Archive for the ‘Kids Crafts’ Category

Homemade Playdough Recipe

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

As the weather turns cooler, I start thinking of indoor activities that our kids can enjoy together and making homemade playdough is always top on our list of activities to do. Homemade playdough lasts forever and can be created in whatever vibrant shades your heart desires. This homemade playdough recipe is an easy one to create from items you already have in your pantry and homemade playdough with a big stack of cookie cutters? Well, that just equals hours of fun in our house.

When my kids were younger and funds were low in our house, I was always whipping up something out of our pantry for them to do. We created everything from Kool-Aid playdough to pudding finger paints to hauling in the snow to a big bin of unpopped popcorn kernels for a sand table. Seriously, when your kids are small, is there anything that you won’t do for a just a few moments of peace?  Even though my kids are older now, many of these items can still keep them pretty busy and one hour of peace is incredibly priceless…no matter what age they are.

This homemade playdough recipe is a surefire winner in our house and I keep our cookie cutters on hand in my lunchbox station just for these moments. The only problem they usually have is keeping me out of them playdough myself since no matter how old I get, there is still something therapeutic about rolling playdough between my hands.

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do and be sure to explore those links below for other fun ways to keep your kids entertained during the cooler months.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Playdough Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Kid Craft
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
An easy homemade playdough recipe that you can create from items in your pantry. It is a rainy day, snowy day, too cold to play outside, too lazy to take the kids out in the yard....or whatever your dilemma, surefire recipe winner.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup flour
  • ⅓ cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • Food coloring (of your choice)
Instructions
  1. In saucepan mix flour, salt and cream of tartar. Add water, oil and food coloring. Cook about 3 minutes or until mixture draws away from pan. Cool until you are able to handle it. Knead until smooth and place in an airtight container.


 

 

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Easy DIY Halloween Costumes

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Stumped for Halloween costumes ideas this year? No worries at all- I have you covered! Today I am showcasing Easy DIY Halloween Costumes that you can create for your family using items found from your local Goodwill Store.

Last year, Americans spent 7 billion dollars on Halloween related expenses! What was once a time to grab a sheet and be a ghost or peek around your house for easy costumes made from your mom or dad’s wardrobe has escalated into a spending frenzy of decorating, costuming, and trick-or-treat candy madness.

You don’t have to succumb to the pressure though! Be sure to visit my article on Scary Deals on Halloween Costumes and head on over to the Goodwill Tips blog to check out eight easy DIY Halloween costumes you could create from the store and with found items around the house!

See you over there!

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How to Make Chalkboard Pumpkins

Monday, October 15th, 2012

If there is one thing you know I love around here it is chalkboard paint. Chalkboard painted pumpkins are a fun way to avoid the pumpkin carving and allow your kids to unleash their inner Picasso. Chalkboard pumpkins are easier to make than you might think and today I wanted to show you how to transform ordinary pumpkins into Chalkboard Pumpkin People that lets your kids be creative while creating a unique accessory to your front step!

Let’s get started with creating your very own Chalkboard Pumpkin People.

Supplies Needed (all found at Walmart):

1 real pumpkin

1 can of chalkboard paint (over in the hardware department)

Masking or electrical tape (this is optional, I ended up not covering my stem)

Wet wipe

White Chalk

1 Skeleton or Witch Body (these are found in the Halloween supplies by the pumpkin carving tools, $7.97 each)

How to Create Your Chalkboard Pumpkin

1. Wipe down your pumpkin well with a wet wipe or damp paper towel to remove any dirt or debris.

2. Hold your can 10-14 inches away from your surface and spray in a sweeping motion side to side with a slight overlap around your entire pumpkin. Follow this pattern horizontally and then vertically. Wait fifteen minutes or so and then apply another coat. You need two coats to create your chalkboard surface.

3. Allow your pumpkin to cure. Do not use any chalk on this for 24 hours! The chalkboard paint will need to harden and will not be ready until then. If you try it before it is ready, it will just scratch the paint through, creating marks and exposing the orange on your pumpkin.
Let your little artists go to work with their chalk. Before giving it to them, make sure to rub down the corners so that they don’t scratch their pumpkin’s surface. I also reminded them to draw gently on these so their paint would remain intact.

Mistakes made? No problem! These can easily be erased and started over again. We had many false starts before deciding on our perfect faces.

Here are our finished faces that the kids drew (the witch’s creator might have had a little help from her Dad). We really loved these cute little faces and couldn’t wait to put them on the pumpkin bodies.

