Book Review: 50 Easter Things to Make and Do

50 Easter Things to Make and Do

This craft book, 50 Easter Things to Make and Do, is a really great thing to have on hand in springtime.

The title may say “Easter” and it’s certainly focused on Easter-type things, but it’s got a lot of wonderful craft ideas that are generally themed around the season of spring.

And while the crafts themselves are super cute, there are other things about the book that I also absolutely LOVE.

For example, it has the spiral binding, so it lays flat – which is handy when you’re looking from it to your project and back again.

Plus, the projects themselves have step-by-step instructions, which is great for showing children the progression of the craft from start to finish.

It’s also a great size to fit inside an Easter basket – which is how my daughter will be receiving it this year.  And since, like I mentioned, many of the projects are great to do all throughout spring and not just for Easter, we’ll be working on some of these adorable crafts all through the season.

You can get a better look at the book in my video review:

The book is out of print on my Usborne Books & More site, but you can still find used copies on Amazon.

Happy Crafting!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Save

Letter F: Free Alphabet Worksheets for Kids

FREE Printable Letter F Alphabet Activities Worksheets at RoamingRosie.com

If you’re new here, please read the Introduction to the Alphabet Activities first!

And you can see all of our Letter F projects at Letter F Alphabet Activities.

Here are all of the printable PDFs for the Letter F.  They are free for home and classroom use, but please don’t sell or reproduce them.

F is for Fast Frogs

F is for Feathers

F is for Ferret

F is for Flamingos and Flip Flops

F is for Flamingos

F is for Fox and French Fries

And don’t forget to check out all of our Letter F Alphabet Activities!

Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest to see my latest posts!

Have fun!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Make Cute Animal Shaped Mini Sandwiches and Cookies and Stuff

CuteZCute Animal Palz Mini Bento Sandwich Stamping Cutters

These little sandwich shapers are ADORABLE!

The full name for these cute, little sandwich cutters are CuteZCute Animal Palz Mini Bento Sandwich Stamping Cutter & Egg Shaper.

Which is quite a mouthful.

But they do so many fabulous things I can totally get why they had trouble giving it a shorter name!

I’ve used them for a bunch of different things and they really add a great element of fun to my daughters’ lunches.

You can use them to imprint on bread, tortillas, watermelon, cookie dough, and probably a bunch of things I haven’t even thought of yet.

Plus the set also has the tools to make pocket sandwiches.  I’ve found that you can actually get a little bit of both peanut butter and jelly inside of them, but my 4yo actually prefers just plain peanut butter.

Oh – and I have used them to imprint on slices of cheese.  But I don’t recommend that.

Here are some meals/snacks I’ve made with them:

CuteZCute Animal Palz Mini Bento Sandwich Stamping Cutters

And there are tools in the kit to also shape hard boiled eggs, but I haven’t tried that yet.

I do really love this Sandwich Stamping Set.  I’ve kept the box because everything has it’s place inside of it, the directions are on the back of the box, and it fits nicely in the pantry.

I have to keep an eye on the pieces, tho… they have a habit of walking off.  Especially when my 2yo sees me using them.  :)

Roaming Rosie Signature

Book Review: Wind Up Pirate Ship

Usborne Wind Up Pirate Ship Book Review by Roaming Rosie

The Wind Up Pirate Ship book is SO much fun!

There is so much interaction with this book that it’s nearly impossible not to entice kids to want to read it.  It’s a fun story about pirates looking for – you guessed it – treasure, but in between the pages of the story are 3 tracks that allow a wind-up toy shaped like the pirate ship in the book to zoom around the locations discussed in the story.

I mean, we love pirates in my home, so getting this book was a pretty much a given.  But I was still surprised by how much my girls enjoyed reading it and playing with it.  In fact, on Christmas day, my 4yo announced that this was the “greatest gift ever.”

Then the very next day, she announced {even tho she’d never seen it until the day before} that it was “the BEST gift that she’s ALWAYS wanted!”

Now, four-year-olds can be a little dramatic, but you gotta love that kind of enthusiasm about books.

