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Kids Love Noise: 5 Easy DIY Instruments

My girls love noise! Making noise, playing music, experimenting with sound. It’s fun and a total kid thing. I find the noise makes me feel less crazy when I’ve had some hand in its creation and it is more organized. Ways I do that are to pretending we are in a band, playing their instruments along to music I actually like, and making our own  instruments…here are 5 DIY music instrument projects for kids :)

1. Celebration Cymbal


Celebration Cymbals craft

Get ready to march in a band! Lead the beat with your own colorful, fun cymbals.

Using Gel markers or permanent ones, doodle and design patterns and shapes, swirls and curls on both sides of two aluminum pie pans. Create a look as striking as the sounds you’ll make!

Hold the pans by their rims and clap them together.  (If you are feeling really creative you can hot glue pipe cleaners as handles on to the outside middle of the plate).

2. Paper Plate Maraca

This Paper Plate Maraca is an easy homemade instrument. Fill it with what ever you have around the house and you’re ready to make some music! These also make great noise makers for special occasions!

Here’s what you’ll need…

• 2 Paper plates
• Glue or stapler
• Dried beans, unpopped popcorn or small rocks
• Paint and brush, markers or crayons

Here’s how you make it…

1. Paint your paper plates any color and design you choose – eating side down.

2. Once the paint is dry fill one paper plate with dried beans, popcorn, rocks or anything you have around the house that will make noise. Glue the paper plates together, and you’re done!


3. Water Bottle Maraca

Dig through the recycling bin and make this Water Bottle Maraca, a great homemade musical instrument for children of all ages! These also make great noise makers for New Years, birthdays or other special occasions!

Here’s what you’ll need

• Empty water bottle with lid
• Masking tape
• Paint/markers
• Popcorn/dried beans

Here’s how you make it…

1. Wrap your water bottle from top to bottom with masking tape.

2. Decorate your maraca by drawing or painting a unique design on the masking tape.

3. Fill your water bottle up with popcorn or dried beans, put the lid back on, and then shake, shake, shake!

You could also wrap your maraca in different colored duct tape if you have it lying around the house!



This is an easy way to make a guitar using an old shoe box or tissue box, rubber bands, scissors, a paper-towel tube, and a pencil.

  • Find an old shoe box, tissue box, or other cardboard box (cereal boxes work great!)
  • Have an adult cut an oval-shaped hole in the top.
Stretch a few rubber bands around the box and over the hole.
Put a pencil under the rubber bands on one side.
Optional steps. Tape on a paper-towel tube and decorate the box.


5. Rainstick

 Supplies needed:

  • A paper towel tube or other long cardboard tube
  • Aluminum foil
  • Small dried beans (like lentils), unpopped popcorn, dry rice, or tiny pasta.
  • Brown paper (from a grocery bag) or construction paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Crayons or markers
Trace around the end of your tube onto a piece of brown paper (or construction paper). Draw a bigger circle around that circle and then draw a lot of spokes between the two circles.
Cut along the spokes.
Put glue on the spokes and glue the cap onto one end of your tube.
Cut a piece of aluminum foil that is about one and half times the length of your tube and about 6 inches wide.
Crunch the aluminum foil into two long, thin, snake-like shapes. Then twist each one into a spring shape.
Put the aluminum foil springs into your tube. Pour some dry beans, dry rice, or unpopped popcorn into your tube. The tube should only be about 1/10 full. You can experiment to see how different amounts and different types of seeds and beans change the sound.
Make another cap from brown paper (the same as the first three steps) and cap your tube.


Optional: Decorate the tube by covering it with brown paper or construction paper, and then making designs with crayons or markers (or cut-out paper or stickers). Rainforest designs are nice, especially brightly-colored butterflies, frogs, and flowers. Tiny construction paper butterflies (like the one on the right) are nice glued onto the rainstick.

Have fun and make some noise!!!

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Explaining the airplane safety card…to my three year old

One of the requirements of parenting is answering questions. A LOT of questions. Some questions are funny and some questions we wish we didn’t have to answer, but we do. Here is how a Q&A session went on an airplane flight from SEATTLE to PARIS with my three-year old daughter.

My three-year old got a hold of the airplane “Safety card” from the seat pocket in front of her. It didn’t help that the flight attendant pointed it out but I guess that is their job. I’d like to say this card held her attention for about an hour. That would even seem long…but no! It held her attention from Seattle to Paris with about a two-hour nap break mid-flight. That’s over EIGHT HOURS!!! The question and answer session went something like this. .

