Hair Curling Tutorial

As promised, I have created a vlog (video blog) on the technique I use to curl my hair! Make sure you refer back to my post The Secret to Lasting Curl for the products I think are vital in the curling process. It’s the products that make it last three days, not the technique alone!

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A few things before you watch:

It is long, clocking in at 25 minutes. One, I haven’t taught myself how to edit. Two, I wanted to show the whole process, including both how I curl and then how I style. Feel free to multi-task while you watch, or fast forward to see what you think is applicable.

Cooper makes an appearance twice in the video.

I keep referring to the clamp of the curling iron as the barrel – I keep saying “release the barrel”. What I really mean is release the clamp on the barrel.

I hope this is helpful! Let me know what you think!

Hair Curling Tutorial

Snicker Bomb Cookies

These cookies are quite good. I don’t care for peanut butter, but I have to say this it was the perfect addition to this recipe.

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Snicker Bomb Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1.5 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate peanut butter (Nutella or Jiffy Whipped)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bag snickers bites (found in the candy section of your grocery store) (or you can chop up 4-5 snickers bars)
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chops

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and peanut butter. Beat until fluffy.
  2. Add eggs and vanilla; beat.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Beat.
  4. Mix well, stopping to scrape down the sides with a spatula.
  5. Add a cup of chocolate chips and the bag of snickers bites.
  6. Mix until combined.
  7. Cover mixing bowl and chill in refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
  8. Scoop dough with a spoon and roll with your hands into small balls.
  9. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.

This makes a ton of dough – I shaped half of the batter into balls and then flash froze them on cookie sheets. Once they were frozen I put them into a zip lock bag. You can take them out frozen – just add a couple of minutes to your cooking time.

Here’s the menu for the rest of the week:

  • Monday: (Red Robin Copykat) Teriyaki chicken sandwiches, grilled squash, and frozen fries
  • Tuesday: Trisha Yearwood’s Baked Spaghetti
  • Wednesday: Paula Deen’s Taco Soup
  • Thursday: Taco Ring
  • Friday: Disney Family Movie Night {Lilo & Stitch} — Luau theme — Menu to be determined
  • Saturday: Crispy cheddar chicken and baked fries
  • Sunday: Lemon pepper tenderloin with veggies from the Bountiful Basket

What’s cooking at your house this week?

Wiggle Worms Boutique Giveaway

I have the best friends, do I not? I have to say my sweet friends have been so supportive of this little blog of mine. They know this is important to me and they know how much I want Tickled Peach to succeed, so they have all been so generous at offering to host giveaways to support me. I love you guys!

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And of course, you guys get to benefit from my amazing friends’ generosity! Today my friend Sarah is hosting a giveaway. She owns Wiggle Worms Boutique, which offers custom clothes and accessories for your little one. Sarah has been in business for less than a year and she is one hard working mama! I’m constantly in awe of all she manages to do and how she manages to balance her business and her family.

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Sarah made matching golf shirts for the boys to wear during Masters week. We do live in Augusta, right? We have to represent. Never mind the fact that I haven’t stepped foot into the sacred gates since I was in high school.

I have to say this about sweet, sweet Sarah – poor Sarah who has to deal with me. I contacted her one Wednesday night and said “hey can you make me a soccer shirt for Sullivan to wear to Cooper’s games?” and she said sure. Then she asked when I needed it. “Um… Friday?” Girlfriend made it happen. I wouldn’t recommend doing that, though. Do as I say and not as I do. 🙂

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I’m so excited about some of the things Wiggle Worms Boutique is offering for fall! Sullivan’s first birthday is coming up, and I have my eye on a birthday bundle. Look at that sweet birthday hat! I die!

Want to show your (hopefully SEC) football pride? Wiggle Worms Boutique is offering game day shirts for your little ones! She has a variety of appliques for boys and girls and can make them to match pretty much any team. USC? FSU? LSU? USC? Clemson? Auburn? USC? (Can you tell which is my team?!) Get your little one ready to cheer in a shirt that shows their team pride!

