Month: March 2014

5 Minute Prep: Car Racers

My two little ones are both home with me every afternoon. If I don’t entertain them, my day is much worse. I would rather happy kids then me playing referee while they fight over a toy. I was staring at a bunch of my left over paper towel rolls from my craft projects, and thought why not make car racers. It literally took me 5 minutes to create them and the kids had fun playing with this new creation. If you are making these with small children, make sure to put them away after usage because they may pick them up like swords and fight :)

*Paper Towel Car Racers*

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*Paper Towel Car Racers*

What You Will Need
* 4 Whole Paper Towel Rolls
* Roll of masking tape
* Scissors
* Two mini toy cars in your home (you can also use marbles)

Directions
* Cut all for paper towel rolls length wise in half. Fold the sides so it looks like a gutter.
* Make two long tracks by taping 4 pieces of paper towel length wise together. Make sure you tape both sides of the paper towels. You may have to re-fold the sides again.
* You can put tape behind the tops of the tracks and lean them up against a chair, counter, wall, or couch.
* Let your children have fun racing.

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My little munchkin modelling his car tracks.

Easy Play-dough Recipes

**EASY PLAY-DOUGH RECIPES**

Today, I am posting on how to make easy play-dough recipes.  These are all NON-COOK recipes which are much faster and easier to make then the traditional home-made play-dough. Most ingredients you should have lying around your house, which makes these activities very cost efficient. I had such a fun time trying out two of the dough recipes with my children.  The kids loved it so I thought I should share our crafts with all of you…

*OATMEAL PLAYDOUGH*

turtle

Ingredients:
1 part flour
2 parts oatmeal
1 part water

Directions:
Mix ingredients together and form into shapes.
After a few hours the dough will dry up. You can then paint your dough if desired.

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*Peanut Butter Play Dough (EDIBLE)*

All I have to say is yum yum yum. I snuck a taste of the dough while my kids were playing with it. It is so good.  I recommend watching your kids while they play with this one.  The kids ate a little bit of their creations. If I left my two alone they probably would have eaten the entire thing, which would be a little two much sugar for them :)

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Ingredients:
* 1/2 cup peanut butter
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1 cups powdered sugar

Directions:
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, using your hands. Roll the dough into balls and it will become less sticky. Form shapes and be creative!

Storage: Put in the fridge in an sealed container.

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My little guy making shapes with cookie cutters.

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*No-Cook Coloured Playdough Recipe*

I have not yet tried this one but definitely will in the near future. If anyone does, I would love to hear how it worked for your kids.

Ingredients:
1 cup salt
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons oil
A few drops of food coloring (any colour of choice)
Directions:
1. Mix all ingredients very well and store in plastic bag or covered jar.

Reusing Paper Rolls (Craft Ideas)

Reusing Paper Rolls (Crafts Ideas) 

I feel like my family of four goes through insane amounts of paper towel and toilet paper. I’m always left with the rolls to recycle. One day I was looking at craft ideas and found lots of things you can do with these rolls! Here are 3 ideas listed below. I changed some things around and did them with my kids.

**SNAKE CRAFT**

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**SNAKE CRAFT**
What You’ll Need
*2 Paper Towel Rolls
*Acrylic Paint & Paint Brushes (or Markers)
*3 coloured pipe cleaners cut in half
*2 googly eyes
*Sharp kitchen scissors (for the adult)
*White glue or glue gun
*A small piece of red felt, foam, or ribbon

Instructions
1) Cut each toilet paper roll in 3 equal parts (you will have 6 all together). Then cut the ends off both sides of each roll. The ends will be pointy.
2) Poke 2 holes on both sides of the roll EXCEPT two pieces (the front and bum of the snake). Those you just put the two holes on each side).
3) Stick your half of pipe cleaner through the face part of your snake and put it through the piece behind it. Twist the pipe cleaner so it stays and there are no sharp pieces from it.

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4) Get your kid(s) to paint or colour both sides of your snake. You can get colourful and creative. My kids are small and they mixed all the colours together and made a one colour snake. Let your snake dry.

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5) Glue the two eyes on the front of your snake.
6) Cut the tongue out of your red material and glue it in the mouth of your snake.

Then you will be ready to let your snake slither around. My 2-year-old son loves playing with it.


