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Easy Toothbrush Organization

My kids' bathroom has been a disaster for a long time.  They have electric toothbrushes that don't fit in traditional toothbrush holders, and they all like different kinds of toothpaste.  I have been trying to find a way to organize our supplies, and recently, I came across a fantastic solution from "Musings from a Stay at Home Mom".  Today, I am sharing my version of her project -- a dollar store toothbrush storage solution.


For the record... here is the before picture of my bathroom.  I have no drawers in the bathroom, so I used the side of the cabinet door under my sink.


All you need for this project is a pair of scissors, some lightweight plastic cups from the dollar store, and velcro strips that are sticky on the back.


Then:

1)  You'll want to clean the back of cabinet door really well, and allow it to dry completely.
2)  Cut the velcro strips to the length of the cups.
3)  Attach the "hook" side to the cabinet door.
4)  Attach the "loop" side to the cups.
5)  Attach the cups to the door.  (Tip... Leave a little it of space above the cup so that the weight of the cup isn't constantly pulling on the top of the velcro strip.)

That's it!  I love how simple this solution is and the fact that I can easily remove the cups for cleaning.

Now my boys have a place for their toothbrushes, and my sink looks like this...


What do you think about this toothbrush storage solution?  Do you think it would work in your house?  Now I just have to find a way to keep them from splattering toothpaste every time they brush their teeth.  Any ideas?


Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Number Crafts {Number TWO}... Butterfly and Fish Crafts

I have started a Craft Club in my home for preschoolers, and we are doing different number crafts each week.  This week, we are focusing on the NUMBER TWO, and we are crafting a butterfly (with two wings) and two handprint fish (inspired by the Dr.Seuss book One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish).


To make the fish:

1)  Download and print the template for the "One Fish Two Fish" craft, which you can find here.
2)  Trace the child's hands onto the sheet.
3)  Have the child color the fish, and finish by adding googly eyes.


To make the butterfly:

1)  Draw butterfly wings on a piece of card stock, and cut them out.
2)  Punch or cut holes in the wings.
3)  Glue tissue paper over the hearts.
4)  Attach a popsicle stick and googly eyes.


You can also add this little poem to the back.  To download a copy of the poem, right-click on the picture below, save it to your computer, and print like a regular 8X10 photo.

We also did some printing practice, and used a stamp to "stamp out" the number two.


I think these number crafts are adorable, don't you?  I'll be posting some crafts and activities for the number 3 soon!


Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

The Ultimate DIY Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party

I love a good DIY party, and today I am sharing all the awesome details of my son's 5th "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" birthday party.  It was a simple party, but the easy and inexpensive special touches made it the ultimate DIY pirate party.


A good invitation always sets the mood for a party, so I took a picture of my little pirate, and I added all the party info using a photo editing software.  I used Picmonkey.com because it is free and very user friendly.


Then, on the day of the party, as the guests arrived, they were greeted at the door by my three little pirates, and they were asked to choose a pirate name.  My oldest son wrote out the name tags and stuck them on our guests.


Once each guest chose a name, they were given pixie dust, a felt Jake headband, and a pirate hook.  (Click on the links for the tutorials for these three simple party favors.)


Once inside our home, our guests were transported into a pirate hideaway via a variety of easy DIY pirate party signage and decor. You can find all the adorable details and instructions here.


The guests were served a variety of food and snacks that fit with our pirate theme.  You can find all the details of our pirate fare here.


And, of course, our Jake and the Neverland Pirate cake was a hit with our pint-sized pirate guests.  You can find out how I made this cake (from a mix) using the step-by-step tutorial you can find here.



Of course, we also had a bunch of pirate games & activities to keep my son's friends entertained and happy. We had a plank, a hook toss, a treasure hunt, and more.  You can get all the game and activity details here.


Then, at the end of the party, each of our guests left with their headband, pirate hook, pixie dust, and a little "pirate booty" loot bagYou can download your own free, printable "pirate booty" tags here.


I loved all the little DIY details of this Jake and the Neverland Pirates party.  


I hope you ARRRRR inspired to host your own DIY pirate party. It really is a fun theme, and there countless opportunities to add special DIY details.


Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party Games & Activities

The key to a successful party is a fun theme and a variety of awesome party games and activities.  Today, I am sharing the fabulous games and activities that entertained all the little pirate party guests at my son's 5th "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" party. 


DIY Hook Toss - I made a really fun ring toss using dollar store supplies.  I made some pirate hooks (using the tutorial you can find here), and then I used hot glue to attach them to a piece of foam core that I decorated with stickers.  Then, I created rings by cutting the centres out of paper plates.  The result was an easy and inexpensive "hook toss".


Bean Bag Toss - I cut four holes in a box, covered it in duct tape and added a picture that my son colored.  It's a simple way to create an adorable bean bag toss.  You can find a full tutorial here.


Walk the Plank - I nailed a few pieces of wood together to create a "plank" and placed it in water (i.e. on top of a blue tarp).  Then, I added a blow up crocodile from the dollar store.  "Walking the plank" was a big hit with the kids at the party.


