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Hellmann's Craft 1

Do Your Kids Know Where Their Food Comes From? Plus, A Fun Family Craft!

Disclosure: This blog post was created with Hellmann’s® and JONES Voice

We had the hardest time getting our kids to eat well when they were little. I’m not sure exactly where we went wrong but it seems unfair to put the blame on the kids since they were so little and impressionable. Even up until just recently it feels like all they would want to eat was pizza and cooked spaghetti with butter. Not ideal, to say the least.

A lot of the problem has stemmed from our fast paced lifestyle. With my work hours and the kids’ multiple weekly activities, there hasn’t been a ton of time for meal preparation and we’ve found ourselves eating out a lot more than we’d like. With that has also come a complacency when it comes to the food we buy. We sometimes make the assumption that the food we purchase contains ingredients that we feel good about feeding to our children, without actually checking the ingredients out for ourselves.

After finally swallowing our pride and admitting that we were not, in fact, perfect parents, my wife and I sat down and had a long discussion about ways we could turn our eating habits around. We decided to start by purchasing small vegetable plants that the kids would be responsible for. They have to water them each day and take care of them as they are their own. So far it has been going really well as the kids love being responsible for their own plants. The hope is that once the vegetables start to grow, the kids will eat them with the pride of knowing that they grew them themselves. Time will tell but we are hopeful!

The other great thing about the vegetable plants is that it is getting the kids outside to interact with nature instead of being locked onto a computer or staring at the TV all the time. It’s tough raising kids in the digital age because it’s all new to us and there always seems to be something distracting us from slowing down and enjoying nature, and each other.

After watching the Hellmann’s #RealFoodMovement Facebook live stream, I was happy to learn that I could at least rely on what goes into the mayonnaise we have been serving the kids. Check out this great video from the #RealFoodMovement campaign that features three families visiting a canola farm in Saskatchewan. They not only got to watch what goes into making a perfect jar of mayonnaise, but they also go to eat a super delicious meal.

As part of the program, Hellmann’s challenged me to try a simple craft with the kids. What I loved about the activity is that it taught them about patience and the joys of slowing down and enjoying family time. We created our very own microwavable heating pad out of material and rice. Not being a crafting wizard myself, I was happy that the whole family got involved and I think we did a pretty fantastic job! When I say we, I of course mean that my wife and children really knocked it out of the park with very little help from their butterfingered father…

Hellmann's Craft 3

The best part about our home made pad is that it can be used as a heating pad and also put in the freezer as an ice pack! Anyone who either has children or has aching bones knows how often the heating/freezing pads come in handy and now we don’t have to waste more money on the electric versions! It was easier than I expected it to be to create them and you can make your own microwavable bags in just 3 easy steps:

Step 1 – No pattern necessary, simply cut two pieces of fabric in a square/rectangle of your desired size.
Step 2 – Sew three of the 4 sides together to make a pouch.
Step 3 – Fill pouch with the seed/grain of your choice: canola seed, rice, wheat, barley, oatmeal, beans, flax.
Step 4 – Sew up the open side and enjoy!

Hellmann's Craft 4

Piece of cake!! Best of luck with your activity and don’t forget to check out Hellmann’s on Facebook and @HellmannsCanada on Twitter! You can also check out more about Hellmann’s and “Where does your food come from” by visiting Hellmann’s on Facebook.

TMNT Craft

The Ninja Turtle Heard Round The World

Well, now you’ve all gone and done it, internet. My poor, innocent young boy, who knew nothing of the internet is now a raging attention seeker looking for his next fix. Every night before bed time, my kids get between 30 minutes to an hour of creative time in their rooms. This can include doing crafts, colouring, dancing, singing or whatever, as long it is something creative. The other night, my son decided to practice his scissor skills and made this very cool Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Leonardo craft.

He told me it was for my desk at work, an offer which he has since rescinded, and I was so impressed that I shared it on all my social networks. In passing, I mentioned to him that you guys liked it too and told him it had garnered 30 “Likes” in under a half an hour, plus read him a few of the comments. Had I known what his reaction to this was going to be, I probably would have just left it alone. In the next thirty minutes, he asked me how many people liked it over 3,000 times (numbers may be exaggerated) and like a rookie I checked every time.

