Friday, October 21, 2016

Crafts: Monster Painting

This post contains affiliate links. For more information please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page. Thank you.

I adapted Danya Banya's Sponge Monsters so we could do it this week with the materials I had available.  I gathered a variety of items for my 3 year old to use to paint his own monsters.

He used the egg cartoon and pool noodle equally, creating big and small circular shapes.  I didn't tell him we would be making them monsters when they dried because I wanted him to just have fun with the painting.

He really enjoyed using the Halloween stamps once I added them to the mix.  The pipe cleaners and pom poms held by clothespins he used like paint brushes.  (I also had a fun time creating my own picture.)


Our completed projects without adding anything.


Our projects when we added eyes, noses, and hair.  

my son's picture

my picture 

I am indebted to Danya Banya's Blog: Creative Activities for Kids and Mum for this idea.  


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fall Crafts: Pumpkin Coffee Filter Sun Catchers

This post contains affiliate links. For more information please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page. Thank you.

We went pumpkin picking last weekend and both littles are very interested in all things pumpkin right now.  When I saw this Pumpkin Sun-Catcher craft, I knew that we had to try it since I like doing crafts with coffee filters. 

My three year old and my 18 month old colored the coffee filters using all the markers in the pack.  I tried to get my three year old to color a little more than just the center but he was having too much fun mixing colors. 

I sprayed the coffee filters with water and turned them around so that the marker colors would run and create interesting color patterns. 

Since the weather is still rather nice, I took them outside to dry on our porch.  

I don't recommend leaving them to dry on a table with a design (like our metal one) because the coffee filters picked up the pattern of the table.  And remember that the markers may bleed onto whatever surface you leave them on, so be mindful of stains. 

Since my three year old is still working on his scissor skills, I helped cut out different shapes using one of his favorite Halloween books (It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse!)  to help us.  

We completed them with a little bit of green ribbon re-purposed from a birthday gift and construction paper for the stems. 


If you wish, you could laminate them to help preserve them for future years. 

Our completed projects hanging in the kitchen window. 


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Star Wars Birthday Party

My 14 year old step-son has known he wanted a Stars Wars themed birthday party (for the second year in a row) since he saw The Force Awakens in the theater.  He has been a fan of Stars Wars forever thanks to his dad, my husband. For multiple Halloweens he has dressed up as Storm Troopers, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and Jango and Boba Fett. Our family is also comprised of avid gamers, so using the Star Wars role playing game as part of this party was an obvious choice for my husband and me.

Here is my Star Wars Party Ideas Pinterest board. A lot of the links included in this blog can also be found on that board.


Over the past several years, we have collected together a number of decorations appropriate for a Star Wars party.

Printables from the Internet
Giant list of free Star Wars themed printables

Star Wars Coloring Pages (A lot to choose from, including Episodes 1-3)

Star Wars Party Pack (If my step-son was younger, we would have definitely used the Jedi Completion Certificate.)

Star Wars Coloring Pages from Blessed Beyond a Doubt (I printed out several of these and colored them in for wall decorations. As well as printed some for my toddler to color.)

Star Wars Inspired Coloring Pages (I used several of these pages. They also made for great stencils due to their simplicity.)

Star Wars Kid Coloring Pages (I also found a few pages here that we could use.)

Star Wars Printable Pack (I used some of the activities in these pages to help keep my two little ones amused during the party.)

X-Wing Fighter and Tie Fighter

These were both fun projects I did with the kids.

The X-Wing Fighter I saw on 30 Star Wars Crafts and Activities and thought it would be a great prop for outside. My three year old and I painted multiple toilet paper and paper towel rolls, and pieces of cardboard to create the ship. I taped it together with duct tape and electrical tape.  We added craft sticks to create the final part of the wings.

Last year my teen and I used paper-mache to create the Tie Fighter body.  Originally it was supposed to be a death star pinata but it did not dry in time.  So this year, I modified the idea after finding Tie Fighter Pinata and my three year old and I painted the body and wings.

Neither looked perfect but we had a lot of fun creating them.

I bent the front of the paper towel rolls down and taped them to create the front of the ship. 

