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Kids Rhyming Prayers Blessings at Meals


One of my favorite memories from mealtimes as a child was the blessing. I can still remember the rhyming thanks to God that started each meal.  We would all
bow our heads and fold our hands as we said a small prayer that showed our gratitude for the day's blessings.  Now as a mom to small children, that blessing is one of the best slow moments of our day. My children have their small chubby hands (and usually sticky fingers) clenched into small folded prayer hands.  They have their heads bowed and are all saying a rhyming prayer together as their baby sister looks on from her high chair with wide eyes at the moment. And then someone starts the prayer in their opera voice. Or Pig Latin.  It happens.  Life with four kids 7 and under brings surprises and chaos.  During blessing time is no exception.  We just start over and try again! 

Mealtime Blessings for Families of small children

The routine of a meal time blessing is a blessing in itself to a family of any size.  It can signal the start of a meal and a time to slow down from the chaos 
a family brings.  Saying a blessing at meals is a time to focus on the gifts from God: each other, the food, events from the day.  Having a palpable moment of quiet (usually!) during a blessing prayer is a calming moment and
a signal to regroup as a family together around  a meal. Even the smallest children can recognize the moment.  A mealtime blessing is a time to express gratitude.  And when those sweet little
children that are the biggest blessing of all are saying their prayer, this mama just has to sneak a look up and express her gratitude too.  Until a glass of milk spills.

Family mealtime prayers to say with kids and families before meals.  Rhyming prayers for saying Blessing. Preschoolers and kids of all ages love these prayers!

Rhyming Prayers to Say before Meals

Growing up, my family said our blessing at each dinner meal until we were much older than preschool age. I'm sure that is why it's stuck with me for so long. These are blessing prayers that can stay with a family for a lifetime. These blessings are prayers that we've either said as a child or my kids have learned through their preschool class.  They are now part of our meal!

Family Blessings to say before a meal

God is Great
God is great, 
God is good. 
And I thank Him for our food.
Amen

Johnny Appleseed (This is one from my son's preschool class)
Oh, the Lord's been good to me.
And so I thank the Lord,
For giving me the things I need.
The sun and the rain
and the appleseed.
The Lord's been good to me.
Amen

Thank You God (said to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)
Thank you God 
for Food and prayer.
Teach us how to love and share.
Amen

Family mealtime prayers to say with kids and families before meals.  Rhyming prayers for saying Blessing. Preschoolers and kids of all ages love these prayers!

Do you have a special blessing that you say with your family?  Tell us about it!  We love to hear from you on our Facebook page or our Twitter feed!


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Wedding Soup Recipe Cooking With Kids

This week in the A-Z Cooking With Kids series, we're sharing one of my kids' favorite recipes.  My three older kids (and now the baby is loving it too!) LOVE Wedding Soup.  It's one of their most requested meals.  We're making our way through the alphabet with our cooking with kids series and this week is I is for Italian.  So, of course we had to share our wedding soup recipe.  

Italian Wedding Soup Recipe.  Kids love this soup and can help with making it! Part of the Cooking With Kids series.


Making Wedding Soup isn't as difficult as you might think.  There are a lot of steps, but with four small kids running around, I usually do the parts in steps.  on the chicken on the stove top and making the meatballs when you have the time makes it easier.  I will usually make the meat part of the soup a day ahead of time or whenever I have extra time.  

Wedding Soup Recipe

Wedding Soup is a hearty soup with a chicken based broth, and full of protein with meatballs and chicken, and filling with pasta.  I love that my kids get extra veggies when they chow down on this soup's spinach and carrots.  It is a sure winner in our house!

Italian Wedding Soup Recipe.  Kids love this soup and can help with making it! Part of the Cooking With Kids series.

How to make meatballs:

Start by making the meatballs.  Wedding Soup calls for small bite-sized meatballs.  They are the perfect size for toddlers and make this soup fun for kids.  To make meatballs, grab a few ingredients:

1 pound ground beef
1 egg
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix all of the ingredients together by hand.  Roll into bite-sized meatballs.
Cook on the stove top until browned.  

Put the meatballs aside.

Italian Wedding Soup Recipe.  Kids love this soup and can help with making it! Part of the Cooking With Kids series.

Next, saute 1-2 chicken breasts. I used chicken tenderloins because that is what we had on hand.  The nice thing about Wedding Soup is that it is very versatile. You can adjust the measurements of the ingredients and it will still taste great!

Shred the chicken and put aside.


