Finger Knitting

Just before Christmas I discovered this craft called finger knitting. Okay, I might be stretching the truth. I had a pin for finger knitting, but had never tried it and found out the Instructables video (linked below) that Beffers found was much simpler. Beffers (my SiL) learned it and showed me how cool it was. As soon as she showed me what she was doing I demanded she send me the pin and help me along. Yes, demanded is the right word. I lacked the gumption ever try it. And yet, it didn’t need gumption to learn! Just about 10 minutes and then I replayed the video to make sure it sank into my brain. It makes me wonder what other gems are hiding in the depths of my pin boards. Are you a cool pin hoarder too?fingerknitting1

Here is the link to the sweet tutorial video. Before you click I want you to know that the video is a little odd as it is shot upside down and the maker of the vid at one point misidentifies her fingers. Just keep watching what her hands do and don’t worry about silly little things like a mix up in words. Instructables wins again!

Sorry for the fuzzy-vision

Sorry for the fuzzy-vision

There are many different things you can do with your finger knit projects depending on your level of creativity. Bracelets, scarves, and (my favorite) Christmas tree garland. 20131213_212018
Beffers followed the tips on this website, the blogger made several different strands of different colors and then laced them together to make a beautiful rainbow scarf. It helps that Marlena has phenomenal hair to go with her lovely rainbow scarf. Instead of making a rainbow scarf, Beffers knitted orange and gray together then laced the strands to make a huge fluffy scarf to match the handmade hat her hubbster had received as a gift the previous year. You gotta love handmade matching fashion!

Isn't he adorable?

Isn’t he adorable?

A couple of quick tips to add to the awesome bloggers and instructors there already are out in the world. To take a break and save your work put your finger loops onto a chopstick. I was going for marathon knitting and couldn’t avoid a potty break any longer so that tip really helped me. If you are teaching a younger person or it is your first time trying finger knitting, avoid the fru-fru fancy yarns and just pick a no frills yarn to learn. Later on you can do the fancy stuff but it is important to learn it at first.

Advertisements

Top 5 Favorite Toys from Childhood

This turned out to be a mildly challenging list to come up with because during much of my childhood I enjoyed many make believe game. I tried to pick props from some make believe games so I can say I had a favorite toy.
So here are my top five favorite toys in no particular order:

image dog image source

When I wasn’t running around on all fours as a dog, I was pulling around my own pet dog. I think I enjoyed the doggy cluck noise and flopping ears the most. I had no clue, until Googling, that this toy was so old! Around the middle 1960s apparently; even my husband had one when he was a boy. I am pleased to report that my nephew drags around my old pull-dog when he visits grandma.

image
Tree image source
Just like link source, my family always piled our stuffies (stuffed animals) under the Christmas tree. My stuffed anims were more than tree ornaments, they were snuggly bedfellows, confidants and actors.

I have tons of fond memories of my brother and I reading a story from our kids picture bible then acting it out with our stuffies for the family.
I have to say, I thought our bible plays were pretty cool. We acted out fairy tales too from time to time. As an adult, I wish for a rainy day with my brother and a pile of actors.
image
soup image source

Another game that I have a fondness for was playing kitchen. This blogger Happy Hooligans has the right idea in keeping her day care kids entertained. My mom wasn’t exactly pleased with this game because it always ended in her having to wash weeks of plant materials out of her favorite soup pots.

Almost any container that could hold a large amount of fluids would work for this game. I even used a sea shell once….and got grounded forever.

The best games I recall were when I had a lid with a pot so I could make a hot stew over a period of several days of play. The other ideal weather were rainy days, I remember making chickory and grass seed coffee one time during a rain. Not just stirring, building a “fire”, but especially the adventring for magical or rare ingredients.

Love this game. Probably where my love of real cooking has come from. I still feel adventurous when I go to the garden for herbs to add to the soup pot.

image
blanket image source
There are so many possibilities for blankets. My all time favorite game–that I still play as an adult–is the holcher globber. Perhaps other families would call this the blanket monster.

The rules are simple. Find a large blanket and crawl around until you can attack and absorb another person. It is wise to pick a large blanket if you intend on absorbing a lot of players.

The monster cannot extend limbs beyond the blanket, so no reaching out and grabbing ankles. Mostly, there is little talking unless under blanket communications for directions are necessary. Mostly growling or grumbling the words ‘holcher globber’.
Much like sardines, when everyone in the house is eaten the game is over.

image
lego image source

My brothers were the real kings of Legos, but I did get my build on as a kid. My brothers collected and made awesome castles, ships and worlds from their legos. I was lucky to get a four walled building most days.
I played with Legos much the same way that my older sisters created and executed elaborate doll house adventures. Just another medium for imagination. Of course I loved creating female characters with horses and dragons atop barns.

Do you harbour warm memories for particular toys from your youth?

Subconscious Messages and Book Party Games

image
Yesterday, I was planning some games for my SiLs Golden Birthday Party (where your age matches the numerical day you were born). I have several great games in the forming stage of awesome.

The party is a Potluck/Bookluck, in which guests will bring a dish inspired by a book, its recipe and a copy of any kind of good book for the birthday girl.

