Thursday, October 31, 2013

Post-Halloween Candy Sort

If your family is like mine then you also have too much Halloween candy.  My sons did not go Trick-or-Treating (Bruce is too little - to eat the treats and to brave the chilly weather and Dean, well, it's a sensory overload for him. He refuses to wear a costume and is scared of decorations people have out) so all this candy is from JUST my 2 girls, from around our block and we did one loop around the bottom floor of Mall of America. Almost 300 goodies!

We love to make learning fun and what is more fun than sugar?! We sharpen our math skills - graphing for older kids, color sorting and simple counting for my preschooler.  Here's what we do with our candy each year:

Before we ever head out the door we make predictions - what candy will we get the most of, how many non-candy items we'll get, so on.  The girls know that a hypothesis is an educated guess - we can make our predictions based on prior years, for example.

First, sort all candy. A parent must inspect each item - this is the first year we have not had to toss an item that was open or otherwise unsafe. Then we sort by type. A pile of Kit-Kats, a pile for Skittles, and so forth.

All our loot is shown above, except the juice pouches, which they promptly enjoyed upon returning home.

This part is Dean's favorite - sort by color. He is very into "rainbow color order" so he and Julia created this candy rainbow - complete with white clouds! :)

We alphabetize the candy, make a list of kinds, and how many of each.  We also predict which letters will have the most and the least.  I guessed we would have one "N" (Nerds), while Taylor said none, for example. Turns out I was wrong (bummer, we ALL love Nerds in this house).

The girls predicted we would have the most of suckers,which was techinically right, except that we sorted them by Dum-Dums, Blow-Pops, Tootsie Pops, and other suckers. As a result Mom AND Dad were the winners - we did indeed have more Snickers than any other kind of candy.

We also tallied up:
Items that were not candy
Items that were not food of any kind
Fun size, regular size, and mini size
In a bag, in a bar, or on a stick
Total chocolates
Red (wins with 14 different types of candy in a red wrapper), orange, yellow, blue, green (loser - 1 sucker), purple, brown, silver, white, gold

A few items are good for science experiments, so I set those aside.

Then we pull out all items that are not chocolate/melty.  If it's a favorite, we can keep a few, but the rest we package up and send with our Troop Care Packages.  :)

I freeze some of the chocolates to get us through till Easter, set aside the ones I bake Christmas goodies with (mints, M&Ms, Dots - they are great for our gingerbread house), stick all the fruit snacks/pretzels/crackers in the snack bin (great for on-the-go lunches), and we all pick our favorites.

Dan & I were bummed to find there were only TWO Butterfingers, and I stole one of the Peeps and a Blow Pop.  Score!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Jack-o-lantern Pizza!

Tomorrow is Halloween so I "made" this jack-o-lantern pizza for the kiddos to celebrate.  I figure if they're gonna wanna eat some of their candy tomorrow I better have a healthy meal then and do the junk food today! So it's lacking much protein, is fully of dairy (I can't eat it), and isn't super healthy. Oh well, it's fun!

I bought a plain cheese pizza at Costco today since I didn't have time to make a crust from scratch. Pepperoni was used to make the edge and eyes and nose (use kitchen shears to cut to shape). I wasn't creative enough to make the pepperoni into a mouth but the girls love black olives, so I sliced those up instead.  The stem is a string cheese stick.

Cooked version - their dad put it right on the oven rack and not a tray, so the cheese stick stem fell off and melted to the bottom of my oven.  I totally thought my dinner clean-up would be minimal today, but I guess I was wrong. :)

Krube Family Photos - Fall 2013

I just love showing off my family! These children are my greatest accomplishment and my husband is pretty great too! A very talented friend  takes the photos, and I'm grateful Meagan puts up with my family! We are a tough crew.  Dean does NOT like these photo sessions for some reason, even though he's a little ham.  

Here's my 4th grader, Taylor K (9 years):

Here glasses had just been through the washer and dryer - we bought new ones a week later, so she is sans glasses in these photos. You can totally see her personality in these shots.

My 6th grader, Julia Erin (12 years)

Julia is really getting to be a beautiful young lady! She has this awkward smile she does when posing for photos, but her natural smile is so pretty!

My Preschooler, Dean James (4 1/2)

A genuine smile from my little firecracker - whom we had to bribe and threaten and all other tricks to get to participate.

Here's our precious Rainbow Baby, Bruce Phillip (7 1/2 months)

I love this one of Bruce and his papa!

So a family of 6, including a sleepy baby, ADHD kids, and a stubborn preschooler makes for tough-to-get photos, but we worked it out! 

I love my hubby! Dan & Nicole- married 12 years

So I fell in love with these fedora hats and wanted the boys to wear them.  Bruce only wanted to eat his and toss it.  Dean stood at the top of the bridge and threw his brand new hat right into the river. Yup.

