Showing posts with label fruit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fruit. Show all posts

Needle Felted Acorn Top Strawberry

So yesterday I mentioned we had collected some acorn caps when we walked back to our car after checking out the swans. After letting them sit for a few days to make sure there were no bugs in them, we wanted to needle felt some acorns. Our plan was to bring them to school as part of Teacher Appreciation Week. I tried to choose wool roving colors for different seasons and one of them was red. Hazel commented on how the red one looked like a strawberry. We decided to make strawberries. Since we have already shared our Strawberry Exploration, we will just share the craft today. We painted the caps green first.

While the paint dried we began needle felting. We took some red roving and rolled into a strawberry shape. Then we needled it as much as possible. I have some safety needle felting tools for Hazel to use, but she did catch her finger once. I always had to finish them since she was afraid of holding them and needling. We also decided to make some unripe ones so we could show the progression of strawberries. 

For these we mixed some colors to make them look like they were ripening. Once the shapes were solid enough, we glued them into the caps. Then let them dry overnight. Now we have some lovely needle felted acorn top strawberries. Hazel decided she wanted to keep all the strawberries and acorns we made for herself and give them to the teachers, but she also wants to make more.

For more ideas on strawberries (mostly recipes) and fruit explorations:

Friday Fruit Exploration: Pineapple

I have been a bit absent this week. It has been a bit crazy with helping a friend with a sick child, having a sick child and life in general. I am looking forward to escaping the chaos later today as I join some women from my church and head a women's retreat in Maine. I am only going for one night (and one full day) since I need to be back at church on Sunday and Hazel is having a hard time with me being gone already.

Friday Fruit Exploration: Raspberries

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?

Sorry for getting this post out so late. It has been a bit of a crazy day and I am finally getting time to sit at the computer. Anyway, we continued our Friday Fruit Exploration with raspberries. We love raspberries and even have a few raspberry bushes in our old garden. One of Hazel's favorite summertime activities at my parents' house is to be outside with my father in the raspberries. Funny how I never seem to get any, but she always comes in with a very red, messy face. 

Inside of Raspberry

The serving size of raspberries is one cup. In that cup of raspberries there are 67 calories of which 7 are from fat. They have 15 grams of total carbohydrates if which 8 grams is dietary fiber and 5 grams is sugar. Raspberries have a good amount of vitamin C. The serving gives you 54% of the daily recommended amount. They also give you 12% of the vitamin K daily recommendation and 41% of the manganese. They also have some Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. (Source) Scientific studies have shown that the  phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals in raspberries help fight cancer, aging, inflammation, and neuro-degenerative diseases. It is among the top rated ORAC fruit. They are rich in the vitamin B complex, vitamin E, potassium, copper, iron and magnesium. Therefore raspberries help with controlling heart rate and blood pressure, production of red blood cells, and metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Raspberries are very perishible and should be purchased only a day or two in advance. (Source)


There were not very many books just on raspberries. We have enjoyed Berry Magic by Teri Sloat and Betty Huffmon. It is a wonderful Yupik Eskimo folktale of how a young girl uses a bit of magic and song grow new berries since she hears the old women complain about the crowberries every year. She gets  blueberries, cranberries,  raspberries and salmonberries.

The other book we found is Our Raspberry Jam by David E. Marx. It is a wonderful easy reader about a young girl who enjoys some raspberry jam which her family made together. 

For our raspberry exploration we used Hazel's magnifying glass to look at the outside and inside of some raspberries. We recorded what we found in Hazel's fruit journal.

Then of course we ate them!! Did I mention I can get Hazel to do almost anything if I promise to buy some raspberries?

For a craft I was inspired by this craft at Luntiks. We took some red Crayola Model Magic Clay and made a raspberry shape. Then we tried to roll them in red and pink seed beads. The beads should have been bigger and we needed stickier clay. We did discover it worked better to put the clay around your finger so you could put some pressure on it when you rolled them. Now we are leaving them out to dry.

So that is our raspberry adventure!! I will have to think about some more raspberry crafts since there are not many out there!!

For more posts on fruits and raspberries in particular check out:

Friday Fruit Exploration: Blueberries

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?

Our fruit explorations continue. This time we checked out blueberries!! If you missed our first fruit exploration we explored strawberries.  We added a new element to our fruit explorations-- a fruit exploration journal! I write the name of the fruit and Hazel draws pictures of the outside and inside and sometimes I draw pictures too. Then we come up with words to describe the fruit.

First here are some facts about blueberries. A serving size is one cup (hmm, I could eat several servings in one sitting).  A serving contains 84 calories and of that 4 calories from fat. They have 14 grams of carbohydrates of which 10 grams are sugars and 2 grams are dietary fiber. They provide 16% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C, 2% of iron and Vitamin A. With the powerful antioxidants in them blueberries can improve nighttime vision, may improve motor skills and may reverse the short-term memory loss that comes with aging or age-related memory diseases and may reduce the risk of infection. (Source: Driscolls)

For our exploration we examined the outside of the blueberry with Hazel's magnifying glass. We noted the smooth texture and the pointy bumps at the top. Next we examined the interior of the blueberry. Sorry my pictures are not very clear of the inside.

