Archive | October, 2008

Halloween Magic Potion Fun

Every year my kids look forward to creating magic potions at Halloween.  I’m usually against giving kids carbonated drinks, but using fizzy pop makes this magical potion come alive!  Try it out with your little one and enter the fun world of Halloween magic and make believe.

Ingredients for Magic Potion:

Witches Brew – Sprite
Moon Rocks – Pop Rocks candy
Rat Bones – q-tip or plastic bone
Alligator Eyes – green grapes
A Wart from A Bat or Witches behind – dark grapes
Frozen Body Parts – gummy worms frozen in water using ice cube trays
Ghost Noses – mini marshmallows

How To Create Your Potion:

Gather round a table and inform your children you have a special treat today….creating a magic potion.  First you add the sprite to a plastic goblet that you can find at most Halloween decorating stores (yes, it will probably contain BPA).  I discovered this year with my heightened awareness of phalates and BPA that most Halloween costumes, decorations, and fun food related plastics are loaded with these chemicals.  Good thing it’s only once a year!  <smile>  Next, add a spoonful of pop rocks candy.  Beware of the pop rocks exploding up to young children’s eyes, but if you make it past this step the affect is a wonderful fizzing and popping noise.  Next add the grapes, marshmallows, gummy worms and stir with your pretend bone while chanting “Hocus Pocus Ala Kazoom, help my tummy, not to go Boom!”  You or your child can drink the potion…it’s very sweet, but nothing harmful goes in.

Enjoy the magic of the Halloween season!!

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How To Host A Green (er) Kid’s Party or Event

These days, parents are forced to actively research and stay abreast on the latest issues – whether it involves a product recall due to cheaply made toys or the leaching of the latest chemicals from non-sustainable materials. It’s a time where parenting involves the active exchange of new information and making well researched, eco-friendly decisions. There is a new area of parenting that is slowly gaining ‘green’ and sustainable momentum…hosting a green birthday party for children.

In the excitement of planning a child’s birthday party, parents often get carried away with sourcing the latest commercialized theme for parties. For example, matching Hannah Montana decorations, plates, napkins, cups, tablecloth, wrapping paper, etc.. The co-founders of Green Planet Parties realized at their own children’s birthday parties, the enormity of waste resulting from plastic packaging from presents, wrapping paper, petroleum lined commercialized tableware, and plastic party decorations; the amount of waste was noticeably endless. This company’s co-founders wanted to research an earth friendlier way to assist parent’s with hosting kid’s parties. Although children’s birthday parties are a rite of passage and deserve to be special, spending time to research eco-friendly alternatives doesn’t need to deter from any of the party guests or birthday child’s fun or cause the host extra expense.

Why should you green your next family event or kid’s party? This one action will kick start a powerful ball of information rolling among family and friends that might even surprise the host. Education is the largest result from an eco-friendly party and the understated changes will delight and encourage environmental change from guests.

What are the easiest things to change from traditional party/event planning? Here is an easy checklist:

~ Send Evites (free, online invitation) to guests. If you would like a more traditional party invitation, source seed invitations that can be planted at a later date. Children receiving this special invitation will love this eco-activity.  Also available are seed thank you cards for after the party “thank yous”!

~ Source sustainable party decorations. Remove plastic decorations and invest in cloth tablecloths, tablerunners, customizable banners, and cotton goodie bags to hold party give-aways.

~ Your own household plates, cups, and cutlery are always the best choice for tableware, but when hosting a large event or holding the party at a venue away from home, eco-friendly disposable tableware becomes a requirement. Did you know that biodegradable tableware is easy to find and the cost is reasonable? Also, unlike the Hannah Montana or Sponge Bob themes, you are able to re-use any left over tableware at a later date. Eco-friendly plates, hot/cold cups, cutlery, napkins, and garbage bags are naturally beautiful in texture and color – children will not miss the commercialism of traditional tableware that does nothing more than add to landfill waste.

