Pencil Eraser Painting

Posted on April 22nd, 2014 by Diana

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Try a new take on painting by using pencil erasers instead of paint brushes. It’s really fun for the kids to do because it gives them the ability to create beautiful art work using something other than a paint brush. Pretty much anything can be created using a pencil eraser and some paint. All you need to make these colorful and fun paintings is paint, unused pencil erasers, and paper. It may be helpful to print out some stencils for the younger kids to follow when eraser painting or draw a light outline for them to follow. Pencil eraser painting make great gifts!

Earth Day Cookies

Posted on April 21st, 2014 by Diana

Earth Day is a special day that celebrates the Earth. It first began on April 22, 1970, in San Francisco, CA. Every year over 100 different countries join together in the celebration of Earth Day. It is the largest, most celebrated environmental event worldwide. On Earth Day, we remember to appreciate nature and learn ways to protect our environment. There are many fun ways to celebrate Earth Day with your kiddos; one great way is by making these super easy Earth Day Cookies. It is a great opportunity to teach about the importance of Earth Day and enjoy a yummy snack!

Earth Day Cookies:

Ingredients:

  • Sugar cookie dough (pre-made to save time or you can make your own)
  • Green and blue food coloring

Directions:

  1. Divide the dough into two bowls.
  2. I used about 2/3 of the dough for blue and 1/3 for green since the earth is mostly water.
  3. Add the green and blue food coloring to your dough – keeping them separate of course!
  4. Stir or knead the dough with the food coloring until the color is mixed well.
  5. Take a small amount of each dough color and swirl them together.
  6. Roll into a small ball and place on cookie sheet.
  7. Repeat until all the dough is gone.
  8. Bake on 375 for about 10 minutes.
  9. Cool and Enjoy!

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Celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd!

Le Top Outfit of the Week

Posted on April 18th, 2014 by Diana

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Outfit: Floral Pleated Top & Capri Leggings

Collection: Lexi’s Garden Spring 2014

Description:  Vibrant floral garden print pleated swing top with lettuce-edge neckline and airy flutter sleeves. Raspberry dot capri leggings with double ruffle accents. Available in sizes 12m to 6x.

Why we love it:  Made from stretch cotton which offers breezy comfort on warm-weather days. Back snaps and elasticized waist assist dressing. This two piece outfit can be worn together or mixed and matched with other pieces to create wardrobe variety.

This vibrant outfit is perfect for school, play, or a spring celebration.  She will always feel the ultimate comfort in Le Top’s Floral Pleated Top & Capri Leggings.

Spring Cleaning with Kids

Posted on April 16th, 2014 by Diana

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Now that spring is (mostly) in bloom it’s time to do a little bit of good old fashioned Spring Cleaning. Spring Cleaning is great! It’s a chance to open all the windows, let some fresh air in, and make the home clean, happy and efficient. However, you don’t want to be the only one cleaning – that could take all weekend! Instead get your kiddos involved (yes, it can be done!) by assigning some age appropriate Spring Cleaning chores. Here is a great list to help you get started:

Spring Cleaning Chore List for the Kids

BEDROOMS

  • Remove everything from under the bed and put away
  • Pick up everything off the floor and put away
  • Put all the dirty clothes in the hamper
  • Strip off  sheets and pillow cases from the bed to be washed

PLAY ROOM / ENTERTAINMENT AREA

  • Throw away dried up markers, pens and paints
  • Organize remaining supplies in drawers or baskets
  • Organize books/reading materials on shelves
  • Put video games and movies into correct cases
  • Organize controllers, games and movies in a drawer, shelf or basket

HALLWAY

  • Put shoes away
  • Move jackets, sweater and coats to closets
  • Hang up bags, totes, and backpacks on hooks

CAR

  • Collect every item from floor, seats and cup holders
  • Take out the car rugs and shake them out

Remember to keep Spring Cleaning with your kids FAST, FUN, AND FAIR. The faster it’s done the sooner you and your cleaning kiddos can go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.

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Now that Spring Cleaning is done, he is ready to play! Dress him in the Happy Sails Striped Pelican Shirt from Le Top for comfy, care-free style.

 

Homemade Ice Cream

Posted on April 15th, 2014 by Diana

Who doesn’t love ice cream?! Here is a very easy homemade ice cream recipe that does not require an ice cream maker or much time. It’s so easy, even the kids can do it. The best part is that you probably have all the ingredients at home and it takes less than 10 minutes to make – that’s faster than going to the store to buy ice cream!

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Supplies:

  • 1 pint-size plastic food storage bag
  • 1 gallon-size plastic food storage bag

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk or half & half
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons rock salt
  • Ice cubes
  • Toppings of choice

Directions:

  1. Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add the rock salt and seal the bag.
  2. Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it.
  3. Place the small bag inside the large one, and seal it again carefully.
  4. Shake until the mixture is an ice cream consistency (about 5 minutes).
  5. Wipe off the top of the small bag, and then open it carefully.
  6. Dish out the ice cream into bowls and add toppings if wanted.
  7. Enjoy!

