~ Look It Up ~ Bookmarks

Look It Up Bookmarks :: Zim on a Whim

This simple and easy project came about when my son and daughter became obsessed with this fiction book series called Warriors by Erin Hunter. They follow the adventures of four clans of wild cats, with characters being a mix of good vs. bad. The clans have a hierarchy and the different cats have different positions within the clan. They have their own words for certain things; for instance a human is called a “twoleg”. I could go on and on about these books, but basically they are so interesting to my 9 and 11 year old that they can’t  put them down. They come across lots of descriptive words of which they don’t know the meaning, so these bookmarks are here to help!

When they come across a word that they don’t know, they can write it down on the bookmark and look it up later. (Because how dare they put the book down and look it up at the most interesting part!) I love that they are learning so many new adjectives!

Look It Up Bookmarks :: Zim on a Whim

The great thing about these is that they are two-sided so when they run out of room on the one side, they can flip it over and use the other.

Look It Up Bookmarks :: Zim on a Whim

I will tell you what I used and you can use what you have on hand. This is a no-fuss project and it doesn’t need to look perfect. It’s purely for function! 🙂

Look It Up Bookmark :: Zim on a Whim

I used the following:

~ Ruled/Lined paper

~ White Card Stock found at craft stores or Target/Walmart (but you can use anything that is stiffer than the ruled paper to go in between; you can even use postcards from your junk mail pile!)

~ Glue Stick or some other type of glue for paper that won’t be too wet

~ Paper Trimmer – or – Ruler and X-acto knife or scissors

~ Hole Puncher

~ Thin ribbon, yarn, or string

~ Small pencil (like the ones from mini golf), mini marker, or crayon

~ Clear Adhesive Glue Dots or hot glue gun

Here’s how I made the bookmarks:

For each bookmark, I cut two pieces or ruled paper and one piece of white card stock to 2-1/4″ wide by 8″ long. (You can make yours any size, but just remember their writing is sometimes larger than ours.)

Then I took the glue stick and evenly glued one piece of the ruled paper to one side of the card stock. (Make sure to put the glue up to all the edges.) I smoothed it out so there were no air bubbles. I flipped it over and did the same to the other side with the second piece of ruled paper.

I punched a hole in the top, about 1/4″ down or to the first blue line.

I cut a piece of ribbon about 18″ long. Then I threaded one end of the ribbon through the hole and tied a knot.

For the other end, I took a mini marker and added a few glue dots (Zots) around it toward the bottom. Then I wrapped the other end of the ribbon around the glue, leaving some ribbon to tie another knot. (If you don’t have the adhesive glue dots, a dab of hot glue with a glue gun will work just fine.) I found that just tying the ribbon around the writing instrument didn’t hold it and kept slipping off.

Now my little readers were ready to start writing down words and looking them up!

By the way, if you have children about 9-12 that love animals and adventure, I recommend the Warriors books. When mine have finished reading all those, they plan on moving on to the Survivors series about dogs!

Have a good weekend!

Sparkling Kids’ Sangria

I’ve been focusing on Cinco de Mayo ideas this week — so here is one that’s perfect for the little fiesta guests! Though I am calling it Sparkling Kids’ Sangria, adults will enjoy it as well, especially on a hot summer day.

Sparkling Kids’ Sangria
1 orange – sliced, and remove any seeds
2 limes – sliced, and remove any seeds
4 cups cherry juice (like Juicy Juice brand)
4 cups lemon-lime soda

Put the fruit slices in the bottom of a pitcher. Pour in the juice and the soda. Stir gently and serve over ice. Garnish with a lime slice if desired. Makes 8 – 1 cup servings.

{You can use other juice flavors if you want…but I suggest something red and naturally flavored. If you prefer ginger ale, you can use that in place of the lemon-lime soda.}

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Mini Chili Pepper Piñatas ~ A craft for Cinco de Mayo!

As Cinco de Mayo approaches, I thought I’d show you how to make these fun little piñatas that look like chili peppers. The kids (8 & up) can help you because they are easy peasy. They are perfect for a party and can be filled with whatever your guests like. I filled some of mine with candy and some with pumpkin seeds (to resemble the pepper seeds). The kids just rip open the “pepper” and enjoy the treats inside! This would also be fun to make for the whole class (but get those kids to help!).

This is how big they are when finished:

Aren’t they neat? I found this idea in a Family Fun magazine years ago and I think this is the first year I remembered to make them before Cinco de Mayo came and went!

Here are the supplies you need:

  • Empty toilet paper tube
  • 9 inch x 9 inch square piece of green tissue paper – one square for each pepper (check the dollar store)
  • 45 inch length of red crepe paper/streamer – for each pepper (check the dollar store)
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape
  • Glue stick
  • Treats to fill the piñata, like M&M’s, Skittles, pumpkin seeds, etc.

Start by making a cut along the length of the toilet paper tube. Roll it into a cone shape and tape it closed.

Take your 9″x9″ piece of green tissue paper and lay it flat. Lay the toilet paper cone on top of it, down near the corner. Roll the tissue into a cone shape as well, keeping the point closed and secure.

Secure the tissue cone with tape in a few spots and remove the toilet paper cone from inside. (You will use the same toilet paper cone for all the ones you make.)

Fill the tissue cone with candy or other small treats, about 5 inches up from the bottom. You need to leave some room for the pepper “stem”. After it’s about 5 inches full, tightly twist the top closed to make a stem. If it’s too long you can snip it a little. If it’s not staying twisted, just stick a little piece of tape on the stem to keep it in place.

Cut a 45 inch piece of red crepe paper, and fold it accordian style every 5 inches. (Fold it one way and then back the other way). Take your scissors and make 1/4″ slits, but leave about 1/4″ at the top. Do not cut all the way up – you will need this 1/4″ of uncut paper to glue to the pepper.

Unfold the red crepe paper and lay flat. Take your filled tissue chili pepper and place it on the red paper as shown (with the pepper’s point at one end of the fringe):

Using a glue stick, put some glue on the uncut top edge of the red crepe paper fringe. I did this a section at a time so the glue didn’t get everywhere on my work surface. Slowly wrap the fringe around the pepper in a tight upward spiral, sticking the glue down as you go. You want to make sure you cover the green paper as best as you can, and wind it in a spiral fashion.

Wrap all the way to the stem and trim off any excess fringe. If there are any strays sticking out in your fringe, you can cut them when you are finished…and/or bend the pepper into a curved shape.

When the glue is dry, the piñatas can be ripped open by bending them with a little pressure!

And that’s it! The more you make, faster this will go. If you are making a bunch, cut your green tissue squares and your red crepe paper lengths ahead of time.

What a fun and colorful presentation these mini chili pepper piñatas would make sitting in a bowl or on a platter for a fiesta!