He rhymes with bat. He doesn’t usually wear a hat, and – oh! – we could go on about that. It’s Splat the Cat! And Yakima Valley Libraries around the valley will host programs based on the character.
Made famous in Rob Scotton’s “Splat the Cat” books, the cuddly feline is the focus of “Pat Splat the Cat” programs offered this April. Activities include stories, rhymes, crafts, songs and games.
Here’s the schedule for YVL’s “Pat Splat the Cat” offerings:
- April 19 at 10:30 a.m.: Sunnyside Library, 621 Grant, Sunnyside; 509-837-3234.
- April 22 at 11 a.m.: Moxee Library, 255 W. Seattle, Moxee; 509-575-8854.
- April 23 at 10:30 a.m.: Yakima Central Library, 102 N. Third St., Yakima; 509-452-8541.
- April 23 at 3:30 p.m.: Naches Library, 303 Naches Ave., Naches; 509-653-2005.
- April 24 at 10:30 a.m.: West Valley Library, 223 S. 72nd Ave., Yakima; 509-966-7070.
- April 24 at 1:30 p.m.: Selah Library, 106 S. Second St., Selah; 509-698-7345.
- April 25 at 10:30 a.m.: Terrace Heights Library, 4011 Commonwealth Drive, Yakima; 509-457-5319.
- April 25 at 3 p.m.: Granger Library, 508 Sunnyside Ave., Granger; 509-854-1446.
- April 26 at 10:30 a.m.: Toppenish Library, 1 S. Elm, Toppenish; 509-865-3600.
- April 26 at 4 p.m.: Wapato Library, 119 E. Third St., Wapato; 509-877-2882.
The 14th annual Arbor Festival is 10 a.m-3 p.m April 13. With “tax day” just around the corner, this would be a great time to allow yourself to breathe, relax and enjoy nature.
The free event is designed for the entire family. This year’s theme is “Nature’s ‘Tree’rific Art,” to emphasize the celebration of the many wonders and varieties of natural science and conservation. Hands-on learning activities, crafts and displays will be on-hand, and up to 40 stations will be set up and run by various organizations in the area. As many as 600 families will be able to take home a tree to plant on Arbor Day, which is April 26 this year.
The Arbor Festival takes place at Yakima Area Arboretum, 1401 Arboretum Drive, Yakima. Call 509-248-7337 or visit ahtrees.org for more info.
Kids have been shut indoors for too long by now, leaving parents wondering just what to do with them. It’s time to get artsy.
Allied Arts of Yakima has several new art programs lined up in the next few months.
Fly Your Kite & Rock Your Banner. 9:30-11 a.m. Thursdays through March 28. Instructor Mindy Clark helps kids create kites and banners using markers and watercolors on recycled materials, emphasizing shape, color, value, line and pattern. Cost: $10 per person; register at Allied Arts of Yakima, 5000 W. Lincoln Ave., Yakima; 509-966-0930. Classes are held at the Selah Library, 106 S. Second St., Selah.
Magazine Beads. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays through March 30. Instructor: Diane Smith. Cost: $10 per person. Drop-ins welcome. Classes held at Allied Arts of Yakima, 5000 W. Lincoln Ave., Yakima; 509-966-0930.
Open Studios. 12-3 p.m. Saturdays through April 27. Open, drop-in studio. Art teacher on-hand to facilitate projects. Cost: $5 for one adult and child together; $2 each additional child. Art supplies included in cost. Classes held at Allied Arts of Yakima, 5000 W. Lincoln Ave., Yakima; 509-966-0930.
Pop Art Portraits. 9:30-11 a.m. Thursdays, April 4-25. Clark teaches students to create portraits using markers, glue, oil pastel, printing and collage to study line, color, pattern and balance. Cost: $10 per person; register at Allied Arts of Yakima, 5000 W. Lincoln Ave., Yakima; 509-966-0930. Classes are held at the Selah Library, 106 S. Second St., Selah.
Collage with Rausenburg and Beardon. 9:30-11 a.m. Thursdays, May 2-30. Instructor: Mindy Clark. Cost: $10 per person; register at Allied Arts of Yakima, 5000 W. Lincoln Ave., Yakima; 509-966-0930. Classes are held at the Selah Library, 106 S. Second St., Selah.
February 13, 2013 by Scott Klepach
Want to go green for St. Patrick’s Day?
Head on over to the Yakima Area Arboretum March 17 for the annual “Pulling of the Greens” event.
That’s when people are encouraged to come out and get the area ready to go for spring.
Come prepared to prune, weed, clean and spread mulch on garden beds.
Yakima Area Arboretum, 1401 Arboretum Drive, Yakima; 509-248-7337. ahtrees.org
February 13, 2013 by Scott Klepach
To celebrate Engineering Week (Feb. 17-23), the Yakima branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the Engineering Department at Yakima Valley Community College are teaming up once again to host “Engineering Day for Kids,” which runs 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 23. The event takes place at YVCC’s Hopf Union Building (HUB).
Any elementary school-aged child is invited to attend this free event and get experience with hands-on activities that will help the child explore the connections between math, science and engineering.
No registration is required, but if you have any questions, contact Ben Annen at 509-966-7000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 29, 2013 by Scott Klepach
Kids have been shut indoors for too long by now, leaving parents wondering just what to do with them.
It’s time to get artsy.
Allied Arts of Yakima has several brand-new art programs lined up starting in February and continuing into the spring.
“Masks of the Pacific Northwest.” 9:30-11 a.m. Thursdays, Feb. 7-28. Instructor Mindy Clark helps students explore the world of masks created using mixed media, representing the Pacific Northwest. Cost: $10 per person; register at Allied Arts of Yakima, 5000 W. Lincoln Ave., Yakima; 509-966-0930. Classes are held at the Selah Library, 106 S. 2nd St., Selah.
