Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bird Nest...Goop

Smarty Pants recently dropped his afternoon nap (whoa is me) so aside from running him ragged in our backyard, I'm always on the lookout for a good activity that keeps him busy and decrankified (if that word isn't already in Websters, it should be!).

So when I saw this recipe on the LandoLakes website, I thought we'd give it a go. One fine afternoon I made the basket part and Smarty Pants decorated and filled them with candy.
This is what the Bird Nest... I mean, Simple Spring Baskets were supposed to look like--

And this is how ours turned out--

Eh, I guess they're not that bad. I omitted the melted candy coating and decorator sugars because, well, would you want to be around a toddler after they ate all that sugar?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Color Me Easter

I saw this idea on Family Fun as a Valentine's Day craft and had bookmarked it for next year. But when we were asked to bring filled plastic eggs for Smarty Pant's Mommy & Me class, I got to thinking... Hmmm, don't want to do candy, what else can we put in the eggs... ding-ding-ding! Let's do that crayon mold thing-ee!

I didn't waste any time, put Smarty Pants and Happy Vee in the mini-vee and headed out to buy the supplies. I bought a 150-count box of crayons and stickers to decorate the eggs from my favorite store (Tar-jay) and some medium-sized plastic eggs and a Wilton flower silicone mold from JoAnn's.
We have been blessed with beautiful weather the past few weeks, so Smarty Pants and I headed outside to bond over crayons. Now Smarty Pants has a pretty good attention span for a 2 1/2-year old, but I was amazed that he actually sat for over an hour helping me peel and break crayons into little pieces. I scored the crayons with a knife to help the process along.

At first I let Smarty Pants randomly put crayons in the mold. But then the anal part of me took over and I sorted most of them by color family-- red/tangerine/orange, green/yellow/lime, purple/pink/violet. I left a few of Smarty Pant's creations though, and they turned out great!

Once each flower was filled to the top with crayons, I preheated the oven to 250F and placed the mold on a foil-lined cookie sheet (to catch any drips). In my gas oven it took around 15 minutes for the crayons to melt completely. It didn't take long for the crayon flowers to cool and it was easy to pop them out of the silicone mold. The 150-count box made over 50 crayons.

The following day, Smarty Pants decorated the plastic eggs with stickers-- flowers and butterflies for the girls, dinosaurs for the boys. I rubbed the bottom edge of the crayons on some scrap paper to get rid of the clear wax residue. We filled each egg with 2 flower crayons and wah-lah, we were done! They were a huge hit at our Easter Egg hunt and we will definitely be doing it again next year-- for a new group of kids!