essential oils · kids · parenting · quarantine

DIY Scented Crayons Using Essential Oils

Have you ever made your own crayons? I was looking for some fun homeschool activities to do with my kiddos and stumbled on a recipe for making your own crayons and someone suggested scenting them.

I am personally allergic to artificial fragrance and we don’t use it in our home, but I do have and love essential oils!

Here is what you will need for this project:

  • Old crayons (broken with paper peeled off)
  • Muffin/cupcake pan
  • Cupcake liners
  • Butter spray or olive oil spray
  • Essential oils

Here are the steps:

1. Preheat oven to 250. If crayons are not already peeled and broken into small pieces you will need to do that.

2. Decide if you want each crayon to be a different color or if you want rainbow crayons. Either way, you may want to divide your broken crayon pieces up into piles by color.

Peel paper, break into pieces and sort by color.

3. Place a liner in each section of the muffin pan. We sprayed lightly with cooking spray so the liner would come off easily. Then add crayons. I recommend placing the pan on a foil lined cookie sheet.

4. Place the pan in the oven and leave in for 15 about minutes.

5. Pull out and add two drops of desired essential oil to each crayon, then return to oven for another 15 minutes. My daughter felt it was important to color code the oil with the crayon color (pictured below).

She color coded the oil with crayon color. 🌈

6. She was eager to use her new crayons so we placed in the freezer for a half hour after we removed from the oven.

If you appreciate nostalgic stories I thought I would also share my first experience making my own crayon. I was about seven or eight: I remember being bored as a kid and taking my old pieces of crayon, and wondering if I could melt them to make a new one like the multicolored ones I had seen at church. I was little so I wasn’t allowed to use the stove or oven, but I could use the sun’s heat. I had an idea. But I would need a container. It just so happened that it was Pillsbury cinnamon roll day at my house, and so I asked my mom to save the cup the icing comes in. That cup would be perfect for my crayon experiment. It was summer, so it was hot enough I thought. I put my broken crayons, paper peeled off, in the icing container, and set it out in a sunny spot. I came back out several hours later, and just as I expected I had lovely melted rainbow wax. I brought it inside and let it cool off and was so proud of that crayon.

**Did you know there was such a thing as National Crayon Day? It is March 31, the day I am writing this. Mark your calendar for next year and this may be the perfect activity for celebrating it. 😊

kids · parenting · quarantine

Photo Scavenger Hunt

We’ve really liked doing scavenger hunts during this stay home time, and one of our favorites has been the Photo Scavenger Hunt.

We had so many laughs, so many do-overs and it forced us to be silly. Best scavenger hunt we’ve done! Here is the hunt list from Craftaholics Anonymous (thank you!) and I also included some of our pics for you to enjoy.

Click on the hunt list for the printable from Craftaholics Anonymous.
Piggy back ride (#15) and yes, the youngest is in her PJs! We have a very relaxed dress code here. 😊
Playing air guitar (#9)
Jumping in the air (#1)
Emojis (#30)
adventures with kids · kids · parenting · quarantine

Three Kite Flying Secrets

I have been posting pics of my kids flying kites for several springs now and have had other parents ask me for tips. “What am I doing wrong?” they will say. “Our kite just won’t fly.”

Secret #1: Cheap kites are the best. They are the lightest which makes them great flyers. My father-in-law is a whiz with kites so we’ve had nicer ones and they really are hard for little kids to get started. When we started getting the cheap Barbie or Elsa or Buzz Lightyear kites, we had way fewer tears and the kids could do it themselves.

Cheap Barbie kite for the win!

Secret #2: Get the kites while you can. You don’t see kites year round. They tend to be available late February and all of March. When you see them it may still be cold outside and flying one may be furthest from your mind, but if you wait til late spring and for a windy day, you may not find these. We get ours at Walmart.

Secret #3: Kite flying can be done anytime of year! We tend to think of March- the windy month. But here in Tennessee, the day before any good rain shower tends to be windy. So watch your wind forecast and if you see rain, the day before tends to be windy! Beyond that, I look for anywhere between 16-18 mph for the wind. Less than that isn’t quite enough as more than that can be too much. I’ve circled the wind speed on the graphic below.

According to this graph the best bet for kite flying would be Sunday at 4pm.
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Our First Week of Quarantine: Homeschool Life

Required school closures and quarantine have evoked fear and panic in some, but to me it is an opportunity to experience life at a slower pace. There is a part of me (and probably you too) that has yearned for to be free from rushing around and schedules.

I have often told my children stories about what life was like when their dad and I were their age. We had time to run and play and be creative, to really be kids. A silver lining of this quarantine has definitely been the chance for them to sample what that’s like.

