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Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

March 13th, 2014 at 4:25 pm

St. Patrick’s Day Fun

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You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day! It’s an excuse to have some fun with the kids…make some treats, do some crafts, maybe watch a parade. Dress up in your best green gear and check out this list of St. Patrick’s Day fun!

Outfits:

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Treats

Leprechaun Cupcakes

Lucky Charms Cookies

Leprechaun Hat S’mores

Mint Chocolate Pretzels

Green Ombre Rice Krispy Treats 

Pot ‘O Gold Rainbow Fruit Platter 

 

Activities/Crafts

St. Patrick’s Day Treasure Hunt

Leprechaun Visit – Footprints

Hanging Rainbow Pot ‘O Gold Craft

Fingerprint Rainbow Pot ‘O Gold Craft

Paper Plate Leprechaun Craft 

Handprint 4-Leaf Clover Craft

 

Printables

Coloring Sheets

Gift Tags

Printables

Quote Printables

 

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March 3rd, 2014 at 9:28 am

Storing all your Children’s Books

Do you struggle with where to put all your kids books? We have bookshelves filled and then another paper book order comes and we struggle with where to fit them once the order comes in. I want to share some of my favorite ways to store our kids books.

box

Cereal Box Holder

I love all the inexpensive paperback books that we get from the order forms at school, but they are so hard to store. Make a holder out of a cereal box to keep them contained. Just cut diagonally once you remove the top and decorate however you want. This is an extremely cheap way to tackle the book clutter.

Shelf

Picture Shelf or Rain Gutter Shelving

We use a ledge type of shelf for frames to display books for my sons top bunk. You could also use several vertically to make a wall of easy to grab bookshelves. This can also be done using rain gutters from your local home improvement store.

basket

Baskets

Use all kinds of baskets and containers to hold books. I love to pick up inexpensive baskets to use on shelves to organize a little better. I also keep a basket by my sons bed so he can put his favorites there each night.

Credit: readingconfetti.com

Credit: readingconfetti.com

Storage Bins

Use regular totes and decorate to hold books or even use crates that you have decorated like these.

I believe you can never have enough books, but containing them is the key! How do you organize your books?

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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February 14th, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Last Minute Valentine’s Ideas

IMG_3183I feel like Valentine’s Day sneaks up on me every year. I always have the best intentions, but alas it is Valentine’s morning and I am still trying to figure out how to “treat” the boys in my life – big and small. Valentine’s Day is always last minute. We were completing our actual cards for school just last night. (You can guess how thrilled the Kindergartener was to write 21 names in one sitting)

Here are some of my last minute ideas:

Decorate the kids bedroom door with reasons I love them – I cut out hearts and wrote reasons that I love the boys. Then I taped them all over their bedroom door to surprise them in the morning!

Special note in their lunchbox – There were so many great ideas on Pinterest that I just found a printable to use. I put this note and a special sweet treat in their lunch box. I also cut their sandwich in a heart shape using a cookie cutter. What a fun surprise! I also love this idea to add some fun to milk.

Valentine waiting for them after school – When we get home at the end of the day I will have some homemade cookies along with a special Valentine book surprise.

Valentine Coupons for my husband- Since we don’t really do presents (although he always gets me flowers) I am surprising him with some valentine coupons I found here or here.

Special Valentine’s Day Dinner – I’ve toyed with the idea of cheese and chocolate fondue, a heart shaped pizza, or maybe even some heart shaped grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup. One of my favorite treats for the kids is a Cherry Soda float!

Here are some other good last minute Valentine ideas I found:

Last Minute Toddler Ideas

Homemade Valentine Socks

Last Minute Valentine for Older Kids

Hope you have a great Valentine’s Day!

 Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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December 26th, 2013 at 8:37 am

Winter Birthday Party Ideas

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I consider myself a winter baby because my birthday is in December. I was always jealous of my friends with summer birthdays because they were able to have fun warm weather birthday parties at the beach, pool or water parks. Now that I’m older and wiser, I’ve realized that winter birthday parties can be just as fun! Here are some ideas you can try for your winter babies:

Theme Ideas:

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You can do a general “winter” theme or you can focus on certain ideas. Some options are snowmen, snowflakes, penguins, mittens and hot cocoa, Jack Frost, etc. There are endless possibilities for these themes when it comes to decorations, activities, food, etc. This snowman theme from Setting The Mood brings everything together!

