A whole lot of monster stuff is going on these days. I canceled my post on Setsubun, because I like Troy’s explanation much better.

Whether there are alligators under the bed or scary monsters in the closets, you’re just going to have to get rid of them. As Nancy Blakey points out, “It’s no use talking [your child] out of it, this only confirms your child’s worst fear: the monsters are only after him.”

Naturally you need some really really strong stuff for the job.

You can buy Monstercide online – plus a few other terrific products. (Adults, ye shall not giggle out loud while snuffling through that site….)

Or, if you’re in a hurry, you can make your own. Follow the rest of Nancy Blakey’s wise words below.

You will need: an empty spray bottle, water, 1 teaspoon almond extract, 3 drops blue food coloring [My edit: substitute another color if blue happens to be your child’s favorite color.]

1) Fill the bottle with water and add the almond extract. Monsters hate the smell of almond extract. It smells exactly like the stinkiest stink in the world to them. They avoid it at all costs.

2) Next, drop in 3 drops of the blue food coloring. This is the secret ingredient. Blue is a color that hurts a monster to even glance at. Even though you will not see the blue when it is sprayed, monsters can detect even a molecule of blue with their beady eyes. When they see it, they run as far away as possible.

3) Shake everything up. Ready?

4) Use the spray in all the places monsters like to lurk (under beds, in closets, behind doors). It may take several days of spraying to rid the house of the beasties, but I have never known Monstercide to fail. Good luck.

From Hate To Love

By changing only one letter at a time, in how many steps can you change the word HATE into LOVE?

For example, to change BLUE into TREE, you could use 4 steps:


Now change HATE into LOVE.

I can do it in 5 steps:


or in 4 steps:


Can you do it in fewer steps? [ YES!! See below!!]

If only changing hate into love were so easy in real life. *sigh*

UPDATE: There’s a name for this! I didn’t know! They’re called doublets, created by Lewis Carroll, that Alice in Wonderland author. And to change HATE to LOVE in 3 steps, you could do:


or you could do:


Backwards Day

My thoughts on Backwards Day? Trot over to Devon’s blog and read his post, because that’s what I think, too.

Yes, my students function well when I maintain a routine and they know what to expect. However, we needed a break from the routine. Backwards Day turned out to be a much needed break, because we were all more alert today than usual: the old was suddenly very new.

I was also thrilled that they noticed everything I’d changed around the room (whew! setting up had taken me half an hour longer today!).

When writing about doing Backwards Day at home, Devon writes,

Say, “Good night!” in the morning and “Good Morning!” at bedtime. Read a story in bed in the morning. Eat dinner foods for breakfast and breakfast foods for dinner. Have dessert first.

Reading a story in bed in the morning is just a terrific way to start the day, and breakfast foods usually taste better for dinner anyway (IHOP, anyone?) (What?! All You Can Eat Pancakes? What are they trying to promote?!)

But my favorite line out of that whole post?

Have dessert first.

Whoo-hoo! That’s the best advice I’ve heard all year! (Okay, so it’s still January….)

Fun For Falafelers!

Falafel is easy to make!

Well, there are a few tricky steps, so if I were you, I wouldn’t wander off while the kids are making it. Please stay right by their sides.

Falafel is a Middle Eastern spicy fried bean-based patty which is often served tucked in a pita bread, but it is just as yummy popped right into your mouth. In fact, I ate the last of my batch before I thought to take a photo of them. Next time, then, which I think will be soon.

Here we go with the recipe! Continue reading

Spongey Hearts

バレンタインの用意は? もうできました?

すごく簡単なのをやったみましょう。このアイデアにブックマークしておいて下さいね。どんなイベントにも適しちゃうから。多分ね。 1) おうちや、ご近所さんに新しいスポンジがなかったら、100円ショップに行って2、3個買ってくるように、おこさんに言ってみて。この色がいい!っていうのがなければ、色はなんでもいいわ。

2)もし、まだ100円ショップにいるなら、スタンプパッドもゲットしてね。もし、すごくクリエイティブな気分でいたら、自分でスタンプ パッドをつくってもいいかも。 make your own stamp pads (この上から5番目のクラフトアイデアと、2番目のアイデアで、やってみて)(スーパー おもしろ ヒント:インクにストロベリー エッセンスを、何滴かたらしてみて!)


もし、太巻きの紙(butcher paper)をゲットできたら、机の上や床に広げたり、壁に貼って。すると、紙のあるところに、ハート形のスタンプはあり。 になるわ。

小さい子だけじゃなくて!もっと大きい子も、パーティーの招待状とか、ランチバックとか、ノートとか、秘密の手紙とか etc

Spongey Hearts

Valentine’s Day? Already?

Let’s start with something super simple. Bookmark this idea, because you can adjust it for almost every event you can think of. I think.

1) Tell your little one to pick out 2 or 3 nice new sponges at the dollar store if neither you nor your neighbors have any at home. The color of the sponges is not important unless your little one insists it is.

2) If/While you’re at the dollar store, you should also pick up some stamp pads.

If you’re just feeling terrifically creative, you can make your own stamp pads (the 5th craft idea from the top and then the 2nd part of that idea). (Super fun hint: add a few drops of strawberry essence to the ink!)

3) Cut heart shapes out of the sponges. Dress your little one in a swimsuit (cleaning up will be easier) and let the stamping begin.

4) If you have access to a large roll of butcher paper, spread some on a table or floor or even tape some to the wall. Where there is paper, there will be heart-shaped stamps.

5) This isn’t just for little ones! Bigger ones can decorate party invitations, lunch bags, notebooks, secret notes, etc.

%d bloggers like this: