DIY Doorway Puppet Theater

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This project was supposed to be a part of our State Fair month. But alas, life with a newborn gets in the way.

But he’s a good one. So I can’t complain.

Besides, State Fairs and Fall go hand in hand, right? Therefore, this is the perfect Fall month project.

(I know, it’s a stretch. Work with me).

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A while back I saw an expensive puppet theater, made to hang on nails in a doorway. And I thought, why couldn’t I make the same thing myself, but on a tension rod?

The more I started thinking about it, the more I became convinced it was the perfect puppet theater. Not only does it roll up neatly, taking up minimal space…but it grows (or shrinks) with your kids, because of the adjustable height.

I made mine using Fabric-tac, with every intention of sewing it all together after…you know…when my child starts sleeping through the night. (I’m still only getting 4 hour stretches, folks. It’s not pretty.)

But for the sake of time, I thought I’d go ahead and post. Since we are already getting good play time out of it. If you wanted to do a Fabric-tac version, sans sewing, it truely works just fine.

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I started with two yards of my main fabric, and cut to the desired length. (Mine was 31″ wide to match my doorways, and 50″ long).

After hemming all of the edges (including the 2 inch pocket at the top for the tension rod), I cut a large rectangle in the middle of my fabric (roughly 10″ by 14″).

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Once the rectangle was cut, I lined the opening with my ribbon of choice.

And finally, I created a curtain on the back by simply securing a large rectangular piece of fabric (size doesn’t matter here, just make sure it is significantly larger than the rectangle since it will be pulled in all sorts of directions by the puppeteers).

I had originally planned to do theater curtains, but the more I thought about it, the more the “backdrop curtain” made sense. Perfect to hide little heads, and can be tied up top if desired.

We love the finished result. Don’t you?

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State Fair Month: Target Toss

Sorry for the silence on the blog. But the State Fair of Texas has officially arrived!

We’ll be spending a lot of our time there this coming month, so forgive us if the silence continues. ;)

We still have one theme month project in the works, that we’ll have to post a little late. Better late than never, though… right?

Today we are over at Modern Parents Messy Kids, sharing our Target Toss game and other ways to play with the carnival theme.

Enjoy!

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State Fair Month: Simple Carnival Games

Sometimes, we just rummage through our house to see what we could possibly re-use for our theme months. In order for me to be a stay at home mom, we have to stick to a tight budget. So using things we already own is a life-saver.

When I was coming up with our State Fair month activities, I knew we had to have some games. So, in a very “Minute to Win-it” moment, I turned to our plastic cup stash.

Then I confiscated some of my son’s toy balls, and volia. We had carnival games. Minus the carny.

We played “Knock ‘em down”…

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“Ping Pong Cup” (the cups in the back row are five points, second row is ten, and the first row is twenty)…

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And we even practiced our motor skills with some timed “Cup Stacking.” Our record was 11. Beat that! (No really, tell me if you beat eleven).

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That’s right. We practiced. Those other State Fair-goers wont even know what hit ‘em.

Look out, Midway. Here comes the Aars family…

State Fair Month: Carnival Snack

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In keeping with our “State Fair” theme this month, we decided to splurge and have a carnival snack.

My mom used to make graham cracker and frosting treats for us when we were little, so I thought I’d use the same idea, and mix it up to fit our theme.

And animal crackers were perfect for the occasion.

(P.S. I still think it’s strange that they aren’t called animal cookies. I mean, they are clearly cookies. CLEARLY.)

We made things more festive by dipping them in a vanilla frosting dip (with sprinkles, of course). The recipe for the frosting is below.

Enjoy!

Homemade Vanilla Frosting Dip (snack size)

1 stick of butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Using an electric mixer, beat butter on a low speed until creamy

2. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar. Alternate between medium and high speed to aerate the frosting.  Return to low speed and whip for 3 minutes.

3. Add vanilla and beat until frosting is smooth.

State Fair Month: “Corny Dog” Treats!

It’s here! It’s here! It’s September. And that can only mean one thing….

It’s State Fair of Texas month!

We are officially counting down to the opening day of the State Fair. And what better way to celebrate than making “The Fair” our play-theme for the entire month? (Answer: there is no better way.)

If you are just catching up around here, we’re a little Fair-crazy at the Aars household. The Texas State Fair was Michael and I’s first real date, we got engaged there the next Fall (story here, it’s a good one) and we held our wedding reception there the following Spring. So needless to say, we share some pretty good memories at the hallowed fair grounds.

And oh yeah, have you seen our family portraits from the Fair, as well?

(Did I mention we were Fair-crazy?)

We skipped the mystery box this month, and jumped right into our activities. We’ll be taking this month slow, just like we did with space month. But we hope to get around to posting more projects.

Amazing isn’t it? The projects themselves take only minutes to prepare. But posting about them? Sheesh. That’s another story. So, I’m going to stick to my “family comes first” motto, and we will try to post as many as possible. (But I’ll be honest, snuggling a newborn is going to win out over blogging, every time. He’s just too darn cute.)

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To get things started, I made us “corny dog” treats out of…you guessed it…Twinkies.

Mine are store bought, since I am short on time these days. But if you are looking for a healthy alternative, you can find a recipe here.

But really, it could be worse. At least they aren’t fried.

To make, just take your Twinkies and insert confectionery lollipop sticks. Then top with red or yellow icing to the make mustard or ketchup. (Personally, I think ketchup on a corny dog is a crime. But to each their own…)

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And you’re done. It’s the perfect treat to kick off this VERY exciting month. Don’t you agree?

Now, let the countdown commence!