Jul 212014
 
Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #18 - Alldonemonkey.com
Hi, and welcome to the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop!
The Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop is a place where bloggers can share multicultural activities, crafts, recipes, and musings for our creative kids. We can’t wait to see what you share this time!
I am fortunate to be hosting this blog hop with two of my favorite blogging buddies, Frances of Discovering the World through My Son’s Eyes and Kristin of Toddling in the Fast Lane.
It’s very easy to participate in this blog hop! Just follow these simple guidelines:
  • Be a sweetheart, and kindly follow your hostess and co-hostesses:
  • Follow us via email, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook. Please let us know you’re following us, and we will be sure to follow you back.
  • Link up any creative kids culture posts, on anything from language, culture, books, travel, food, crafts, playdates, activities, heritage, and holidays, etc. Please, link directly to your specific post, and no giveaways, shops, stores, etc. When you link up your blog will also be shared simultaneously on our co-hostesses websites. :)
Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop
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  • Please grab the button code above and put it on your blog or the post you’re linking up. You can also add a text link back to this hop on your blog post. Note: By sharing your link up on this blog hop you are giving us permission to feature your blog post with pictures, and to pin your link up in our Creative Kids Culture Feature board on Pinterest.
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  • The following blog hop we will each feature posts from the previous link up. If you’re featured, don’t forget to grab the button below:
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Here are my picks from our last blog hop:

the piri-piri lexicon - Portuguese chorizo bread

I love this Portuguese chorizo bread from the piri-piri lexicon, part of the MKB World Cup for Kids project.  (And you have to check out the cute baby picture!)

DTWTMSE - Road Trip Busy Boxes

What road trip wouldn’t be better with these creative busy boxes from Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes?

Now let’s see what you’ve been up to!

Jul 212014
 

Places to Visit with Kids in California: Fairy Tale Town, Sacramento {Sunshine Kids Blog Hop 2014} | Alldonemonkey.com

This post is part of the Second Annual Sunshine Kids Blog Hop.  This year we are focusing on great places to visit in California with kids!  Be sure to link up your family-friendly California posts below, and visit my post on Native California from last year’s blog hop!

Fairy Tale Town has been a favorite destination for families in Sacramento for generations.  Opened in 1959, it was one of a wave of storybook parks that opened around the United States during the 1950s and 60s, thanks in large part to the success of Disneyland.  Yet Fairy Tale Town is one of the few still in operation today.

Places to Visit with Kids in California: Fairy Tale Town, Sacramento {Sunshine Kids Blog Hop 2014} | Alldonemonkey.comClimbing up the beanstalk

It is truly a magical place, where fairy tales and nursery rhymes come to life.  Kids can slide down the beanstalk, climb up to Owl’s house in the 1000 Acre Wood, swing on the jungle gym in Sherwood Forest, and stop to pet the animals at Farmer Brown’s Barn.

Places to Visit with Kids in California: Fairy Tale Town, Sacramento {Sunshine Kids Blog Hop 2014} | Alldonemonkey.comEven the bathroom breaks are fun!

There are 25 playsets in Fairy Tale Town, each based on a different childhood tale.  In addition there are farm animals, two performing arts stages, and several gardens.

Places to Visit with Kids in California: Fairy Tale Town, Sacramento {Sunshine Kids Blog Hop 2014} | Alldonemonkey.com

Since many of the features were built in the 1950s, there is a lot of concrete, but everything is very well maintained and safe for young visitors.  In fact, there are only a few features (several of the high slides) that are not appropriate for very little ones. While older kids will find much to enjoy here, you will also see lots of toddlers moseying around the park.

On a recent visit, my preschooler and my toddler both enjoyed themselves immensely.  The little one loved playing in the bright, colorful play areas just his size.  My older son enjoyed it on a different level now that he is familiar with the stories on which the play areas are based.  We spent an entire morning here and could have easily stayed longer.

