Pool Noodle Alphabet Stacking Game for Kids

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Pool Noodle Alphabet Stacking Game

I just LOVE Pool Noodle games because they are SO cheap and creative! There are an endless amount of ways you can use them in learning with children and this Alphabet Letter Stacking Game is just one of them! You can see our entire tutorial with game suggestions as well as our Pool Noodle Memory Game here too!

MORE of our Pool Noodle Fun Posts:

DIY Lawn Golf Pool Noodle tutorial 
Pool Noodle Stamping
Pool Noodle Party Wreath

 

DIY Musical Instruments – Drums with Pringles

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Thanks to Pringles® for inspiring me to create something musical and sponsoring this post. DIY Recycled Musical Instruments Drums

 Recently we went on a big family road trip (2500+ miles roundtrip!) and we stuffed the car with our own food and drinks. We had bought a lot of Pringles® cans since they wouldn’t get crushed like a bag of chips and could be sealed and saved for later so we decided to save all of our Pringles® cans (plus some!) and turn them into some recycled musical instruments! I am a pianist and my oldest son is now taking piano lessons as well so we have a lot of musical background in our family. Check out our simple tutorials below on how to make your OWN Drum set out of Pringles® cans! (Make sure you enter the Summer Jam Sweepstakes with the code found on specially marked cans of Pringles®!)

DIY Musical Recycled Instruments

You’ll need embroidery hoops (2 per drum) and enough Pringles® cans to fill your hoops nicely which will vary depending on the size. I made TWO drums. My larger drum I needed 7 regular sized Pringles® cans and 1 set of large embroidery hoops. My smaller drum I used 4 smaller sized Pringles® cans with a medium sized set of embroidery hoops. You’ll also need hot glue and the following optional items: cellophane wrap, construction paper, decorations (stickers, glitter, ribbon, paint, etc). (Note – you could use duct tape if you really needed to instead of embroidery hoops to hold the cans together.)

DIY Recycled Musical Instruments for Kids

First you’ll need to verify how many cans you need to make your drum. Simply lay your embroidery hoop on a flat surface and place your Pringles®  cans inside to see how many you’ll need. Next you’ll probably want to decorate your drum cans! I chose to cover mine with construction paper but you could use paint, ribbons, washi tape, duct tape, or no decor at all! Turn it into a tribal cultural band, a rock band, or a rainforest jam!

DIY Recycled Musical Instruments for Kids

I actually glued all of my cans together to ensure they would last as long as possible using my hot glue gun. After that I hot glued one of the embroidery hoops towards the bottom of the drum. If you have a hard time holding the hoop still enough you can prop it up on two similar sized measuring cups while you glue the other side. For my larger drums the hoop was slightly too large so I stuffed a few small pom poms between the cans and the hoops and glued everything together.

DIY Recycled Musical Instruments for Kids

Because I wanted a “cool” drum look with a little extra crinkly noise I chose to cover the top of each drum with a sheet of colored seran wrapping. I just laid it over the top of the cans, then slid my embroidery hoop over the top and glued it all in place.

DIY Recycled Musical Instruments for Kids

VOILA! These are SO fun!! I considered wrapping the complete thing in the seran wrap but I liked that the kids can crinkle it up on the side for extra background noise. My kids LOVE going to concerts although they’ve only been to one or two but they brought the jam home with them and rocked out our house with all sorts of noise for a long time! Right now Pringles®as an awesome Summer Jam Sweepstakes with the chance to win a VIP experience at a Live Nation concert in the US. Just pick up a specially marked can of Pringles®, enter your code online and you could find yourself on an adventure of a lifetime! Save your cans though and let your kids design their OWN musical instruments – it’s just as fun as rocking it out in their own homemade music band!

DIY Recycled Musical Instrument Drums

Do some research and find musicians that use instruments made out of recycled materials like the Percussion Prodigies’.

Abbreviated Rules. No Purchase Necessary. Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older at time of entry, and are a registered Twitter user. To enter and/or for complete Official Rules, go to https://www.pringles.com/us/promotions/summer-jam-2015/percussion-prodigies/official-rules.html. Promotion ends on 7/31/15 at 11:59:59 PM (ET). Subject to complete Official Rules. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: Kellogg Company, One Kellogg Square, Battle Creek, MI  49016.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pringles® Summer Jam.

Wine Cork Garden Markers Tutorial

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Wine Cork Garden Markers Tutorial

During the summer and fall I spend an insane amount of time in my garden. If my husband doesn’t see me for several hours he knows I’m crouched down behind some plants weeding or harvesting! The past few years I’ve become more interested in making my garden prettier and labeling things so I don’t forget what I’ve planted! (or so my husband can recognize it!) Check out our detailed Wine Cork Garden Markers tutorial to make your own beautiful garden labels!

