Gretchen Schock shares her love of recipes, crafts and frugal living. She also speaks very opening about the challenges and triumphs of parenting a neurotypical child and a child on the Autism Spectrum. After a breast cancer scare in 2012, she decided to say goodbye to her nightly glasses of Chardonnay. It was time to get sober and live life with eyes wide open! The CocktailMom name remains, however with a new focus on healthy and authentic living.

3/07/2015

Christmas Ornament Organizing


I know you are not even thinking about Christmas right now! I know, I know. But hear me out.
You know those plastic containers that the Costco apples come in? I personally hate recycling them…I just know that they have to have another life. And here is a great way to re-use those plastic apple holders to give them more life and to help you organize your Christmas decorations. Glass ball ornaments fit perfectly in each apple holder or place several delicate ornaments in each space. The options are limitless! Then you can easily stack them in a rubbermaid container to store in your attic/garage/basement.
Happy Spring Cleaning!

3/01/2015

Lego Racetrack


I love the creativity that Legos provides for children both in engineering and design. Instead of giving the Bee Yoga Fusion YogaKids directions on how to create a particular lego model I decided that together, as a team, we should make a racetrack. Each lane was made by several kids at once, it was a great activity to nourish their unique personalities.

We propped our racetrack up on a few yoga blocks under a board so that the Hot-wheels cars would speed down the track.

With the cold weather upon us, try having your kids create a racetrack out of Legos! Predict which car will go the fastest and record your results.


2/28/2015

Something to Try: Painting with Corks



Kids love to paint.
Toss the brushes aside and pull out the wine corks that you saved from last month's Mom's Night Out and have your kids paint a picture only using corks to paint. The bonus is that clean up is a breeze! And you are recycling corks in another use before they are thrown away in the trash.
See what their creative minds come up with and give them the space to explore this new medium.

2/25/2015

Plastic Cup Rockets



Kids love things that can fly! These plastic cup rockets are a lot of fun and it doesn't take a lot of time to create the rockets in order for the fun to begin.
All you need is two plastic cups, 2 rubber bands and a small amount of duct tape.

In one cup cut four, one inch cuts in the top of the cup around the rim. Each cut should be across from another cut. Then with small, one inch pieces of duct tape place them at the bottom of each cut so that it doesn't continue to slice down the side of the cup. 

Now take the rubber bands and put them through the slices creating an X and wrapping them around the rim of the cup. Place the cup with the rubber bands on top of the other cup and pull down with your fingertips around the rim. 
Then 1-2-3 take off! 

2/18/2015

Winter Indoor Game for Kids using Mr Printables Free Paper Dolls



The winter weather can leave us inside and feeling lethargic. Let's shake up our routine and add a bit of movement and art to our day today.
The Bee Yoga Fusion YogaKids loved this activity and we came up with a ton of ways to play the game. First I printed out the paper dolls made by Mr.Printables. Each child cut out the paper doll that they wanted to use and added a piece of tape to create the cone shape. Then we snipped of the top with scissors and taped the cone shape to a plastic bendy straw. Each child chose a small craft ball to put in their cone and then standing over some plastic cups they would try and blow their craft ball into one of the cups. The YogaKids came up with a point system and continually changed the shape of the cups to add more of an challenge to the game.
This craft is great for kindergarten through 4th grade. 

2/16/2015

Great Horned Owl Puppet




Combining a book with a craft is one of my absolute favorite things to do with the Bee Yoga Fusion YogaKids. First we read Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. You might better know Jane Yolen from the "How do Dinasaurs…" books. Owl Moon is not to be missed, it won the 1988 Caldecott Medal Book Award and is a wonderful story about a child going on a walk with her father to look for owls. Such a simple activity creates the most wondrous story. 

To make the great horned owl puppets I first prepped the craft by drawing a template of wings and the head for each child on brown construction paper that they could color and cut out. They created the eyes either by using additional construction paper or simply drawing them on with marker. Once they finished coloring and cutting the pieces out they glued them on to a brown paper bag. 
Each child chose to color the paper bag as well to make the owl authentic. Once your owls are dry, recreate the story from the owls perspective, looking down at the father and the child. What does the owl notice about them? 

This is a great activity for children aged kindergarten through second grade.
  

2/11/2015

Real Simple Sewn Valentine's Heart



The Bee Yoga Fusion YogaKids are excited to share their Valentine's with the ones they love. I used the PDF supplied by Real Simple. Click here to print the PDF.

I printed the hearts on white card stock and I prepped the craft activity by punching the holes along the heart with the tip of sharp scissors so that the plastic needles could easily slip through.
The YogaKids loved this craft and made several Valentine's creating a different design for each one. We used various colors of acrylic yarn, each child choosing the color they wanted to use.

This craft is a wonderful tool for fine motor development. It's perfect for children just beginning to learn how to write letters, four years old to second grade.




2/09/2015

Apple Filling Crescent Rolls







The next time that you make crescent rolls try adding a little bit of goodness to it. Slice apples into small bite sized pieces and place in a skillet over medium heat with a little bit of oil and water until the apples are soft. Leave them as is or stir in a small amount of brown sugar.
Unroll each crescent roll and place a small amount of apples in the corner of the roll and then roll up as you would normally do.
Cook as directed on the crescent roll package.
I'm sorry I didn't get an after picture. They were gone so fast that I didn't have time to grab my camera. Be warned: there will not be leftovers!
ENJOY!

2/06/2015

Foosball Game Craft for Kids


Creating this foosball game was a great activity that had the Bee Yoga Fusion Yoga Kids working as a team. We used a cardboard shoebox and cut the top off of it. The YogaKids then took turns decorating the bottom to clearly mark the center of the field and the goalies using markers. I cut out the squares at each end to make the goals so that the ball could roll through it when the team scored.

Each child decorated two large craft sticks as people using markers and their imaginations. I adhered the sticks onto the 12 inch dowel rods using 2 rubber bands, being sure to criss cross them to help the people stay in place.


I poked holes in the side of the shoebox for the dowel rods to feed through. At first the YogaKids tried using a rolled up piece of paper as the ball but it didn't work as well as they imagined. So they then decided on using marbles.

Creating the foosball game was a lot of fun and then playing with it was even more enjoyable.
This is a great craft to teach kids about making toys out of recycled objects that you can find around your house. Suitable for children in kindergarten through fifth grade.

2/04/2015

LOVE- A New Spin on Fingerprinting Art


We have all experienced and enjoyed creating a painting with our fingerprints as children. Kids gets so excited when you give them the opportunity to get their hands dirty, completely cover them with paint and produce art. Well why not put a spin on it and instead offer them to paint with their toes?

The Bee Yoga Fusion YogaKids created absolutely stunning artwork by painting with their feet. At first they were hesitant, dipping only a big toe in or a heel and then they took the plunge and covered their entire foot in paint. It was a lot of fun!

First I printed the words LOVE on card stock, here is a PDF for you to print and cut.
https://drive.google.com/a/cocktailmom.com/file/d/0B-0MoU6EgXKidk9hcGNTcmJ0Y2s/view?usp=sharing

I prepped the activity by cutting out each of their letters first but if you have older kids try having them do it themselves. I taped the letters to look similar to the LOVE statue in Philadelphia, PA on white card stock using washi craft tape so that it wouldn't ruin the paper when I peeled the letters off later. We used tempura paint but any craft paint will also work well.
Once the entire paper is covered in foot prints, set it aside to dry. Once the painting is dry you can slowly peel off each letter to reveal the word LOVE in white.
This would make a great Valentine's gift! And is a great craft for kids in kindergarten through fourth grade.  

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