Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Happy Hairdo Harry!

Birthday parties that made me a happy little six year old camper were a different animal than what's around today! We expected - and received - not much more than a scavenger hunt and a lively game of musical chairs. Those were followed by a scoop of unadorned ice cream and a skinny slice of neighborhood bakery cake on a wobbly paper plate. Once gifts were opened we were whisked back home. Nope, neither a clown nor pony in sight - and certainly not a fanciful, smacked-with-color "candy buffet" that one-year-older guests of honor anticipate these days!

I made my own version of a candy buffet to unveil in late July at our upcoming family carnival. Kids will approach the booth, select personalized paper bags and fill them with one of every delectable morsel on display. "Happy Hairdo Harry" came to life when I decided that a jelly-bean-filled lineup of apothecary jars was a little too tame for my taste.

Here's how to make this crazy little dude:

1) Cut a 5.5" styrofoam ball in half. Use one piece as the clown base. Place it flat side down, then use a serrated knife to cut a groove into the top that will securely hold an 8" styrofoam circle. Glue them together.

2) Cut face features from paper scraps and glue them to an 8" white paper circle. Glue face to styrofoam.

3) Tie colorful narrow ribbon bows to small (24 Wilton - see page 11) lollipops and push them into the head as shown in photo.

4) Fill in empty space between lollipops with colorful shredded paper. (Dollar Tree - gift wrap department)

5) Cut 2" squares of red tissue paper, crumble them, then glue to cover base.

6) Fold turquoise tissue paper into a bow tie and glue it to base.

7) Make a hat from paper scraps and punched accents. Glue to a wooden skewer and insert into head.

This original design, like all blog content, is intended for personal use only. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Thank you!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Ball Hog

Recipe: Indoor Balloon Volleyball
Yields: Hours of fun

     one Pinteresting grandma
     one balloon
     one room-width crepe paper streamer
     one pint size ball hog, pictured above (optional)

It was too cold to play outside on the day we first tried this one. I didn't expect it to be the hit that it was, so we'll be back - not only on rainy or hot days, but when everything's just peachy out there too. Our indoor balloon volleyball game was set up and ready to play in seconds.....after we conquered an initial stumbling block or two!

So, it might be obvious. Keep the "ball" in play between teams on both sides of the "net" -  a streamer taped to the wall on opposite sides of a room offering ample open space. But my task was to introduce the game to a pair of five year old boys who enjoy Sunday afternoon football dates with daddy. Nick's first instinct was to capture and secure the balloon, signalling a "fair catch." Sae immediately dove under the net and tackled his brother. Little sissy Ava jumped right in, snagged the loose ball, held on for dear life and refused to release it to "grandma ref." From beneath the huddle, I frantically called time out and subbed in mommy. With high school volleyball experience in her arsenal, she rescued both me and the balloon, whistled our players into position and got the game moving. It wasn't long before the boys were following their new coach's lead - serving, spiking and setting just like the pros!

"Five stars" for fun, team play, exercise, and new athletic skills learned. Come on, grandma! Try it!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Cute Little Chicks

The chirping begins this time of year over the best date for grandma's summer family carnival. There are always birthdays, weddings and baby showers to tip toe around, but even delicate maneuvering doesn't guarantee a foolproof time slot. The day we pick, weeks ahead, has to promise to be free of rain and excessive wind. Since all we can do now is hope for the best on Saturday, July 26, I'd rather just focus on building new games; that's lots more fun!

Since our last event, we've added four little girls to the guest list. Let's see, there's granddaughters Ava and her twin sissy, Angeline, and Kaylee, as well as family friend Vivienne now too - each one under age two. "What about us little peeps?" I can hear them wondering, "What kind of games are we going to play?"

"Cute Little Chicks" is a color matching game. It's built on a large foam board, taped to stakes for pounding into the ground so it will stand alone. Little ladies will place stuffed baby birds inside of nests. The idea is to find a match, of course, but who's really paying attention? Every effort will be rewarded with the choice of a plastic Easter egg from a prize basket. I'm thinking candy bracelets tucked inside, or, for the youngest players, little wind up bugs or cute finger puppets...something really special, of course!....don't want those little chicks going home thinking the prizes they worked so hard for were "cheep!"

This original design, like all blog content, is intended for personal use only. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Thank you!

Monday, May 5, 2014

"Nothin' Yet!"

Don't you just adore the carefree optimism of kids? We planted little Mother's Day tins with marigold seeds last Saturday afternoon during the cousins' weekend I hosted for three oldest grandchildren. Bright and early Sunday morning they raced to check them out....but alas! "Nothin' yet!" they observed, fully confident that continuing vigilance would prove more rewarding later on that same afternoon.

I wish I could will myself to believe in a world where bright yellow blossoms pop prettily up within hours of planting on endless days full of sun and nights nestled camping at grandma's - who says it's okay to "stay up as long as you want," but still waken bustling and bright eyed at early AM to find grandpa already at griddle, making pancakes for passing to grandma who shapes dinosaurs sporting chocolate chip eyes to gobble in front of morning cartoons while strawberry syrup drizzles downward to cover the chin, attracting one of a multitude of well behaved cats into your lap to polish it off - and what comes forth from the soul is the sound of your voice: "We love being at your house, grandma!"

First step:
Digging in the dirt to fill the container.

Step two is serious business! Poke little holes in the surface and tap in a few seeds. Those marigold ones are long and skinny and kinda goofy lookin' aren't they?

And finally, how will mommy know what to expect unless your own seed packet alerts her with a hand painted image of the perky posies you planted just for her?