Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Projects and Ideas- milk jug lid upcycle into memory game or pretend coins

Milk jug lids become pretend coins, poker chips or a memory game- practice counting, play memory  or matching games, sort by color or types of stickers (animals, numbers, cars, etc). 
Collect your old difficult-to-recycle milk jug lids and upcycle them!  Using a sturdy pair of scissors or shears, carefully cut off the threaded edges of the lid, leaving the top coin-shaped piece.  Sand the edges to smooth them out, then add stickers, or draw on numbers or letters with a permanent marker.  Watch young children closely as these small pieces present a choking hazard! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Projects and Ideas- mixing colors with ice

Color Mixing with ice- Fill an old fashioned ice cube tray with water then add 1-2 drops of different colors of food coloring to each cube.  Try to stick to primary colors.  After they freeze, pick two different color ice cubes and put them in a zipper seal bag (tape closed if you have curious children…food coloring will stain).  Let your children push the cubes around inside the bag on the counter, or hold the bag to melt the cubes faster.  Talk about what color combinations result!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Projects and Ideas- kids' grocery list

Grocery list- a great tool to keep toddlers and preschoolers busy while you shop for groceries.  Find a couple of grocery store ads and cut out pictures of the items you purchase most often.  If your child works well with scissors and glue sticks, they can help- they don’t have to be perfect.  Use a glue stick to attach the pictures to both sides of note cards (preferably used ones or some that your child has found and scribbled on almost every single one).  Write the name of the item on the card with each picture.  Use a hole punch to punch holes in the corner of each one and attach them to a sturdy ring.  During your shopping trip, ask your child to find a picture of the next item you will pick up, or find a picture of a vegetable, something green, or something that starts with the letter C, for example.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Projects and Ideas- towel holder using bulk packaging loops

I hate throwing away plastic, especially plastic loops.  Maybe I'm having flasbacks to all those media images from the 80s and 90s showing poor birds and marine animals with soda loops stuck around their necks.  Our local recycling program is very limited, so I've been really trying to reuse as much as I can.  I finally figured out a way to reuse the thick plastic loops that come on the bulk packages I purchase.  Unfortunately this only keeps one out of landfills (unless you give them to all of your friends), but it is a start.  Now the kids can dry their hands and my kitchen towels don't end up on the floor!  Hooray!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Projects and Ideas- NO SEW old cotton t-shirt into a cute toddler skirt

This one speaks for itself...
I really needed to figure out a way to use all the t-shirt tops left over from making my upcycled t-shirt scarves ( and came up with this.  PERFECT for 1-3 year olds in men's sizes large to XXL, but obviously the waist size will vary with the neck size of the shirt.  Be sure to pick one without any logos or writing- they don't turn out as well.  You can easily add elastic to the neck/waist if you want, but you probably won't need it if you put them on over onesies (and then you don't have to worry about diaper covers or bloomers!
Have fun with this one and feel free to send me pics of your creations and variations (  I'm excited to see what people will come up with- bleach prints, tie dye, permanent marker designs- anything is possible!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

TILTHW- thaw breast milk in advance

Things I learned the hard way- Consider taking the frozen breast milk for the next day (or 24 hour period) out of the freezer to thaw in te refrigerator overnight. This can cut thawing/warming time by more than half.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

TILTHW- Save time making bottles ahead of time

Things I learned the hard way- For quicker formula preparation, consider getting extra bottles.  Wash them and let them dry, then portion out the proper amount of formula powder into each one, cap them, and put them in the cupboard.  You can also portion out the right amount of filtered water into clean small water bottles or sealed glass bottles or jars and keep them at room temperature for short periods of time.  When it is feeding time, you just add the room temperature water to the bottle, shake, and you’re ready.  This allows for faster preparation when you have a hungry baby on your hands.