The Best of Making Things by Ann Sayre Wiseman

The Best of Making Things

The Best of Making Things




I talk about this all of the time! I am always looking for projects that involve around the house items that are educational. I have to say that the projects in The Best of Making Things sound like way more fun than most of the projects I have found. Every review I have seen so far for this book is top marks all the way around! This is very exciting for me to see.  I can’t even lie I want to get the book just to test out the projects myself.  I am particularly interested in the cardboard box loom!!

You can find this amazing book and many others at Chelsea Green Publishing. If you have read The Best of Making Things or tried any of the projects let me know! I would love to hear how they turned out.

Description: Why go to the mall when you can make things at home using materials recycled from around the house?
This classic educational and creative text features 125 projects, carefully selected by the author to “develop natural curiosity and self-esteem,” and to demonstrate “simple and important concepts that have shaped the cultures of the world.”
So when a child asks, “What can I do?” you can reply, “Make things! Paper from laundry lint! A bird feeder from clothes hangers! Chocolate pudding finger paintings! Beautiful fish & potato prints! A cardboard box loom that teaches weaving and math! A simple pattern to sew shirts, pants, or dresses!”
The author’s detailed and delightful drawings fill every page “so that children just starting out and grownups who have missed out can quickly grasp the ideas.”
About the Author: Ann Sayre Wiseman developed this book while Program Director of the Boston Children’s Museum Visitor’s Center. A therapist, teacher, mother, and grandmother, Ms. Wiseman has written more than a dozen books. She is also an artist with work in the Rockefeller and Hirschorn collections, among others.

BBQ Banana Boat

I found this recipe and had to share because it is way to yummy not too!!! The BBQ Banana Boat is delish to the millionth power! Remember to use as many organic ingredients as you can find and to create as little waste as possible.

BBQ Banana Boat


1 Banana Per Person
Nutella (or chocolate chips of any kind)
O Organics Old Fashioned Creamy Peanut Butter, 18 Ounce Jars (Pack of 6)
Organic Marshmallows – 400g/14oz bag
Organic Hazelnut Graham Crackers
Any other fruit you might want to add
100% Recycled Aluminum Foil


1. Peel one section off of a rip banana but do not fully remove it. Make sure to keep the peeled piece attached to the banana you will need it later.

2. Cut the peeled section out of the banana but be careful not to cut all of the way through the banana.

3. Add all of the ingredients you want! Remember this isn’t a huge section to fill up a little will go a long way.

4. Put the peeled back peel back in place and wrap the banana in aluminum foil or you can use an aluminum tray and put all of the bananas on the grill at once.

5. Let the bananas sit on the BBQ for 3-5 minutes depending on how BBQ’d you want your banana.

6. Once the banana boats are removed let them sit for a little bit to cool. No need to burn yourself before you have your yummies!!!

For larger portions try to do the same with halved pinapple or other big fruit. I am not sure melons would do well because they are very water basted but perhaps a mango. Experiment with your favorite fruits and let us know how it went!
Remember to throw any unused food items into your compost pile and recycle what ever items you can.

Great Deals on Greenhouses -

Ghastly Table Town!

Ghastly Table Town

Ghastly Table Town


Recycled Construction Paper
Recycled Paper Bags
Recycled Corrugated Cardboard Boxes or Tubes
Natural Plant Dye Eco Paint
Thin wire
Fishing line or thread
Pipe cleaners
Small tree branches
Colored tissue paper
Organic Cotton Balls or any old cotton stuffing you have lying around
Poster board or a large piece of cardboard
Plastic bottle caps
Craft Sticks
Grass and anything else lying in your front yard.
Beads, buttons, anything to decorate your little town
Natural Plant Dye Eco Dough
Glue (hot or otherwise)
Any other odds and ends you have round the house you have been DYING to use!


Buildings- Use your paperbags or cardboard boxes to make houses and buildings! You can even construct people and furniture for the inside of your buildings! Decorate them any way you want. Make sure when constructing you buildings out of bags you use the bottom of the bag as the roof and if you want to cut pieces out maybe use some cardboard or craft sticks to help keep it sturdy. You can also stuff the bag buildings with old magazine or paper pieces to keep them standing.

Trees – Cut holes with a hole punch out of the bottom of the board you are attaching your buildings to and stick the branches you have collected from outside through the holes. You can cover any extra space with the other items you have collected from outside or when you get to making your spooky people and ghouls you can use them as well to hide holes as well. Use glue to attach the tree to the board. Wait for it to dry first before trying to cover up any extra space.