Trigger warning: If you are afraid of flying or the like this post will not be helpful…

Q&A about the airplane safety card. With a three-year old. The questions in bold are my little sweets and the answers are mine. The italics are the comments I was really thinking but couldn’t say for obvious reasons.

Is this a plane? Yes. What’s the grey stuff? Smoke. Why is there smoke? Something got too hot. Is that fire? Yep. In the plane? Yep. Why? Well, sometimes when things get too hot there are flames.

Shoot, now I’ve done it. I should have said that was mist or fog or anything but smoke….

Is the plane landing in the water? Yep. Will we land in the water? I really don’t think so. But then there is a slide, see? Yes, I see it. What is the lady doing? Sliding down the slide. But it has the red no circle, why? Well, that means no sitting at the top, you have to jump down the slide a little. Why can’t I just slide? We hope we don’t have to slide. Why? Well that means the airplane had to land somewhere else instead of the airport.

It is not a fun slide!! It is a death slide, if you aren’t dead already. You never want to slide down a plane slide!! It is not a good thing. AT ALL!! No sliding!

But there is a boat, can I go in the boat? No sweetie, we won’t be going in that boat. Like Grampys boat? No. Not really. Why is the man hanging off the side of the boat? Maybe there are other people in it. Like kids? Maybe kids. Then why can’t I go in the boat? Because I told you that we hope we don’t have to. Why? Because that means there is an emergency. What’s an emergency? When something doesn’t go right.

At this point our plane neighbors are snickering and I’m thinking….It is not a sky and sea adventure. That is a rescue boat to get in if the plane crashes. That is not a fun No boat, no slide. Nada!! Oh dear god, please let’s never have to go in the rubber raft boat after sliding down a plane slide. I guess though that would mean we didn’t burn up with the plane or die on impact. Maybe it would be a good thing to make it actually to the boat. But then there is hypothermia, starvation, dehydration, sharks…god, we’d just die there. That man hanging off the side may not have legs, because they were ripped off in the crash…that’s why he isn’t in the boat. Can’t get in. No raft, no slide, no water at all should be associated with any airplane flight!!

Is this a picture of pointy shoes? Yes. With the red no circle? Yep. So you can’t wear pointy shoes on the slide? Nope.

Just don’t wear heels when you fly ever. Not a practical footwear. Running to catch almost missed flight…if you have to for a job later in life, pack slippers type flats for the plane. You will not be wearing your heels when you’re crawling through the smoke about to jump out of a burning plane. Your fashionable shoes won’t matter! Jimmy Choos save no-one.

Why is the lady crawling on the floor? Because of the smoke. Why is there smoke? Because something got too hot. You told me not to crawl on the floor, right? Yes, I did because it’s dirty. Is she getting dirty? Yes, probably but if there is smoke it’s ok. Remember the air is less smoky by the ground. But I still do not want you crawling around on the ground. But what if there is smoke? Then it’s ok.

Oh my god!! We already talked about the smoke already. We hope there is NEVER EVER SMOKE!! And stay off the gross carpet of the plane. Please!!

Is that how you open the door? Yes. Can I open the door? No! Kids don’t open the door.

Reminder to self to never sit by the doors on a plane with my daughter, EVER!

Is that a picture of a phone?  Yes. With the red no circle? Yes. So no phones allowed? Yep. Is that why you won’t let me play a game on your phone? No, that’s because you can’t use the phone on the airplane.

Is that a suitcase? Yes. With the red no circle? Yes. I can’t bring my backpack down the slide? Nope, not if we land in the water. And we don’t want to slide!! Are we going to land in the water? I hope not. But then we could maybe use the slide? We don’t want to ever use an airplane slide. But what if I really like to slide? When we land we’ll go to the park.

Enough about the slide!! It is not like jump planet or any of the inflatables you love! It is horrible and we do not want to slide. No more safety talking. It won’t probably matter if the plane is on fire or in the water. We won’t even know because we are unconscious or worse! I don’t want to talk about this anymore.

Put the card away. Ok Mommy.  For the love of God!!