We noted the small seeds inside as well the yellow inside with a red rim.

The next part of our exploration was reading some books on blueberries or at least with blueberries in them.

I have discovered that picture books or books at Hazel's level do not exist that share the nutritional value of the fruits. There are many about fruits in general without going into much detail about the nutrients. However there were many fun blueberry stories. One of the books has only poems and includes one with blueberries in it. The last book is not a picture book either. We did not actually read it. The other ones we really enjoyed though.

Our craft was inspired by Little Page Turners Potato Blueberry Stamps. We used fingerprints instead of potato prints though I like the texture of the potato prints a bit better. This was a fast and easy craft though. Our plan is to make some blueberry jam tomorrow. We ran out of time today. Hazel also wants to make some strawberry jam. For both we are going to use frozen fruit this time. Hopefully they will come out all right.

Blueberry Picking a Couple of Years Ago
 Here are some more blueberry ideas:

Friday Fruit Explorations: Strawberries

The other day Hazel decided we should go on a fruit exploration. She pulled out her magnifying glasses so we could look more closely at some of the fruit. We started our adventure with strawberries--one of our favorites. 

First we looked at the outside of the fruit to see what we could find.

We noticed the seeds which we knew were there. Did you know strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside? After she was done looking at the outside, I cut one in half so we could look at the inside.

The white lines in the interior of the strawberry bring the nutrients to each seed. Of course to learn all these little facts, we got some books from the library.

Two books focus on the growing cycle of strawberries and the third shares a Cherokee legend on the first strawberries. I was hoping to find some information on the nutrition of strawberries, but have not found books with it. However I did find it on-line. A serving size of one cup has 49 calories. That cup of strawberries contains 12 grams of carbohydrates of which 7 gram are sugar and 3 are dietary fiber. There is also 1 gram of protein and gives you 149% of your vitamin C for the day. They also have a small amount of iron and calcium. The other minerals that strawberries provide are potassium and manganese. Strawberries also contain omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. (Source

Strawberries have also been rated the 27th best among U.S. food, however due to the large serving size needed for the top foods, strawberries move to the 3rd position when considering of which foods you would eat the 3.5 ounces. Strawberries are fragile fruits that start to lose their nutrition after only two days and ideally they will be in 90-95% humidity (most refrigerators have less humidity). An interesting discovery is that when sugar is eaten with strawberries, the blood sugar spike caused by the sugar is reduced by the strawberries. Strawberries also have anti-inflammatory affects. (Source)

To go with our strawberry exploration, I wanted to do some crafts. Hazel and I have had a busy week, so she was not able to make any of them with me yet, but I thought I would share a few. The first two involve handprints and I found them on Pinterest. The first one is inspired by Activity Village: Handprint Strawberry. Theirs was done with paint, but I had some foam handprints and just used those to share it with you. The second  is from French Toasty: Strawberry Handprint Kid Craft. I did not add the seeds, but if I do it with Hazel we will. The third are needle felted strawberries. I will provide a tutorial below to make them. And finally are Strawberry Treat Box Printable from Oh Happy Day! I wanted Hazel to cut one out to make, but she was too tired after her busy day--she got her first filling/crown today at the dentist and then came home to a playdate. 

Now for our needle felting tutorial. The supplies you need are some red roving, green felt and the needle felting needle and mat. Roll or wrap the roving to be a basic strawberry shape and then needle it to firm it up. To cut the leaves, cut a small square of felt and fold it along the diagonal two to three times. Then cut a triangle from the sides. Open it up and trim how you want it. Then needle felt it to the top of your strawberry.

These are quick and easy to make.

For more ideas on strawberries (mostly recipes):
Join us next week for a different fruit exploration!!

Fruit Christmas Trees

Need something to bring to a Christmas party, but want to make sure there is something not fattening and nutritious? Check out what I have done the past two nights for Hazel to bring to her school Christmas parties. My inspiration came from Pinterest. The original source of the pin is Ginger & Garlic: Edible Christmas Fruit Tree. These are relatively easy, but a  bit time consuming. They are made with a styrofoam cone and lots of toothpicks. I worked from the bottom up and you want to make sure you have plenty of green fruit to make it look like a Christmas tree. I definitely improved on my second one. 

First One
On the first one I tried to use larger star cookie cutters with the honeydew melons to make it look like a pine tree. It did not work well. I used my miniature cookie cutters to cut different shapes out to decorate the tree. I used my angel, gingerbread boy and girl and star on the first one. The fruit I used is green and red grapes, kiwi, honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, raspberries and a star fruit (for the top). I wish I had splurged on the blueberries instead of the on sale raspberries. Oh, well. As I went on, I began to line the cone with the kiwi. On the second one this is the first thing I did.

Second One

On the second one I also added some pineapple. I also tried the Pop Chef that I have seen advertised on television. I thought it might work well for Hazel to make the tree with me. She was too tired after her Christmas Concert to make it with me yesterday afternoon, so I was on my own. I liked my metal cookie cutters better since I had more variety, but did like the little hearts it made. 

