Another Minecraft Party, Coming Up…

minecraft-cookiesMy son had a Minecraft themed birthday party back in September, and now my daughter wants one, too! This means I’ll need to come up with some new ideas for Minecraft treats, decorations, and activities. Since I know other parents are looking for similar stuff, I’ll post what I find here. Maybe it will help you with your Minecraft kids, too!

I found this Minecraft cookie cutter set today! I think it will be great for birthday treats, although the decorating will be a bit tricky. The shapes aren’t necessarily recognizable without the colored icing in the right places. Well, except for the Creeper face cookie. I’m pretty sure that will be easy enough.

The cookie cutters are $19.99 at ThinkGeek right now. Let me know if you get them, and how you do the decorating.

Minecraft Cookie Cutters

Minecraft Toys at Target

I live in a small Colorado town that does not have a Target store. During the two years since moving here, I’ve made a couple of trips to the nearest Target, which is in New Mexico. It’s not convenient, but I can get there if I need to.

My Creeper daughter at Halloween
My Creeper daughter and ninja son, at Halloween

Recently, I took my three kids on a Target trip so they could shop for Christmas gifts. They each had $15 to spend on each of the other two siblings. I wanted them to spend some time thinking about what to give, rather than what they hoped to receive.

At first, they didn’t know what to do. They were excited to have money to spend, but weren’t sure what to buy. I encouraged them to have conversations, spend time chatting, to get some ideas.

When we got to Target, we headed for the toy department. Imagine our great surprise when we found a small selection of Minecraft toys!! We knew Minecraft toys were available online, but we didn’t know you could get them at Target! We were so excited!

I forgot to snap a photo of the display, but here are the Minecraft toys we saw:

  • Creeper and Enderman small plush toys
  • Minecraft foam Pickaxe
  • Steve minifigure
  • Creeper minifigure
  • Enderman minifigure
  • Large Creeper plush toys with sound effects

There were lots of other kids crowding around the Minecraft merchandise, so we chose our toys and got out of the way. I have no doubt that the Minecraft section sold out quickly! We were there before Thanksgiving, and I can’t imagine they lasted past Black Friday.

So if you’re lucky enough to live near a Target, you might check for Minecraft toys. We also saw some t-shirts, but were disappointed that there weren’t any Minecraft LEGO sets.

Minecraft 6 Inch Figure – Vinyl Creeper

Find figures and mini dolls at Target.com! Your “minecraft” fan will love this 6 vinyl … [More]

Price: 24.99

 

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5 Signs that you’re TOO OLD for trick-or-treating

Every year, I’m puzzled and annoyed by the near-grown “children” who show up on Halloween. I think some of these teenagers just race around the neighborhood, doing as many laps as they can, filling up their pillowcases with candy meant for the younger kids.

So if you’re wondering whether you or someone you know is too old for trick-or-treating, here is a helpful guide for you. Happy Halloween! 🙂

5. You’re old enough to drive.

If you can drive, go to the store and buy your own candy.
If you can drive, go to the store and buy your own candy.

4. Your costume has anything to do with Miley Cyrus twerking.

Miley Dynasty
You are not Miley Cyrus!  And whether you think you are, or you’re just making fun of her, you don’t belong around children in an outfit like that. (Photo credit: michaeljzealot)

3. You’re smoking and/or drinking.

from pipesmagazine.com
from pipesmagazine.com

Just stay home. Nobody wants to give free candy to someone blowing smoke and/or booze breath.

2. You don’t think this joke is funny.

Who was the most famous skeleton?
Q: Who was the most famous skeleton? A: Napoleon Bone-apart (Photo credit: msabcmom)

Trick-or-treating is for little children, who enjoy childish things like cute costumes and silly jokes. If you’re too mature to enjoy a joke like this, you’re too old for trick-or-treating.

1. Your costume is pot-related.

marijuana costumes
If you’re dressed as marijuana, you’re too old for trick-or-treating.

So, what do you think? Are there any other telltale signs of being too old for trick-or-treating?

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Educational Robot Toy – Science Gift Idea!

My daughter saw this solar robot kit in our Hearthsong catalog, and she is hoping Santa will bring it for Christmas. Ever since she saw the movie Wall-E, she’s wanted her own robot!

This one is a solar powered robot that can be configured into 14 different shapes. It includes parts that allow it to move on land and/or water. And it does bear somewhat of a resemblance to Wall-E! It’s $31.98 at HearthSong.

From the description:

Our solar-powered pal can assume 14 different modes, ranging from comical to educational, including a wagging-tail dog, running beetle, walking crab, surfer, and speedster. Yet it asks only for direct sunlight.

Here’s a video that shows how the robot works.

I’m kind of hoping Santa brings this robot for my daughter for Christmas. And maybe an extra one for me!

