for Kids Creative Chaos (Activities)

Sergeant's Calming Collars for Cats

The Calming Collars from Sergeant's Helped Calm a Crazy Cat and Soothe a Stressed One

The Sergeant's Calming Collars really worked for our little furball. She is constantly scratching and rolling off tables and generally acting crazy, so when Mom it Forward contacted me about doing a compensated post for them I was excited!  Sergeants Facebook page, Pet Health Central is also going to have a sweepstakes when they reach 500K followers. Hop over, because they are really close. Like Sergeant's on Facebook.

Sergeants Calming Collars for Cats Do they work?
Fluffy Bunny wearing Sergeant's Calming Collar.  That's right, Fluffy Bunny!
You might note, that our little kitty, Fluffy Bunny, isn't very fluffy. She had been scratching and chewing her fur off lately with a skin disorder or due to stress. It seems like she scratches and bites so hard that she leaves scabs and pulls her fur out. She also plays so wildly that she oftens scratches her eyes. In the beginning, I thought she had pink eye, but after watching her closely, I soon realized she was scratching her eyes. One minute, she is sitting calmly next to you and the next, she is rolling on a table and crashing to the floor. We fear, she will hit her head or hurt herself. Nope... she NEVER lands on her feet.

Sergeants Calming Collar with Pheromone technology.
Sergeant's Calming Collar with Pheromone technology.

She had a rough start to life and isn't fond of being in the house all of the time. She is also mean to the other cats. We have four that we claim and two feral cats on the property. She growls at them all, and they stand down.

She is an interesting little soul. When I received the calming collars in the mail, I tore it open and placed it on Fluffy Bunny first! She immediately licked all of the powder pheromones off her collar. Apparently, this isn't anything to fret about. She shouldn't have, but it didn't cause any harm. The idea behind the collars is they release the pheromones a mother cat would have. This pheromone release helps calm a stressed cat.

Fat cat in a Sergeant's Calming Collar.
Fat Cat in a Sergeant's Calming Collar. Okay, his name is really Tigger.
Now, Fat Cat hasn't been himself since the death of our old family cat and then a move to a new house. We thought Fluffy Bunny might help. He is happier, he moves a little more, but he eats a lot more! It is his food after all, how dare Fluffy try to eat any of it. He likes to play with her... occasionally. 

He just got fatter. No more running up and down stairs, no more interest in eating our pet cockatiel, and who has time to play when there is so much eating and sleeping to get done. He does have time to sneak around, like a little snoop, slowly walking from room to room chinning anything he can find where another cat has laid. He isn't thrilled. He is the head honcho here, even though the other two cats came with the property. He doesn't care, the house is his, and he isn't ashamed to mark his territory. He is incredibly sneaky about it, and can do it right in front of your face.

"Oh are you looking at me? Don't mind me, I am just standing here next to your new leather sofa. Let me rub against it, see how cute I am? I'm really cute. Uh-huh, you agree, I see you smiling at me, let me just wave my tail in the air and wag it like I just don't care. Right here. Right against this sofa where the other cats sleep. You didn't see a thing. Just call me Rico Suave. Wait. I smell it. Can you smell it? (She can't smell it.) Man, distraction.  All of a sudden, I feel the need to be over there. On the other side of the room, right now. Watch me run. Amazing, huh? I can still run. Yep, I see you all proud of me. Heh, heh, heh!"

And then, I have a seat on the sofa. "What the? When did this happen. I'm going to catch you and rub your nose in it, you little jerk!" Of course, Fat Cat is nowhere to be found.

See his face up there? Yeah. He HATES his calming collar, it isn't a red badge of courage. That is shame he is wearing. Does it work? Well... I'm not sure yet. Currently, he is moving even less so that helps. He hasn't been sitting guard outside the bedrooms daring the other cats to come out of their sanctuaries. So, the verdict is still out. I'm hoping. I will keep you posted. So far, so good, but he is quite the sneak. I often smell his scent mark where I least expect it.  

You've seen Fat Cat unhappy in a cat collar, now see him unhappy in a chef hat.

Full disclosure and apologies: The calming collar worked so well on Fluffy Bunny, I couldn't bear to use it on the older cats. They are calm. I want to save the other two for the cat with inappropriate marking (isn't all marking inappropriate) and the obviously mentally unstable kitty.

