Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cootie Catchers -- Cheap and Easy (Craft Project... Not Me!)

We celebrate half-birthdays for the under-thirty half of our family. When the Frog Princess officially turned 5 and-a-half last month, we celebrated with half a birthday cake (just bake in a round pan and cut it in half, throw in a layer of frosting or jam and stack them -- you've got half a cake) and a small present. Last year it was $4 to spend as she wished at the Dollar Tree. This year it was a set of home-made Cootie Catchers. Remember these from school? So fun, so retro, and a great entertainment at the dinner table for many nights to follow.

For directions on how to make your own cootie catcher (if your middle-aged brain has forgotten) visit Mom's MiniVan or Squigly's Arts and Crafts. We made one with silly fortunes ("You will make a new friend tomorrow", "Something mysterious is about to happen", "The Cat knows the answer"...) and one with answers to any Yes or No question (like a Magic eight ball - "Definitely","Maybe","Yes","No","Hopefully"...) Then we moved on to printing a couple off of the internet and playing with them as well (check out the PBS kids Arthur site). They were a huge hit and great practice for my Kindergartner's spelling (y-e-l-l-o-w) and counting.

I love it when I can keep my kids busy, entertained, and having fun while learning and all for the cost of a few sheets of paper and some markers we already had on hand. The Frog Princess said it was her favorite half birthday present yet! These would make fabulous stocking stuffers as well! Imagine if we all went back to simpler and greener gift ideas like this for our kids instead of all of the commercialized, made overseas, painted with questionable paint plastic trash. I wonder if I could get away with handing out these for halloween instead of candy? Hmmm.....

Image courtesy of the Daring Book for Girls.


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