Tidbit Times

Tiny Tidbits of my Time

Magnetic Bookmarks July 1, 2014

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Magnetic Bookmarks


This past weekend was our Book Club’s annual Girls’ Weekend at the lake in Minnesota.  A great time was had by all.  We didn’t have very good lake weather, but we still had great girl time!  As a fun treat I made these fun magnetic bookmarks for the girls.  I found the idea on Pintrest from “The Southern Institute“.

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Figured Fabrics (2)

Coordinating Thread

2 Round Magnets

Step 1:  Cut each figured fabric into 2.5″ by 6″ rectangles.

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Step 2:  Sew the two pieces together (right sides together).  Leave about a one inch opening to turn right-side out and insert the magnets.  Also, clip the corners to reduce bulk once they are turned right-side out.

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Step 3: Turn the bookmark right-side out.  Insert a magnet on each end of the bookmark.  Be sure you are putting the magnets in the correct way so they don’t repel each other.  The tutorial I followed said to use sew-in magnets, but I couldn’t find them in town.  I just used some magnets I had in my stash of supplies.

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Step 4:  Since I didn’t have sew-in magnets, I needed to do something to keep the magnets in place.  I just sewed a zig-zag stitch at the top of each magnet to keep it in place.

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Step 5:  Viola!  Snap your bookmark together in your book to hold your place.  It should hold several pages together.

Bookmarkers 008

Girls' weekend

Love these girls!  We were missing 2 girls from our group on our trip this year.  Hoping everyone can be together to celebrate our 10th anniversary later this month!  So fun how a random group of girls can come together and become great friends!


stART ~ Houdini and Butterfly Colors and Counting June 30, 2014

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I think this was one of the most fun book projects yet!  Bennett (2 yrs old) absolutely LOVED it!  He still wants to add to it a week later.  We read two different books this week.  One for Will’s level and one for Bennett’s.  The greatest part was that Will was able to read Bennett’s book to him!  Bennett’s book was “Butterfly Colors and Counting” by Jerry Pallotta.  It is just what it says each page has a certain color and number of butterflies.

Butterflies Colors and Counting


Will’s grandma read him “Houdini” by Janet Pedersen.  This book is about a classroom pet caterpillar who loves to perform for the children.  When the children stop noticing Houdini’s usual tricks he needs to come up with something really great.  Can you guess what his trick is?



Tissue Paper Butterfly


This project came once again from I Heart Crafty Things.  Like I said it was a huge hit!  I just love to look at it on my wall, too.




One sheet of Contact Paper

Various colors of tissue paper cut in squares

One pipe cleaner cut in half

2 wiggly eyes

Brown Cardstock (cut into butterfly body)

Glue Dots

Washi Tape or Painter’s Tape

Sharpie Marker



First, draw a butterfly shape on the paper side of the contact paper.  I’d suggest using a pencil first (I did not and wished I had).  Trace over the pencil drawing with a Sharpie marker.  Now flip the contact paper over to the other side and trace the outline you made on the opposite side with the Sharpie again.  Set this aside for now.

Cut the brown cardstock into a butterfly body that extends all the way from the top to the bottom of the center of your butterfly pattern.  Using glue dots attach the wiggly eyes and draw a smile on your butterfly.  I raided my huge tub of tissue paper I’ve saved from gifts and (with the help of the neighbor girl) cut them into strips and then small squares.  I used about every color of the rainbow.

To get ready to create your butterfly, peel the paper off the contact paper and attach it sticky side up to the wall using washi tape or painter’s tape.  I found that painter’s tape ended up working a little better.  Be sure to attach it to the wall at your child’s level.  Stick the brown butterfly body right to the contact paper.  It will just stick!

Now have your children create a beautiful butterfly by sticking the tissue paper squares all over the butterfly.  Show them how to stay within the boundaries of the black outline and to vary the colors.

Making Butterfly Collage

How many times do you think I cleaned tissue paper up off my floor?  LOL!  Bennett loved to hand me the tissue paper and have me put it on, too.  We worked on naming the colors as we did each square.  This is a skill we are still working on since everything is still “lellow”.  Will helped a little bit, but wasn’t quite as interested in this project.  He likes to help his kid brother so that is sweet.