 

Le Top Outfit of the Week

Posted on April 11th, 2014 by Diana

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Outfit: Ocean Whale Shirt and Navy French Terry Shorts

Collection: A Whale’s Tale and Safari

Description: Pacific blue slubbed cotton t-shirt, made of gentle material that is soft to the touch. Features cool graphic of a navy humpback whale among schools of swimming fish. Navy, French terry cargo sport shorts that are super soft inside and out.

Why we love it: The t-shirt is made for easy over-the-head dressing and will last through multiple washes keeping colors true and bright. The shorts are versatile and can be dressed up or worn casually with their understated stitching and functional button cargo pockets. Elasticized waist for easy pull-up dressing

Dress your little guy in this warm-weather friendly outfit for school, play, or a day around town. He’ll always feel the utmost comfort wearing the Ocean Whale Shirt and Navy French Terry Shorts.

 

Easter Bunny Envelope

Posted on April 9th, 2014 by Diana

The Easter Bunny is almost here! Help your kids create cute Easter Bunny Envelopes that they can fill with a small treat or a sweet card to give out for Easter.

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Supplies:

  • Bunny patterns (found here)
  • Small square envelope
  • White, black, and pink craft paper
  • Pink pom-pom ball
  • Black marker
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Directions:

  1. Print bunny printable and trace shapes on to white and pink craft paper.
  2. Cut two 4″ long strips out of black craft paper.
  3. Glue the pink ears on top of the white ears and glue to the back of the envelope.
  4. Turn envelope around and glue teeth below the envelope flap
  5. Glue the whiskers on the flap tip
  6. Glue pink pom-pom ball on top of the whiskers and draw eyes with the black marker to finish the bunny.

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

Posted on April 8th, 2014 by Diana

Satisfy your kids after school craving with these Oatmeal Fudge Bars. The oatmeal crust and crunchy topping  are a perfect complement to the delicious chocolate filling.

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Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • Baking spray with flour

Filling:

  • ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup evaporated fat-free milk
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso granules
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Crust:
    1. Combine flour, old-fashioned rolled oats, and brown sugar in a medium bowl.
    2. Add canola oil and butter; toss with a fork until crumbly.
    3. Remove 3/4 cup of oat mixture; set aside.
    4. Press remaining oat mixture into the bottom of an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with baking spray.
    5. Bake at 350° for 13 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly.
  3. Filling:
    1. Combine flour, granulated sugar, unsweetened cocoa, packed brown sugar and baking powder in a large bowl.
    2. Combine milk and espresso granules in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until espresso dissolves.
    3. Add canola oil, butter, vanilla, and eggs to milk mixture, stirring with a whisk.
    4. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring to combine.
    5. Fold in chocolate.
  4. Spread batter over prepared crust in pan.
  5.  Sprinkle with reserved 3/4 cup oat mixture.
  6. Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging.
  7. Cool in pan on a rack.
  8. Cut into bars.
  9. Enjoy!

Paper Bag Jellyfish

Posted on April 7th, 2014 by Diana

This is a great toddler friendly craft to make and lots of fun. While the paint is drying you can even sneak in a quick lesson about jellyfish, here are a few facts to get you started:

  • Jellyfish live in the sea and are found in all oceans.
  • Some jellyfish live in fresh water.
  • Jellyfish look a little like umbrellas.
  • Jellyfish can be large and brightly colored.
  • They can often be transparent and can be nearly invisible to the human eye.
  • Although the word is mentioned in their name, jellyfish are not fish.
  • Jellyfish don’t have brains.
  • Jellyfish use their tentacles to sting. Most are harmless to humans but stings from some species, such as the box jellyfish, can be very painful and sometimes kill so make sure to be cautious if you do spot one!

Paper Bag Jellyfish

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Supplies:

  • Paper bags  (one per jellyfish)
  • Googly eyes
  • Assorted paints
  • Glitter glue
  • Regular Glue
  • Scissors or pinking shears if available

Directions:

  1. Start by having your toddler paint one side of the bag
  2. Add glitter
  3. Let the bag dry
  4. Sneak in your lesson, get some lunch, take a nap
  5. Once the paint is dry help your toddler add the googly eyes
  6. Use scissors or pinking shears to cut the bottom of the bag into stripes to make jellyfish legs
  7. Done!

Have your toddler make a whole jellyfish family and name them. Paper bag jellyfish are a great indoor activity to do with your toddler and can be really cute spring decorations for the playroom or the fridge!

 

Le Top Outfit of the Week

Posted on April 4th, 2014 by Diana

Outfit: Pink Dot Dress with Eyelet Skirt & Panty

Collection: Summer Sweetie

Description:  Fine pink dot print cotton sleeveless dress with a white cotton eyelet overlay skirt, paired with matching pink and white dot cotton panty.

Why we love it:  Lovely eyelet lace ruffle bottom and soft circle yoke neckline gives this outfit a sweet and summery feel. Back snaps and elasticized panty assist in dressing.

This outfit is perfect just in time for Easter or as a beautiful baby shower gift for an expecting mommy.