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Mom Camp Days 28/29: Willy Wonka Day

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The Princess loves the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She even wants to open her open candy factory and candy shop when she grows up! Last summer we had a Willy Wonka day for mom camp and we brought it back this year by special request.

We decided to make a number of candy treats. A lot of them were watermelon based. I mean, a watermelon is pretty big so you can use it over and over.
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We started with frozen watermelon popsicle. I chopped up some watermelon cubes and dumped them into the good old Cuisinart. The Princess of course got to press the start button. Round and round it went until it was mushed up to a thin pulp. We poured it straight into the popsicle molds and promptly placed it in the freezer. When we tasted them a few hours later, they were slightly watery and not really all that sweet, I think I should have added some sugar and maybe boiled down the watermelon juice. But, the kids liked it so that’s really all that matters.

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For last year’s Wonka Day, we made our own chocolate from a kit I purchased online. This year, I skipped the chocolate kit and went for melted chocolate chips. Then I purchased some molds. As you know, Cinco loves Star Wars. (See Mom Camp Days: 14, 15, and 16). So, I decided to buy some Star Wars molds: Han Solo in Carbonite! As well as, the stormtroopers. We used both dark chocolate and white chocolate for the stormtroopers. The white ones were totally awesome.

Last year we used the chocolate from the kit to cover some pretzels. I LOVE chocolate covered pretzels. We had a rose mold from last year that we used for the pretzels again.

And, I also purchased a princess pretzel mold for this year’s project. The Princess picked them out on Amazon herself.

20130817-170515.jpg This year in addition to the molds, we rolled the pretzel sticks in chocolate and sprinkles, too! This was a little easier for the kids.

English: Watermelon flavored Rock candy.

English: Watermelon flavored Rock candy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There were also a few candy projects that just never panned out. We attempted to make rock candy. But the sugar crystals never formed, even after waiting almost a week. I even pre-treated the sticks!!!
Our sad little, science experiment just sat there…20130817-170527.jpg

The second candy project that just didn’t taste right were make your own healthy gummies. I used the recipe at Sweet Little Peanut. And, I give them credit for trying to find a healthy option.  But, I think the taste of the sugar substitute just ruined the gummy. I guess you have to go with good old corn syrup to get the sugary flavor. So much for making a healthy version.  Sometimes you just have to go with the real thing to make it worth the calories.  Thankfully, I almost NEVER eat gummies, so it’s not a big deal for me.   I will say, the gummies we make LOOKED GREAT!  I had this cute little mold I found in the dollar section and target and we poured the liquid into it.  Adorable.

With all that treat creation out-of-the-way, it was time for a few activities. There was a lot of time dedicated to: . It’s an oldy, but a goody!

And of course, they day would not be complete without watching the Wonka movie. I am personally a fan of the original. The Johny Depp version is just too creepy for little kids. Plus, it doesn’t have the singing Umpa-Lumpas. It’s not Wonka without an Umpa-Lumpa!

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It’s Angry Bird Day, Straight Down to the Undies (Mom Camp Day 13)

IMG_2035Angry Bird Day started fast with a fun cardboard tube craft.  Inspired by Crafts by Amanda we created a few birds of our own.  They are easier to make then they look–and I was working with a four and seven-year old.  If I can do it, you can too!

Supplies:

  • Card Board Tubes
  • Construction Paper
  • Glue Stick
  • Google Eyes (Optional)
  • Sparkle Paper (Optional)
  • Feathers (Optional)

Steps:

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  1. Cut the card board tubes (cut in half if you are using TP and you in either thirds or quarters for a paper towel roll.)
  2. Cut out some colored construction paper (color depends on the bird you are making).
  3. IMG_2029Cut the paper construction paper on the roll.
  4. Cut out the eyes, beaks, eyebrows and glue them on.  (You can also glue on google eyes instead, if you like.) For pigs, cut out a snout. IMG_2032If you want to make a girl bird cut out a bow (two triangles glued to a rectangle in the middle).
  5. Glue on feathers or construction paper to simulate the feathers.  For pigs, cut out the ears.