Second Tree

Anyway, I think these are the cutest things to bring to a party. They took me under 90 minutes each. I know my mother is thinking of making one to have out on Christmas Day. 

First Tree
Enjoy!! I hope you will stop by for Sharing Saturday later!

Crazy Week...Swimming, Sleeping Beauty, Peach and Raspberry Picking, Doll Doctoring...

Have you entered the giveaway yet? I am giving away a copy of My Garden by Kevin Henkes and many of the other blogs hosting this month's Summer Virtual Book Club for Kids are giving away some of his other books. Harper Collins is providing us with the books.

Ever have one of those weeks where you feel like you haven't sat down, but also feel like you haven't done anything. That is me this week. Hazel had her last week of the summer swim lessons. They are redoing the YMCA indoor pool for the next three weeks or so and the next session doesn't start until after that. We also signed her up for a dance class to start in a couple of weeks. My goal is not to overbook her this year.

Tuesday we went to our local McDonalds and she met Sleeping Beauty. We took one of Steve's distant cousins with us who is eleven and Steve's mother met us there.The eleven-year-old loves to play with Hazel and Hazel loves playing with her. 

Wednesday we had her last swim lesson and then we went to the yarn store and then to Connors Farm to pick raspberries and peaches. We were there around lunch time, but the only prepared food they had was ice cream so we had frozen yogurt and raspberries for lunch. Oops! We are going to be making peach jam soon!

Today we were suppose to go to the zoo in Boston with a friend, but due to a stroller in the wrong car we didn't. We were tired and kind of wanting a day at home to sit and enjoy. Of course we went out and ran errands. I bought some knitting needles so I can start on Hazel's Three Little Pig dolls. I bought yarn yesterday for them. Tomorrow we are going to see a musical version of the story. Hazel is so excited!

While at Joann's we decided to look at fabric for Hazel's Halloween costume. She has decided she wants to be Rapunzel. I picked up a pattern last weekend when they were on sale for $1 and we decided to go with cotton instead of satin. I'm hoping she will be able to wear the dress for her birthday party as well since she wants it to be princess themed and thinks all of her dress up clothes are itchy. Though I did get a picture of her today dressed up in one. The expression is due to the itchiness.

Then of course I have been playing doll doctor. I'm making some progress. I haven't sewn on Carrie's hair yet, but at least have it ready to be sewn on. I'm still working on Angel's, but this type takes a long time and a lot of patience. Then I got this book from the library. It is by the person who wrote the pattern for Angel. My mother also made several others of her doll patterns which are in this book. There are also animal patterns including an entire Noah's Ark. I can't wait to try some of them. I bought a used copy off of Amazon and cannot wait to get it. 

What have you been up to this week?

Teddy Bear Picnic Food

Special announcement: I was quoted in an article at Ballooning Nest Eggs. Please go check it out!! I'm so excited!

Well we hosted our Teddy Bear Picnic the other day. It was so much fun. The idea came to me when we went to one at a local museum, and I was not very impressed. It was too large, loud and chaotic for the kids to focus. Hazel enjoyed visiting the museum but really did not enjoy the picnic. So I told her we would have our own. We did. We e-mailed some invitations and two of her friends were able to come (three if you count the three-month-old sibling). I made teddy bear ears for all the kids and the moms. The tutorial for them can be found here. I have to admit that one of the other moms and I were the only ones who wore them the whole time. Hazel and I spent a lot of time preparing for it. We made some sugar cookies in bear shapes. We used a mix. Then left them for the kids to decorate. Hazel had a bit of fun with the frosting and decorations. She always overdoes it!

We also made some bear paw cookies. We were going to use bear claw cookies, but I found this easy recipe on Disney Family and I liked that they actually looked like the bear paws. Since the two friends coming are allergic to nuts I had to find something to replace the almond slices. We used freeze-dried banana slices that I cut. It worked and it gave a nice taste to the cookies. Aren't they cute?
We also served some food we could buy that were teddy bear shaped. We used Teddy Grahams and gummy bears. It is not easy to find gummy bears that have no nuts or were not prepared where nuts were. I ended up with some without any, but they were prepared on the same equipment so the friend who is deathly allergic could not eat the gummy bears. 
Our final food was a fruit arrangement. We love Edible Arrangements, but I do not like their prices. My mother-in-law often buys these to bring to Hazel's party. I have kept all the containers and sticks, so we reused the small one. We used our cookie cutters to cut teddy bear watermelon and cantaloupe (Hazel did this with the slices I cut). Hazel also put the berries on the sticks. She also chopped the banana for me and put the slices on sticks. We then froze them and dipped them in chocolate like we saw at Sharing Saturday from School Time Snippets (we just put them on sticks as well). I also dipped some strawberries in chocolate. The only problem we had was that it melted a bit outside, but it was enjoyed by everyone!
I should also add that I asked everyone to bring their own lunch and let them know we would provide the dessert and drinks. With everyone's food allergies and what they eat, I figured this was easier. Tomorrow I will share some of the games, etc. we played. And now I will start planning our next mini-party with a butterfly theme. I hope you are enjoying your week! Happy Family Times is still open if you would like to share your family together time this week and inspire all of us to have more time with our families!