Thursday, May 18, 2023
Hello and Happy Thursday!
Prior to retirement, these last weeks of May were always crunch time!
We are both thinking of our friends and former colleagues
who are counting down the final days of the school year!
💙 The end is almost in sight! 💙
Hopefully you had a chance to read Monday’s post,
We had such fun sharing our ideas
for you to enjoy with your Littles
- from infancy through elementary age -
that we’ve devoted another post to the subject!
Since we had so many ideas for using those popsicle (craft) sticks,
today we are focusing on three different ways to use them with your Littles…
Cooking, Creating and Crafting!
Let’s get to it!
As you know by now, we love involving our Littles in cooking experiences!
There’s nothing more fun as a Grand, than having your grandchild
cook alongside you!
Even Laura’s Little L can help now that she’s 16 months old!
(For Christmas we got Little L this toddler tower
and it sure makes cooking - and also creating and crafting so much easier!)
You can use popsicle sticks as a spoon, a knife or a handle when cooking with Littles!
Here’s some of our favorite ways to use popsicle sticks
when cooking with our Littles!
Rainbow Yogurt Popsicles!
Talk about simple! Usually, when making rainbow popsicles, it involves a lot of time while waiting for each layer to freeze! Not this time! And, of course, you’ll use popsicle sticks for the popsicle handle and to mix the yogurt and food coloring! . (NOTE: We used jumbo popsicle sticks for the handles when making these!)
INGREDIENTS & SUPPLIES (Makes 4 Popsicles)
32 oz carton vanilla Greek yogurt
food coloring (we used gel food coloring)
4 popsicle sticks (we used jumbo ones)
4 paper cups (we used 9 oz paper cups)
NOTE: You can also use smaller cups (Dixie style) and regular popsicle sticks… you'll be able to make more, as a result. We used what we had on hand.
1. Divide the yogurt into 5 small bowls (we did not have a purple layer).
2. Add food coloring to each bowl, adding 1-2 drops at a time, mixing with your popsicle stick. Add food coloring to reach the desired color.
NOTE: We used 4-5 drops red to make red, 1 drop red + 3 drops yellow to make orange, 4-5 drops yellow to make yellow, 4-5 drops green to make green and 4-5 drops blue to make blue.
3. Using a small spoon (we used the tablespoon from a set of measuring spoons) add 1-2 spoonfuls of red yogurt to each paper cup. Gently tap the cup on the counter to even out the layer.
4. Repeat Step 3 with the orange, yellow, green and purple yogurt. After tapping the cup after adding each layer, you may need to use a clean finger to spread the new color to the edges.
5. Cover each cup with a small piece of tin foil.
6. Use a knife to make a slit in the middle of the tin foil covering each cup. Poke a popsicle stick through the slit in the foil. Push the stick to the bottom of the cup.
7. Freeze overnight (or a minimum of 6 hours).
8 When you are ready to enjoy your rainbow popsicles, tear the paper cup from the popsicle. Your Littles will love to see the rainbow appear… and they’ll love eating it even more!
A Grand Tip!
Use another cup to “house” your Little’s popsicle
when he/she is not taking a bite!
This will help collect the melting drips!
Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Mug!
This recipe is easy to make and ooey gooey comfort, all in a mug! You will use a popsicle stick to stir the ingredients together in the mug (or in our case a small bowl) and then it bakes… in the microwave!
INGREDIENTS (Portions per Individual Serving)
1 ½ Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 egg yolk (you will not use the egg white)
1 drop vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons chocolate chips
1. Add the butter to a large mug/small bowl. Microwave until soft and slightly melted. (NOTE: Be sure that the butter isn’t too hot… otherwise, you may scramble the egg when you add it during Step 3.)
2. Remove from the microwave. Using a popsicle stick, mix in the brown sugar!
3. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Stir.
4. Stir in the flour and pinch of salt. Then add the chocolate chips and stir again.
5. Microwave on medium power (50-70%) for up to a minute. Check to see if it’s done. If not, heat for an additional 10-15 seconds. (NOTE: Do not heat on high power as the cookie can become hard. We prefer our cookies a bit on the softer side so be sure to play around with the timing the first time you make your own!)
6. Top with whipped topping or ice cream if you’d like! Enjoy immediately!
From start to finish, your cookie(s) will be ready in less than 5 minutes! Delish!
Here’s a recipe for another favorite - Pancake in a Mug - a fun, super easy breakfast option for your Littles!
from Bigger Bolder Baking
Have you heard of a Mugrito or a Mugnut? If your Littles love cooking, check out these five kid favorites… delicious and simple recipes in a mug!
As a Grand, you can make a set of Sticker Puppets for your littles Littles OR you can provide the materials and let your Littles’ imaginations soar! Once the puppets have been made you and/or your Littles can put on a puppet show!
Here’s How We Made the Sticker Puppets!
We had some stickers we’d collected, popsicle/craft sticks, glue, scissors and colored construction paper. (If you don’t have stickers, check out the dollar store or garage sales!)
(1) We cut shapes out of the colored construction paper, making them bigger than the stickers we’d be using. (2) We put a sticker on each paper shape. (3) We glued the sticker/shape to the top of the popsicle stick (you can use regular or jumbo popsicle/craft sticks). Your Sticker Puppets are now ready! Remember, you can create a puppet show, tell a story from your imagination or play Peek-a-Boo with your puppets!
Magnetic Popsicle Stick Creations!
You can buy an expensive set of these building toys or create a set of your own!
All you need are popsicle sticks (regular or jumbo), self adhesive magnets (these come as a roll that you cut or individual round magnets) and then a magnetic board - we used a cookie sheet! The fridge works well, too!