The best part about these though is that you can erase these and use them over and over again through the Thanksgiving holiday with written notes of thankfulness or a countdown to the holidays.

Of course, if you are more of the carving pumpkin type, Walmart has you covered with loads of great carving tools this year!

 

Don’t know what to do with the rest of that can of chalkboard paint? How about a DIY Lunchbox Creation Station, Chalkboard Food Label Frames, or Conversation Bubble Cookie Jars…just to name a few!

 

I am a part of the Walmart Moms program, and Walmart has provided me with compensation for these posts. My participation is voluntary and opinions are always my own.

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How to Make a Duct Tape Pumpkin

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Carving pumpkins isn’t for everyone and I am so excited to share with you this easy craft for a duct tape pumpkin that you can pull out year after year. You may have never even noticed the patterned duct tape lurking in the craft aisles, but this is one easy & inexpensive craft material with endless possibilities for a customized duct tape pumpkin that can match any room in your home.

Supplies Needed:

1 craft pumpkin

1 roll of patterned duct tape (Duck Brand)- available in the craft section of Walmart

1 roll of solid colored duct tape (Duck Brand)- available in the craft section of Walmart

Hot glue gun & glue sticks

Scissors

To create your chevron pumpkin base:

1. Twist off the pumpkin stem to create an even surface on top for covering your pumpkin with tape.

2. Pull a strip of duct tape off the roll that will cover the entire pumpkin. Attach it to the pumpkin, doing your best to try not to wrinkle it.

3. Continue covering the pumpkin until it is fully covered with the duct tape, doing the best you can to line up the patterns. If you have wrinkles, overlap the duct tape to cover any minor flaws.

4. Place a dab of hot glue on the top and reattach your pumpkin stem, holding it  in place for a couple of minutes to secure it.

To create duct tape rosettes for the top of your pumpkin, you will need to do the following:

1. Measure a 10″ strip of your solid-colored duct tape and cut it off the spool.

2. Fold the duct tape in half (sticky sides in), doing your best to line the tape up evenly. If you don’t get the tape perfectly even, just trim the edge until you don’t see the white anymore.

3. Twist the tape to create a tight center to the rosette.

4. Begin twisting your tape as tightly or as loosely as you would like to create your rosette. Add a dab of hot glue periodically between the twists to secure it all together.

5. Once you have finished your rosette, add a dab of hot glue to the bottom and secure it to the top to create a rosette “leaf.”

6. Repeat this process again and create one more rosette. Secure the second rosette next to or slightly overlapping the first rosette to add your second rosette “leaf.”

Create your own pumpkin with your family and you could win $1,000 in the Stick or Treat Duck Brand Jack O’ Lantern Contest. The company offers over 100 colors, prints and licensed prints such as Hello Kitty and each roll of tape retails for $3.37 at Walmart stores!

Looking for more pumpkin crafts? Be sure to check out my tutorial for my Painted Address Pumpkin Topiary and Decoupaged Pumpkins that you can do with more of these fun faux pumpkins!

 

 

I am a part of the Walmart Moms program, and Walmart has provided me with compensation for these posts. My participation is voluntary and opinions are always my own.

 

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How to Make Glow in the Dark JELL-O

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Halloween is just around the corner and today we wanted to showcase a fun and easy craft you could do with your kids. Today’s recipe offering is how to make glow in the dark JELL-O in jars for a spooktacular Halloween dessert. Glow in the Dark JELL-O is a recipe that your kids can easily mix up and gives you a fun opportunity to talk a little bit about the science behind it in the process.

How Does it Glow?

Did you know that tonic water can glow under a black light? My kids were in awe of this bubbly drink and how it could glow under the black light.  The glowing comes from the fluorescence of the quinine in the tonic water. Quinine also gives tonic water a distinctive bitter flavor which is why it is best mixed with other sweeter ingredients. As you can see, the quinine glows blue-white when placed under a black light which makes it the perfect ingredient for a spooky JELL-O treat.

Do All Colors of JELL-O Glow the Same?

Hypothesis…yes. Answer…no! All of the colors of JELL-O will definitely not glow the same. We tested two colors (green and orange) and found brilliant results with the green JELL-O and dull results with the orange JELL-O. Although our tutorial below shows the orange, we recommend the green variety for a truly great glow! Here is the light we used to achieve our glow with great success (affiliate link).  Other readers have stated that a black bulb does not achieve the glowing results so please keep that in mind when purchasing your bulb. 