Happy 14th Birthday!

I used my step-son's LEGO blocks and Star Wars characters to create a 14 to display on the table.
I was originally inspired by this 7th Star Wars Birthday Image and this idea of Star Wars Lego Specimen Art.

Signs and Pictures

I saw this Hans Image on Pinterest and knew we needed to print it out for the bathroom.  My husband loves puns.

My toddler helped paint the circle for the Death Star and I helped him paint the lines and circle. 

 We used a dollar store calendar to help decorate as well as some pictures my two littles colored.

Light sabers 

I used large (necklace size) and small (bracelet size) glow sticks to create light sabers for the boys.  I taped some duct tape on the end and then drew designs on them for handles. 

Photo Opportunities 

My husband had Boba Fett and Chewbacca (a different version) from a birthday party of my step-sons during elementary school.  This year we were fortunate to add Han Solo to the mix.

Last year, I took a black plastic tablecloth and glued confetti stars to it, to create a backdrop for photographs outside.

We also used scene setters to help decorate the dining room.



Bespin Beef Burritos
A very easy to prepare recipe from one of my favorite books (Freezer Pleasers Cookbook).  Each burrito can be individually wrapped and frozen to be reheated as needed.

Hoth's Peanut Butter Cups
My teen loves peanut butter items, so I thought the Frosty Peanut Butter Cups (also from - Freezer Pleasers Cookbook) would be a perfect fit for the party's treats.

Death Star Rice Treats
I used the standard rice treat recipe on the box and then added a few drops of black dye.  Using a plastic baggie, I shaped them loosely into Death Stars while they were still warm.

Vader Veggie Platter and Droid Dip
The boys thoroughly enjoyed the veggie platter.  In fact, I had to refill it for them.

Teddy Grahams
These were our Ewoks.

Star Wars themed Cheez-Its

Stars Wars themed cereal


My husband and I made a BB-8 inspired cake.  I used Pillsbury Funfetti Orange All Star Cake Mix, a chocolate fudge peanut butter cookie, a miniature Oreo cookie, silver sprinkles and yellow and orange Reese's Pieces,
Unfortunately, during the preparation of the first batch, I mixed in too much water so that had to be discarded.  My husband traveled to two different stores to find me another package.

The leftovers after we trimmed one of the cakes.  We used a bowl (from IKEA) to trim BB-8's head to the right size. and then cut off a portion so it would fit along the neck properly.

We attached a small piece of leftover cake for his antennae and than iced it with regular vanilla flavored icing.

Our completed BB-8 cake. 

Light Saber Cupcakes 

I made cupcakes and decorated them to create a green and blue light saber.

We had a selection of sodas, as well as "Luke Skywater" and "Jedi Juice" for the boys to enjoy.

Some of the desserts included Hoth's Peanut Butter Cups and Death Star Rice Treats.


My step-son and his two friends jumped into the main activity for the afternoon: Star Wars role-playing.

My husband ran the second part of the Adventure Book from the Star Wars Introductory Adventure Game box set. This year, though, he fast-forwarded the timeline to that of Episode VIII: The Force Awakens. The players were Resistance members trying to flee Alak (substitute name for Edan Base) from attack by The First Order. 

My step-son played a "Young Jedi" character. He and the local freedom fighters blew up a fuel pod near a First Order landing pad. The First Order was taking prisoners from local farms and sending them to who-knows-where. After the fuel pod set off other pods and crumpled the landing pad into slag and ash, he nearly got lit up by stormtroopers who were previously preparing to send the prisoners up the ramp to the pad for transfer via an incoming Lambda shuttle. The shuttle left the scene after its landing area was compromised. My step-son's friends piloted a salvaged Y-wing and blasted the base's AT-ST and 2 speeders patrolling the base just before they made paste of my step-son, his Resistance contact, and the other freedom fighters. 

For more information please see The Rancor Pit which is a forum for those interested in the Star Wars D6 role-playing game which was in print from 1987-1999.  There is also a quite active Google+ group: Star Wars D6 Community


We used Star Wars dessert plates, napkins, pencils, and candles but also supplemented with black plates, white and red utensils, and green napkins from other parties.