Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pipe Cleaner VBS Craft Ideas

Disclosure: I am proud to be a Family Christian Blogger and Affiliate.  I was provided with a Family Christian certificate to facilitate a post about VBS crafts with pipe cleaners.  All opinions expressed are my own.

  Crafting for VBS with Pipe Cleaners

Are you familiar with VBS?  Most likely you are but just in case, VBS stands for Vacation Bible School.  My children have attended each summer and they always have a blast.  They get to meet great people, learn more about God and his word and just have a fabulous, fun time.  My older children have attended several different themed VBS's including High Seas Expedition, Pandamania, Sky, Agency D3 and this year their theme will be Journey Off the Map.  D is excited because it will be her first year to attend!

And did you know that Family Christian is a great resource for VBS supplies?  It is!  You can check out all of their Journey Off the Map VBS resources here.  And they also have quite a few craft items that can be used no matter your VBS theme of choice.

 D with our deluxe pipe cleaner set!

Our pipe Cleaners

I ordered this Giant Pipe Cleaner Party Kit to make some fun VBS pipe cleaner crafts to share with you today!  I also picked out this craft themed book the last time I was in my local Family Christian store, Easy to Make Bible Crafts for Kids.  It has a great outline image of Joseph and his coat of many colors that we used!  It is also full of great ideas that can be incorporated into VBS, Sunday School or just everyday fun.

1.  Joseph's Coat of Many Colors (any VBS)

 Line print of Joseph

Have the kids color their Joseph picture however they want.  My children chose to color the vertical stripes different colors.  Then help them cut their chosen pipe cleaners and glue/tape over the coat where they desire.  I love this because kids can use a ton of pipe cleaners or just a few, it is really up to them.  If you have a large group of kids I would recommend precutting the pipe cleaners into long strip for the longer portion of the coat and smaller strips for the sleeves.  It turns out that we were out of glue (yes, we like to craft!) when we did this project so we improvised with tape and it worked just fine.  I love projects that work with improvisation.  The message that God is with you even during the hard times is one that can be incorporated into any VBS.

 E finished her coloring and now she is choosing where her pipe cleaners should go.

with pipe cleaners attached

D's finished picture

C's finished picture

 A's colored Joseph

 B's colored Joseph

2.  Pipe Cleaner Spy Glasses (Agency D3)

Spy Glasses with optional mustache!

These spy glasses are not hard to make, they just take a bit of time bending and adjusting them exactly how you want them to be.  We made ours with two dark pipe cleaners.  The kids thought it would be fun to make a mustache to go along with them so we did.

 Agent B

 Agent D

 Agent E

 And the youngest, Agent F!

 Finished Pipe Cleaner Spy Glasses

Of course, we had fun making silly glasses as well!

My silly glasses

3.  Pipe Cleaner Airplanes (Sky)

Up, up and away

Our basic pipe cleaner airplanes are made with three pipe cleaners.  You have one for the basic body, one for the wings, and one for the back end.  These are fairly easy to make and younger kids love to fly them around once they are complete.  These could even be used during some of the VBS songs.

 Bend and twist your pipe cleaner to form the basic body.

Next, figure out the sizing for three loops - two sideways and one vertical and attach them together.  Then attach them to the body of the plane.

Loop a pipe cleaner around and attach it to itself to form the wings and attach to the body - done!

Our airplanes

top view

 D flying a plane.

4.  Chameleons/Lizards (Journey Off The Map)

Directions to make chameleons from Martha Stewart's Craft Book for kids.

These little chameleons were not that hard to make and they look really cute!  Just follow the directions above and you will have a chameleon in no time.  

Bend pipe cleaner in half to begin forming the head.

Wrap around to complete head, remaining piece with be part of the body.

I used my finger to create a coil.

 I attached the coil and make the legs and also added eyes.

 Finished chameleon complete with tongue!


These are just a few ideas to get your creativity flowing.  Do you have a great VBS craft idea using pipe cleaners?  I would love to hear about it.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

5 Tips for Helping Children Build Good Hand Washing Skills + Dial Review/Giveaway

I have two Dial products to share with you today: Dial Baby body + hair wash (fragrance free) and Dial Kids Foaming hand wash (watery melon).  You might not know that Dial has a baby body/hair wash, that's because it is new.  Yes, this is Dial's launch into the babies' personal care line.  It is recommended for babies 0-2 years old.  This product is tear free, hypoallergenic, has no parabens or artificial dyes, pH balanced and was developed with Pediatric Dermatologists.  How does Baby/Toddler F like it?  Check out the photos below!

Dial Baby Body and Hair Wash

F loves splashing so it was a bit difficult to get him to look for a photo.

There we go, clean baby looking up at last!

I love that Dial Baby Body and Hair Wash is tear free so I don't have to worry about it irritating his eyes when we wash his hair.  Baby F had no problem when I dumped the bucket of water on his head to rinse off the wash.  He was so busy playing, he barely noticed it!  This wash is fragrance free so it doesn't have a strong odor other than clean freshness.  

And what about Dial Kids Foaming hand wash.  It too was developed with Pediatric dermatologists, is hypoallergenic, has no artificial dyes or parabens and is pH balanced.

 B using Dial Kids Foaming Hand Wash

Say Cheese!

The formula is gentle on hands and skin and helps make hand washing fun for all ages!  This got me thinking, how do you help your children develop and maintain good hand washing skills?  See my tips below.  And make sure you enter the giveaway as well.

5 Tips for Helping Children Build Good Hand Washing Skills

1. Have a good set up

Make sure that your child can get to the sink and have soap readily available.  Have a step stool - necessary if your youngest child cannot reach the faucet handles.  We have one available in/near both of our bathrooms and sinks.  Make sure the child knows how to turn the faucet on and off.  If these basic steps are overlooked it may not be possible for younger children to actually wash their hands without assistance and develop poor habits, like not always washing their hands when it is needed.

