Once Upon A Little Farm

A Glimpse Into Our Country Life

15 Days of Fall Fun ~ Day 3: Pumpkin Seed Noise Makers

The kids had fun with this cute multi-step project.  Here’s what you’ll need

  • 2 small paper plates
  • orange paint
  • brush
  • 3 green pipe cleaners
  • buttons or other decorations to make pumpkin’s face
  • single hole punch
  • dried pumpkin seeds (if pumpkin seeds are not available, use beans, dried peas, or sunflower seeds in the shell – rice is too small)
  1. Early in the day or the day before you intend to put the project together, paint the backs of both plates with orange paint.  Allow to dry.
  2. Hold the plates firmly together, front to front.  Punch holes  through the edge of both plates at the same time.  Remember to keep the previously punched holes lined up as you continue around the plate.  These holes will need to line up for the next step.  About 2 inches apart worked well.
  3. Keep holding the plate firmly with the holes lined up. Grab one of the green pipe cleaners and put it through 1 set of holes.  “Tie” the pipe cleaner off at the edge of that first hole so that it does not pull all the way through.  Bring the pipe cleaner around and down through the next hole. Continue this until you do not have enough pipe cleaner left to go through another hole.  Twist a new pipe cleaner onto the end of the first one and continue around.  My 3 year old was able to do this as long as I held onto the plate while she weaved, and I hooked a new pipe cleaner on when needed. When there is not enough left of the second, add a third.   When you get to the last hole, stop before going through.
  4. Using your fingers to make a small gap where the last hole punch is, place some pumpkin seeds in between the 2 plates.  How many is your choice – my toddlers put them in so they may have gotten about 20 or 25 in theirs.  The fact that it make noise when you shake it is all that matters. When the seeds are in, continue lacing up the plates with the pipe cleaner.
  5. When the third pipe cleaner meets with where you started, poke the third pipe cleaner down through the first hole and bend whatever is left in half at the top of the plate and twist around – this is the stem of the pumpkin.
  6. With the stem at the top, glue on eyes, nose, mouth of the pumpkin.
  7. Allow face to dry a bit and then shake, shake, shake! Image

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15 Days of Fall Fun ~ Day 2: Combine Rides and Spiders

Well, I goofed up.  I did not stick to my plan for our projects today.  Fridays really lack routine at our home and I’m realizing that that really gets the kids and I all out of sorts.  They’re pokey and less apt to know what is expected of them.  I’m impatient, grouchy and apt to yell because I am bummed that it’s usually a highly unproductive day.   Those feelings went out the window when ventured outside into the glorious fall day that God had created.  The sun was shining and temps reached the low 70’s here in western NY.

Fall fun did happen, for sure, but it was not what I had originally planned.  Isn’t that the way life usually works though?  The best times cannot be entirely planned for.  We can plan our day all we want, but it is the Lord who actually determines what steps we’ll take (Proverbs 16:9).

We rent out all of the tillable farm land we own and it always a neat experience for my children to see all of the monstrous farming equipment.  The old relics my dad used on this same farm were less than half the size of the modern day.  The lower fields by our barn were planted to soybeans this year, which they harvested today.  My 2 year old son was so excited to see the big combine working out there.  We ventured out to see it up close and even got to ride a few rounds! 🙂 The view of our farmhouse is nice from the cab of a combine.  The kids had a great time and won’t soon forget that big harvester!

In addition to our unplanned fall fun, I’m showing you the spider my daughter and I made a week or so ago.  We hung it from the ceiling to “scare” Daddy when he came home from work.

To make the spider you will need….

  • 1 small black paper plate (or be prepared to paint both sides of a white paper plate if that is all you have)
  • string
  • black constructiImageImageImageImageImageon paper cut into 1 in. x 8 1/2 in. strips (need 8 strips for the spiders 8 legs)
  • black paint
  • brush
  • 2 –  1 in. white paper circles or 2 large wiggly eyes
  • glue stick
  • thumbtack (for poking holes in plate)

He is simple to make….

  1.  I had my daughter paint the white side of the paper plate black while I cut the paper strips for the legs.
  2. We used the 2 white paper circles instead of wiggly eyes.  Use black crayon to turn them into eye balls with black in the center.
  3. When the paint had dried, my daughter used the glue stick to attach the 2 eyes and 4 legs on each side of the eyes.
  4. I used a thumbtack to poke 2 holes side by side in the center of the plate.
  5. I put one end of the string down through the first hole and up through the second and then tied it off.  The remaining length of string is what we used to hang him from.  He is taped onto the base of a light fixture.

Happy Unplanned Fall, ya’ll!

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15 Days of Fall Fun ~ Day 1: Buttery Fall Cutouts

Yes, it becomes more apparent everyday how fast Christmas will be here, but I just could not wait until then for cutouts. I have all these nice fall cookie cutters that need their time to shine being used in the capacity they were designed for!  In our house it’s tough to lose sight of what they’re originally for as we use them for giving our sandwiches and cheese fun shapes and for making “cookie cutter prints” with paint.

My kitchen was already a disaster.  The dishes were not completely done and we have very little counter space anyhow.  When making cutout cookies, I always get out my grandmother’s big and old bread board and put it on the kitchen table.  Only one half of our kitchen table is usually usable at any given moment due to clutter. Anyone else have that problem? 😦   My kids love to play with a little bit of the dough in addition to helping with the cookies.  We have a carpeted kitchen (wasn’t my idea) and have not changed that inconvenient aspect yet.  Bits and pieces of dough, flour, sprinkles and the like are always such wonderful additions to the carpet fibers! Perhaps we’ll get to my lack of house keeping skills in another post, or rehab my house cleaning skills and keep posting on my progress!

Anyhow, cutouts are a lot of fun to make! Most of this batch will be headed into work with my husband in hopes of bringing a little cheer there!

Buttery Cutouts

Here’s what you will need…

For the cookies:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the icing:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • food coloring, if desired

Here’s what you do….

For the cookies:

  1. Beat butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add sour cream, eggs and vanilla; beat until smooth.  Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir just until well blended.
  2. Divide dough into 4 pieces.; flatten each piece into a disk. Wrap each dish tightly with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Working with 1 disk at a time, roll dough out on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut dough into desired shapes using cookie cutters.  Place about 1 to 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are brown.  Cookies cool fast and can quickly be removed to make room for the next round!

For the icing:

  1. Combine powdered sugar, milk, corn syrup and vanilla in small bowl; stir until smooth.  This can be refrigerated up to 3 days as well.
  2. Separate icing into small bowls.  Tint each batch with desired food coloring.  Frost your cookies! Add sprinkles if you wish! ImageImageImageImageImage
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