Alpha Mom » Marie LeBaron parenting and pregnancy opinions and information Fri, 14 Aug 2015 17:00:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 St. Patrick’s Day Craft: Rainbow Friendship Bracelets Thu, 04 Mar 2010 06:19:04 +0000

We’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by making Rainbow Friendship Bracelets. These are easy to make and fun to give out to friends on this Spring holiday!


Supplies for Rainbow Bracelets:

– yarn in all rainbow colors (yarn is great for smaller fingers, but if you’re child is older, you can make these with embroidery floss)
– scissors
– safety pin, one per person
– large colored beads


Roll out your yarn and cut each color to 18 inches long. Then tie a knot at the top with all 6 colors of yarn.


Attach a safety pin to the top of the knotted yarn. Then you’ll need to attach this same safety pin to something firm as you braid your yarn. I like to attach it to the seam in my jeans. Or you could attach it to your sock. I’ve even attached it to the seam in my couch and sat on the floor as I’ve braided.


Now start to braid. I did this first one in a simple braid, putting 2 colors together, for 3 groups of yarn to braid.


Here’s a bracelet I made with knots all down the length of yarn, alternating each color after 5 knots.


Here’s a bracelet we made by adding a bead into each thread as I braided.


Or here’s a beaded bracelet with 10 beads on each color of yarn, then tied together. We left the yarn hanging down a bit off the bracelet to make a fun rainbow stream!


Once your bracelets are made, you can either remove the safety pin and tie them together in a knot, or attach the other end of the yarn to the safety pin, using it like a clasp.

With so many ways to design your bracelets, you can now give them to all your friends. It’s even more fun as a play-date or party and make them together, swapping bracelets with friends.

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Valentine Vanilla Pudding Cream Pie Fri, 05 Feb 2010 04:39:37 +0000

By Marie LeBaron
This vanilla pudding pie will be the hit of the party as you tempt your guests with this heart shaped dessert!
Supplies for Vanilla Pudding Pie:
– heart shaped pan or muffin tins with pink cupcake liners
homemade graham cracker crust
– vanilla pudding
– red food coloring
– whip cream
– Valentine candies
First, you’ll get your graham cracker crust ready. See this recipe for Homemade Graham Cracker Crust. Mix 1-1/2 cups crushed graham crackers, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cup melted butter, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
You’ll press it into a heart shaped cake pan or into muffin tins with cupcake liners. Bake for 7 minutes and let cool completely.
Mix up your vanilla pudding, following the directions on the package. As you’re whisking the pudding, add in 8-10 drops of food coloring. The more you put in, the less orange and more red/pink it will become. As you can see, mine is even a little too orange and I should have added a couple more drops.
Pour your pudding onto your cooled crust or into your muffin tins.
Using a spatula, spread and smooth out your pudding. Then place this is the fridge for a few hours to help it set up.
Once you’re ready for your party, add a little more cream to the pie with whipped cream. I used whipped cream from a can so I could write with it as I placed it on, but you can make your own and simply pipe it with a frosting bag.
I also added a few m&m candies for a little flare. Who doesn’t love chocolate, pudding, and pie?!! Enjoy this yummy Valentine Pudding Pie at your next Holiday gathering!


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Hot Chocolate Spoons for your dipping pleasure Thu, 07 Jan 2010 09:03:25 +0000

by Marie LeBaron
As January is here and the cold wintry season is in full effect, we’re warming up with some hot cocoa. But the best part is, dipping our Hot Chocolate Spoons into it! These spoons are easy to make and fun to eat, helping beat those winter blues!
Chocolate Dipped Spoons from
Supplies for Hot Chocolate Spoons:
– spoons, plastic work best
– chocolate chips, regular and mini chips
– marshmallows
– coconut, shredded and sweetened
– peanut butter chips
– butterscotch chips
– crushed candy canes
– wax paper
– plate
Have your supplies out ready to go. Heat up your chocolate chips for spoon dipping first. Place a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Take it out and stir, then continue to heat it for 20 second intervals until melted.
Once your chocolate is melted, dip your spoon into the bowl. You’ll need to stir it around and turn it over to make sure you’ve got it all covered in chocolate. Then set the spoon onto a plate covered in wax paper.
When you’ve got your spoons dipped, it’s time to decorate them. For the snowman, place 3 marshmallows in a line down the spoon. I topped one with a peanut butter chip for the hat and a flake of coconut for the scarf. Then two mini chocolate chips get a tiny dip of melted chocolate on the bottom of them before you place it on the top marshmallow for the eyes. Cute!
Chocolate Dipped Snowman Spoon
We made a few different kinds of dipped spoons. One is dipped in melted peanut butter chips with mini chocolate chips all over. We call that one the “chocolate chip cookie” dipped spoon, and it is my favorite one dipped in hot chocolate! We also sprinkled coconut on one to look like snow. Melted mint chocolate with crushed peppermint on another, and a melted butterscotch chips spoon with drizzled chocolate on the top. Mmm, Mmm!
Chocolate Dipped Spoons from
Once you’ve got all your spoons dipped and decorated, let the chocolate harden again. It goes by pretty fast if you place your waxed plate in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes. Then they’re ready for dipping in hot cocoa, or even your hot milk. The snowman one was our favorite to dip. He went for a big swim in chocolate. He was going…
Chocolate Dipped Spoons from
Chocolate Dipped Spoons from
Now this is one tasty snowman! Have fun dipping your snowmen spoons in chocolate!
Also, just wrap in cellophane and add a pink or red bow and you’ve got great Valentines Day gifts (not that we’re thinking that far ahead or anything).


