Monthly Archives: May 2011

Mustache On A Stick For Grandchildren

Our son and his wonderful wife went to a party that a cousin had.  It was a yellow party where everyone wore yellow.  There was a photo booth with some props.  These fake mustaches were part of the props.

Aren’t these pictures a hoot? (Just like my son and his wife!)

Which, of course, got my little brain perc-perc-percolating. Of course.

Wouldn’t this be a fabulous idea to do with grandchidren?  Fabulous! Especially grandsons.  (The masculine gender always seem so intent on growing facial hair . . .)

These mustachios are on elastic string.  I have seen some that were on dowel sticks.  I have even seen some on popsicle sticks for younger kids.  (They are sturdier than dowels for kids under five years old.)

I’m sure you’re just dying to make some of these with your grandchildren. So, being the kind person I am, I have found a great tutorial that is easy to follow. The tutorial says just to sketch some mustaches.  My sketched mustaches look like a soggy dog’s tail.

Since my drawing skills are wildly pathetic, I knew I would need a pattern.  So, being the kind person that I am, I found patters of lots o’ different kinds.  Check out the template here. There are several different styles to choose from.

You will notice the mustaches in the pictures are yellow (to go along with the party’s theme.) This shows that you don’t have to stick with black or brown colors.  Make red ones, white ones, grey ones, pink ones (for the granddaugters), and even purple ones.

Put a monocle on the stick above the mustache for an English flair.

If you want to live on the wild side, cut the mustaches out of poster board and glue on some fake fur to make your mustache truly hairy.

Add props like a nose, a fedora hat, sun glasses, or a trench coat.

There are oh so many uses for these fellas:

  • a Father’s Day picture for Grandpa
  • a Shutterfly photo book with pics of all the grands sporting their mustachios
  • Halloween parties
  • birthday parties (each guest goes home with a mustache)
  • New Year’s Eve
  • skits
  • family reunions
  • rainy Saturday afternoons (which have been plentiful at my house lately!)
  • a trip to the park to sleuth out a whodunit mystery or to find a treasure hidden by grandpa
  • a DIY photo booth activity
  • a Sherlock Holmes Grandma camp activity

Part of the fun is making these cuties. Another part is using them.

Have any of you made fake mustaches with your grandchildren?

Rag Quilt Bags for Grandchildren

I haven’t posted for a while.  Have you noticed?  I’ve been busy with working, freelance writing some big projects . . . and with babysitting a cute, cute, cute, cute, cute grandson!

Today we took our grandson to the zoo. I saw a lady who had a rag quilt purse that was really pretty.  Someday when life slows down (will that ever happen, eh?), it would be fun to make a one.

Here is a link to a tutorial so you can see how to make them. They seem easy to make.

Here is a link to a short video that shows lots of different bags made up to give you an idea of what is possible. (You’ll have to scroll down and down and down the page to see the video.)

If you have older granddaughters, you could have a sewing activity where you spend time together making a bag. For grandsons, you could make one out of denim that he could use as a bag to carry books home that he checked out of the library.

This reminded me of a blog post that I saw a while back that I thought was way fun — making rag quilt alphabet letters. It would also be fun to get a coloring book and use some of the pictures to make rag quilt things for your grandchildren to play with — things like trains, dogs, cats, clown, sun, heart, stars. You could whip out a gaggle of those shapes in no time flat.

Pipe Cleaner Activity For Grandchildren

It’s been rainy, rainy, rainy where I live.  And I don’t live in Seattle nor Portland!  I live in a semi-desert state.  (The mountains are still getting snow.)  I have moss instead of hair.  Our driveway runneth o’er with water.

“All this humidity is making my hair frizzy,” I complained to my husband.

All this humidity is called rain,” he retorted.

Still.  My dry hair doesn’t know how to behave itself when keeping company with high humidity.

All this lovely non-warm, high humidity weather got me thinking about indoor activities that you can do with your grandchildren.  Indoor activities that are cheap and easy.  When I saw these pipe cleaner critters, I was delighted.

Family Fun has directions on making pipe cleaner monkeys, dinosaurs, penguins, and monsters.  (The monsters are my favorite!  The penguins come in a close second.)  They even have directions for Peppy People.

Have you ever made fun pipe cleaner thingie-ma-bobs with your grandchildren?

Fun Printables (and more) for Grandchildren

Click here for free fun printables -- and loads of great activities for kids!Grandmas, are you prepared for having fun activities with your grandchildren during their summer break from school?  (It WILL get warm.  It will, it will, it will!  Maybe.  I woke up to fresh snow on the mountains this morning . . .)

I found a wonderful site that had some wonderful printable materials that you could use to have wonderful activities with your grandchildren.  (That sentence was brought to you by the word wonderful.)

