As many of you know, we just returned from a wonderful trip to visit family in Costa Rica. While we were there, we were able to take our little volcano lover to visit two of the active volcanoes in that country, Poás and Irazú.
As a result, I thought this would be a good time to share a fun volcano craft we did a few months ago. The Monkeys and I actually did it for my husband’s birthday, but it would also work perfectly for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. It’s easy to do with one child but also makes a great keepsake for siblings, as shown here.
We used red and yellow paint for the lava. Red had the best effect, although yellow turned out okay on the white paper. If you are doing two or more kids, be aware that the yellow will not show up very well on top of the red, so it is better to either separate the hand prints a bit or do both in red.
While Baby was napping, Monkey and I sat down to do step one. I painted his hand red then made his hand print in the upper half of the paper. (We did two versions just in case, since this was an experiment!)
Later in the day I painted Baby’s little hand and did my best to do a hand print with them. He really had fun with the paints!
Finally, I added the mountain below so that the hand prints look like lava exploding out of the volcano. An older child could also do this step. (Monkey was “too busy working” with his legos at this point so suggested that I do it).
I was the only one who thought my humor was funny, but since I had the pen it didn’t really matter lol 😉
Have an explosive day and always remember that we lava you!
What are your family’s favorite ways to stay cool in hot weather?
Stephen of The Head of the Heard: Open all the windows and strip down to the essentials. And we got a little paddling pool on the balcony for our son.
Jennifer of World Moms Blog: Ice pops! We make our own by freezing fruit smoothies, which means, yes, the kids can have them with breakfast!
Leanna of All Done Monkey: We have a kiddie pool in the backyard, plus our son loves to play with the garden hose (supposedly helping water the plants). Splash parks are also really popular here.
MaryAnne of Mama Smiles: Kiddie pool, sprinkler, and homemade popsicles!
Diana of LadydeeLG: We like water table, inflatable pool, sprinklers.
Annabelle of the piri-piri lexicon: Water play: pretend kitchen with plenty of water in jars, pots, pans, etc.
Amanda of Expat Life with a Double Buggy: We have a little pool which the kids play in – they love to use their slide to get in to it. The excitement of splashing & giggling is a real sign that summer is here!
Heidi of 2 Kurious Kids: The Pool for sure! We live close to the beach too:)
What are favorite summertime treats for kids where you are?
Natalie of Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns: Well, now I am also “here”, but back home in Belarus we had a summer drink called kvass. It’s a drink made out of fermented rye bread, and we could buy it from a special stalls that were selling it. I have never tried to make it at home, but looked up a recipe out of curiosity.
The drink is not alcoholic (by Russian standards anyway), and children could buy and drink it anytime.
Jill of Moms Gone Global: During our long, hot summer days in Florida, we’ve been enjoying frozen grapes! They’re fun to eat, nutritious and quite refreshing!
Ute of expatsincebirth: Watermelon (as much as you can get!), juice pops, ice cream in Italy and ice cream, all sorts of berries (in cakes, juice pops etc.) in Switzerland/Germany. We did frozen fruit too, and frozen deserts are always a treat!
Amanda of Miss Panda Chinese: Here are the traditional and popular iced drinks you will find in Taiwan. Jelly Fig drink- 愛玉 – Ai yu: a transparent light yellow colored jello pieces in sweet water with ice. Maison drink – 仙草 – Xian cao: black jello pieces in sweet water with ice. White Gourd drink – 冬瓜茶 – Dong Gua tea: a yummy sweet drink made from sweet white gourd cubes. We also make our own red beans or green beans pops at home. Yum!
I don’t have the recipes for making the Jelly Fig Jello, Maison Jello, and white gourd cubes because people buy the jellos and cubes in the day market. We cube the fig jello and put them in the sweetened lemon water. We cube the Maison jello and put them in the sweetened water. As to the white gourd cube, we cook it in the boiling water until it dissolves. I make the red beans and green beans pops at home. One cup of red/green beans with 5 to 6 cups of water. Boil until the beans are tender. Add dark brown sugar. Cool and freeze. You can add some condensed milk on the red bean pops when you are ready to eat it.