The outfits the girls chose so totally reflect their personalities!! Look at Taylor's shiny, fancy skirt!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Tons of Fall crafts for kids


We love crafts at our house! We also love simplicity - none of those Pinterest projects that are clearly done by professionals and not real children (especially ones with special needs).  I don't mind making a mess in the name of art and fun, but I most love the crafts that require little clean up. 



We love crafts at our house! We also love simplicity - none of those Pinterest projects that are clearly done by professionals and not real children (especially ones with special needs).  I don't mind making a mess in the name of art and fun, but I most love the crafts that require little clean up. 

Paper Plate Crafts

Turkey - My 4 year old was able to paint it himself and he cut some of the feathers out (after I drew the pattern), I made the feet, and the rest was my 9 year old.  The eyes are black beans because we were attempting to use different textures and objects in our art.

Scarecrow - The girls use those textured scissors to cut out his straw hair and neck pieces.  I made the leaf and bow for them to glue on. I saw a project somewhat like this in Oriental Trading and didn't want to pay for a 12 pack, so we made our own with construction paper.

Pilgrims - The girls were unsure how to make pilgrims so I helped cut out some shapes for them to glue on.  Once I got them started they had it figured out.  Again, they made eyes with black beans.

This is my favorite because I think the kids couldn't make up their mind between Christmas and Thanksgiving in their color scheme.  I may keep it up for both!

Cut out the center of a paper plate to make a wreath.  They (Julia -12, Taylor -9) used sponges and paint to paint the entire remaining surface of the plate.  Dean (4 yrs) helped crinkle up tissue paper squares and glue on.

For added flair they punched a hole in the top and added these beads.  Dean loves stringing beads so he used pony beads and made a pattern but it is very Thanksgiving-y and the rest of the wreath seems more Christmas-y. I think that's allowed in art though, right?

This was only Julia's hand so I think a version with every family member included would be fun.  We traced her hand once and then she used that as a pattern for the rest of the hands.  They are glued to a paper plate with the center of the plate cut out.  To attach the "Give Thanks" sign she punched a hole in the plate and tied it with ribbon.  It is decorated with paint and sponges.

Again, this one was all Julia. Toilet paper rolls, felt, and googly eyes make turkey and scarecrow table toppers.

This Indian Corn was made with construction paper and tissue paper squares. Dean (my 4 year old) loves glueing. Like an unhealthy level of love for it. So we did this together since it involves lots of glue. :)

I used a black crayon to freehand draw a tree (I’m NOT an artist so bear with me) then the kids used watercolor paints to add color – the crayon acts as a watercolor-resist.

This is the same concept – I used crayons to draw leaves and then watercolor paint over it.

We used a pencil sharpener to create a bunch of crayon shavings to make waxed paper leaves. Crumble the shaving between 2 layers of waxed paper then place the paper between layers of dishtowels.  Iron on medium heat until all the crayon shavings have melted between the papers.
I traced a leaf pattern onto the melted crayon and cut them out.  Iron between towels again to seal the edges and hang.  We taped ours in the window to allow sunlight through.

It was Julia's idea to make a centerpiece.  Although not a very original idea, she is convinced she invented this paper lunch bag turkey!! Stuffed with paper and closed with a rubber band. A tip? We should have drawn the wings on the side of the bag BEFORE stuffing it! LOL

More gluing for Dean. He also loves ripping the paper. So I cut a black sheet of paper into a shape somewhat resembling candy corn and Dean did most of the ripping and all the gluing. (That's Sandy in The Heat in the background. I promise I didn't let him watch it - it was paused for a photo op).

Foot-print ghosts.  Adorable, yes? Not my idea - we made this in baby class at ECFE. I've also seen it on Pinterest.  But I must share my baby's adorable feetsies with you! The eyes are black paint applied with Q-tips and the words were written with chalk.

Thankful Trees

We covered the backside of our front door with a huge piece of paper from one of those large rolls (we get ours at Ikea). The girls painted the tree and the sky and allowed to dry (well, that part was tough - Baby Bruce wanted to get into it!!).

The pumpkins and leaves are foam cutouts from the craft store that they wrote things they were thankful for on.  They also made some construction paper ghosts and a black cat and added glitter glue to some of the leaves.

The girls wrote things they were thankful for on each of these large white leaves from the dollar store.  Dean wasn't interested in participating in this one. He is not thankful for anything today. Maybe he'll be happier after a nap??

They colored the back of each leaf (Julia with paint, Taylor with markers) and taped up in the window.  We decorate our window for each season and holiday. Usually with cheap construction paper.

Placemats made with leaves:

 We used leaves to make animals and silly people.  The girls did a great job!

Leaf rubbing