Archives for the month of: June, 2013

Little Grass House

Not sure if this should be called a science project or an art project?  Whichever, or maybe both, it is definitely a fun way to entertain the kids this summer. You too can make a little grass house using sponges and grass seed. The clever folks at the Spoonful will show you what you need and instructions of how to build one of your one.

What does your garden grow?  Try a Little Grass House for Science Saturday.

Your next question of course would be: how do you cut all of that grass? May we suggest a Rice Krispie’s lawn mower!  If this works for you, Cute Food for Kids will show you how to make a lawn mower. Good luck getting the kids to mow!

Rice Krispie Lawn Mowers

Krispie Stars

We’re getting ready to celebrate America’s Independence Day with this week’s Recipe for Fun.  It’s another easy peasy to cook together with the kiddos.  It’ll be fun making and taking these tasty stars on a stick.


  • 2 stick butter or margarine
  • 1 bag (10-1/2 oz.) Miniature Marshmallows (6 cups)
  • 6 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 24 wooden popsicle sticks
  • 1 tube each: red, white and blue decorating gels
  • red, white and blue sprinkles
  • Large star cookie cutter

LINE 13×9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan; lightly grease foil


1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
2. Add RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.
3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 15 x 10 x 1-inch pan coated with cooking spray. While warm decorate with alternating rows of red, white and blue sprinkles. Cool slightly. Using cookie cutters coated with cooking spray cut into star shapes. Insert wooden stick into each, if desired. Best if served the same day.
In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Follow steps 2 and 3 above. Microwave cooking times may vary.
For best results, use fresh marshmallows. 1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme can be substituted for marshmallows. Diet, reduced calorie or tub margarine is not recommended. Store no more than two days at room temperature in airtight container. To freeze, place in layers separated by wax paper in airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 weeks. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

pallettableedited2Hello, I am Brooke from Start at Home.

I am a self professed DIY addict! Nothing makes me happier than finding something old and worn and turning into a treasure. Well, I may have to take that back, nothing makes me happier than finding something FREE that can be turned into treasure. So, on that note let’s jump right in.

Who doesn’t love a good pallet project, or at least enjoy admiring them from afar? I know I do. If you’re anything like me “FREE” pallets are always a little enticing and stirs up that creative energy which needs an escape.

Look how much fun this pallet table is I made for my 2 daughters. The pallet top was left raw rood with a dark stain to show off the character of the old worn wood. Since pallet wood is already worn it is great for kids, a few more dings and scratches can’t hurt it! If you are worried about splinters use a Polyacrylic to seal it up!


I know many of us don’t need a reminder of what to do in the kitchen, but just in case you do, I have created these large letters. These too are stained, to bring out the grain and imperfections, after all aren’t imperfections the root of character?

Kitchen Edited

Painting your pallets is also a great alternative. Since pallet wood is usually pretty rough, painting it perfect is not necessary, just get that pain on there and sand it off a bit in places to let the wood show through. These worn frames make the perfect display for my energetic girls!


The possibilities with pallets are endless, so next time you find that old sad looking pallet don’t be afraid to pick it up and experiment, after all it is probably FREE!

Post by Brooke from Start at Home.


Learning to Let Go with our Live Butterfly Garden…


It’s time to let our butterflies go.

For this week’s Science Saturday it’s time to say goodbye. It was just three weeks ago that our Butterfly Keeper, Erin, received a package from Insect Lore with a larval culture cup.

Since then, we watched as the caterpillars ate until their bellies were full enough to develop and enter into the pupal stage.


During this stage of the butterfly’s lifecycle, Erin came to work to find that all the caterpillars had crawled to the top of the cup and were hanging upside down.


It only took 2 days for the caterpillars to curl up and harden into iridescent chrysalides and from there we all anxiously waited until they hatched into beautiful Painted Lady butterflies.



Metamorphosis of a Butterfly


  1. A butterfly starts life on the leaves of a plant as a very small, round, oval or cylindrical egg.
  2. When the egg finally hatches, caterpillars emerge and begin eating until they have enough nutrients so they can grow quickly.
  3. Once they have eaten enough, they enter the pupal stage. During this stage the caterpillars will hang upside-down and the magic begins! From the outside it may look like the caterpillar is just resting, but inside the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing remarkable transformation.
  4. Finally, the caterpillar emerges as beautiful butterflies, completing their metamorphosis!


