Crafty Crayon Hearts

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Hello everyone! It’s Lauren from La Whimsy Writer here with another guest post. Today I have a craft project that is perfect for Valentine’s Day and kid friendly. We are going to take all of the old/broken/unwanted crayons that are lying around and turn them into something amazing!

Supplies needed for this project: 20141224_173835

  • An assortment of crayons
  • Silicone muffin tins (ours was a heart-shaped tin)

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 275

Step 2: Remove the wrappers from the crayons

 

Step 3: Break the crayons into small pieces, mix the colors up, and fill the muffin tin with the mixed up pieces

Step 4: Place the tins in the oven for 10-12 minutes

Step 5: After the crayons are completely melted safely remove them and set them aside to cool

Step 6: Let them cool for 25-30 minutes then put the trays in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes

Step 7: Take them out of the refrigerator and they will pop right out of the mold

That’s it folks!!! We have gone from this:

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To this:

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The kids can be involved in all of the parts of the craft that don’t involve the oven and they can see their old, unwanted transform themselves into something beautiful that they can give away to friends and family for Valentine’s Day. While you’re taking care of all the parts that involve heat your itty bitty one can hang out in their highchair playing with an activity book that you can store inside of The Highchair Organizer.

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Mint: One Plant – Many Uses

 

Over the summer, The Highchair Organizer family decided to plant a few items in a small garden in our yard. Of all the items we decided to plant, I must say that mint has been my favorite.  Now if you listen to my husband he would have you to believe that mint “is just a weed”.  However, after doing a little research and spending a lot of time with this beautiful green plant over the summer, I beg to differ. In fact, I have found my uses for mint including multiple learning opportunities for the kids.

1. Mint Infused Watermint 4

I purchased this infuser from http://www.kohls.com for less than $20.  I must say that it has been one of the best purchases that I have made in a long time.  About once a week I pull fresh mint from our garden.  I take about 2-3 sprigs of the mint, wash it well, and then put in the infuser. I then fill the pitcher with water.  My kids love the taste and it encourages them to drink more water.  The fresh mint infused water is energizing and tasty.  The kids like the fact that they grew the mint and that it “makes the water taste good”.

2. Learning activity for the kids

My 6 year old and 2 year old are very proud of their little garden. And since they are particularly fond of the mint, I decided to turn it into a learning activity.  With my 2 year old we discuss the color of the mint.  We talk about the texture of the mint and how it smells. While at the highchair, I let her glue (with a glue stick of course) pieces of the mint onto construction paper as a project.  She had a blast!

Growing the mint (which by the way is almost impossible to kill) was my 6 year old’s responsibility.  His summer science project was to water it and to pick it for mommy when I needed it.  We discuss how water, good soil, and sun shine are necessary for a healthy plant.

3. Healthy you-healthy kids

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I was courious about the health benefits of mint.  Did you know mint has long been used to ease stomach pains?  Simply steep in water and make into a tea.  Drinking mint infused water can be energizing and refreshing.  It is a natural stimulant.  The smell alone can aid in getting your brain functioning at a higher level. Take fresh leaves and sniff for a mild decongestant if you have a cold. And as I mentioned earlier, the refreshing flavor gives plain water a boost. This encourages you and the kids to drink more water.

4. Planting & Gardening

All mints thrive near pools of water, lakes, rivers, and cool moist spots in partial shade. In general, mints tolerate a wide range of conditions, and can also be grown in full sun.

I will warn you that mint is fast-growing, extending their reach along surfaces through a network of strong roots. Due to their speedy growth, one plant of each desired mint, along with a little care, will provide more than enough mint for home use. Some mint species are more invasive than others. Even with the less invasive mints, care should be taken when mixing any mint with any other plants, lest the mint take over. To control mints in an open environment, they should be planted in deep, bottomless containers sunk in the ground, or planted above ground in tubs and barrels. However, if you do not mind the spread, mint will make your back yard smell fresh and aromatic.

5. Aromatherapy

The smell of mint always reminds me of summer.  To get that summertime fragrance in the house take a hand-full of the mint leaves and put in a pot of simmering water.  The heat will release the mint oil and the refreshing scent of the mint will fill the room.

6. Favor

Mint adds a great flavor to cold or hot tea.  Simply drop a few leaves into your next cup of tea.  Chop up a few leaves and toss in your green salad for a bold flavor. Mix a couple of leaves into your lemonade for an refreshing twist.mint 3In closing, I hope that you have learned a little more about mint.  Let us know if you have any more uses for this beautiful plant that we have not listed above. Enjoy!

 

How to have fun (and stay warm) with your kids this Winter!!

Now I know it’s only August, but the cold weather is going to start creeping upon us sooner than we expected!!

The Farmer’s Almanac (and many other sources) have recently predicted 2013 to be a ‘colder-than-normal winter’ for most of the US. Words such as ‘bitterly cold’ and ‘piercing cold’ have been used to describe the weather conditions for Winter 2013. 

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If there is one thing I know for certain it is that I HATE the cold! I rather stay cuddled up by a fire all day then step outside into ‘piercing cold’ weather!

But just like during the Summer, kids need to be entertained during the Winter as well! Although there are plenty of indoor activities to keep your kids entertained during the Winter, it is important to also include some fun outdoor activites.

Since it hardly ever snows in the South, your typical ‘Build a Snowman’ and ‘Have a Snowball Fight’ activities are probably out of the question. That is why we came up with a list of some Winter fun activities to enjoy with your children from just about anywhere!!

1. Go Iceskating! Just about every city has a place where you can go iceskating in the Winter. Just bundle up, and get ready to shed some ice!

2. Enjoy a hayride. Most hayrides last about an hour and end by taking you to a campfire where you can enjoy some hot chocolate or apple cider. 

3. Visit a corn maze. Growing up my family went to a corn maze every Winter. Just like on most hay rides, there are refreshments at the corn maze for you to enjoy. 

4. Camp out in your backyard. Pitch the tent, start a fire, and enjoy the evening telling ghost stories!

5. Create a s’mores and hot chocolate bar. When I was little, a friend of mine had a birthday party. Since she was born in December, her mom had to get creative with her parties. One year she set up a s’mores and hot chocolate bar in her backyard, and we spent the evening around the fire roasting marshmallows and drinking s’mores. It was the best birthday party I have ever been to!

You can find many of the activities listed above by simply visiting Google. That is my go to source for finding fun activities close to my family!

If you have any ideas of your own to enjoy this year’s Winter Wonderland, we would love to hear them! Kids love being outdoors, so it is important to incorporate outdoor activities – even in those cold winter months!