Craft and Cooking Ideas for March

Craft and cooking projects are some of the most popular activities our mentors and mentees enjoy.

Our mentors and mentees often embark on adventures to the community pool to swim or the local movie theater. They’ve also been known to ice fish and snowmobile. However, they often enjoy just spending time together at one of their homes, catching up over dinner or board games.

Spring is coming, even if it doesn’t look or feel like it. Whether this Midwest weather hits the 40’s again soon or drops another blizzard, we wanted to share some seasonal craft and cooking ideas for both inside and outside days.

Here’s what we’ve pinned recently:

North Iowa’s recent blizzards left us with more than enough snow. Last Thursday, we received over a foot! If it’s too cold to make a real snowman outside, try this indoor game.

All you need is some disposable cups, construction paper and glue and balled up socks. Stack up the snowman cups and see how many your child or mentee can knock over.

Let’s pretend it is warming up outside. Make paint out of Kool-aid and pour it into squirt or spray bottles for painting the snow. The yard is your canvas.

This article suggests 12 craft ideas for boys, though we think they’d also be fun for girls. We especially liked the colorful superhero masks and paper plate marble tracks.

Two interactive ideas include the everyday item of painters tape. Try constructing this giant spider web and make a game of throwing balls of paper into it to see how many stick.

You can also go Mission Impossible style by using painters tape and yarn to construct a laser obstacle course. Challenge the kids to try to complete the course without touching any yarn. As the photo demonstrates, a banister would make this activity easier to build.

Those who have read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series may remember when the family makes sugar on snow by pouring the maple syrup directly onto the snow creating candy.

Some of us have tried this and felt disappointment when it just didn’t work, but the trick seems to be in reducing the maple syrup. This recipe explains how to make a perfect maple syrup taffy that will transform into candy when it hits fresh snow. Might as well use the snow to our advantage.

Having a day where you are just done with winter? Maybe these watermelon cupcakes will do the trick. The idea of watermelon-flavored cupcakes might sound strange, so don’t worry. These just look like watermelon. The vanilla cake is colored a rosy pink and dotted with chocolate chips. The green frosting really makes them pop.

Is there something cool that you just created? Let us know and we’ll share it so others enjoy a new activity. Find more ideas on our Pinterest Boards. 



Join Us For New Mentor Training (Part I)

We just scheduled our next training for new mentors for Wednesday, February 26th.

Have you always thought about becoming a mentor or do you know someone who would make a great addition to our team? Here is your opportunity!

Part I Training

We have a huge need for caring adult mentors who can volunteer one hour per week to spend time with a Mitchell County youth. We currently have a waiting list of youth waiting for mentors and hope you’ll consider attending our training next week.

During 2014, we want to emphasize that mentoring is easy. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or plan extravagant events. Just spend time with your mentee and invite him or her to join you on outings that are a part of your daily life. This is not to say you can’t participate in fun activities that you both enjoy, such as gardening or playing basketball.

WEbsite collage

It’s best for the youth if mentors can commit to a year-long relationship and we make sure we carefully match mentors and mentees so it’s the best fit possible.

To make mentoring even easier, Bridges staff plan free activities open to all of our mentors and mentees. In the past these have included our recent bowling and pizza event in Gerb’s in Stacyville, IA, movie nights at the local theater, and summer events at the parks.

Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or to RSVP to our training. Thanks for meeting us on our blog!

Announcing A Photo Contest

We just opened a photo contest to Bridges mentors and mentee families.

Send us a photo of you and your mentor or mentee having fun and receive an entry towards a drawing for a $20 gift certificate of your choice. See the graphic below for more details.

photo contest

In This Contest, Every State Wins


Mentoring programs gained a lot of visibility this past January when the President of the United States declared it National Mentoring Month.

In the Coaches’ Challenge, head coaches from Iowa, along with four other Midwestern states engaged in a friendly competition to recruit the most mentors.


Flickr: Chilli Head

Cyclone Sports Properties promoted Iowa Mentoring Partnership’s efforts at the Iowa State vs. Kansas basketball game on January 25th. This opportunity highlighted Iowan mentoring organizations and provided game attendees with the opportunity to speak with Iowa Mentoring Partnership representatives who connected them with their local mentoring organizations like Bridges.

Kansas may have won the contest in 2013, but fortunately, every state wins this challenge.

Bridges is planning an upcoming training for people interested in becoming mentors. Contact us soon if you are interested in joining us. We need your help in matching all of the youth on our waiting lists with a mentor.                                                       

Help Us Grow Our Social Media

Bridges is getting into social media.

Recently, we launched a Twitter account, created Pinterest boards and are working hard to keep our Facebook page as fun and interactive as possible. We also enjoy updating our blog and have some fresh ideas planned for this year.

All of these social media channels will give us greater opportunities to interacting with Mitchell County communities and beyond. They’ll also keep us connected with those who participate in our mentoring program and help us reach a greater number of people when we need to get the word out about certain events or needs.

For example, there is a great need for mentors in North Iowa, most especially for male mentors. We are trying to recruit mentors for the many youth that are on waiting lists.

There are several ways you can help us grow our social media presence:

  • Like us on Facebook. Don’t hesitate to interact with our posts and share them with your friends and family.
  • Follow our new Twitter account. We just got started and really need your help to grow our followers.
  • Find us on Pinterest. We’ve started several boards that highlight our favorite places in Mitchell County, provide craft and cooking ideas, plus health and safety tips. Is there a place or activity we should add? Let us know.

We appreciate your support and hope to connect with you soon.