Back to school is just around the corner and if you are like me, you want to get your little one a first day of school shirt. Man, I’m going to push for these applique shirts as long as my boys will wear them! I’ve already ordered Cooper a back to school shirt for the first day of 4K!

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Mamas need some monogramming, too! I love all things chevron so of course this scarf is right up my alley. I think it would make a perfect birthday or Christmas gift for just $20! I love the hats, too. Bad hair day? No problem. $15 is super affordable.

I died of cuteness when I saw this pocket tee – how cute is this for a dental hygienist? Contact Sarah and see if she can hook you up with something custom!

Sarah is offering a $50 credit to Wiggle Worms Boutique for one lucky winner! Yay!

Head over to Tickled Peach’s Facebook page to enter. You can earn an extra entry by commenting here! Winner will be announced next Friday.

***The winner of the Summer Lynn Photography giveaway is Tina Payne! Congrats, Tina!***

 

#tpconfessions

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I’m posting #tpconfessions a day early this week because tomorrow I have an awesome giveaway for you! Get excited!

Be sure to play along on social media with the hashtag #tpconfessions.

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I feel like all I do, all day every day is clean up after people. I literally pick up messes all day long. Cooper’s messes. My husband’s clothes. Sullivan’s path of destruction throughout the house. My dogs’ poop (they have reached the unfortunate age where they are loosing bladder control).

Scratch that – in addition to clean figurative messes, I clean up literal messes. Messes as in poop. Dog poop. Dirty diapers.

And messes as in pee. Tell me, is there ever a time when boys learn to pee in the toilet and not around the toilet?

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I’ve been selling some stuff on our local Online Yard Sale Facebook page, and I swear, people can be infuriating. First there are the people who say they want to buy something, and then they never contact you back. There are also the people who say they want to buy something, you message them to set something up, and then they respond with something like “oh my husband doesn’t think that I should buy that!” FOR THE LOVE. This week I posted a baby activity center and a woman asked me if I would take $35 instead of $40. Sure, I said. Then, as I’m driving to meet her, and messages me and said “I only have $32 cash. I hope that’s ok!”

Well, no. No, it isn’t ok, but I guess I’ll take it since I’m already halfway to meet you and otherwise I’d be wasting my gas.

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Jason and I are suffering from severe Game of Thrones withdrawal. Did you know it doesn’t come back until APRIL? Now you can be in withdrawal, too.

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Happy Thursday, friends! Come back tomorrow for a fun giveaway!

Preschool Chore Chart

Last summer I was having an issue with Cooper not wanting to be helpful around the house. He didn’t want to pick up his toys, he complained and pitched fits about having to take naps, and he just overall wasn’t having a serving attitude, which is something I feel very passionately about teaching him. I decided to come up with a chore chart for three reasons 1) to establish set “rules” and routines that he must do daily 2) to track his completion of chores and 3) to reward/monitor his attitude and completion of chores.

This is the Preschool Chore Chart that I came up with!

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The file itself was purchased from Etsy, and when I tried to link to the seller, it appears her shop is closed. However, there are tons of chore charts on Etsy. Simply make sure the chart itself is editable (so you can add your own chores) or ask the seller to do a custom order for you.

These are the things I thought Cooper could/should be able to do at 3.5 years old:

  1. Pick up his toys
  2. Put dirty clothes in the correct laundry hamper (whites, darks, towels)
  3. Put his dishes in the sink
  4. Help me unload the dishwasher and put away clean dishes
  5. Fill up the dogs’ food and water dishes

Now that he’s 4.5 years old, he has added a few other responsibilities:

  1. Make up his bed
  2. Pick up Sullivan’s messes – the life of an older brother!
  3. Take the trash from our small wastebaskets and put them into our kitchen trashcan
  4. Pull weeds
  5. Water the flowers with assistance
  6. Pick up dog poop (this is done with gloves and is supervised)

Not all the things I listed above made it onto the chore chart. The chart you see is the original one I made last summer and it needs to be updated now that he’s older. Also, I included some things that aren’t really chores, per say, but are routines: bath, naps, etc. just because I wanted to reinforce when he did them without complaint. For example, getting dressed had become this huge battle each morning that always ended with me loosing my temper, so he got to check off when he dressed himself without meltdowns each morning.