Now it is your turn! Tell us about your stressed kitty in the comments or on our Facebook page!

I'm loving this article on the Calming Collar, I am! They didn't ask me to say that. Please check it out to see how they are helping wildlife.

Recommended Reading:


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7 Unique Egg Carton Craft Ideas: Not just for Easter

These 7 Egg Carton Crafts aren't just for Easter!  

These Unique Craft Ideas with Egg Cartons make Great Pinterest pins and will keep the kids busy too.


Easter is coming and we expect you will have lots of extra egg cartons to recycle. We won't! We have ducks and chickens and we are always in need of new egg cartons. I decided to spare just one and make some fun preschool Easter crafts with egg cartons. I also took a tour around the Kid Blogger Network and Pinterest and found a few more things to do with egg cartons.  Enjoy!


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Egg Carton Craft Ideas: Fairy Blossom Lights
Egg Carton Fairy Lights from Red Ted Art blog.

These egg carton crafts can be made year round to help recycle all those pesky cartons. They just beg to be used up, just like the drink carriers at fast food restaurants.

  • This one is perfect for anytime, but EXCELLENT for Halloween. Mayhem will adore this one. We made a bunny (see below), sure, he's cute, but we didn't think very far outside the box. You can find this little egg carton kitty over at Storknet.com.

Cute Cat from Egg Carton for Halloween.
Egg carton craft for Halloween.
  • Are you looking for a truly unique, Easter art project for your classroom? This one from Unicorn Hat Party blog artsy enough for older elementary school kids and easy enough for preschoolers.

Egg Carton Art Project for Kids.
Egg Carton Art Project for Kids.
  • How about an Egg Carton Pirate Ship craft? This one from Craft Project Ideas blog is fairly easy, little ones might need some help, but make two and you can have a race in the bathtub! If your bathtub isn't easy to navigate a baby pool or a wallpaper tub make a perfect ocean for your creation.

Egg Carton Pirate Ship Craft for Kids from Craft Project Ideas blog.

Egg carton gardening with kids.
Egg carton gardening with kids.
  • We also made mini-masks, maybe you could try it on your cat like we did with our mini-chef hat? Perhaps, you could tape it to a popsicle stick or wooden craft stick and call it a puppet, or a little mask for your face?
egg carton mask puppet
Egg Carton Mask - just add a craft stick.
Egg Carton Bunny Craft for Kids.
Egg Carton Bunny Craft for Kids.

Egg Carton Bunny back, we used scraps, but you could add a cottonball tail
Egg Carton Bunny back, we used scraps, but you could add a cottonball tail.

Mayhem's egg carton "Rainbow" bunny. He lost an ear, poor thing.

Recommended Reading:

What Is Easter?

Make a Phineas Mask with an Egg Carton

Happy Easter, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff

Fun Things to Make at Home
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April Calendar of Special Days and Holidays for Curriculum Planning

These April Holidays and Special Days are the Best for Planning your Classroom or Homeschool Curriculum

April! It's Spring in the states. We look forward to Spring Activities outdoors and bringing flowers indoors. Easter generally occurs in April, but sometimes March. When is Easter 2014? This year, Easter falls on April 20. We've found some fun, unique April Holidays that will keep your curriculum exciting and new!

Calendar of April Holidays and Special Days for Kids Activities
Calendar of April Holidays and Special Days.

April Holidays and Special Days


1 April Fool’s Day Play
Play April Fool's Jokes for Kids on your Family!
Make a Fake Cake to fool your friend for a birthday party.
8 Draw a Picture of a Bird Day

9 Name Yourself Day
Choose the name you always wanted and tell all of your friends to refer to you as your favorite name. Just call me Yoda.

11 National Cheese Fondue Day
What can you dip in Cheese? Do you have a special recipe for fondue? We'd love for you to leave a link in the comments.
12 National Grilled Cheese Day
Grilled Cheese Day? Make some Grilled Cheese for the Kids or maybe Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly.

14 Look Up at the Sky Day
A Day where you go outside and look up at the sky and enjoy it.

15 Rubber Eraser Day
Rubber Eraser Day? Do you have a cool eraser? I remember having a teddy bear eraser in all the colors of the rainbow.

16 Day of the Mushroom
Celebrate Mushrooms! Make a mushroom craft in honor of Alice in Wonderland, yeah, a Toadstool is a mushroom.
20 Easter Sunday
Christians believe this is the day Jesus rose from the dead. Everyone else can enjoy the pagan celebration with the Easter Bunny, Coloring Eggs and Decorating Eggs, and having an Easter egg hunt! How to make an Easter basket from a milk jug.
22 National Jelly Bean Day
Looking for things to do with Jelly Beans? Hop around our blog, we've got lots of edible art.

24 National Pig in Blanket Day
Hotdogs in croissants, sausage in a pancake? Celebrate with a cute pig craft for kids! Make a clay pig.

27 National Pretzel Day
Hooray! It is National Pretzel Day! We've got lots of way to learn how to make pretzels at home. Heart Pretzels are fun to make. Things to do with pretzels.

Recommended Reading:

Peanut Butter And Jellyfishes Book for Kids

Books for April Fool's Day



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Activities: 10 Fun Things to Make at Home with Kids of all Ages

Stuck Inside on a Snowy or Rainy Day? Make staying at Home with the Kids a fun adventure with these Activities

In this list of 10 fun things to make at home, we've included something for boys, girls, preschooler, and teens. Kids of all ages will enjoy these fun activities to do inside on a rainy or snowy day! Best of all, you don't need a lot of fancy supplies or expert crafting skills.

1. Make a homemade lava lamp minus the light - but grab your flashlight to illuminate it. Click the link above to see a YouTube Tutorial. If you aren't so diy-iee or crafty try this kit from ALEX® Toys - Make your own Lava Lamp at Home.

Make your own Lava Lamp at home with kids
Make a Lava Lamp at home with a few supplies or use this kit from Alex Toys.

2. Make Homemade Rainbow Slushies at home. Slushes, Slush, Slushy, Icee, whatever you call it - you can make a fun party one at home with popsicles!

Make a slush drink at home for a birthday party.
Make a slush drink at home for a birthday party.

3. This Gift bag purse can be fun for little girls or teens. Do an extra good job, and it makes a great coin purse. So, for a fun teen birthday party activity recycle the gift bags and make purses for kids.

Girls' Birthday Party activity to make at home.
Girls' Birthday Party activity to make at home.

4. Cardboard Play Kitchen - Save Money and Make your own pretend stove at home.

 Cardboard Play Kitchen Make at home
Make a stove at home with a cardboard box and wrapping paper.
5. Make a Homemade sleeping Mask like this one from Henry Happened.

Make a homemade sleeping mask like this one from Henry Happened.
Want to know how to make a homemade sleeping mask? Click the link above. This is a great activity for a pre-teen or teen girl's birthday party.
6. Make an Art Exhibit at Home How about having a an Art Exhibit at home. Have the kids each draw their favorite cartoon characters and place them on display. This is a fun Art Lesson for Kids.

This is from Bunsella.com Use clay or markers to create your own art exhibit at home. Give the kids ribbons to vote for their favorite entry.

things to make at home soap bath crayons homemade
See the link above to learn how to make these soap bath crayons from Teach Beside Me blog. The kids will love this fun bath time activity.
8. That reminds me of our Fun Shaped Crayons in Soap/Candy Molds. Crayons are a fun thing to make at home.

Make your own fun shaped crayons at home.
Make your own fun shaped crayons at home.
9. Make Mini Cheeseburgers at home to eat after you craft up all of these other ideas!

10. You can make metal butterflies at home using Pop cans. butterflies for Mobile. 

How to make recycled metal butterflies at home.
Make metal butterflies like these from Gingerbread and Snowflakes.

More fun things you can make at home


Homemade Doughnuts - you can make your own donuts at home. It is easy, fun, and affordable. We have 3 Doughnut Recipe posts.



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Dr. Seuss: Daisy Head Mayzie Worksheets and Book Activities

Daisy Head Mayzie Activities for the Classroom


With Dr. Seuss's birthday just around the corner, we wanted to bring you more ways to celebrate. Daisy Head Mayzie is a popular book and has lots of activities for you to use in the classroom or in your home.


A fun book activity for a large group is the Daisy Head Mayzie Crazy Hat Booth found on the obSEUSSed blog. Gather different colors of paper, feathers, pom poms, scissors, tape and a stapler and let the kids create fun hats.