We even went so far as to design our own versions of Angry Birds and Pigs.  The Princess named her Dazzle, which is perfect!  Plus, I think she’s part of the newest game: Angry Bird-Vegas.  (Just Kidding!) IMG_2041

After all that fun, it was time to clean up so mom had to keep the kiddos occupied with a few worksheets and not so messy games!

For worksheets we turned to:

Quickly, we turned back to the fun and games with a few items I actually broke down and bought!

  • This activity book worked out really well for us. It was more than just a coloring book, because heaven knows we DO NOT NEED ANOTHER COLORING BOOK. Instead, this offers mazes, puzzles, codes, and even a simple math problem or two. What I really loved about this little book is that worked for both the 4 and 7 year-old. It offers games and puzzles with three levels of difficulty, so both kids used the book!
  •  “Play-doh” style Angry Bird kit was hit with both kids.  It comes with three cans of “doh”, two molds, and some heavy cardboard panels.  The kids were able to construct their own angry bird sets and had a blast trying to knock them down.  Plus, I really liked the consistency of the Softee dough better than “play-doh”.
  •  Cinco loved this book. Like the Star Wars Lego books, this one has pages where you have to find the right sticker and fit onto a certain page. There are also pages with scenes that your fill out with stickers. It has tons of character stickers, Darth Maul, Darth Vader, Luke, Leia, Han… It is very much like the Lego sticker books–so if you like them, you will like this.

P.S.  Here are the undies: IMG_2033

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Teacher Gifts

It’s that fabulous end of the year when you have to come up with teacher gifts. At my kids’ school there is no “room mom”, which means there is no one to simply give you check to and be done. (I loved it at the preschool when the “room mom” just told me I owed 100$ and she’d take care if all the gifts– holiday, birthday, teacher appreciation, end of the year– I miss that!)

So now I am out on my own for the gifts. What to do? The teachers are with my kids all day, but I barely know their favorite color. (BTW Princess’ teacher like aubergene.) How do give a not-so-personal/personal gift, something that will not go straight to the trash? (Think no mugs, nothing with apples, no calendars.) It needs to be:

  1. Simple
  2. Heart warming
  3. Personal/Impersonal at the same time
  4. Not so Cliche
  5. Not that pricey (I am getting stuff for 7 people here– two teachers, one tutor and four assistant teachers.  Sorry music, gym, art and spanish folks!)

Lets turn to Pinterest, shall we?

  • It seems to have page after page of summer towel sets, complete with sunscreen, and a trashy magazine.  (That’s okay I guess.  But with all the sunscreen maybe I should add in a bottle of vitamin D.)
  • Lots of options of wordplay themes gifts.– I want to be a smart cookie like you! with a jar of cookies. Water bottles with bows and signs that say “Thanks for quenching our thirst of knowledge.” A basket of apples with  a “Couldn’t have picked a better teacher.”  (Clever and Goofy at the same time.)
  • The Diaper Cake grows up.  Let me say first I HATE a diaper cake and who ever came up with that should be kicked out of the country.  But it seems the diaper cake has found new life as a school supply cake with crayons and glue and pencils.  You get the idea.
  • A wreath/picture frame made of hot glued crayons.  (I already did that for Xmas damn!)

What am I left with….

For the two main teachers and the tutor, I decided to go with a goofy word-play gift!  

I started with the FREE printable gift tags here.  Thanks to the blog GigglesGalore.net  I thought these were the cutest because they have the little ruler. 

Then I needed the seeds. I found these oh so cute “Garden in a Bag” seeds a local trendy restaurant in town and snapped them up.  I wish the had the tomato seed bags left, but looks like I was too late and I got stuck with the herbs (English Thyme and Cilantro.)

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They are great because it is all in one.  You open the bag and everything you need is inside.  You spread the seed around, add water and you are basically finished!  You can grow this plant in the brown bag!  No pot required. Plus, it is organic! (If you do not happen to have a trendy, organic seed-selling restaurant down the street you can pick these little cuties online at Inhabit Shop.)

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Like I said, this is a no pot required operation.  None-the-less I thought that gift packaging was important so I got a little tin pot, added some gardening gloves and wrapped it all up in cellophane wrap!
IMG_1793To Be Continued…

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