Here is the best picture we could get of the final product!  We have kept it up by our other artwork board.  I love looking at it everyday!  I highly recommend to give this project a try!


stART ~ Robin’s Home June 25, 2014

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To celebrate summer (along with the springlike weather we’ve had) we read the book “Robin’s Home” by Jeannine Atkins.  This book follows a family of robins whose babies are getting ready to leave the nest.  One little robin isn’t quite ready to leave his home and is a bit afraid to fly.  Read “Robin’s Home” to see what happens.



Paper Plate Robin


When I saw this paper plate robin activity from I Heart Crafty Things I knew we had to do it this summer!  I thought it was so adorable!  Both boys seemed to enjoy the project as well!




Robin Pattern {here}

Dessert Paper plate cut in half

Brown Cardstock

Yellow Cardstock

Orange Craft Paint

Brown Craft Paint

White Crayon

Wiggly Eyes

Foam Brushes



Painting Collage

Start by tracing the bird pattern on the brown cardstock and cut it out.  Paint the bird’s tummy with orange craft paint.  Next, paint half of a dessert paper plate with brown craft paint for the bird’s wing.  Let both pieces dry.


To make the tail feathers use the same brown cardstock and trace around your child’s hand with the fingers close together.  You can leave out the thumb.  Trace the outline and make lines where the fingers would be using a white crayon.  Cut it out.



To complete your robin glue all the pieces together.  Place the eye and beak (cut from yellow cardstock) to the bird’s head.  Attach the tail feathers to the bird’s back at the end and then glue the wing over top lining it up with the bird’s back.  Last, cut some feet from the brown paper and attach them as well.


This is my two-year-old’s first attempt at a big book project.  He had some help, but I thought he did a great job!  Can you tell which robin he made?

 This little bird is ready to fly from the nest!  As you can see the other birdie already flew the coop (wasn’t so much about taking a picture)!


stART ~ Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too & Elmo’ June 17, 2014

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Last week we combined our stART activity with Father’s Day.  It was fun to read stories about fathers and then make a special gift for Daddy!  We read two books this week.  The little one LOVES Elmo so he listened to “Elmo’s Daddy” that tells all about Elmo’s dad.  Elmo is also fuzzy in the book, so super fun for a two-year-old.  The second book both boys really enjoyed.  It was “Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too” by Anna Dewdney (same author as the Llama, Llama books).  This book shows the fun relationship between a father and child in creating something fun from big cardboard boxes.

download Nelly Gnu

Father's Day Frame

This idea came from I HEART CRAFTY THINGS again.  I thought it would be so fun to make for my husband from the boys.  I thought it would be great to put on his desk at work.  Who wouldn’t be motivated to work seeing those adorable faces, right?

I found the frame at a thrift store and bought it on Memorial Day when they had 50% off store wide.  It was a steal!  It worked perfect for this project.  The challenge was getting my two-year-old to stand in Daddy’s shoes long enough to take a nice picture.  The photo taken of the completed frame wasn’t really great so I put just the pictures below, too.  The other frame openings I printed out the poem (below in the picture collage) and a heart with the boys’ names.  Quick, easy and cute!

Shoes Collage
Father's Day Collage

We had an enjoyable Father’s Day celebrating with all the dads in our life!  After church we took Dad out to breakfast.  Later we had dinner with Grandpa P.  To follow-up dinner we took Grandpa T. to ice cream.  We are so blessed with all these wonderful men in our lives!


stART ~ Hiccupotomus June 12, 2014

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Since it is summer vacation, I thought we better get back at our book projects.  We kicked off the summer with the book “Hiccopotomus” by Aaron Zenz.  This is a cute rhyming book using mostly nonsense words.  This hippopotamus hiccuped and fell on his bottomus (get the picture).


book cover


paper plate hippo


I found this paper plate hippo on I Heart Crafty Things.  Check out Rachel’s blog — so many cute things!!  It is one of my favorites!  This project takes some time since you have to wait for paint to dry in between steps.

Hippo stART 001



2 paper plates

White Cardstock Paper

2 Large Wiggly Eyes

Pink Craft Paint

Purple Craft Paint

Black Marker


Foam Brushes


Hippo stART 003

First, slightly cut the edges of each paper plate to make them more of an oval shape.  Also, fold one paper plate in half.

Painting Collage

Now it is time to start painting!

all paint Collage

Paint one plate all purple (or grey) and the other plate half purple.  After that dries paint the inside of the folded plate pink.  This will make the hippo’s mouth.