Places to Visit with Kids in California: Fairy Tale Town, Sacramento {Sunshine Kids Blog Hop 2014} | Alldonemonkey.com

In addition to all the fun attractions available on an everyday basis, there are also performances, special events, and summer camps.  There is a cafe (the Dish and Spoon) plus plenty of picnic tables if you prefer to bring your own food.

If you visit during the summer, I suggest visiting in the morning to avoid the heat.  Thankfully, though, even in the afternoons there is plenty of shade from the many trees in the park.

Places to Visit with Kids in California: Fairy Tale Town, Sacramento {Sunshine Kids Blog Hop 2014} | Alldonemonkey.com

I highly recommend Fairy Tale Town as part of your California Staycation!  It is a whimsical, magical place that you and your kiddos will enjoy.  Afterwards you can head next door to beautiful William Land Park or just across the street to visit the Sacramento Zoo!  (Combined tickets are available for Fairy Tale Town and the zoo).

Are you taking a staycation this summer?

 

sunshine kids blog hop 2014

Places to Visit with Kids in California:

Sunshine Kids Blog Hop 2014

Summer is a great time to explore with your kids – and you don’t have to travel far to do it! California has so much to offer to families. Take a great staycation this summer by visiting your local treasures! In our second annual Sunshine Kids Blog Hop, we are focusing on our favorite places to visit with kids in California. Enjoy! And be sure to add your own family-friendly California posts in our linky at the bottom. You can also check out even more California posts on our collaborative Kid Friendly California Pinterest board!

Participating Blogs:

Alldonemonkey.com Sparkling Buds baykidsplaybutton
A Mom With a Lesson Plan Little Hiccups EHM Grab Button 250x250
Capri+3 Savvy 3 MeMeTales
SoCalPocketMemories made-with-happy-square-200
365ishdaysofpinterest 2KuriousKids
Adventure Bee

And now it’s time to see what everyone has been up to:


Jul 172014
 

ArteKids: Bilingual Books about Art for Kids | Alldonemonkey.com

Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary copies of these books for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.

If you are a multi-tasking parent like me, you will love ArteKids books!

Teach basic concepts like numbers and shapes?  Check.

Teach English and Spanish?  Check.

Expose to great works of art?  Check.

Introduce to Latin American culture, ancient and modern?  Check.

Have FUN?  Check!

ArteKids: Bilingual Books about Art for Kids | Alldonemonkey.com

Baby Monkey loves ArteKids books and requests one to read every night at bedtime.  I think children are naturally drawn to great works of art, especially the colorful pieces included in these books.  They are not the typical, somewhat stuffy pieces you might expect, but rather they are fun, colorful pieces from the San Antonio Museum of Art.  Definitely not the usual suspects!  What kid wouldn’t want to learn about shapes from an ancient Aztec statue or a colorful toy animal from Oaxaca?

ArteKids: Bilingual Books about Art for Kids | Alldonemonkey.com

For adults and older kids, you can learn more about all of the artists in a guide at the back of each book.

These bilingual books are an instant classic – a wonderful way to introduce children to both the world of language and the world of art!

Jul 142014
 

This play idea is brought to you by Knoala – Raise Happier Kids.  Knoala is a free app that offers activities for parents to enjoy with infants to preschoolers.

Preschooler Science: Check the Scale {Sponsored by Knoala} | Alldonemonkey.com

Monkey loves science and is always full of questions about, well, everything!  He wants to know how everything works, from light switches to eyeballs to Venus fly traps.  I want to feed his curiosity, but between trying to run a household and watch after two small children, I often don’t have the time to for elaborate experiments.  That’s why I love this simple preschooler science activity – easy to set up but a great learning tool for preschoolers!

Preschooler Science: Check the Scale {Sponsored by Knoala} | Alldonemonkey.com

For this easy science activity, all you need is a bathroom scale and a healthy dose of preschooler curiosity.  Using ordinary objects around the house, they get to create a hypothesis (“Which weighs more?”), test it by using the scale, and put the results into practice by arranging the objects from lightest to heaviest.  Genius!  Besides learning about the concept of weight and how scales work, this activity also encourages young children to begin to answer their own questions, rather than just depending on a grownup to tell them how things work.  After all, isn’t that the real end goal for us as parents?