I was pretty excited about it, too.  Which I hope shows in the video review I did for the book:

And like I mentioned in the video, there are a ton of wind-up and pull-back books in the same series as the Wind-Up Pirate Ship.  They include:

Wind-Up Tractor
Wind-Up Train
Wind-Up Plane
Wind-Up Race Cars
Wind-Up Bus (London)
Pull-Back Busy Bug
Pull-Back Busy Car
Pull-Back Busy Train
Pull-Back Busy Helicopter
Pull-Back Busy Santa

But did you arrive here because you were excited about the pirates?

Don’t worry:  we’ve got a ton of pirate books, too!

Usborne Pirate Books at BooksWithRosie.com

To get updates on new books and when books go on sale, please follow my Usborne page on Facebook!

Happy Reading!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Easy Christmas Craft: Paper Cone Christmas Trees

Easy Christmas Craft:  Decorating Paper Cone Christmas Trees at RoamingRosie.com

Decorating these paper cone Christmas trees was a fun craft for my kids and easy for me to set up.

I simply took some green construction paper, rolled it into a cone, added some tape to keep it in shape, and snipped off the bottoms with scissors to make them stand.

Easy Christmas Craft:  Decorating Paper Cone Christmas Trees at RoamingRosie.com

I covered their art table with some scrap paper, set out the trees, some glitter glue and some sequins, and let them at it!

I actually had set out a bowl of gold and a bowl of red sequins, but my 4yo mixed them both together.  She thought it looked better.  :)

And I did help them a little with the glitter glue, just to make sure there was enough of it on the tree.

The sequins {our little ornaments} stick to the glitter glue, and when the glue dries, the glitter is still there, so it looks a little like a snowy garland.

Easy Christmas Craft:  Decorating Paper Cone Christmas Trees at RoamingRosie.com

Ours are by the big Christmas tree right now.  :)

And don’t forget to check out these other Christmas crafts:

DIY Lifesize Cardboard Gingerbread House

Felt Fashion Christmas Tree

Easy Christmas Craft: Toilet Paper Roll Ornament Painting

Crystal Snowmen

Roaming Rosie Signature

Autumn Leaf-Shaped Mini Pizzas

Autumn Leaf Shaped Pizzas

This is going to be somewhat of an image-heavy post since these cute, little Autumn Leaf Shaped Mini Pizzas are actually easier to explain with photos.

This was a fun dinner we did one night.  The girls helped me out.  And I’ve done this before, for example with dinosaurs, but I used our leaf cookie cutters this time to give it an autumn spin.

And to make the pizzas from scratch, you follow my Easy Pizza Dough Recipe.  Except, once you roll out the dough, you cut out leaf shapes instead of transferring the whole thing to a large pan.

For the cheese topping, I used three kinds:  colby jack, cheddar, and mozzarella cheeses.  I used the sliced versions they sell at the store that are meant for sandwiches and burgers because they’re easier to cut with cookie cutters.  And the extra cheese left over after cutting out my “leaves” went into some macaroni and cheese the next night.

I used 3 flavors of cheese to give it more of a colorful fall-leaf feel, and even if you’re hesitant about doing this, I can assure you – all of the flavors taste amazing on the pizzas.

How To Make Autumn Leaf Shaped Pizzas

As you can see in the photos, I used the cookie cutters to cut out both the dough and the cheese.  I topped the dough with tomato sauce, spices (especially garlic), Parmesan cheese, and then a leaf shaped slice of cheese.

It is a little difficult to get the dough to keep it’s precise shape and to fit the cheese over the dough with the shapes lining up in with an exact perfection… but that’s okay.  Really, one of my favorite parts of these little pizzas is the cheese that drips over the side of the crust onto the pan and mixes with the extra garlic powder and Parmesan and gets all crispy and delicious.

If you’re not into that, this may not be the recipe for you.

Here is the Wilton Leaves and Acorns 9-Piece Aluminum Cookie Cutter Set, in case you want to use the same ones I did:

 Wilton Leaves and Acorns 9-Piece Aluminum Cookie Cutter Set

And another pic of the yummy finished pizzas:

Autumn Leaf Shaped Pizzas

As I said, I used my Easy Pizza Dough Recipe to make this, which you can also print as a free PDF by clicking here:  Easy Pizza Dough.