Cooper can’t read, so it was important for me to add pictures so he could track his progress himself and see what he needed to do. He’d check the chart throughout the day and would see what he still needed to do.

The chore chart included:

  • Get dressed
  • Brush teeth
  • Feed the dogs
  • Take a nap
  • Clean up your room
  • Pick up your toys
  • Obey your parents
  • Take a bath
  • Say your prayers
  • Go to bed

I included “obey your parents” because I was having to repeat requests 4 or 5 times before he would do them. We talked at length about what it meant to obey – which to me is doing something the very first time you are asked to do it, without complaint. We also related it to obeying God and how it makes God happy when we obey our parents and other adults.

I have a laminator at home so I laminated the chore chart and used magnets to place it on our fridge. I used a dry erase marker to check off items as they were completed.

As for rewards, I was never consistent about that. He received praise every time he got a check:  “thank you for picking up your toys, Cooper! I really appreciate your help!” If he filled up the chart for a week, he got to pick an activity (Chick Fil A, the park, swimming) or a small toy (from the Dollar Spot, for example).

We are thinking now of moving to an allowance, but my husband does not want to link it to chores. He believes strongly there are just things you should do because it is your responsibility as a family member. For example, Cooper would receive $5 a week for an allowance. He would be expected to do his daily chores. We’d also have a list of “above and beyond” chores he could do to earn more money (for example, $1 for vacuuming). As he gets older, those “above and beyond” chores would become harder and more time consuming.

Obviously we need to update the chore chart and make decisions on the allowance thing… that is probably something we will implement when he turns 5.

How do you handle chores in your house? Do you use a chore chart? Do you give your children an allowance? I’d love to hear your feedback.

Pan Roasted Chicken and Veggies

I mentioned yesterday that this summer I’ve taken advantage of our area’s Bountiful Basket. It’s a fruit and veggie co-op where you can log online every two weeks and purchase at least one basket of fruit and veggies and then add ons: granola, breads, fruits, and/or vegetables in bulk. I am so glad my friend Dana told me about this because I’ve had a blast cooking vegetables I normally would have cruised by in the store. It has forced me to get out of my comfort zone with cooking, and with the add ons I’ve been able to stock our freezer with strawberries, peaches, and cherries for the winter.

Today’s recipe is Pan Roasted Chicken and Veggies. My friend Ashley shared it on Instagram one night and one Saturday as I was unloading my Bountiful Basket and wondering how in the world I was going to use all the veggies this recipe came to mind. I’ve made it four times in 6 weeks – that’s how good it is!

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Pan Roasted Chicken and Veggies

Ingredients:

  • Chicken with skin – I recommend using thighs
  • Potatoes
  • Whole mushrooms – I’ve used both baby bellas and white mushrooms
  • Carrots
  • Peppers – a mixture of red, green, and yellow
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Salt & pepper
  • Paprika

You can really customize this however you like. Leave something out if you don’t like it, or add something in.

Directions:

  1. Chop your veggies. I use small red potatoes and usually just cut them in half. The mushrooms I leave whole, and I use baby carrots so I don’t have to cut them.
  2. For the garlic, you can either use minced garlic or whole garlic cloves. I’ve done it both ways!
  3. Add everything but the chicken to a large bowl. Generously pour in olive oil. You want enough to coat the veggies. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika and toss to coat.
  4. Pour the veggies into a roasting pan, spreading out evenly. Add in your chicken thighs.
  5. Brush the top of the chicken thighs with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika.
  6. Cook at 375 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

This is so good! If you try it, let me know what you think.