Get the FULL play prompt instructions here:

knoala-activityI love that the Knoala app is designed for busy parents who still want to engage their children and give them a developmental boost.  The activities are simple yet profound.  They don’t require an elaborate set up or extensive planning, yet they are targeted towards important developmental stages.  Knoala makes it easy to be a super hero for your kids!

P.S. If you liked this activity prompt, be sure to check out the app for yourself!

get-knoalaA little bit more about Knoala: Knoala offers thousands of fun and development-boosting activities for parents to enjoy with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.  Based on your child’s age and local weather conditions, Knoala finds activities that are most suitable for you and your family.  Bond with your child over games and crafts that foster artistic, cognitive, emotional, motor, sensory and language skills.  Connect with thousands of parents to exchange ideas on how to keep your child happy and busy.  Follow the hottest mom and dad bloggers for their expert advice on keeping your little ones entertained.  With Knoala in hand, you never have to worry about your child feeling bored again.  All content on Knoala are free, and always will be.

Pin It:

Preschooler Science: Check the Scale {Sponsored by Knoala} |Alldonemonkey.com

Disclosure of Material Conenction: This is a “sponsored post.”  The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 116 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

 

 

Jul 112014
 

Character Building Class: Teaching Kids to Choose Love - Alldonemonkey on Creative World of Varya

I am so happy today to be sharing over at Creative World of Varya.  Varya is one of my dearest friends and bloggy buddies, and she is now enjoying some extra snuggle time with her new baby boy.  So I am sharing one of the lessons from our weekly character building class for preschoolers: teaching kids to choose love.  Stop by to check it out!

Teaching Kids to Choose Love

Jul 102014
 

The Soccer Fence: A Story of Breaking Down Barriers in South Africa - Alldonemonkey.com

Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary copy of The Soccer Fence for this book review; however, all opinions are my own.

As the World Cup draws to a close, it is worth remembering that the game has reverberations off the field as well as on.  Kids around the world grow up playing football (soccer) on well-kept pitches, in dusty alleys, and on muddy fields.  They cheer on their heroes, celebrating every kick and goal.

So what does it mean to someone born into apartheid in South Africa to later watch a newly integrated team win the African Cup of Nations?

Phil Bildner’s The Soccer Fence brilliantly captures the juxtaposition of two worlds in apartheid South Africa through the eyes of his main character, Hector, a boy who grows up playing soccer in an alley in a black township.  Each time he goes with his mother to her housekeeping job in a white neighborhood, Hector yearns to play on the grassy pitch with the little boys he sees there, but they always ignore him.

Years later, after the breakdown of apartheid and the election of Nelson Mandela, Hector watches as the national soccer team – now made up of both black and white players – wins the African Cup of Nations.  He is not the only one deeply moved by the victory, and the example of the integrated team has ripple effects into his own life.

This beautifully illustrated book can be read on several levels.  At the most basic, it is a wonderful way to introduce your child to the idea of fair play and inclusion, but it can also be a great way to begin to discuss the history of apartheid in terms they can understand.

I highly recommended The Soccer FenceIt is primarily for school age children, though my preschooler also enjoyed it.

World Cup for Kids - Multicultural Kid BlogsFor more resources for kids about soccer, check out the World Cup for Kids project, plus follow our World Cup for Kids board on Pinterest, and join the conversation on Facebook and Google Plus!

Jul 072014
 

MKB One World Futbol World Cup Giveaway - Visit Alldonemonkey.com and share our post to help us donate a virtually indestructible One World Futbol to a local school for homeless children

According to Maria Montessori, “Play is the work of the child.”  Yet in many communities around the world, children are denied this simple, basic developmental need because of poverty or other hardship.

