Easter printables for the road!

Anyone else heading on a road trip to visit family this weekend for Easter? It can't just be us with a long car ride and anxious kiddos on the horizon right? I was assembling some great printable ideas to keep the kids busy in the car & during downtime and thought I should share them with you too...just in case!

Easter Coloring Pages

Easter Mad Libs

Easter Mazes

Easter Coloring Pages

Easter Word Puzzles

Easter Egg Hunt

Easter Chick Chirp Bookmarks would be great paired with a gift of a new book...

Or if you have a few gifts that could use lovely tags...check these beauties out!

Bunny Breakfast

Each year, our church has a wonderful event on the Saturday before Easter called the Bunny Breakfast. It's an event for the kids done by the kids (all proceeds benefit our Youth Mission Projects so the youth serve food and lead crafts, etc)...tons of fun! And the best part...the kids wear jammies! We had a blast and I thought you might want to see the highlights (sorry but I forgot my camera so you're stuck with some really bad phone pics!)...

First, we had a super yummy breakfast.

Then we said hi to the Easter Bunny (this was after EJ yelled at him from our table for 15 minutes whenever she caught a glimpse of him).

Then we did some fun crafts (necklace, foam egg magnet, and a plastic egg animal).

Finally the egg hunt was on! This is the best pic I have...kids don't slow down to let your phone catch up during an egg hunt darn it!

And finally Mom forced the kids to sit and take their annual photo on the stairs. Olivia got so many compliments on her jammies but they are so hard to see on these pics...

So here's a better pic of EJ rocking the same jammies 2 years ago (still cracking her brother up too)!

Big thanks to all the youth (and grown-ups) who make this event happen every year!!! As Jack said this morning, this is a great tradition for our family!

First Haircut X 2!

Notice anything different about my beautiful daughters?

Yep, you guessed it right! They both got their very first haircuts! YAY!

EJ went first and she did a great job. It did help that to one side they were showing Dora and on the other side there was a floor to ceiling mirror for her to look at!

And then when they finished, they gave her a fancy new clip and sprayed sparkles in her hair. I seriously didn't think I'd get her to leave!

Next up was little Miss Livie! She looks scared here but she really did awesome! I even got her to look down so the woman could see the back.

And as you can see, a lot came off the back. We love it, but Matt & I are both wrestling a bit with our baby girl having an actual hairstyle! I think it's super cute though and now she's all ready for turning one...just a few more weeks.

Sponsor An Animal

Have you ever sponsored an animal at the zoo? Surprisingly, we never have. Well, we have as a gift to others, but have never done it in our own name...until now! It seemed obvious that the perfect birthday gift for EJ would be to sponsor the new tiger cubs, Tula & Nuri, at our local zoo.

{photo courtesy of the Milwaukee County Zoo}

EJ asked all her friends to bring donations for the tigers instead of gifts. She is young for this concept (we didn't start it with Jack until age 5), but I think she got it and (as usually happens) she really didn't miss the gifts at all!!! So thanks to some very generous friends (and a little from Mom & Dad too), EJ was able to donate $150 towards her sponsorship of the tigers! Yay!!

To help EJ really understand what we were doing, I contacted the zoo to see if it was possible to turn in our donation in person. Luckily that was no problem and in fact, Becky welcomed us into her office and told EJ all about how the money would be used to help the tigers.

She also had a couple fun things for EJ...a photo of the cubs, a donor sticker, a fact sheet about the tigers, zoo train passes, and a super cute stuffed tiger! I think you can all tell that this tiger has not left EJ's side since she got him. Oh and she named him DJ...real creative huh?

You'd think that the stuffed tiger would be her favorite thing, but I honestly think she is more proud of this certificate Becky made her. She knows her name is on it and that it says that she helped the tiger cubs. I really think that she not only "gets it" but that she's proud of how she helped with her birthday gifts!

I know that her friends' donations and this visit were the best birthday gifts EJ could have received this year. I also know that this summer will be filled with lots of zoo trips to visit HER special friends...Tula & Nuri!

An animal sponsorship does make a great gift (especially for an animal-loving child) too! If you're in our area, please click here for more information about sponsoring an animal at our zoo.

Tiger Party Goodies

The tiger party was scheduled from 2-4pm. It's really the perfect time block (as long as the kids aren't of the "have to have a nap" variety) as it cuts down your food needs to just snacks and cake. It also allows you enough time to have a small family party afterwords too (if you're so inclined).

I decided to go with very light snacks, as I knew we would have limited time around the activities, and tried to animal-theme the snack buffet (even if I had to make up a silly name to do it!), so we had...

Gummy Bears

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

Rabbit Bites (yogurt raisins, yogurt cranberries, dark chocolate raisins)

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

Fish Food (Swedish fish)

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

Teddy Grahams & Animal Crackers

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

Monkey Mix (a trail mix of just about everything)

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

For our cake, we had the gorgeous tiger cupcakes my friend Jackie made for us! (couldn't resist including another beauty shot of these babies)

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

To drink, we had water and apple juice, but I made up some labels to "cute" them up a bit!