(5 minutes later the card is back out and the Q & A started again). She must have it memorized…ugh I dread when she’s older and I have to revise my less is more answer system ;)

I do believe the benefits of seeing the world out-weigh any chance of an airplane emergency :)

airline safety card


* thanks wordpress  kill your darlings editing challenge for getting me to think more about airplane safety than I thought I ever could ;)

5 Fun Fall Crafts!! In 10 Steps or Less :)

image credit: pinterest

Project 1: Fall Pumpkins!!  Re-use those paper grocery bags hanging around with this easy project :)

Step One: Get a brown paper grocery bag

Step Two: Draw a pumpkin shape on the outside, write over any logo or writing it won’t matter

Step Three: Cut out your “pumpkin”, you will end up with two identical pumpkin cut outs.

Step Four: Place the pumpkin cutouts together with the logo or writing on the inside!

Step Five: Staple or hole punch along the edge of the pumpkins holding them together. If you use the hole punch option use yarn to “sew” the sides together leaving a little space at the bottom.

Step Six: Use all most all of the rest ( save a small piece for a stem and leaf) of the paper bag to stuff your pumpkin. tear into large pieces and crumple those and push into the opening you left.

Step Seven: Either staple or finish “sewing” you pumpkin closed.

Step Eight: Use the last piece of the bag to cut out a leaf and a stem for your pumpkin. either glue or staple on.

Step Nine: Paint the pumpkin any colors you wish. Can be made with a face as a jack o lantern or fall colors.

Step Ten: Hang and enjoy!!




photo credit:

 Project 2: Hand Print Trees!! Easy Treesy :)

Step One: Lay out a large piece of art paper

Step Two: Paint your childs hand, wrist to mid forearm with brown paint.

Step Three: Press the painted arm on the art paper. This is the tree :)

Step Four: On a paper plate or art tray put the colors of paint you want for leaves.

Step Five: Let the child use their fingers to make the tree leaves. Dip finger tips into the paint and press around the hand print top of the tree.



image credit: pinterest (original not found)

Project Three: Leaf Drawings: a study in leaf composition

Step One: Collect some fall leaves

Step Two: Cut the leaves in half

Step three: Glue the leaf halves onto a piece of art paper

Step Four: Using colored pencils or crayons have your child try to draw the rest of the leaf matching shape and color of the real leaf


image credit: pinterst (original

Project Four: Fall Apple Prints (great use for oldish apples)

Step One: Apples, cut in half (either length or width)

Step Two: Set out art paper or a long strip of newsprint

Step Three: Paper plates of paint

Step Four: Dip the apples into the paint and press on the paper

Step Five: Voila! Apple prints! If you print on large enough paper pieces they make great wrapping paper :)



image credit:

Project 5: Leaf People or animals or monsters or???

Step One: Gather various leaves

Step Two: Glue leaves to paper to create whatever your heart desires!!

Step Three: Let dry and add googly eyes and any other facial features :)




Happy Fall!!




Here’s to the year ahead

My daughter is starting kindergarten tomorrow. I know there have been a million starting school posts and I actually already posted one, WooHoo, She’s Off To School...but tonight as I lay next to my daughter looking at her while my husband read The Night Before Kindergarten I finally felt something more than excitement for her to start school.

I felt that loss of time. I was holding her hand looking at her long narrow fingers with sparkly purple nails, wrapped around mine. I was remembering her baby fingers, so cubby and so small. The teeny tiny pink nails…

I felt hope for her future as I watched her eyes sparkly with excitement for the new adventure ahead…

I felt my eyes well and my heart swell as I thought back to all the firsts we have experienced so far. Hers and mine. All her firsts have also been my firsts as a mother. I had never thought about that before. I have always told her that our hearts are connected and that they always will be. The pull of those heart-strings is amazing.

I still felt my initial feelings of excitement for her to start school but I also felt anticipation for all the new firsts this school year will bring.

Here’s to the year ahead, hers and mine <3


A ‘One Lovely Blog Award’ !!!



Blogging is something I am new to but completely in love with! I had no idea of the blogosphere (as it is called) and the wonder of talent within it. One of these talents is Sueju Takeshi the awesome writer behind Takeshi’s Flight!! He has just  nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award, which I humbly accept :) Go check out his blog for creative writing, fiction, non-fiction, poetry…really he beautifully writes it all.


Thank you very much!!



The rules for accepting this award are simple.

1. Thank the person who has nominated you. Provide a link to his/her blog.

2. List the rules and display the award image.

3. Include 7 facts about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and let them know that they have been nominated.  This is a way to introduce others to bloggers that you love.

