September 5, 2011

Busy Bag Swap: Day 6 (Cupcake Decorating)

This adorable project was, again, inspired by Crystal from MoneySavingMom.  Liz and I met in college through a mutual friend. Our kids are all around the same ages, so we have kept up through each others blogs over the last couple years. Thanks for all your hard work in cutting, Liz! I know this was no small feat! And my kids have loved being "cupcake makers'" the last couple days!

Family: Emily (working towards 3 and a half), Olivia (18 months), and baby #3 will be making an appearance at the end of December

How do you spend your free time?
What free time?  Just joking.  Sorta.  I love cooking and attempting to run regularly, although there is always at least one kid on my leg when I cook or a jogging stroller in front of me, so I don't really consider this free time.  If I have a free second to myself, I am most likely perusing Pinterest for kid activities, recipes, or home decor ideas.

When you were a child, what was one of your favorite ways to spend your day? I would always play school with my baby dolls, although, I never became a teacher.  Maybe that is why I love being a parent so much... I can live out my childhood fantasies!

Fondest memory with your mom as a child? Growing up, my mother was always good about providing me a lot of opportunities for crafts, cooking, and nature activities.  I loved these things growing up and love being able to use some of the same ideas with my kids.

What does special time with your children look like? I stay home with my girls, so I feel like all day is special time.  I hope we are constantly making memories.  My favorite part of the day, though, is watching them play together.  They absolutely love each other, and they have giggles only reserved for each other.

Favorite outdoor activity with your kids? We moved back from North Carolina a year ago, and although my husband and I are from Texas, we were spoiled and now cannot stand to be outside in this Texas heat.  When it cools off, we look forward to going on family walks with the wagon, going on nature walks, and playing at the playground once again.

A favorite tradition that you want to pass down with your children? I don't know if this would exactly count as a tradition, or not, but growing up, we always had parties and large gatherings at our house.  I thought it was so great how much my mom loved entertaining.  Our house was a place where the action was and where my friends always felt welcomed.  I hope to create the same environment for our children.

Our family picture:  Wow.  This is old.  A year to be exact.  Obviously, the girls have changed quite a bit since then.  Is it sad that it takes a professional to get a family picture?  Note to self... take family picture soon!


The cupcake busy bag is the perfect activity for your older toddler, or preschooler.  My 3 year old absolutely loved the cupcake activities, but because of the small cupcake topping pieces and actual skill of knowing how to put a cupcake together, I wouldn't really give the activity to my 18 month old.  Obviously, you know your children the best.  If your child isn't ready for it, yet, it will definitely be a fun activity to pull out in the future.  And who doesn't like cupcakes?

Each bag contains 4 cupcake bases, 4 cupcake liners, 4 frosting cut-outs, and a lot of different options for decorating the cupcake.  At the simplest level, kids can assemble the cupcakes and decorate them to their own fancy.

Once your child is ready for more of a challenge, you can place a felt number on a cupcake liner and have your child put the appropriate number of decorations onto the cupcake frosting.

To add another counting variation, I made cupcake recipe cards.  The kids can follow the card to put the correct number of chocolate chips (the brown triangle), cherries (pink heart), and sprinkles (blue sticks) onto the top of the assembled cupcake.

You can also use the cupcakes and toppings to do basic addition and subtraction problems.  With my oldest being 3 years old, though, we are not quite at this level yet.  

All in all, I spent around $25, which really only accounts for the felt purchases.  Now, this did not include the directions I printed out (26 sheets) or the recipe cards (26 sheets, as well).  Our printer cartridge was out, so I figured I would go to Kinkos to print everything.  HUGE mistake.  I am not even going to tell you how much it was.  It was my own stupidity and I learned my lesson.  It is ALWAYS cheaper to print off at home!!!

Materials I used...
(I want to preface this with saying that I originally had a different idea in mind when it came to the felt numbers.  Because of the first idea, I scaled down the cupcake template from Money Saving Mom to 75%.  The following yardage for the felt was based off of the scaled down template.)  
- 1 yard of light brown felt
- 3/4 yard of light blue felt
- 1/3 yard of both dark brown and ivory felt
- 4 sheets of ivory felt to make little squares for the numbers 1-10 (I went back and did this after my first purchase.  You can always just add to the ivory yardage you buy from the bolt.)
- pink material to cut out little hearts (Money Saving Mom uses more felt, but I had a pink bag ($2)  laying around in the material of a reusable grocery shopping bag.  I just used this.)
- foam for sprinkles (I also had colored foam sheets floating around the house that I used.  Again, Money Saving Mom just used more colored felt.)
- paint pen to write numbers 
- 52 sheets of card stock to print out instructions and recipe cards (Looking back now, I should have scaled the directions down so 2 copies would fit on a page.  Live and learn.)

I roughly used the template on page 3-4 [pdf cupcake template from Money Saving Mom] to trace my cupcakes.  The chocolate sprinkles are just cut out triangles of brown felt, the cherries are cut out hearts, and the sprinkles are cut out, colored rectangles.  I didn't use a template for these three things.  And make sure you print out the directions and cupcake cards.  Although very similar, I redid the original cupcake directions to add some activities.

Hope you all enjoy!

Cupcake Recipe Cards
MoneySavingMom's Template & Instructions
Liz's Cupcake Instruction Cards included in our Swap

**Terms of Use:
We'd love for you to feel free to use the files that the ladies in our Busy Bag Swap have worked hard to create, but please keep in mind that the printable images and files on this site are some of our ladies own exclusive designs. They have been generous enough to freely share them.

The terms of use for using the free printable crafts and activities are as follows:  You may share these printables with students, friends, neighbors and family or even with your child's class full of children. As long as you share for personal use only. Please do not post printables on a web site - instead provide a link back to the original posting on this site. Linking to the original page is both welcome and appreciated.

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Amy said...

I love both the cupcakes and the button snakes! Thanks for some great ideas! I think my son may be a little young for these, but I'll try them :)

The Deputy's said...

Love these! I am doing them for our busy bag swap. I can't get to the template and instructions link. Could you please help with that?

Thank you