~ Source sustainable party give-aways for guests. Children and parents alike, enjoy practical, quality loot bag items. Rather than sourcing dollar store plastic that breaks within minutes of being opened after a party, spend the same amount of money and purchase reusable items: practical, nature inspired, or books. What a wonderful way for a guest to remember your party months or years down the road while they still enjoy their special goodie bag item.

~ Talk to your child about choosing a special charity or social cause and request guests bring a donation in lieu of presents. This idea of the ‘donation party’ is spreading throughout communities and is very empowering for the birthday child. Education is shared with the party guests regarding the cause, so everyone benefits from this generous act. Also, the birthday child is able to purchase a special, quality gift with their 1/2 of the donations and this helps reduce a large amount of traditional party waste from packaging. The trick to communicating this request to guests is properly explaining your thoughts in the invitation’s wording. For example working, check out the Eco Party Tip’s section of Green Planet Parties‘ site. The sample wording is helpful for drafting your Evite.

~ Go the extra mile and source: latex balloons (latex is naturally earth friendly), organic lollipops, beeswax birthday cake candles, wrapping paper with seeds or use recycled paper. Lesson your environmental footprint by ordering all your party supplies online and have them shipped directly to you. Engage guests with nature or eco based activities during the party.

The party planning experts at Green Planet Parties guarantee this new way to approach family events or birthday parties will impress your guests and the understated message of helping mother earth will be powerful and inspire others to change.

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Safe, Fun, & Easy Pumpkin Crafts For Kids

Are you like me and couldn’t wait to buy/pick pumpkins in late September?  My family was at the opening weekend for our local pumpkin patch and just couldn’t walk away empty handed, even though it was still September.  I knew the pumpkins will last because of a great non-carvable pumpkin craft I found years ago.   We’ve been painting our pumpkins into little ghosts for a few years…and it’s the biggest hit with my kids.  Also, because the pumpkins aren’t being cut, they can last the many weeks leading up to Halloween.  The below image is the picture from a magazine I saw while waiting in a Doctor’s office and knew instantly that my boys would love it!  Aren’t the pumpkins just the cutest?  Read on for easy instructions to re-create this craft.

 

Take light blue paint (we are still using up wall paint purchased 4 years ago to decorate a room) and cover the pumpkin.  Make sure the pumpkin is clean and dry before applying the paint.  You might want to do 2 coats, but it’s not necessary.  When pumpkin is dry, take a permanent marker and color eyes.  Keep pumpkin off the ground because they will rot early.  Mount them proudly for everyone to see.

Another craft that has become a tradition at our house is the lollipop graveyard.  It is a great activity if you want to bring a treat for a school Halloween party or do a count-down to Halloween.  It also doesn’t involve carving but still involves lots of fun for kids.  I actually think the ‘ghosts’ stay in place better if the pumpkin remains whole (no scooping out pumpkin seeds).  I don’t have a picture of the finished craft, but it’s easy to imagine.

Lollipop Graveyard

First you create 20 odd lollipop ghosts (change number to amount of children in your class if bringing for a school Halloween party).  To do this, cut paper towels or tissue in a 6 or 8 inch square.  Cut white yarn or ribbon approx. 4 inches long. Place the lollipop in the center of the tissue paper and wrap the tissue around the lollipop.  Tie the yarn or ribbon around the base of lollipop and draw 2 eyes and mouth on the tissue paper with a thick marker.  Repeat for as many ghosts as you want in the graveyard. 

Pick a medium sized pumpkin, take a nail and poke holes into your pumpkin for the same number of lollipop ghosts you have.  Stick the lollipops into the holes and complete with a little sign saying “Family name or school graveyard”,  You’ve made a great decoration or given wonderful presentation for bringing a treat to a party or Halloween celebration.  If you are looking for amazing tasting lollipops that are 100% organic and safe to bring to a classroom that might have children with allergies, try YummyEarth organic fruit lollipops. They would be the perfect compliment to this fun craft! Here is an example of the lollipop ghosts:

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