This game is Book Title Guesstures/charades and yes, I realize that I did not invent this game. Guests will pull a slip of paper with a book title on it and have to act it out.

This was the first bit of my kids’ book list…notice anything wrong?
Shortly after starting this list I went and got a beer because I obviously needed one.

Other book related games include,
Book Think–Given a letter of the alphabet, players must come up with a book title or character. “The” and “a” do not count.

Book Scavenger Hunt— Large pile of picture books and chapter books. Players must find words, sentences, characters, copyright dates, photos of the author, etc.

Book Pickup Lines– Nerd/HP glasses and offer the best bookish pickup lines to birthday girl. We will try to write these down or record people saying them.

Poem Writer Book Search– Each player must create a poem, but their word bank only consists of those found in a kids picture book.
Making Bookmarks— Okay, this is a craft not a game, but I figure this might be fun to try. Stamps, construction paper, ribbon, jewels, etc.

Who is it?— Group activity or one at a time. Either played as a 20 questions game or as group guesses. Read off hints and everyone writes down who the clue is about. Then go thru list again and reveal the identities.

Y is for Yoga

image

photo source

Yoga is the one kind of meditative exercise where I am not constantly thinking, “are we done with this stretch?” Or “what exactly is this doing for my body?”

I can even meditate at the end of lengthy sessions and let my mind just occupy my body. Meditation has always been a struggle for me. Only once outside of yoga have I successfully calmed my mind.

The hour-long free yoga classes at college are what got me through the stress of some projects and many a finals week.

I remember going to the yoga sessions feeling the weight of the my classload. Leaving, I felt calmer, stronger and rejuvenated to approach my tasks.

Besides doing it for stress relief, I have done yoga with children. This fun and amusing because they tend to question every pose and admit the silliness of it all.

Doing yoga with my neices was the most fun, after I said agreed they got very serious about it. By the end of it we had a contest of who can stretch the furtherest and who can hold the tree without falling. Auntie Kat didn’t win against the six and ten year olds of course.

I hope one day to take more classes. I have a silly dream to lead my own yoga classes someday, but for now I’m having fun with doing the warrior for my bathroom mirror.

Day 302: Misty of Chincoteague

image

I just finished the book Misty of Chincoteague. I know it’s an ancient little kids’ book but there are so many people defined by stories like these.

The writing style was dated but sweet. I imagine if I read this when I was eight or ten years old I would have begun saving every penny to buy a pony.

Can I borrow someone’s little girl and read this story aloud to her?
Okay…that might have sounded weird.

This whoops on the back of the book had me confused for a while. It says Phantom has a male baby, when all through the book, Misty is a female.

image

Day 234: Bee Box

image

This year to save on cash we are doing wee presents in stockings for our family members.

This snack box is for my brother’s MiL. She has recently gotten slightly obsessed with small containers, juice glasses and baby sized spoons.

I am not in a position to judge considering I talk to myself 85% of the time that I’m alone.
I still believe that is a completely healthy habit.

I also got her a pair of bear snack boxes. They are super cute and I think she will really like them.

Make a Story! Game Instructions

image

In my Christmas Adventivities blog for kids I had a link to some printables and promised I would get instructions to the game soon. I’m sure there are similar games out there. In fact I have heard of this storytelling game in the form of dice blocks instead of cards.

Name: Make a Story!
Time: 5 minutes
Location: Anywhere not too noisy
Group size: 2 to 8
Equipment: Printed pictures prepped.

Preparation: Print off desired pictures and cut them out so each item is individually represented on a card. Shuffle and pile up cards facedown for game play. Giving the cards cardboard backing or laminating them will help to keep for many games.

image

Introduction: Explain to players that they will able to make up a story. Whomever is ‘it’ is the storyteller for that round. The story can be about anything you want, but there is a catch, the storyteller must draw three cards from the pile. Those three items s/he draws must be somewhere in the story being told.

Play:
Pick a child to be the storyteller, draw three cards and tell a story. Once the story is finished, play continues with the next child picking three cards and telling a story.

image

Tips and extensions:

Shy children may need coaxing or assistance in telling a story, while more outgoing children may need the leader to remind them they have a time limit. This could be as simple as saying, “what is the reindeer’s favorite food in this story?” Or “How will your story end?”

Show instead of tell. Younger children may need the leader/teacher to tell a story first so they understand how to play.

For the Christmas-time theme, I chose cards related to Christmas. This game could be played with any holiday or theme that compliments what your child is learning.

Instead of pictures they could be a list of spelling words your child has that week. Scraps of paper and a pen are easy to create a game while waiting on dinner to arrive.
This will also help children understand usage of their spelling words in addition to raw memorization.

This game would also compliment learning if the children were working on a writing section in school. Knowing the parts of a story would help in writing parts of a paper. After a story is told, ask the rest of the participants to find the beginning, middle and end

Take Aways from the game:
-Encourages creativity
-Enhances story telling and communication abilities
-Reinforces words/pictures
-Reinforces idea of taking turns

As always, please share suggestions or awesome anecdotes if you play with this game with your class or family!

image

Once upon a time…..