We’ve Been Boo-ed! Have You?

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I tell ya, I learn something new every day. Like this whole You’ve Been Boo-ed thing. I have never ever heard of it before this year. Have you and your family heard of it?

The other night, the doorbell rang around 7, I didn’t see anybody, and I normally don’t open the door but decided to flip the light on to check it out. I opened the door, and sitting outside was a Pumpkin Bucket full of candy and this paper was with it:

been-boo-ed

Cute, right? The kids loved it! They couldn’t wait to boo their friends as well. 

Have You Been Boo-ed?

If you haven’t, it’s simple. Head over to Been Boo-ed and print out a Been Boo-ed sheet (there are three different ones to choose from). Then put together a sweet treat, leave it on someone’s door step, ring the bell, and run! Kinda like ding-dong-ditching, but better.

After you have been boo-ed, cut out the ghost and place it on or near your door so you won’t be boo-ed again. 

The Been Boo-ed site also has a FAQ section, a fun video the kids liked to watch, and a link to Been Visited…which I guess is like a Thanksgiving and Christmas version of Been Boo-ed.

What I like about this idea is that my kids liked the idea of giving a boo as much as they liked having been boo-ed! They liked keeping the secret and hearing from their friends how excited they were to have also been boo-ed.

I know this has been around forever, but it’s new to us and we had fun both getting our boos (we were boo-ed twice) and sharing boos.

Does your family Boo?

Make Your Own Sight Word Games: Go Fish and Memory

We are in the throes of learning lists and lists of sight words right now…some being harder than others. Last month, I reached out to friends on Facebook asking about sight word games and other activities that I could play with Ethan to help him learn (and retain) the sight words that he needs to learn. My friend Kasey suggested making flashcards and playing Go Fish, which turned out to be a lifesaver for me.

How To Make Flashcards For Sight Word Games

sight-word-games

It’s so simple to make these two sight word games. In fact, you only need to make one set of flashcards to enjoy two games.

To make these sight word games, you will need three things: scissors, a pen, and flashcards. I have found that it’s hard for Ethan to hold the full-sized flashcards, so I cut the cards in half to make two out of one card. Well, for that reason and because I’m cheap.

To make flashcards to play the games, you will need twice as many flashcards as you have words. For instance, if you have ten sight words that you will be playing with you will need 20 flashcards. Write each word on two flashcards, so that you have a pair of each words.

That’s it! You now have flashcards to play sight word games Go Fish and Memory.

Sight Word Games: Go Fish

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Do you remember playing Go Fish as a kid? We played with a deck of regular cards, so we’d ask for a number instead of a word. With this version, you are using sight words. This makes your child not only have to sound out the words to ask you if you have the word he needs, but he’s also looking for the words that you are asking for.

Ethan LOVES playing this game. At first I started with the entire sight word list, but now that’s he’s moving on with the lists, I usually play with 5 – 10 words that he struggles with on various lists.

To Play:

Starting with 20 cards (ten sight words total), deal five cards to both players. The remaining ten cards go face down into the “Go Fish” pile.

sight-word-games Note: Because it’s hard for Ethan to hold and keep the cards in his hands, we put up a barrier (the Lego box) so that he can put his cards down on the table.

Choose who is going to go first. That person chooses one of the cards he is holding and says: “Mom, do you have the word who?”

If I have that word on one of my cards, I give it to the person who asked for it. He then has a pair that he sets aside.

If I don’t have “who,” then I say “Go Fish” and he takes a card out of the Go Fish pile. If he draws the card he wanted, then he makes his pair and gets another turn.

If he doesn’t get the card he wanted, it’s the next player’s turn.

Continue until either someone has no cards left in their hand or the draw pile runs out. The winner is the player who then has the most sets of pairs.

Sight Word Games: Memory

sight-word-games Memory is a great sight word game because it can be played together or alone.

To Play:

Shuffle the flashcards and lay them on the table, face down, in rows. If playing with 20 cards, do four rows of five cards, or some variation of that.

On each turn, a player turns over two cards (one at a time) and keeps them if they match words. If they make a match, then they get another turn.

If the two cards do not match numbers, those cards are turned face down again and it becomes the next player’s turn.

