Drip-Painted Pots: FamilyFun Test Drive

 

My kids are finally getting to the age when a lazy beach vacation needs planned activities—no more naps on mommy’s chest under the beach umbrella and no more satisfaction with simply sitting on the floor swatting at some random toys. We need outings, games, activities…crafts! And seriously, I couldn’t be happier with this turn of events.

But crafting on the fly isn’t always so easy—do you bring materials with you and if not, where do you buy them? How can you keep it simple and engaging at the same time? (I see a future FamilyFun magazine story here!)

Today I thrilled my kids with this really fun, painted pot project from the August issue of FamilyFun. They loved helping me buy the materials and then making a big mess of themselves!

What you’ll need:

  • Paint (tempera or acrylic)
  • Ceramic pots
  • Tape
  • Paper
  1. Cover the bottom hole inside the pot with tape so that the paint doesn’t come through.
  2. Turn pot upside down and squeeze away, letting the paint drip down the sides. 
  3. Let it dry for about 24 hours before turning it over.

You can use either tempera or acrylic paint—it all depends on what’s important to you. If washing clothes is important, go with tempera. If using the pot to plant in is important, go with acrylic, just know that it’s not as washable as tempera when dry. 

And then they wanted to paint everything in site…so we painted an egg carton, a Pringles can, sticks, our feet…it was endless fun!

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Sea Creature Bread Snack: FamilyFun Test Drive

There’s something about eating food that’s in the shape of something else that makes it super fun. Why is that? And especially if it has arms, legs, eyes, tentacles…that just adds to the enjoyment! I became the best mom on the block today when I served these octopus bread treats to Oliver and his friends. The original recipe in the August issue of Family Fun called for olives as eyes, but in order to win the Mom-of-the-Year award, I used chocolate chips. This is the easiest project in the world…here’s how you do it.

  1. Unroll crescent rolls onto 2 cookie sheets.
  2. On the short side of the triangle, cut 7 2″ slits. 
  3. Roll top point down towards the 8 legs. Then press your eyes of choice into the dough.

Bake them in a 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Et voila! Adorable, edible sea creatures!

Octopus Cupcakes
Octopus Cupcakes
Octopus Cupcakes

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Tags: | Categories: FamilyFun Test Drive, Food, Fun, kids

Playing with Food at Lunch

This is a post from Holly Homer of Kids Activities Blog provided by our sponsor Del Monte. This content was commissioned by our brand partner.  Such content is not written by, and does not necessarily reflect the views of parents.com.

I have to admit that lunchtime has gotten boring. When the time to eat rolls around, the kids and I just open the fridge and hope a meal falls out.

To date, that hasn’t occurred.

And then the other day, I had a moment of motherhood brilliance. We added an activity that was a lunch sidedish…or was it a lunch sidedish that was an activity?

Del Monte Fruit Bursts

Inspired by the many flavor combinations of the Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers and the convenient pouch, we used them to create fruit & veggie puree pictures!

I started by giving each kid a clear plate.

DIY Lunch Monster Plates

Under the plate, the kids positioned a simple coloring page. We used these free monster coloring pages, but any coloring page with simple, large graphics will work.

Then a variety of Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers were used as paint. Our research showed that the Simply Fruit Strawberry, Simply Fruit Apple-Cinnamon, and Fruit + Veggie Peach-Mango had the most diversity of color.

DIY Lunch Monster Plates

Each creation used approximately 1 1/2 Squeezers – the kids shared the “colors” using the pouches as pre-filled paint brushes.

My kids continued coloring until their artistic vision was complete.

DIY Lunch Coloring Plate

We loved how the final art creations turned out.

But the most fun came at the end with art destruction! Each of us had a custom-flavored creation that was rapidly scooped up with a spoon.

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Tags: | Categories: Food

Decorating Their Lunch Sacks

This is a post from Jamie Reimer of Hands On As We Grow provided by our sponsor Del Monte. This content was commissioned by our brand partner.  Such content is not written by, and does not necessarily reflect the views of parents.com.

We don’t do home packed lunches very often. Usually only for field trip days. And on those days, my kids are so excited to pack and take their lunch.