FirstPalette has a wide variety of things to print up and make with your grandchildren.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Circus.  There’s a circus tent, animals, clowns, and masks.  I love the elephant coloring page and the monkey mask.

Masks and glasses. Chinese opera mask, monkey, bunny, Mardi Gras, and super hero masks.

Shapes and stencils. Butterflies, fish, bats, flowers, strawberries, hearts, and moons.

There are also Easter, Halloween, and Christmas ideas.  And ideas for greeting cards and learning the alphabet.

But that’s not all.  Oh no!  Here’s a great start of ideas of activities for grandchildren ages 9 and above:

What fun summer things have you done with your grandchildren?

Royalty Crowns for Grandchildren

Such excitement about the Royal wedding. I think it captures the fancy of every little girl. (Girls love to pretend they are princesses!)

I’d like to take a break from our regular programing to bring you this flash bulletin.

This fun picture has been circulating around the Internet.  Maybe you’ve seen it.  Do you think one of Walt Disney’s artists designed Kate’s dress?

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Jeromina, a very clever person, has posted directions and pictures on how to make this fabulous crown.  (By the way, you need to read her story about how she got engaged.  What a charming story.)  Here is the link to the pattern for her crown.

You can make this delightful crown ANY time with a granddaughter and she will feel like a royal princess.  It is so simple to make you might want to make several out of different colors to match the different colored dress-up gowns that you have.  (You DO have dress-up clothes for your grandchildren, now don’t you?)

I know that craft stores have different jewel shapes that would be fun to hot glue onto your crown to jazz it up.  You’d just have to be careful that the plastic can bear the weight of the jewels.

I know that some of you grandmas might not have a princess granddaughter.  Never fear!  You can take this idea and make a princely crown for your grandsons.  Here is a link to a masculine crown and another link to a different style of crown.

You can use the crown patterns for birthday celebrations or Halloween costumes, too.

Have any of you made crowns with your grandchildren?

Cat In Hat Idea For Grandchildren

Cat in the Hat activities for kids     GrandmaIdeas.comLast Friday night, my husband and I went to Seussical (which is a Broadway musical).  I didn’t know anything about it. But, boy oh boy, am I glad we went!

The cast did a phenomenal job of singing and acting.  The costumes were so bright, funky, and clever.  And the music was so toe-tapping-makes-you-wanna-get-up-and-dance!

The little community theater that put it on did a tremendous job.  (If you’re in the neighborhood of Oren, Utah, I highly recommend that you get tickets and see it.)

I have purchased many of Dr. Seuss’ books.  And have read them many, many, many, many times to our children.  And I was so glad because there were lots of subtle references to other Dr. Suess’ book besides Cat in the Hat that added humor and delight to the musical.  I think it would be fun to get the soundtrack so I could play it and sing at the top of my lungs (which capacity is amazingly pathetic) with my grandchildren.  And dance while singing, too.

There was a little girl about 8 years old at the play.  She sat in the second row hugging a stuffed animal.  I would love to take my grandchildren to see this musical when they are a little bit older — if it was playing somewhere nearby.  If you get a chance, I would recommend that you take your grandchildren to see it.

Saturday, I happened to drop by a local fabric store.  They had a sign on their door saying they had Dr. Seuss material.   That got my grandma brain a-thinkin’.

Hold Cat in the Hat activities for your grandchildren!  (Or an activity based on any of Dr. Seuss’ books.)  Here are some activities you could do.

  • You could purchase some Dr. Seuss fabric and make book bags, shorts, skirts, bookmarks, or pillowcases for your grandchildren.  (You could have your grandchildren sew these items if they are old enough to use a sewing machine.)
  • Play games and do activities on Seussville with your grandchildren.
  • Print up Cat in the Hat coloring pages or these coloring pages.
  • Make some of these Dr. Seuss snacks and treats. (I love the green eggs and ham idea!)
  • Order some items from the Oriental Trading Company like Cat in the Hat bookmarks, stickers, or window clings.
  • Make these activity blocks.  (This woman cut her own wooden blocks.  Methinks you could probably find them already made at a craft store.  What do you think??)
  • You might want to buy a Cat in the Hat accessory kit that has a hat, tie, and gloves for grandchildren to dress up in.
  • Buy copies of The Cat in the Hat to give to your grandchildren that don’t have the book.

Have you done any Cat in the Hat activities with your grandchildren?

A Marshmallow Bouquet

I hope all of you grandmothers had a delightful Mother’s Day.  I had a delightful time with our daughter and her family, my sister and her husband, and my mother.

