Thursday, March 1, 2012

"I am a pig, and as a pig, I have always stood out." -- Miss Piggy

Happy Pig Day!  We were quite busy today with errands, homeschooling, and cleaning, and tomorrow won't be any different, it seems, but a productive week always makes me feel better than when nothing gets done.  This weekend will be well-earned!  Here are today's activities:

We started out with some more reading on the subject of St. Patrick's Day, including That's What Leprechauns Do by Eve Bunting, and ...
... Jack and the Leprechaun by Ivan Robertson.  Both are cute reads and went great with our accompanying 'Leprechaun Beard' craft.
I got the idea for today's St. Patrick's Day 'Leprechaun Beard' craft at, using orange and tan construction paper, a pencil, scissors, glue, a long piece of yarn, and a hole punch.  First, cut your orange paper into little strips, about 1 inch wide and 3-4 inches long, like below.
Next, we drew a beard shape with our pencil onto the tan paper, being sure to also draw a semicircle for the mouth, and cut it out with our scissors.
Then, roll each orange strip of paper around your pencil to get it nice and curly, like Maggie is doing here.  Adhere it onto your beard shape.
Keep adding curled strips to your beard to get it full.
 Once all your strips have been adhered to your beard shape, and you are satisfied with its fullness, punch a hole into either side, like below.  Next, tie your string through the holes, fitting it to your child's head so the beard stays put.

 Here is 'Leprechaun Maggie!'  Too cute!  :)

Then, it was on to our reading of pigs!  Here are a few of our better reads: Pigs by Gail Gibbons;
All Pigs are Beautiful by Dick King-Smith; and 

Oink? by Margie Palatini.
After plenty of reading, it was time for some lunch!  I got the idea for this pig sandwich from my Funky Lunch cookbook, pages 26-27.  First, make a sandwich using either a round sandwich thin like I did here, or with bread cut into a circle using a large cookie cutter.  (Inside ours was ham, cheese, and mayonnaise.)
Then, using another piece of bread, cut out a smaller circle for your pig's head, and an even smaller circle for the pig's snout.  (I used an end piece of sandwich bread and turned my snout over so the color would be slightly different from the head.)  Then, cut small triangles out for your pig's ears.  Adhere all the pieces with the same thing you spread on your sandwich, be it mustard, mayonnaise, etc.
Next, cut two more triangles and a snout from a piece of deli ham to fit your bread pieces and lay them on top, like below.  Cut thin slices from a mozzarella string cheese and lay them above the snout for your pig's eyes.  
To finish my sandwich, I cut small pieces from the skin of a cucumber to make the pupils for the eyes and the nostrils for the snout.  Lastly, I shaved off a strip of carrot using a peeler to make a curly 'tail' peeking from the back.
Then, it was time for some porcine projects!  First, we put together this pig balloon from a barn animals balloon craft kit that Martha Stewart had out in craft stores a few years ago.  It should be very simple to recreate, though, without the kit, using a pink balloon, and pieces cut from construction paper, adhered on with double-sided tape.  Mags really liked the finished product and was very concerned that Emmett (our kitten) would get too close with a claw!  :)
Then, we made the 'Pig Finger Puppet' out of our recent issue of Turtle magazine, March/April 2012, pages 20-23, using two pink pipe cleaners, a large pink pom pom, a small pink pom pom, googly eyes, a black marker, a hot glue gun, and wire cutters.
First, wrap one pipe cleaner around your finger, being sure to mound the top a bit for gluing in the next step.  (I wrapped mine around my pinkie finger to get it close to the size of Maggie's fore finger.)
Next, using your glue gun (a parent's job only!), attach the large pom pom to the top of your wrapped pipe cleaner, followed by the smaller pom pom for your pig's snout, and the googly eyes.  For the ears, using your wire cutters, trim off two 1-inch pieces off of your second pipe cleaner and fold each in half, adhering them onto the top of your pig's 'head.'
Lastly, use your black marker to draw nostrils onto your pig's 'snout.'
Really sweet!
For today's journal entry, I asked Mags, 'What do you like best about pigs?'  She answered, 'When they snort.'  Here is her picture of one!  :)
Later, for a snack, I made the pig cupcakes seen in my Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh, My! cookbook, pages 30-33.  For the same, you'll need cupcakes (I used a boxed mix), pink frosting (I dropped three drops of red into a canned frosting and mixed), large pink marshmallows (I found them at Walmart), pink Laffy Taffy chews, mini M&Ms, black decorator icing, and sugar (as if you didn't already have enough in this treat).  It's also much easier to make this snack if you have kitchen shears or clean scissors.  
Ice your cupcakes with your pink frosting.      
Next, take one pink Laffy Taffy chew, cut it into five pieces, and set aside one piece per cupcake for your pig's 'tongue.'  (The tongue can be eliminated altogether if you so choose.)  Using your fingers, form that piece into a tear drop shape, then crease the center with a blade of a knife.  For your pig's ears, cut one large pink marshmallow in half, diagonally, and dip the sticky cut end into your sugar.  Place on your cupcake, sugar-side up.  For the snout, cut the end of one marshmallow off, to shorten it a bit, and then make the mouth by cutting a slit in the opposite end, like below.  Insert your 'tongue' and lay on your cupcake as well.  Pipe on nostrils with your black decorator icing and add two brown mini M&Ms ('M' side down) for your pig's 'eyes.'  Your pig cupcake is complete!

And it will be quite the hit!  :)
Finally, to end the day, we made little pipe cleaner pigs from another old Martha Stewart craft kit I had stashed away for such an occasion.
Happy crafting!