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Handprint Menorah to Celebrate Hanukkah Wed, 02 Dec 2009 10:49:25 +0000

Handprint Menorah
By Marie LeBaron
If you’re wanting to celebrate Hanukkah with little children, but you don’t want them around candles or fire, this is a fun craft to let them be involved. They can glue on a little fuzzy pom pom each night for 8 days of Hanukkah.
Supplies for Handprint Menorah:
– cardstock paper
– craft paint or acrylic paint
– paint brush
– paper plate
– fuzzy pom poms
– yellow triangles, mine are craft foam stickers
– hole punch & ribbon
1. Pour a little blue paint onto the paper plate. Using the sponge brush, paint your child’s hand. I like to paint their hands so it gets into every little crevice. You can have them press their hand into the paint on the plate if you would like, but I’m a “less mess is best” kinda Mom and like to have a little more control over the paint :)
2. One hand at a time, I help guide and press my child’s hand on the paper. Being very careful with the first hand (so as not to get paint on anything), we do the same thing again with the second hand: paint, guide, press. You’ll want to make the thumbs overlap, so it’s only 9 places for candles, not 10. The thumb candle in the middle represents the “shamash” or the worker candle that lights the other candles during Hanukkah.
3. We decorated our paper with Jewish stars forming two yellow triangles on top and opposite of each other.
4. To light the menorah for each day of Hanukkah, glue on a fuzzy pom pom (we put ours in a fun yellow/orange pattern). Instead of pom poms, you could also get out some yellow paint and use your child’s thumbprint for the flame, they could put on a triangle sticker, or even simply draw a candle’s flame for each night.
5. We’ve added letters to spell Hanukkah on our paper at the bottom. We also paper punched 2 holes at the top and tied ribbon to make it a hanging banner.
This is a fun book I like to read to my children to help them learn a little more about Hanukkah. It’s called Hanukkah a Counting Book by Emily Sper.
Enjoy teaching and celebrating Hanukkah with your children. They’ll love being able to help with the process.


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Recycled Napkin Rings for Your Thanksgiving Table Thu, 05 Nov 2009 00:32:44 +0000

Thanksgiving Craft: DIY Recycled Napkin Rings
By Marie LeBaron
Having a beautiful Thanksgiving table can help set the dinner mood. Sometimes the table gets more compliments than the turkey! Here’s a fun way to spice up your table with these decoupage napkin rings made from recycled paper tubes.
– paper tubes, toilet paper roll or paper towel roll
– craft paper, preferably fall colors
– decoupage, I used Mod Podge
– sponge brush
– scissors
– napkins
– embellishments, acorns, leaves, berries (make sure the kids know these are NOT edible)
1. First, measure and cut your piece of paper to fit around your paper tube. You’ll want the lip to over lap just a little, about 1/4 of an inch. And it’s okay if it’s a little longer than the tube, you can trim the extra paper off after it’s done drying.
2. Apply decoupage to your paper tube, make sure you get every inch. Then apply it to the inside of the paper, the side that wraps around the tube. I like to apply glue to both of these, just to make sure it sticks and stays on.
3. Attach the gluey craft paper to the gluey paper tube and roll it on. Smooth out any bubbles or bumps. Make sure it is sealed on the edges. Then let this dry and set for at least 10-15 minutes.
4. You will now apply another coat of decoupage to the outside of the paper craft tube, to help seal it, and it gives it a nice shine. Then let this dry completely, up to 30 minutes.
5. Once the paper craft tube is dry, you’ll need to cut it down into little 2 inch rings. Since the tube is kind of hard at this point, in order to cut through it, you’ll need to smash the tube in half, bending it enough to get your scissors around. Then cut 2 inch sections out of the tube. You can also trim any little extra bits of paper that may be hanging over the edge of the tube.
6. Using your fingers, try to mold the tube back into a circle (although, this doesn’t matter too much, as it will be around the napkin anyway).
7. Now it’s ready to add to a fan folded dinner napkin. Just slip it over and spread out the napkin. I also added some pressed leaves that I wrote the dinner guests names on, and a few berries (not edible). You could also add acorns or feathers, something else to give it some flare.
Have fun dressing up your table, as well as your turkey!