“Belly Dancing with Sabra.” 6-7 p.m. Tuesdays, Feb. 5-26. Cost: $10 per person. Drop-ins welcome. Classes held at Allied Arts of Yakima, 5000 W. Lincoln Ave., Yakima; 509-966-0930.
“Mommy & Me Matching Pocket Services.” 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays, Feb. 2 & Feb. 9. Instructor: Diane Smith. Cost: $10 per person. Drop-ins welcome. Classes held at Allied Arts of Yakima, 5000 W. Lincoln Ave., Yakima; 509-966-0930.
“Fly Your Kite & Rock Your Banner.” 9:30-11 a.m. Thursdays, Mar. 7-28. Instructor Mindy Clark leads kids to create kites and banners using markers and watercolors on kites and banners made of recycled materials, emphasizing shape, color, value, line and pattern. Cost: $10 per person; register at Allied Arts of Yakima, 5000 W. Lincoln Ave., Yakima; 509-966-0930. Classes are held at the Selah Library, 106 S. 2nd St., Selah.
“Magazine Beads.” 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays, Mar. 2-30. Instructor: Diane Smith. Cost: $10 per person. Drop-ins welcome. Classes held at Allied Arts of Yakima, 5000 W. Lincoln Ave., Yakima; 509-966-0930.
“Pop Art Portraits.” 9:30-11 a.m. Thursdays, Apr. 4-26. Instructor Mindy Clark teaches students to create portraits using markers, glue, oil pastel, printing and collage to study line, color, pattern and balance. Cost: $10 per person; register at Allied Arts of Yakima, 5000 W. Lincoln Ave., Yakima; 509-966-0930. Classes are held at the Selah Library, 106 S. 2nd St., Selah.
“Collage with Rausenburg and Beardon.” 9:30-11 a.m. Thursdays, May 2-30. Instructor: Mindy Clark. Cost: $10 per person; register at Allied Arts of Yakima, 5000 W. Lincoln Ave., Yakima; 509-966-0930. Classes are held at the Selah Library, 106 S. 2nd St., Selah.
September 20, 2012 by Scott Klepach
Whether it’s Halloween or other harvest fun, here’s the lowdown on what’s in store for you this fall:
MULTIPLE DAY EVENTS
APPLE AND PUMPKIN FESTIVAL. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays, Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26 & Saturdays, Sept. 22, 29, Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27. U-pick/we pick pumpkins and apples, make your own cider, warm apple cider donuts, pony rides, hay rides, barnyard hay rides, fire pit and marshmallows, live music, all-American food, demonstrations and classes. Bill’s Berry Farm, 3674 N. County Line Road, Grandview; 509-882-3200. billsberryfarm.com
BARNYARD MYSTERY CORN MAZE AT BILL’S BERRY FARM. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays, Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, & Saturdays, Sept. 22, 29, Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27. Farmer Bill has gone missing … what a mystery! Help figure out which barnyard animal kidnapped him by navigating a 7 1/2-acre corn maze, plus nearly four miles of trails. Bill’s Berry Farm, 3674 N. County Line Rd., Grandview; 509-882-3200. Billsberryfarm.com
BLACKBERRIES JUBILEE. 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, through Oct. 13 (Friday-Sunday by appt.). U-pick blackberries. Take your pick of blackberries on the half-acre vineyard. At 600 Arrowsmith Road, Sunnyside.
GRANDVIEW’S ANNUAL HAUNTED HOUSE. Oct. 26-27, 5:30-10 p.m. Haunted house, games, food and more. Cost: $4 age 13 and older, $3 ages 12 and younger and seniors. Sponsored by Miss Grandview Program and Grandview Music Boosters. 135 Division St., Grandview; 509-882-3198. visitgrandview.org
FIFTH ANNUAL HAUNTED TRAIN AND DEPOT. Oct. 27-28 & Oct. 30-31. Schedule: 7-11 p.m. Oct. 27; 7-10 p.m. Oct. 28, 30, & 31. Come see ghosts, goblins and other scary surprises at two haunted trains. Cost: $5 per person (recommended age is 13 and older). Northern Pacific Railway Museum, 10 S. Asotin Rd., Toppenish; 509-865-1911. nprymuseum.org
JONES FARMS STRAW MAZE AND STRAW MOUNTAIN SLIDE. Sept. 15-Oct. 31. Straw maze and straw mountain slide. Free. Jones Farms, 2020 Thacker Road, Zillah; 509-829-6024.
OCTOBER HARVEST DAYS. Oct. 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, & 27-28. Old-fashioned cider squeeze, hay rides, hay maze and pumpkin patch. Washington Fruit Place at Barrett Orchards, 1209 Pecks Canyon Rd., Yakima; 509-966-1275.
SCHELL’S MASSIVE CORN MAZE & FALL HARVEST FUNLAND. Open in October: 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays. Ten-acre corn maze, and a 2-acre maze with no dead-ends for kids, straw pyramid with slides, hay rides, pumpkin patch, petting zoo, pumpkin chucker, haunted house, bonfire pits and barbeques. Admission includes carving pumpkin: $9.50 adults/$6.50 children ages 3-10 and seniors 65+/children ages 2 and younger free with paid adult. Schell’s Produce. Two locations: 3213 Tacoma St. in Union Gap, 509-453-3200; and three miles east of Toppenish on Highway 22 at Harris Road, 509-865-4511.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20
HARVEST MARCHING BAND FESTIVAL. 4:30 p.m. Finals at 6 p.m. Cost: $15 adults for all-day pass, $10 for finals only; $10 for students and seniors. Zaepfel Stadium, 40th Avenue and Tieton Drive. harvestbands.org
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21
YAKIMA ADVENTIST FALL FESTIVAL. 12-3 p.m. Hay ride, bounce houses, dunk tank, toddler pumpkin patch and games. Hosted by Yakima Adventist Christian School and Washington Fruit Place & Gift Shop. Yakima Adventist Christian School, 1200 City Resevoir Rd., Yakima; 509-966-1933. yacsschool.org
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27
ANNUAL PUMPKIN RUN. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 27. Family-friendly event includes caboose and pump car rides and museum tours. Each child gets a free pumpkin. Cost: $5 adults, $3 for children 12 and under. Northern Pacific Railway Museum, 10 S. Asotin Road, Toppenish; 509-865-1911. nprymuseum.org
MINI PUMPKINS COME TO LIFE. 10-11 a.m. Oct. 27. Master Gardeners host this class to teach children how to decorate pumpkins. Free. Ahtanum Youth Park Barn, 1000 Ahtanum Rd., Union Gap.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28
DIA DE LOS MUERTOS. 12-5 p.m. Sugar skulls, sand painting and crafts for the entire family. Festival also features food and music. Cost: $3 suggested donation. Mighty Tieton Warehouse, 608 Wisconsin Ave., Tieton; 509-847-3034. mightytieton.com
HARVEST FESTIVAL. 3-5 p.m., Oct. 28. Fun child-centered event, particularly for kids ages 2-8. Photo booth, games, arts and crafts, bake sale, prizes and more. Children are encouraged to wear their costumes. The festival also serves as a school fundraiser, and open to the community. Cost: $5 per person. The Montessori School of Yakima, 511 N. 44th Ave., Yakima (on the corner of Englewood and 44th avenues). For more info, call 509-901-2031.
