V is for Vase

V is for Vase

  During the school year I focus on one letter a week. For the letter V we make a vase that I save and use to decorate the tables for our Mother's day Party. This is one of my favorite crafts we recycle and Moms always love to get them as gifts! This year my daughter graduated from high school and I made them for table center pieces and gifts for the grandparents to take home! Once I started thinking about it the uses are limitless weddings, showers, birthdays,etc...

What you need

  • Recycled Glass Jar ( Sauce works best) however any glass will work
  • Mod Podge water base sealer
  • Paint brush
  • Ribbon
  • Paper with photos printed on it
  • For Preschool a sponge
  • Glue Gun
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Save a glass jar clean it I run them through the dishwasher
Print photos for our Grad party I used Black and white for Preschool I use color
Print photos for our Grad party I used Black and white for Preschool I use color cut them out. For preschool I used 1 page for each child then cut them out and had them in baggies.
For the Grad Party I painted the back then stuck onto glass
For the Grad Party I painted the back then stuck onto glass
for Preschool I put some glue on the sponge and had the children stick the photo on the sponge and then to the jar.
                Vase 2          
Vase 1
I love to see the children put the photos on themselves. They are not perfect and that's the best part! It's their work!!
For Grad Party
For Grad Party
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When your done paint over the top with Mod Podge, let dry
When your done paint over the top with Mod Podge, let dry
              Mothers day flower4 Mothers day flower3 Mothers day flower2                Mothers day flower1   To make our Preschool "Flowers" -Tissue paper cut into small squares -egg carton cut slit in bottom -green pipe cleaner group tissue colors together wrap the pipe cleaner around then pull through slit in bottom.
Mothers Day Vase
Mother's Day Vase
Letter V Mothers Day Vase                 -To finish the jars I glue gunned ribbon around the top of the jar. For preschool I did this before hand with different styles and patterns and let the kids choose. For the Grad Party I used the school colors! They were a big hit!! My daughter wants to take one to college  to use as a pencil holder.  
School colors were orange and black.
School colors were orange and black.
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Lava Canyon Trail Mt. St.Helens – South Side

Lava Canyon Trail #184 Mt. St.Helens - South Side

Lava Canyon Loop sign Lava Canyon Loop cliff trail Lava Canyon Loop suspension bridge Lava Canyon Loop falls Lava Canyon Loop suspension bridge walk Lava Canyon Loop suspension bridge cross Lava Canyon Loop suspension bridge crossing  Lava Canyon Loop trail view Lava Canyon Loop trail view 2 Lava Canyon Loop river view Lava Canyon Loop river view 3 Lava Canyon Loop trail 4 Lava Canyon Loop warning sign Lava Canyon Loop cool trail view Lava Canyon Loop trail view 5 Lava Canyon Loop entrance sign Lava Canyon Loop parking lot Lava Canyon Loop road entrance sign Lava Canyon Loop mt.st.helens view Lava Canyon Loop mt.st.helens view from road Ape Cave2015 357
  1. We did this hike in June on the same day as the Ape Cave. Follow the signs up the road to the Lava Canyon. This is a beautiful car ride with great views of the mountain! The signs are easy to follow nice parking lot. We did this during the week so parking was easy.
  2. There were two bathrooms located in the parking lot. Again Vault composting toilets, although not dirty I still feel better with the baby wipes and hand sanitizer. Also we have started packing toilet paper in our backpack sometimes they have been out!
  3. Not all of this trail is for really small children. The start is nicely paved, some of the most beautifully set with benches along the way down. You first come out to a deck with a view of the river. From this point on use caution, keep your kids with you on the mountain side of the trail. It is steep and the erg to peek at the river is strong. They have many big red signs warning of the danger. That being said it was challenging but fun! We all enjoyed the walk although grandma was Done at the end. What a wonderful trail with so many different types of land, lava, river and forest. Our favorite by far was the Suspension Bridge! To give you a clue I took 758 photos!!