**Flower Art**

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**Flower Art**
What You’ll Need
*1 piece of paper for the background (any colour of your choice)
*1 toilet paper roll
*6 small squares of tissue paper (any colour)
*A brown pipe cleaner for the stem
*Green felt, foam or construction paper for the leaves
*A coloured pom-pom for the middle of the flower
*white glue or glue gun
*scissors
*acrylic paint and a brush or markers

Instructions
1) Paint or colour your toilet paper roll. We chose blue.
2) Cut the toilet paper roll in 6 pieces to make 6 small thin rings.
3) Glue the pom-pom for the middle of the flower on the page (we didn’t have any so we improvised and cut of the edges of a gift bow)
4) Glue your 6 rings around the pom-pom
5) Take small pieces of tissue paper squish it and glue it in the rings.
6) Cut out your brown pipe cleaner stem and glue it on
7) Cut out leaves out of felt or foam and glue them on the stems

You are done and ready to show off your beautiful creation

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**THE THREE LITTLE PIGS**

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**3 Little Pigs**
What You’ll Need- For The Characters
*3 Toilet paper rolls
*1 Paper towel roll (cut off a quarter, so the height is a little shorter than the roll)
*Acrylic Paint & Paint Brushes (or Markers)
*1 pink coloured pipe cleaners (cut in thirds)
*1/3 of a brown pipe cleaner
*8 googly eyes
*Sharp kitchen scissors (for the adult)
*White glue or glue gun
*felt or foam for the nose and clothes (optional)

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Instructions (for the Pigs & Wolf)
1)Cut triangular ears at the top of your toilet paper rolls
2)Paint the paper rolls pink
3)Cut triangular ears at the top of the paper towel roll. Cut a “V” to make a flap
4)Paint your wolf brown
5)Once dried, you can glue the eyes on the pigs, and cut out snouts out of felt or foam, and clothing (optional)
6)Glue the eyes on the wolf, Cut out a nose out of felt and sharp teeth
7)Take your pink pipe cleaner and make a corkscrew tail. Use the scissors and poke a whole in the pig’s bum and put the pipe cleaner inside and fold it down so it doesn’t move
8)Repeat the tails with the two other pigs
9)Use the scissors and poke a whole in the wolf’s bum Take the brown pipe cleaner put it through the hole and fold it down so it doesn’t move

What You’ll Need- For the house (more challenging version)
*Rectangular kleenex box
*1 piece of yellow 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock paper
*2 pieces of red or pink 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock paper
*Popsicle Sticks
*White glue or glue gun
*Scissors
*Marker

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Instructions (more challenging version of the houses)
For the Brick House…
1) Take your kleenex box and lay it down on the wide side (so it can fit all three pigs inside)
2) Cut a door way on the side where the kleenex hole is and cut it from the bottom so it is tall enough to fit the pigs inside
3) Measure out two squares over the doors and glue the sides so they can open.
4) I took two small peices of pipe cleaner and made door knobs (this is optional)
5) Cut out your card stock paper to fit all around to cover the kleenex box. Glue it over and draw bricks with your marker
For the Wood House…
6) Take popsicle sticks and pretend you are glue-ing a jewelery box but glue 3 sides instead of 4
7) Continue stacking the sticks until the house fits over the pig. Then glue sticks to make a roof
For the Straw House…
8) Take your yellow card stock paper and make a cylander with the paper and glue the edge. Then cut a door way just enough to be taller then the pig
9) The house should already stand up. Then at the top, cut little lines so it looks like straw (I did two layers because my son ripped a piece off)

What You’ll Need- For the house (faster version)
*1 piece of yellow 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock paper
*2 pieces of red or pink 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock paper
*1 piece of brown 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock paper
*Sharp kitchen scissors (for the adult)
*White glue or glue gun
*Marker

Instructions (faster version of the houses)
For the Brick House…
1) Take two pieces of your red or pink paper and glue them together the wider way (so it can fit all three pigs)
2) Once dry, draw bricks on the paper
3) Cut a door way (enough to fit the length and height of the pigs). The house should stand on its own
For the Wood House…
4) Take your brown card stock paper and make a cylinder with the paper and glue the edge. Draw wood logs
5) Then cut a door way just enough to be taller than the pig. The house should already stand up.
For the Straw House…
6) Take your yellow card stock paper and make a cylinder with the paper and glue the edge. Then cut a door way just enough to be taller than the pig
7) The house should already stand up. Then at the top, cut little lines so it looks like straw (I did two layers because my son ripped a piece off)

Now you are ready to roll!!!!
My kids love playing with these pigs. Our cute little neighbour came over and played with them too. We practiced after we made them and put on a puppet show for Daddy. I narrated and they did they would say the lines.
We sometimes do the show for friends. Next time I want to make a red riding hood and do a felt grandma costume to take on and off the wolf.