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Signature

25 Books of Christmas

25 Books of Christmas

I’ve always been a big reader, and I love reading with my kids, but I just recently heard about a fabulous new way to celebrate Christmas:  an advent calendar of books!

A new book for every day in December?  Oh – I am SO loving this!

Part of the reason I was so inspired was because of these gorgeous photographs I found online!  They are {above, clockwise from left} from Enjoying Life with 4 Kids, Mer Mag, and Over the Big Moon.

I rushed over to my bookcase with excitement, ready to tackle this project……. only to discover that I didn’t quite have 25 books celebrating Christmas.

*gasp*

I … I didn’t have ENOUGH books???

Well.  That’s something we’re going to have to fix.  And soon.  But in the meantime we’ll just have to reread the ones we do have a few times, which is not a problem for me!

I love incorporating activity books into the kids’ day, too.  I’ll read to them all day long if that’s what they want, but my girls really enjoy books they can interact with as well, like coloring books or books that play music. Which is why I’ve listed so many Usborne books in this post – because they have SO many great interactive books for Christmas!

And the activity/sticker books are great to unwrap in the beginning of the month – especially something like the Advent Calendar to Color – to keep them busy all month long!

Now, part of the awesomeness of being an Usborne consultant is that even though I don’t own all of their Christmas books {yet}, I’ve seen most of them.  And they’re really nice, so I don’t hesitate to recommend them.

Below are links to over 3 dozen Christmas books from Usborne for ages infant through teen.

I’ll be posting reviews of other, non-Usborne books, too, during the holidays, but for this post, it was easier for me to stick with just one group of books.  Here are pics of just a few of the ones I’ve listed links for below:

Christmas Usborne Books

And to make things easier for you, I’ve grouped my recommendations by subject.

Enjoy the browsing!  :)

Touchy-Feely Baby Books

That’s Not My Reindeer
That’s Not My Angel
That’s Not My Snowman
That’s Not My Penguin
Nativity Touchy-Feely
Santa Claus Touchy-Feely

Books with Sound

Little Children’s Christmas Music Book
A Christmas Carol with Sounds
Nutcracker with Music
Jingle Bells
The Twelve Days of Christmas with Sounds
Twas the Night Before Christmas

Coloring Books

Advent Calendar to Color {Open this one on December 1st!!!}
Christmas Drawing Doodling and Coloring
Christmas Pocket Doodling & Coloring
Christmas Patterns Coloring Book
Santa Sticker & Coloring Book
Christmas Doodles

Sticker Books

1001 Things to Spot at Christmas Sticker Book
First Sticker Book Santa
Christmas Sticker Dolly Dressing Book
First Sticker Book Christmas Market
Christmas Carols Sticker Book
Santa’s Workshop Sticker Book
Winter Wonderland Sticker Book
Sticker Christmas Cards

Activity Books

Busy Santa Book with Pull Back Toy
Christmas Decorations to Cut, Fold & Stick
Christmas Things to Stitch and Sew
Big Book of Christmas Things to Make and Do
Christmas Activity Book
My First Christmas Activity Book
1001 Things To Spot At Christmas
Christmas Jigsaw Book
First Stencil Cards Christmas
My Christmas Tree

Picture Story Books

When I Love You At Christmas
Little Stories for Christmas {Board Book}
Nativity Flap Book {Board Book}
Twas the Night Before Christmas {Record Your Own Voice}
Christmas Carol, A (Picture Book)
A Christmas Carol – Illustrated Originals

And let’s just take one more look at how awesome it looks to dress up a big pile of books in Christmas wrapping paper……

25 Books of Christmas

I can’t wait to try this!!!

Please share with me your favorite Christmas stories – I’m always on the lookout for new books.  :)

Happy Reading!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Halloween Puffy Paint Window Clings

Halloween Puffy Paint Window Clings

This Halloween Puffy Paint Window Cling project was one of those that was a borderline “Fail” for me.

Luckily the kids still had a blast.

Not only did I let them play with paint {always a big hit} but they also got to stick things on the windows {also cool}.

The main problem was that I made some of them too thin, meaning that they got stuck to the wax paper.  The ones that came off still had some paper residue on one side and had to be attached to the window with the side I thought would be facing us.

