Popcorn Pictures

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I love toddler crafts that turn everyday items into art supplies. To wit, we had a bag of plain popcorn in our pantry which I knew could double as snack and craft time all at once!

I set out pieces of paper and a shallow plate filled with white glue, then showed Veronika how to brush the glue all over the paper. With a little guidance from mommy, we began covering the glue with popcorn pieces so it looked like a blanket of snow with a little snowman on top.

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It was fun to dip individual pieces of popcorn into the glue and add these like snowflakes in the sky.

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For variation, Veronika then helped me fill a zip-top bag with some of the popcorn and we added pink paint; seal and shake to distribute over the popcorn.

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We let the paint dry, then smeared a glue stick all over a piece of construction paper and taped down the pink pieces. In circles, they looked like little spring flowers, so we drew on stems for a final touch.

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Truth be told, Veronika needed a lot of adult guidance for this one because she was way more into snacking on the popcorn than crafting with it. Either way, she had fun! Which of the two does your toddler prefer? Please share in the comments!

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Popcorn Reef

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If your kids like to play with their food, permission is granted with this fun food-art-meets-snack.

To start, pop 4 cups plain popcorn; set aside in a large bowl.

Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon Earth Balance butter in the microwave. Add 1 and 1/2 cups mini marshmallows (such as Dandies) to the bowl. Microwave for 1 minute until the marshmallows are melting, and whisk to combine.

Pour the marshmallow mixture over the plain popcorn. Add a few drops of food coloring for pink coral! Once the mixture cools enough to handle, turn out onto wax paper and shape into mini coral reefs. We had some big blobs that looked a bit like brain coral, and some that was more like branched coral!

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For fish, place an orange slice on each plate. Add slices of carrot for tail fins and a mouth, and blueberries for the fish’s eye (plus a few extra bubbles!).

Halloween Countdown Day 28: Watch a (Sorta) Spooky Movie

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No matter what your kids’ favorite cartoon or show is, chances are there’s a Halloween special to go along with it. These seasonal episodes are fantastic for kids because they tend to be a little bit spooky, but tame enough for even toddlers to handle. That means the whole family can enjoy the fun!

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Here’s a roundup of what Travis and Veronika have watched this month:

Wild Kratt’s: Creepy Creatures

If you Give a Mouse a Pumpkin

Daniel Tiger: Dress Up Day

Ready Jet Go: Jet’s First Halloween

Word Girl: Tricks and Treats

Peg + Cat: The Halloween Problem

The grand finale was the most classic of all, cuddled up on the couch for It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.

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Other ideas, though we didn’t watch them, include a spooky Paw Patrol (try Pups and the Ghost Pirate) or Pinkalicious: Pink or Treat.

Meamwhile, if you need the perfect snack during all those scary episodes, it turns out that October is (no surprise) National Popcorn Poppin’ Month!

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In celebration, we tested out 5 new popcorn toppings over the course of our viewings:

Melted Chocolate

Ranch Dressing

Vegan Parmesan sprinkles

Taco Seasoning

Cinnamon-Sugar

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The verdict: Taco seasoning was too spicy for everyone; Veronika liked melted chocolate best; and Travis preferred plain old melted (vegan!) butter.

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Valentine’s Day Popcorn Gift

Popcorn Valentine (9)Here’s a novel way for kids to pop in and say they love someone this Valentine’s Day! This rather lengthy project wouldn’t be great for class Valentine’s since it’s big and involved, so save it for someone special like a parent or grandparent.

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To start, Travis helped cut red and white pinstripe craft paper to fit an empty tissue box. Cut the top off the box and use a glue stick to attach the paper around the sides.

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Travis needed grown-up assistance for a few of the decorations. Cut a circle and rectangle from colored cardstock (we chose yellow an dorange), and arrange on the front of the box. We wrote in the message, “Just popping in to say… Happy Valentine’s Day!”

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Next we hot-glued pom poms and cardstock hearts to the tips of sparkly gold pipe cleaners. Stuff a little yellow or orange tissue paper into the box.

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Add a package of microwave popcorn – yum! An I.O.U. for a movie night would be a fun addition!

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Travis helped bend the pipe cleaner decorations and slip them in among the tissue paper.

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Add a few yellow pom poms to the outside of the box as “kernels”, for the finishing touch.

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He was so proud of this and made sure we hid it from daddy’s eyes until Valentine’s Day!

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