That is why we are so excited to support One World Futbol in their mission to bring the healing power of play to youth worldwide through their nearly indestructible soccer/football. The One World Futbol never needs a pump and never goes flat—even when punctured multiple times—due to its ingenious technology. But what we truly love about their model is for every ball purchased, they donate one to organizations working with youth in disadvantaged communities worldwide.

Our Giveaway

Follow along by using the hash tag #MKBWorldCup!

We have a special giveaway planned during the World Cup with Multicultural Kid Blogs and One World Futbol. It’s unlike a usual giveaway as this time you, our readers, are using your collective power to vote to give the ball away to a community in need!  We need your help so we can donate one of the One World Futbols (generously supplied by One World Futbol) to the Mustard Seed School in Sacramento, CA, which serves homeless children in the Sacramento area.

But here’s the thing–there are 9 blogs participating in this contest, and One World Futbol will donate balls to the three blogs that get the most shares on their posts. So we need your help–please SHARE this post on Twitter, Facebook, G+ and Pinterest and contribute your power, your vote to help us donate this One World Futbol.  Each share is tallied as a vote. And whoever get the most votes, donates the ball! Let’s show how strong our voices are with our votes.

We have until midnight ET on Sunday, July 13 to get as many shares as we can on this post. (The tally will be made based on the number on the social share buttons at the end of this post).  So let’s start now!

Mustard Seed School

Here is more about the Mustard Seed School (text courtesy of the Mustard Seed website):

Mustard Seed is a free, private school for children 3-15 years old which provides a safe, nurturing and structured environment, a positive learning experience, happy memories, survival resources of food, clothing and shelter referrals, medical and dental screenings, immunization updates, counseling for children and their parents, and assistance entering or reentering public schools.

Mustard Seed School was established in 1989 to help meet the needs of homeless children. Many school age children do not attend school because of their homelessness; some lack immunizations, birth certificates, or other documents, some are in transit, and almost all lack a support system. In spite of their situations these children are eager to learn and to be accepted.

Many homeless children are not enrolled in school because the places their families find to sleep are often not near a child’s school and the family only plans to be there a short time. Sometimes the school needs an address or updated immunizations which homeless families cannot provide.

From fifteen to thirty-five children may attend our school each day, and an average stay is just three to four weeks. Some children have been out of school for a long time and need help to go back. A major goal of the Program is to prepare and enroll homeless children into public schools, and preschool for younger children, when families have found housing stability. Since the school began, over 4500 individual children have participated in Mustard Seed.

Please share this post to help us donate a One World Futbol to the Mustard Seed School!  Feel free to use #MKBWorldCup when you share!

And don’t forget to visit Multicultural Kid Blogs to help them “unlock” an additional two One World Futbols to donate!

MKB One World Futbol World Cup Giveaway- Help Us Donate to Youth in Needy Communities

One World Futbol

One World Futbol Project is a B-corporation based in Berkeley, CA and was founded by Tim Jahnigen, the inventor of the One World Futbol. One World Futbol was inspired by refugee youth in Darfur, who had such indestructible spirits – and love for football! – despite their hardships. Tim Jahnigen wanted to give them something more, so he invented a soccer ball that would never need a pump and would never go flat, even when punctured multiple times. One World Futbol Project and its virtually indestructible ball have now reached more than 170 countries and continue to bring the healing power of play to youth worldwide. The Buy One Donate One model makes it easy for consumers to donate these amazing One World Futbols to needy communities.

Participating Blogs

The following member blogs are participating in this contest. Visit them to see which organizations they have chosen. Remember, sharing is caring! The 3 blogs with the most social shares (as shown on the share counters on their blog posts) will get to donate a football to the qualified organization they have chosen!

Our Whole Village
Expat Life with a Double Buggy
Entre Compras y El Hogar
Head of the Heard
InCultureParent
MommyMaestra
La Cité des Vents
Trilingual Mama
All Done Monkey

Help “unlock” an additional two One World Futbols at Multicultural Kid Blogs!