Now add the details.  I cut the ears, nostrils and teeth from white cardstock paper.  We ended up painting the ears with the purple paint to match the rest of the hippo.  You could also use purple cardstock.  Fold the end of each tooth slightly to create a tab to glue them to the inside of the mouth.  Glue the bottom teeth close together and the top teeth further apart so the mouth will close.  Glue the folded mouth to the other plate and the wiggly eyes on.  Last, use the black marker to make dots on the mouth.

Hippo Collage



stART ~ Piggins July 31, 2013

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A couple of weeks ago we invited our friends Rylee, Drew, and Nate over for a Movie Night stART project!  It was a lot of fun!  We first read the book, “Piggins” by Jane Yolen.  This was a little more advanced book.  It is a mystery that is fun to try to figure out.  PIggins is the family butler who works to figure out who has stolen Mrs. Reynard’s diamond necklace during a dinner party.  Will you figure out the mystery before the end of the book?




Movie Night Candy Necklaces

For our projects we didn’t make diamond necklaces, like in the book, but candy necklaces!  I found this idea on Pintrest which led me to Blondie and Brownies.  These were a big hit with the kids (even the toddler kids)!

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Choose any treats that have a hole in them to string on the necklace.

Fruit Loops


Gummy Rings

Lifesaver Gummies

Fudge Stripe Cookies

Baker’s Twine

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I decided it would work best to put a few of each treat in a ziplock bag for each child.  I tied the bag with the baker’s twine they would use for their necklace.

Making necklaces collage

Lace the twine with the candy.  When you are done tie the ends of twine together to make a necklace.

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Proud kiddos showing off their necklaces!  While they enjoyed their candy necklaces they watched a movie together.

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Nate and Bennett had their fill of Fruit Loops, too!


stART ~ Red, White and Boom July 8, 2013

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This last week we coordinated our stART book and project with the 4th of July!  We had a little mishap with getting the book checked out at the library, so we will be reading the book at a later date.  I wanted to give you an idea of a book so here is the book we meant to read (oops!).  The book we hoped to read was “Red, White, and Boom!” by Lee Wardlaw. This book uses poetry to explore how people celebrate the 4th of July all over the country.  How did you celebrate the 4th?


Noise Maker

For our project we made this neat 4th of July Noise Maker.  I found this idea on Pintrest.  It was simple, but needed some planning ahead to collect the supplies (or just revisit the recycling bin like I did).

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Empty tin can

Metal lid that’s small enough to fit inside the can


4th of July Decorative Paper




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I would suggest using a larger nail than pictured here.  I had to punch more than one hole in my can and lid for the twine to fit through.  A bigger hole would have worked much easier.

Hole Making Collage

Punch a hole (using the hammer and nail) in the bottom of the tin can and top of the small lid.

(Photo of punching the hole by Will)

Finishing Collage

Using a piece of twine, push one end through the lid and tie it around the outside of the lid.  Next, string the loose end through the hole at the bottom of the tin can (leave a little slack inside the can so the lid will clank).  Make a knot at the hole of the tin can and another knot at the end before cutting off the extra twine.  This part looks like the fuse of a firecracker.  Last, cut your decorative paper to fit the width of the can and enough length to cover the whole can.  Glue the paper and roll it onto the can.  I kept the paper label on the can so the glue would stick better.

Will and Noisemaker

Shake the can and hear the noise!  Baby Bennett really liked this noise maker, too!

4th of July Collage

Here are a few pictures of how my family spent the 4th of July!  Happy Birthday, America!


stART ~ The Noisy Airplane Ride June 30, 2013

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Last week we read the book “The Noisy Airplane Ride” by Mike Downs.  This book explores all the sounds and things you may experience on an airplane ride.  This book would be great to read with your child right before their first airplane ride to prepare them for what to expect.  We enjoyed talking about where Will may want to go on an airplane.  We had to discuss that you typically take an airplane to a far away place.  We settled on Disneyland as a place we’d love to take an airplane to.

The Noisy Airplane Ride


clothespin airplane

Our project was to make a clothes pin airplane.  This idea came from Parents Magazine.  It was pretty easy.