Selah Civic Center. 6-8 p.m., Oct. 31. Harvest Community Church (and local area merchants) is hosting the Selah Community Halloween Party. Kids birth-10 years. Kid-friendly costumes welcome.
New Hope Community Church. 5:30-8 p.m., Oct. 31. Located at 29 Channel Drive, Yakima.
Wesley United Methodist Church: 6-8 p.m., Oct. 31. Food, costumes, games. Free, open to the public. Located in church parking lot, at 14 N. 48th Ave., Yakima.
Westminster Presbyterian Church: 5:30-7 p.m. Oct. 31. Halloween-themed carnival games and more. Free, open to the public. Located in the church parking lot, at 6015 Summitview Ave. Yakima.
June 1, 2012 by Scott Klepach
Programs for the Young Artist
Yakima Valley’s beautiful summer is a work of art itself, and it might inspire kids to get their hands working creatively. Here are some programs for kids who want to get artistic.
Maxin Art Studio is offering a drop-in drawing class each Friday from 4-6 p.m. The studio is located at 106 S. Third St. in Yakima. You can call 509-494-3850 for details, or visit maxinartstudio.com. Ongoing.
Red Art Studios, located at 2522 W. Nob Hill Blvd. in Yakima, has a lineup of summer art and science day camps beginning in July. Each camp costs $65 per participant, and pre-registration is required. Call 509-469-2766 to register. All camps run 9-11:30 a.m. Tuesday through Friday. Here’s the schedule:
July 17-20: “Explore Ancient Egypt” Art, culture, math and language.
July 24-27: “Weather Central” Weather in art, weather machines and observing.
July 31-Aug. 3: “Masks of the Americas” Mask construction, history, culture and expression.
Aug. 7-10: Rocket camp. (First session)
Aug. 14-17: Rocket camp. (Second session)
Allied Arts of Yakima Valley will resume its popular summer ArtsVan program, which brings art to various parks in the area (check out our website, playdateyakima.com, for a full schedule!). Allied Arts also has a number of art camps at its facility at 5000 W. Lincoln Ave. in Yakima. Call the office at 509-966-0930 or visit alliedartsyakima.org for more info and updates.
Each art camp costs $80 for a full week or $140 for two theatre or art camps. Each camp is designed for ages 7-12 and runs from 2-4 p.m. on the dates listed below.
Jun. 25-29: Explore the movie “The Artist.”
July 9-13: Explore myths and storytelling in an art classroom setting.
July 16-20: Explore the art of murals.
Aug. 20-24: Explore the world of puppet creation.
December 1, 2011 by Scott Klepach
Ready for a Winter Triathlon?
Scott Klepach Jr.
For this game, you will need:
- Four players or more (two players on two teams)
- A sled
- A box or basket
- Snowman supplies (carrot, hat, scarf or rocks)
- Station markers for three stations
Set up three stations:
Station 1: Snow Angels
Station 2: Snowmen
Station 3: Sledding to Dress up the Snowman
1. Create a starting line and mark three stations around the yard, using landmarks or household objects to designate each. Place one member of each team at the starting line and the second team member of each team at Station 2 (Snowman).
2. When “go” is called, the team members at the starting line will race to Station 1 to make snow angels. Once finished, confirm that the snow angel looks complete and then team members will race to meet their teammates at Station 2.
3. At Station 2, both teams will create their own snowman with three sections.
4. When the snowman is finished, partners will run together to Station 3, where a sled and a box containing the snowman’s decorations are waiting. One player will sit on the sled and hold the box while the other partner will pull the sled back to Station 2 where the snowman is waiting to be decorated.
5. Dress up the snowman for his date with winter!
6. Both partners must race together back to the starting line, which is now the finish line. Whoever crosses this finish line first, after having completed all of the steps properly, wins!
- Note: You can certainly modify the rules if only two people are playing a one-on-one match. The only real part of the game to take away in this case would be the sledding component.ereHere
Each edition of Playdate magazine is on newsstands for about two months, and the October/November edition will be on newsstands for exactly 65 days. So here’s a list of 65 fun arts and crafts projects, kid-friendly recipes and easy activities that families can whip up in an afternoon or over a crisp fall weekend.
Sept. 21: National “Dog Week” is Sept. 19-25, so celebrate by making your dog homemade dog treats.
Sept. 22: Make quacky – ahem – whacky soap with a duck. Melt glycerin soap in microwave. (Look at the directions — one brand states to microwave on high for 40 seconds, with 10-second intervals. You can also use a double broiler.) Pour into disposable, rectangular plastic dish. Add a few drops of blue coloring and stir. Set squirt toy on top. Leave in cool, dry area to set (about 2-4 hours). Get sudsy!
