Monday, July 26, 2010

Creative Kitchen

Here’s a theme week that I know the whole family will eat up! This week make your kitchen into a creative fun zone and encourage your kids to learn about measuring, baking and blending together. The ABCD’s to making this a delightful week of cooking are:

Activities: Visit a bakery and ask for a tour, invite friends to come over to make and/or decorate cup cakes, go to the library to pick out recipe books together, make a trip to half price books to buy a few fun cookbooks, grocery shop together with your list of ingredients for the week, go to the dollar store to look for fun kitchen items (aprons, mixing spoons, colorful bowls), decorate the dinner table in fun new ways using flowers, homemade placemats, hats, lights, or pictures to name a few.

Mom and Me Cookbook by Annabel Karmel
The Everything Kids Cookbook by Sandra K. Nissenberg
Southern Living Kids Cookbook by Elizabeth Taliaferro
Snack Attack! (Teachable Moments Cookbooks for Kids) by Brenda Ward and Jane Jarrell

Cook fun recipes you discovered together in some of the cookbooks, or choose from some of the following ideas:
Play dough
Trail Mix
Cookie Cutter Cookies
Homemade Ice Cream
King Ranch Casserole

Exodus 16:31 God provides Manna
Ezekiel 4:9 Recipe for bread
Matthew 4:4 Man does not live by bread alone
Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread
John 6:35 Jesus declared, “I am the Bread of Life.”

Hope you have a delicious week!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Smart Art

“Art as far as it is able, follows nature, as a pupil imitates his master; thus your art must be, as it were, God’s grandchild.” Dante – Inferno

As we continue our series of Summer Fun Themes, we will focus this week on Smart Art. Several years ago my daughter Grace started an after-school art program called Waco Arts Initiative, and I thought we would glean some insight from her. I asked Grace to give me a few ideas she has used with her kids in Waco, so I could share them with you. Grace likes to use recycled or natural items as much as possible. You will see that the art projects don’t cost a lot of money and use good ole creative ingenuity. You can read about Waco Arts Initiative on her blog, and also view a video about Waco Arts at:

Activities: Visit art museum or art galleries in your area, go on a trash hunt or nature walk to collect potential items to use for the art projects listed below, visit an art store for inspiration and a few supplies, reach out to the community by bringing a simple art project to do with senior citizens or children in need, watch Waco Arts Initiative video together as a family, send art creations to grandparents or relatives.

Books: Art appreciate books, picture books that feature different artists or a variety of art genres.

1. Planters. Collect milk or juice cartons. Use wallpaper paste and news paper to paper mache the exterior. Once dry, decorate with paint, feathers, sequins, buttons, etc… Poke a hole in the bottom for drainage. Fill with dirt and plant seeds.

2. Vases. Collect glass jars or bottles. Using glue to attach torn pieces of colorful tissue paper. After covering the glass with tissue paper, spray or paint the jar with Mod Podge or clear finish. Display flowers from your garden.

3. Bird Houses. Gather recycled items such as plastic bottles, milk cartons and cups. Use masking tape to attach items together to create a unique bird house. Be sure to make at least one hole for the bird, and add a hook for hanging. Use wallpaper paste and newspapers to paper mache the houses. Once dry, paint and decorate and hang outside. You can view another video of the Waco arts kids making birdhouses by clicking:

4. Sail Boat. Use 2 liter soda bottles, cut in half lengthwise. Glue popsicle sticks to make a deck. Paint or decorate the deck. You can make a sail by using a stick from the yard or cardboard tube cut from a hanger, secure the mast using putty or glue. Use scrap material for the sail. Once you are finished, take the boat to the pool or creek to see if it is sea-worthy.

5. Decorated Boxes. Collect small wooden cigar boxes or cardboard boxes (even food boxes will do). Cut or tear out favorite pictures from magazines. Using Mod Podge (found at craft stores)and attach the pictures to cover the box. Allow time to dry. Line the inside with fabric and use for special treasures or give to grandma as a jewelry box.

This week focus on the creativity of God and how He has given each of us with unique gifts and talents. Throughout the week point out God’s handiwork in nature and the unique talents you see in people.
Creation – Genesis 1
Work of skilled craftsmen in OT Exodus 28 and Exodus 35:30-35
Gifts and talents of the Proverbs 31 woman – Proverbs 31: 10-31

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Books, Glorious Books!

“A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.” Tupper

Never underestimate the power of a book to inspire and encourage a young reader. Books help us develop our imagination and create new ideas. Biographies and stories of great heroes, strengthen our own courage. We can learn how to do things, go places and accomplish new skills all through the blessing of books. This week’s theme of “Books Glorious Books” offers innovative indoor fun while encouraging a love for reading. Use this week as an opportunity to talk about how we must be discerning and wise in what we read and put into our minds. Not every book is a good book. Let us lead our kids to discover the joy of reading and the beauty of gaining wisdom and knowledge through good literature.

Activities: Create and act out dramas from your favorite books, dress up like different storybook characters each day, go to the library, visit a bookstore, visit a printer/binder and ask for a brief tour, study the life of a great author, research to see if there are any authors in your area, interview grandparents about their favorite books when they were growing up. Most importantly read, read, read.

Books: Allow the kids to choose their favorite books this week whether at the library or a book store. I would suggest a trip to a discount or half-price bookstore. Give each child a certain amount to spend (or allow them to earn it through chores) and give them the opportunity to purchase their own favorite book(s) to cherish and keep.

Craft: Encourage each of your children to write and create their own book. Provide blank paper and markers. Each day add a little bit more to the story. Allow younger ones to draw while you help them write the words. At the end of the week bind the story together and have a reading hour for each child to share their story.

Devotional: This week center on the Best Book Ever Written – the Bible.
Mon – Psalm 119:105 – God’s word is a lamp to our feet, a light for our path.
Tues – Isaiah 40:8 – The word of God will stand for ever.
Wed – Joshua 1:8 – Meditate on the Bible continually
Thurs – 2Timothy 3:16 – the Bible is important for teaching us how to live.
Fri – 2Peter 1:20,21 – The Bible is the inspired word of God.

“The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men. It has God for its author; salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture for its matter. It is all pure, all sincere; nothing too much; nothing wanting.” Locke

Be sure to check out my Thrive blog about my trip to Joni and Friends.