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MARCH 2014 FREE & CHEAP EVENTS

MARCH 2014 FREE & CHEAP EVENTS

* MAKE SURE TO CONTACT EACH EVENT’S COORDINATOR IN ADVANCE TO MAKE SURE IT IS STILL ON. FIND OUT IF YOU NEED TO PRE-REGISTER OR NOT*

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SUNDAY MARCH 23, 2014

* 4th Community Spaghetti Dinner ($1 Donation) (Newmarket, Ontario)
Family | Community
Start Date: Sunday, 23 March 2014
End Date: Sunday, 23 March 2014
Time: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Newmarket Community Centre
200 Doug Duncan Drive, Newmarket ON, L3Y3X1
All Ages | Suggested $1 donation

Come on out and enjoy a delicious meal and a fantastic opportunity to meet others in the community. Good food, great company and all at a price that can’t be beat! Suggested $1 donation.

Contact: Jacqueline Faingold| Email:mommy@faingoldfamily.ca| |Phone:9057738236
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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26, 2014

* Youth Drop In After School Program (FREE) (Downtown, Toronto)
Willowdale United Church
349 Kenneth Avenue, Toronto ON, M2N 4V9
Start Date: Wednesday, 26 March 2014
End Date: Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Youth drop-in every Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Willowdale United Church. All youth welcome to join in various forms of art, games sports (indoor hockey, soccer, basketball).

Free of charge! Tell your friends and join us in this free after school youth program. Call 416-225-2309 for information

Contact: Lina Posa| Email:willowdaleunited@bellnet.ca| Website:http://www.willowdaleunited.com |Phone:416-225-2309

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SATURDAY, MARCH 29, 2014

*Climb & Cruise Mornings with DSAT (FREE) (Toronto, Ontario)
The Down Syndrome Association of Toronto (DSAT)
Saturday March 29th, 2014
The Peanut Club
2788 Bathurst St.
North York, ON
9:30 AM to 11:30 AM

http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/climb-cruise-mornings-with-dsat-march-29th-tickets-10982128843?aff=es2&rank=20&sid=d4e977e8ae6111e398f81231390f3274

Climb & Cruise Mornings (CCM) will offer parents an opportunity to meet with other parents on a social basis while children are given the opportunity to interact with peers in a positive, playful manner.
We invite you to join us for this FREE event to meet new friends and reconnect with existing ones while having a good time.
This event is open to children ages 0 to 7. As with most indoor playgrounds, outdoor footware is not permitted in the play area and socks must be worn at all times. If your child has clean indoor shoes, they may wear them.
To register please click on the link below. If you have any question you can email us at web.team@dsat.ca or call our office at 416-966-0990.

Parking: Free parking is available behind the building. The parking lot is located off of Glencairn Ave. The address is 2788 Bathurst Street and we are located on the SW corner.

*Chess in the Library (FREE) (Toronto, Ontario)
Eatonville Library
430 Burnhamthorpe Rd, Toronto ON, M9B 2B1
Start Date: Saturday, 29 March 2014
Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

All Ages | Free

The Eatonville Library Chess Club is now in session. Drop in every Saturday from 2-4pm and test your mettle against your fellow chess lovers.
This is a free program and no registration is required. All ages and all skill levels are welcome. Never played before? No problem. Come on in anyways and we’ll get you started.
Please call 416-394-5270 or e-mail eaprograms@torontopubliclibrary.ca for details

* Earth Hour Vaughan 2014 (FREE) (Maple, Ontario)
2141 Major Mackenzie Drive
6:30 p.m. Energy Conservation Exhibit; Lantern Making; Secondary School Environmental Jeopardy Game
8:00 p.m. Opening Ceremonies
8:30 p.m. Lantern Walk (rain or shine)
8:30 p.m. Cycling Night Ride (cyclists must register with the Bicycle Users Group, vaughanbug@gmail.com) Please note: space is limited so cyclists are encouraged to register early. In addition all cyclists must be equipped with the proper equipment and gear.
9:00 p.m. Live Entertainment & Refreshments
9:30 p.m. Community Green Hero Awards & Prizes

Remember to bring a lantern or flashlight, a reusable mug and to dress warmly! For more information, please visit www.earthhourvaughan.ca or contact the Vaughan Earth Hour Committee c/o Jamie Maynard, maynard.insurance@on.aibn.com

* Earth Hour 2014 (FREE) (Markham, Ontario)
Start Date: Saturday, 29 March 2014
End Date: Saturday, 29 March 2014
Time: 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Cornell Community Centre & Library
3201 Bur Oak Avenue, Markham, L6B 0T2, Markham ON, L6B 0T2

All Ages | Free
Join Mayor Frank Scarpitti and event host Councillor Colin Campbell to celebrate Earth Hour 2014!
The event will include:
6 PM • Sustainability fair with face painting, crafts and story time (indoors)
7:45 PM • Lantern walk (outdoors)
8:20 PM • Opening ceremonies and countdown to Earth Hour, followed by live music (outdoors)