Sept. 23: Bath time! Why not make your own bath salts? Combine 4 cups of fine sea salt, 1 ½ cups of Epsom salts, 1 cup of course sea salt and throw in some essential oils. Vanilla, jasmine and sandalwood are exotic oils, while lavender, sweet orange, fennel and rosemary are soothing. Birch, ginger and peppermint oils can help relieve pain. Great too for parents who need rejuvenation!
Sept. 24: Great for a ‘tween girls spa day or slumber party: Make a facial scrub. Combine 1 cup almonds, 1 cup oatmeal and ½ oz. lavender. Put ingredients in blender (Mom or Dad, not the kids!) and grind until smooth. Mix with water or milk to make a paste and scrub face lightly for one minute (avoid eyes!). Rinse and pat dry. Then gossip all day about boys!
Sept. 25: Keep that toddler busy with an exploring set. Gather six 8-ounce water bottles, removing labels. Fill each bottle with something for baby to discover. Some ideas: a mix of water and glitter; or go snow globe style with tiny toys, water, glitter and a few drops of food coloring and glycerin; jingle bells; fluffy pom poms or dried beans. Once you’ve filled them all, glue the lids on tight for safety.
Sept. 26: Sept. 25-Oct. 1 is national “Keep Kids Creative Week!” Let’s write a haiku. Haikus are three lines, remembering the 5-7-5 rule: the first line contains five syllables, the second line features seven syllables, and the last line has five syllables. Here is an example: Playdate magazine / Celebrates the coming fall / Enjoy the season! Send us your kids’ haikus!
Sept. 27: Jot down words and ideas to create a story. Big ideas are fun, but the details can be daunting. Try helping your child make a list or jot down ideas in some form. You can transform these notes into a story later on. Provide details of a scene and explain thoughts, actions, and emotions. Focus on sensory details — the five senses — unless your child wants to venture down the path of exploring what a sixth or seventh sense might look like! (Perfect for Halloween!)
Sept. 28: Help your little bards. Write or type your child’s ideas down as he or she tells them to you. This teamwork might reduce pressure on your child to “complete” a book or story project on his or her own. Emphasize working together. This teamwork aspect will still allow your child to have a primary role in the creative process.
Sept. 29: Create your child’s own book. This can be out of standard paper, colored construction paper or a combination of both. Sometimes having a homemade book in hand is encouraging enough to get someone motivated to write down the ideas and see (and hold!) his or her own book!
Sept. 30: Create a ’zine or chapbook. If construction paper isn’t your thing, you can mix up the materials. Try a chapbook, or even a “’zine,” and be as artsy/crafty as you and your child want to be! Encourage your child’s imagination, so he or she can include drawings, photos, cutouts, stickers and so on to combine with words, sentences or an overall story. Here are some instructions on how to make a chapbook: www.pw.org/content/diy_how_make_saddlestitched_chapbook
Oct. 1: Today, believe it or not, is “World Card Making Day.” Make your own “Mandala” greeting cards. Gather the following materials:
• Old CDs (outdated software is a great source)
• Markers, pens, colored pencils or crayons
• Rulers, protractors or French curves
• Strathmore 5 x 7 blank greeting cards with deckled finish (Or something similar. Available at local art and stationary stores).
1) Take a used CD and recycled paper.
2) Have the kids practice tracing a circle on recycled copy paper with pen or pencil.
3) Ask them to offer you a fraction. (This is great for helping teach time with analog clocks.)
Most will offer “1/2″ or “1/4.” Demonstrate drawing those portion on your example sheet.
4) Ask the same question. Demonstrate breaking the large pattern into smaller patterns.
5) Don’t get too technical, just show them how to create patterns with a couple of fractions.
(Most of them catch on pretty quickly and want to start the card right away.)
6) Have the children explain to you their “plan” or “direction” from the recycled paper.
7) Now offer them the Strathmore greeting card. The CD fits on one side with the deckel (a colored strip of green or red that looks ‘ripped’)
Have at it! Depending on their level and patience, the possibilities are infinite.
For older kids, have them research “Serenpinski’s Triangle” and fractal math for ideas.
Oct. 2: Have little actors in your house? Act out a story. Dress up, make it a play and perform!
Oct. 3: Did we say cake pops? Yes we did. Here’s an easy recipe for a delicious and fun dessert:
Ingredients & Recipe:
~ 1 box cake mix (and necessary ingredients to bake it)
~ 1 container frosting
~ 12 to 16 oz candy melts or chocolate wafers; they have chocolate and colored. For best results, don’t use chocolate chips; they don’t harden & won’t create a very good shell.
(Wafers & melts are available locally at Cake Decorator Shoppe or Michael’s.)
~ sprinkles or candies to decorate
~ package of sticks for pops and bags if wrapping individually (Available locally at Cake Decorator Shoppe or Michael’s.)
•Bake cake of choice. Let cool completely. Cut into four sections, rub two sections together so they crumble. •Crumble entire cake into bowl. Mix in container of frosting.
•Roll dough into 1-inch balls and chill for 15 minutes.
•Microwave chocolate wafers according to package directions (Melt slowly, 30 seconds at a time, otherwise chocolate will burn).
•Insert sticks halfway into balls of dough.
•Chill 15 more minutes.
•Dip into chocolate and add sprinkles.
•Chill a few more minutes so chocolate sets & enjoy!
Oct. 4: Have a wood-burning fireplace? Make a fire starter out of egg cartons, shredded paper, lint, wax. Take a small handful of shredded paper and put it in the egg carton, then take a pinch of lint and put it on top of the paper. Make it compact. Melt wax from candles in a double broiler, and then pour a tablespoon of wax in each cup. (If you notice it begins to seep through the carton, that’s good! It will bind together.) This is a quick, messy and fun craft!
Oct. 5: It’s Balloons Around the World Day. Send a message attached to a balloon — write something inspiring to whoever may find it!
