Happy Birthday Cookie Monster! Kolcraft is a big fan, and partner, of Sesame Street. In honor of our friends on Sesame Street we are celebrating Cookie Monster’s birthday.
Fun Facts About Cookie Monster:
- Cookie Monster was in the first episode of Sesame Street
- Chocolate chip cookies are his favorite kind
- His signature song “C is for Cookie” first aired in 1971 and is one of the best known Sesame Street songs
- Starting in 2006, Cookie Monster shared a new philosophy, “Cookies are a sometimes food”
- Cookie Monster has a mother, father, younger sister, and identically designed cousin
Happy Birthday Cookie Monster! Who is your favorite Sesame Street character?
Thursday, September 22nd is Elephant Appreciation Day and to celebrate this symbol of wisdom, we’re sharing this easy to make elephant craft:
What you will need:
- Gray construction paper
- Scissors (for adult use only)
- Non-toxic glue
- Non-toxic black marker
- Googly eyes
How to make elephant craft:
- Cut out a big circle using gray construction paper (we traced a small paper plate to help draw the lines before cutting).
- Cut out a smaller gray circle (we traced a small cup) and glue this onto the larger circle.
- Cut one 1 inch strip of construction paper.
- Fold the strip into an accordion by alternating fold back and forth, and glue onto the smaller circle for the elephant’s trunk.
- Glue two large googly eyes onto the smaller circle.
- Cut the ends of the toothpick off for the tusks and glue onto the small gray circle to complete the face.
- Fold a piece of gray construction paper in half and draw out the ears. Cut them out and glue them onto the elephant’s head.
- Cut out four small rectangles for the elephant’s feet (around 1” x 1”) and glue them onto the bottom of the large circle.
- Using the black marker, draw on the elephant’s toes and outline the ears, head and body.
Once you’ve finished making this craft with your little one, check out these other fun ways to celebrate Elephant Appreciation Day:
- Visit your local zoo too see these majestic creatures up close and personal. If you live in the Indianapolis area, be sure to check out Kalina, the Indianapolis Zoo’s newest baby elephant.
- Watch Disney’s Dumbo or catch an episode of Babar the Elephant.
- Check out the Elefunteria site for more fun crafts and elephant trivia. Did you know that adult elephants sleep standing up??
- The Pseudo Sleepover: A sleepover can be a big task for any mom and dad. Kolcraft’s friend Sharon suggests the pseudo sleepover. This birthday party includes all of the sleepover essentials: guests wear their pajamas, watch a movie, eat pizza, and play games. Depending on your child’s age, end the party at 10:30. All of the kids will have a great night’s sleep after a night of fun. Best of all, they’ll enjoy their own beds.
- Alternatives in accessories: Visiting a party store can put a strain?) on anyone’s budget. Try and think of alternatives to your decorations, party favors, and activities. If you were throwing a Hawaiian themed luau you can use black garbage bags to create everyone’s grass skirt. The drawstrings offer a way to tie the bag around your party guests and you can cut the ends into the skirt. You also can buy paper bags for your guests to decorate and create their own party favor bag. It adds an activity to your party and personalizes the experience for the kids.
Today is World Oceans Day when aquariums, zoos and other family-friendly places celebrate our oceans. Our oceans cover 72% of Mother Earth so it’s pretty important that we care for them. You can teach your children how to care for our oceans and have lots of fun!
Check out these fun World Oceans Day Activities!
- Plymouth, MA is hosting a Seabird & Whale Tales wildlife cruise
- Olympia, WA is showing Oceans at the Sea Cinema Film Festival
- Santa Monica, CA and NYC are hosting beach cleanups
- Sarasota, FL is hosting a family festival celebrating the oceans at Mote Aquarium
- Watertown, SD is having a Dr. Seuss themed oceans program
If you can’t make it out, grab a book about fish or the oceans and share it with your child or do a fun fish themed activity or craft.
Your local aquarium, libraries, and zoos also have activities to celebrate World Oceans Day. Google World Oceans Day for events near you so you can join the fun!
May is National Bike and Get Outside with your child month and we have a fun activity for you and your kids. Bike riding is not only fun, but a great way to get exercise. These nice Spring days are a perfect opportunity to get outside and bike, but how about making it extra special by having your children decorate their bikes?
- Streamers – streamers are a fun, inexpensive way for your child to decorate handlebars and the main frame of his bike with all sorts of colors!
- Stickers – Sponge Bob bike? Dora the Explorer bike? Princess bike? Superman bike? Not a problem! Get inexpensive stickers of your child’s favorite character and let her decorate her bike with them. Does her favorite character change weekly? Not a problem because they will peel off easily!
- Spray Chalk – want your child to express his personality on his bike without changing the color permanently? Get some spray chalk. It adheres to metal, but easily washes off with water!
And don’t forget to teach your child bike safety – helmet use, getting off the bike & walking it across the street, etc. We like the tips at the Safe Kids Bicycling and Skating Safety site.
If your child is too small to bike, you can always look into safe bike seat attachments for little kids.
Will you be participating in the National Bike Month?
This Sunday is Big Bird’s birthday! Here at Kolcraft we love Big Bird and how he teaches children valuable lessons.
