No matter how many fancy desserts I learn how to make Rice Krispie Treats remain one of the most delish to gobble up. Using the traditional Rice Krispie Treat recipe plus a few jelly beans you can quickly make your very own birds nest perfect for a Spring dessert.
Rice Krispie Treat Bird Nests
makes approximately 16 nests
based on Original Rice Krispie Treat Recipe
1 Tablespoon butter
1 1/3 C miniature marshmallows (or 13 large marshmallows)
2 Cups Rice Krispies
mini muffin tin
Melt butter in saucepan. Add marshmallows and stir until melted.
Well it's still Winter here. Saturday brought us large snowflakes, and yes it was beautiful, but I am still ready for Spring! My kids are itching for more time to run and jump in the warm breeze! And I'm itching for easier ways to tire them out! Despite the snow we're continuing to Celebrate Spring with these beautiful, cheery butterflies.
YOU WILL NEED: colored 8 x 11 paper, scissors, markers/crayons/colored pencils, pipe cleaners, stapler/clear tape
Begin by folding the colored paper in half and drawing half of a butterfly shape.
Wouldn't it be great if I told you Beaches Resort in Negril
paid me to vacation there and then write about it? This TOTALLY didn't happen, but wouldn't it be great? Hmm, maybe someday. In the meantime here is the follow up to all of our vacation prep found here
. We had an absolutely amazing time in Jamaica. The weather was perfect, the staff was unbelievably kind to all of us and the ocean was perfect for little ones. One of the biggest hits is that Beaches has joined forces with Sesame Street. This means full access to the Sesame Street characters at no additional cost. We had a tea party with Abby, a dance party with Elmo, made cookies with Cookie Monster and practiced our ABCs with Zoe. I think my kids were ready to move there!
Thanks for the memories, Jamaica! We'll be in touch.
Here in Connecticut it is still freezing and an abundance of snow is still on the ground, but I am done with Winter. I love sledding and making snowpeople with my kids and the way the snow clings to tree branches is breathtaking, but every year around mid-February I become very sick of Winter. What's a Mama to do? Well, in our house we're celebrating Spring early! Time for a new series. Check back often for Spring-themed activities and recipes. Today we are beginning with Happy Garden Playdough.
YOU WILL NEED:
makes enough for 4 children
2 C flour
1 C salt
2 C water
2 TB vegetable oil
4 tsp cream of tartar
green food coloring
Pour first five ingredients into a large saucepan and stir together. This is a great opportunity to include your children. Show them how to measure the ingredients and pour them in.
Let's face it, getting dinner on the table while taking care of young children is not an easy task. 10 minutes to a hungry, cranky four year old seems like F-O-R-E-V-E-R. This is why I have decided to declare my love to whomever invented the salad spinner. Who is this genius who designed the perfect toy for my son? The salad spinner aids gross motor development, provides a multi- sensory exploration, scientific observation AND we have the makings of a salad? Perfection!
Begin by giving your child a head of lettuce and the salad spinner. This works best if you buy lettuce that is not pre-washed. If possible you want visible dirt! Have your child rip the lettuce leaves and place in the spinner.
Quinn: "Hey, look at the dirt! Is this from our garden?"
Me: "No, but it is from a garden. The lettuce grows in the dirt the same way as our summer lettuce."
Fill the salad spinner with water explaining that the lettuce is dirty and needs a bath. Give your child plenty of time to explore the lettuce in the water. This is a wonderful sensory activity. Quinn loved sinking his hands into the cold water and then inspecting the lettuce.
Yesterday we were scurrying around finishing Quinn's school valentines, baking treats, playing hide and seek games (love the squeals of delight even though they hide in the same place every time!) and just attempting to fill the day. With three kids I find we keep our sanity by keeping the day busy.
During a lull Quinn put his head down in my lap. As I brushed the hair off his forehead he looked up at me with those same baby blues I've known for four years. In that moment I realized that in my attempt to stay busy I had not taken a moment to truly gaze into Quinn's eyes that day. The way a tiny amount of gold was peeking through his blues, the small scar on his forehead from when he fell into the coffee table. He looked up at me, and I stopped to see how old my little one is starting to look.
Quinn at 6 months
It is easy to get caught up in keeping our life busy, but this moment solidified an important lesson for me as a parent. Sometimes it is less about what we are doing with our children and more about how thoughtful and present we are in the moment. In that moment the toys and projects vanished, and Quinn peacefully lay in my lap neither of us ready from him to grow up quite yet.
Time to be the coolest parent on the block again! With chocolate in abundance this time of year why not set up a special chocolate tasting event? Even better this activity incorporates a little math lesson as well. Get ready for the tastiest math lesson ever!
YOU WILL NEED: a variety of chocolates (I used an assortment of Dan's Truffles and cut them into bite sized pieces), white paper, markers/colored pencils/crayons
Start by creating a chocolate tasting sheet for each participant. I photocopied the chocolate wrappers on my home printer and then put a YES box and a NO box next to each chocolate. Each sheet was labeled with the participant's name.
When it looks like this outside and you've watched way too many kids' shows and froze their noses with outdoor fun, it's time to get baking! With Valentine's Day quickly approaching this is the perfect day to make Peanut Butter Heart Cookies.
Peanut Butter Heart Cookies
adapted from Hershey's Kitchens
1 package Dove Heart Chocolates
1/2 C butter
3/4 C all natural peanut butter
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp milk
Oof, well, here in Connecticut we are hunkering down for 18-24 inches of snow! I actually love playing in the snow with my kids, but with the weather only in the 20s it looks like we will be spending a lot of time indoors too. This homemade granola recipe is adapted from one my aunt gave me. My aunt's recipe is unbelievably delicious, but 12 tablespoons of sugar was too much to give to my kids on a regular basis. So I gave myself the difficult task of tinkering with the recipe and eating lots of granola in the process.
3 C old-fashioned oats
1/2 C slivered almonds or sunflower seeds
¾ C shredded sweetened coconut
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
3 tbsp packed brown sugar
¼ C coconut or vegetable oil
2 tbsp warm water
½ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 250° F. Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease. Toss first four ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate container, whisk syrup, brown sugar, oil, water, and salt until thoroughly blended.
Children's literature is an essential component to any learning opportunity. Throughout the year I rotate the books on our living room and bedroom bookshelves. In addition to simply providing great literature I like to include seasonal books as well. Here are some of my favorites for Valentine's Day.
Franklin's Valentines Paulette Boureois
Biscuit's Valentine's Day Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Max's Valentine Rosemary Wells