We LOLed when she finally guessed her card and had to say “I am nuts.” 😁

When our schools first made the decision to close, we eased into this, not really understanding how serious it was for us to stay home. Right or wrong, the first few days we kept hair and doctor appointments, and took the girls to the grocery with us. The talk of toilet paper shortage became real for our family when we were down to two rolls and my husband was unable to find any at our stores here. I drove to the next town over and chuckled at my own excitement when I scored a big pack of t.p. and paper towels.

Score!!!

We found out schools would be closed for one week, then we would have spring break. We wondered if we would go back to school after spring break, so we continued with school work: writing assignments, projects, ixl and checking Google Classroom. So many educational sites offered free access which has been wonderful. We had a homeschool experience. My girls took to homeschooling right away. They wanted time to read books, write, and do some online work, but loved the freedom to pursue their own interests, have choices, and to be able to move and talk throughout the day. We did math on white boards, and made a leprechaun trap for St. Patrick’s Day.

Homeschool.

I thought about what school would look like as a teacher and wondered what resources students and parents would need that I could provide. We were asked to pick up personal items from our classroom. When I went in I felt sad looking at the empty desks wondering when I would see students in them again. We all worried about students on free-reduced lunch who received FUEL (a bag of food given weekly by schools). We wondered how they would be fed and were proud of how our district and school responded to meet the need.

P.E. class has looked like going on walks. Getting outdoors has been a challenge some days due to cooler temps or rain, but when we were able it was wonderful. Going for daily walks bring joy. One day we walked a trail by the creek and the rain poured. We all got soaked but the girls didn’t seem to mind. Being outside is really important for all of us during this time. We need the fresh air, and Vitamin D.

Creativity and board games have served us all really well. The girls made dresses out of paper towels for their Barbies, we did watercolor and all kinds of art work. Lots of games played: checkers, Guess Who and Connect Four have been favorites.

The girls made dresses for their Barbies out of paper towels.

I have so much gratitude for the time we have and want to get it right. I want to love on these kiddos, make sure they feel safe and help them enjoy these days as much as possible.

Don’t let her sweet face fool you. She is a tough opponent at checkers!

 

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Be Wellness-Minded: What You Think About You Bring About!

All media seems focused on one thing: Coronavirus. Not recommended friends. I am intentionally avoiding social media like the plague (pun intended) and so should you.

We must take it seriously, and we must change our habits because of it. But the WORST thing we could do right now as a collective consciousness and talk and think about this scenario 24/7.

We know that what we think about, we bring about. Right? So then why in the world do we all want to beat the drum of something unwanted and give it more energy?

Instead: Let’s focus on the POLAR OPPOSITE. What do we want? Wellness.

Here are my quick ten wellness mindset practices:

  1. Think and speak thoughts of wellness. Visualize you and your family as well.
  2. Make it your habit to practice supporting your immune system. For specific tips and practices check out my post on immune system boosters.
  3. Stay off social media to the extent possible and avoid CNN and FoxNews. My dad used to refer to the news as “the bad news.” The older I get, the more I see he was right.
  4. Stay calm. We do need to stay home, to flatten the curve. But don’t panic. People get worked up in numbers and blow things out of proportion. This only contributes to the negative energy and attracts the unwanted.
  5. Be proactive. Do things you should do anyway. Wash hands. Avoid shaking hands and other unnecessary physical contact. But not to the extent of anxiety.
  6. Stay positive. The more upbeat you are, the higher you are vibing, the less at-risk you are of attracting unwanted. Focus on positive aspects as much as possible. Make lists if needed.
  7. Self-care. If you don’t take care of yourself you won’t be any good to anyone else. Have a nice cup of tea. Give yourself a facial or mani-pedi. Take a bubble bath. Read a good book.
  8. Meditate. I questioned myself if this should be number one. Why? One of the biggest stumbling blocks for most of us is negative thought. And what is the best way to get off that wagon? No thought. In other words, meditate. Negative thoughts and feelings are such a big component to this whole situation if we are honest. If everyone could take a big deep breath and clear their mind, we could put a brief stop to this collective panic and get a grip. For REAL.
  9. Gratitude. Honestly, when I was watching Oprah Winfrey as a teenager and she gave the advice to keep a gratitude journal, it changed my life. I practice it with my children. I have them tell me five things they are thankful for when we say prayers. I want the best possible thoughts in their minds as they drift off to sleep and their brain goes in to recharge mode.
  10. Prayer. If you believe in a higher power, ask for what it is you want and ask big. Our God is in control and those of us who take rest in Him can rest easy.