5. Display the award logo and follow the blogger who nominated you.


Ok, fact time, here are 7 about me.

1. I love rescuing senior pets from animal shelters. I am a huge advocate for giving a home to pets in need. We recently adopted Lacy a 8 1/2 year old Saint Bernard weighing in a 145 pounds. She is a beautiful addition to our family.

2. I have never sung Karaoke! Never-Ever!! It is terrifying. I would rather jump out of an airplane, with a parachute of course!!

3. I once worked on an organic farm. Harvesting veggies, washing them, packing CSA boxes and even selling the produce from a roadside stand. I loved it. Being that close to the earth and your food is a wonderful connection to make. We just started our first organic garden here at our house.

4. I have an online soap business Tea Tree Soap Co. where I sell the soap I make, cut, and wrap by hand. It is a labor of love (and loathing at times) but it’s really nice to not have bought soap for over 7 years!!

5. I have always loved writing, ever since being chosen to attend a ‘young authors conference’ when I was 7 years old. Jasper Tompkins was the featured author. I now read his books to my daughters. I have decided to give some time to my writing.

6. Being a mom is a lot harder than I thought. It is also more rewarding, lovely and humbling too.

7. I love cooking shows but make the simplest dinners possible.

And now for my nominations for the One Lovely Blog Award!!!

1. Sass & Balderdash

2. The Dazed Mommy

3. Elizabeth Hein-Scribbling in the Storage Room

4. Teachezwell Blog

5. Mom of 1 and 10

6. The Old Fellow Goes Running

7. Weekend Sprout’s Mini Garden

8. Getting Fit After 30

9. Cee’s Photography

10. adjusting your focus

11. Behind the Willows

12. iamthemilk

13. Splended Sass

14. Daily life With Pets

15. The Ambitious Drifter

You are all lovely bloggers who deserve this award. I hope this brings more readers your way and a sense of appreciation for all the work you put into your blogs! *There is no time limit to passing this award on to others.

Keep posting!!  ~Megan




Meeting the Teacher

Meeting the teacher. Exciting right? Or terrifying? Or both?! I am not sure how I feel about it at all.

I was a teacher. I know they are scary. Not bad scary, just scary in the fact that we  look parents in the eye and take mental note of everything you say. We analyze you as parents projecting what we see at your child. We can’t help it. I could usually tell exactly where a child picked up a behavior from. Yep, you guessed it. They watch and learn those sweet little beings of yours. They watch and learn….The apple does not fall far from the tree. And just an extra  tidbit of info , no, teachers don’t really like apples. Yes, a symbol of knowledge, but a bad taste in classroom decor. I refused to have the apple theme in my classroom. If you want to bring a gift to a teacher, choose anything but an apple.

So, here I am. No longer a teacher since starting my family. Home for the last almost 6 years and now it’s my turn to be that parent. The one behind the too small table because it’s made for a child. Yes, the teacher is comfortable there because they are used to it. They have practice. Parents…Not so much. I am out of practice. I know it will feel weird.

I will fidget…that will be mentally noted. Now that I mention it my daughter fidgets. That will be pinned on me for sure. I’m sure I will ramble on answering questions but adding more than necessary. It will be noted too.  I will ask my own streaming barrage of questions dominating the conversation. It will be noted. I will talk about what I think my daughter needs to learn and what she knows. Her strengths and areas of improvement. My opinions will be noted.

I will be seen as an overbearing ex teacher turned crazy mom. We were the worst ones, when I was teaching (and yet to be a parent) the teacher parents. The only thing worse were the still teaching parents whose kids were at the school they taught at and in your class. That was really terrifying. They were always popping into the class on their breaks just checking in on their child (meaning you). So I’m not quite at that level. Yet, anyway.

I get it. Part of me wants to go back to teaching so I can be in my daughters schools, checking in during the day. I would be that still teaching teacher parent. It would be nice to see inside the classroom more. For now I will just have to be the room parent volunteering mom. The book order placing, reading helper, art docent if needed. I will chaperone field trips and bake for fundraisers.

As for the teacher meet and greet  tomorrow, if I have any hope of being allowed in the classroom, I think I’ll send my husband. Let him be the parent being assessed by our daughters new teacher. He will make for an interesting study :)




My Birthday Tanka Runneth Over

My thirty-ninth  year,



Today September second.



Content and filled with



Joy, love, family and friends.



My birthday tanka is full!



