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Happy Easter!!

As I am celebrating the miracle of Easter with my family, I thought I would share a few things with you.
He is Risen!
We added some peg dolls to our Resurrection Garden to act out Easter morning.

We also of course decorated some Easter eggs. This is one of Hazel's favorite things to do.


Finally don't forget to enter my giveaway--you only have one more day!

Happy Easter!! 


Sharing Saturday 13-13


Have you entered my current giveaway?
 Since the wonderful Virtual Book Club for Kids author of the month is Julia Donaldson, The Gruffalo Brand is offering a lucky U.S. resident and reader of Crafty Moms Share two of her amazing books--The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child. I hope you will come enter to win these great books!!




Thank you to everyone who shared last week. Once again I am so inspired. Now I just need to find enough time to do some of the fun activities and crafts with Hazel. We had a tie for the most clicked so we are not sharing them this week. Please make sure you stop by my co-host, Having Fun at Chelle's House to check out her features!! As for my features, they are split into two categories, Easter Favorites and Some Other Favorites!



1) From Sugar Aunts: Easter Bunny Cuties (I love the simpleness and all the great activities!)
2) From Powerful Mothering: Salt Dough Easter Eggs (I love this idea especially with the paper mache nest and pipe cleaners!)
3) From JDaniel4's Mom: Easter Story Cookies (Tell the Easter Story while making these cookies. I love it!)
4) From JoyJonne Hooks: DIY Bunny Ring (So cute!!)


1) From BlogMeMom: Jellybean Bush (Ok, I love Kevin Henkes' My Garden book, so I love this idea!)
2) From Organic Aspirations: For Our Feathered Friends (Some great tips and ways to attract birds to your yard and why you should.)
3) From ArtClubBlog: Punk Rocks (Ok, this one just made me smile!)
4) From 4 kids, 2 guinea pigs one happy family: Jack and the Beanstalk Growing Experiments (So many wonderful lessons and ideas!!) 

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! If you were one of the ones picked as a feature here, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog.
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My Week in Review:
This week I shared our Resurrection Garden, a Spanish American Cinderella with a Christian twist, The Snail and the Whale, Some Passover books, and Easter and Spring Match Games.
 

Now for This Week's Party 
 
A Few Simple Guidelines:
1)  Please follow Crafty Moms Share and Having Fun at Chelle's House via GFC (or one of the other ways that work for you).  

2)  Link any kid-friendly, child-centered post. Please no etsy shops or giveaways, etc.  Remember to link to your actual post. 

3) Post the newly updated button on your sidebar or somewhere on your blog to help spread the word.
NewSharingSaturdayresized_zps6f405a2b
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4) I would love it if you would follow me on Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest as well as Having Fun at Chelle's House at Facebook and Pinterest
Disclaimer: By sharing here, you are giving Crafty Moms Share and Having Fun at Chelle's House permission to use your photos for features and to pin your craft at Pinterest

Easter and Spring Match Games & More!

Only a few more days to enter my current giveaway!!
Today I thought I would share some Easter and spring games I made up with free printables. The first is a sequence game of the Easter story.
All of these cards tell the story from Palm Sunday to Jesus rising in heaven with pictures. My thought was to be able to tell the story through figuring out the sequence of events. If you would like this game, you can download it here.

The next game is a Easter Match Game with religious symbols. I made a few changes to this one after I took the picture. I changed the picture of the angel and fixed the back of the cards to say Easter Match Game.
Making these I had focused on what was being taught in Hazel's Sunday School class and the symbols that went with them. If you would like this game you can download it here.

Then I also made a not so religious Easter Match Game.
I even made the back of the cards to be non-religious. If you would like this one you can download it here.

My final Match Game for today is a Spring Flower Match Game. I made this with my strong desire for warmer weather and to see my spring flowers, but also so Hazel could start to recognize some of the flowers by name.
I used photographs of the flowers, so she could really see what they look like. If you would like this game, you can download it here.

I hope you will come back and let me know how your little ones liked them!



Virtual Book Club for Kids--The Snail and the Whale

This month the Virtual Book Club for Kids Author is Julia Donaldson. Last week I shared Hazel's favorite Julia Donaldson book, Room on the Broom. This week I thought I would share my favorite, The Snail and the Whale

Before we get to the book, however, just a reminder you have until Monday to enter to win two great Julia Donaldson books--The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child--both have been made into movies as well. There are many wonderful activities to go with these books in the blog hop below!
This rhyming story tells about a snail who wants to see the world. A whale offers him a ride on his tail. They tour the world and see wonderful sights, and then the whale gets beached. The little snail thinks quickly and goes to get help by writing a message on a chalkboard in a classroom. The people in the town save the whale and the snail and whale continue their trip. When they return back to the snail's rock, they tell the other snails about the amazing sights and they all hop on the whale's tail.