Contact: Councillor Colin Campbell| Email:ccampbell@markham.ca| |Phone:905-479-7750

Free Indoor Places for Children

Free Indoor Places for Children 

Since the school year is still on and the weather is still cold, it is hard finding family things to do without breaking the bank. Here are 7 FREE public indoor activities you can bring the kids to:

1) Ontario Early Years Centres (All over Ontario, Canada) Image

The Ontario Early years centres provide classes and programs for children ages 0-6. There are day classes, after school classes and even weekend classes for you to bring your kids too. Just click on the link below and select your region and you will find a monthly schedule for classes in your neighbourhood.

http://www.oeyc.edu.gov.on.ca/

2) Your Local Library (All over Ontario, Canada)

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Public Libraries always have free events and classes. You can take out free children’s books and family movies. Check your local library’s scheduling for programs. Search on google your town’s name and public library. The website will list free scheduled drop in programs where you can visit with your kids. 

Here are some Public Library links:

Vaughan Public Library: www.vaughanpl.info
Richmond Hill Public Library:www.rhpl.richmondhill.on.ca
Aurora Public Library: www.library.aurora.on.ca
Newmarket Public Library: www.newmarketpl.ca
King City Public Library: www.kinglibrary.ca
Stouffville Public Library: www.wsplibrary.ca
Markham Public Library:www.city.markham.on.ca/mpl
Toronto Public Library:www.torontopubliclibrary.ca
Milton Public Library:www.mpl.on.ca
Oakville Public Library:www.opl.on.ca
Etobicoke Public Library:www.torontopubliclibrary.ca
Scarborough Public Library: www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/renovations/scarborough-centre-branch.js
Port Credit Public Library:www.mississauga.ca/portal/residents/portcreditlibrary
Mississauga Public Library:www.mississauga.ca/portal/residents/library
Brampton Public Library:www.bramlib.on.ca
Caledon Public Library:www.caledon.library.on.ca
Kitchener Public Library:www.kpl.org
Guelph Public Library:www.library.guelph.on.ca
Hamilton Public Library:www.hpl.ca
Burlington Public Library:www.bpl.on.ca
Pickering Public Library:www.picnet.org
Ajax Public Library:www.ajaxlibrary.ca
Oshawa Public Library:www.oshawalibrary.on.ca
Whitby Public Library:www.whitbylibrary.on.ca
Brooklin Public Library:www.whitbylibrary.on.ca/brooklin
Clarington Public Library:www.clarington-library.on.ca
Georgina Public Library:www.georginalibrary.ca
Innisfil Public Library:www.innisfil.library.on.ca
Barrie Public Library:library.barrie.ca

3) Lowes Free Craft Classes (All over Ontario, Canada)

Lowe's Apron

Lowes home improvement store provides Build and Grow Clinics. This is recommended for children from grades 2-5. They will make and take home their creation, a merit certificate, name tag, apron and goggles. Clinics are held every other Saturday at 10am at every store. You can register in advance in store. You can register the date of the workshop but there is a limit to 50 children per store. http://www.lowes.ca/articles/article.aspx?article_id=756&&linkloc=footer

4) Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, Ontario)

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317 Dundas Street W, Toronto, ON Wednesday nights from 6pm – 8:30 pm is free admission. http://www.ago.net/home

5) The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (Toronto, Ontario) Image 952 Queen Street West Admission is free at all times Hours are Tuesday – Sunday: 11-6pm

https://www.mocca.ca/about-us/about-mocca/

6) Home Depot Kid Workshops (All over Ontario, Canada) images

Kid workshops at Home Depot run every second Saturday of each month. Parents have to attend the workshop with their children. The classes are suitable for children ages four to twelve years. Kids get to creative a project and take it home with them and it is all free. http://www.homedepot.ca/workshops

7) Volunteer at a Non-for-profit organization (All over Ontario, Canada) Image

Teach your children how to help others. Call a local elderly facility in your neighbourhood and ask if there is anything you can do to help out there. Another fun thing to do is buy or bake cookies and take it over to your local fire station to say thanks for the work they have done for the community.

Welcome Everyone <3

Welcome Parents to my blog!

The purpose of my blog is to help other parents find inexpensive ways to keep our children busy and happy.

I will be providing you with different activities, events, and creative ideas to keep your little (or older) ones entertained.

Just to tell you a little about myself. I am a stay- at -home mother of two children. I have a 4 year old daughter and a 2 year old son. My daughter is in Junior Kindergarten half day and I have my son home with me. Since I have a full house every afternoon, I am always finding different ways to entertain my little munchkins without breaking the bank.

I hope you all enjoy my blog :)

Best wishes,

Jennifer :)