2.  Practice with them.

Have a system and practice it with them.  Tell them to rinse their hands, soap them up on both sides, scrub and then rinse and dry.  Whatever you choose, make sure they know what the system is.  My kids also know to always wash their hands after they use the bathroom and before they eat.  We also wash our hands after playing outside as a general rule.

3.  Make it fun.

Have them sing or hum a song.  We do this with teeth brushing as well.  It helps my children brush longer, the same applies for hand washing.  Our favorite is the ABC's.  You can also reward children when they are first learning if needed.

4.  Have good hand washing skills yourself.

If your children or other kids see you exhibiting good hand washing skills they will be more likely to do what they see.

5.  Explain to them why we wash our hands in the first place. 

Share with your children about germs and staying healthy.  If they understand why you are asking them to wash their hands, they will be more likely to do it.

What other tips would you add?  I would love to hear them!

Ready for a flash giveaway?  Three readers will win a free product coupon for one free Dial Baby Body and Hair Wash OR one free Dial Kids Foaming Hand Wash (expiration 6/30/15).  Just enter the giveaway below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  I was selected to participate in this campaign as a Purex Insider.  Thanks so much to Purex and Dial for providing me with a sample of both Dial Baby Body and Hair Wash as well as Dial Kids Foaming Hand Wash to facilitate my review and coupons for this giveaway.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.  As part of this campaign I am eligible to win prizes!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe Book Review

Disclosure: I am proud to be a Family Christian Blogger, Affiliate, and Max Lucado blogger.  I was provided with my own copy of Miracle At The Higher Grounds Cafe to facilitate my review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Higher ground, what does that mean to you?  Is it simply ground that is elevated in some way making it higher than surrounding lower areas?  Does it have a spiritual meaning for you as well?  For me I think of raised alters, places of worship and holy ground - like when Moses removed his sandals.  These places have a connection and closeness to God.  Now imagine a modernized "higher ground", like your local coffee shop and you have the backdrop for Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado.  How does this cafe have a connection and closeness to God?  An internet connection taps into the divine and everyone is alloted one question to ask God - thus the God Blog is born.  Of course the "grounds" reference is clever.  Chelsea Chambers, the owner of the new Higher Grounds Cafe, is known for her amazing cupcakes and baked goods.  Similarly, I have a friend who loves to cook!  In fact, she is known for making yummy treats.  Her creations are always delicious and creative!  I was even able to snap of few photos of her goodies.

 Yummy treats

So, what if you could ask God one question?  Only one question - that is what customers who flock to the Higher Grounds Cafe have the opportunity to do from the "God Blog".  I wonder what I myself would ask.  I have to think hard about this one, my question cannot be wasted, right?  How can I be the best wife and Mom that I can be?  Yes, I think that is it.  And I hear Him saying, "Trust Me".   And I do!  It is not always easy, in fact, often life is downright hard but I do trust the Lord and His promises.  Do you?

You may know and love Max as a nonfiction author but this book is definitely fiction and it is wonderful.  I devoured it like a baked good and my palette is indeed content.  Max, you truly have a way of sharing Biblical truths throughout your books, even fiction ones and I love you for that.

 Grab your book and treat to boot!

You can read more about this book and/or purchase it from Family Christian here!  Please enter the giveaway below and check out the amazing video of this book as well, it is so fun!

Ready for a giveaway?  Family Christian is generously providing one of you with a $10 Appreciation Certificate.  Just enter the form below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 13, 2015

Time to Get Wild Throughout 2015

 The older four kiddos with Shamu

I have some amazing news, squeal - I have been chosen as a SeaWorld Texas Wildside Ambassadors for 2015!  I am beyond thrilled and honored to have been chosen to work with some amazing bloggers and a truly inspirational park.  And of course, the kids are over the moon excited.  Ready to hear about our first adventure this year - let's dive right in!

Saturday we left the house early to make it to SeaWorld's Kids Fest including a hearty Sesame Street Breakfast.  E was really excited to meet Elmo himself.  For those wondering, the Sesame Street Breakfast is an extra attraction that opens before the park.

We found our seats and the kids dove in to our breakfast buffet.  Breakfast included scrambled eggs, warm tortillas, French toast, breakfast potatoes, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, assorted cereals, and assorted muffins as well as juice, milk, coffee, tea and water to drink.  The food was great and we were oh so hungry from our drive.  This was just the thing to fill us up for our day!

E loved her food.

A and D enjoyed their breakfast as well.

Then the real fun began.  Elmo and friends came to see the kids.  They met Elmo, Zoe, The Count, Cookie Monster and Big Bird!  The characters all came around to the tables (except Big Bird who was too tall) for a visit and there were lots of opportunities to take photos together.

Elmo at our table.

Zoe was next.

I love their faces in this photo.

 Zoe giving F high fives!

 Pure, pure joy!

D ran to Cookie Monster when she saw him.

These two were pals from the beginning.

 B and Cookie Monster

 Here I am with Big Bird and B and D.

David and F with Big Bird

 E wanted one more photo with Elmo

If your kids love Sesame Street and you are planning a trip to SeaWorld Texas I would highly recommend their Sesame Street Breakfast.  And right now for the month of April (on weekends only), when you purchase 1 adult reservation, you get 1 FREE child reservation.  You can see more details and purchase your reservations here.  You can also find out more about SeaWorld's Just For Kids activities here.

Disclosure:  I am a SeaWorld Texas Wildside blogger.  I received complimentary passes for myself and family and have the opportunity to receive other perks throughout the year.  All opinions expressed here are my own.