Thundercats Birthday Party

Thundercats-Table

When we seriously considered adopting a baby, one of our first concerns was: what cartoons will the baby watch. We tried to find all the good cartoons from the 80’s that we could find. Of course, Thundercats was included.

A few months ago we showed the oldest an episode of Thundercats just to see what he’d do. He took right to it. He loves the theme song. He loves the characters. He loves the weapons and the Cat’s Lair. Whoo hoo! We decided that his birthday would be a Thundercats party.

The Table

I wanted to have a practice run just to see what I could come up with. There isn’t a whole lot of 1980’s Thundercats stuff just lying around. These are photos from the practice run:

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I found these images online and decided to cut them out and use them to decorate the cupcakes.

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I found these red striped cupcake thingees online. A 20 pack was $3.

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I used the Criket to create the words.                                                                                      Found the Cat’s Lair online, printed it, cut it out and glued it together.

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Once the cupcakes were baked and cooled, I used a glue stick to attach them.

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I really liked the cupcake holders. I ordered some sugar printed Thundercats cupcake toppers online but I liked these better so I stuck with them. The Cat’s Lair ended up being smaller than I originally thought it would be so I decided to nix it thought I could have printed it a larger size at Kinko’s. I also decided to go a different direction with the words above the banner.

Here are some photos from the actual event:

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If I had to do it again, I’d have given the cupcakes more height. I loved the character cupcake holders though. I also really loved the packets of chips. It made it easy for the kids to grab a packet without touching all the chips. Score! I also loved the fruit tray as a quick and easy snack until the food was done. The banner from Vista Rrint pulled everything together.

 

 

Cake

I ordered this Thundercats sugar sheet on Amazon. When I wanted to use it, I cut it out, placed it on top, and I think it looks great.

Overall, I was able to make almost everything from crafting stuff I had at home or print things up from things I found for free online. I did buy the Thundercats logo svg file on Etsy for $1.50, the banner from Vista Print, and a few odds and ends to tie it all together.

The Games

If you’re going to have a bunch of little kids at your house, it’s a good idea to have some idea of what you’d like to do with them. We decided that we’d:

  • Have Thundercats coloring pages available.
  • Play Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Snarf.
  • Have a “fight” for Thundera (a bubble war).
  • Find Panthro’s treasure (a balloon popping game).

I found the coloring pages by Googling “Thundercats book” and then downloading the paged from original Thundercats activity books that come up.

I found an image of Snarf that I liked and created the image below. I had it printed at Costco for $7. Feel free to do the same. I then printed the tails at home, cut them out, and used push pins to attach the tails to the image during the game.

Pin the tail on the Snarf

Here’s the image.

Pin the tail on the Snarf TAIL

Here’s the tail.

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Pin the Tail on the Snarf game in action!

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After taking a turn, each kid got this sticker.

I got the weapons that the main Thundercats use by being creative. I found nunchucks on clearance at Target (2 sets for $1) and used pool noodles for Cheetarah’s staff. We bought an actual Eye of Thundera sword for the birthday kid. We started to make the cat-o-nine-tails like weapon of Tyrgra but thought better of it. Lol

We were all ready to have the kids try to pop the bubbles with the weapons but once the bubbles came out …  the kids weren’t interested in using the weapons. The adults came over to play in the bubbles too.

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We never made it to Panthro’s Treasure (the kids have to pop balloons to find the one with the paper that tells them that they won) because everyone was having so much fun playing with the bubbles!

After the bubbles died down a little bit, we sang Happy Birthday to the kid and lined the kids up to hit the pinata that I made (yes, I made it from scratch).

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Getting ready to wack the pinata!

We planned a two-hour party for a three year old. We planned to change activities every 15 minutes and it went pretty much to schedule (which I love)! Everyone seemed to have a good time and it was pretty easy to put together. Every time my kid sees photos from the party he yells, “Happy Birthday Party!”

We had a great time and I’m ready to get started on the Wild Ones party for our daughter.

 

 

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Being a Crunchy Black Parent

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Doing our world schooling thing in Salvador, Brazil.

I joined a Facebook group for crunchy Black parents and until I joined, I wouldn’t have thought to call myself “crunchy”. Lol I know that there are some things that we do that other Black parents don’t do but I don’t think of us as hippies or anything.When I delved into the terminology a bit more, I came to understand just how crunchy I am … or possibly scrunchy. Lol

Crunchy parents tend to be more all-natural. Silky parents tend to be more traditional. Scrunchy parents tend to be a mixture of both. Here are some things we do, in no particular order, that apparently make us crunchy:

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Our son is not impressed by Kirstenbosch Garden in Cape Town, South Africa. Lol

 

#1 Babywearing

We started babywearing when our son was about 3 months old. Until that point, we were carrying him around in his car seat. That thing is HEAVY! Lol Once I realized that I could use a little piece of material to attach him to my chest I was in love. It made me hands-free and helped us bond. Talk about a win-win. We transitioned over to a mei tei when he was about six months old and haven’t looked back. He’s almost 2.5 years old and we still carry him when we plan on doing a lot of walking or when we know there will be tons of people around.