Next, pour 8 cups of chicken stock or chicken broth into a large soup pot.  Add 6 cups of water and 4 chicken bouillon cubes.  You can also use granulated chicken bouillon.  This just adds chicken flavor to the soup.  (Bouillon is essentially dried compressed chicken stock.)  

Italian Wedding Soup Recipe.  Kids love this soup and can help with making it! Part of the Cooking With Kids series.

Chop 3-4 large carrots.  I sliced ours lengthwise first to make chopping easier for my kids.

Italian Wedding Soup Recipe.  Kids love this soup and can help with making it! Part of the Cooking With Kids series.

Next comes the veggies! 

Italian Wedding Soup Recipe.  Kids love this soup and can help with making it! Part of the Cooking With Kids series.

Italian Wedding Soup Recipe.  Kids love this soup and can help with making it! Part of the Cooking With Kids series.

Add the chopped carrots and  6 cups of fresh spinach to the soup pot.  Frozen spinach also works in this recipe.  Toss in the chicken and meatballs.

Allow the soup to boil and then turn down the heat.  Simmer the soup for 1 hour or until the carrots are softened.  Add 1 cup of uncooked acini di pepe pasta and turn up the heat.  Allow the soup to boil and cook for 15 minutes.  There is no need to drain the pasta.  

Italian Wedding Soup Recipe.  Kids love this soup and can help with making it! Part of the Cooking With Kids series.

Enjoy!  My kids love looking for the meatballs in their soup bowls.

Italian Wedding Soup Recipe.  Kids love this soup and can help with making it! Part of the Cooking With Kids series.

Look at that meatball!

Stop by and see what the other bloggers in the Cooking with Kids A-Z series made for I is for Italian:


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Patriotic Crayon Salt Dough Recipe

Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and all days patriotic (i.e. any day!) deserves a little red, white, and blue salt dough.  This Crayon Salt Dough is our current twist on our Crayon Dough series where we use melted crayons to color the doughs for vivid and bold colors with a soft texture.  This is a definite dough to make, and you'll want to try them all!


Make patriotic salt dough with crayons this Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or any day! Use melted crayons to dye the salt dough for a bright and vivid color with a smooth texture.


Patriotic Salt Dough


Our patriotic salt dough uses the same directions and ingredients as our regular salt dough recipe.  It's an easy dough to throw together, which gives you more time for playing!

Make patriotic salt dough with crayons this Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or any day! Use melted crayons to dye the salt dough for a bright and vivid color with a smooth texture.

We divided the dough into three lumps and dyed one part with red crayons, one part with blue crayons, and left the last lump as is.  Instant red, white, and blue dough!  Play with the three individual colors or roll the lumps together for a swirled effect.


Make patriotic salt dough with crayons this Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or any day! Use melted crayons to dye the salt dough for a bright and vivid color with a smooth texture.

Part of the awesomeness of salt dough is it's ability to harden and make long-lasting ornaments, paper weights, bowls, and all sorts of crafty items.  We used start cookie cutters to make multi-colored patriotic stars.  I wouldn't bake these in the oven due to the wax content, but instead allow any creations to harden for several days in a dry place.  If you are making ornaments or hanging stars, be sure to poke a hole for a string with a skewer.
Make patriotic salt dough with crayons this Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or any day! Use melted crayons to dye the salt dough for a bright and vivid color with a smooth texture.

Make patriotic salt dough with crayons this Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or any day! Use melted crayons to dye the salt dough for a bright and vivid color with a smooth texture.

Enjoy your patriotic Crayon Salt Dough!

You can read all of our Crayon Dough recipes:


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Constellation Crafts for Kids

My kids are SO into stars, the galaxy, and outer space in general.  So, when we saw this glow in the dark constellation mobile from A Little Pinch of Perfect linked up in last week's Share It Saturday, we had to feature it.  We searched the internet for the best Constellation Crafts out there.  This collection of crafts will definitely come in handy this summer as we search the skies for constellations and then make all kinds of constellation crafts!

Kids will love these constellation crafts!

Constellation Crafts for Kids

Constellation Sewing Cards from Kids Activities Blog
Constellation Drawing Craft from Gift of Curiosity
Make your own Constellation from No Time For Flashcards
Lacing Constellations Craft from Lets Go Fly a Kite
Constellation Coasters from Assemble Shop
Sticker Resist Art from Artful Parent

Check out who the other hosts are featuring today:


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DIY Whiteboard Busy Bag Kids Travel Kit

Traveling with kids is extremely difficult.  There are the bathroom breaks, the "Are we there yet"s, the bickering, the whining...sometimes a 6 hour drive with a car-ful of children is one of the toughest forms of self-torture there is.  Travel with children doesn't need to be a torture chamber on wheels, though!  We made this DIY white board travel kit for those moments when the kids need an activity to keep them occupied for miles and miles of highway.  They can draw, write, practice letter and number formation, and wipe it off and start over.  Kids will love having their own private "space" during a long flight or car trip as they work and play with their travel white board set.