Cherry Cocktail & Mocktail

I love cherries! Do you? The good news is that cherries are in season right now, and they cost slightly less than an arm and a leg to purchase. I have subscribed to receive a Bountiful Basket this summer, and a recent add on was 16 lbs of red cherries. I split the order with a friend and was faced with the daunting task of deciding what we should do with 8 pounds of cherries. I came up with a Cherry Cocktail & Mocktail recipe for you!

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My master plan had been to just freeze the cherries, but I need to de-pit them first. We didn’t have a cherry pitter, so my husband got all redneck and made one out of a fork. It made quick work of seven pounds of cherries!

I decided to try my hand at creating a cocktail and mocktail for the 4th of July with the extra cherries we did not freeze!

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The cocktail is a Chocolate Covered Cherry Sangria. Really, did you expect anything else? Y’all know I love my sangria.

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Chocolate Covered Cherry Sangria

Ingredients:

  • Chocolate flavored red wine. My favorite is the brand ChocolatRouge and it is sold at Publix. The brand has two different chocolate wines: one is labeled Dark Red and the other is labeled Rich Chocolate flavors. In the picture above, I am using the Dark Red. This is more of a red wine with a hint of chocolate. If you want more chocolate punch, use the Rich Chocolate.
  • 1 cup chocolate flavored vodka. I used Pinnacle Whipped Chocolate.
  • 2 cups black cherry juice. I found this at Publix with the organic juices.
  • 3 cups ginger ale
  • 1 cup cherries

Directions:

  1. Mix the red wine, vodka, and black cherry juice. Add the ginger ale a little bit at a time as it rises and fizzes. Add the cherries. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

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This version was made using the Rich Chocolate Flavors of the ChocolatRouge. Not as visually appealing, but it was tasty! It had more of a chocolate milk flavor and texture.

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I made this Cherry Limeade for the kids to enjoy during our 4th of July celebration. It was a big hit, and my husband loves it!

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Cherry Limeade

*adapted from Cooking with Paula Deen

Ingredients:

  • 4 cans lime flavored sparkling water (La Croix or Aquafina)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups black cherry juice
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 10 oz cherries
  • Lime slices

Directions:

  1. Juice your lemons and limes. You need 1 cup of fresh lime juice and 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice.
  2. Add to your pitcher. Pour in your black cherry juice.
  3. Add sugar and stir vigorously until dissolved.
  4. Add the sparkling water, one can at a time.
  5. Stir.
  6. Add the cherries and sliced limes. You can also use lime slices as garnish on your glasses.
  7. Refrigerate overnight for best results.

Are you a cherry fan? What’s your favorite cherry recipe?

#tpconfessions

TGIFriday, and that means it is time for #tpconfessions!

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Let’s get it started!

This week Cooper has been on vacation with my parents. I initially thought it would be a super easy week, but not so much. Someone is teething, and his favorite activity is screaming, chewing on inappropriate things, and doing this fun half whine/half cry every.single.waking.moment.

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I confess my week has looked something like this:

Get up. Leisurely drink coffee over the span of an hour. Just kidding – I have 5 minutes to gulp down my piping hot coffee while I have distracted the baby with puffs. Drag the baby from certain death no less than 548 times before his first nap. Clean up the drink he knocked off the side table. Clean up the coffee he knocked off the coffee table while I was cleaning up the first drink. Briefly contemplate whether it would be wrong to have a drink at 10am.

Put baby down for his nap. Crawl into bed because I’m exhausted from getting up 3x with said baby the night before. Right as my eyelids get heavy, jump out of bed because someone does not feel like napping today.

Repeat paragraph #1. Try to eat lunch. Heat lunch up 2 times because every time I sit down to eat, I must clean something up, remove something from someone’s mouth, or rescue the dog from the baby.