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#2 Baby-led weaning (aka No Rice Cereals)

Everyone knows that babies should drink milk (or in our case formula) until their first birthday but starting your baby on solids is a whole ‘nother deal. I knew I wanted to make his baby food from fresh veggies starting at 6 months but I hadn’t yet learned about baby-led weaning. Basically, baby-led weaning means that you make foods a bit softer/easier for your baby to eat while not creating purees.

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#3 Cloth diapering

Cloth diapering is cheaper than disposables and some would argue better for the environment. I really wanted to use cloth on my little one, but I couldn’t get the hang of it so we used cloth mostly at home and used disposables while on the run.

#4 You dabble in composting

We attended a seminar on composting from our county and the idea took root. I love the idea of not creating as much waste and then trying to use some of the waste you still create. Our county offers a simple composting tube for $10. If you do it right, it produces little smell and created great fertilizer for your home garden.

#5 You have a garden

We went our house, so we haven’t created an in-ground garden. Instead we do pots. It’s easy to do, super cheap (non-gmo seeds are a few dollars a pack), fun to watch grow, and yummy to eat.

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#6 You used elimination communication

I found out about elimination communication before we were matched and loved the idea of it. Many cultures around the world use elimination communication and have used it for hundreds, probably thousands of years. Anyhoo, when our son was around three months old we started watching for signs of when he needed to eliminate and then sat him on a potty training toddler toilet. Around 13 months old, he could signal that he needed to eliminate. Kids are going to go anyway, this just made for fewer diapers for us to change.

#7 You’re considering World Schooling

Kids are learning from the day they are born and some would argue before. We had very different experiences in K-12 but we’ve both come away with the same idea: we’d prefer not to place our kids in the K-12 school system. Once that decision was made, we had to decide whether to homeschool (have class at home), unschool (let the child lead the learning), or worldschool (use the world as your classroom). We chose worldschooling because we love to travel and it would expose our children to lots of different ways to live all around the world.

#8 You believe in gentle parenting

We are not perfect parents but he is a perfect kid. We are making an effort to speak with him in a respectful way and encourage him to feel all of his feelings. He’s a raucous toddler. He likes to throw things down the stairs and leave toys all over the house. He rarely has temper tantrums though. His adoption worker says it’s because our house is so calm. We rarely yell, we try to stop problems before they occur using H.A.L.T. and we don’t believe that he is “too old” to be held or made to feel secure. I’m not saying that we don’t have problems. I’m saying that we try to deal with those problems in a respectful way to all the stakeholders involved.

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Travel toys in Johannesburg, South Africa rental house.

#9 You limit plastic toys in your home in favor of wooden ones.

Wooden toys have fewer chemicals and encourage a child to use imaginative play because they only do what imagine they do. When people started giving us toys most of the toys were of the plastic/singing variety. We did let him keep a few, but most of them were donated. I want him to be able to use his imagination and lead the play, not follow the directions of some toy created by some adult in some lab somewhere.

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I sewed this felt campfire, logs, and stones set.

#10 Borrow, Buy Used, Buy New

For me, part of trying to be “natural” is not spending tons of money on non-essential things and using, or re-purposing, what I already have. I sew soft toys for our son pretty often and almost all the rest of his toys are used. Every piece of clothing and”baby stuff” (blankets, burp cloths, etc.) that he has is something that a friend gave us or something that we bought used. I know as he gets older, we’ll probably have to buy more new things but we try to minimize as much as possible.

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Our little one munching a snack while I put groceries in the car.

#11 Extended rear-facing car seat usage is a must.

This was one of the ones that I didn’t realize was crunchy. Studies have shown that the longer your little one is rear-facing the better chance they have of surviving a car accident. While I hope that we’re never in a car accident, it’s better to be safe rather than sorry, no? Our little one is almost 2.5 years old and is still rear-facing. We hope to keep him rear-facing until he’s four years old. We’ll see. Right now, riding backwards doesn’t bother him so … shhhhh … don’t tell him that other kids his age are not rear-facing.

#12 You taught your little one baby sign language.

They say that most toddlers become frustrated because it’s challenging for them to communicate. One way we’ve tried to help with this is by teaching our little one baby sign language. We used free videos from YouTube. We learned together and he has been signing since about 11 months old. He doesn’t use it as much now that he can talk, but it’s there for him when he needs it.

Since we rarely hear about other crunchy parents of color, please, please, please leave a message below if you’re crunchy or scrunchy (I love typing that! Lol). If you have a blog, link to that. It would be great if we could meet IRL sometime.

 

 

 

 

DIY Pom Pom Garland …. So Cute!

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I saw these and  *swoon*

I’m not sure how I’m going to use them, but I am definitely going to use them sometime soon. All you need is yarn and scissors.

Here’s the tutorial for a monochromatic pom pom garland

Here’s the tutorial for a multi-colored pom pom garland

I like how fluffy they look. I like how decorative they look. I like how they spruce up anything they touch.

I’m thinking about hanging them in the backyard for a festive summer look.

We’ll see.