APE CAVES – Mt. St. Helens Lava Tube

APE CAVES - Mt. St. Helens Lava Tube

South Side


Things to bring:

  • a flashlight or lantern
  • warm clothes
  • Walking stick
Ape Cave entrance Ape Cave entrance sign Ape Cave view  Ape Cave view 1 Ape Cave view rock found Ape Cave view 2 Ape Cave view inside cave Ape Cave view help trail hike Ape Cave trail view Ape Cave trail view 1 Ape Cave stepsdown into cave Ape Cave top view into cave Ape Cave trail to cave Ape Cave trail map entrance Ape Cave bathrooms parking lot Ape Cave visitor center Ape Cave road sign Ape Cave road sign 2 Ape Cave road sign 3
  1. We did this hike June of 2015 during the week so parking was easy. The directions were easy to find and there were many signs to lead you in. A Recreation pass is required for parking, you can purchase one in the small visitor center.
  2. Ape Cave had four total bathrooms, two to each building. One in the parking lot and the other at the start of the trail across from the visitor center. They are vault toilets. At the time of our visit not so clean bring your baby wipes and hand sanitizer! They are good for the environment with a composting system.
  3. Where to start with this trail it was in one word Fabulous!! We did this hike with grandma again everyone had fun. You can make this as easy or hard as you like. Be aware the cave is dark! I mean once you enter it's black. We brought our own flashlights. You can purchase head lights and rent lanterns from the visitor center. If your little ones are afraid of the dark you may not get to far. The day we visited the kids around us were enjoying looking for treasures in the cave. We did the lower cave the walking is level and easy. The upper cave is a little harder with more climbing. The Cave was large no bending and squeezing until the very end. Only three of our group did it and quickly came out due to the large cave crickets!! The cave is cold so bring a sweatshirt and pants, we forgot and were frozen by the end,even my camera fogged up. The ground can be bumpy at times would have been good to use a walking stick, we forgot ours so grandma used a grandson to help.
  4. The whole hike took us about an hour we ate lunch in the parking lot, no place to sit. Food is not allowed into the cave due to Bats to keep them healthy and keep the caves open. just a short drive up the road you'll find Lava Canyon Loop Trail. We did both trails and had a long ride home. This would be a great place to camp and spend some time doing the trails there are many and the history and beauty are worth the visit. Mt.St.Helens is in her full glory!

Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge

Olympic National Forest

hurricane ridge ocean view   hurricane ridge trail up view   hurricane ridge top of trail view hurricane ridge view of road up hurricane ridge trail view hurricane ridge trail view 1 hurricane ridge deer trail hurricane ridge top vista view visitor center hurricane ridge parking visitor center hurricane ridge deer parking lot trail head hurricane ridge trail head hurricane ridge trail cool tree hurricane ridge trail view 4 hurricane ridge visitor center vista view picnic area hurricane ridge vista view parking lot hurricane ridge view parking lot hurricane ridge vista view sitting area hurricane ridge walking stick tabs hurricane ridge view from parking lot

Another perfect family day! We had three generations with us and everyone had a great time.

  1. Hurricane Ridge was very easy to find, follow 101 into Port Angeles follow signs for Olympic National Park visitor center. At the bottom is the first of two visitor centers, with good bathrooms. It's about a 30 minute drive to the top so it's a great first stop for bathrooms or in the winter time road conditions. This hike will require you you go through the park entrance $20 per car or $7 per person. Just past the entrance you'll find the Heart o' The Hills Campground. Beautiful clean campground close to the start of many trail heads. The road up is well maintained. However, if your afraid of heights you may want someone else to drive. Along the way there are many vista views!! At the top you arrive at a large level parking lot and the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. Great place to buy your walking stick tab, stickers or whatever you collect! They do have a small diner I recommend packing a lunch. Behind the visitor center you'll find benches and picnic tables with views. Really, I saw many families eating in the parking lot it's all beautiful!
  2. The Bathroom in both visitor centers are great!!
  3. The hike is perfect for all ages. Right out of the parking lot the path is paved and perfect for small children. While we were there three deer were grazing, as long as your quite they come real close! For older children you can follow the hike off the paved trail to see great vista views. You will find benches along the way if you need a break. In our case grandma sat on a bench able to watch us climb to the top lookout! You can make this as hard or easy as you want. These photos were taken in June 2015. The last time we visited in June 2010 there was still snow on the trail! We have been here three times before and it still holds the same magical feeling as the first time! In the winter this is a great place to snowshoe. When our kids were littler they loved to just play!

