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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

* 5 Easy Ways Make Your Backyard More Bird Friendly



1. Provide the Birds With Shelter. 


In addition to bird houses, we have made sure that our landscaping
provides cover and places to raise young for our back yard birds. 
We have bushes, shrubs, and evergreen trees around our property. 


The girls and I stock our empty Suet feeder with nesting materials every spring. 
We include things like pieces of thread, yarn scraps, wool felting bits, cotton balls, and raffia. 
(We keep it stocked with suet cakes all winter)

* EXTRA CREDIT: Make your yard a Wildlife Habitat * 
Read more about how my family got our backyard 
Certified as a Wildlife Habitat HERE  by the National Wildlife Federation.


2. Provide Food Sources for the Birds. 

Hang up Bird Feeders. 
We have several home-made and store-bought feeders around our property. 


We picked up these bird feeders at the Dollar Store and decoupaged them with 
tissue paper squares and Outdoor Formula Mod Podge. 


Make some Birdseed Cakes for your backyard friends.
Instructions to ours can be found here

3. Provide Fresh Drinking Water for the Birds. 



We provide clean water with a bird bath that we refill using a watering can and our rain barrel. 
I do keep a Mosquito dunk inside to battle the Asian Tiger Mosquitos that love our area.

Note: Don't allow pets (like your dog) or children(!)
to drink from  or play in bird baths - our little feathered friends do carry
diseases and bacteria that can make your canine companion or child very ill. 

4. Practice Sustainable Gardening in your own Yard. 

We try to garden without chemicals or yard sprays - I use corn gluten and milky spore for grubs.
We mow and weed-whack with a rechargeable electric lawn mower  week-whacker. 
When we do mow, we mulch the grass clippings back into our lawn 
instead of bagging them for the landfills. 
We Xeriscape - we have replace LARGE sections of lawn and grass with mulch and
hardscaping (slate, river stone, and brick.)
We have a rain barrel to water our veggies and we have a large Blue Planet compost bin
in the backyard for kitchen and yard scraps 

5. Nurture A Love of Nature. 
Encourage your children to 
EXPLORE and LEARN about Birds and their habitats. 


Set up a Bird Watching Basket or 
Bird Watching Station for your kids to observe their backyard feathered friends. 
We have ours by our family room window stocked with:
binoculars, bird identification books, a Bird Song "Identiflyer" and 
a journal to draw birds or record observations. 


filled with 13 fun Art and Craft Projects to add some artsy fun to your backyard! 
Discount Code:

Warmly,
Pink and Green Mama,
 MaryLea

Here are some of our backyard favorites!




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Monday, April 15, 2013

Easy Kid Craft: Mod Podge Bird Houses

Sponsored Post Disclosure: I have been compensated for this post, however all opinions are my own and truthful. 
This post does contain paid links. 



The girls and I had so much fun with our new Apple Barrel all purpose acrylic craft paint and our new favorite Mod Podge (Mod Podge Washout) that we made some cute little bird houses for our backyard. The girls know real birds can't live in them but they sure are a cute addition to our garden and we've been using them as fairy houses. I picked up the unfinished wood houses at Michaels craft store. 


Both girls loved the spring colors our friends at Apple Barrel paint sent us and got to work painting their houses. The paint covers well and washes out of clothes and off of skin with soap and water! 


The artists at work!


After the paint dried on the houses, we applied some birds and flowers with Mod Podge Washout. 
We cut the birds and flowers carefully out of these napkins I picked up at Ikea (so cute!) 



Once the houses were dry, we took them out into the garden to play Fairy houses with! They've been a fun addition to our backyard spring outdoor imaginative play. 



Happy Spring Crafting! 


If you missed our first Mod Podge and Apple Barrel paint craft last week, 
you can see it here. We made this super cute windowsill garden for our playroom!

Warmly,
Pink and Green Mama
MaryLea

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Disclosure: The Apple Barrel paint and Mod Podge in this post were given to me for review.
This post was written as an addition to part of a campaign with Blue Print Social.
All opinions expressed are my own. 




Friday, April 12, 2013

Springtime Learning Through Play eBook Bundle - Last Chance For Great Spring Savings!



April 15, 2013 UPDATE: Please Note This ebook bundle is no longer available at this price. 

You can still visit the individual blog authors to purchase their ebooks 








Calling all preschool teachers, homeschoolers, parents of young kids,


this is your LAST CHANCE to take advantage of our huge sale


for the Learning Through Play eBook Bundle. 


It is chock full of great eBooks from experts in parenting, play, and education!












Our SPECIAL SALE ends this weekend on April 14th. 