Invitations:

snowflake-invitation

Get creative and save money with DIY invitations. Use a mix of media (glitter, cotton balls, etc.)…whatever you can find that works with the theme. For inspiration, check out these popsicle stick snowflake invitations from Parenting.com.

Food and Treats:

Progressive Dinner 059

The main food element is up to you…it really depends on what you think all the little picky eaters will eat, but winter parties are never short of yummy treats! You can do s’mores (with parental supervision), a hot cocoa bar (like the one above from Heidi’s Recipes), candy canes, marshmallow snowmen, decorated sugar cookies, etc.

Activities:

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This is where it get’s fun! Some great activities for winter parties are:

  • Snowman building contest (above photo from TravelMuse)
  • Snowflake/snowmen crafts
  • Sugar Cookie Decorating
  • Movie time (Jack Frost, Frosty the Snowman, and so many others!)
  • Snowball toss
  • Winter scavenger hunt
  • Pin the nose on the snowman
  • “Freeze” dance

Is your little one a winter baby? Share YOUR party ideas with us on our Facebook Page!

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December 19th, 2013 at 12:47 pm

DIY Ornaments for Kids

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Christmastime is the perfect time to craft, and kids want to get in on the fun! A great way to involve them in decorating the house is by helping them make their own ornaments. They’ll love seeing their creations hanging on the tree with the twinkling lights. Here are some ideas for cute ornaments they can make themselves! Just click the links for details on materials and instructions. Have any holiday crafts/projects you’d like to share? Post pictures on our Facebook wall!

Bottle Cap Snowman from Views From The Ville

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Twinkle PomPom Ornament from Zakka Life

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Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments from Better Homes and Gardens

(P.S. You can do this with ANY cookie cutter shapes…trees, stockings, reindeer, stars, etc.)

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Pinecone Christmas Trees from Dig This Chick

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Rudolph The Reindeer Glass Bulb from Dixieland Blessings

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Button Christmas Tree from UK Lass in the US

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Popsicle Stick Snowman from How To Have It All

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December 6th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Handmade Gift Tags

photoEvery gift needs a to and from tag. You see stacks of expensive gift tags to buy. Did you ever think of making your own?

Now, I know some of you are saying – I’m not creative or crafty, but I have some easy options for you. Or you can put the kids to work!

I like to purchase either the large or small address labels found in the office supple stores. There are so many things you can do with these to make them fun for the holidays!

Add Stickers: Buy some holiday themed stickers for the kids to apply.

Color on them: Let the kids go crazy and decorate each with a photo or scribble all over the page.  If you are more adventurous get out the paints!

Print a picture: Take a photo of the kids and add it to decorate the label. Even better, have the kids color a christmas picture, scan, shrink and put it on each label and print out!

Glue on fun things: Use old buttons, ribbons, and other fun things to decorate the gift tag

Get crazy – there are so many fun options to decorate tags. Just ask your kids to be creative!

If you want something not made by kids check out these printable options:

Printable Holiday Tags

Bright Gift Tags

Fun Gift Tags

Mixture of Gift Tags

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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December 2nd, 2013 at 5:00 am

Handmade Gifts Children Can Make

handmade-ornamentsMy favorite gift to receive from my children is always a handmade one. It is so fun to see all the care they put into it to make it special just for me! Here are some ideas for easy gifts that are perfect for your kids to make for teachers, family and friends.

Ornaments – The possibilities are endless. Use paper and photos, pipe cleaners or practically anything found in your craft box. Be adventurous and make salt dough ornaments you can paint.

Soap Dispenser - Use art work as the design for the transparency. Shrink it down and color copy it for an amazing design.

Candle  - I love this idea using children’s artwork on tissue paper. Great idea to spruce up a regular chunky candle.

Handprint Art – Pinterest has an amazing collection of everything and anything you can make with your hand. Make something and frame or upload to a calendar design. It’s great to collect kids handprints so you can remember when they were so little. I made adorable reindeer out of feet here.

Custom Canvas – Buy some white canvas and paint and have your child young and old create a custom wall hanging.

Food – Work with your child to create some cookies, bread, jarred mix, or even christmas candies or fudge to share. Snap a picture while they are helping and use it as part of the gift tag.

