The Jenny Evolution

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January 22, 2015
by Jennifer Hughes
22 Comments

Friday Flash Blog No. 102 {Plus Features}

Friday Flash Blog is a flash mob of blogs, highlighting the best of bloggers from the week. Be sure to check them out (and the ones I’ve featured) as well as link up your own.

Weekly Thought: Martin Luther King Jr. has been on our mind this week. As a family that is always reading stories, I often use picture books as a way to open discussions with my kiddos. It’s never too early to talk to your kids about the teachings of MLK.

These are hysterical and fun! Mini Donut Party Horn People from Hoopla Palooza

These are hysterical and fun! Mini Donut Party Horn People from Hoopla Palooza

50+ Ideas to Decorate with Old Doors. Compiled by Little Brags

50+ Ideas to Decorate with Old Doors. Compiled by Little Brags

How to Make an Awesome Meringue. Tutorial from Titi Crafty

How to Make an Awesome Meringue. Tutorial from Titi Crafty

5 Things Teachers Wish Parents Knew from Working Mom Magic

5 Things Teachers Wish Parents Knew from Working Mom Magic

Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Fluff. Recipe by This Silly Girl's Life

Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Fluff. Recipe by This Silly Girl’s Life

Crock Pot Taco Chicken Bowls. Recipe by Jenn's Random Scraps

Crock Pot Taco Chicken Bowls. Recipe by Jenn’s Random Scraps

100s of Awesome Indoor Activities for Kids Under 5 from Hands On As We Grow

100s of Awesome Indoor Activities for Kids Under 5 from Hands On As We Grow

Valentine's Day Fortune Cookies. Baked by Just Short of Crazy

Valentine’s Day Fortune Cookies. Baked by Just Short of Crazy

Upcycled Nuts and Bolts Heart Craft. Tutorial by Mosswood Connections

Upcycled Nuts and Bolts Heart Craft. Tutorial by Mosswood Connections

5 Civil Rights Picture Books for Children from The Jenny Evolution

5 Civil Rights Picture Books for Children from The Jenny Evolution

 

Friday Flash Blog is a Flash Mob of Blogs

Share ALL Your Favorite Posts of the Week

Now Let’s Get This Party Started

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January 21, 2015
by Jennifer Hughes
2 Comments

DIY Learning Alphabet Sensory Bottles

DIY Learning Alphabet Sensory Bottles – These bottles are easy to make but allow for loads of letter practice. This post contains affiliate links; however, all recommendations are mine.

Sensory bottles are a wonderful way for children to explore their world through their senses. By combining sensory and learning, you can help your child retain what they practice. By creating simple alphabet sensory bottles, you can help your child learn their letters, practice letter sounds and even work on simple spelling.

DIY Learning Alphabet Sensory Bottles | The Jenny Evolution

DIY Alphabet Sensory Bottles

Materials you’ll need:

Yes, that’s really all you need!

Instructions:

  1. Wash your water bottle
  2. Remove the labels. (Goo Gone is awesome for getting rid of labels!)
  3. Fill a small amount with rice. Add some of the alphabet beads. Repeat until you get close to the top.
  4. Be sure to leave some room in the bottle so the rice and beads can move above the bottle easily.
  5.  Super glue top on. (Some people prefer to glue gun the bottle closed.)
  6. Have fun!

For babies, the sound of the rice will be a fun effect.

DIY Learning Alphabet Sensory Bottles | The Jenny Evolution

Turn an Alphabet Sensory Bottle Into a Learning Lesson

You can also turn this simple alphabet sensory bottle into a broader learning lesson for your child.

For preschoolers and kindergarteners, here are some ideas you can do with this sensory bottle:

  • Turn this bottle into an “I Spy” game. Have them see how many of the letter H they can find.
  • Point to a letter and have them say the sound.
  • Take turns making a letter sound and having the other person locate the letter.

For early readers:

  • Take turns pointing to a letter and making the letter sound. Have the other person say a word that begins with that letter/sound.
  • Take turns pointing to a letter and making the letter sound. Have the other person say a word that ends with that letter/sound.
  • Locate a vowel and say a word that uses that vowel sound.
  • Have the child find 3-letter words among the letter beads.
  • See how can make the most 3-letter words. If they’re more advanced, try 4-letter words.