I’m very honored and excited to be partnering with Del Monte fruits and vegetables to share with you a creative way to get kids excited about eating their fruits and veggies in their lunches during school.

To make these sack lunch days extra special and even more exciting for my kids, we’ve decided to add their own little touch to their lunch sacks.

This time we made a lunch sack that’s also to get them excited for back to school (we always have fun getting the kids excited to go back to school!).

We did some apple printing!

Its really simple to do and its kind of magical to the kids.

Apple Painting

I simply cut an apple in half [top to bottom]. With half of an apple, the kids dipped it in some red paint [though green would work great too!].

Its best if they stamp the apple somewhere before stamping it onto their lunch sack. That gets the excess paint off so there’s no globs.

They can stamp an apple on a paper lunch sack a couple of times until the print becomes faded and then just dip in the paint again.

Apple Painting

Apple printing is a quick and simple process. We made up several lunch bags in a matter of minutes!

Apple Painting

We let the sacks dry for the afternoon and I came back later to add in finishing touches of the stem, leaf and seeds using permanent markers.

All that’s left is to pack them with healthy snacks and food for lunch. I always drop in a fruit pouch like Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezer.

At home, we always have Del Monte plastic fruit cups. But for packed lunches, I always prefer the mess-free and spoon-free Squeezers. And the Fruit Burst Squeezers offer the goodness of 1 ½ servings of fruits and vegetables, with no artificial flavors.

Apple Painting Lunchbox

Through the back to school season, Del Monte would love to have you share a photo of your kids’ favorite Del Monte snack. What do you prefer – to squeeze or spoon? The Fruit Burst Squeezers or Plastic Fruit Cups?

There’s a contest on the Del Monte Facebook page through all of August [August 1 to September 1] for you to share and have a chance to win!

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Tags: | Categories: Crafts, Everyday Fun, Family, Food

Plastic Bottle Bug House: FamilyFun Test Drive

Last Sunday night at 6:30pm, my cousin-in-law Jane took Oliver and Sommer on an “adventure” walk. Which, in Brooklyn and at that hour, meant a stroll down the block. Oliver walked slowly back into the apartment 20 minutes later with his hands cupped, saying “Mommy, look, look!” He pried open his clam-shelled fingers to reveal a furry, yellow caterpillar. “His name is Kinini,” Oliver beamed.

So we poked some holes in a jar lid to make him a little make-shift hotel room to hang out in for a few hours and then took him back after the kids went to bed. (We, of course, warned them of this in advance.) So what better FamilyFun summer craft to test out this month than the Bug Inn—an easy-to-make observation station that gives kids a closer look at their insect friends.

What you’ll need:

  • Clear drink bottle
  • Craft knife
  • Window screen repair material
  • Duct tape
  • Adhesive-backed Velcro

First, cut an opening with the craft knife in the side of the bottle. If your screen is a certain size, make this hole a bit smaller than that piece of screen. This is definitely a job for an adult!

Then, cover the edges of the opening by folding over a 1-inch wide piece of duct tape. It’s okay if it’s a bit messy, it will eventually be covered up.

Next, create a duct-tape border around the piece of screen, using the same size duct-tape strip.

Then, tape one side of the window to the bottle over the opening, and put the velcro on the other side so the door stays closed. (I cut my Velcro dots in half to fit on the width of my tape frame.)

Now, it’s time to take it outside and collect sticks and leaves to make a comfy stay for our bug friends.

They each took their turn filling the bottle bug house, and then it was time to find Kinini’s brother, Shippy. I told Oliver that it would be hard to find Kinini again, but that we might run into his brother; Oliver told me his name is Shippy.

After no caterpillars were found, we settled on Kinini’s cousin, a roly poly. (He’s a little shy and hasn’t told us his name yet.) I told Oliver that Kinini and his brothers were probably napping after their lunch, so we’d come back later for a visit.

This little Bottle Bug Hotel is going to be the most desired hot-spot in the neighborhood. I might have to start charging these bugs rent!

Footnote: We talked a lot about returning our bug tenants to their homes after a few hours. I think both Sommer and Oliver understand that everyone, even bugs, likes to go home eventually!

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