We added a magnet to each end of the popsicle sticks and then we let our Littles get busy creating! They can try to recreate shapes, letters or numbers that you show them OR they can try on their own OR they can make their own designs! Store the magnetic popsicle sticks in a bag or container for easy use!
Popsicle Stick Tweezers!
These tweezers provide a workout for your Little’s finger muscles, providing practice with hand-eye coordination, too!
For each tweezer you’ll need: 2 popsicle sticks, a small pom pom (or a part of a cotton ball), a few small rubber bands
To make each tweezer, stack two popsicle sticks and place the pom pom (or small cotton ball) between the sticks near one end. Wind two rubber bands around the end closest to the pom pom.
NOTE: The larger the pom pom, the wider the tweezer opening will be. This will increase the distance needed for grasping small items.
Let your Little try to pick up soft objects, using the tweezers. More pom poms work well for this (or cotton balls or marshmallows). You can try other items, too! As an additional challenge, see if your Little can transfer objects to a container!
Popsicle Stick Catapult!
Laura’s kindergartners loved making these catapults! Once made, we of course, had to have contests to see who’s object could go the highest or the farthest and we tested many objects to see which worked best!
To make each catapult you’ll need a plastic spoon, 3-4 small rubber bands, 6 popsicle sticks and an item or items to launch (i.e. pom poms, aluminum foil or mini marshmallows).
1. Stack 5 popsicle sticks and wrap one end with a rubber band. Be sure to wrap the rubber band tightly to make it secure!
2. Slide one more stick perpendicularly between the bottom stick and the rest of the stack.
3. Tightly wrap another rubber band around the other end of the stack of popsicle sticks.
4. Place the spoon on top and attach it to the end of the single stick with a rubber band (as shown in the photo).
NOTE: Crumbled balls of tin foil make great projectiles for your catapult. You can also use pom poms, a mini marshmallow or a cotton ball. Experiment to see what works best (and you can experiment with the catapult design, too by adding more popsicle sticks to the stack to see if it makes a difference!)
from Montessori from the Heart
All you need are popsicle sticks (regular or jumbo), a hot glue gun and a collection of loose items you find around your house. Your infant, toddler and preschool Littles will love a great time exploring the various textures! Add another layer of fun by blindfolding your older Littles and see if they can guess what they are touching!
from The Secret Life of Homeschoolers
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) activities are engaging and educational! Your older Littles will have fun using their problem solving and critical thinking skills in a variety of creative ways!
So many Littles love doing art or craft projects.
There are so many options, using popsicle sticks!
Here’s some of our favorites!
Popsicle Stick Caterpillars!
For this project you will need a pipe cleaner, pom poms, popsicle sticks (regular or jumbo-sized), googly eyes, glue/glue stick and tape
1. Cut 2 two-inch pieces of pipe cleaner for the antennae. You can curl one end of each. Glue the other end to the back side of the popsicle stick and tape them down for added support.
2. Glue the pom poms to the popsicle stick, so that the stick is completely covered. Start with a big pom pom (for the head). You can encourage your older Little to make patterns with the pom poms. Cover the popsicle stick completely.
3. Glue googly eyes to the caterpillar’s face.
NOTE: We made a mommy caterpillar and a baby caterpillar, using both kinds of popsicle sticks - the regular ones and a jumbo one, too!
Popsicle Stick Picture Frame!
We Grands (and all grown ups) love getting picture frame crafts from the Littles in our lives! Here’s a colorful craft that you can do with your toddler or preschooler! You can either use watercolors to paint the popsicle sticks before assembling the frame OR you can use colored popsicle sticks to make the project super simple! This would also be a wonderful Mother’s or Father’s Day gift if a favorite pic of a special Little is included!
Materials needed for this project include the following: 6-10 popsicle sticks (regular or jumbo sized, colored or not), watercolor paints & brush (optional), packing tape, a hinge clip, pom poms or buttons for decorations, a favorite picture of your Little, self adhesive magnets
1. If your Little will be painting plain wooden popsicle sticks, do this first. Use the watercolor paints to color each popsicle stick a different color. Let the popsicle sticks dry.
2. Line your popsicle sticks up (you can put the sticks in rainbow order, random order or in a pattern.) Tape the popsicle sticks together, using packing tape on the back side.
NOTE: The number of sticks you use will depend on the size of your photo!
3. Glue on any added decorations (pom poms, buttons or sequins) to the corners of the frame.
4. Add 4 magnets to the corners of the back side of the frame.
5. Add a hinge clip near the top center of your frame. Then add your Little’s photo to the frame.
Your magnetic frame is now ready for the fridge!
from Artsy Craftsy Mom
These crafts celebrate the simplicity of popsicle sticks with some super easy crafts for kids to make, play with, give their friends, and in short - enjoy!
from Keep Toddlers Busy
Popsicle Monsters, Stick Superheros and Popsicle Stick Animals are only 3 of the fun and easy crafts you'll find here!
Were we right or were we right???
There are countless things to do with popsicle sticks!
We will definitely have a box of them on hand this summer,
when we spend time with our Littles!
How about you?
Yes, summer is right around the corner and we can’t wait!
Our blog will be going into summer mode, too,
and we will be posting about once each week beginning in June.
Look for us to share details next week!
With that in mind,
our focus will be turning toward summer next week, as well!
Next Monday, we will share a second installment of our feature,
On the Go with the Grands!
Since summer is quickly approaching,
we’ll share what items we keep in our Grand bags
when we’re out and about with our Littles!
If you haven‘t yet visited our blog’s
We post there frequently with reminders and additional content!
You can also find us on Pinterest where we’ve linked
many of the activities featured here!
And, as always, we invite you to subscribe to our blog
so that you are notified when a new post has published!
We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating…
we are ever grateful for your ongoing support of this venture!
THANK YOU, FRIENDS!