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Halloween Craft: A Ghostly Garden Graveyard Thu, 01 Oct 2009 01:25:21 +0000 Timmy the Tomato and Zach the Zucchini. Also, good timing for Halloween. ]]>

Vegetable Garden Graveyard
by Marie LeBaron
Our vegetable garden was on its last leg this week, so we decided to pull everything out and say goodbye to Timmy the Tomato and Zach the Zucchini. We crafted some tombstones to remember them by, laying to rest our sweet vegetable garden. Plus the timing is perfect for Halloween.
Supplies for Garden Graveyard:
– cardboard pieces
– gray paint
– sponge brushes
– black marker or paint
First, cut your cardboard pieces to look like tombstones. They can be tall and skinny or short and fat. My stones are a few different sizes. These are about 2 feet high and 1 foot wide.
Using the sponge brush, paint each cardboard piece with the gray paint. You don’t need to paint the bottom 3-4 inches, as that section will be stuck in the ground.
With your black marker, or paint, write the name of the vegetable on the tombstone. We had potatoes, snap peas, string beans, tomatoes, and Holy Mole peppers. I gave them silly names and added words like: RIP or Here lies or In Memory of.
Now stick them in your garden where your vegetables used to grow! You could even say a short speech about how they helped provide for you and how great the zucchini bread you made turned out. Farewell you delicious bounty, rest in peace!



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Crafty Labor Day Cleaning Baskets Thu, 03 Sep 2009 09:31:02 +0000 Labor Day is for known for its day of rest, but we're cleaning the house this holiday. We've decorated some fun cleaning baskets to help get us in the cleaning mood. ]]>

By Marie LeBaron
Labor Day is just around the corner. Normally Labor Day is for known for its day of rest, but as my kids are out of school and need something to keep them occupied, we’re cleaning the house this holiday. We’ve decorated some fun cleaning baskets to help get us in the cleaning mood.
Supplies for Labor Day Cleaning Baskets:
– plastic baskets, preferably with handles
– spray bottle
– baby wipes container
– washcloth or scrub glove
– craft foam alphabet stickers
As my children are very little, I chose cleaning supplies that won’t harm them, adding only water to the spray bottle. Or there are lots of other things you can add to your Cleaning Baskets that are perfect for small hands, like a scrub brush, dry towel, duster, or tooth brush.
With our alphabet stickers, we found lots of letters to spell some cleaning words: broom, mop, wash, clean, dust, scrub. Then my two children got to pick 3 words each to place on their cleaning items.
Attach a sticker word to the basket, spray bottle, and baby wipe container.
Now you’re ready to clean. My kids love to clean the windows, and boy do they need it!
I also have them wipe down door knobs and light switches with baby wipes. Those objects are just my daughters size!
To help the kids catch the cleaning buzz, here’s a few more crafty links for making cleaning tools fun for the kids:
Dusting Puppets
Water Sponge Toys
Bath Sponge Creatures
What cleaning jobs do you let your kids help with around the house?


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Make a Schultüte for Your Child’s First School Year Thu, 06 Aug 2009 01:29:07 +0000

Back-to-School Schultüte
By Marie LeBaron
There are many ways to get your kids excited and ready for the new school year. As my oldest is going into First Grade this year (I can’t believe he’s already in 1st grade), I thought it would be fun to make him a Schultute. A Schultüte, or school cone, is a German tradition where parents give their child going into their first year of school one of these giant cones filled with school supplies and treats. So as my son is going into his “first” year of school, I’ve made him this giant Schultüte, Star Wars of course, can you tell he likes Star Wars?!
Supplies for a Schultüte:
* poster board or large cardstock paper
* scissors
* glue stick
* heavy tape, I used packing tape
* Decorations: I used a Star Wars poster to cover the poster board, but it could be decorated with paint, crayons, paper, stickers, whatever you think your child might like.
* tissue paper
* ribbon
First, you’ll want to cut the poster board into the shape of a large triangle. I also cut my Star Wars poster the same size too. Then I attached my Star Wars poster to the white poster using a glue stick.
You’re ready to roll it up to form the cone. Then using the packing tape, seal the edges together. I used regular scotch tape to hold the cone closed until I used the heavy tape to seal it all together.
With your glue stick, put some glue all around the outside of the cone, about one inch from the top. Then holding the cone straight between your legs, attach the folded in half tissue paper to the outside of the cone. The first tissue paper didn’t make it all the way around, so I used two sheets of tissue paper.
Fill the Schultüte with your goodies for your child. I put in colored pencils, a notebook, his favorite candy M&Ms, and a few other things that he might need for school.
Then tie the tissue up with ribbon to seal it off and keep the contents hidden! Now it’s ready to give to my son on his first day of school!
**For another version of a smaller style Schultüte, visit our friend Zakka Life.