Dinosaur Egg

  Dinosaur "Eggs"

To make our Eggs we did a blow bubble print.


What you need:

  • water
  • dish soap
  • Liquid watercolor paint
  • Straw
  • White Card Stock
  • Metal Brad
  • Photo of your child being a Baby Dino
IMG_1083           To set up I used my Sensory Table to keep the mess contained.I had equal parts of water, watercolor and soap to cups.For my sensory table I have a shower curtain that I use along the back to keep the wall clean!Start by having your child practice blowing through the straw! If they suck up it's not so fun. IMG_1087           Use Card stock to cut out you egg shape. Be sure to make a top and bottom. IMG_1086           Use a whole punch then attach the two half's together with your brad. IMG_1239           Then have them put their straw in the cup, I like to cover the cup with the paper, in this case our egg. Then have them start blowing in, and watch the bubbles rise up. Lift up the egg and move to another color, keep repeating until it's all covered. This time I had a little to much water so our color turned out light, add more watercolor to make brighter colors. This was fun but messy, sorry no photos of the blowing. To finish let dry then add your photo. I used them on our board you could paint a piece of paper and then glue down the photo and bottom of egg, leaving the top half to move up and down. IMG_1202  

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls

We did this walk in April, before I had this sight, so sorry no photos of bathrooms, trail, or road signs. That being said I found this to be the perfect family hike and we will be sure to do this again when family visits, so I'll update it then. What makes the perfect family hike in my book, First it was easy to find. The roads and turnoffs are clearly marked and parking is easy to find. They do have two lots in April we found parking easy in the summer months it may be a little harder, so plan for it. Parking was close to the start of the trail with a fun covered bridge to cross. The  Salish Lodge borders the start and is breathtakingly beautiful!

Salish Lodge & Spa - Seattle's Luxury Hotel Resort & Spa

The top start has views of the top of the Falls, I really want to go back in winter! Second the bathrooms are clean and easy to find. Be aware they are at the top so go before you walk down. Third, the trail is wide and easy to walk it's steep going down, but nothing you can't handle. If you need to you can drive down to the bottom there is a parking lot.

Snoqualime falls 2015 171 Snoqualime falls 2015 165 Snoqualime falls 2015 365               The walk down was full of interesting trees and plant life, we took our time going down. Once you hit the river you an walk along it's banks. Snoqualime falls 2015 326 Snoqualime falls 2015 256 Snoqualime falls 2015 206 Snoqualime falls 2015 185 There is a small beach, really the rocks are the fun. We noticed the trash can was overflowing and we made a note next time we'll bring a bag with us to help carry trash out, clean as we walk! Honestly, we started doing this for all our hikes. You can also view the falls from the bottom, the trail is well marked and safe. After our hike we toured the town of Snoqualmie and had lunch, truly it was a perfect day!   Snoqualime falls 2015 352           For my children, the best part is the gift shop at the end where we found a new tab for their sticks! Snoqualime falls 2015 003            

Sun catcher Window Fish

Sun catcher Window Fish

What you need:

  • colored paper, cut out for a fish outline
  • Paint
  • wax paper
  • recycled bottle caps
prek4fun1 015 (800x600)           For this project I saved the bottle caps off a simply made orange juice and the top of a Tide laundry. You can use any size cap but I find the big round ones make great designs. Sorry I don't have a lot of photos for this one, I found I had to hold the wax paper for them as they painted. To paint you can use the top or bottom of the cap. Stamp,slide or spin the cap to make designs. While the paint is wet set the paper fish outline on top of the wax paper, rub down the edges so they stick. Let it dray, then cut it out and hang in the window! wankado1 039wankado1 040

Let’s Make a Starfish!

Let's Make a Starfish!


What you need:

  • Glue
  • White paper (Card stock works best)
  • colored sand
  • paint brush
  • Tray or plate
  • googly eyes if wanted
IMG_1214           Start by cutting your paper into the shape of a Starfish. Then add your colored sand to tray or plate. Start by painting the paper with glue. Then sprinkle it with the sand. If you like you can add googly eyes. wankado1 045