Oct. 6: Throw a “Merry Unbirthday” party to celebrate Mad Hatter Day. Make a cake, bake cookies, play games, dress up or have a tea party. Act goofy!
Oct. 7: Turn that frown upside down … it’s World Smile Day. Go outside and smile at everyone! See what happens and record your findings!
Oct. 8: Sing…sing a song…sing out loud…sing out strong! Make instruments with empty glass bottles, using sticks to make drums sounds and using your lips to blow into them for tones. Fill one bottle ¾ of the way from the top, one half full, the other only ¼ full, and one empty. Compare sounds. Change it up. Make music!
Oct. 9: It’s Leif Erikson Day, so make a boat. Take a piece of bark, insert a leaf with a stem, and let it sail!
Oct. 10: I’m on a boat! This time, make believe for Columbus Day. Make a boat out of cardboard boxes, a sailor’s hat out of newspaper, and sail the ocean blue in your imagination!
Oct. 11: Recycle those stubby crayons, Mom and Dad.
Classic version: Gather broken crayons, removing paper labels. Put about four full crayons’ worth of pieces into each cup of a muffin tin. Put tin in a 375-degree oven for about 6-7 minutes, then let cool. New fun crayons!
Fun version: Swirl colors with a toothpick when they come out of the oven. Or melt crayons in small cupcake cups in the microwave, then pour into candy molds for fun shapes! (But be careful-HOT!)
Oct. 12: Betcha’ didn’t know it, but today is International Top Spinning Day. Show off by making your own spin top with a toothpick and any plastic bottle cap. Puncture a small hole in the cap so the toothpick can fit snugly inside. Decorate the cap as you like it, and let the spin begin! Visit this link to see a video!
Oct. 13: It’s an oldie but a goody: build a fort. Use boxes, blankets, chairs and pillows. Make popcorn and enjoy a movie through an opening in the blankets, or take your laptop with you inside the fort to watch a movie. Invite the dog in, too. Make your fort as big, creative and elaborate as you can, and send us pictures!
Oct. 14: Two greats come together: eggs and Dr. Seuss. To celebrate World Egg Day, make green eggs and ham and read the Dr. Seuss book!
Oct. 15: Sweetest Day. Outdo everyone else in the house by being the sweetest of them all. Do a kind act or give someone a compliment. Make sweets for your friends, neighbors and family!
Oct. 16: Nothing quite tops a Yakima apple, so to commemorate World Food Day, try this crunchy sweet Apple Crisp recipe, courtesy of the folks at Fresh Taste Meals.
Ingredients & Recipe:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, gently fold together the following ingredients:
4 cups peeled sliced Granny Smith apples
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 Tbs lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbs flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
•Spread apple mixture over the bottom of a large greased pan.
•In a medium bowl use your hands to combine the following ingredients:
1 1/2 cups oats
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups melted butter
•Crumble this mixture over the filling in the pan.
•Drizzle caramel sauce over the top of the crumb mixture.
•Bake in oven for 45 to 60 minutes. Apple mixture will bubble and topping will be golden brown.
Oct. 17: Make a princess or a party hat! Get a circle to trace – the diameter of the circle determines the height of the hat. Trace the circle onto a sheet of pretty craft paper or poster board that’s not too thick to bend. Draw a “pie piece” into it that’s about a ¼ of the circle. Cut out the circle without the pie piece. If you used craft paper, roll into a cone and adhere with glue or strong tape. If you used poster board, you can cut the same shape out of material and glue the material onto the poster board before you roll into a cone. Decorate with pom poms, glitter, ribbon, artificial flowers, old jewelry or whatever you have on hand. Look adorable!
Oct. 18: Make a wand. Take a dowel or stick, wrap a ribbon around it, and tie ribbon around the top to make streamers. (Wave wand and practice saying “Bippity-boppity-boo!”)
Oct. 19: Let’s go camping…at home! If you have a fire pit, make s’mores. If not, use the microwave or grill in aluminum foil on the barbecue. Make up spooky stories around the fireplace and enjoy the treats.
Oct. 20: Fall Tree Print. This one is messy, so kids love it! Add brown finger paint to a paper plate, then dip child’s hand and wrist, palm down, into the plate. Have them make a hand/wrist print onto a big piece of white paper. That’s your tree. Then have them dip their fingers into plates of green, yellow, or orange paint, and use their fingerprints to make multicolored fall leaves.
Oct. 21: Got a pillow case? Make a costume with it! Cut a hole in the top and on the sides. Glue on buttons and ribbons.
Oct. 22: Mix up a ghoulish Halloween punch. Mix lemonade, a blueberry drink mix, ice cubes and gummy worms. You should get a lovely green “slime” color, and the gummy worms can either hang off the edge of the bowl or just be in the punch!
Oct. 23: Make a pumpkin man, man!
Oct. 24: Enroll your kids in Monster Fighter training. See story by Courtney Crutcher on how.
Oct. 25: This one’s gross…and your kids will love it. Make a meat head!
1 full-sized plastic human skull
1.5 lbs. thin-sliced deli meat (your choice!)
Cream cheese, BBQ sauce, or cranberry sauce (see below)
2 hard-boiled egg yolks, round mini-mozzarella pieces, or cocktail onions
2 slices of pimento-stuffed green olive
Instructions: 1. Buy a plastic skull. Wash the skull with soap and water and allow to dry.
2. Spread a “base” over the skull. BBQ sauce and jellied cranberry sauce give the skull a bloody, gory look as your guests lift away the lunch meat. Cream cheese is not as fun, but probably tastes better with most meats. This is entirely your choice.
3. Evenly distribute your lunch meat over the prepared skull, leaving openings at the eyes and mouth. Smallish pieces of meat work better than larger ones, as they’re easier to manipulate and form. You may need to use toothpicks to get some of the meat to stay in place.
4. For eyes, place one hard boiled egg yolk or small mozzarella cheese ball in each eye socket. Top with a slice of pimento-stuffed green olive.
6. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Oct. 26: Make your own magnets — they’re so attractive! Get it?
Mix up a basic salt dough. (Recipe below or use your own.) Roll out the dough, having kids use leaf-shaped cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Let them air dry (or bake, depending what type of recipe you use). Then just paint and glue magnets to the back. Perfect to hang school art on the fridge!
Salt Dough: In a big bowl, mix 1 cup salt and 2 cups flour together. Slowly add 1/2 cup of cold water and mix. Knead the dough on counter, adding a few more drops of water if needed, but don’t let it get gooey. Takes a day or so to dry.
Oct. 27: Make a regular ol’ red velvet cake into a VAMPIRE CAKE! Just color the frosting red too! (If you put raspberries in the middle, it’s kind of healthy.)
Oct. 28: Play the Gross Out/Guess What game to celebrate Frankenstein Friday. Place “mysterious” food items in paper bags and have kids guess which gross item it is. Grapes are good for eyeballs, cottage cheese for vampire vomit and spaghetti for zombie brains. UGH!
Oct. 29: Make a butterfly out of a regular empty coffee can. Wrap can in pretty craft paper; cut heart shaped “wings” from a different craft paper, taping to either side of the can; then tape strips of paper (or sticker strips) around the can; add eyes to the front and a smiley face. Put rocks, jelly beans or candy in the can, adding squiggly pipe cleaners for the antennae!
Oct. 30: Make a jack-o-lantern! Then send us photos!
Oct. 31: Mmm…caramel apples. Melt caramel (either caramel candies or make it from scratch) and dip apples (on a stick) in the caramel. Perfect since it’s National Caramel Apple Day (hey – and Halloween!). You can decorate them too. Or if you don’t have a lot of time, just dip slices of apples in melted caramel for a nice snack.
Nov. 1: Halloween may be over, but the fun doesn’t have to be … kids can dress up like a favorite super hero, doll or character and help mom and dad with chores!
Nov. 2: “Leaf” the candy in the house and get outside! After all those sweets, kids need some exercise. Rake up as many leaves then dive in the pile (you, too, Mom and Dad)! Breathe in the new November air!
Nov. 3: Grab some plain clay pots at a craft store and make simple hand-print decorations on the outside.
Nov. 4: Use tracing paper to trace all the different shapes and sizes of leaves in your own backyard or nearby park.
Nov. 5: Press fall leaves in a heavy book, wait until they’re dry, then make a colorful collage on construction paper.
Nov. 6: Head to a fabrics store to get materials for a “no sew” blanket, just in time for the chilly weather! These are easy to make, but you can find directions on our website!
No-Sew Fleece Blanket
Materials Needed: Fleece blanket, scissors, yardstick, ruler
1. Pick your fleece. You can pick a pattern for the front side and a matching fleece with a solid color for the back side, but any combination that you like will do. You will need 2 ½ feet of fleece material for each side of the blanket (this would make an adult 6 ft. blanket). OR: You will need 1 ½ ft. to 1 ¾ ft. of fleece material for each side of the blanket to make a kid-sized blanket.
2. Lay both pieces of the fleece, with the wrong sides facing each other, on a table, and cut off the rough edges. Cut both pieces of fabric at the same time to the same size. Make sure your edges line up together and handle the fleece gently, since it can stretch out of shape easily.
3. Cut a 4-inch square out of each corner of the fleece.
4. Go down each side of the fabric and make 1-inch cuts all along the borders. It may make it easier if you lay a yardstick across the side at the 4-inch so you know how far to make each cut. You may also use a ruler to mark off the one inch points where you cut. Make sure both sides of the fabric are laying together flat as you cut.
5. Once you have cut the 1-inch strips around all four sides, you are ready to tie the two pieces of fabric together. Taking the two strands together, raise them up and then bring them back through the circle, from the back to the front. Tie a firm, but not tight, knot. Once you have all of the strips tied, your project is done!
Nov. 7: Practice writing skills: start writing those letters to Santa Claus!
Nov. 8: Make a picture frame out of popsicle sticks. Take four popsicle sticks, glue them together to form a square, and color and decorate the sticks as you see fit. Glue a photo behind the frame, and glue a magnet on the back so you can hang on your refrigerator.
Nov. 9: Get that blood sugar up with this Yakima Apple Pie Snack Mix. Combine a couple of cups each of three different favorite cereals — we like Apple Cinnamon Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch — to a big bowl. Melt ¼ butter and add 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1 tsp apple pie spice to it. Pour over cereal and mix up. Then cook, stirring often, in microwave another 3-4 minutes. Spread on wax paper to cool, then add 2 cups dried apple slices, plus your choice of walnuts, white choc chips, sunflower seeds or raisins. Enjoy in the fall sunshine!
Nov. 10: Choreograph a dance. Perform for friends and family. Involve props, music and costumes.
Nov. 11: Veterans Day. Make a patriotic wand or flag. See direction on Oct. 18, and modify to use red, white and blue colors.
Nov. 12: Make your own Playdough. You’ll need:
2 ½ cups flour
½ cup salt
1 tablespoon alum
2 cups boiling water
5 tablespoon vegetable oil
Mix together the flour, salt and alum. Add boiling water, oil and coloring. Being careful of hot dough, kneed. Cool. Store in a plastic bag. Have fun!
Nov. 13: It’s International Tongue Twister Day. Read Dr. Seuss’s Fox in Socks. Or Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. No, stick to Fox in Socks.
Nov. 14: Craft a homework helper. Get an empty tin can, sanding the top edge for safety. Let kids cut out comic strips, toys from Sunday’s newspaper ads or tissue paper. Use Mod Podge to glue the paper on, adding a top layer to seal. If you want, add ribbon and tie a small favorite toy around the holder too. Now they have a great spot for pencils on their desks!