When all the pairs have been found, the player with the most points wins.

We also play sight word games on Starfall and ABC Mouse. To play sight word games and other learning games on Starfall is free, but you must pay for ABC Mouse.

What sight word games are hits at your house? I’m always looking for new ones!

Make Your Own Easy Bake Oven Recipes

Make your own cookie dough that can be used in easy bake oven recipes. This saves you a lot of money because you use ingredients you already have on hand.

The girls got an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas last year, but they just recently really started to want to use it. Their new favorite thing to do is make cookies in the oven. Those cookie and cake mixes you can buy at the store for the oven are like six bucks each! No way. So I started to play around with making my own Easy Bake Oven recipes. I want to share the one that we use the most.

But first…

This was what our Easy Bake Oven looked like when I was a kid:

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It didn’t make huge cookies and cakes, but we didn’t think they were super small or not worth the trouble.

Here’s what the girls’ Easy Bake Oven looks like:

easy-bake-oven-recipes

The cookies don’t look all that small, right? The little cupcakes look like they’d fit into a little girl’s hand, right? Not so much. Here is the actual size of one of those cookies if you follow the instructions that come with the oven:

easy-bake-oven-recipes

Not.even.kidding. Even the girls asked why the cookies were so small!

Now of course you can make them larger…but I followed the directions and that’s what I got.

Anyways.

The girls love making cookies in their own oven so we do it. Here’s the basic cookie dough recipe that I use.

Make your own cookie dough that can be used in easy bake oven recipes. This saves you a lot of money because you use ingredients you already have on hand.

Easy Bake Oven Cookie Dough Recipe
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, beat together the first five ingredients.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the last three ingredients.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, and mix thoroughly.
  4. Spray an Easy Bake Oven cookie sheet with cooking spray. Roll the dough into small balls (fit about 8 on the cookie sheet).
  5. Bake in the Easy Bake oven for about 10 minutes.

Notes

You can make bigger cookies, just increase cooking time a few minutes.

Add in other ingredients like mini chocolate chips or M&Ms.

http://mommyofamonster.com/easy-bake-oven-recipes/

This recipe makes a large amount of dough. You can keep in the fridge for about a week or freeze it for later.

You can also add in mini chocolate chips or mini M&Ms. Add sprinkles or sugar to the top, or make a basic frosting to frost the cookies with.

More Easy Bake Oven Recipes

There are SO MANY Easy Bake Oven recipes out there! So far the girls are content just making cookies, but soon I’m sure they’ll ask to make cakes and cupcakes. I have a really yummy Easy Bake Oven Chocolate Cake recipe that I need to convert into a real cake recipe it’s so good!

Of course you can find a million Pinterest Easy Bake Oven recipes. She Knows also shared some basic Easy Bake Oven recipes…I want to try the brownies recipe!

Do your kids have an Easy Bake Oven? Do you buy the premade mixes or use your own Easy Bake Oven recipes?

How To Make Candle Warmer Bars And Pods

I have 4 candle warmers that I love to keep on throughout the day. A couple of them use candle warmer bars and the other two use candle warmer pods. It gets expensive to buy candle warmer bars and pods from two different companies; not only do I have to pay for them, I also have to pay additional shipping. So I decided to figure out how to make candle warmer bars and pods on my own.

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Not only is buying candle warmer bars and pods expensive, I hate that I don’t know what they smell like because while I can order them online, I can’t smell them online. Technology is so lacking sometimes! But if I make candle bars and pods myself, I can choose any scent from any candle company and I can buy them anywhere. I figured it was worth trying.

So I went and bought a candle – one that I knew I’d like – and decided to try it out. Here’s what I did…

How To Make Candle Warmer Bars and Pods

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**Try this at your own risk! I am not responsible for any injuries or damaged caused.

This worked for me…I was extremely careful and you should be, too!**

1. Clean out any empty candle warmer bar and pod containers you have. Here’s a great tutorial on how to remove residual candle wax from candle jars that you can also use to clean bars and pods.

2. Find a new candle (in a glass container) with a scent that you love to use to make candle warmer bars and pods refills.