Canadian Dad TMNT

When the picture reached 70 likes I jokingly told him he was internet famous, to which he replied, “I know, it’s because I make great stuff”… Monster. Created. Not one to make his living off one work of art, my son then proceeded to create the rest of the ninja turtle team, and then quickly asked me to take a picture of it so he could see how many people would like it on the computer. I took the picture but told him we needed to wait a couple days to avoid turtle burnout.

That brings us to today. His newest work is shown in the header of this post and seeing as how you are the ones who created this monster by liking his original work, I figured that you should probably leave a comment here telling him what you think of his complete collection of ninja turtles. I mean, do you really want to break his little heart?

How To Make Your Own Star Wars Lightsaber

image

After my appearance on CTV Ottawa Morning Live, which I’ve embedded below, I had a few requests about how to make the Star Wars Lightsabers that we featured and figured I’d share it in post form. Below are step by step instructions, with pictures.

Supplies Needed

Star Wars Lightsaber Supplies

 

 

* 1 Pool Noodle

 * Duct Tape

 * Electrical Tape

 * Any type of knife (or scissors)

 

Step By Step

1. Cut Noodle In Half

1. Cut Noodle In Half

2. Put Two Strips Of Duct Tape On Bottom To Cover Hole

2. Put Two Strips Of Duct Tape On Bottom To Cover Hole

3. Flatten Tape Around Bottom

3. Flatten Tape Around Bottom

4. Wrap One Strip Of Duct Tape Around Bottom of Noodle

4. Wrap One Strip Of Duct Tape Around Bottom of Noodle

5. Wrap Two More Rows Of Duct Tape.

5. Wrap Two More Rows Of Duct Tape.

6. Wrap On Strip Of Electrical Tape

6. Wrap On Strip Of Electrical Tape

7. One Strip Of Electrical Tape Where Duct Tape Ends

7. One Strip Of Electrical Tape Where Duct Tape Ends

8. Cut Electrical Tape To Create On/Off Buttons. (Purists: Feel Free To Get Creative Here)

8. Cut Electrical Tape To Create On/Off Buttons. (Purists: Feel Free To Get Creative Here)

9. My Kids Liked That I Put Their Initials On Theirs. Also, Less Fighting Over Them!

9. My Kids Liked That I Put Their Initials On Theirs. Also, Less Fighting Over Them!

And That’s It! Get out there and enjoy your new, harmless lightsabers! Here’s my video from CTV Ottawa Morning Live, where I battle interviewer, Jeff Hopper. Have a Great Day!!

How To Make Awesome Crafts With Your Kids: Dad Edition

Dad's Book of Awesome Projects

I am not handy. There, I said it. I don’t know how to build a deck or a planter. I can’t fix a car or figure out how to fix a leaky pipe. Heck, I am not even confident in my ability to paint a room properly. That’s not to say I don’t try these things. I’m just not good at them.

That brings me to today’s topic. I picked up Mike Adamick’s, “Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects”, mostly because I was tired of making the same old crafts with the kids and I thought it might help me with my aversion to crafts and general unhandiness (it’s a word, get over it).

Where most “How To” books fail due to lack of information on the “How To” part, Mike’s step by step instructions make it so that even “accidentally glue gunned my fingers together” old me can complete any project with ease. Case and point, this weekend my children and I took to the dollar store to complete our latest Awesome project: Canvas Art!

Dollar Store Craft Materials

You’ll notice I mentioned the Dollar Store. That’s because this entire project, with all the supplies you see above, cost us a whopping $11! I used to make fun of my wife for keeping the old egg cartons but as it turns out, they are pretty good for holding multiple paint colours. So…sorry, hunny. I simply turned to page 139 in the book and went to work on everything we needed to create our very own Jackson Pollock. As you can see, while my son chose to stick to the book’s task of flinging the paint at the canvas, my daughter had a different idea about what Mike should have written about.

Dad Awesome Paint Project Completed

In the end, the best part is the quality time we got to spend, flinging paint, laughing and creating incredible works of art for my “half man garage, half day care toy pile”. So if you are looking for something to get for your husband this Father’s Day and beyond, I highly recommend Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects. If I can take this book and create something amazing, anybody can! On top of that, it has inspired me to take on a few more projects I have been thinking about. Stick around and I’ll be posting them once they are done.