Nov. 15: …Or a chore money jar. Rinse out and dry an empty baby formula container. Decorate with fun papers and Mod Podge, similar to above. Cut a small slot in the top of the container to drop change through
Nov. 16: Help them organize their lockers, too, with a magnetic locker organizer. Use metal or plastic band-aid boxes, cover with craft paper and decorations (or just keep plain). Then add sheet magnets to cover the whole backside of the container. Just attach to the inside of locker.
Nov. 17: Another oldie but goodie…using any type of pretty paper, make paper snowflakes and put them in a bedroom window. Use lots of colors. You can find patterns on the Internet.
Nov. 18: It’s Mickey Mouse Day … make Mickey Mouse pancakes. Easy and delicious!
Nov. 19: Make your own Sidewalk Chalk. Coat the inside of an old ice cube tray with petroleum jelly. Mix up 1 cup plaster of paris and 1/2 cup of water in a disposable plastic container for about a minute. Quickly add a couple tablespoons of liquid tempera paint and mix. Scoop it into ice cube tray, and tap to make sure it packs in firm. Dry overnight before using.
Nov. 20: Go on a pinecone hunt! Get a few big ones for upcoming crafts. See what other cool things you can find (unusual leaves, colorful rocks, funny looking sticks, etc.).
Nov. 21: Make a pinecone bird feeder. Take a giant pine cone you found on the pinecone hunt on Nov. 20, and saturate it bird seed mixed with peanut butter. Take a string or ribbon and tie it around the top of the coated pinecone to hang on a tree branch, and watch the birds rejoice! (Just be sure to hang it high enough so it’s out of reach of the dog or the kids!)
Nov. 22: Make a pinecone turkey. After finding the pinecone of your choice, use either colored craft feathers, cut-out construction paper, or colorful pipe cleaners to create the tail feathers. For the turkey’s head, you have a few options: glue an acorn, add some googley eyes, cut out a piece of felt for the beak and gobbler (or use construction paper). There are plenty of other ways to decorate your turkey, so be as creative as you can!
Nov. 23: Make a clay turkey using your kids’ hands! Sculpey Clay works well, but use your own preference of baking or hardening clay. Squish the imprint of your child’s hand on a rolled-out piece of clay, and then use an Exacto knife and cut around the outside of the print. Cut out shapes for the turkey beak and gobbler and add to the thumb of the handprint. Bake clay according to what type of clay you have (follow directions with specific product you use). Let your kids paint the cooked product!
Nov. 24: Thanksgiving. Eat turkey! … and think about everything you’re grateful for. Practice your best gobbling imitation – without food in your mouth, of course!
Thank you to the many readers who contributed to this list: Jennifer Wolman, a stay-at-home mom and arts/crafts expert; Meagan Paullin, local mom and owner and creative director of Sunshine and Sippy Cups (sunshineandsippycups.com), Doug Johnson, director of Cave Moon Press and local teacher; Ryan Miller, Alex Mitchell, Kimberly Klepach and Yakima Herald-Republic staff members.
February 2, 2011 by Scott Klepach
Here’s what you’ll need:
- an empty toilet paper tube
- construction paper (choose your colors!)
- pen, marker, crayons or pencil
Here’s how to make a Love Bug:
- Cover an empty toilet tube with construction paper to make the body of the bug.
- Cut two ovals (for the lady bug) or hearts (for a butterfly) to make wings.
- Attach wings with tape or glue on either side of the body.
- Cut circles to make the faces.
- Encourage your child to draw a face on the circle or at the top of the tube.
- Cut strips of paper and fold in a zigzag pattern to make antennae and legs. Cut two small hearts and glue to the tips of antennae. Or, pipe cleaners are great for antennae as well.
- Write a cute message on the wings or on a cut out heart that the Love Bug holds.
- Decorate with glitter, feathers, or whatever else you desire. Have fun!!!
No doubt about it, kids love decorating gingerbread houses. It’s a sweet holiday tradition, for sure. But baking and building the house from scratch is also quite the project.
Understandably, store-bought kits have become incredibly popular the last few years. They shave off hours of mixing, baking and cooling versus a homemade house, which also has potential to burn or buckle.
And, frankly, kids likely won’t appreciate the extra effort.
That’s why I love this pint-sized project that’s just perfect for a preschool playdate (though older kids will love it, too). Mom can assemble these no-bake graham cracker structures the night before the party, giving the icing time to set up a bit before the kiddos get to work.
Because it’s hard to share, everybody gets their own. Remember to build a spare or two since little hands aren’t always so gentle.
To make the houses, gently break graham crackers in half into squares. You’ll need six squares for each house; one box of crackers makes about eight houses. Fill a pastry bag with buttercream icing (see recipe below).
We used a paper plate, turned upside down, for the base.
Using icing as glue, assemble the walls of the house. To help with structural stability, wait about 30 minutes before adding the roof. (I build all the houses, then come back and add all the roofs.)
When it’s time to roof the house, pipe icing along the top of two facing walls. Rest two graham cracker squares against each other at an angle and pipe a line of icing across the peak. If you need more structure, use 1/4 of a graham cracker as a center beam.
Let the project stiffen up overnight.
When it’s time to decorate, give each kid a dollop of icing and a plastic knife and let them design their dream house.
Shopping for miniature edible decorations is definitely part of the fun. Older kids, especially, will enjoy helping with this.
Here’s a list of some of our favorites:
* In lieu of gingerbread men, Teddy Graham cookies are the residents of our tiny houses.
* Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal makes nice shingles. Try Triscuits or mini wheats for a more “thatched” look.
* Licorice bites are a perfect little chimney. Add a puff of icing for smoke.
* M&M Minis (find them in the individual-sized candy section) or Nerds are ideal for holiday lights.
* Dots or spice drops are a good size for bushes.
* Butter snap pretzels make good windows.
* Pretzel sticks are handy for roofing material, fences or making a stack of firewood.
* A green Life Saver or striped peppermint makes a good wreath. Tiny Christmas tree sprinkles and red nonpareils, grouped to look like holly, add a special touch.