Since I had so much trouble peeling some of those off of the not-as-smooth side of the waxed paper, I then tried drawing some on the shiny side.  Some of those were also too thin, but then they all stuck, regardless.

And by then I’d run out of puffy paint.

I plan to redo the project again in the future to try to figure out a better method, but, in the meantime, since my kids were so delighted with the whole thing, I’m sharing the free printables that I made for it anyway.

Halloween Puffy Paint Window Clings FREE Printouts

The point was to draw with the puffy paint on the waxes paper while the template was underneath {I was actually very proud of how well my 4yo did}, then let the paint dry, peel off your design, and stick it on a window.

As I mentioned, it kinda worked.

If you have {or have had} better success with a similar craft, please let me know!!

Here are the free printable PDFs that are in the photo above:

Halloween Bat Window Clings Template

Halloween Ghost Window Clings Template

Halloween Pumpkin Window Clings Template

Halloween Puffy Paint Window Clings

And it wasn’t all bad.  The ones I salvaged did look pretty neat on the window.  :)

Roaming Rosie Signature

 

Halloween Mini Pumpkin {Easter Egg} Hunt & Decorating Glitter Pumpkins

Halloween Mini Pumpkin Easter Egg Hunt

This Mini Pumpkin Hunt is just about one of the easiest Halloween projects you can do, and your kids are just about guaranteed to completely freak out over how awesome it is.

Well, at least those kids who love Easter egg hunts will freak out over the awesomeness.  But I don’t know any kids who don’t love Easter egg hunts.

The setup is simple:  buy a bunch of mini pumpkins, hide aforementioned mini pumpkins in your yard or house, hand your kids a bucket or basket in which to collect them, and stand back while they stampede.

Halloween Mini Pumpkin Easter Egg Hunt

Unfortunately for us, on the day I told my girls we were going to go outside and search for mini pumpkins, it rained.

A lot.

So, we relegated the search mostly to areas of flora that could be easily accessed with feet still firmly planted on the sidewalk and out of the wet grass and mud.

It didn’t even matter to them that it only took a couple of minutes to find all 10 that I’d hidden.  They were so excited about it that they hid them again so I could find them.  And again.  And again…

Halloween Mini Pumpkin Easter Egg Hunt

Eventually we made it inside to decorate our mini pumpkins.

I’d pulled out some glitter glue and some glitter in silver and gold.  Neutral but shiny.

Halloween Glitter Pumpkin Decorating

I spread a disposable table cloth over the floor and some newspaper in the middle of it, opened up the containers of glue and glitter, and stood back.

Well, not very far back.  They insisted I help, and, really, it’s pretty fun to bury your hands in glitter sometimes.  :)

Halloween Glitter Pumpkin Decorating

And the end result looked rather pretty.

Some had designs, some were completely covered, but they all looked so fun and sparkly.

Halloween Glitter Pumpkin Decorating

It was much easier to clean up, by the way, than it looks.

Once you move the pumpkins and glue/glitter containers, simply fold the paper in half to make it into a partial funnel, and let the glitter slide back into the container again to be reused for another project.

Halloween Glitter Pumpkin Decorating

Roaming Rosie Signature

Spicy Spaghetti Worms in Jack O’ Lantern Pepper Pumpkins

Spicy Spaghetti Worms in Pepper Jack O Lanterns Halloween Recipe at RoamingRosie.com

I’ve been wanting to make these jack o’ lantern pepper “pumpkins” for a long time, so I was very happy when October arrived.  :)

One of the best parts was when my two-year-old looked into the fridge drawer, saw the orange peppers, and exclaimed, “Pumpkins!”

And that was before they had faces.

Spicy Spaghetti Worms in Pepper Jack O Lanterns Halloween Recipe at RoamingRosie.com

Don’t they just look amazing?  And I didn’t even do a spectacular job of carving them.

I mean, they’re not magazine cover worthy or anything, but my kids thought they were pretty awesome.

But no – in case you’re wondering – we didn’t actually eat the peppers.

The pieces carved from the faces were added to the spaghetti, but the peppers themselves were rinsed after dinner and used the next day in an omelet.  A breakfast for dinner kind of thing.