Now, I need to get start working on some gifts for my family. Be creative and have fun! It isn’t just about the gift but the quality time that you spend with your child while creating these!

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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November 18th, 2013 at 10:04 am

Tissue Paper Suncatchers

suncatcherOne of my favorite crafts involves only a couple materials and brightens any window. A tissue paper suncatcher is an easy craft for very young children and yet older children can make it their own also.

Materials

  • Tissue paper in various colors
  • Scissors
  • Clear Contact Paper
  • Double-sided tape

1. Cut various colors of tissue paper into small pieces. Use colors that would go along with what your final project will be. Typically the pieces are cut into squares, but you can also use other shapes of tissue.

2. Cut 2 pieces of clear contact paper that are the same size.

3. Remove the backing from one pieces and put it sticky side up on a table. Tape the corners down so the contact paper lays flat.

4. Stick overlapping pieces of tissue onto the contact paper.

5. Continue sticking pieces of tissue paper until the entire piece of contact paper is filled.

6. Position the sticky side of the second piece of contact paper onto the  tissue paper collage. Press it down firmly to seal in the tissue paper pieces.

7. Cut out the shape you would like the sun catcher to be. You can pre-draw the shapes onto the contact paper prior to cutting.

8. Tape these onto glass windows or doors or punch a hold near the top and hang with a ribbon or string.

Here are some great examples:

Turkey

Butterfly

Snow in the windows

Kites

Pumpkin

Shamrock

Flower

Fish

Rainbow

Bunny

Christmas Tree

Stained glass trees

Ornaments

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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October 22nd, 2013 at 5:00 am

Don’t Toss Those Egg Cartons – Turn Them Into Toys

boxplayforkidsIsn’t it too funny when your kids have more fun playing with the box the toy came in than with the toy itself. I’ve got loads of photos of my kids climbing in and out of them or wearing them on their heads, walking around with only their little legs sticking out. And as they got older it was great to see what creative ideas they came up with for re-using leftover packaging for fun and imaginative play.

I remember many hours myself playing with boxes and containers as a kid. They provided the raw materials for my homemade version of the Barbie Dreamhouse, complete with furniture made from the styrofoam packing materials.

Well there’s a company, Box Play for Kids, that makes inexpensive stickers that transform empty boxes into fun toys that can entertain your child for hours. They have re-imagined half gallon milk cartons as animals or buildings and empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls as musical instruments and binoculars. My favorite is the keyboard sticker that turns an empty egg carton into a piano.

Check out their website and see what clever ideas they have for recycling everyday objects into something colorful and fun. They even have ideas and kits for parties that are wildly creative. These folks consider play time to be serious business and have created a terrific way to foster a child’s imagination and creativity with simple materials.

Which is your favorite?

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

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October 21st, 2013 at 5:00 am

Pumpkin Carving

pumpkin-carvingWell, it is a little over a week to Halloween and one of the things left on my to-do list is to get our pumpkins carved. If you are new to carving, here is a quick how to:

  1. Cover your work space and wipe down the outside of the pumpkin. I usually use old newspaper to cover our table.
  2. Cut a hole at the top of the pumpkin to access the inside with your knife at an angle so the top can be replaced without falling through.
  3. Start scooping. If you plan on baking the seeds, seperate from the guts. There is a great seed roasting tutorial here.
  4. Clean up the inside by scraping to smooth it out.
  5. Pick out a design and either drawn or tape onto the pumpkin
  6. Make a dot to dot pattern to transfer the design onto the pumpkin and then use a knife to cut along the dots.
  7. Light it up! It’s so great that there are battery operated lights for pumpkins instead of worrying about candles.

Need a design idea?

Some people like to use the traditional Jack O’Lantern face, but others are more adventurous. If you are a carving expert, check out these Disney carving templates. This Cookie Monster pumpkin is adorable too and doesn’t involve much carving. Or you can use this amazing site and the 305 stencil links it contains. With everything from Star Wars to a kid’s collection you have to find one you love!

Want your pumpkins to last?

To keep your carved pumpkins from rotting give them a simple bath. Use a large plastic tub and add one teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water. Soak the pumpkin for 4-6 hours. Make sure to turn the pumpkin several times so all sides are immerse. This will make it last for several days. You can also spritz the pumpkins inside and out every couple days with the bleach water solution to ensure your pumpkins last as long as possible.

How do you like to carve your pumpkins?

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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