Bookmark for Later: Kid’s A-Frame Tent

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Since I saw the a-frame kid tent someone brought to out toddler campout for the Great American Campout, I have been obsessed with getting one, but I’m cheap. No worries, there’s a DIY hack for it.

I’m bookmarking both of these sites for later:

This one has links to how to actually get ‘er done

This one makes the tent cover out of an old blanket

This one uses an old twin bedsheet

Both seem pretty simple. All it seems like you need are pieces of wood and a bit of material. I’m not sure if I want to start on it now or wait until we are matched with a second baby. I love the idea of each of them having their own little play area in the back yard.

Felt Campfire Set for the Great American Camp Out

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The felt campfire I made.

As you know, tomorrow is the Great American Camp Out. I was so excited about it, that I encouraged a play group that I’m part of to host a toddler camp out for our little ones.

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Felt campfire set from Land of Nod, $70.

I’ve been drooling over this felt campfire set from Land of Nod but not drooling over the price. What’s a DIYer to do? Make one of course!

Half of the job was already done because I had stuffing and grey felt leftover from other projects. I bought red, orange, and yellow felt from JoAnn’s and some brown broadcloth that I thought resembled wood.

For some reason I couldn’t get my bobbin to catch the thread, so I spent a few hours sewing everything by hand. I started off by sewing the flames together.

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I started bottom to the top.

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One “sheet” of flames.

Once I had two separate sheets of flames, I turned them flame-side together and stitched it up.

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Flames should be touching each other.

Once I had everything stitched together, I stuffed the fluff inside and sewed a bit of red felt on the bottom to close it up. I also made 6 grey felt rocks and 4 wooden logs.

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Don’t mind the bag from the fluff. Lol

It only took a few hours and it came our pretty good. If I was going to do it again I’d:

  • Stay truer to the Land of Nod image. They had two small flames and the pieces were made of broadcloth, not felt.
  • Make the rocks lighter grey.
  • Create a little bag to keep everything in. I took it to the camp out in a trash bag and, of course, someone used it for trash so I had to throw all the pieces in the trunk without any covering.

Anyhoo, it’s not perfect but I’m happy with it. $15 instead of $70 always works in my household.

Happy DIYing!

 

DIY No Sew Chef’s Hat for Toddler

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Since I’m all worked up about the possibility of adding a little one to our family o three, I decided that we’d better get busy and practice making a Welcome Home cake. Then I thought, “I may as well invite the toddler to lend me a hand”. If he was gonna help, he’d need a proper uniform. This is the tutorial for how to make a diy no sew chef’s hat for your toddler.

Materials:

One laptop

One printer

One sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper

One sheet of scrapbooking paper

One bottle of glue

Two sheets of gift wrapping paper

 

STEP 1

If you don’t want words on your hat, skip this step.

The first thing I did was decide that I wanted to put words on the hat. I hadn’t seen one like it but I liked the idea of adding “Big Brother” to the brim. I opened Fireworks and got the sizing and font that I liked and saved it. Then I opened up Word and added the image to the blank page. I turned it sideways to make sure that it would go across the longest edge.

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I just cut off the edge of the paper and glued it to the scrapbooking paper.

I actually think I made it a big too big. I’d probably make it smaller if I was to do it again. Anyhoo …

Once the words were attached to the scrapbooking paper, I cut the scarpbooking paper to give me a strip. Then I cut another strip and glued it to the first strip to give me one long strip. Let it dry for a few minutes.

Step 2

Take your two sheets of gift wrapping paper (the kind you put inside the gift) and fold them accordion style, together. This will make the puffy, top of the hat.

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I trimmed mine about 2 inches because it was too high and looked a bit strange.

It seemed a bit high as I have a small toddler, so I trimmed the paper about 2 inches.My partner liked it tall and thought I was a little bit crazy . Lol

Step 3

Now that you’re long strip (the brim) is dry, flip the long strip over and get ready to glue the accordion gift wrapping paper to the edge.

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I started out gluing very methodically ….

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 .. and ended up just lying a line and sticking it on. Lol

 

Step 4

Once you have one edge of the gift wrapping paper glued on the long strip, you need to fold the gift wrapping in half (do not crease …  unless that’s the look you’re going for) to get the other side glued to the other half of the long strip.

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A diy no sew chef’s hat for your toddler!

Once it’s glued to both sides, you’ll have a hat with two open sides. You can wrangle the sides closed if you like but it wasn’t noticeable so I didn’t worry about it.

There you have it, a no sew, DIY paper chef’s hat for a toddler.

 

DIY Magnetic Felt Fishing Game

Felt-Fish-CuteI am working on getting together our toddler’s flight activity set and I came across this super cute do-it-yourself magnetic felt fishing game. I found several versions and I have no idea which one I’d like to make so I’m posting this to keep track of it for myself.

Cute fish with numbers (no sew)

http://www.repeatcrafterme.com/2013/02/diy-fishing-game-with-felt-fish.html

Easy fish (no sew)

http://www.whateverdeedeewants.com/2013/10/diy-magnetic-felt-fishing-game.html

Serious DIY fish (simple sewing)

http://www.homemade-gifts-made-easy.com/homemade-toddler-toys.html