, and print like a regular 8X10 photo.

To make the number two magic wand:

1) Draw a circle containing the number two and have the children decorate it and it cut it out.

2) Tape some ribbon and a paper straw to the back.

Making a duck out of a "number two" is another adorable craft for Preschoolers. Color a two, and then add a feather wing, an eye, a head, and a beak. Cute, right?

We also did some printing practice, and used a stamp to "stamp out" the number two.

I think these number crafts are adorable, don't you?  I'll be posting some crafts and activities for the number 3 soon!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

The Ultimate DIY Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party

I love a good DIY party, and today I am sharing all the awesome details of my son's 5th "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" birthday party.  It was a simple party, but the easy and inexpensive special touches made it the ultimate DIY pirate party.

A good invitation always sets the mood for a party, so I took a picture of my little pirate, and I added all the party info using a photo editing software.  I used because it is free and very user friendly.

Then, on the day of the party, as the guests arrived, they were greeted at the door by my three little pirates, and they were asked to choose a pirate name.  My oldest son wrote out the name tags and stuck them on our guests.

Once each guest chose a name, they were given pixie dust, a felt Jake headband, and a pirate hook.  (Click on the links for the tutorials for these three simple party favors.)

Once inside our home, our guests were transported into a pirate hideaway via a variety of easy DIY pirate party signage and decor. You can find all the adorable details and instructions here.

The guests were served a variety of food and snacks that fit with our pirate theme.  You can find all the details of our pirate fare here.

And, of course, our Jake and the Neverland Pirate cake was a hit with our pint-sized pirate guests.  You can find out how I made this cake (from a mix) using the step-by-step tutorial you can find here.

Of course, we also had a bunch of pirate games & activities to keep my son's friends entertained and happy. We had a plank, a hook toss, a treasure hunt, and more.  You can get all the game and activity details here.

Then, at the end of the party, each of our guests left with their headband, pirate hook, pixie dust, and a little "pirate booty" loot bagYou can download your own free, printable "pirate booty" tags here.

I loved all the little DIY details of this Jake and the Neverland Pirates party.  

I hope you ARRRRR inspired to host your own DIY pirate party. It really is a fun theme, and there countless opportunities to add special DIY details.

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party Games & Activities

The key to a successful party is a fun theme and a variety of awesome party games and activities.  Today, I am sharing the fabulous games and activities that entertained all the little pirate party guests at my son's 5th "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" party. 

DIY Hook Toss - I made a really fun ring toss using dollar store supplies.  I made some pirate hooks (using the tutorial you can find here), and then I used hot glue to attach them to a piece of foam core that I decorated with stickers.  Then, I created rings by cutting the centres out of paper plates.  The result was an easy and inexpensive "hook toss".

Bean Bag Toss - I cut four holes in a box, covered it in duct tape and added a picture that my son colored.  It's a simple way to create an adorable bean bag toss.  You can find a full tutorial here.

Walk the Plank - I nailed a few pieces of wood together to create a "plank" and placed it in water (i.e. on top of a blue tarp).  Then, I added a blow up crocodile from the dollar store.  "Walking the plank" was a big hit with the kids at the party.

Tattoo Parlor - I bought some dollar store tattoos, and used them to create "Smee's" tattoo parlor.

Make a necklace/ Pirate Treasure - I set up a station for the kids to make their own edible necklaces/ pirate treasures.  They strung Froot Loops onto cording and added a chocolate coin charm (which I created by gluing a bit of pipe cleaner to the coin).

Treasure Hunt - Every pirate party needs a pirate treasure hunt, and we did ours by following clues to the "Team Treasure Chest".  

Here are the clues that we used:
a) To find a treasure that you'll like, go and look for a purple bike.
b) Great job finding the first clue.  Look by the hose to see what to do.
c) Next, we won't go far you see.  You'll find a clue attached to a tree.
d) Keep on going.  You are almost there.  Take a look under the porch chair.
e) Here's a place you'll want to check.  There's a clue under the deck.
f) This is it.  There is no doubt.  You'll find a treasure in Jake's hideout.

The kids had a great time running around the yard, playing games, and hunting for treasure.  I think these easy pirate party games and activities are perfect for a Jake and the Neverland Pirates party, don't you?

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Number Crafts {Number ONE}... Spring Bird Craft

I have started a Craft Club in my home for preschoolers, and we are doing a different number craft each week.  This week, we are focusing on the NUMBER ONE, and we are crafting an adorable bird for spring.

Isn't it sweet?  To make your own bird craft:

1) Cut a circle from a piece of white card stock.  (I traced a small plate.)

2) Glue small squares of tissue paper onto the circle, allow to dry, and add googly eyes, an orange triangle beak, and a feather.

3) Punch a hole in the top of the bird, add a piece of ribbon, and attach a "number one" poem to the back.

To download a copy of the poem: right click on the picture below, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 8X10 photo.