DIY Whiteboard dry erase board kit for travelling with kids. Practice letters, numbers, math, handwriting, and drawing while on long car trips or flights.



Traveling with Kids: Keeping the Kids Busy!


We're including affiliate links in this post for convenience.  This white board was easy to put together.  We used a plastic pencil box to create the kit.  I cut a piece of 
white board to fit the top section of the pencil box. One one side of the white board rectangle, I wrote out the alphabet and numbers 1-10 with a permanent marker . I chose the alphabet and numbers for my kids' needs. We could use the lower case letters for handwriting practice for my 5 year old. The number line would be great for subtracting for my 7 year old. My youngest (3 years old) could circle the numbers and letters as she worked on number identification and letter identification. You can customize your whiteboard as your child needs. I am in the process of creating another whiteboard with the cursive alphabet as my daughter has recently expressed an interest in learning to write the cursive letters. I decided to leave the reverse side blank for full drawing and writing space. Once you've figured out what you want to write on the board, cover it with clear contact paper . Simply lay the contact paper over one side and fold it over the other side. Trim the edges and your whiteboard is done! In the lower compartment, I added a dry erase marker and a bit of paper felt for erasing. You will want to get a dry erase marker with a fine tip or ultra fine tip for more legibility when writing and drawing.

DIY Whiteboard dry erase board kit for travelling with kids. Practice letters, numbers, math, handwriting, and drawing while on long car trips or flights.

I also added a handful of mini craft sticks. We received these from our friends at www.craftprojectideas.com.  The small size is perfect for fitting into the travel box.  I used the permanent marker to write on the craft sticks.  I wrote things like sight words, open ended questions, and math problems.  Children can pull out a craft stick and write sentences, complete math problems, or even trace the words.  I wrapped a piece of clear contact paper around the craft sticks so that my oldest could make her own words and sentences using the dry erase marker.  This travel kit will come in handy on our next long car ride, and it's already a hit right here at home!  

Busy Bags for little travellers

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
My Busy Book for Travel // Powerful Mothering
Tic Tac Toe Busy Bag // The Pleasantest Thing
Color Road Sign Match Up Activity // Mommy Needs a Coffee Break
Free Airport Scavenger Hunt //Playdough to Plato
Magnetic Buttons Busy Bag // Teach Me Mommy
Yellow Car Game // Adventures of Adam
Wheel Letter Match Busy Bag // Coffee Cups and Crayons
Transportation Memory Game // Itsy Bitsy Fun
DIY Travel Busy Bag for Early Writing // The Educators' Spin On It
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Healthy Snacks Flower Themed Foods Kids Love

Cute food ideas for kids don't have to be extravagant or time consuming.  This mama sure doesn't have time for that!  Sometimes (and I don't mean daily...I'm talking about occasionally.  Most days, are slap-a-peanut-butter-and-jelly-sandwich-on-a-plate days.) A sweet surprise on the lunch plate can bring a smile to your child's face and make a gloomy day look a little brighter.  These flower themed healthy snacks are fun and super easy.  I love to put a plate like these on the table for snack time or right in the middle of lunch.  The healthy treat makes the kids cheer!


flower snack ideas for kids!  These are the cutest flower themed snack ideas.  6 easy ideas for cute food for kids.


Healthy Flower themed Snacks for Kids


flower snack ideas for kids!  These are the cutest flower themed snack ideas.  6 easy ideas for cute food for kids.

6 healthy flower themed foods for kids:

Beet slices flower snack- Use a flower shaped cookie cutter to cut beet slices (or other soft fruit/veggies: pineapple, apples, thin potatoes...

Mandarin orange flower- Peel an orange and open one end.  Add celery for a stem.

Orange with flair-  Add a grape tomato to the center of your orange to add a little color.  Other fruits could also be arranged into a flower shape: apple, pear, and banana slices would work.

Dried cranberry mini flowers- Arrange cranberries (or raisins) into petal shapes.  Add chickpeas for a center to each flower.

Tulip cucumbers- Cut a jagged line into cucumber slices.  Add a piece of the peel for stems for each flower.

Flower art-  Get the kids involved in this one!  Provide carrots, broccoli, red peppers, grape tomatoes and create a flower design as a family.  Enjoy!