We have put together a package worth over $130 – but available to you at a very special price – of ebooks and resources, all based around Learning Through Play. 





This Spring Special Offer includes books, resources and an on-line course, and covers sensory play, outdoor play, art and crafts, positive parenting, learning to read and write, math and lots more. There's so much in the bundle it will give you ideas to use with your children all spring and summer long. You’ll recognize the authors as the writers of some of your favorite blogs (including yours truly)!











I’ve read the books (and written one of them!) and I’m so happy to recommend this offer to you. These ladies really know their stuff and the books and resources are packed full of fantastic creative and practical ideas that you can use with your children. There are sixteen different authors joining in, bringing you over $130 worth of resources. And, guess what – you can buy the lot for just $9.99!





That's 15 (!) eBooks for the price of one -- you can't beat that! 











This special bundle of books is available for you to buy only between April 8th and April 14th. 


So buy it now or you’ll miss the deal!












IMPORTANT: You can buy the bundle on any device, including computer, Apple, Android and portable devices.  You’ll get an instant download of the books and resources so you can start enjoying them straight away.  The book will be sent to the e-mail address associated with your paypal account.  The delivery system gives you 9 attempts at download within 120 hours, so you can buy now and do the download a little later if you prefer.





Depending on the apps you have installed and your operating system you might be able to go ahead and download each book on your mobile device but if you have any doubts or problems, we recommend you use a computer to download the books and then share them to your mobile devices.



Okay kids, go get yours today -- this offer is too good to last, you can get all of the ebooks for this special sale price this weekend only! 




Warmly,
Pink and Green Mama
MaryLea












Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring Windowsill Garden For Children with DIY Flower Pots Using Mod Podge Washout and Apple Barrel Paints #plaidkidscrafts



Spring weather always beckons my children into our backyard but lately we've been experiencing some chilly temperatures and "rain delays!" The girls have been eyeing all of the beautiful bulbs and flowers for sale at the garden center and begging to buy some for our own yard. I was hoping we could find a way to bring some spring indoors. When Blue Print social sent us some some Mod Podge Washout and  Apple Barrel paint in cute spring colors to play with, I knew this little playroom windowsill garden would be the perfect cure for our springtime wanna-be gardening blues!


We picked up some terra cotta pots and dishes at our local garden store and the girls painted them with the Apple Barrel paint. The girls picked yellow (Banana) and green (Lime Tree) paint for their pots. We love their all-purpose acrylic craft paint for our family projects because it cleans up with soap and water (while wet) and Apple Barrel paint comes in so many pretty colors!


The coverage on this paint is great, it only took two coats to cover the terra cotta pots nicely and it dried quickly - a plus when you're working with kids who are impatient and want to move on to the next step!


After the paint dried on the flower pots, we cut the bird and flower shapes out of some decorative paper napkins I picked up at Ikea and applied them to the flower pots with Mod Podge Washout. It's the same great formula as "regular" Mod Podge Gloss but it washes out of clothing and furniture with soap and water, even when it's dry. This will be my new "go-to" Mod Podge for kid's projects. It is great for moms and teachers!  


We also Mod Podged the top edge of the flower pot with some botanical leaf print paper napkins we found in a drawer. Blue napkins on the yellow pots and orange/hot pink napkins on the green pots.

HELPFUL HINT: Whenever you Mod Podge decorative paper napkins to a craft surface, make sure you separate all of the layers of tissue - the image is printed on the top layer and there are usually at least three or four layers on the napkin to pull apart. Paint the area with Mod Podge, press on the napkin and gently dab another layer of Mod Podge on top to seal it.


The girls really love their new playroom windowsill garden. When the bulbs are done flowering, we're going to plant them in the yard and try growing some other green kitchen garden goodies like an "avocado" pit tree, lemon seeds, and scallions. We're bringing science, art, and nature to our playroom! A special thank you to my friends at Plaid Enterprises for sharing such fun art supplies with us, we have another project coming up with Apple Barrel Paint and Mod Podge Washout that I can't wait to share with you! 
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Happy Spring Crafting! 


Warmly,
Pink and Green Mama
MaryLea


This post was written as part of a campaign with The Blueprint Social,
but I really DO like Mod Podge Washout and Apple Barrel Paints!
As always, all opinions are my own.




Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Learning Through Play E-Books and Learning Resources Bundle!




Brought to you by Melitsa of 
Raising Playful Tots and Cathy of NurtureStore along with some of our favorite bloggers and authors, the Spring Learning Through Play special offer is now open – but for April 8th to April 14th only.
 April 15, 2013 UPDATE: this ebook bundle price is no longer available but you can still purchase the individual ebooks from each blog author. 