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

And for the mommies, a little wine! Jackie found this super cute Middle Sister wine at Christmastime and I couldn't resist buying some to share at our middle sister's birthday party!

The last goodie of the party was the goodie bags themselves of course! Animal lunch tote boxes...

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

filled with animal crackers, animal tattoos, plastic animal figures, bunny-shaped fruit snacks, initial wood DIY coloring set (this is EJ's box so she got an E and a T as it had a tiger on it), a fish crayon and these cute stickers. My niece said I was "awesome" when she saw the tattoos...you really can't beat that! :-)

Tiger Party Crafts

I'm sure my friends and family thought I was nuts when I asked them to save toilet paper tubes for me before the tiger party, but I think this craft was well worth the weird looks! First, we took the tubes and spray painted them black (I say we as Matt and Jack did the painting for me), then I hot glued two together and hole punched each side. I tied a black cord into the hole on one side and we were ready to make binoculars!

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

Well we needed these fun foam animal beads too and...

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

a table full of ready & willing little girls!

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

They took the bead stringing very seriously!

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

EJ had to test hers out to make sure they worked before she even finished! My favorite thing is that more than one of them told me how much better they could see when they looked through them! Love the 3 and 4 year old mind.

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

Our other craft was so simple that I can't believe I had to see it on a blog (but can't remember which one) to think of it! Basically I bought ribbon in a couple animal prints and cut a length to fit each girls' wrist. I bought 1" Velcro squares (the kind with the sticky back) and cut them in fourths then attached the Velcro to the inside of the ribbon for the "bracelet" closure.

Here is EJ modeling her tiger stripe version...

And the ladybug version (which was the ribbon picked by all but 2 girls!)...

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

Tiger Party Decorations

The decorations for EJ's tiger/animal party were very simple but still made a nice impact. Obviously I had a solid color palette of orange and black to work with, but I had to remember to not let those colors look Halloween-ey. I instead tried to play with animal patterns as much as I could, again without letting it get to be too much!

I found these animal-print lanterns at World Market and had to get them. I didn't have a clue where I would put them until 15 minutes before the party (and even then I needed help), but I still had to get them! Super cute, right?

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

I also had the idea to make a "Do Not Feed the Animals" sign, but wasn't sure what exactly to do. Then I remembered a photo I had taken of EJ last summer at a picnic where she had her face painted. I cropped the photo (it was taken on my iphone so the quality was not ideal) and added the words in Illustrator. Then I had a 16x20 enlargement made...I think it came out pretty cute.

I framed it and added it to the wall above these super cute animal tails I found for the girls to wear. I thought it would be a nice addition to the decor and then the girls could take them home (i only wish I had remembered to send more of them home...anybody need an animal tail or two?).

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

I love having flowers in the house so I thought the party was a wonderful excuse to get some. I got two bunches of these flowers (I always forget their name) at the grocery store as I thought they had the perfect look for the party. The adorable "I Love Tigers!" frame and photo was a birthday gift to EJ from her BFF Abbie. Perfect, instant decor!

So what about those tiger striped lanterns you can see above the food table in the first photo? Super cool right? Would you be surprised if I told you that Jack made them all by himself...out of construction paper? We followed this tutorial, but basically you rip black construction paper into random strips then glue the strips on to orange construction paper and let dry. I made a glue solution with glue and water so Jack did a wash over the whole page and then stuck the black pieces on, then did another glue wash over the top. The downside to this method is it took overnight to dry.

This is how the sheets looked in the morning...

I took over at this point (the kid was in school, darn it!) and rolled the paper into a tube gluing the ends together. I used white glue, which takes some time to dry, so I put large paper clips on both ends to hold the tube in place.

Once the glue was dry, I hole punched the top and hung the finished lanterns with black curling ribbon. Really simple to make and I think they had an elegant look (especially once you know how they were made).

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

The last thing the party needed was a Happy Birthday sign! I really wanted to do something special and I wanted to make a pennant banner. I had read on a blog somewhere that you could cut apart a birthday banner and spray paint the letters. I thought that sounded like a great idea!

So I cut apart an old banner and sprayed away. This is how the letters looked after 3 coats of spray paint. Yeah...that was enough of that!

So I printed the letters out in the same font as the invitations (the font name is Elephants in Cherry Trees...too perfect right?) and cut them out.

I bought scrapbook paper in 4 prints...2 black & white animal prints and 2 orange/white prints...and I cut them into pennant shapes. I kind of eyeballed the size, but mine ended up 7" in height and 5.25" wide at their largest points. The letters were 2" in height.

I laid everything out to make sure I liked it first, then used a glue stick to adhere the letters to the pennants. I used a 1" width animal-print ribbon (backside was plain orange) and stapled the pennants to the bottom-half of the ribbon (so 1/2" of the backside of the ribbon was showing above the pennants).

Then I folded the ribbon over and glued it to the pennants with craft glue (pva glue would work too). The glue takes a little bit to dry, so I either kept the ribbon folded with my hands or small paper clips until it held. I kept the banner flat overnight to dry...and voila!

{image courtesy of {tsj} photography}

Maybe I should save it in case she still loves tigers this much next year?