My sister made a delightful and delicious marshmallow bouquet.  I was so enchanted with it that I thought I would share it here.  She assured me that even I could make these.  (I don’t know if she knows about my cake pop flops . . . )

She said that all she did was melt some dipping chocolate, put a sucker stick in a marshmallow, dip the marshmallow into the melted chocolate, dip the marshmallow end into white sprinkles, and tie a green ribbon on the sucker stick.  She put pieces of dipping chocolate in a bowl and stuck in the marshmallow ‘flowers’.  The chocolate pieces held the flowers upright to make the marshmallow bouquet.

If you wanted to make a spring bouquet (I am hoping that spring will make it to my neck of the woods sometime before I turn 95 years old), I thought that you could get different colors of dipping chocolate (yellow, pink, blue, orange) to make a bouquet of different colored ‘flowers.’  And, instead of using pieces of dipping chocolate in the bowl, you could use multi-colored candy like jelly beans or lemon drops or other candy to add color to your bouquet.  You could even use mini-marshmallows for baby flowers.

If you wanted a bouquet to match a holiday, use colors that are associated with that holiday.  Pink and white marshmallow flowers would look lovely for Valentine’s Day.  Green and white would be terrific for St. Patrick’s Day. Red, green, and white would be great for Christmas.  Red, white and blue would make a wonderful bouquet for the 4th of July.

This would be a great activity to do with grandchildren that are at least 8 years old.  They could insert the sticks into the marshmallows, roll them into the melted chocolate, and dip them into the sprinkles.

You can make these with your grandchildren and use the bouquet as a centerpiece for a family dinner or an activity with the grandchildren.  When you make them, make sure you make plenty for your bouquet and plenty to eat!

Pajama-rama for Grandchildren

Want to do an unusual activity with your kiddos? Hold a pajama-rama with them!Pajama-rama. Pajama-rama!  Don’t you just love saying that word?

Gather your grandchildren around for a Pajama-rama activity.

Have them wear their PJs (and  you wear yours, too, grandma!) and come prepared for lots o’ fun.  (You don’t need to connect it to a sleep over — unless you want to.)

What does one do at a pajama-rama?  Anything a grandma wants to plan!  The fun thing is that you do your activities in the comfort of your pajamas!

Here is a list of ideas to get your noodle thinking.

  • Instead of having your grandchildren bring/wear their pajamas, give them new ones when they first arrive.  Purchase pajama bottoms (flannel, cotton, or smooth silkie ones) and buy colored t-shirts to match.  One of your activities could be decorating the t-shirts with iron on appliques, rhinestones, buttons, bows, or fabric paints.
  • Make fuzzy flip flops.  Have each grandchild bring a pair of flip flops.  Have an assortment of pieces of fake fur (spotted like a leopard skin, wild colors like neon orange, or camouflage).  Trace the flip flop bottom on a piece of paper to make your pattern.  Cut out the pattern and then use it to cut the shape out of the fake fur.  Make slits in the fur where the toe and the side straps are.  Get some 3M Super Strong Automotive Attachment Tape or double-sided cloth carpet tape.  (Maybe your local craft store has some really strong double sided tape. I’ve seen ‘flip flop’ glue that would work, too.) Put pieces of the tape on the flip flop.  Put the fur on top and firmly press down.  Now your grandchildren have a pair of fuzzy, soft-soled flip flops.
  • If you have grade school grandchildren, have them bring a stuffed animal.  Grandma hides their stuffed animals and then have an indoor safari while the grandchildren hunt for their stuffed animals.
  • Get solid colored pillowcases and a set of fabric markers or fabric paint.  Let your grandchildren decorate a pillowcase.  Be sure to slip some cardboard inside the pillowcase so the markers or paint don’t bleed through.
  • For grandchildren who are a little older, you could have some fun fabric and teach your grandchildren how to sew their own pillowcase.
  • Read stories to your grandchildren — or have them read them to you.
  • Play the sleeping bag guessing game.  Send one grandchild out of the room.  Have the other grandchildren switch sleeping bags and hide inside them.  Bring the grandchild back into the room and have her guess who is in the which sleeping bag.
  • Design and make a door hanger.  Here are some ideas and also some templates that you could print and decorate.  Here are some more blank templates so that you could create your own.
  • For granddaughters, have a make-up make-over.  Purchase inexpensive eye shadows, blush, lipsticks and nail polish.  Have your granddaughters select the colors they like and then apply them.  Have curling irons, flat irons, etc. and have them try new hair styles.  Have bows, clips, and flower hair accessories that they can use (and keep).
  • Play some games such as The Dice Game, Zilch, War (with dice), Flash, the Candy Bar Game, Murder in the Dark (for tweens and teens), or the Dictionary Game (for older grandkids).
  • Make cookies, a special popcorn treat, or some other delectable high-sugar-something-that-mother-wouldn’t-approve-of goodie!
  • Watch a movie.
  • Do dances like the Hokey Pokey or the Funky Chicken.

What fun pajama party activities can you think of doing with your grandchildren?