Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Creative Craving: Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt Printables

Get your own Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt printable below!
Scroll down for tutorial, printable and a video!

Back in 2012, Dallin was 4 years old. It was just around the time he really was old enough for some of the fun things holidays can bring. Christmas, just a few months prior, was a little more fun and now Easter had more excitement as well.

At the time, he was really into Blue's Clues. One episode in particular called "The Scavenger Hunt" was his favorite. In that episode Steve and Blue hunt for clues his visiting grandma set up. He is given a backpack and a map. Each clue leads to the next with a riddle. With each found clue, Steve is given a sticker to add to his "map". At the end he is given a gift and everyone celebrates.

As Easter drew closer, I explained to Dallin that we would be doing an Easter egg hunt this year. He was really excited and started telling everyone who would listen about it... only his interpretation was that it was a SCAVENGER hunt, just like in Blue's Clues. This was also the time Dallin was in full frontline treatment for his leukemia. It was a tough time for all of us but especially Dallin, so how was I not suppose to fulfill his idea of what a egg hunt should be!

Completed Easter 2012 Scavenger Hunt Map (Dallin was 8 months into treatment).
Completed Easter 2013 Scavenger Hunt Map. Note the super quick sketches!

Just call me Dr. Suess!
So at the last minute, I came up with a full scavenger hunt just like in his favorite Blue's Clues episode, complete with backpacks, maps, stickers and prizes. There were lots of challenges in creating it, like coming up with neat places throughout the house to hide the clues, drawing the icons for each location's sticker and, most the most difficult part, coming up with clever and RHYMING clues.

Easter 2012 reading and finding clues.
Easter 2013 reading and finding clues.
How did it turn out? It was a complete success! It was brain-building as his little mind worked out the problems. It was fun! It was memorable! It was a blast! I wasn't sure if it would stick though, but the following year, as Easter neared again, Dallin was really looking forward to another scavenger hunt and so I got to work (last minute again) to make it happen once more. This time his little sister (age 1 1/2) was able to "help" as well. Now it has become a family tradition. It is a little more work for everyone, but boy, is it worth it!

Want to do your own Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt?

Here's how:

What You'll Need
Set of the Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt Printable
Double-sided tape
Plastic eggs
Candy and/or small prizes
Backpack or basket
Optional: Camera (to capture the adventure in photo memories)

1.) Print out your own Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt printables. It's my very first printable ever! It includes: 10 pre-written rhyming clues and 5 blank clues, 10 location "stickers" and 5 blank ones, the start and finishing messages and the "sticker map". (You can print out more than one of the blank sheet of clues if you are planning on having more than 15 clues.) Note: These are best printed out on white card stock.

2.) Write any supplemental clues you might wish to add to the hunt. The 10 pre-written clues include the playroom, piano, bathtub, bathroom sink, coat closet, dishwasher, clothes dryer, car trunk, dining table, and refrigerator. In past years I have done 18-20 clues total but 10 clues might be enough for a smaller child.

Here a a few extra clues:
  • Vacuum cleaner - This machine is noisy and white, And leaves the carpets clean and bright.
  • Front door - When someone visits, they ring the bell or knock, Then we open this door once it's unlocked!
  • Mommy and Daddy's bed - This bed is not small. No, not at all. To find the next treat to discover, Make sure to look under the covers.
  • Linen closet - This closet has sheets and is small. It's not in a bedroom but in a the hall.
  • Couch - You're almost done and filled your pouch. Now go look under the living room ______.
  • Backyard Tree - Behind the house is a yard so big. Look up some branches, near a twig.
  • Master bedroom closet - This next spot is easy because everyone knows... Where Mommy and Daddy keep all their clothes.
  • Child's bed - This place is yours and where you lay your head. It's where you sleep and your stories are read.

3.) Cut out the clues and "stickers". You can discard the answers once they are cut.