DIY Learning Alphabet Sensory Bottles | The Jenny Evolution

For the materials, visit these affiliate links provided for your convenience:

DIY Learning Alphabet Sensory Bottles | The Jenny Evolution

January 21, 2015
by Jennifer Hughes
0 comments

DIY Simple Sensory Bottles

Making a sensory bottle really isn’t as complicated as you might think. Find out how to make simple sensory bottles for your child in just minutes! (This post contains affiliate links; however, all recommendations are mine.)

Do you ever browse through Pinterest, seeing all of these amazing sensory activities moms are coming up with, only to think to yourself, “How on earth am I supposed to have the time and energy to make that?” I was certainly one of those moms. But I’m telling you that sensory bottles don’t have to be complicated at all to be hits with your kids!

With some simple materials, you can be making your own sensory bottles in absolutely no time!

DIY Simple Sensory Bottles | The Jenny Evolution

What You’ll Need to Get Started for Sensory Bottles

Materials you absolutely must have:

  • Empty water bottle (personally I like Voss bottled water because you can stand the bottle up on either end)
  • Super glue (you don’t want that sucker getting opened)

Additional materials you may already have:

  • Dried grains (rice, quinoa)
  • Dried beans (peas, kidney beans)
  • Dried pasta or other food items (popcorn kernels)
  • Baby oil
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Clear glue
  • Glitter
  • Buttons
  • Plastic gems/jewels
  • Beads
  • Fun art supplies (sequins, pipe cleaners, feathers, googly eyes, tissue paper)
  • Sand
  • Found objects (pebbles, pine needles, shells)
  • Ribbon
  • The list could go on!

Directions to Make Your Own Sensory Bottle

  1. Wash your water bottles
  2. Remove the labels. (Goo Gone is awesome for getting rid of labels!)
  3. Fill with your favorite stuff.
  4.  Super glue top on. (Some people prefer to glue gun the bottle closed.)
  5. Have fun! Let your child shake the bottle, swirl the contents or play I Spy.

Get Inspired with These Sensory Bottles

Here are some inspirational ideas to get you started. And remember, sensory bottles don’t have to have a liquid in them to be terrific sensory outlets for your child!

AlphabetSensory4

Alphabet Sensory Bottles | The Jenny Evolution

Calm Down Jars with Lego | Lemon Lime Adventures

Glowing Sensory Bottle for Bedtime | Kids Activities Blog

Nature Sensory Bottle | Carrots Are Orange

Glitter Sensory Bottle | Teaching Mama

Make a Wave Bottle | Hands on As We Grow

Weather-Inspired Sensory Bottles | Two Daloo

Magnetic Discovery Sensory Bottle | Preschool Inspirations

Rainbow Discovery Bottles | Fun at Home with Kids

Spring Flower Sensory Bottle | My Little 3

Even More Sensory Inspiration!

The Jenny Evolution has teamed up with some other amazing bloggers to bring you a plethora of sensory ideas. Be sure to check out the other amazing sensory play ideas on the 31 Days of Sensory Play Challenge!

January 20, 2015
by Jennifer Hughes
18 Comments

Sometimes It’s All About the Cars

Cars1

Any mom of boys knows this scene well. Some days, it’s just about the cars.

Wordless Wednesday on The Jenny Evolution

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January 20, 2015
by Jennifer
2 Comments

10 Valentine’s Day Sensory Bins

Valentine’s Day offers so many terrific sensory outlets. My favorite — the smell of chocolate! But for those kiddos of yours, they need some hands on sensory outlets. Sensory bins allow children to explore their world, manipulate materials and experience textures. From fine motor practice to visual stimulation, sensory bins host a plethora of learning outlets for children.

10 Valentine's Day Sensory Bins

10 Valentine’s Day Sensory Bins 

Valentine Sensory Bin. Click for more #sensory bin ideas for #ValentinesDay

Valentine Sensory Bin | The Chaos and The Clutter

Rose Scented Sensory Rice. Click for more #sensory bin ideas for #ValentinesDay

Rose Scented Sensory Rice | Growing a Jeweled Rose

Simple Valentine's Day Sensory Bin. Click for more #sensory bin ideas for #ValentinesDay

Simple Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin | Dirt & Dinosaurs

A Messy Valentine's Day Sensory Bin. Click for more #sensory bin ideas for #ValentinesDay

A Messy Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin | Smell the Daisiez

Valentine Sensory Bin and Learning Activities. Click for more #sensory bin ideas for #ValentinesDay