June 001



Craft Sticks (2 regular size and 1 small size)

Red Craft Foam

Red Craft Paint

Blue Craft Paint


Hot Glue Gun

airplane Collage

First, I had Will paint all the wooden pieces and left them to dry.  We did not have any small craft sticks on hand, so my husband just cut a regular-sized craft stick smaller.

June 007

All the pieces.

airplane pieces

Glue the pieces together as shown above using hot glue.

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Here is the finished airplane with its pilot!  He looks so happy to have his picture taken, huh?


stART ~ Help Me Learn Addition June 25, 2013

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Since Will has really taken an interest in numbers, I thought I’d throw in a number book for stART this summer.  I found the book, “Help Me Learn Addition” by Jean Mazollo, at the library.  This is a cute book with a rhyme to it that uses fun pictures and photographs to teach simple addition (and subtraction).  Will got a kick out of it and loved the challenge of finding the answers.  I think I have a math and science guy budding around here!

Help Me Learn Addition



For our project, I found this cute crab poem/song that uses subtraction.  I found the idea on Pintrest, but it was just a picture – no link to give any further credit.

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This project was done in several steps, so it took a little more time than the projects we generally do.



1 sheet of white large construction paper

5 sheets of white cardstock paper

Red construction paper (cut claws from)

10 wiggly eyes

Red craft paint and brush

Blue craft paint or watercolor

Brown crayon

Glue stick

Decorative scissors (wave pattern)

Poem printed and cut into pieces


First, the background.  I made a wavy line at the bottom of the white construction paper and had Will color it in with a brown crayon to make the sand.  Next, paint the rest of the paper blue for the water.  All of our blue watercolor was out, so we had to punt with craft paint.  Set this aside to dry while you create your crabs.

Crab Construction

Next, create your five crabs.  This is the really fun (and messy) part.  Will painted his left hand with red craft paint using a foam brush.  I helped him place his hand on the white cardstock and pressed down to make his hand print.  We did all the left hands first (total of 5 – each on a new sheet of cardstock).  Next, we did the same for the right hand, but made sure to slightly overlap the hand print with the left print.  After these dried, I cut around each crab.


Embellish the crabs with wiggly eyes at the thumbs and the cut out claws are glued to the index fingers.


Apparently, Will changed out of his jammies from the first part of the project to this part.

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Here is the poem:

5 cranky crabs were digging on the shore

1 swam into a net, then there were 4

4 cranky crabs were floating on the sea

1 got tangled up in seaweed, then there were 3

3 cranky crabs were wondering what to do

1 dug a deep hole, then there were 2

2 cranky crabs were warming in the sun

1 got scooped up in a cup, then there was 1

1 cranky crab was smarter than his friends

So he hid behind a rock and that’s how the story ends.

June 005

I cut each piece of the poem using decorative scissors (a wave pattern) and glued them down the left side of the construction paper.  Lastly, we glued the five crabs on the paper, too.  Will loved to fill in the words I left out while reading the poem.


stART ~ A Father’s Day Thank You June 16, 2013

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This week we needed to get ready for Father’s Day, so we incorporated it into our stART project for the week.  Of course we needed a Father’s Day story to start us off.  I found the book “A Father’s Day Thank You” by Janet Nolan at our library.  It was a really cute story about sibling bears that are busy picking out just the right Father’s Day gift for Papa Bear.  Each child gets Papa the “perfect” gift like they’ve given the year(s) before.  Baby Bear had the hardest time figuring out the perfect gift.  Check out this book to see what he decides is the best gift of all.

A Father's Day Thank You



My Dad Tie

I found this idea from Kelley on Teacher Idea Factory and, of course, Pintrest.  Will really enjoyed it and it was fun to watch his face light up (and the embarrassment) when he gave it to his dad today for Father’s Day.



Tie shape cut from construction paper

1/2-inch wide strips cut from a different color of construction paper

Computer generated paper with questions printed on it

Computer generated paper saying, “My Dad”

Glue Stick


Makign Tie Collage

Glue the strips of paper diagonally on the tie shape.  Flip the tie over to the back and snip off the ends at the edges of the tie.

Finishing touches Collage

Here is how it looks when you are done gluing and cutting.  Next, I asked Will the four questions (My dad can…, My dad can…, My dad can… But my dad can’t…).   He really had a hard time coming up with something his Dad couldn’t do.

Daddy & Will

Well, here’s Daddy and his mini-me!  Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there today!


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