4.) Plan out the hunt trajectory. Where should the first clue be and the next and so forth? Where should the final clue be? I usually picked Dallin's bed or under the couch for the final location.

5.) Make the "stickers" sticky. In years past, the "stickers" weren't really stickers. I used poster board cut down to small pieces for the stickers and then used a sharpie to draw a quick representation of each location. The printables I provide this year makes it even easier. Just use a little double sided tape behind each "sticker" but leave the paper-backing on one side. When it is time to stick down the "stickers", just peel off the backing and adhere.

6.) Make small treats for each location. Previously, I have used classic plastic Easter eggs filled with one or two small candies one year. The next year, I ran out of eggs so I supplemented the prizes with candy-filled tulle wraps. I just made a small square out of tulle, filled with a couple piece of candy and sealed it with a tied piece of ribbon. You could also use plain candy with out any fanfare... trust me, the kids wont mind. Or you can leave off the candy all together and just have a bigger prize at the end.

7.) Once your prizes are ready, your clues are printed/written, your route set, it is time to assemble your hunt! Line up all your clues in order out on a table. This would also be a good time to number your clues in proper order. Then place the answer to the riddle's sticker on top of each clue. (Just place it, DO NOT stick it.) For example, the clue that leads to the dishwasher should have the sticker of the dishwasher. Then, leaving the clues where they are, move the stickers down a clue. So now, the dishwasher sticker is on the next clue over. Then paper-clip or lightly tape these new pairings together.

Then start hiding the clues in their respective spots with a prize at each location. The first clue will not have a sticker. This clue is the starter clue. Instead, this clue will have the starter message accompanying it. This is what I gave Dallin to kick things off. I put that clue, starter message and the blank "map" in his backpack. After church (actually while exiting the church), I handed him his backpack and the hunt started. (That's why he is dressed up in the pictures above.)  The last sticker will not have a clue. Rather, it will have a congratulatory message and, of course, the final prize!

Let me know if you have any questions. This might seem complicated, but I promise, it is so much fun for everyone!

Daily Dose
  • Speaking of Scavenger hunts, Dallin and I have gotten into the habit of watching Amazing Race together! The perks of a growing child: having a tv watching buddy!
  • Spring has finally and permanently sprung! That was one Winter I am happy to see the back of!
  • Last Friday was my husband's last day of the semester! Only one semester to go! Woohoo!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Updates and Giveaway Reminder!

Homemade quilted ornaments will be my next giveaway!

Hi all! Sorry for the major delay in posts! I have been swamped trying my best to get my new site up and running.

After two months of researching, learning, troubleshooting and trial & error as well as blood, sweat and (literal) tears... it is ALMOST ready!!!! I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel with my new site!!! Take THAT HTML!!!

For now, I wanted to give a friendly reminder that we will be having another giveaway as soon as we get to 500 Facebook fans! Easy Peesy, right? :)  

(CLICK HERE for a link to a sharable pic about the upcoming giveaway.) 

You can share my Facebook page or, better yet, directly invite your Facebook friends by clicking on the direct invite button located under the header and to the right on the Facebook page. With your help, we will get there in no time!

Daily Dose

  • New Star Wars costume tutorial coming soon!
  • My little guy got his first tooth. This kid likes to be stealth mode. No crying, no fussing. Just a little tooth. :)
  • Rewatched all the episodes of Star Trek TGN over the last couple of months. It was great to have on while working late nights on my new site. Neat to experience it as an adult. It was one of my favorite shows as a kid.
  • I have started doing #throwbackthursdays on my Facebook page and Twitter. So fun!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Time-lapse Painting: Kaia's Secret (SVS Submission)

My submission to SVS's Thurd Thursday contest, Kaia's Secret.
CLICK HERE for Time-Lapse Video!