Valentine Sensory Bin and Learning Activities | Fantastic Fun and Learning

Valentine's Day Sensory Bin. Click for more #sensory bin ideas for #ValentinesDay

Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin | Jefferson Parish Parent

Valentines Sensory Tub. Click for more #sensory bin ideas for #ValentinesDay

Valentines Sensory Tub | Pre-School Play

Valentine's Day Sensory Bin. Click for more #sensory bin ideas for #ValentinesDay

Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin | Teaching Mama

Valentine's Sensory Play with Colored Rice. Click for more #sensory bin ideas for #ValentinesDay

Valentine’s Sensory Play with Colored Rice | Learn Play Imagine

How to Make a Valentine's Day Sensory Tub. Click for more #sensory bin ideas for #ValentinesDay

How to Make a Valentine’s Day Sensory Tub | Baby Savers

January 19, 2015
by Jennifer
0 comments

Picture Books About Basketball for Kids

Picture Books About Basketball for Kids: Find these books at your local library or use the affiliated links provided for your convenience. All recommendations are my own.

With winter comes snow, sports moving back indoors and basketball season! For kids who just can’t get enough of basketball, check out these picture books about basketball. They will surely spark your children’s incentive to get reading.

I write so often about books, I’ve put them in one central location and created a collection of all of my book lists on The Jenny Evolution! Find more great reading book lists here.

Picture Books About Basketball for Kids | The Jenny Evolution

Picture Books About Basketball for Kids

 Dream Big: Michael Jordan and the Pursuit of Olympic Gold
Dream Big: Michael Jordan and the Pursuit of Olympic Gold: Long before he became a professional All-Star basketball player, Michael Jordan had dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal—and with dedication and perseverance, that’s exactly what he did. This heartwarming picture book, written by Michael’s mother and illustrated by Barry Root, gives a rare glimpse into a sports hero’s childhood and emphasizes the role that good values play in success. An ideal companion to the New York Times bestselling Salt in His Shoes, Dream Big is an inspiration to all.

Basketball Belles: How Two Teams and One Scrappy Player Put Women's Hoops on the Map
Basketball Belles: How Two Teams and One Scrappy Player Put Women’s Hoops on the Map: This dynamic picture book about the birth of women’s basketball will keep young readers riveted. Raised on a cattle ranch, Agnes Morley was sent to Stanford University to learn to be a lady. Yet in no time she exchanged her breeches and spurs for bloomers and a basketball; and in April 1896 she made history. In a heart–pounding game against the University of California at Berkeley, Agnes led her team to victory in the first-ever intercollegiate women s basketball game, earning national attention and putting women s basketball on the map.

Hoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball
Hoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball:
Taking over a rowdy gym class right before winter vacation is not something James Naismith wants to do at all. The last two teachers of this class quit in frustration. The students–a bunch of energetic young men–are bored with all the regular games and activities. Naismith needs something new, exciting, and fast to keep the class happy or someone’s going to get hurt. Saving this class is going to take a genius. Discover the true story of how Naismith invented basketball in 1891 at a school in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Dino-basketball
Dino-basketball: When the carnivorous Meat face the herbivorous Grass Clippers, rims are sure to rattle! Ally-oops and rejections are the orders of the day as the dinos play a fast-paced full-court game. No one can establish a lead as the final seconds tick by. The fans are getting tense, and there’s a championship on the line. Which dino will step up and take it to the hoop? This exciting follow-up to Dino-Hockey, Dino-Soccer, and Dino-Baseball is sure to thrill dinosaur and sports lovers alike.

 Dickie V's ABCs and 1-2-3s: A Great Start for Young Superstars
Dickie V’s ABCs and 1-2-3s: A Great Start for Young Superstars:
It’s a children’s alphabet and counting book from the legendary ESPN college basketball analyst, Dick Vitale. Dick is a grandfather of five and a passionate advocate for early childhood development. In the book, children learn their alphabet through high-energy basketball words that Dick uses in his national broadcasts. For example, “D” is for “dunk” and “J” is for “jump.” In the counting section of the book, Dick leads kids in counting 1 to 10 using colorful basketballs.

Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream
Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream: The mere mention of the name conjures up visions of basketball played at its absolute best. But as a child, Michael almost gave up on his hoop dreams, all because he feared he’d never grow tall enough to play the game that would one day make him famous. That’s when his mother and father stepped in and shared the invaluable lesson of what really goes into the making of a champion — patience, determination, and hard work.

