Feb 02

Spaghetti Cables

by Hannah Holt »


What you’ll need:

  • uncooked spaghetti
  • hot dogs or sausages

Step 1: Cut the hot dogs into chunks and have the kids skewer them with spaghetti. This works easiest if you break the spaghetti in half.

Step 2: Boil the hot dogs and spaghetti in water until the spaghetti is al dente (follow the cooking directions on the spaghetti box).

Step 3: Drain and serve.


Jan 31

Heart Melts

by Hannah Holt »

Comments Off on Heart Melts

Tuna melts with cookie-cutter cheese shapes

What you’ll need:

  • Bread
  • Tuna salad
  • Cheese slices

Step 1: Preheat the oven’s broiler.

Step 2: Place bread slices on a cookie sheet and top with tuna salad.

Step 3: Take a large (not necessarily thick) slice of cheese and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter. Arrange shapes on top of the tuna.

Step 4: Place the open face sandwiches under the broiler for about one minute or until the cheese melts. Watch them carefully to make sure they don’t burn. Serve warm.

Other ideas: Use pepperoni and vegetables to make faces.

Jan 24

Cardboard Tube Beehive

by Hannah Holt »


A dollhouse for fuzzy, faux bees

What you’ll need:

  • one small yellow pom-pom
  • one black pipe-cleaner
  • two wiggly eyes
  • one long cardboard tube, cut into seven pieces or seven empty toilet paper rolls
  • seven pieces of yellow paper (about 7″x 5.5″). The paper should wrap around the roll and extend at least one inch on either side of the cut cardboard tubes.
  • glue

Step 1: Make the bee by wrapping a pipe-cleaner tightly around the center of a pom-pom. Use the excess pipe cleaner to form wings. Glue two wiggly eyes on and set aside to dry.

Step 2: Drizzle glue around the outside of a cardboard tube and place in the middle of a sheet of yellow paper. Wrap the paper around the cardboard tube and push the ends of the paper inside the tube. Repeat for all seven cardboard tubes.

Step 3: Make a stripe of glue down the edge of each card board tube. Press the tubes together in two sets of two and one set of three. Let the glue dry for an hour or so.

Step 4: Glue the stable sets one on top of another into the final beehive shape, like this…


Step 5: Make more bees. Consider cutting out a few paper flowers. Let the bee fun begin…

Optional activity: Make it in pink for Valentines day.

Jan 17

Hearts A-flame Cake

by Hannah Holt »


This cake makes a dazzling impression at any children’s party.

What you’ll need:

  • chocolate cake
  • white butter frosting
  • orange butter frosting
  • red butter frosting
  • two Ziplock sandwich bags
  • 4-6 egg shell halves (saved from cake baking)
  • 4-6 Brach’s candy conversation hearts
  • lemon extract (pure, not imitation)

Step 1: If you need a recipe for chocolate cake, this links to my favorite. Also here is the recipe I use for butter frosting. Of course, ready-made frosting, and cake mix works as well.

Step 2: Frost the entire cake white.

Step 3: Spoon the orange and red frosting into two different sandwich bags. Snip a small corner off each bag (about 1/4 inch) and use the bags to pipe flames around the cake.

Let the kids get involved, and have fun with it.

Step 4: Carefully rinse and dry the egg shells. Arrange them on the top of the cake, like this…

Step 5: Place one candy heart in each egg shell and pour 1/4 tsp of lemon extract over each heart. It must be lemon extract (not vanilla or any other flavoring) because of the high alcohol content in lemon extract. (You won’t want to eat the hearts afterwards. It’s only for the effect.)

Step 6: Turn out the lights and have an adult light the hearts on fire. They will burn for a while. Blow them out when you are ready to eat cake.


Other Ideas:

For a dinosaur, dragon, or volcano themed birthday party when candy hearts might not be available, just substitute sugar cubes for the candy hearts.

Jan 12

Dinosaur Activity Book

by Hannah Holt »


Five pages of silly rhymes and dinosaur themed coloring, games, and activity pages!

Click here to download the booklet (1 MB pdf file).

My boys have a cautious love of dinosaurs. They can read book after book about dinosaurs, but the animated prehistoric animals at the natural history museum totally freak them out.

Here’s a conversation they had about dinosaurs just this morning

Grant: I like T-rex. He’s big.

Michael: He’s not as big as a brontosaurus. Brontosaurus is the biggest. That makes him king.

Grant: He is not.

Michael: Is too.

Grant: My T-rex is going to eat your brontosaurus.

I think I have some work to do in the dinosaur education department, and this booklet probably won’t help. But I hope you enjoy it all the same?