This month SVS (a.k.a The School of Visual Storytelling) had an interesting topic for their monthly contest. Here's the details:

"For this month's contest, since we are in the middle of our "Painting Color and Light" class, we thought it would be appropriate to do another contest based on painting color and light. We want to mix up our contest each month so this time we want a start to finish original piece of art. We want to provide a prompt for you to illustrate as if this were a real illustration assignment. 

Illustrate your interpretation of the following:

"Kaia was diving in tropical waters when she discovered it! It shimmered and glistened in the light as she wondered how to get it up to the boat before anyone discovered her secret."

We will be judging this based on 1) how well did you illustrate the text and 2) how well did you use reflective, shimmering, and luminous lighting."

My littlest guy

I was determined to be as original as possible, first, because I enjoy cooking up creative ideas and secondly, the first thing to come to mind for the story was treasure-based. How the assignment was worded, if finding something of value was basis of the story, it would felt kind of greedy (for lack of a better word). That whole plot line felt cold to me. I wracked my brain trying to find another motive for Kaia's secretiveness. What else could drive her to try to hide? It was while watching my littlest guy sleep that I got my answer. What better motive than for the safety of her, her baby and her kind.

In my illustration the story goes, Kaia sees "it", my "it" being a remotely-controlled science ocean camera. In this image, the camera (I dubbed it "AquaCam"... if you read the tiny print on it) is currently interested in a small school of fish. But it is only a matter of time before it finds something much more interesting. Kaia's reaction is cautiously hiding herself and her little one, but she soon realizes she will have to be proactive to end this threat.

What will she do? Well, once I got a hold of this idea, my mind just ran with it. I have a whole story complete with images (a la comic book) of Kaia's strategy to rid her home of this invader. I am thinking of doing more illustrations for this story and posting them here from time to time. More info on that coming soon. :)

Sloppy original value comp
As for the painting itself, it was not as easy to come together as the story was. Originally, Kaia was standing/floating/swimming closer to the edge of the reef and peering over towards the camera. Her little one was sleeping in a large cave in the reef, that was suppose to be their home. I scrapped that idea in favor for this composition instead. I tried to keep in mind to keep the contrast high between the main focus and the background. All and all, I really struggled with this one. In the time-lapse video of the painting, you can see all the hiccups I encountered while creating this piece.

I can not say I am in love with how the finished piece turned out. It bothers me to look at it. I can not put my finger on exactly why. I feel like the hair and face are unfinished but I can not figure out how to polish them off. I more than likely will fine-tune this a little before I am satisfied with it. (I was rushing through this illustration to finish by the deadline.) Still, I am happy to get it done and entered in to this month's contest! :)

UPDATE: I got 2nd place for People's Choice! Missed it by 5 votes. :)

Daily Dose

  • Dallin spiked a surprise fever of 103*F a couple of days ago. Ended up at the ER. No worries, though. All is well. Fever is thought to have been viral and after some rest and antibiotics, Dallin is back to his old self.
  • Between Dallin's scare and this painting (and one more project being revealed next week), I am very very sleep deprived. I am really feeling it today.
  • Henry pulled himself up onto his knees yesterday! He surprised himself and his reaction was priceless. It was like, "Whoa, what's going on... Wait, my body can do THAT?!" Super cute.
  • Want to check out last month's SVS contest submission? CLICK HERE. :)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Creative Craving: My Favorite "Flowers"

My favorite "flowers" from my husband. Drawing by my husband. Treat by Haagen-Dazs. :)

I have never been big on jewelry. My wedding ring is the only thing I wear. And flowers seem so fleeting for the price. It pains me to see money go to waste. So early in our relationship I let my husband know that if he ever felt like getting me flowers (either for a special occasion or "just because") that he shouldn't. Instead he should get me the pricey treat I never buy for myself, Haagen-Dazs. THAT would be the best "flowers" of all!

Since then, my husband has always come through! Ever Valentine's Day, after I gave birth to each of our children, occasionally on my birthday, and some times for no reason, he surprises me with my favorite "flowers".

Valentine's Day 2007
Always one of my favorite flavors, Creme Brulee or Mint Chip, he usually prints out a picture of a bouquet of flowers and tapes it to the front of the pint. This year, after 11 Valentine's Days married together, he decided to flex his creative muscles further and draw the flowers out by hand. He is more a math/techy guy, very left-brain. As you can see, the drawing is simple but so very sweet. It is the effort I admire the most. Just imagining him sitting down with a piece of paper and doodling and THEN coloring brings a smile to my face.

So to my husband: Thank you, dear. You made Valentine's extra sweet!

P.S. Some might wonder, why doesn't he get Haagen-Dasz AND flowers. To them I say, "That could have been TWO (maybe more) pints of Haagen-Dazs." :)

Daily Dose

  • FYI, our house is currently having a scotch tape shortage after our kids discovered and use up all the rolls in one sitting. The rubber bands were very "Macgyver" of him.
  • I am working on three new projects at the moment (along side my other big projects that I am always working on). They are all very time-consuming but one should be finished next week. Stay tuned.
  • My Thumbprint Valentine's card has gotten pretty popular! I am surprised such a simple little idea has been clicked on so much. Want to check it out? CLICK HERE.
  • I soooo need a hair cut. It has literally been over a year since my last one. I am trying to decide if I should get a trim or change the whole style. I'll get back to you with a verdict on that soon. :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Creative Craving: Thumbprint Hearts Valentine's Day Cards

Thumbprint Hearts Valentine's Day Card

2014 is so weird.
The first time in history a year omits January.
Only 11 months in this year, I guess.
Well, at least that's how it feels like!

Can you believe it is only a few days before Valentine's day already!!!

For those of you looking for an easy craft that can include the whole family, here is a quick tutorial that worked well for our family. All you need is some white cardstock, some leftover scrapbook paper and craft paint. 

1.) First, I cut out a piece long narrow piece of white cardstock. Mine was approximately 2 1/2 inches wide and 7 inches tall. I wanted to incorporate the whole family so I went with this tall narrow layout, but if you have more or fewer members of the family, a square shape or any other shape for that matter, would also look adorable as well. 

2.) Then I used a paper plate as a palette and squirted out a little dab of various paint colors. My color choices were limited to what I had on hand and then each member of the family picked out their favorite from there. 

3.) Then the grown ups (my husband and I) dabbed out thumbs in the paint, pressed our thumbs once on scrap paper to get the excess off and then made two overlapping thumbprints on the prepared cardstock to make a heart. 

I love keys!

4.) The kids had a slightly different approach. They are all fairly young (6 years old, 2 years old and 7 months) so to prevent a finger painting free-for-all, I used their little thumbs as stamps which I directed. They just handed over their hands and I did the dipping, dabbing and pressing. Voila, cute kid thumbprint hearts! No worries, for the kid's participation and after washing up, they got a clean sheet of cardstock to paint (with a paint brush) to their heart's content. 

5.) Lastly, I mounted the thumb-printed cardstock onto a folded piece of coordinating scrapbook paper. 

6.) Optional: To make it even cuter, I opted to have a "Thumbprint Key" on the inside left-side of the card (opposite the sentiment side) so that the recipients would know who was who. P.S. I love legend/keys!

I made several of these via an assembly line style system and it took no time at all. It was fun, relatively unmessy (considering there was paint involved) and cost me nothing out-of-pocket (because I had the materials on hand). If you are looking for something fun to do with the family for Valentine's, give this a try! :)

With an assembly line set up, you can churn these out quickly!

Daily Dose
  • Henry is crawling! He was "army crawling" everywhere yesterday!
  • I am nearing my 100th blog post. I can't believe it!
  • I am hoping to get another time-lapse painting video up soon. Stay tuned. :)
  • We are nearing 350 fans on the Facebook page! :D At 500, I will be having another giveaway!

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