                                 Seuss-Carnival-Crazy-Hats-obSEUSSed_.jpg
Daisy Head Mayzie Crazy Hat Booth. Visit ObSEUSSed for more info.

Here is an idea you can use to make a classroom bulletin board. Start with the writing prompt, add some pictures, cut out flowers, and you end up with these cute pictures of the kids trying to remove a daisy from their heads. For the free printables and instructions head over to Tattling to the Teacher.

Daisy Head Mayzie Worksheet Writing Prompt
Daisy Head Mayzie Worksheet from Tattling for the Teacher.
bulletin board ideas for dr. seuss birthday and daisy head mayzie
Daisy Head Mayzie Bulletin Board ideas from Tattling for the Teacher.
      
The principal in the book, Daisy Head Mayzie, knew of several places daisies grow. Use a big map like they do at scholastic.com and these daisy printables to mark all the places daisies grow.

Daisy Head Mayzie Worksheet and Printables
Daisy Head Mayzie printable sheets from Shari Edwards found at Scholastic.com
                                 
The Princess and the Tot has a simple color by number daisy printable to use to celebrate Dr Seuss's birthday.

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Daisy Printable Coloring Sheet
                                         



















Of course, what is a birthday celebration without food? Crack of Dawn Crafts has this cute preschool snack of daisies that is easy to assemble and eat.

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Edible Art Daisy Snack from Crack of Dawn Crafts.
                           
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12 Games, Crafts, and Activities for Kids for St. Patrick's Day

Looking for Classroom curriculum or fun after-school activities for St. Patrick's Day, find them here!

If you are planning Saint Patrick's Day curriculum for an after-school program, homeschool, or early childhood and preschool classes, we've got everything you need from educational games to free printables to easy crafts for kids. Rather than make you search all over our site, we've rounded 12 of them up for you here, and it includes some of our very first posts from way back in 2007.
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March Calendar of Special Days and Holidays for Planning Activities for Kids

Need some unique holidays to add to Classroom curriculum or Afterschool Activities? 

We've got those and the traditional ones too. March is almost here. March brings the promise of Spring!  What activities will you plan? Did you know March is National Craft Month in the United States. It is also National Girl Scout Week (10-16).

March Calendar of Special Days and Holidays for Planning Activities for Kids
March Calendar for Planning Kids' Activities.

March Holidays and Special Days:

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My Best Option: Formula Alternatives to Breast Feeding

Formula was the best choice for us.

This post brought to you by Sam’s Club. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’m a mama of four - blessed through adoption. Choosing to adopt comes with different feeding options and needs. While working towards breastfeeding is possible with the help of your doctor and a lactation consultant, it was not the route we chose or felt was best for our family. So, formula was the best and only option for us. I wish we had known about SIMPLY RIGHT™ Infant Formulas!

My Best Option: Formula Alternatives to Breast Feeding
Happy formula fed baby.
Our oldest son, suffered from serious malnutrition when he came to us and even though he was above the age of typically needing formula, we used it in his cereal to increase the calories and nutrition that he desperately needed. One of our sons came to us as a newborn and struggled with a sensitive stomach. After trying several formulas (with our doctor’s guidance), we ended up using Similac Sensitive™ with success.

SIMPLY RIGHT™ Infant Formulas are available at Sam’s Club and in retrospect would have saved me a lot of money while still providing the important nutrition that my children needed. It even comes with three different options to best fit your baby's needs: Baby Care Gentle®, Baby Care Complete®, or Baby Care Sensitivity® SIMPLY RIGHT™ Infant Formula. They each provide the best nutrients for your infant and now include Lutein for brain and eye health. They have also recently improved their formula ingredients, included a useful scoop holder and leveler, and offer an easy open top all while being very affordable.


The bottom line is, you will get a great formula with everything you need while paying less - in fact, you can save up to $617 per year by switching to SIMPLY RIGHT™ Infant Formula. That's undeniably a wonderful savings that can be used for so many other things that your child may need.

Have you tried SIMPLY RIGHT™ Infant Formula? Has formula been something that you needed for your baby? I have four wonderful, formula-fed kiddos and I don't regret choosing formula for their early nutrition!

Visit Sponsor's Site


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Valentine's Activities that Incorporate Sensory Play

Valentine's Day Activities that are perfect for the classroom

The Sugar Aunts are back with this fun classroom Valentine activity that includes sensory play.