Make today special with a little bit of healthy flower fun!  While you're at it, make a few flower crafts: 

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Salt Dough Recipe Made with Crayons

 If you've been following us for a while, you know that we have a small love of homemade play dough.  (And by small, I mean huge).  Not only that, we have a tendency to melt down crayons and create bold, bright, and beautifully soft crayon play dough.  We've made metallic sparkly crayon play dough and dough with every shade of red crayon that there is.  We've even melted down crayons and made crayon floam dough for a super fun sensory dough.  Today, we're sharing our latest crayon experiment:   Crayon Salt Dough!  This salt dough recipe is tinted with the wax of crayons, giving it a bright and bold hue.  So, HOW do you make salt dough with crayons?  Read on!
How do you make colored salt dough? Use melted crayons for the brightest and softed sensory play dough salt dough recipe there is! Kids will love to use this colored salt dough to make ornaments, manipulatives, and creative play items, all with crayon salt dough!

How to make salt dough dyed with bright and bold colors of Crayons?  


to make our Crayon Salt Dough, we used portions of our crayon play dough technique.  I'm including affiliate links for some items you may need to purchase to make this Crayon Salt Dough.  

We used a few materials in this sensory dough recipe:

2-3 chopped crayons crayons (This is the tried and true brand that works for all the crayon doughs that we've made.) I say 2-3 because we used broken crayons that have seen their days of coloring book fame gone.  In other words, they are the bits and pieces of crayons that are floating around the bottom of the crayon bin.  I've found that a difference of 2 or 3 crayons does not matter all that much when it comes to bright and vivid colors you will get from using crayons to dye play dough or salt dough.
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 cup salt
2 cups flour
1 cup water

Now, when we made our salt dough, we made a few different colors.  So, instead of using the measurements above, I had the kids measure out all of the ingredients and then divide the dry ingredients into three different bowls.  I then made three batches of salt dough.  You could do the same to make a few different colors...and with a huge box of gorgeous crayons, you'll probably want a few different bright and beautiful colors.  I will describe the instructions on making just one batch of crayon salt dough so that measurements are not confused.

How do you make colored salt dough? Use melted crayons for the brightest and softed sensory play dough salt dough recipe there is! Kids will love to use this colored salt dough to make ornaments, manipulatives, and creative play items, all with crayon salt dough!

Crayon Salt Dough Recipe

Prepare the dry ingredients:  Mix together in a bowl, the 1 cup salt and 2 cups flour.  Set the dry ingredients aside.  Peel the wrapper from and chop up the 2-3 crayons.  Pour the 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil into a sauce pan.  We found the cheapest sauce pan that we could and use it for all of our kitchen experiments.  (i.e. I would not use it for cooking actual food!)  Turn on the burner and add the chopped crayon to the oil.  Do not let the oil heat up too much!  Stir while adding 1 cup of water.  Continue stirring and slowly add in the dry mixture.  Stir until the dough begins to lump together.  Dump out onto parchment paper or other surface.  Allow the dough to cool to touch.  Knead the dough until smooth.  Then knead a little more.  If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour in 1/4 cup increments.

How do you make colored salt dough? Use melted crayons for the brightest and softed sensory play dough salt dough recipe there is! Kids will love to use this colored salt dough to make ornaments, manipulatives, and creative play items, all with crayon salt dough!

Start to play!

How do you make colored salt dough? Use melted crayons for the brightest and softed sensory play dough salt dough recipe there is! Kids will love to use this colored salt dough to make ornaments, manipulatives, and creative play items, all with crayon salt dough!

We used our dough to create number manipulatives using number cookie cutters.  They are still drying, but we have big plans for these cuties!  Be sure to stop back soon to see how we're using them in all kinds of counting and ordering games.  We let these cut outs dry for several days on wax paper.  I was hesitant to try slow heating them in the oven like a typical salt dough recipe because of the wax content.  I like my oven a little too much for that experiment!

This post is part of the 12 Months of Sensory Dough Series.  See what the other bloggers have made with salt dough: 

Galaxy Salt Dough | Lemon Lime Adventures
Salt Dough Memories | Study at Home Mama
Scented Salt Dough Pendants | Raising Lifelong Learners
Salt Dough Seashells | Creative World of Varya
Salt Dough Flowers | Wildflower Ramblings
Salt Dough Coprolites | Preschool Powol Packets
Watermelon salt dough recipe| Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tail
Microwave Salt Dough | In The Playroom

Nature Printing with Salt Dough | Squiggles and Bubbles

You may want to see our other Crayon Dough Recipes:

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