(Almost) No time for April Fools

April Fool's Day Banana in Lunch

Usually P and I take April Fool’s Day seriously. It’s our hilarious mission for a day to make people laugh all day long. because it falls the day after Easter this year I just don’t have time to go all out for P this year. This wacky banana in his lunch will have to do. I wish I could see his reaction when he opens his lunchbox today! I also managed to stuff the toes of his shoes and boots with paper towels and put a raisin in the opening of P’s toothpaste. April Fool’s Day 2013 won’t be a total loss!

We’ve moved! Check out our new site, Life as a Field Trip and see what else we’re up to!

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How to create your own “Crack the Easter Code” Easter egg hunt

Crack the Easter Code Egg Hunt

up this code for awhile, but once I came up with the plan, executing it was pretty easy. I wanted it to be educational, but fun. It turned out to be super educational and FUN!

  1. Choose a hiding place– I chose the place to hide P’s Easter basket first so I could decide how many number/letter codes to make.
  2. Write the secret message– I used “Look under mom’s bed.” Five words I was fairly confident he could un-scramble and read (and not so many letters that he’d have to search all day for hidden eggs).
  3. Gather supplies– You’ll need as many eggs as you will have numbers/letters to decode, card-stock paper, and a glue stick, at the very least. I also bought a special Easter-themed pencil for P to work with while decoding and used some spare curling ribbon to tie up the letter.
  4. Make a decoder strip– I downloaded a super cute free font, PC Easter Egg and made a simple alphabet/number code strip in PowerPoint (so much more than a slide maker!).
  5. Make numbers– Using the decoder, I “spelled” out the message in numbers, making each word a different color so they’d be easier to sort and decode.
  6. Write a letter– Again, I used PowerPoint to create the basic letter, saved it as a jpg file and added details using picmonkey.Easter Egg Hunt Code Letter
  7. Print, cut and paste– I cut out the two sides of the decoder, used a glue stick to glue them together, and cut out each number.
  8. Hide the eggs!– I rolled up the decoder and put it in one of larger eggs, then filled the rest of the eggs with numbers and hid them.
  9. Set out the letter- I rolled P’s letter and tied it with curling ribbon. I attached a tag and his special Easter pencil with another piece of ribbon and set it on the coffee table for him to find first thing Easter morning.

Our son declared this Easter AWESOME and I have to agree. It was so much fun creating the egg hunt. It was even more fun watching P do the egg hunt. He’s already hiding the eggs again so we can have another hunt and I’m already dreaming up next year’s hunt…

We’ve moved! Check out our new site, Life as a Field Trip and see what else we’re up to!

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Easter Egg Hunt (or one more way to add stealth education to my son’s day)

Easter Egg Hunt
Before our son was old enough to read we hid his Easter basket and played “Hot or Cold” to help him find it. One year I drew a map of the house and an X marks the spot. The next year I made up clues- Each time he found a clue, I read it and he solved it, eventually leading to the big basket reveal in the tub. Last year I made it a little more difficult hiding plastic Easter eggs around the house and yard. No clues to find the egg this time- it was way too time consuming coming up with those (rhyming) clues. Each egg had a few jelly beans and one letter in it. Once he found all the eggs he had to unscramble the letters to figure out the location of his Easter basket. He loved it. Now he’s imagining what challenge the Easter Bunny has in store for him this year.

Easter Egg Hunt Hint

This year will be more challenging. I’m moving towards making the hunt for the basket what he looks forward to most, rather than the candy. What he remembers when he talks about Easters past are the hunts and the strange places he’s found the eggs and baskets. Last night I stayed up late working on the rough draft of Cracking the Easter Code 2013.  When he decodes the secret message at the end he’ll find in his basket a few bits of candy, healthier snacks, and an educational toy, but I think he’ll find the hunt the best part this year. What do you think?

We’ve moved! Check out our new site, Life as a Field Trip and see what else we’re up to!

Easter Egg Hunt Code Letter

Still needs tweaking, but this is the letter he’ll find Easter morning.

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Cracking the Easter Code

Easter Planning

Creating an Easter egg hunt that is challenging enough to be fun, but not so challenging that P gives up, may be harder than solving the code!  What did I get myself into?

We’ve moved! Check out our new site, Life as a Field Trip and see what else we’re up to!

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Leprechaun Trap 101

Leprechaun Trap 101

I tried like hell to get Paolo to make a leprechaun trap like the ones posted on Pinterest. He was having none of it. This design is all Paolo. He just asked for supplies. You should know that earlier versions included swooping glow-in-the-dark bats and a booby trap of falling rocks. Fortunately for any unsuspecting leprechauns, this version is a kinder one.

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Valentines are DONE!

Mad Libs Valentines

Another year, another educational valentine-making experience. For both of us. We LOVED Design Mom’s Mad Libs valentine idea and went for it. It started out easy enough. We bought valentine-themed Mad Libs, valentine pencils to wrap them around, and printed the awesome cards Design Mom provided on her website. Paolo printed his name on all the cards weeks ago. They sat in the art tray on the kitchen table for weeks.

Last night we ate our spinach and went at those valentines like Popeye. Getting my son interested in punching holes in each card was doable. Getting him to write all 25 of his classmates’ names on the cards, not so much. It took a lot of “reminding”, but he eventually got through them and I survived rolling the Mad Libs around a pencil. After carefully tying one valentine with embroidery thread to perfection, I decided rubber bands might not look as pretty, but first graders don’t care and rubber bands could be reused (if only to launch at each other). They aren’t as pretty as the originals we were working from, but they’re DONE. In the end, we had as much fun making them as we did filling in a few Mad Libs for family members’ valentines. Another educational, yet fun valentine craft is in the books.

Mad Lib for Dad

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A little bit of lunchbox love

Valentine Lip Straws

Found this at Target in the dollar bins yesterday. It’s the perfect thing to tuck into P’s lunch on Valentine’s Day (it’s not candy!) and it’ll make him giggle. What are you doing for your kids on Valentine’s Day

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Mad for Valentines!

Mad Libs Valentines

We’re spending this snowy blowy night working on personalizing the Mad Libs valentine idea we found on Design Mom. I’m thrilled to have our son bring in an ‘educational’, non-treat valentine. He’s thrilled to be giving pencils with flames on them. That’s a win-win as far as I’m concerned. What are your kids working on for Valentine’s Day?

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Rosca de Reyes 2013

Rosca de Reyes
This year’s rosca turned out pretty well. I’m never a big fan of the candied fruit on top, but I love the bread. It’s just the thing with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Now to see who gets the piece with the almond/baby Jesus in it…Paolo has his fingers crossed.

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A Simple(ish)Three Kings Day

Three Kings Day ShoesI thought last year’s Three Kings Day was low key, but this year takes the cake. I’m feeling pretty guilty for not doing any Three Kings crafts or reading any books with my son, but I will be putting in my time today making Rosca de Reyes using Diana Kennedy’s recipe (In my book, there’s no better Rosca recipe than hers). There’s nothing like spending the afternoon making this Mexican sweetbread on a cold winter’s day…and then enjoying it with a hot cup of hot chocolate. Who knows? I might even be able to squeeze in one of the crafts I’ve pinned on my Three Kings Day Pinterest board while the dough is rising.

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