This book is an amazing tale filled with so many wonderful messages on friendship, helping one another, helping nature, not making fun of others for their dreams and more. I absolutely love reading it. It also gave us a chance to learn more about whales and snails. We found some great information on whales at The Ocean Adventure. The snail information we read was from Snail World and Wikipedia (on Sea Snails).
For crafts, I needle felted a whale and a snail for Hazel to reenact the story. Then I found a great whale pincushion pattern in Stash Happy Felt by Amanda Carestia. I changed the pattern a bit and made a snail pin instead of fish ones.
Then our final craft was to make snails from shells and clay. These are very easy. You shape the clay to look the body of the snail and stick them into the shell.

Now it is your turn to share an activity to go with a Julia Donaldson book!

Multicultural Tuesday--Passover

Have you entered my current giveaway for two amazing children's books by Julia Donaldson yet?

Since we have started our Fairy Tales in Different Cultures on Mondays, I have not had any other Multicultural Mondays. So in honor of Passover starting last night, I thought I would share a bit about Passover. Having grown up in a town that had a large percent of Jewish residents I have many friends who celebrate Passover. 

A Little History:
Passover is the holiday festival that Jewish people remember when God saved them from slavery in Egypt 3,300 years ago. The story is found in the book of  Exodus in both the Christian Bible and the Hebrew Bible. The book of Exodus includes how the Pharaoh enslaved the Jewish people and killed the males as well as the birth of Moses and how he was saved. Then how Moses and God led the Jews to freedom. The Bible tells that God helped the Jews escape slavery in Egypt by inflicting ten plagues upon the ancient Egyptians before the Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves; the tenth and worst of the plagues was the death of the Egyptian first-born. The Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord knew to pass over the first-born in these homes, hence the name of the holiday. When the Pharaoh freed the Jews, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread dough to rise. For the duration of Passover no leavened bread is eaten. Matzo (flat unleavened bread) is a symbol of the holiday. (Source)
Matzo (Source)
Celebrating Passover:
To celebrate Passover, first one must cleanse the house of all leavening products (chametz). Many Jewish families will clean their house completely to ensure there is not a speck of chametz left in it. Many families also have a separate set of dishes for Passover as to not chance having any chametz residue during a meal from a plate. 
http://www.stmarys-waco.org/pictures/passover-disposable-seder-d.jpg
Seder Plate (Source)

It is traditional for a family to gather on the first night of Passover for a Seder (a special dinner). During the Seder the story of the Exodus from Egypt is told using a special text called the Haggadah. (Source) Seder customs include drinking four glasses of wine, eating matzo, partaking in symbolic foods on the Seder plate and celebrating freedom. There are six items on the Seder plate. An egg represents the sacrifice offered at the Jerusalem Temple. The shank bone symbolizes the lamb sacrificed at the Temple in Jerusalem. The bitter herb symbolizes the bitterness of slavery. Charoset/Haroses a sweet brown paste made of fruit and nuts symbolizes the mortar used to build the Egyptian store houses. Lettuce or Chazeret is Romaine lettuce or grated  horseradish also symbolizing the bitterness of slavery. Parsley which is dipped into salt water which stands for hope and new life and the salt water for the tears of the Jewish slaves. (Sources: Wikipedia and Passover Magic by Roni Schotter)

Children play an important role in the Seder. The youngest child present has the important job of asking the four questions. 
Why is this night different from all other nights?
Why on this night do we eat only matzoh?
Why on this night do we eat bitter herbs?
Why on this night do we dip parsley into salt wter and bitter herbs into haroses?
Why on this night do we recline at the table?
During the Seder the questions are answered by the adults reading the Haggadah. (Source: Passover Magic by Roni Schotter)


I wanted to find a way to introduce Passover to Hazel. For her age I decided on some story books. When we were at the library, I had her pick out a few books that looked good to her in the Passover section. Here are her choices.
These stories are wonderful ways to show how to celebrate the holiday. If you do not read the author's notes you will not learn the history of the holiday. I am not sure she is ready for this, so I have not extended it yet, but will at some point.

I hope to also have or attend a Seder with Hazel. The year I got pregnant with her my church held a Seder. I had helped in the planning a bit. I am hoping she will experience it as well at some point. As a Christian it is important to remember the Jewish holidays as well. For our communion comes from Jesus celebrating Passover with his disciples. 

I hope I have clearly and correctly stated about Passover and wish all my Jewish readers a very Happy Passover.

Fairy Tales in Different Cultures--Little Gold Star

Make sure you enter my current giveaway for two wonderful children's books!!


Source
With this week being Holy Week, I thought I would share a Cinderella story that has a Christian twist. (With Passover starting this week I considered doing a second Jewish one, but decided to put that off until next week.) I found two versions of today's story. One is told in Spanish and English, however it does not have the Christian twist. Both are called Little Gold Star and take place in the American Southwest--New Mexico to be more precise. Now my experience with New Mexico is very limited. My family traveled across country when I was young and I remember stopping at the Four Corners so we could stand in four states at one time. This was my only time to New Mexico. For those that do not know United States geography well, New Mexico is one of the four states that meet at one point (this is the only place in the US that it happens). The four states are Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.

Resurrection Garden



This year I wanted to try making a resurrection garden with Hazel. I had seen one last year and pinned--or thought I had then searched again for it and pinned one this year. The one I found is from Raising Little Disciples.