FREE Patriotic History Trading Flash Cards for Kids

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free Printable History Flash Cards

I created these patriotic history trading flash cards specifically for our upcoming Presidential Road Trip but they work great for incentives in school and quick reminders for kids to read top tips on various historical aspects of our country. At the bottom of this post is a FREE printable that you can print, cut, and laminate for your own use! We chose to add some extra colors to ours too. I’ve also included BLANK trading flash card templates where you can either draw your own icons or cut out photos and paste them on for whatever you need!

FREE Patriotic History Trading Flash Cards for Kids

Since we’ll be visiting the White House, Independence Hall, the USS Intrepid, and other national landmarks I made many of the objects around the areas that we will be visiting in the New England area – patriotic/presidential themed.

FREE Patriotic History Trading Flash Cards for Kids

You can see above how I decided to color in some of the blank space with colored pencils. I then cut it all out, placed the appropriate flash cards back to back with it’s description, and laminated them all.

FREE Patriotic History Trading Flash Cards for Kids

Throughout our road trip my kids can earn a flash card for good behavior in the car (we’ll be driving 2800+ miles!) and then trade amongst themselves for the icons they want the most! Not only is it fun for the kids but it will encourage them to read the back of their cards and learn more about each character or landmark in our country!

DOWNLOAD & PRINT your FREE History Trading Flash Cards HERE:

 Patriotic Trading Flash Cards PDF

You may also be interested in our FREE Presidential Bookmarks, Word Games, Writing Prompts & MORE

FREE Presidents Printable Bookmarks, Word Games, Writing

DIY Patriotic Pool Noodle Party Banner

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DIY Patriotic Pool Noodle Party Banner

I love pool noodle crafts because they are SO fun to work with and with the 4th of July coming up I knew a pool noodle craft was brewing!  This frugal patriotic pool noodle party banner is a great way to add color to your party space while saving some cash at the same time. Making your own is easy, with all of the supplies you need available at your local dollar store. Here is how you can get started crafting your own.

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Supplies needed:
Blue pool noodle
Red washi tape
String, yarn, or ribbon
Serrated knife

Everything we used here we were able to find at our local dollar store. Look for patriotic colors such as red, white, and blue when making your selections.

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Directions:
1. Begin by cutting your pool noodles into 2 inch thick cuts. Use a serrated knife for this step as it makes cutting the noodle easier.
2. Cut a length of washi tape and wrap it around the pool noodle cuts. You don’t have to do each cut if you don’t want. For ours, we decorated every other piece instead. Press firmly so the washi tape adheres well to the foam.

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3. Take the foam cuts and begin stringing them onto ribbon, yarn, or string. You can add as many as you wish in order to get the garland the length you wish.
4. Once the length of string or yarn is full, you can hang your patriotic pool noodle garland. Just use tape to hang the sides, since the garland is quite light it won’t require more than that.

Your patriotic pool noodle garland is now ready to be enjoyed. As you can see this is an excellent craft for kids and the perfect option for decorating your party on a budget. Grab your supplies and see what you can create!

Check out our Pool Noodle Lawn Golf Tutorial and our Pool Noodle Preschool Stamp Activity!

Shark Week Kid’s Jello Shooters Recipe

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Shark Week Kid's Jello Recipe

​Celebrate Discovery’s Shark Week (one of my boys favorite times of the year!) with these fun and simple Pinterest-inspired shark shooters! Let your kids make these shark themed Jello cups themselves or surprise them with some cool treat fun! These are SO easy to make and even more fun to eat! You can buy shark gummies at your local candy store, Amazon, or on eBay.

INGREDIENTS:
6 oz. box Jello (Berry Blue flavor)
2 cups boiling water
2 cups cold water
Whipped Cream (I used Dream Whip but Cool Whip would work also)
Gummy sharks (buy on Amazon or eBay)

DIRECTIONS:
1.   In a mixing bowl, add 2 cups boiling water to the box of jello.  Stir until completely dissolved.
2.   Stir in 2 cups of cold water to the jello mixture.
3.   Place liquid jello into shot glass-like containers.
4.   Refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm.
5.   Spoon whipped cream on top of each shot glass
6.   Place a gummy shark on top of whipped cream.
7.   Enjoy!

 

Other Great Shark & Beach Ideas:

Shark Ice Cubes
Shark Nautical Drinks
Healthy Ocean Fish Snack
Shark Tooth Sensory Bin
FREE Printable Shark Facts
Footprint Sharks
Don’t Wake the Sharks Game
Shark Toilet Paper Roll Craft
Life Preserver Doughnuts
Shark Fin Waffles

Shark Week Nautical Beach Drink Recipe

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Shark Week Kids Beach Drink Recipe

Whether you’re celebrating Discovery’s Shark Week or throwing a beach themed birthday party these nautical shark drinks are super fun for kids and adults alike! Below I’ve included our recipe and step by step directions to make both the drink and “shark cup”. You can buy shark gummies at a local candy store, Amazon or eBay in various amounts. At the bottom of this post I’ve also linked up some other great shark themed recipe ideas for kids!