We have put together a package worth over $130 – but available to you at a very special price – of e-books and resources, all based around Learning Through Play. This Spring Special Offer includes books, resources and an on-line course, and covers sensory play, outdoor play, art and crafts, positive parenting, learning to read and write, math and lots more. There's so much in the bundle it will give you ideas to use with your children all spring and summer long. You’ll recognize the authors as the writers of some of your favorite blogs – check out the full details below to see who’s joining in.

The Garden Classroom by Cathy James of NurtureStore

The Garden Classroom brings you fifty-two creative and playful outdoor activities, giving you a whole year’s worth of garden-based projects to enjoy with your children. Value $9.99
ScienceArts by MaryAnn Kohl of Process Art and Treasures of Childhood

ScienceArts inspires children to explore the world of science through art with open-ended experiments. 141 pages of art experiments amaze & delight children as they discover the magic of crystals, light, constellations, plants and more. All scientific reactions and concepts explained. Value $9.99
 The Playful Family by Shawn Fink of Awesomely Awake

The Playful Family encourages and challenges busy parents to slow down and spend quality time together with their children, regardless of their age. With nearly 100 ways to connect, engage and play together this easy-to-read e-book is a must-have resource for any parent interested in becoming more playful and happy while raising children. Value $4.99
 Connecting Family through Creative Play e-Workshop by Gina Kimmel of Connecting Family and Seoul and Katherine Lockett of Creative Playhouse

Connecting Family through Creative Play is a 30 day e-Workshop designed for families who wish to connect with their children on a daily basis through simple, creative play. These ideas are perfect for parents looking to find a balance between the everyday responsibilities and connecting with your child in meaningful ways that fit into your family’s daily rhythm. You will receive daily messages from us in your inbox with inspirations to play, ideas for connection, and resources to help spark your imagination, including access to a private Facebook community. {Please note this course is running April 29th 2013 to May 28th 2013 only and you must register on the course before May 15th 2013} Value $25
Alphabet Glue: Volumes Nine through Eleven by Annie Riechmann of Bird and Little Bird

Alphabet Glue is a downloadable e-magazine for families who love books, and aims to help more families to incorporate creativity, imagination and all things literary into their everyday routines. Each issue contains leveled book recommendations organized by theme, bookmaking tutorials, story-building activities, and hands-on projects that complement favorite titles in children's literature or teach basic elements of science. Value $11
Alphabet Summer Learning Pack by Erin Wing of Small Types

The Alphabet Summer Learning Pack is a collection of flexible summer learning ideas organized around an "A to Z" theme. Use these resources to prevent the dreaded "summer slide" and build fun learning routines into your summer plans. Ideas are simple and flexible, so families can pick and choose the activities that work for their particular child and schedule. They provide opportunities to practice key literacy and math skills, and they leave plenty of time for lemonade stands and sand castles. Value $7
Pink and Green Mama Crafts: Backyard FUN by MaryLea Harris of Pink and Green Mama

Backyard FUN brings you 13 Art Lessons and Craftivities to create your own Backyard Fun Camp at home or in your classroom with step-by-step instructions, supply lists, and full color photos. The supplies for these fun and easy projects will come from your own art and craft stash, garage, hardware store, and recycling bin! Value $10
Alphabet Crafts by Allison McDonald of No Time For Flash Cards

Alphabet Crafts lets you create the alphabet from A-Z with fun crafts that promote more than just letter recognition. Kids will love making their own alphabet and forget that they are learning in the process. With 5 exclusive crafts never published on No Time For Flash Cards. Value $8
Alphabet Games by Malia Hollowell of Playdough to Plato

The Alphabet Mega Pack includes 12 hands-on games that teach children to recognize the names and sounds of letters - skills that are important for learning how to read. Each activity includes easy to follow parent instructions and helpful photos. The games are addictively fun for kids AND their families! Value $6
Raising a Creative Kid: Simple Strategies for Igniting and Nurturing that Creative Spark by Jillian Riley of A Mom with a Lesson Plan

Raising a Creative Kid will help you raise a creative thinker by simply setting up a creative environment, using intentional language, and nurturing mistakes. This easy read is full tips and tricks that will help you transform your environment into a creativity growth center. Value $7.99
5 minute reading tricks for raising rockstar readers by Amy Mascott of teach mama

Fifteen 5-minute reading tricks that cover everything from teaching names to what parents should say during read-alouds, from learning sight words to reading fluently. It’s about rolling out the red carpet for our rockstar readers. Now. Whomever you are, wherever you are, no matter how busy you are. Value $10



Parenting with Positive Guidance: Building Discipline from the Inside Out by Amanda Morgan of Not Just Cute