3. Start a double boiler on the stove.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, no worries! Simply fill a big pot with water, and set a smaller pot inside of it. The water should come about half way up the sides of the smaller pot. Heat the water on the stove to just boiling. Put the candle inside the smaller pot. Let it continue to gently boil.

Let the water continue to boil until it melts the entire candle. It will take awhile. It took my candle about an hour.

4. Once the candle is completely melted, use a pot holder to remove it from the pot. It may be extremely hot. Be very careful!

Pour the hot candle wax into your empty bars and pods. I suggest setting the bars and pods on wax paper or something to catch any wax that may spill. That way, you can pick up the hardened wax and put it back into the melted wax – you won’t waste any!

Let the wax harden again completely before you use your bars and pods on your candle warmer.

5. Use as you regularly would use and enjoy!

Congrats! Now you can make candle warmer and pods on your own with any candles that you want!

I’ve been using my homemade candle bars and pods for over a week and they work just as well as the ones I’ve been buying. The scent is just as strong and they are lasting just as long.

Also? It’s much cheaper.

I paid $11 for a 14.5 ounce candle.

A 3.2 ounce bar costs me $5.

A 2.4 ounce pod costs me $5.98

I can make 3 bars and 2 pods for $11! It would normally cost me $29.96 plus shipping and handling….it’s definitely worth it to make candle warmer bars and pods! That’s a savings of more than $18.

Have you tried to make candle warmer bars or pods before? What tips can you share?

How To Make Play Dough, Yeah I Finally Figured It Out

how_to_make_play_dough

Don’t laugh at me, but I just figured out how very easy it is to make your own play dough. No, I haven’t been living under a rock for these past 5 years since I had the kids, I’m just not much of a do-it-yourselfer…the only crafty things I’ve done with the kids are to make birdseed pine cones and make candy bracelets. I also didn’t think a play dough recipe would be so quick to make…I thought it would be time consuming and expensive. It’s not. So if you are a new mom or a mom (who like me) didn’t think it would be worth making at home, let me tell you how to make play dough.

Not only is it easy to make, it’s a lot cheaper than buying the real thing. This is important because when we clean it up, I don’t have to worry about trying to find and save every tiny little bit of Play Doh so I don’t have to keep buying it.

And for some reason, the kids like my play dough better than the store bought stuff. Maybe because they helped make it or picked the colors they wanted? I don’t know. The homemade stuff also stays softer and more pliable longer than the real stuff…I read somewhere that cooked play dough has a better texture, so maybe that’s why. All around, it’s definitely worth making at home.

How To Make Play Dough

Ingredients
2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 tablespoon cream of tartar (optional, but it will improve elasticity)
Food coloring or unsweetened drink mix

Directions

  • In a large sauce pan over low heat, mix all of the ingredients together. Stir continuously until the dough begins to thicken and starts to pull away from the sides, forming a large dough ball in the center. Make sure that it forms a large ball – if it is still sticky, keep cooking it longer! When it’s done, it will feel moist but not sticky.
  • Remove the dough ball from the pan and place it on a piece of wax paper to cool.
  • This is where the kids will be able to help. Once it’s cool enough to handle, put the dough on a clean, flat surface (I used my silicone baking mat) and knead it until it becomes smooth.
  • Divide the dough into balls for coloring. Using your finger, make a hole in the center of the ball and put some food coloring in (use the chart on the back of the food coloring box to help you figure out how to make different colors). Fold the dough over the hole and work the food coloring through the dough. The food coloring stains, so you may want to use gloves to keep your hands clean. Once it’s all mixed into the dough, it won’t stain anything and you can give it to the kids.

Warning: While it won’t taste very good, this play dough is non-toxic so if the kids eat it, they’ll be fine. But they shouldn’t eat it. Pets on the other hand cannot eat this. Since it smells like people food, they are gonna want to eat it. But too much salt is bad for dogs and other animals and can cause a dangerous salt imbalance.

I found a few other easy play dough recipes, including a no cook play dough and a play doh recipe that uses jello instead of food coloring…I bet the colors come out vibrant!

What other things do you make at home? I want to try to make slime and DIY bath crayons, so if you have a how-to for it, I’d love to get it!