So to make this we used a relatively flat large circular pot (I had bought a terracotta saucer, but couldn't find it), soil, rocks (we used small ones), a small clay pot to be the tomb, a rock to cover the opening, some sticks and string to make crosses, seeds--grass and flowers.

To start we filled the flat pot with soil and placed the small tomb one. Then put the small rocks down as a path. I also tried to get some soil (and seeds) on top of the tomb. Unfortunately with watering it didn't stay well. Then we planted some grass seeds and flower seeds. Then we made three crosses from sticks we picked up in our yard and put them behind the tomb.

When we had our one nice spring day in between snowstorms, we found a rock on our nature walk.  Our grass needs cutting and some of the flowers are getting their leaves at least. I cannot wait to see what it looks like on Easter morning. Hazel loved making and loves checking it to see the growth. It is such a wonderful way to prepare for Easter and remember the true meaning of the holiday.

Sharing Saturday 13-12


Have you entered my current giveaway?
 Since the wonderful Virtual Book Club for Kids author of the month is Julia Donaldson, The Gruffalo Brand is offering a lucky U.S. resident and reader of Crafty Moms Share two of her amazing books--The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child. I hope you will come enter to win these great books!!



Thank you to everyone who shared last week. Once again I am so inspired. Now I just need to find enough time to do some of the fun activities and crafts with Hazel. We had a tie for the most clicked so we are not sharing them this week. Please make sure you stop by my co-host, Having Fun at Chelle's House to check out her features!! As for my features, here they are...


A Few of My Favorites
1) From Buggy and Buddy: Art for Kids Inspired by Henri Matisse (What an amazing activity--museum visit and then creative artwork inspired by what you saw!)
2) From Wilamette Valley Wonder Woman: 20 Spring Stay-Cation Ideas (Ok, this list is not just for spring vacation week, but for just about any time including weekends and summer! I cannot wait for the snow to melt and stay away so we can get outside more.)
3) From For the Children: Ladybugs!! (Ok, I admit I have a bit of an obsession right now since my daughter's symbol for her nursery class is the ladybug, but what great ideas!)
4) From Wilderness Wife: 12 Easter Egg Trees to Make (Ok, this one reminded me of the craft I promised Hazel we would do after reading The Story of the Easter Robin--Excellent book and we need to make bird eggs to hang on Easter morning!)
5) From Taming the Goblin: Spring Flower Craft Paper Alium (Oh, I so want to see spring flowers in the ground!!)
6) From We Made That: Water Transfer Experiment (This one is neat--not only watching the water travel but mixing colors too!)


Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! If you were one of the ones picked as a feature here, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog.
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Button Code:




My Week in Review:
This week I shared our St. Patrick's Day food and crafts, The Irish Cinderlad--an Irish male Cinderella, Room on the Broom with giveaway, Holy Week Crafts, DIY Stop/Slow Sign, and Large Chenille Stem Animals
 

Now for This Week's Party 
 
A Few Simple Guidelines:
1)  Please follow Crafty Moms Share and Having Fun at Chelle's House via GFC (or one of the other ways that work for you).  

2)  Link any kid-friendly, child-centered post. Please no etsy shops or giveaways, etc.  Remember to link to your actual post. 

3) Post the newly updated button on your sidebar or somewhere on your blog to help spread the word.
NewSharingSaturdayresized_zps6f405a2b
Button Code:


4) I would love it if you would follow me on Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest as well as Having Fun at Chelle's House at Facebook and Pinterest
Disclaimer: By sharing here, you are giving Crafty Moms Share and Having Fun at Chelle's House permission to use your photos for features and to pin your craft at Pinterest

Toy Stop / Slow Sign


Last week after lunch with Hazel's best friend and his mother, the four of us went over to Lakeshore Learning Store. Hazel's friend really wanted a toy stop / slow sign. His mother really did not want to spend the $10 on it. I tried to convince him we could make one at my house when we got there, but he really wanted that one. She bought it for him. Hazel did not ask since she heard it was expensive and we could make one. We came home and made one for Hazel after they left.

To make it, I printed out an octagon sign with STOP and an octagon sign with SLOW (similar to the toy and not the traffic ones). Then we glued them to scrap cardboard. We let the glue dry. Here is my Word Document of the sign.

Then we taped a tongue depressor to the back of the signs and glued the signs together. We placed them under our dictionary but any large, heavy book will work to let the glue dry. I wanted to seal it in clear Contact paper, but I need to buy some and she wanted to play with it right away. Of course it hasn't come back out since the first day, but at least I didn't spend $10 on it and made hers for free.

Large Chenille Stem Animals

Have you entered my current giveaway yet? Please do!!

I bought a couple of packages of those really large and furry chenille stems on clearance awhile ago. We decided to make some animals with them. I made some bunnies, a duck and a frog.
Then Hazel made some snails (with a little help) and a bracelet (that I think started as a duck or bunny).
We also made some shamrocks, since this was pre-St. Patrick's Day. We discovered the extra large ones didn't work as well as the next size down for shamrocks.