Nap time. Pray to Jesus that this nap lasts longer than 15 minutes. Briefly think about cleaning up or showering, but decide my time would be better spent sleeping.

Baby is awake. Play a rousing game of “don’t eat the dog food!” until Dad gets home. Hand baby to Dad and attempt to go take a shower. Get into a fight with Dad because he’s “so tired and I had a hard day.” Argue about who’s day was hardest. I win, only because said baby provides proof of my bad day by screaming and knocking over a picture frame while his Dad and I are bickering.

Put baby to bed. Think briefly about making a nutritious dinner. Instead make sandwiches and sit in the same spot on the couch for the next 2.5 hours. Stumble to bed and sleep not like my baby, who wakes up 3x during the night.

Anyone want to babysit? Any takers?

What do you have to confess this week?

Summer Lynn Photography GIVEAWAY!

I am so excited about today’s post! My wonderful and generous friend, Heather of Summer Lynn Photography, is hosting a giveaway for Tickled Peach readers! Make sure you read to the end to hear about the giveaway!

I first met Heather last summer. I was 35 weeks pregnant, had completely procrastinated on making plans for my maternity pictures, and was on the hunt for someone who could accommodate me ASAP. I asked for recommendations from friends, and Summer Lynn Photography was a name I kept hearing over and over.

My first maternity session got cancelled because my blood pressure was through the roof the day I was supposed to take my pictures. Thankfully, Heather was able to fit me in at 37 weeks – just four days before I was induced. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, huh?

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I emailed Heather some pretty specific instructions of what I wanted before my session. She really listened! I didn’t really want “maternity” pictures; I wanted family pictures in which I was pregnant, and I think we made that happen!

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Two weeks later we met again to shoot Sullivan’s newborn photos. I LOVE how they turned out. We did them at Heather’s house, and again, she was so accommodating! My husband, my newborn, my 3 year old, and I took over her house. My husband and I pretty much handed over the baby to her and let her do her thing while we desperately attempted to make sure that Cooper did not trash her house.

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She had my husband and I jump in for some impromptu shots, and I love how they turned out, especially this picture of Jason and Sully.

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We scheduled a fall mini session just three weeks later. Sweet Sully slept through the whole thing, and Cooper was an absolute nightmare. Whew! I was a mess of nerves by the time we left, but sweet Heather just laughed and did her best to work with him. He did not want to listen or do anything we asked to do, but she just kept encouraging him and making jokes until she got the perfect shot.

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I can’t resist the allure of a mini session (a mini session is a 30 minute session in which you’re guaranteed a specific number of edited photos at a discounted price) so we headed back for Christmas minis a few weeks later. I believe Jason asked on the way “exactly how many pictures can we have made before we admit we are vain?”

Then, another month later, I decided that I wanted to have family pictures made as a Christmas present for my parents. My brother and I have never had professional pictures made of ourselves and our families, so I contacted Heather to see if she could book us for a session.

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My niece and nephew – who hate having their pictures made – were perfect angels, while Cooper, once again, was a terror. Doesn’t he look sweet? This day he made Heather work for those shots.

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In March I emailed Heather because I wanted to have some updated photos I could use on the Tickled Peach website. I had some very specific ideas. I wanted to get a shot of Cooper blowing confetti – I wanted to use balloons – and I wanted fun, happy shots.

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Haha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Poor Heather. Poor, sweet Heather who always has to deal with my stubborn child and does so with a smile on her face. Cooper would not cooperate, but she tried again and again to get the shots I wanted. Our session was one hour but she spent more time with us just so I would be satisfied with the pictures.

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Bless her heart. I remain convinced we are the most difficult client she has.