 

World Cup for Kids - Multicultural Kid BlogsSee all of the posts in the World Cup for Kids project, plus follow our World Cup for Kids board on Pinterest, and join the conversation on Facebook and Google Plus!

Jul 022014
 

Spiritual education is a keystone of how I am raising my sons, and I am always inspired to hear how other parents are working to raise their children along a spiritual path. In the series Parenting and Faith I feature posts from bloggers discussing how their religion or philosophy influences their parenting. I am so pleased to share today’s post on finding a church, from Carrie of Crafty Moms Share, a fellow member of Multicultural Kid Blogs.

 

When I first got married I had not been active in a church for about ten years. When I was in graduate school I had been active with a church due to a friend wanting help running the youth groups. Unfortunately the distance to the church eventually was too much for me to deal with while working full time (and my friend had moved out of state). I did not find a church I liked locally in any of the three towns I lived in while teaching. My Catholic husband and I got married by a non-denominational minister in the lobby of the place our reception was. I did not have a local church and I was not Catholic and we did not want to wait the year that it would take to be married in the Catholic Church. 

Finding a Church to Find God: Crafty Moms Share {Parenting and Faith} - Alldonemonkey.com
Our Wedding

 Now that I was married, finding a good church was important to me. Before we were engaged I told my now husband that I wanted to bring up children in my church/religion. He agreed as long as it was a Christian church. We began visiting the congregational churches in my town. One was not the same affiliation as I had grown up in and always been a member of, but it was a very active church with many groups and activities. When we visited people would say hi to us, but that was about it. (I always took my husband church shopping with me.) The other church was the same affiliation (United Church of Christ) as I knew and I loved it, however there were hardly any children in it. I knew I wanted a church I felt comfortable bringing my future children up in, so this was not the best choice. At this point I was thinking I would have to go with the other one even though it was not my favorite. Then one day we were driving through the next town over (we actually live very close to the town line) on our way to get ice cream at a local farm and noticed another congregational church with the United Church of Christ affiliation in the center of town. The center of this town is the same distance as the center of our town is to our house. We decided to visit it.  One Sunday in February we did and I loved it. I felt right at home. We continued going and eventually I started going on my own. Steve occasionally goes to mass and occasionally comes to services with me, but for the most part is just trying to recover from his work week and have time with us. 

Finding a Church to Find God: Crafty Moms Share {Parenting and Faith} - Alldonemonkey.com
Baptism



Five years ago my daughter was born. At the time I was a deacon at my church. My daughter was seen as the church’s child. I have never seen anyone get more gifts at church than my daughter. We had gifts left with our baby stuff when she was baptized. During the baptism the minister asked anyone in our family to stand up and someone made a mistake and the entire congregation stood up following that one person’s lead. After the baptism I was told they really meant it–the entire church is our family. In many ways this is true for us. Church friends are the ones who come to Hazel’s birthday parties along with our parents and my sister who lives somewhat close. My extended family is too far to come for most of these events. I also got my babysitters from church. I know the families and know the teenagers well and of course Hazel knows them as well. 

Finding a Church to Find God: Crafty Moms Share {Parenting and Faith} - Alldonemonkey.com
Bible Presentation



We go to church just about every week. At church Hazel interacts with people of every generation. As a toddler she found it to be overwhelming since everyone would come up and talk to her. Now she is more adjusted to it. She has played catch with one of the older members of the church by throwing her Ducky (her lovey) to him and he would throw it back during the fellowship time after church. One of her best friends is a three-year-old at church. She loves to play with him and he looks up to her like an older sibling. Now Hazel is old enough to go to Sunday School and she loves to go and hear the Bible stories and make a craft. She also loves the Bible she received from the church. We read a story from it just about every night.


Finding a Church to Find God: Crafty Moms Share {Parenting and Faith} - Alldonemonkey.com
Hazel’s Story Bible

I am no longer a deacon, but am now on Parish Council as the chairperson of Stewardship Ministries. I am also a member of the Christian Education Ministries and last year was the Christian Education Director’s Assistant/Substitute since she had to have surgery and could not move around easily. Hazel hates me having to go to meetings at night, but I remind her they are for church and therefore for God. She still complains, but understands a bit why I go. She also seems proud to tell someone about what I do at church or am in charge of at church. 