Valentine's Day activities are so much fun!  This party activity is perfect for classroom parties or even a themed play date. We loved the sensory aspect of it and played for a long time!  

Incorporating sensory play into learning and play activities is a great way to explore textures, scents, and so much more.  The learning that comes from sensory play is vast!  For children, sensory play builds language, self-esteem,  and independence...all as they learn through the five senses.

Our classroom Valentine's Day activity does just that, with a little fine motor thrown in!


Valentine's Day Activities and Games can incorporate sensory play.






We started with a bin of water and a half cup of pomegranate scented bath salts.  Any scent would do for this activity.  We loved the pink color of these salts and the smell was divine!


Mix the bath salts in the water until all of the salt dissolves.  Depending on the amount of water you have, you may need more or less salt.  Add a little at a time until all of the salt is dissolved.





Next, I drew a heart shaped bulls eye on our chalkboard easel.  You could also do this activity on a white board.  I added some small numbers for keeping score. 





I added some hearts cut from foam sheets to the scented water and set out a pair of kitchen tongs.  This activity alone was enough to inspire sensory play and exploration!  It was fun to just play in the sweet smelling water and grab the hearts with the tongs.

Grabbing the hearts with the tongs required fine motor coordination (especially to use the tongs correctly and not with two hands!)  Little Guy, age 4, was able to do this, but tended to switch over to using two hands on the tongs.  What a great pre-scissor skill this was! 

Eye-hand coordination was needed to grab the hearts with the tongs as they swished around in the water.  As we did, we were enjoying the scent of pomegranate!


After they caught a heart in the tongs, they could apply them to the bulls-eye.  Little Guy closed his eyes and tried to get the heart into the middle.  Baby Girl (age 2) liked to just play around in the water and stick the hearts up on the chalk board.  This was a good age-appropriate modification for her!

We had so much fun with our scented water bin, that we kept it out for a good portion of the day and enjoyed more sensory play!



 
The Sugar Aunts are three sisters who blog about
all things creative in motherhood.  They love playful learning, creative kid's crafts, sensory and fine motor activities, kid's party themes, DIY, and so much more.  Between the three Aunts, there are 6 cousins (with more on the way!) who are around each other so often, they are more like siblings than cousins! You can see the action at www.sugaraunts.com.



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Breast Milk or Formula? What Challenges Defined your Choice?

Which Infant Formula is Best?

Here at Kids Creative Chaos, the mommies have nursed over 20 babies. Whenever possible we encourage breastfeeding, but that isn't always the reality of life. Some of us adopted our children as infants, others faced milk allergies, and some just couldn't produce enough milk.
Infant formula Parent's Choice Walmart
Walmart infant formula.

Personally (Lora), faced a child with a rare true milk allergy- not lactose intolerant. What does that mean? Everytime, I had milk in my cereal, a glass of chocolate milk, or ice cream, Jake projectile vomited. At first, the doctor thought it was acid reflux, but we soon realized it was milk! During the time we thought it was acid reflux, we tried forumula. I used Enfamil. Eventually, we had to swtich back to mommy milk. Turns out, Jake was allergic to soy too, so I had to give up my indulegences. We breast fed until Jake was nearly two years old. Yep, I recently discovered there is a name for my parenting style. I practice attachment parenting.

Anyway, I just went to the Wal-mart website and wow! Look what I could have saved if I had used Parent's Choice formula.


Another one of our mommies, Jessica, used Parent's Choice Formula. Here's what she had to say about it:

"I was determined to breastfeed, however (long story), I had to begin supplementing with formula beginning at 8 wks old. We used Parents Choiceformula from 2 mos to 1 year. We even used Parents Choicetoddler formula for about a month. We were always very happy with it - no issues. AND, because we DID supplement, we were able to continue a successful nursing relationship well into toddlerhood!"


which infant formula is best? Parent's Choice.
Photo of a happy formula baby.

Turns out, Parent’s Choice Formulas are clinically proven to be as well tolerated as the national brands.

It contains DHA and ARA which may support brain and eye development - Just like Enfamil®. It is milk-based which is good for most babies! It also contains prebiotics which support your babies' immune systems. Go check it out so you can give your baby the best and save money too!  Parent's Choice

We'd love to hear about your challenges. It is always nice to know you aren't alone.

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