Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Snack Time: Apple & grape cars

Snack Time:
Today's snack time is a simple but fun way to eat fruit.

My ingredients: one apple, a handful of grapes, some toothpicks, and a pair of scissors

I cut an apple into wedges and sliced my grapes in half. I cut the toothpicks in half with the scissors. Poke half a toothpick into the apple and stick a grape on either side of the toothpick. Put two sets of "wheels" on each apple slice to create your cars.

Be warned, this may lead to car noises, driving the cars across the table, and other such play. You may end up with play time instead of snack time, but playing with your food can be fun. The cars don't stay together too well when being driven and then will have to be sent to the wrecking yard. At the wreck yard, all cars are sent into the wrecking machine (i.e. eaten).

So, grab an apple, some grapes and have some fun!

Cheap Sensory Bin

I have discovered this thing called "sensory bins." For those of you who have not discovered it, I urge you to read further. They are wonderful! A sensory bin is a bin that has some kind of material inside it that allows for playing with the senses. Hence the name sense-ory bin. You can make a bin from any size bin and fill it with whatever your heart desires. I have given you a cheap example that will get you started. Usually a sensory bin is a bigger success if you theme it and try to stick to that theme. Notice my sensory box is Halloween colors and contents. You could do a pirate bin with fake coins, beaded necklaces, maybe a fake treasure chest, and teaspoons as shovels in blue gravel or sand.

Final Product
Plastic bin of some size: I used a shoe size box from Walmart or Dollar Store. $1
Dried Beans for filling: 1 lb bag from Walmart $2 (I rounded this price)
Fun objects: I bought a bag of small Halloween objects at the Dollar Store $1
Spoon(s) for playing: I got these out of my kitchen, but you can buy a set of teaspoons at the Dollar Store $1

Grand Total: $5 for a fun afternoon activity that will keep your little ones occupied.

Dollar Store Halloween objects

My little ones playing with bins.

WARNING: Please be warned that this activity is messy and probably not a good choice for small children unsupervised as it is a choking hazard.

TIP: Notice in my picture that my kids have blankets underneath them. This is a requirement as it makes clean up so much easier. I set rules that they are only allowed to play with the bins if they stay on the blanket. When they are done, we simply pick up the blanket and dump the contents into the bin.

Other ideas for sensory bin contents:
Other dried beans such as Pinto, Lima, or Garbanzo
Corn kernels
Clear rocks (GemStones)
Uncooked pasta
Cooked pasta
Sunflower seeds
Ice water or just water
Cotton balls
Cheerios or Fruit Loops

Ideas for fun objects:
Small plastic animals
Pom Poms
Foam letters
Fake flowers
Any small party favors

The possibilities are endless.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Welcome With an Explanation

Welcome to my blog!

This blog was created as an idea to share my creativity, my cooking, my money saving strategies, and anything else that comes to mind. 

Let me give you a little background on the name of my blog. You are probably scratching your head wondering what a "Possum" is and what it has to do with me.

*Great flashback music*

When I was young, single, and grouchy, I worked with a manager who had a good sense of humor. I was known as the bossy employee who got all the trainees working. I had an attitude that if you were on the clock, then I was going to put you to work. I didn't have much tact back then and sometimes came off as bossy and mean. I gained a reputation for it in fact, but no one could come up with a name that would sum it all up. Until one day...

My manager lived somewhat in the mountains and had a rather large back yard. He had a 'possum (slang for opossum) that kept making a mess in his yard during the nights. He decided he was going to catch this thing once and for all. He set up a wire trap with bait and waited. He worked the late shift and got home in the wee hours of the morning. He excitedly checked his back yard. Sure enough, he caught the dumb 'possum. The thing he didn't count on was how mad the 'possum was going to be. The 'possum was hissing and spitting because he was so mad. My manager watched this 'possum stuck in the cage as it hissed and spat everywhere. He had a moment of clarity and thought of me. How thoughtful. He came to work the next day and told me of his adventures with his backyard pests. He named me Possum and the name stuck.

I would like to think that I have changed since I was named that, but I also want to be honest. I have mellowed out quite a bit since I was married and had kids, but not much. I'm still the mean, hissing creature that spurred my name. I have embraced myself and hope you gain something from this blog.