A few fun facts about Big Bird:
Likes: Singing, finding solutions to problems, roller skating, making people feel better
Dislikes: Making mistakes
Favorite Food: Birdseed milkshakes
Favorite Thing: His friends
Favorite Toy: Radar, his teddy bear
In honor of Big Bird’s birthday, we have some easy-to-do activities for you and your child to celebrate this lovable bird.
Make a Milkshake:
Big Bird loves birdseed milkshakes. How about making a healthy fruit shake with your child?
What you need:
- A cup of yougurt
- Handful of ice
- Any combo of fruit such as:
- strawberry and banana
- mango and kiwi
- plum and raspberry
- blackberry and banana
- peach and pineapple
- apple and pear
- banana and mango
- peach and raspberry
- pear and pomegranate
- strawberry and blueberry
4. Blender or food processor
5. Knife (adult use only)
What to do:
- Wash fruit very well and cut into small pieces
- Put fruit, ice, and yogurt into blender & blend until smooth
- Sing Happy Birthday to Big Bird and Enjoy!
Activities for Big Bird’s Birthday:
- Go birdwatching – get a book of birds from the library, go to a local park and see how many different birds you can spot.
- Have fun – play one of Big Bird’s favorite games which you can find on the Sesame website.
- Spread love – Visit an elderly friend or grandparent in honor of one of Big Bird’s favorite activities – making people feel better.
Happy Birthday Big Bird!
Today is Dr. Seuss’ Birthday and a great day to celebrate reading with your children. We love the National Education Association’s website with info on Read Across America. They have information on literacy, ideas and activities for reading with your children and a special Seussville section with games and other reading adventures!
Bake a cake for Dr. Seuss, grab your favorite Dr. Seuss book and celebrate all that the Cat in the hat has to teach your child!
Super Bowl is a great time for families and kids to bond. We have a few easy recipes and games so that the kids can be part of the Super Bowl fun!
Super Bowl Hot Potato Use a brown balloon to represent a football. Gather kids in a circle. Start playing music while the kids try to keep the “ball” off of the ground with gentle taps.
Football Hide and Seek
Hide small football erasers, stickers, pencils and coloring books around the party area and then send the kids to search for them…It’s just like an Easter egg hunt!
Use a football cookie cutter to make sugar cookie cut outs. Then provide frosting and sprinkles for decorating. You can use Popsicle sticks will make frosting the cookies easier for the kids.
Here are some delicious recipes:
Healthier BBQ Chicken Tenders
Makes about 24
- 1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 3/4 cups coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
- Olive oil or canola oil cooking spray
Combine barbecue sauce, mustard and honey in a large bowl. Set aside 1/2 cup of the sauce in a small bowl. Cut any large chicken tenders in half lengthwise, then add all the tenders to the large bowl with the remaining sauce; stir to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow dish. Place breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish. Coat each tender in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then roll in the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. Place the tenders on the prepared baking sheet. Generously coat both sides of each tender with cooking spray
Bake for 10 minutes. Turn each tender over and continue baking until the outside is crisp and the tenders are cooked through, about 10 minutes more. Serve with the reserved sauce for dipping.
Ranch Dip and Crunchy Veggies
- 1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk,
- 1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, or 2 teaspoons dried
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 6 cups vegetables, such as baby carrots, sliced red bell peppers, snap peas, broccoli and cauliflower florets, cucumber spears, grape tomatoes
Whisk buttermilk, mayonnaise, dill, lemon juice, mustard, honey, garlic powder and salt in a bowl until combined. Serve the dip with vegetables of your choice.
What activities does your family enjoy on Super Bowl Sunday?
Few things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap. -Doug Larson
This Sunday we celebrate Grandparents day. Grandparents are those wonderful people who help children learn and love in a very special way. If your child is lucky enough to have a grandparent, here are some ideas of how you can celebrate Grandparent’s Day!
- Have your child make a card for her grandparent and bring it over. If a card is too difficult for your little one to make, you can have her draw or color a picture.
- Bake a little treat with your child for his grandparents, bring it over to them and enjoy it together.
- Bring grandparents some flowers and a smile.
- Give grandparents a picture of their grandchild in a special frame. You can even make a frame out of foam (bought at your local craft store) that you & your child decorate.
- Call grandparents and sing them “Happy Grandparents Day” to the tune of Happy Birthday.
How will you be spending Grandparents Day?
Yesterday I met with a vendor who was telling me he would be out of the office today celebrating Rosh Hashanah. He explained that he appreciated how Rosh Hashanah is a new start, a time to start with a “clean slate.” He really got me thinking how much we need new starts and “clean slates” on a daily basis especially as parents.
No matter how organized we are, each day brings some challenge whether that is not getting errands done, dinner not turning out like we want it to, losing patience when we are being asked for the 100th time “why” by a toddler, struggling to get homework done and rush the kids to (name your sport) practice…the list goes on. Sometimes as parents we are extra hard on ourselves for what we don’t get done and overlook all that we do like the fact that the kids did get to school in clean clothes, like the fact that we were able to spend some cuddle time with our children, that we were able to squeeze in one more bedtime kiss…the list goes on.
So today may be a good opportunity to take a parenting “time out” and realize all the good things we do as parents, to forgive ourselves for not living up to our “perfect parent” standards and to start over with a clean slate.