Little Basketball
Little Basketball: Board Books for Little Sports! Now even the smallest of fans can enjoy a book about their favorite sport. Rhyming riddles accompanied by colorful artwork help introduce the game’s simplest, most basic elements.

Allie's Basketball Dream
Allie’s Basketball Dream: Allie’s always been hooked on basketball, but the boys she knows won’t play with her. On the verge of giving up, Allie has one last go at it–and she makes the basket! Inspired by her persistence, her friends all want to join in.

I write so often about books, I’ve put them in one central location and created a collection of all of my book lists on The Jenny Evolution! Find more great reading book lists here.

January 19, 2015
by Jennifer Hughes
0 comments

Jimmy Dean Delights Adds Yummy Convenience to Breakfast

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Jimmy Dean®. All opinions are 100% mine.

Mornings in my house can be absolutely hectic! From locating the boys’ shoes to getting them to finish any leftover homework, it can seem impossible to get a healthy, hot breakfast on the table. The new Jimmy Dean Delights has a fix.

IMG_3305

Jimmy Dean has come out with a delicious line of convenient breakfast sandwiches — and all of them are under 300 calories! Made with quality, real ingredients (such as eggs, sausage and cheese), combined with the unique savory blend of seasonings in Jimmy Dean sausage, these sandwiches were an absolute hit with everyone in my family. Individually wrapped, all I had to do was pop them into the microwave and they were ready in minutes.

IMG_3307

My boys particularly liked the Honey Wheat English Muffin made with Canadian bacon, egg whites and cheese. I enjoyed the Applewood Smoked English Muffin with a chicken sausage patty, egg whites and sharp American cheese. No one would have guessed they only had 250 calories or less.

IMG_3304

Jimmy Dean Delights frozen breakfast come in a variety of options, including:

  • Jimmy Dean Delights Chicken Sausage Egg & Cheese English Muffins
  • Jimmy Dean Delights Turkey Sausage Egg & Cheese English Muffins
  • Jimmy Dean Delights Canadian Bacon English Muffins
  • Jimmy Dean Delights Turkey Sausage Croissants
  • Jimmy Dean Delights Turkey Sausage Egg, & Cheese Flatbread
  • Jimmy Dean Delights Bacon, Egg & Cheese Flatbread

Get a Coupon for Jimmy Dean Delights

You can find these yummy breakfast items in the freezer section of Meijers as well as other participating grocers. You can save $1.00 on any one (1) Jimmy Dean Delights® Breakfast Sandwiches with Jimmy Dean Mperk at Meijer, which are available through Jan. 31, 2015. For more information visit Jimmy Dean and for delicious recipe ideas, check out Jimmy Dean on Pinterest.

Visit Sponsor's Site

January 18, 2015
by Jennifer Hughes
0 comments

DIY Starbucks Tazo Chai Tea Latte with Your Keurig

Every morning, I absolutely love having a Starbucks Tazo Chai Tea Latte. Oh my goodness, just thinking about the warm creaminess of a chai makes me want to run out and get one right away. But the cost was killing my budget! Who can drop $5 on a drink every day? There had to be a better way for me to enjoy my morning indulgence without killing my budget.

My husband is a coffee fanatic so we have a Keurig in the house. I wondered how I could make my creamy chai latte every morning with a Keurig coffee machine! I set to figure out how to create a Starbucks Tazi Chai Tea Latte Recipe that would fill my mug with Starbucks without leaving the house.

If you’d like to make your Starbucks Chai Tea Latte from scratch, read my previous post with the recipe.

DIY Starbucks Tazo Chai Tea Latte Recipe with a Keurig coffee brewer | The Jenny Evolution

DIY Starbucks Tazo Chai Tea Latte with Your Keurig
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Make your won Starbucks Tazo Chai Tea Latte with a Keurig Coffee Machine
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • Tazo Chai K-cups
  • Water
  • Milk (1%, 2% or Soy)
  • Splenda Individual Packets
Instructions
  1. Place a K-Cup of Tazo Chai Tea in the Keurig
  2. Fill your coffee mug ¾ with water and pour into Keurig
  3. Add 2 individual packets of Splenda into mug (you may easily the equivalent of sugar or sugar substitute)
  4. Turn on your Keurig and brew the Tazi Chai Tea
  5. When brew is complete, fill the rest of your mug with milk. For a creamier chai, add less water and more milk.
  6. Drink immediately.
Notes
For a creamier cup of chai, add a little less water and little more milk.