Spicy Spaghetti Worms in Pepper Jack O Lanterns Halloween Recipe at RoamingRosie.com

If you’re in a hurry, or planning to do this on Halloween evening itself and don’t think you’ll have time to make it, you could prep it by cutting all of the veggies ahead of time and storing them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.

Or you could just use jarred sauce.

But I put together this recipe because I wanted to have a bit of spice in my meal, seeing as how I was going to be serving it in peppers and all.

And it is easy.  Look at the photo:  just a handful of ingredients.

The hardest part was carving the “jack o’ lanterns,” and, really, the peppers are MUCH easier to cut than actual pumpkins, so I have no complaints about the process.

Spicy Spaghetti Worms in Pepper Jack O Lanterns Halloween Recipe at RoamingRosie.com

You’ll notice that I call for 6 to 8 peppers in the recipe, but I only used 3.

The peppers were pricey when I bought them, and I simply refused to buy more than enough for me and my two daughters.  But the recipe makes quite a bit of spaghetti and you can fill quite a few more than 3 peppers.  The final amount, however, is up to you and depends on your needs and desires.

Another important note:  before you buy the peppers, it’s helpful to check and see if they can stand on their own.  You can always balance them on top of the spaghetti when serving them, but it’s nice if they can stand up all on their own without falling over.

Spicy Spaghetti Worms in Pepper Jack O Lanterns Halloween Recipe at RoamingRosie.com

As I said, the meal itself is pretty easy to make, and I would certainly suggest not just reserving it for a once-a-year treat.

If you want to celebrate autumn and not Halloween specifically, you could serve the spaghetti in the peppers without carving them.  Or serve it in small hallowed out pumpkins instead.

For the spaghetti, after you cook the veggies, you just stir in the tomato sauce and let it simmer for a few minutes to get all that yummy flavor dispersed.

Spicy Spaghetti Worms in Pepper Jack O Lanterns Halloween Recipe at RoamingRosie.com

Then toss in the noodles – oh, I’m sorry:  worms.

My kids loved the fact that we were eating worms for dinner.

It’s why I used linguine instead of spaghetti.  We eat spaghetti noodles all the time, and they would certainly work for this recipe, but the linguine gave us a slightly different texture.

More worm-like.

But scrumptious worms.  Seriously:  this is good stuff.

Spicy Spaghetti Worms in Pepper Jack O Lanterns Halloween Recipe at RoamingRosie.com

Come on … don’t those jack o’ lanterns filled with worms just look devilishly delicious??

I just can’t get over how adorable these are!

If you agree, please leave me a comment telling me all about it.  And don’t forget to Pin your favorite pics to remind yourself that you totally have to try this recipe.  :)

Spicy Spaghetti Worms in Pepper Jack O Lanterns Halloween Recipe at RoamingRosie.com

Spicy Spaghetti Worms in Pepper Jack O’ Lanterns

Ingredients:

6 to 8 orange sweet peppers
4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 medium sweet onion, diced
28 to 32 ounce can tomato sauce
1 pound linguine

To make the jack o’ lanterns: cut the tops off of the orange sweet peppers. Scoop out the insides and discard. Using a small, sharp knife, carefully cut out faces in desired patterns. Reserve the pieces.

To make the spicy spaghetti: add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large pan and warm over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until nearly translucent, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add garlic, jalapeno, and diced pieces of reserved pepper from the jack o’ lanterns to the onions, adding a little olive oil if the pan appears dry. Continue to cook over medium for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until peppers are softened, stirring occasionally.

Add the tomato sauce to the onions and peppers. Combine well and gently simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.

Meanwhile, cook the linguine according to the package directions. Drain pasta and add it to the tomato sauce. Toss to combine.

To serve: scoop the linguine and sauce onto a large platter. Place the jack o’ lantern peppers on the spaghetti. Fill the peppers with spaghetti and top with the pepper stems.

[Note: after the meal, the peppers can be rinsed and reused in another dish, such as an omelet.]

**********

And click here to print the free PDF version of the recipe:  Spicy Spaghetti Worms in Pepper Jack O’ Lanterns

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Signature