* Fruit by the Foot is handy for doors, stained glass windows, pathways or scarves for the bears.
* Miniature candy canes make a scene more festive.
* Shredded coconut or a dusting of sanding sugar looks like a fresh layer of snow.
1 c. vegetable shortening
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T water
1 lb. confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
pinch of salt
Using a mixer, blend shortening, vanilla and water. Add sugar, about a cup at a time, and mix on medium speed until thoroughly blended. Blend an additional minute, until creamy.
If mixture is too stiff, add a small amount of water — one teaspoon at a time — until reaching desired consistency.
NOTE: We used about 2 1/2 batches of icing to assemble and decorate 10 houses. Be sure to have plenty (you can save the extra for other treats), but make one batch at a time so you don’t burn out the engine on your mixer.
July 1, 2008 by Robin Beckett
The Nature of Things: 10 arty activities for the great outdoors
By Jessica Moskwa
1. Capture the Earth’s Textures
Collect your favorite leaves and place them under a piece of typing paper. Use the side of a crayon to capture their texture. Try the same method on the bark of a tree! Supplies: Paper & crayons, leaves & trees.
2. Make & Fly a Kite
Download instructions on the Drachen Foundation Web site (www.drachen.org) to make three different types of kites. Try the Kono Box kite, designed by Seattle-based kite maker Greg Kono. The design (circa 1893) was immediately adopted for meteorological investigation and contributed to the worldwide quest for stable flight!
3. Visit the ArtsVan
This summer, make art in the parks with Allied Arts’ traveling art classroom, ArtsVan! For details, visit alliedartsyakima.org.
4. Adopt a Rock Pet
Always wanted a pet? Make one from a rock! Search for a rock with an interesting shape, and then take it home to paint it into a fdog, bear, or ladybug — anything your heart desires. Supplies: Rocks, acrylic paint.
5. Sketch Outdoors
Looking is one of the most important skills needed in making art. Famous artists often draw from real life. Sit outside and choose something that doesn’t move (a pond, tree or flower). Then, use your eyes to draw what you see. It doesn’t matter if what you end up with doesn’t look like the real thing — your drawing will represent how you see life. Supplies: Sketchbook & pencils.
6. Indulge in Outdoor Summer Cinema
Summer evenings, enjoy viewing almost-new releases and time-tested favorites in one of Yakima’s lovely city parks. Visit alliedartsyakima.org for details.
7. Make Windchimes
Love the sound of the wind? Using a clean, empty 8-10 oz. clear plastic deli tub, permanent markers, clear nylon fishing line, and metal washers, you can make your own windchimes. Decorate the tub with patterns using your markers, punch 4 holes along the rim, and then tie a 12-inch piece of fishing line through each hole. Attach the washers to the bottom of the lines. Clink!
8. Attend Summer Sunsets Concerts
Thursday evenings in the summer, take your blanket and enjoy summer music at Franklin Park. While you’re there, join ArtsVan to make Creatively Green art projects like newspaper origami critters, egg carton bouquets and bottle fish.
9. Make a Boat & Float It
Sail the high seas — or just your bathtub. Using clean plastic-foam trays, cut out a flat base. Then, for the cabin, cut out three rectangles and two squares from another tray. Glue together at sides, then glue to the base. Then, add details like flags, a captain’s chair or ropes! Color with permanent or waterproof markers.
10. Storytelling Yarn Ball
It is an American Indian storytelling tradition to use knots or small objects in balls of yarn to remember important life events. Get a ball of yarn, and as the summer passes, tie mementos of your summer activities to the yarn. Try things like tiny toys, a found stick, ribbons or pieces of postcards. Share the ball with your classmates during the first week of school. It’s a great way to remember your summer!
May 30, 2007 by Robin Beckett
By Janet Gallant
As a Grammy with a cabin in the woods, coming up with fun things to do isn’t always easy. But also being involved with Cub Scouts has helped me come up with a few fun and age-appropriate things.
For younger kids…
1. Make a bird feeder: Gather a few pinecones and tie a string on the top of each cone. Cover the cones with peanut butter. Place wild bird seed in a small lunch bag, place the peanut-buttered cone in the bag and shake the bag to cover the cone with seeds. Hang from the tree branches for the birds and squirrels to enjoy. We’ve even had elk and deer eat our cones.
2. Go on a nature hike and gather some natural materials such as leaves, cones, moss, grass, bark, etc. Using paper plates or paper lunch bags, glue these items on a lunch bag to make a hand puppet, or decorate a paper plate with them.
3. Lay on the ground and watch the sky. See how many shapes you can find in the clouds.
4. Close your eyes and tell what you can smell, feel and hear. Can you smell weather? Can you hear weather? Etc.
5. Gather medium-sized rocks and let the kids paint them for pet rocks, door stops, etc. We spray-painted them white, then had the children paint them with water colors as gifts for Daddy for Father’s Day.
For older kids…
6. Make a water scope using a small peanut butter jar and two tin cans (such as soup cans). First, remove the top and bottom ends of the tin cans and cover any sharp edges with 1000 mile tape (duct tape). Tape the cans together end-to-end, then tape the cans to bottom of the jar, creating a long scope. Go to a shallow place in the river, put the jar in the water and see what kind of parasites and water bugs you can find. You can also scoop water out of the lake or river with a bucket and look in the bucket with your water scope.
7. Go on a hike and see how many trees, birds and plants you can identify. Teach the kids what each of these are in your neighborhood. Look for ant hills and watch the ants work.
8. Play shadow tag: Chase each other around stepping on shadows until everyone has been caught.
For more than 40 years, Janet Gallant has never lacked for something to do with her daughter, niece and nephews while camping or staying at the family cabin. Now she is “Grammy” to Couper, age 5, and Chase, 2.
So, what’s a mom to do to keep from hearing “after this game” or “but Mom” just one more time?
Solution: Send ‘em outside with something do. Hey, we’re not saying they should mow the lawn (although that’s not a bad idea). Try a scavenger hunt.