Parenting with Positive Guidance gives you the tools for understanding your child’s behavior and effectively teaching and guiding your child toward increased self-control while fostering a healthy parent-child relationship. 100+ pages of information you can start using today! Value $9



Treasure Basket Play by Melitsa Avila of Raising Playful Tots

Treasure Basket Play lets you learn step by step how to make your own natural sensory baby play activity with a Treasure Basket. Includes case studies and interview with a sensory play expert on using Treasure Baskets. Value $8.95
Play Grow Learn Issue 2 by Christie Burnett of Childhood 101

Issue 2 of Play Grow Learn is packed full of playful fun with 55 pages and over 100 activity ideas. Includes ideas for creating family stories with internationally acclaimed author Hazel Edwards, an exclusive full colour, printable sea themed bingo game, 12 pages of active and outdoor play ideas, recipes, art, literacy, creativity, construction, imaginative play, books and more! Value $4
Spring Literacy and Math Activities and Games by Christine Lanyon of Scribble Doodle and Draw

Spring Literacy and Math Activities and Games includes 15 fun learning center ideas. Skills worked on include, addition to 8, patterns, counting to 20, measurement, number sequencing, abc order, writing 3 letter words, rhyming, syllables, compound words and more. Value $8


This special bundle of books is available for you to buy only between April 8th and April 14th. 

So buy it now or you’ll miss the deal!


I’ve read the books (and written one of them!) and I’m so happy to recommend this offer to you. These ladies really know their stuff and the books and resources are packed full of fantastic creative and practical ideas that you can use with your children. There are sixteen different authors joining in, bringing you over $130 worth of resources. And, guess what – you can buy the lot for just $9.99!



IMPORTANT: You can buy the bundle on any device, including computer, Apple, Android and portable devices.  You’ll get an instant download of the books and resources so you can start enjoying them straight away.  The book will be sent to the e-mail address associated with your paypal account.  The delivery system gives you 9 attempts at download within 120 hours, so you can buy now and do the download a little later if you prefer.

Depending on the apps you have installed and your operating system you might be able to go ahead and download each book on your mobile device but if you have any doubts or problems, we recommend you use a computer to download the books and then share them to your mobile devices.

Okay kids, go get yours today -- this offer is too good to last! 

Warmly,
Pink and Green Mama
MaryLea





Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Artful Parent Book Review and Blog Tour.


My bloggy friend Jean Van't Hul, is an artist, mother, and crafty blogger. 
Her blog, The Artful Parent, is one of those rare lovely places on the internet 
where I actually relax and always look forward to visiting. 
Her home is filled with beautiful projects created by her two adorable daughters. 
Jean and I have joked that if we lived closer we could have some wonderful 
coffee play dates with our girls and make some serious messes together!
I love her "stained glass window art projects" and homemade pennants and garlands. 
If only we had a giant picture window like Jean's somewhere in our house to decorate for each season!

I was so excited for her when she announced that she would be writing her own book.
A dream of Jean's nurtured into a reality, her book,
is everything I hoped it would be and more. I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview. 
I was in bed for days with a nasty virus when her book arrived in the mail.
It was a wonderful distraction for me, an escape from the reality of my life filled with 
dirty dishes, sick and bored kids, and piles of undone laundry. 

It is all organized by the type of art material and filled with beautiful photographs.
She also has some guest chapters from some of my blogging colleagues
 with a list of recommended art and craft blogs to visit 
that I was only "slightly" hurt not to be included on.

Her book is full of so many easy and creative ideas - 60 different projects for you 
to complete with your children and fill your home or classroom with beauty. 
The best part is that they are all focused on the "process" not the final "product" 
(a mantra a repeated daily in my classroom as an art teacher)
and her children's work reflects it through out the book. 
Jean's book is a wonderful and rare departure from the usual craft books filled with 
beautifully styled projects for children that were obviously created by an adult.
The artwork in her book is child made and genuine. 




Want more sneak peeks into Jean's book - or a chance to win a copy? 
Follow along on the book tour: 

March 18 - Tinkerlab - activity demonstration and giveaway

March 22 - Handmade Charlotte - blog post

March 26 - Playful Learning - activity demonstration

March 28 - Nurture Store - feature post and giveaway

March 30 - Make and Takes - Feature

April 1 - Red Ted Art - book review and giveaway

April 2 - Kids Activity Blog - interview and giveaway

April 3 - Pink and Green Mama - blog post

April 8 - Not Just Cute - blog post

April 9 - Creative With Kids - interview

April 10 - Imagination Tree - book review


Warmly,
Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea

* Disclosure: I received an early copy of The Artful Parent book to read for this review.
All opinions expressed are my own. *






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