Jennifer of The Good Long Road: Watermelon and apples are favorites in the summer. Love that my boys want hydrating fruits after playing outside in the heat. We also get icees/slushies in the summer as treats sometimes too!
Miwa of cranes and clovers: Here in Japan we enjoy anmitsu and kakigori. Anmitsu is a dessert with small cubes of jelly made from seaweed served with fruit and sweet red bean paste. Kakigori is basically the same thing as snow cones, but a little bit fluffier. I love kakigori topped with matcha (green tea syrup).
Juliette of The Art of Home Education: (Water)melon, ice cream, popsicles, rainbow fruit -> different colorful fruits on a stick. Netherlands
As many of you already know, I love sweet tea. The Monkeys and I are hosting a Southern heritage play group for some of their little friends next week, so I’ve been looking for a fun way to introduce the kids to this very Southern beverage.
It is summer, so at first I planned to make popsicles, since we love them in as many flavors as they come. But I was afraid that in the hands of a bunch of preschoolers it would all be just a sticky mess, so I decided to do something a little different.
First I made a batch of sweet tea (see recipe below). Then I poured it into a freezer-safe container and put it in the freezer. After about an hour and a half, I stirred it, making sure to break up all the ice crystals that were forming. I did this again in another hour and a half, and so on.
After a few times, the tea turned into — slush! And it was the most heavenly, sweet, refreshing slush you can imagine. What a fabulous frozen treat on a hot summer’s day!
(Just be sure to stir again before serving, as the tea tends to settle at bottom when it has been sitting).
Monkey’s assessment: “This tea makes me really frozen!”
Sweet Tea Recipe
I am looking forward to working my way through all of the wonderful sweet tea recipes I collected recently, but to make these slushies I relied on the recipe my mother uses, which is adapted from the Lipton Tea box:
Makes 2 quarts (1/2 gallon)
2 large tea bags (Lipton Iced Tea bags)
4 c. boiling water
4 c. cold water
1 c. sugar
Put the tea bags in a glass pitcher then add the boiling water. Make sure the pitcher is made of tempered glass, so it can withstand the heat of the boiling water.
Let steep 3-5 minutes (I used decaf, so I let it steep the full 5 minutes) then remove the tea bags.
Stir in the sugar until it dissolves then add the cold water and lemon juice.
Let sit until it reaches room temperature then chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Monkey and I have been enjoying our batch of sweet tea slushies and can’t wait to share this new dish with our friends next week.
Now that the weather is warmer, my Monkey and I are enjoying one of our favorite treats: popsicles!
There is nothing quite as refreshing or just plain fun as sitting outside on a hot summer day and enjoying one of these icy treats.
Often I just throw a bunch of fruit and juice into the blender and see what we come up with, but other times I want something a bit more inspired.
In case you’ve got popsicle fever, too, here are 15+ of my favorite popsicle ideas to get you ready for spring and summer.
**Warning: This post contains lots of cute pictures of kids eating popsicles!**
To me part of the point of making your own popsicles is being able to make them as healthy – and still delicious! – as you want. Why bother with sugar-laden versions when you can try recipes like these?
Summer brings tons of fresh berries, so I am looking forward to making these Berry Bliss Pops from Pickle Bums…
How about trying a new fruit in your pops this summer? Popsicles from the tamarind fruit (shown here at a farmers’ market in Costa Rica) are enjoyed in many parts of Latin America. Here is a recipe for tamarind pops that I learned in Costa Rica.
I personally am dying to try these rich, creamy kulfi pops from Global Table Adventure. They sound heavenly!
Another recipe at the top of my list is for these banana coconut pops from Zerbert. They can also be eaten like ice cream. I love all the variations you can do!
I love this unique recipe from Toddling in the Fast Lane for a juice pop with avocado. What a great way to give your kids some healthy fats!
I must admit that when I asked my blogger friends for their popsicle ideas, I didn’t have crafts in mind – but only because it never occurred to me! Check out this adorable popsicle craft from Learn Create Love, and download the free printable!