People – For a body, bend a pipe cleaner into an inverted V. Twist a second pipe cleaner around the first to create arms. Glue on tissue-paper boots. For a dress, cut a head hole in a black tissue-paper square, then slip it on and tie it with yarn. Glue on thread for hair and a paper hat. You can decorate your people with any of the bits and pieces you have collected. Use old cloth or ribbons to make clothing or hair. If you have stickers feel free to be as creative as possible. Make a Frankenstein, tissue paper mummies, round goblins or trolls!

Bats- Bend a 1-inch length of pipe cleaner into a V, then glue it onto black tissue-paper, play-dough or clay bat for bat wings. You use dough or clay and use a cookie cutter or stencil to make bats. If you stick a thin wire or pipe cleaner on the bottom or side of the bat, wait for the dough or clay to dry and stick the bat where ever you please. Use thin wire, fishing line or even thread to attach the bat to a building or trees. Remember these are only ideas to help you construct your town. You can make your bats anyway you want!

Ghosts – If you have cotton lying around use pipe cleaner or even craft sticks as a starting point. Wrap or place cotton around the stick until it looks scary enough. You can also use a plain old cotton ball the way it is and glue it behind a building or in a house. You can use pipe cleaners and glue tissue paper to it or over it. Even make a cardboard ghost cut into any shape you prefer.

Bottle Caps – You can use old bottle caps to make baskets to hold mini pumpkins, apples or anything you want! You can make a spooky local farm stand in your ghost town or use them to help you make your bails of hay!

Organic Twice Baked Potato & Broccoli Mash



* 8 organic potatoes (your preferred size & color)
* 2 tablespoons Brummel & Brown or organic butter
* 1/2 cup organic sour cream
* 1/2 cup organic milk
* 2 teaspoons sea salt
* 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grown organic black pepper
* 1 1/2 cup shredded monetary jack or cheddar cheese
* 1/2 steamed organic broccoli
* 1 teaspoon organic garlic powder
* 1 tespoon organic onion powder
* 1 large organic lemon


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Scrub the potatoes well and rinse under cool running water. Pat dry with towel and prick the potatoes in several places with a fork. Place the potatoes in the oven and bake for 1 hour, or until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside on a wire rack until cool enough to handle.

When the potatoes have cooled, cut the potatoes and broccoli into small pieces and begin to mash them in a large bowl. After mashing add 2 tablespoons of Brummel & Brown, organic sour cream, organic milk, sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper. Then mash until desired smoothness. Add 1 cup of shredded cheese and mix again. After the mashing is finished place in a baking pan and smooth top. Use the 1/2 cup shredded cheese to top off the bake!

Butter a 9 by 13-inch casserole dish with the remaining tablespoon of butter and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

Place the seasoned potato mixture in the prepared casserole dish and top with the remaining grated cheddar. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly around the edges and heated through and the cheese on top is melted and lightly golden. Serve hot

survival seed vault

5 Green Gifts Kids Will Love

1. Buy your favorite Kids and Family Games today from Shockwave!– Family time is important so make it fun for everyone. You can purchase games and memberships from Shockwave which is Nickelodeon’s website. Keep your children interested in family time and family fun for the holidays!

2. Find educational games & toys for kids of all ages at NWF!– Introduce your children to nature by getting them an Adventure Pack eqquiped with compact 5x30mm binocular, flashlight, lensatic compass with true hand-bearing triangulation capabilities and a combination signal whistle/thermometer. The Adventure Pack is an easy way to get your kids outside for exercise and exploring! Use it for camping, hiking, bike riding and backpacking!!

3. All Educational Softwares Encyclopedia of Endangered Wildlife was created in response to global concern for the environment. Encyclopedia of Endangered Wildlife raises awareness of how and why animal and plant species are disappearing today 1000 to 10000 times faster than the natural rate of extinction.

4. Our Green House – Organic Children’s Clothing– Kee Ka’s Organic Cupcake shirt is a natural colored crew neck, long sleeved shirt that is made of super-soft 100% certified organic cotton. The Organic Cupcake Tee is machine washable/dryable and comes in eco-friendly packaging. This super cute shirt is a great way to teach a child responsible shopping habits.

5. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein– is an oldie but a goodie when it comes to books. This book teaches the importance giving and acceptance as qualities in others as well as in one’s self. Both giving and acceptance sometimes are forgotten by the time we become adults. These qualities should be taught at a young age to inspire children as they grown into adults that giving and acceptance are important way to conduct society.

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