This past year we decided to switch the school we were sending Hazel to due to some issues at the first school. We chose to switch her to a Christian school. We all love it! She now has even more a sense of God and our own values and really seems to enjoy it.

 

Throughout my journey thus far of trying to teach my daughter about God, my beliefs and values, I have discovered that I have grown closer to God and stronger in my own beliefs. It always amazes me how a parent learns so much through the experience with the child. I also know the lessons are sinking in because sometimes Hazel will say something about God or Jesus liking what we are doing when I don’t even think of a religious connection at all. Overall I know this is a wonderful thing. We are teaching her to be a caring and compassionate human being as most religions do and let’s face it, the world needs more compassionate people. I know our church and Hazel’s school give her examples of being a good Christian and thus a good person every day.

Crafty Moms ShareCarrie is a former high school math teacher with diversity training and helped advise many diversity clubs at the schools she taught. Now she is a stay-at-home mother of an almost five-year-old and very active with her church. She writes about her life with her daughter and the fun things they do at Crafty Moms Share. You can also find her on Pinterest and Google +.

 

 

 

 

 

Parenting and Faith on Alldonemonkey.com

In the series Parenting and Faith bloggers share how faith influences their parenting. You can find all the posts in this series on the main page as well as the Parenting and Faith Pinterest board.

Jul 012014
 

 

Volcano Birthday Party - Alldonemonkey.com

This post is part of the World Cup for Kids project from Multicultural Kid Blogs. Each time Costa Rica plays, I will be doing a post on some aspect of that country’s culture. Today I am sharing about our volcano birthday party!

My Monkey loooooves volcanoes! We even got to visit several with him on our recent trip to Costa Rica:

Volcano Birthday Party - Alldonemonkey.com

Volcán Irazú is not (very) active, so we were able to climb up and look right into the main crater.  Monkey was a little nervous about getting too close, but in the end curiosity won out!

Volcano Birthday Party - Alldonemonkey.com

Volcán Arenal is the most famous volcano in Costa Rica, and rightly so!  It is very active, and many visitors are able to see small eruptions.  We were not so fortunate, but we still enjoyed the spectacular view.

So it wasn’t hard to pick the theme for the boys’ birthday party last year – volcanoes!  Our parties are always very small, but I still wanted to make it something special.  Here is what we did:

Decorations

For decorations I relied heavily on the Dollar Store and Party City.  We found plenty of red streamers (though we ran out of tape – details, details!), plus some fun “fireworks” decorations made out of ribbons and stars.  I even stuck some shiny red pom-pom gift wrap bows around.  I also cut out volcanoes out of black and red poster board and taped them up on the walls.  But the best find were the sparkly door streamers!  The kids loved running through the “lava”!  In fact, this was the last decoration to be taken down after the party – more than a week later!

Volcano Birthday Party - Alldonemonkey.com

Lava Juice

To be honest, for the food I didn’t worry much about the volcano theme, but for drinks I had to make “lava juice”!  Really this was just strawberry lemonade, which I made by blending lemonade (from concentrate – keep it simple!) with frozen strawberries and sugar to taste.  It was so yummy!  While the adults got the full affect of the colorful juice in their “grown up” glasses, I wasn’t about to let hyper preschoolers run around our house with cups of red liquid.  So instead I found inexpensive red sports bottles, which we labeled with each child’s name.  The “volcano cups” went home with the kids as part of their favors.

Games

We kept the games low-key and open ended.  I cut out some “volcanic rocks” from black poster board, which I scattered around our entryway.  When the kids arrived, they were warned to stay on the volcanic rocks so they wouldn’t fall into the lava!