I use Heather for our family photos for many reasons. For one, she is the most positive, upbeat person that I know. She has the patience of a saint – and trust me, my child has tested that patience. She is wonderful with children! Cooper turns into a stubborn mule the instant a camera is pointed at him, and Heather just patiently works with him until she gets a perfect shot. Seriously – long past the point where I am a raving madwoman, Heather is still laughing and smiling with my child. She makes the entire process of having pictures made so pleasant. Her focus is on shooting natural pictures of your family, so you are encouraged to interact and have fun and watch how your love for one another comes across on the camera. She is phenomenally talented and extremely affordable!

Here are some other examples of Heather’s work:

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I’m really excited about the special packages Summer Lynn Photography has going on right now! The Watch Me Grow package includes four photo sessions including newborn, tummy, sitting up, and 1 year. It is extremely affordable at $425, and you can even spread the cost out through your four sessions. You can add a maternity session for an additional $75.

In addition, she’s offering a Watch Me Grow Big package for older children! Choose from either four or six sessions to capture memories of your child’s special moments.

Contact Summer Lynn Photography for more information!

Ready for the GIVEAWAY?

Summer Lynn Photography is giving away a 30 minute portrait session to one lucky Tickled Peach reader! You will receive up to 10 images on a disk. The session will take place at an outdoor location of your choice.

To enter to win, head over to Tickled Peach’s Facebook page!

{One additional entry will be given for each comment on this post!}

All About Dinosaurs!

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I have a dinosaur obsessed little boy. It all started when he discovered Dinosaur Train on PBS. He loved watching and naming the dinosaurs, so I started brainstorming hands-on ways I could teach him more.

I started off by buying him a few things from Amazon.

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I love, love, love the National Geographic Kids line of products. They are so well made, easy to understand, and very educational products. I purchased the National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs. The text is very easy to read (beginning readers could read to themselves) and is written in a way that even the youngest readers can understand.

51dxaxoaNVLI also purchased the Animal Planet Big Tub of Dinosaurs. It’s a 40 piece set that comes in a storage tub. It contains a variety of dinosaurs, a printed mat, trees, rocks, and volcanoes.

Cooper was really happy with this, as you can see!

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IMG_5821After reading some reviews, I also ordered the My First Dino Kit.

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This kit encourages hand and eye coordination and observation skills as kids become paleontologists. It comes with a fossil block and excavation tools. I also loved that it came with a booklet of discussion questions and activities.

After we got these items and started to play with them, it dawned on me that I could make my own All About Dinosaurs! DIY Dino Dig at home.

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You’ll need the following supplies:

  • 3 boxes of cornstarch ($1 per box at the grocery store)
  • Water
  • Measuring cup
  • Plastic dinosaurs (I used the Assorted Dinosaur Fossil Skeleton from Amazon but after I ordered them I discovered dinosaur fossils at The Dollar Tree) (Cost = $3-$8) (If buying at The Dollar Tree, you will need multiple packages)
  • Plastic container ($1 at The Dollar Tree)
  • Excavation supplies – I used a paintbrush, magnifying glass, and a Popsicle stick

dinodigDirections:

  1. Pour the three boxes of cornstarch into your container. Add an 2.5 cups of water and stir vigorously to remove clumps. Add more water as needed until the cornstarch is a smooth, thin consistency.
  2. Add in your dinosaur fossils.
  3. Set it outside to dry (or in your garage if you are expecting rain). It will take 24-48 hours to fully dry.
  4. As the cornstarch dries, it will shrink, and water will pool at the top. Check the container every 8 hours or so and pour off any excess water.

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When your DIY Dino Dig is fully dry, you are ready to excavate! I did this outside as it is super messy. I laid down paper on our outdoor table and carefully popped the block out of the container. I laid out a few supplies – a paintbrush, a Popsicle stick, and a magnifying glass. Then I told Cooper to go to town. He broke up the block with the wooden stick and then started chipping away at the dinosaur fossils. Once they were free, he brushed them off with the paintbrush.

This was a fun activity for a dinosaur loving child!

I would say this activity is best for ages 3-7. The younger the child, the more assistance they will need in this project.