Pictures of our  Butterfly Keeper, Erin, getting ready to say goodbye to her babies.


A little play time first…

Resting on Erin’s shoulder.



Erin helping her last butterfly soar into the world.

More science fun below!

Uncle Milton’s Original Ant Farm


Watch ants create 3-D tunnels in the amazing space gel.

Planet Frog

Live Butterfly Garden Kit

And, this weeks Science Saturday, the Live Butterfly Garden. – be your own Butterfly Keeper this summer!

welcome Summer Watermelon

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, today is the summer solstice, which marks the longest daylight period of the year and the official start of summer.  Our summer solstice happens when the sun is shinning directly overhead at midday at varying latitudes.

According to  The Weather Channel, it’s also a little more special this year, because the solstice occurred on different days for different time zones.

Rice Krispie Waatermelon

Welcome summer with one of our favorite Recipes for Fun.

Watermelon that’s too cute to eat! Plus it’s a cool cook together for the entire  family. We suggest making a double recipe so you and the kiddos can eat as you create.

All that you will need for this watermelon treat is Rice Krispies, marshmallows, raisins and flavored Kool-Aid.

It would be perfect to bring to your next summer pool party or BBQ!

Dine and Dish has complete instructions for this simple kid friendly recipe, hop on over to get the 411.

no dogs on this sofaAll you canines out there, tomorrow, June 21, is Take Your Dog to Work Day.  No dogs on this sofa, so jump up and enjoy a day at work with your people.

About 1.4 million owners take some 2.3 million dogs to work every day, according to an American Pet Products Association survey.

Higgins the shop dog at Totally Kids fun furniture and toysPerks of a shop dog!

Higgins, the shop dog, at Totally Kids fun furniture and toys works everyday.  Well, goes to work, but it’s debatable whether or not she works.  If lounging and thinking that she looks cute sitting a chair or under a desk is work, well then.

Tips from Cesar Milan:

Try introducing these steps for a calm and successful day at the office.

1. If possible, send out a simple “dog rules” memo to all your co-workers. The memo should address protocol for the day. Outline where dogs are allowed and where they are not, specify what to do in the case of a mess and rules for approaching a dog that’s new to the office, starting with “no touch, no talk, no eye contact.” Require all dogs to be spayed or neutered and up-to-date on all shots. Clearly define “off limits” areas of the office and be aware of colleagues that may be allergic to dogs.

2. Make sure you exercise your dog before you bring him or her to the office. You want to exhaust some of that pent-up morning energy before arriving at work.

3. Once you arrive, make a safe, cozy resting spot near you. This will keep your dog from acting territorial, and reduce separation anxiety.

4. Lead your dog around the office at the beginning of the day and let him smell his surroundings. This way you can introduce him in neutral territory.

5. If your dog’s stay is short, provide water but no food or treats. If your dog is staying for the entire day, you’ll have to provide food but make sure you exercise him before feeding.

                          Nick-Nack-Paddy-Wack Give Your Dog a Bone recipe below.

Home made Dog  treats

Easy-Peasy Peanut Butter Dog Treats (makes about 3 dozen)

This recipe and many other dog treats can be found at the Pet Guide.

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup smooth natural or organic peanut butter
  • 1 cup hot water or 1 cup skim milk
  • Optional: 1 egg

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Mix together the flour and baking powder in a big bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the peanut butter and hot water until smooth. Slowly add the dry mixture and mix well. Add a little more water or milk if the dough is too dry, or flour if it’s too wet.

4. Place onto your counter and roll to 1/4″ thickness.

5. Cut with a bone shaped cookie cutter and place on a cookie sheet.

6. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly brown. Let cool, and then let the begging begin!

“No Dogs on This Sofa” pillow is available at: CallyCo.



Speak and Spell

Who had one of these, oh children of the eighties?  Monday’s Memories!  Even if you can not attribute your spelling success to the Speak and Spell, we know that it helped ET phone home.