I also set up a play dough table with a big volcano (made with a double batch of brown play dough, plus red and yellow for the lava), along with dinosaurs, cars, and trucks, all laid out on a green tablecloth.  (You could also add moss, which you can find with materials for floral arrangements).  I actually molded the volcano around an empty plastic salsa bottle – it was perfect!  My husband even dropped a little dry ice inside for a super cool effect!

Volcano Birthday Party - Alldonemonkey.com

Since we only have one low kids’ table, when it was time to eat we just moved the play dough and toys out of the way, along with the now messy green table cloth, to reveal a clean red table cloth underneath – easy!  (The volcano is sitting inside a plastic red serving tray I found at Party City, so that was easy to keep intact).

The Cake

The cake was the most fun part for me.  I took my favorite yellow cake recipe and used strawberry jam in between the layers – yum!  (You actually also need to put frosting on the top of each layer to “seal” it from the layer above.  The jam goes on the bottom of the upper layer).  I then made several batches of frosting – brown, red, and green.  The volcano, of course, was brown, with red lava coming out of the crater.  The green frosting covered the base for the grass.

Volcano Birthday Party - Alldonemonkey.com

Here is a great tutorial for making a stacked volcano cake.  I couldn’t find exactly what she called for, so I did a 9 x 12 cake on the bottom (the grass), then 2 – 9 in round cakes, with a Bundt cake on top.  I then shaped them all with a serrated knife.

But the real finishing touch was the dry ice.  (I saw this suggestion in several places, such as this volcano cake post).  As it turns out, you can buy dry ice at our grocery store.  You just have to be careful that the kids don’t try to touch it, but wow!  It was so cool!

Volcano Birthday Party - Alldonemonkey.com

Unfortunately a lot of the smoke had already started to fade by the time we got this picture, but it gives you an idea.

(For another cake idea, you can also see what I did for Baby’s smash cake!  And yes, we did a combined party for the boys – we’ll see how many years we’re able to get away with that!)

Favors

For favors, in addition to a few super hero trinkets, I put together DIY volcano kits, based on this awesome tutorial from Crayon Box Chronicles.  We had so much fun playing with ours the next day!  They were wrapped up in my version of these cute volcano treat bags.

Volcano Birthday Party - Alldonemonkey.com

I also had a lot of fun making these volcano hats, based on this photo I found on Pinterest.  I had to figure out how to reverse engineer them, so here is a glimpse at the work in progress.  I taped together a few strands of red gift ribbon and then taped that to the inside of the “crater” top (made by cutting a small semi-circle from the top of the cone).

Volcano Birthday Party - Alldonemonkey.com

Taping the edges together was a bit of a pain, but they held together well.  We didn’t want any of the kids getting scratched by a staple!  I also taped a strip of red poster board along the bottom for the lava.  For the straps, we used jewelry wire, which worked okay, but next time I’ll stick with ribbon or yarn.  Unless you have the fit exactly right, the jewelry wire can really irritate the kids’ skin.

Volcano Birthday Party - Alldonemonkey.com

Overall I was thrilled about how thehats turned out.  I even made mini ones for Baby and another toddler friend.

Hope you enjoyed this glimpse at our volcano birthday party!  It was the perfect way to celebrate our two little volcano Monkeys :)

 

World Cup for Kids - Multicultural Kid Blogs

See all of the posts in the World Cup for Kids project, plus follow our World Cup for Kids board on Pinterest, and join the conversation on Facebook and Google Plus!

Jun 302014
 

The Language Story of the Creative Mom: Bilingual Kids Rock Podcast interview

I am so pleased today to share the interview I did recently with Olena of Bilingual Kids Rock.  She has an amazing podcast series, interviewing parents from around the world who are raising their kids to be bilingual.  In our interview we talk about religion, choosing which language learning system to use, learning Spanish while residing in Bolivia, switching languages when speaking to adults and a whole lot more.  Listen to the interview on Bilingual Kids Rock – we’d love to hear what you think!

The Language Story of the Creative Mom: Bilingual Kids Rock Podcast Interview