Tattoo Parlor - I bought some dollar store tattoos, and used them to create "Smee's" tattoo parlor.


Make a necklace/ Pirate Treasure - I set up a station for the kids to make their own edible necklaces/ pirate treasures.  They strung Froot Loops onto cording and added a chocolate coin charm (which I created by gluing a bit of pipe cleaner to the coin).


Treasure Hunt - Every pirate party needs a pirate treasure hunt, and we did ours by following clues to the "Team Treasure Chest".  


Here are the clues that we used:
a) To find a treasure that you'll like, go and look for a purple bike.
b) Great job finding the first clue.  Look by the hose to see what to do.
c) Next, we won't go far you see.  You'll find a clue attached to a tree.
d) Keep on going.  You are almost there.  Take a look under the porch chair.
e) Here's a place you'll want to check.  There's a clue under the deck.
f) This is it.  There is no doubt.  You'll find a treasure in Jake's hideout.


The kids had a great time running around the yard, playing games, and hunting for treasure.  I think these easy pirate party games and activities are perfect for a Jake and the Neverland Pirates party, don't you?


Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Number Crafts {Number ONE}... Spring Bird Craft

I have started a Craft Club in my home for preschoolers, and we are doing a different number craft each week.  This week, we are focusing on the NUMBER ONE, and we are crafting an adorable bird for spring.


Isn't it sweet?  To make your own bird craft:

1) Cut a circle from a piece of white card stock.  (I traced a small plate.)

2) Glue small squares of tissue paper onto the circle, allow to dry, and add googly eyes, an orange triangle beak, and a feather.

3) Punch a hole in the top of the bird, add a piece of ribbon, and attach a "number one" poem to the back.

To download a copy of the poem: right click on the picture below, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 8X10 photo.

I love how sweet and cheerful this little bird is.  It is simple to make, and it is fun way to learn about the "number one".


I hope you enjoy my first number craft.  I will be sharing a cute craft for the "number two" soon!


Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)


PS - Here are a few other ways to learn about the number one: 

Make a Cheerios bird feeder in the shape of the number one, practice printing the number one, decorate the number one with crayons, and/or use stamps or Q-tip painting to make the number one.



10 {Simple} Science Experiments for Kids

Kids are naturally curious, and my boys are no exception.  I believe that fostering childhood curiosity is very important, and science experiments are a perfect way for kids to explore their surroundings and the way things work.  Today I am sharing 10 simple science experiments that are easy, inexpensive, and tons of fun!


1) Baking Soda Magic Trick - With a little help setting up this simple science experiment, the kids will love performing this trick for their friends.  All you need for this simple experiment is baking soda, vinegar, some food coloring, and the instructions that you can find here


2) Coloring Carnations - With a few carnations and food coloring, the kids can learn all about plants and how they absorb water.  It's a simple and cheerful little experiment, and you can find all the instructions here


3) Boats and Buoyancy - Building boats and learning about buoyancy is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon, and you can find all the information you need to know here.


4) Mentos Geyser - Messy experiments are always a big hit with kids.  Grab some soda and Mentos, head outside, and create your own fountain of fun.  You can find the full tutorial here


5) Making Ice Cream in a Bag - The result of this science experiment is a yummy snack.  With a few simple ingredients, kids can make their own ice cream in a bag. It's simple and delicious, and you can find everything you need to know here.



6) Exploding Sandwich Bag*

7) Balloon Magic*

8) Playing with Density*

9) Making Butter*

10) Film Cannister rockets.

* Experiments #6 to #10 are all great hands-on experiments for little ones, and you can find instructions for all of them here.


Exploring science with children can be a great way to foster their curiosity for learning. Which of these 10 simple science experiments will be most popular with your kids?


Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Easy Easter Treats {made from mini eggs}

Do you love candy covered chocolate eggs as much as I do?  My boys and I are big fans of mini eggs, so we use them a lot this time of year.  Today I am sharing some of my favorite Easter treats made from mini eggs.


Bunny Bait - This no-bake treat is the perfect combination of sweet and salty.  Fill small bags with popcorn, mini eggs, and sprinkles, and then add the adorable FREE labels that you can find here.


Bird Nest Cookies - These chocolate cookie "nests" are as delicious as they are adorable. You can find the recipe for this impressive Easter treat here


Easter Cake - This cake is a perfect Easter dessert that the kids can help prepare.  The mini egg garnishes are easy to apply, and they make a simple cake fit for serving to guests.  You can find the full tutorial for this simple Easter cake here.


Mini Egg Brownies - Mix up your favorite brownie batter, add a sprinkling of mini eggs, and bake it in the oven.  The brownie mix will rise up around the eggs, and you'll end up with a deliciously simple Easter treat.


Treats to share - Mini eggs are the perfect treat to share this time of year... especially when you add an adorable tag.  You can download this adorable "teacher gift" tag here


Easter Cupcakes - These wonderfully sweet cupcakes are impressive and tasty.  They are fantastic for sharing... but you are going to want to keep a few for yourself too! You can find the cupcake recipe here and the cookie recipe here.


Obviously, now is the perfect time to stock up on mini eggs.  Which easy Easter treat will you try first?


Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)
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