Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Monster Math Buddie

I remember when I was in grade school, we made these really neat milk carton math buddies. I couldn't wait for Math time so that we could "paly" with these guys. I thought it would be a neat post for those who have kids that are just learning basic math. This makes learning fun and interactive! (If you are not sure how this little guys works, that is explained at the end of this post.)

Gather all your material:
  • 2-quart milk or juice carton
  • scissors/craft knife
  • ruler
  • pen
  • 3 by 7 inch piece of thick cardstock or posterboard
  • glue
  • tape
  • craft material for decorating your buddie
  • flash cards/cardstock cut to 3x2 inches

Take your carton, open it from the top. Make sure to thoroughly wash and dry it out.

If your carton has a spout, cut it out. Also cut slits down the corners. this will be the bottom, and we will fold the flaps closed later. 

Use your ruler and pen to draw a horizontal line 2 inches from the top of your carton, and then another horizontal line about 1mm under your first line. Do this to the bottom too - draw another line two inches from the bottom, and 1mm on top of that line, draw another horizontal line. I had a little over 2.5 inches in between the inner lines. 

Here is what mine looked like after making my lines.

Use your scissors/knife to cut your slits out.

The next step is to insert the ramp inside the carton. You will add some hot glue or glue to the top corner of the slitted slide. Just turn your carton over, add your glue and firmly push one end of your 3x7 piece of poster board into the glue. Allow your glue to dry.

Turn the carton so the slits are facing up, and slide the loose end of the poster board through the bottom slit. Fold the end a little, and glue/tape this down to the bottom edge of your slit. I used hot glue, then tape over that. 

This is what it should look like once you glue or tape the flap down.

Here is a shot of the inside after you have your ramp in place. It should be arched like this.

Now go ahead and tape your open flaps closed. 

Now is the fun part. It is time to decorate your buddie. I went ahead and wrapped the carton, leaving the front as is. I wrapped it as I would a present. And taped it in place. 

I went on to measure my carton and cut out pieces to go in certain places.

Once you  measure and cut your pieces, hot glue them to the carton. I used hot glue when I was attaching anything to the carton, and Elmers glue when attaching to the construction paper.Just make sure that when you are decorating you do not cover the slits up, not even a little.

Here is our little monster. Although you don't have to make a monster, you can always make it into a fairy, animal, person... anything your kid wants! 

Next you will need to make your math cards. I made simple addition ones, but you can make subtraction, multiplication or division. 
Take your flash cards, or cardstock and cut them to 2x3 inch pieces. On one side, you will have your problem (2+2) and on the other side, upside down, you will have the answer (4.) 

*NOTE: one of them, problem or answer must be upside down for this to work. Here is an example:
I made this as an example, and wrote it on plain paper so that the ink would show through. As you can see, I have 2+2 on the front, and you can see that on the back, I have 4 written, and it is upside down.
Here is the back side. The 4 is right side up, and the 2+2 upside down. I hope you get it! :)

So this is how it works!
You insert your card into the top slit, answer facing you. Your child must not be able to see the back of the card. Once you or your child "feeds" the buddie the problem (2+2)...

...it will spit it out showing your answer (4)!!

And that is it! You can make as many of these as you want for each one of your kids. They are fun (from what I remember) to learn with!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Flower Bookmark

Over the weekend, we went on many walks, and while we walked, Gia picked a few flowers. I wasn't sure what we were going to do with them, but eventually decided on making Daddy a bookmark!

First thing I did with the flowers was press them in a book. Just open the book, about half way through the book, place your flowers towards the seam, and close. I also put my laptop on top of the book to add some pressure. :) I let them sit in the book over night. The next day, I took the flowers out.

I found a quote online that I wanted to use, and printed it on resume paper. I then measured the thickness of my boxing tape and cut the bookmark to that size. Once I had it cut, I placed some flowers on the bookmark until I liked the way it looked.

The tape I used to laminate the bookmark.

Then I took my tape, pulled off a long enough piece, and placed it on top of the bookmark and flowers. Then just press the tape down on the flowers and around them.

Then cut your bookmark at the top and bottom to get the length that you need.

I didn't want to throw out the other flowers, so I took the extra two pieces of the resume paper, placed flowers on one, and tape those too. I used that side for the front of my bookmark holder and the last piece for the back. I sandwiched the bookmark in between these to pieces, and tied it off with a green string.

Gia then gave this gift to Dad for Valentine's Day. It was our homemade gift to him; that way not everything we gave him was bought. :) And boy did he love it!

Happy Valentine's Day to you all!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Busy Days!

Things have been a little busy around here. I have a couple tutorials that I am looking to post as soon as I get a chance! But for now, here is the cupcake stand I was asked to make for my Grandmother-in-law's 90th birthday.

Find the tutorial HERE.

Also, I got this really neat memory book the other day. 

It is a 5 year memory book. The thing I really like about it, is that for each day, there are only a few lines to write. So you don't need to sit down and write a lot... I just jot down a few important things that we did that day. 
You write in your year, and jot down a few things! So far I love it! You can find the book on Amazon HERE.

I hope you all had a great weekend! I will try to get those tutorials up by tomorrow evening! Or at least one of them...

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pine Cone Fun

The weather around here has been a little crazy lately! So when we woke up to a bright and sunny day, I was really excited. Gia and I spent all day outside. We started with a walk where she found a pine cone that completely fascinated her. We brought it home with us, along with a few dry leaves she found.

When we got it home, she said it was "for daddy" and "put a bow on?" We didn't put a bow on her pine cone, but we did decorate it a bit. We added some felt hearts, gems and tulle. She had fun pushing down on the gems until they dried. 

Once we decorated daddy's pine cone, we spent the rest of our time playing outside. We took advantage of the nice day, because tomorrow might be a different story. 

I also had a little time to make something for myself. 

A rolled rosette ring! The picture isn't that great, but I am in love with it. I will probably end up making more in different colors!

I hope your day was filled with sun and fun too!

This post was a bit more personal than crafty... tomorrow's is a new tutorial! :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Just For Fun

A Valentine's Day apron...

I made this one to be reversible!

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DIY Easy RH Inspired Console Table

I was on the hunt for a console table that would fit this wall.  All of the tables that I liked were wider than the wall, or outside of...