Homemade Blue Lemonade Recipe

INGREDIENTS:  (makes 1/2 gallon)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 water
1/2 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
3 cups cold water
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice from 2 lemons
Blue food coloring, optional
Ice

DIRECTIONS:
1. Squeeze the juice out of 2 lemons to get 1/2 cup juice.
2.  Purée the blueberries and pour the contents into a strainer.
3.  In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, add the sugar and 1/2 cup water until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
4.  Add 3 cups cold water and the lemon juice to the sugar mixture. Stir to blend well.
5.  Add blue food coloring, a drop at a time, to achieve your desired color. Stir.
6.  Place ice in glasses and fill with the blue lemonade.

Because our lemonade was specifically made for shark week we also used a few fun extras! In addition to the drink itself we used twine, white peppermint lifesavers, crazy straws, and gummy sharks.

1. Cut pieces of twine and string one Lifesaver on each piece. Tie the twine around the middle of each glass, placing the lifesaver in the middle to resemble a nautical life preserver ring.
2.  Insert gummy sharks on a crazy straw and insert into drink.  Enjoy!

Check out our Shark Week SHARK Ice Cubes!

Shark Week Kids Recipes and Activities

Other Great Shark & Beach Ideas:

Shark Ice Cubes
Shark Jello Cups
Healthy Ocean Fish Snack
Shark Tooth Sensory Bin
FREE Printable Shark Facts
Footprint Sharks
Don’t Wake the Sharks Game
Shark Toilet Paper Roll Craft

Shark Week Shark Ice Cubes Kid’s Idea

This post may contain affiliate links, view my disclosure policy.

Shark Week Kids Recipes and Activities

SHARK WEEK! One of my boy’s favorite times of year as we watch the Discovery Channel Shark Week coverage and obsess about sharks for a while! This year we are doing some extra celebrating and making EASY fun shark themed recipes to go with our week. Freezing sharks in ice cubes makes for some serious fun all week and your kids will be begging for cold drinks just so they can get a shark ice cube! You can buy shark gummies at your local candy store, Amazon, or on eBay.

INGREDIENTS:
Ice Cube Tray
Water
Gummy sharks

Shark Week Kid's Ice Cubes Recipe

DIRECTIONS:
1.   Fill ice cube tray with water.
2.   Place a gummy shark in each ice cube tray compartment.  You can place the sharks in different positions, having them stick out of the ice or completely submerged.
3.   Freeze for at least 4 hours.
4.   Place frozen shark cubes in your favorite drink.
5.   Enjoy!

Shark Week Kids Recipes and Activities

Other Great Shark & Beach Recipe Ideas:

Shark Ice Cubes
Shark Jello Cups
Life Preserver Doughnuts
Shark Fin Waffles
Healthy Ocean Fish Snack

DIY Police Badge Keepsake Display Board

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DIY Police Badge Keepsake Display Board

My children collect police patches and we were looking for a good way to display them instead of just laying them on their bookshelf where they were getting dusty and the kids couldn’t see them. You wouldn’t believe how incredibly simple it was to create these display boards so that we could hang them on their wall! It only took a few minutes and only cost a few bucks! You can see our entire tutorial on the Ellison Education blog here!

Shark Week Ocean Sensory Jar

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Shark Week Sensory Jar

To go along with Discovery Channel’s Shark Week we’ve created quite a bit of shark related content with crafts, books, and other great resources to pack out your week with your kids! This shark themed sensory jar is super easy for your kids to make on their own and a great toy to play with and decorate their room with all week long! You don’t have to stick to just sharks! Include all his ocean friends (or prey?) in this fun themed sensory bottle.

Materials Needed:

Shark Week Sensory Jar

 

Plastic jar (clean peanut butter jars are perfect)

Plastic Shark(s) and other sea creatures

Glitter Glue

Water

Aquarium Gravel

Directions:

Shark Week Sensory Jar

Place a bit of gravel into the bottom of a plastic jar (clean peanut butter jars are perfect). Add a few small sea creatures and add as much glitter glue as you desire. Fill the remainder up with water. Add a bit of glue to the threads on your lid to keep it from opening and tighten back on. Aquarium sealant would of course go further in ensuring it’s waterproof ability.Voila! Ocean in a bottle!

If you want to look at a lineup of this years shark shows you can find it here on Discovery.com

Make sure you check out our SHARK SNACK ATTACK Cup and SHARK Doughnut Bites along with our awesome Shark Collections board!

SHARK-errific IDEAS for KIDS

Shark Week Kids Ideas

BOOKS

Sharkopedia

National Geographic Kids Sharks

The Best Book of Sharks

TOYS

Wild Republic Bag of Sharks

Shark Model

Uncle Milton Shark Encounter

KITCHEN

Shark Cookie Cutter

MISC.

Sharks Teeth