I love how sweet and cheerful this little bird is.  It is simple to make, and it is fun way to learn about the "number one".

I hope you enjoy my first number craft.  I will be sharing a cute craft for the "number two" soon!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

PS - Here are a few other ways to learn about the number one: 

Make a Cheerios bird feeder in the shape of the number one, practice printing the number one, decorate the number one with crayons, and/or use stamps or Q-tip painting to make the number one.

MORE number crafts and activities here.

10 {Simple} Science Experiments for Kids

Kids are naturally curious, and my boys are no exception.  I believe that fostering childhood curiosity is very important, and science experiments are a perfect way for kids to explore their surroundings and the way things work.  Today I am sharing 10 simple science experiments that are easy, inexpensive, and tons of fun!

1) Baking Soda Magic Trick - With a little help setting up this simple science experiment, the kids will love performing this trick for their friends.  All you need for this simple experiment is baking soda, vinegar, some food coloring, and the instructions that you can find here

2) Coloring Carnations - With a few carnations and food coloring, the kids can learn all about plants and how they absorb water.  It's a simple and cheerful little experiment, and you can find all the instructions here

3) Boats and Buoyancy - Building boats and learning about buoyancy is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon, and you can find all the information you need to know here.

4) Mentos Geyser - Messy experiments are always a big hit with kids.  Grab some soda and Mentos, head outside, and create your own fountain of fun.  You can find the full tutorial here

5) Making Ice Cream in a Bag - The result of this science experiment is a yummy snack.  With a few simple ingredients, kids can make their own ice cream in a bag. It's simple and delicious, and you can find everything you need to know here.

6) Exploding Sandwich Bag*

7) Balloon Magic*

8) Playing with Density*

9) Making Butter*

10) Film Cannister rockets.

* Experiments #6 to #10 are all great hands-on experiments for little ones, and you can find instructions for all of them here.

Exploring science with children can be a great way to foster their curiosity for learning. Which of these 10 simple science experiments will be most popular with your kids?

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Bonus.... This Skittles experiment is super easy and fun. Read all about it here.

Easy Easter Treats {made from mini eggs}

Do you love candy covered chocolate mini eggs as much as I do? My boys and I are big fans of mini eggs, so we use them a lot this time of year.  Today I am sharing some of my favorite Easter treats made from mini eggs.

Soft and Chewy Easter Tart - This dessert is simple to make, festive, and delicious. It's the perfect Easter dessert to serve to your family and friends. Find the recipe here.

Bunny Bait - This no-bake treat is the perfect combination of sweet and salty.  Fill small bags with popcorn, mini eggs, and sprinkles, and then add the adorable FREE labels that you can find here.

Bird Nest Cookies - These chocolate cookie "nests" are as delicious as they are adorable. You can find the recipe for this impressive Easter treat here

Soft and Chewy Mini Egg Cookies - These cookies are based on my favorite "tried and true" chocolate chip cookie recipes. They are delicious, easy to make, and sooooo cute. They are fun to bake with kids too. Find the full recipe here.

Easter Cake - This cake is a perfect Easter dessert that the kids can help prepare.  The mini egg garnishes are easy to apply, and they make a simple cake fit for serving to guests.  You can find the full tutorial for this simple Easter cake here.

Mini Egg Brownies - Mix up your favorite brownie batter, add a sprinkling of mini eggs, and bake it in the oven.  The brownie mix will rise up around the eggs, and you'll end up with a deliciously simple Easter treat.

Treats to share - Mini eggs are the perfect treat to share this time of year... especially when you add an adorable tag.  You can download this adorable "teacher gift" tag here

Easter Candy Bark - This is the easiest treat to make, and it tastes delicious. I had plans to share it with the neighbours, but my boys ate it all before I had a chance. You can find the Easter Candy Bark recipe here.

Easter Cupcakes - These wonderfully sweet cupcakes are impressive and tasty.  They are fantastic for sharing... but you are going to want to keep a few for yourself too! You can find the cupcake recipe here and the cookie recipe here.

Brownie Bite Easter Nests - If you like shortcuts, you can make treats from (store bought two bite brownies. Just pipe a nest with chocolate icing and add a few eggs. Cute AND easy peasy!

Mini eggs are a perfect Easter treat, and they are a wonderful holiday baking ingredient. Which easy Easter treat will you try first?

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Bunny Bait {with free printable tags)

Fun packaging can turn a simple snack into something totally adorable that everyone will love.  Today I am sharing a cute idea for a treat that would be perfect for an Easter basket or for giving to friends -- Bunny Bait.

To print the tags to attach these snacks, right-click on the picture below, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4X6 photo.

You can use these tags to package up any Easter goodies, but I went with: popcorn, mini-eggs, and pastel sprinkles.  This is a pretty fun combination, but feel free to use your imagination to come up with your own version.

I think this would make a fun Easter party favor too. There are so many possibilities!  I'd love to hear how you plan to use these "Bunny Bait" tags.

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

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