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How to make edible Minecraft dirt and grass blocks

Hello, friends! Recently, I threw a Minecraft birthday party for my son, featuring dirt and grass blocks made from crispy cereal. Here is the recipe for those treats, which were delicious, and which scored highly on the Minecraft cred scale with the kids. Enjoy!

Minecraft treat ingredients
Minecraft treat ingredients

Ingredients

1/2 stick margarine

Large box of chocolate Rice Krispies or Cocoa Pebbles (about 8 cups, I think)

2 regular-sized bags of small marshmallows

1/4 cup corn syrup

1/2 cup chocolate chips

green icing in a can

green sugar sprinkles

chocolate sprinkles

Pam or other cooking oil spray

13 x 9 inch cake pan

Dirt blocks without frosting.
Dirt blocks without frosting.

Instructions

In a large nonstick pot, melt the margarine and marshmallows over medium-low heat, stirring so the marshmallows don’t burn. Mix in the corn syrup and keep stirring. Once the mixture is smooth, turn off the heat and stir in the chocolate chips until they’re completely melted and combined.

Add most of the cereal and fold it into the marshmallow mixture. I think I used about 8-10 cups of the cereal, which ended up being the whole box. You want the treats to be chewy, but not so squishy that they won’t hold a cube shape.

Grease the cake pan by rubbing the margarine wrapper all over the inside of the pan, or spray with Pam. Then pour the cereal mixture into the pan and spread it out evenly. It might help to spray some Pam onto your spoon or spatula, and use that to pack the mixture down into the pan. You want to press it down pretty well so there aren’t any big air pockets.

Allow the “cake” to cool to room temperature.

One Minecraft dirt and grass block.
One Minecraft dirt and grass block.

Decorating the treats

Place a cutting board over the top of the cake pan. Hold it in place and flip the whole thing over. Set it on the counter and tap on the bottom of the pan until the whole thing falls out onto the cutting board. Remove the cake pan and use a knife to cut the treats into squares/cubes.

Use your fingers to squeeze the treats into cube shapes and then roll the sides into the chocolate sprinkles. Don’t put sprinkles on the top of the cubes, because we’re going to put frosting on that part.

Use the green icing with the serrated tip (it looks like zig-zags) to make pointy tufts of frosting on top, to look like grass. Sprinkle some of the green sugar on top of the frosting for a little extra sparkle.

Arrange the finished blocks on a plate or tray, and add Creeper face picks if you want to (get free Creeper printables here).

I hope you enjoy these treats. I posted the recipe the way I made them, which was without a recipe, so that’s why the measurements are approximations. Cheers!

Go Outside! Summer boredom busters

Geek Mom’s old-fashioned, non-electronic, free outdoor summer vacation activities. Hey, kids. If you are bored, go outside and be bored until you’re not bored any more. You will survive. You will figure out what to do, and you will even have fun! Here are some ideas to get you started.

bored kids
photo by Jan Tik, used under CC license

School’s out, and summer vacation is in full swing. Or full boredom, as my kids would have me believe. As much as I enjoy technology and gadgets, my kids and I benefit from some unplugged time. However, as soon as I turn off the electronics, I’m hit with a barrage of “I’m booooored. There’s nothing to do. Can I have a turn on the computer?” This annoys me.

Excuse me while I indulge in a bit of reminiscing…

Listen up, children.

When I was your age, we didn’t have cable TV. We had three channels, and cartoons were only on Saturday mornings.
We didn’t have a computer.
We didn’t have video games.
We didn’t have air conditioning.
We had bikes and sprinklers and mosquito bites and neighborhood kids to keep us entertained all summer.
And Dad made us work in the garden.

So if you are bored, go outside and be bored until you’re not bored any more. You will survive. You will figure out what to do, and you will even have fun! Here are some ideas to get you started.

Geek Mom’s old-fashioned, non-electronic, free outdoor summer vacation activities:

  • Pick up a rock and see what’s living under it.
  • Smooth out some sand and draw in it.
  • Mix dirt and water to make mud.
  • Write on the sidewalk with a rock.
  • Sit in the shade and watch the sky.
  • Learn how to whistle with a blade of grass.
  • Make a kazoo with a plastic comb and waxed paper.
  • Melt stuff in the sun.
  • Look for bugs.
  • Find another kid who looks bored. Talk about stuff.

I’m sure there are lots of other great ideas for curing boredom. Please share yours in the comments!

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all of the super nerdy, geeky, quirky, fun-loving dads in the universe! And for all of the kids lucky enough to have a geeky dad, I hope you found the perfect Father’s Day card to express your love and appreciation. Looks like Luke and Leia found one suitable for their old man. Cheers!

Luke Leia Father's Day Card

via iamasupernerd