Also, if you’re not the crafty kind or *cough* can’t fit *cough* this project into your schedule, you can find unfilled Schultütes for sale at Magic Cabin

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4th of July Craft: Tie Dye Tees Thu, 02 Jul 2009 08:52:51 +0000

Family Tie-Dyed Tees

We’ve got our patriotic outfits ready for the 4th, do you? If not, here’s something fun to make for the whole family, Tie Dyed Tees. Special thanks to Jacquard Tie Dye products and for sponsoring some of the supplies.

Supplies for Tie Dye T-Shirts :

* tie dye kit – comes with bottles, dye, solution, rubber bands and gloves
* white clothing
* plastic bucket
* plastic covering
* water
* paper towels
What will you Tie Dye: First, you’ll need to pick out the garments you want to dye. I chose a shirt for my son and husband and 2 twin skirts for my girls.
And a swimsuit cover for me (although you won’t see me modeling this one, sorry!)
Basic directions: The best thing to remember about tie dying is being prepared. Have all your things ready to go before you begin, because you don’t want to get that dye on anything else but what you’re tie dying. The directions from Jacquard are pretty easy to follow from the kit. We did this outside on our patio table, covered in plastic, and held tight by rocks!!
Get your desired look: To get your desired look, there’s different ways to fold, twist, and bunch up your clothes.
* For my girl’s skirts, I was going for red stripes like an American flag, so I folded them like an accordion and placed the dye across each fold. I already have tops with stars, so I wanted the bottoms to be the stripes.
* For my cover up, I did blue on top for the “stars” area of a flag and red stripes on the bottom, accordion style like the skirts.
* For my husband’s shirt, we went crazy and just mushed it altogether. I wrapped the bands everywhere to make a big ball.
* And for my son, he really wanted his shirt to be swirly. So I pulled the shirt from the belly and started to twist. Then we wrapped rubber bands around it, about 6 down.
My Son’s Swirl look!

Applying the dye:
Once you’re ready for the dye, make sure you’re gloves are on so the tips of your fingers don’t go purple! Also, this is DYE and will color anything it touches, so make sure you have paper towels on hand just in case.
Now I applied the dye to all the rubber banded areas. I used only blue and red colors. I applied the blue first, making sure to get in the creases, then rinsed off my gloves to get ready to apply the red. Some spots started to mix and turn purple, but I still think I got my desired look.
Letting it set: When all of your desired dye is applied, cover up the area with another plastic piece. It now needs to set for 24 hours, letting the dye do it’s magic.
Rinse, wash, and wear: My son could hardly wait the 24 hours that this dye needed to set. Right at 1:00 the next day, he came to me saying it was time! I rinsed each item under water until it rinsed clear. Then popped them into the washer for a good cleaning. We dried them and they were ready to wear!
Our family is set and ready for the day’s festivities this 4th of July. We’ll be showing off our patriotic colors at the parade, bright and early Saturday morning!

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Father’s Day Craft: Golf Cover Sock Puppets Thu, 04 Jun 2009 08:18:15 +0000

Father’s Day Craft: Golf Cover Buddies
By Marie LeBaron
Does the Dad in your life love to Golf?
Is it “Golf or Go Home” at your house? Then these fun and friendly sock puppets are the perfect cover for Dad’s golf clubs this Father’s Day.
Supplies for Sock Puppets:
* socks – preferably new socks, any size, these are men’s large.
* hot glue gun (for adult use)
* chenille craft wire
* craft foam sheets
* googley eyes
* yarn
* puffy paint – to write a message
* and any extras to make it unique
1- Pick out your style of sock. We chose a gray one and an argyle one. Now hot glue on the googley eyes, just above the sock’s toe line.
2- Next, you need to decide what kind of features you want it to have. We’ve chosen a foam visor, hair, and mini golf club.
3- For the foam visor, cut out a crescent shape out of your craft foam. This one is about 2×3 inches, but measure yours to your sock size.
4- For the hair, cut out 1-2 inch strips of yarn. Glue a strip of hot glue on the mini foam visor underneath, and place them carefully onto the glue. Now glue your visor onto your sock, just above the eyes.
5- For the mini golf club, cut a piece of chenille pipe wire in half. Curl down one side just a little, giving it the shape of a golf club. Then glue it onto the sock, where it’s arms would be.
6- We also wrote on our foam visors with white puffy paint. This is available at most craft stores. It writes easily and dries pretty fast.
Now these little golf buddies are ready for the green! Have fun crafting up something fun for Dad!

Other Father’s Day Craft Ideas:
Father’s Day Craft: Altoid Mini Toolbox
Father’s Day Craft: Origami Card
Handmade Photo Cube


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