Still want more??
If you simply can’t get enough of popsicles, then be sure to visit my new favorite Pinterest board (Pop Love) from Clumsy Crafter.
I am blessed to have amazing fathers in my life, chief among them my husband and my own father. In their honor and in honor of all the other amazing fathers among my family and friends (you know who you are!), I have collected below my favorite quotations about fatherhood (some funny, some serious). Enjoy!
(Quotes from friends and family have been made somewhat anonymous to protect their reputations :))
Also, a special Happy Father’s Day to a good friend celebrating his very first Father’s Day this year!
On Fatherhood and Fathers
JB – You can tell I have kids, because after cutting myself cooking I’m now sporting a Strawberry Shortcake band-aid.
JG [after convincing his toddler to finally lie down and go to sleep] – I should be a politician.
CD [telling his sister that he and his wife are having a baby] – She’s got something in the oven… / Sis – Dinner? / CD – No… / Sis – Dessert? / CD – No…
JG [when asked to hold a friend’s baby] – I have no milk! … I have to put on deodorant now.
Friend [about her small son’s enthusiasm] – You gotta love three year olds. / JG – Yeah…From far away.
CD [realizing that he hadn’t been watching his toddler] – Absentee parenting while in the room.
PL [to her daughter, who has laughed at the father’s bad joke] – Don’t encourage him. Otherwise I’ll have to deal with this for the next six months. (Sighs) I need to have a training course on how to interact with your father.
JK [to her little girl] – You have your daddy’s toes. / Girl – Does that mean they’re going to stink like his?
DM – You should dress the baby in a plastic cape – decorative but also functional.
Bill Cosby – Fatherhood is pretending the present you love the most is soap-on-a-rope.
Mark Twain – When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
Jean Paul Richter – What a father says to his children is not heard by the world, but it will be heard for posterity.
Robert C. Whitten – The child had every toy his father wanted.
Rev. Theodore Hesburgh – The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.
Charles Wadsworth – By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.
Richard Shattuck – They didn’t believe their father had ever been young; surely even in the cradle he had been a very, very small man in a gray suit, with a little dark mustache and flat, incurious eyes. [Reminds me of how my father told us he was born wearing a tie!]
I will end with a link to what I think is one of the most moving tributes to the often unappreciated acts of service in which fathers tend to excel: “Those Winter Sundays,” as read by its author, the poet Robert Hayden.
Father’s Day is almost here! If you are looking for a way to celebrate the special man in your life (and your child’s life!), here is a unique and memorable gift that you can easily make in time for the big day!
*Note to my husband: Don’t keep reading unless you want to spoil the surprise! Of course, by now you’ve already seen the picture … Oh well 🙂
My husband is a wonderful father to our little Monkey. He is attentive and thoughtful and will do anything to put a smile on his little boy’s face. Such an amazing man deserves something special for his big day, even if he is too humble to expect anything.
I knew my husband would love anything made by his little Monkey, and I love the idea of presents that mark the special moments in our child’s life. He is growing so quickly that I wanted to capture this precious time when he is still our little boy.
So when I ran across this amazing hand print craft, I knew I had found a winner. (I also love this similar hand print craft, which I will probably do once we have another little monkey running around the house).
The trickiest part, of course, was getting a good hand print from my active toddler. He loves to have us “draw” his hands, but he is usually so excited that he wiggles a lot, making our drawings at best estimations. But by a stroke of luck, one day he was in just the right mood and allowed me to do a fairly accurate outline of his precious little hand.
I cut this out and traced it on the back of some wrapping paper. (Next time I will probably choose a solid color or a small pattern. The wide stripes of this paper made it difficult to get exactly the look I was going for, although I was happy with the final version).
I then glued this wrapping paper hand print onto a piece of poster board I had already trimmed to fit inside a picture frame. As for the frame, you can go as fancy or simple as you like. I opted for the simple – let’s call it “classic” – because I didn’t want anything that would detract from what was inside the frame.
I made sure to mark the hand print with the date and later will add my little Monkey’s name. See how simple? Now we’re all ready for Father’s Day!