Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Fish Cutting Skills Activity

This cute activity is perfect for little fingers to practice their cutting skills.

Material : a fish color-in page, paper in different colors (with little circles drawn on it), glue stick and a scissors

The Butterballs spent ages cutting out the little circles. Ethan eventually wandered off leaving me to cutting out the rest of his 'fish-scales'

After a short break, the Butterballs colored in their fish using oil pastels,
 then the fun began.
The Butterballs love sticking stuff,
 so sticking on the circles to form fish scales,
 was the highlight of today's activity.

Ahhh well, they did end up practising their cutting skills.

Next time, I would love to set up a Rainbow Fish cutting skills activity. 
I'm sure it will look super cute!

Monday, 28 July 2014

Paper Plate Porthole Art

During our visit to Ushaka Marine World, the Butterballs spent lots of time peering through the porthole to admire the tiny sea-creatures that live at the bottom of the ocean.

We decided to create our own little porthole so that the Butterballs could peer into their 'aquarium' whenever they wanted too.

Material : paper plate, paint, split peas, glue, sea-themed stickers

How to: 
*Paint the plate blue. Tamlyn used a sponge roller. Ethan preferred the paintbrush.


* Glue on the split peas to make the 'gravel' at the bottom of the tank.
* Add stickers, then step back and admire ;)

Don't you just love simple crafting!!

Friday, 25 July 2014

Capturing Childhood- for the Love of Ice-Cream

Every kid I know, LOVES ice-cream
(most of the adults too!)

The Butterballs are no exception.
And while I do moan about the sticky, ice-cream finger-prints 
that cover every surface in a 50cm radius,
there's no denying the simple joy that they get from an ice-cream cone.

The smiles and giggles,
the ice-cream covered cheeks and sticky fingers,
the drips and the dribbles
and yes, even the mess...
nothing beats an ice-cream cone on a hot afternoon...
except maybe, watching my Butterballs enjoying one!

As part of my attempt to capture everyday moments,
 I decided to do just that...
watch and photograph my Butterballs enjoying an ice-cream.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Sandcastle Sand Art

After each visit to the ocean, the Butterballs return with at least a bucketful of sea-sand( most of it brought home by 'accident')

We decided to put the sand to good use by creating our own 
sandcastle sand-art.

Material : A sandcastle color-in page, glue, sand and a few ocean-themed stickers.

How to:
* Outline the castle with glue (an adults help may be necessarily)
* Sprinkle sand onto the picture (great fine motor skill practise!)
* Dust off excess sand and allow to dry.
* Decorate with stickers or seashells.

The Butterballs loved this simple activity. 
"just like sprinkles!' exclaimed Ethan, while sprinkling sand over his picture. ;)

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Mini Donut Pops - Simply Sweet AfterSchool Treat

When the Butterballs get home from school,
 they crave a little sweet snack to tide them over till dinner time.

The last thing I want, is two Butterball whirlwinds on a sugar-high 
wreaking havoc,so the snack really has to be small, and cute!!

Sometimes fruit cut into pretty shapes, 
or yoghurt served in adorable muffin cups do the trick.

But for today's treat, I get to try out my new mini donut maker!!
It makes perfectly round donuts in 3 minutes - without me having to fry them!
The donut maker is a lot like a waffle maker.
The recipe for the batter was super simple and took about 5 minutes to make,
and yes, the donuts did need to cook for only 3 minutes.

End result: golden brown, light and delicious donut morsels!!
Did I mention that there is NO FRYING needed... so much healthier ;))

I dipped the donuts into melted dark chocolate 
and add a pinch (or two) of sprinkles.
The Butterballs loved this part!!!
Once the chocolate set, I pushed a lollipop stick into each donut,
 and set out glasses of cold milk.

Sweet after-school treat all done!!

And it truly was delicious!!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Pretend Play Bakery - Under the Sea

The Butterballs love 'Finding Nemo' so we decided to give today's play-dough activity a 'Nemo' theme, and create a bakery for their new sea-friends.

Tamlyn named their bakery 'The Reef' 
and the Butterballs couldn't wait to start filling it up with tasty fishy treats!

I've seen many recipes on Pinterest for foam/cloud dough,
 so after a quick peek in the pantry,
 I decided to whip up a batch of Foam Dough to bake our fishy treats with.

We started by preparing the Foam Dough.
Ingredients :
 *Shaving Foam Bath Paint


We used the Melissa and Doug Sand Baking Kit to measure and sift the cornflour.

The Butterballs loved measuring the cornflour!

 Next, they added the shaving foam bath paint to the cornflour and whisked well. We used one part of cornflour to one part of shaving foam.

Once incorporated, the Butterballs(and I ) dug into the soft, silky, puffy dough!
Foam Dough has an absolutely amazing texture!!!

Once it resembled crumbly dough, the Butterballs assembled their baking equipment.

We used a few silicone cupcake holders, cookie cutters and sand molds.

 The Butterballs pressed the dough into the molds 
(like you would with sea-sand)

 The cookie cutters didn't work out - the dough was too crumbly but the cupcakes turned out perfect!

