Fishy Fun with Pipe Cleaners and Free Printable from Tickled Peach Studio

pipe cleaner fishPipe cleaners are something that I like to keep handy at home for craft projects and general fun. I was looking for activities to entertain my kids with when I came across this idea on a Pinterest board. My daughter has had several several sets of plastic fish with metal studs in their mouth when she was younger. I’m not sure why playing with them always got old right away, but I think it usually had something to do with the magnet in the “bait” getting lost. I was doubtful about the makeshift fish and rod holding an appeal for my daughter, but thankfully they did. She actually spent a lot of time fishing, and then tossing the fish back in. Our 1.5-year-old found the fish fascinating too, but he finds most things interesting anyway. He’s big on tossing the fish back in the fake water. The great thing about the pipe cleaner fish is that they don’t turn into clutter when their novelty wears off. They can be untwisted and returned to their container. They definitely can be used again for some other project or activity. I think we may try making those pipe cleaner finger puppets also featured on the board.

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Tickled Peach Studio is offering a freebie in the form of a cute and clever reward chart. There are actually two options, one featuring cats and the other, dogs. The post also includes tips for using a behavior reward chart. Now, I used to have a weekly chart myself – but much of it was focused on homeschool tasks, so when we decided to ditch worksheets, I stopped with the chart as well. The reward chart from Tickled Peach Studio, incidentally, lists the behavior areas that my daughter usually struggles in, so this is perfect for us. I think parents of small children will really find this chart useful. It has the right items for ticking and is also appealing to kids’ sense of aesthetics. Hopefully, it will inspire the kids to be more mindful of their behavior.

Image grabbed from TickledPeachStudio.com. Click to access free printable.

Image grabbed from TickledPeachStudio.com. Click to access free printable.

Memory Jar: A Question for Every Week of the Year

memory jar printableI got this wonderful freebie from Paper Coterie. It’s a memory jar printable with 52 questions for you to answer, one for each week of the year. It would have been more ideal if you’d started at the beginning of the year, but that’s not really a problem; you can easily catch up or use a different schedule altogether. They were designed to serve as prompts for entries into your journal or blog, but they can also be used as icebreakers or topic cues for bonding moments between friends or family members. Or for interaction with your website visitors.

memory jar and journalWhat we’ve been doing is using the questions as discussion prompts in our family, although we’re also recording our answers in a journal. Basically, you just cut out the individual question strips and put them in a jar. Since our kids (6.5 and 1.5) will be handling it as well, we opted for a plastic one (a now empty container of kiddie multivitamins). Every week, you take out a question and use it for journaling, blogging, group discussion, etc. While we normally include our daughter in the discussion, some of the questions just weren’t suitable for kids. In any case, the activity gives you further insight into another person’s thought processes, or even just your own. You could very well make new discoveries about yourself! I’m thinking of going through the same set of questions every year to see if any of our answers will change. While I assume that my answers and Mark’s will likely remain the same, the kids’ (Cameron can join when he’s more verbal, lol) certainly won’t, and it would be fascinating to observe how their personalities develop through the years from chronicling their changing answers to the same questions.

Here’s another twist to this already great idea. Every week, as you take out one question strip, replace it with a note that bears the highlights of that week. Naturally, you have to use a different paper color or shape to avoid confusing it with a question strip. At the end of the year, when you run out of questions, your jar will be filled with actual memories. You could make reading those memories out loud part of your New Year’s Eve celebration.

recycled into a memory jarglue residue on jarIf you plan to create your own memory jar, here’s a tip for removing sticky glue residue from the label. Use peanut butter. I read the tip online and decided to try it. The easier option, which suggested rubbing alcohol, didn’t really work. I thought the peanut butter trick wouldn’t work either, but I put the jar down for a minute after rubbing a small amount of peanut butter on it. When I picked it up again, I thought to try wiping off the glue residue again and it easily rubbed off. Of course, I could have gone to the sink and scrubbed the jar clean, but that process somehow struck me as too involved, lol.

Do you follow a similar journaling or blogging practice? Do you keep a memory jar? Do you have your own tip for removing glue gunk from jars? Share them all here. 🙂

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