*This weeks WordPress weekly writing challenge was to write a tanka (related to the haiku, probably cousins) which traditionally contains five lines instead of haiku’s three, and 31 syllables instead of 17. The structure is that of a haiku followed by two additional lines of seven syllables each: 5-7-5-7-7. It just happened to be my birthday :)


The garden keeps growing!

Our pumpkins are getting bigger!!

Our pumpkins are getting bigger!!



Banana Peppers!

Chocolate Bell Peppers!

Chocolate Bell Peppers!




Hello Kitty is not a cat…(sarcastic humor)

Hello Kitty is not a cat. I hear it’s a huge shock to cat lovers. Tweet worthy wide-spread panic. I know!  #hellokitty A shocker. Hello Kitty, a toy Designed by Yuko Yamaguchi of Sanrio. A multi billion dollar a year franchise. They don’t care what you think she is, as long as you buy her.

At least as of late there is no mistake that Hello Kitty is still a she. Give it time. She could turn out to be gender neutral. I haven’t seen any genitalia on the Hello Kitty dolls we have. Thank God! Could you imagine…a pussy’s private parts … I  know, that was a close call. Along with missing female Hello Kitty is also missing a mouth. My daughters wonder how she eats. I don’t care. I give them washable markers and let them have at it. Hello Kitty has had all sorts of mouths, teeth, tongues, whatever, hearts, stars…When you have a blank canvas where your (girl or kitty) mouth should be, the sky is the limit. It is nice because she can be all the emotions they feel, which I found out is the exact reason she is missing that feature. If you were looking for an actual fact.

So, here’s what being  parent has taught me. Just a little friendly advice for all those in Kitty shock…These toys are all make-believe. Yes, Hello Kitty is a toy.  Hello Kitty is not real but she can be real in your imagination. That’s the great part about our brains. The imagination part. Yes, I’m sure that part has a real name and the imagination part is a function, but I don’t have time to look all that up. Anyway, as a mom I do know you can pretend that Hello Kitty is a girl, or a cat, or the personification of a cat. It doesn’t matter. Pretend whatever you want to. It could be a dinosaur pretending to be a cat. That’s the fun with toys. You can do that. The fact of whether Hello Kitty is truly a cat is a moot point. Doesn’t matter. Just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder so is kitty-ness, or cattiness…depending on who or what you are beholding.

Let it go. Panic about something you can’t control. Hello Kitty can be whatever you want. So, cat lovers in despair, it’s ok. If need be you can always turn your affection to The Cheshire Cat or Garfield, both undeniably cats…or are they?

hello kitty

Here is a link to a real article abut the Hello Kitty interview which started it all,





My first magazine article submission…

Ugh! I just submitted an article to a magazine hoping to be considered for publication. The “Ugh” is because I just re-read it again for the 3 thousandth time and noticed an error. Two others had read it multiple times as well and the error wasn’t noticed. But it’s there. A shift from the plural to the singular. From a their to a her. It’s in the first paragraph. If I were an editor I wouldn’t read the next 1,000 words. I am bummed out. Nothing like a strike out first time at bat.

I guess that’s the thing. You take a chance, you finally decide that your writing is ready to send. You can only adjust and cut and move and paste so many times before the time is there to throw your hands into the air then slowly reach down and hit the submit button. Breathe in and out. I guess I should be proud that I actually hit submit. I know that there will be more times I attempt to have any writing published.  It is  a journey that I am prepared to take, to learn from mistakes and missteps and even mis-submissions.

Blogging is my practice to do what I would like to do for real. I think most bloggers share that dream. I know there will be many rejections where my pitch or my style or tone is not what is being looked for, but I’m hoping at some point it will be the right fit. Cinderella’s glass slipper in the writing world so to speak. I will wait for the messenger to come to my email inbox with the official invitation and I will be over-joyed. Just like being invited to the ball. The invitation to write will be that sweet. To see it in print will be the icing on the cake.

I have patience. I have 8-10 weeks left to wait to hear from the magazine I submitted my article to. I have that long to also find other magazine and topics that interest me and work on some pitches and write-ups. This is a forever process. At least I noticed the mistake myself. It will be easier to swallow if I hear a ‘no’ for this one. Until then I will keep writing and I will keep proof-reading. Obviously I need to re-read my writing 3,001 times and have more than two others read it as well. What are mistakes but opportunities to learn.

Any takers for the job? :)



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