I printed a few cards for 'The Reef' bakery and after a quick clean-up the Butterballs began setting up their bakery.

On the menu : Turtles Cakes
                     Starfish Cakes
Seashell Cupcakes and Starfish truffles (made in little star-shaped silicone molds)

The Butterballs even included a few of the plastic sand-molds served on a bed of sea-sand.

Once their 'friends' arrived, the bakery had a massive opening sale!!
Samples and free goodies for everyone!!!

Loads of fun!!!!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Turtle Mosaic Craft

After spending ages watching the turtles at Turtle Lagoon, Ethan has decided that he would like a pet turtle as his Christmas gift. 
Hopefully he will forget all about it, come Christmas,
 but for now, we decided to create our own little pet turtles.

Material: Glue, Sundae lid (the plastic disposable kind), googly eyes and craft foam.

How to: 
*Cut the foam into the shape of a turtle, then cut up a few small squares or rectangles to  stick onto the 'turtle shell'

* Apply glue to the rim of the sundae lid and stick firmly onto the turtles back to create it's shell.
(this bit is best done by an adult)

* The kids can now stick the little foam squares all over the turtles shell.

* Glue on the googly eyes and allow to dry.

Crush and Little Dude (the Butterballs totally love the movie Finding Nemo) now live in the sand pit near the pond.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Finding Nemo Family Movie Night

For this months Frugal Family Fun Activity, I set up a fun movie night. 
The Butterballs are crazy about all things ocean right now so 'Finding Nemo' was the best option.

Our dinner menu also had an Ocean theme and I had fun making cute, simple name cards for each dish.

On the menu:  * Octo-Dogs on a bed of shell pasta
                      * DIY Sub - Submarines
                      * Simply Sweet Crab for pudding
                      * East Australian Current Juice

The Octo-Dogs were simply Hotdogs cut to look like an octopus. 
The features were drawn with a toothpick dipped in ketchup. 

For the Subs, I laid out 2 french loaves along with a selection of yummy fillings:
Sauteed red, green and yellow peppers,
caramalised onions,
fried bacon bits,
grilled chicken strips,
 a pat of garlic-and-parsley butter,
and of course loads of cheese

My expert chefs donned their chef-hats and set to work with such seriousness,
 you would have thought that they were contestants on MasterChef !!

While the subs sat under the grill, we all played a game of Shark-Tag.

Dinner time!!
 The Butterballs loved the cute Octo-dogs 
and the Subs were delicious.

We drank East Australian Current Juice.
Dessert was more like a sweet, healthy snack.

The crab's body was made by cutting a slice of bread with a round cookie cutter and smothering it in strawberry jam. 
The eyes were smaller circles of bread 
with a chocolate-drop in the center to form the pupil.
The little smiley mouth was made using chocolate-drops as well.
The pincers and legs were simply slices of apple.
Yummy and healthy!!!

We all cuddled up on the sofa with loads of buttery popcorn 
and watched 'Finding Nemo'

The Butterballs loved their Nemo Themed night. 
Tamlyn is already planning a Barbie themed Family Night for tomorrow ;)))

Monday, 7 July 2014

Ushaka Marine World

We decided to visit our local aquarium in order to learn more about the many sea creatures found in the Butterballs favourite book (Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea)

Ushaka Marine World is one of the tourist attractions on our sunny coast and boasts an impressive array of sea creatures housed in an aquarium that's built to  resemble a sunken ship.
When walking through the aquarium, 
you feel as though you are at the bottom of the sea, 
peering into rooms that are now home to a host of different sea creatures.

The Butterballs spent ages staring into each tank...and they asked at least a million questions (Thank goodness for the information cards at the side of each tank!)

Tamlyn's favorite tanks are the Nemo tank, the seahorse tank 
and the cuttle fish tank.


Ethan loooves the shark pool and Turtle Lagoon.

The Butterballs happily spent an hour racing about from tank to tank, eager to meet the next sea creature!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea - Bath Activity

Most of Ethan's birthday gifts had a sea-theme so this month we decided to focus on Ocean-themed activities.

The Butterballs new favourite storybook is 
'Way down deep in the deep blue sea' by Jan Peck

The story is about a boy who goes diving into the 'deep blue sea' in search of treasure. He meets many sea creatures along the way, including a scary shark. After finding his treasure, the boy surfaces in his bathtub surrounded by his bath-toy sea creatures.

 An amazing book- perfect for 3-5 year olds. The colorful illustrations, clever rhymes and repeated refrains make for fun reading.

The Butterballs were eager to recreate this fun bath-time adventure.
We used the Melissa and Doug Sunny Patch Under Sea Treasure Hunt Pool Game, as well as an assortment of sea animal bath-toys.
The Butterballs insisted on wearing their flippers and googles too! 

As they met each sea creature, Tamlyn recited the appropriate part of the story (her memory astounds me!)
Ethan joined in for the refrain.

Pretending to dive in the tub has made the Butterballs so much more confidant about sticking their heads under-water.
This activity was loads of fun, and a great way to learn while cooling off at the same time!