Also, if you want to have a froth to your milk, put the milk into a container with a lid, shake rigorously for about 10 seconds. Then put into the microwave for 15-30 seconds. Remove carefully and then add it to your chai.

To make your own Starbucks Chai Tea Latte at home with a Keurig, consider the following affiliate links:

ChaiTeaLatte5

January 16, 2015
by Jennifer Hughes
6 Comments

DIY Starbucks Chai Tea Latte Recipe

Ever crave a Starbucks Chai Tea Latte but not the price? I know I often want the yummy goodness of a Chai latte but don’t feel like dropping more than $5 for a drink.

Now you can make your own from scratch with this Starbucks Chai Tea Latte Recipe in the comforts of your own kitchen! And at a fraction of the cost.

And if you have a Keurig sitting in your kitchen, you can easily make it with K-Cups! Learn how to make Starbucks Tazo Chai Tea Latte with your Keurig.

DIY Starbucks Chai Tea Latte Recipe - Copycat Recipe | The Jenny Evolution

DIY Starbucks Chai Tea Latte Recipe

5.0 from 2 reviews
DIY Starbucks Chai Tea Latte
 
Craving a Starbucks Chai Tea Latte but not the price? Make your own latte at home with this copycat recipe!
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Ingredients
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 3 Cups Milk
  • 6 Black Tea Bags
  • ½ Cup Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon Cloves
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Ginger
Instructions
  1. Pour milk and water into a saucepan.
  2. Heat milk and water over moderate heat until it begins to simmer. (Do not let liquid get to a rolling boil or the milk could curdle.)
  3. Remove milk and water from heat. Add black tea bags, honey, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves and ground ginger.
  4. Put mixture back over heat and let the latte simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and filter liquid. Serve immediately.

ChaiTea3ChaiLatte1

January 15, 2015
by Jennifer Hughes
17 Comments

Friday Flash Blog No. 101 {Plus Features}

Friday Flash Blog is a flash mob of blogs, highlighting the best of bloggers from the week. Be sure to check them out (and the ones I’ve featured) as well as link up your own.

Weekly Thought: Thanks for celebrating the 100th edition of Friday Flash Blog last week. Congratulations to the winner of the Starbucks gift card, Kirsten, who writes Kids Are a Trip.

Cupid Fairy Bread. Adorable Recipe from This Silly Girl's Life

Cupid Fairy Bread. Adorable Recipe from This Silly Girl’s Life

Fabulous Tutorial of How to Turn Onesies into T-Shirts from Titi Crafty

Fabulous Tutorial of How to Turn Onesies into T-Shirts from Titi Crafty

Love these 3 Ways to Play with Rice Valentine Sensory Bin from Learning 2 Walk

Love these 3 Ways to Play with Rice Valentine Sensory Bin from Learning 2 Walk

Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake Overnight Oats. Yummy recipe from Annie's Noms

Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake Overnight Oats. Yummy recipe from Annie’s Noms

Kids Learn the Science of Sledding with There's Just One Mommy

You all know how I love to slip in education when my kid aren’t paying attention! Kids Learn the Science of Sledding with There’s Just One Mommy

Maple Banana Pockets Recipe from With a Blast

Maple Banana Pockets Recipe from With a Blast

Dollar Store DIY New Year Memory Jar (Plus FREE Printable) from Dishes and Dust Bunnies

Dollar Store DIY New Year Memory Jar (Plus FREE Printable) from Dishes and Dust Bunnies

15 FREE Valentine's Day Bookmark Printables Compiled by The Jenny Evolution

15 FREE Valentine’s Day Bookmark Printables Compiled by The Jenny Evolution

 

Friday Flash Blog is a Flash Mob of Blogs

Share ALL Your Favorite Posts of the Week

Now Let’s Get This Party Started

Requests to bloggers:

  • Include a link to this sharing party, post my button on your site or add the linky party to your own posting
  • NO selling please
  • Note I pin all featured items onto my boards, which you can find here
  • Take a look at some of the other links and comment on them
  • Leave your host a comment! Tell me which highlight was your favorite one.

Please follow your host, The Jenny Evolution, on

Facebook | Twitter | Bloglovin | Google+ | Pinterest | Instagram | Tsu

I follow back all of my friends!

The Jenny Evolution

Please CLICK HERE to grab my button.

If you were featured today, grab your swag here!

featured200x200

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