So It Glows…How Does it Taste?

As we mentioned before, the quinine in the tonic water makes the tonic water glow, but it also yields a bitter taste. We tried to cut the bitterness by using half water and half tonic water. I also topped each jar of JELL-O with whipped cream and sprinkles which would add another layer of sweetness.  Try adding more sugar to the concoction to help cut some of the bitterness.

The kids loved the glow, but said they were, “spicy,” which is what they say about all sodas and bubbly drinks. If your kids have a sensitive palate like mine, they might not love them, but they still ate the whipped cream and loved doing the experiment. I still call this experiment a win for creativity, cool science factoids, and fun.

I had a great helper in the kitchen for this project. Emily was excited to show you all just how easy it is to make this JELL-O and you can find the recipe below along with her picture tutorial on how to recreate this fun experiment in your kitchen.

You can totally steal the experiment, but I am keeping my sous chef for myself!

 

3.0 from 2 reviews
Glow in the Dark JELL-O
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Glow in the dark JELL-O is not only a fun science project, but a super fun Halloween treat. Pick up a black light at your local Halloween shop to show off it's glow!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup tonic water
  • 1 package of JELL-O
  • Whipped Cream and Sprinkles for topping (optional)
  • Additional Sugar (to help cut the bitterness)
  • Jars
  • Black Light
Instructions
  1. Bring one cup of water to a boil.
  2. Pour JELL-O packet into a large bowl.
  3. Have a grown-up help you add your boiling water.
  4. Stir for two minutes with a wire whisk.
  5. Have a grown-up pour one cup of tonic water into a measuring cup.
  6. Slowly whisk while adding the tonic water. The mixture will be very bubbly. Give it a couple of minutes to rest.
  7. Pour it into four clean jars.
  8. Place in the refrigerator for two to three hours to set.
  9. Top with whipped cream and sprinkles.
  10. Place under a black light and watch it glow. Happy Halloween! EDITORS NOTE: See notes above for taste and ideas for improving flavor.

This post contains an affiliate link.

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How to Make Car S’mores

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Did you know that today is National S’mores Day? Who knew? I thought it would be fun to share with you a fun activity we did this summer that my kids absolutely flipped for. Have you ever ate a car s’more? No? Well, in my opinion, you haven’t lived until you have tried this fun food activity together. I guarantee that your kids will flip for this and I am betting that years from now my kids will be talking about that one time when their crazy mom let them make s’mores in the car.

Today Emily is demonstrating for us one of two ways that you can make your car s’mores. We have tried two different versions and both of them turn out wonderfully. With this version, kids can help assemble foil packets to be placed on a cookie sheet. Simply assemble your s’more ingredients (whatever your favorite ingredients might be)  on a small piece of foil. Once your s’more is full assembled, wrap it up in the foil tightly, and place it on a cookie sheet.

For a simpler version, you can simply line a cookie sheet with foil and plop your s’mores right on them (as demonstrated below).

A really hot summer day, like this one, is the perfect place to cook your s’mores. Slide your cookie sheet onto the dash of your car and shut your car. Set your kitchen timer for 15-20 minutes. I highly recommend sipping some lemonade and enjoying the AC while they are cooking.

Retrieve your cookie sheet and show your kids their perfectly cooked s’mores.

Marvel in the fact that you completely blew their minds with your awesomeness. Remember, these are the stories they will tell their kids someday.

Happy S’mores Day, friends!

I am a part of the Walmart Moms program, and Walmart has provided me with compensation for these posts. My participation is voluntary and opinions are always my own.

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Fun Ways to Celebrate the Olympics

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Are you as excited as I am for the Olympic games to start? In our family, the Olympics is something to watch and celebrate together through fun crafts and activities. It is an opportunity to learn about other countries, to admire amazing athletes, and a time of celebration for our country.

The Olympic games are fast approaching and I am so excited to share a few fun ideas for craft and activities you can do to celebrate this exciting time. Today I wanted to share with you seven fun activities you can try together as a family to make the Olympics extra special for your kids.

Head on over to the Goodwill Tips Blog to find seven fun Olympic crafts and activities you can do together to celebrate the Olympic games.

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Shower Curtain Art Canvas

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

A rainy day yielded the perfect opportunity to break out one of my dollar store activities for our kids. I bought a shower liner ($1) and had the kids decorate the shower curtain with whatever their heart’s delight was. A package of army men ($1) and a package of lizards ($1) added a little three dimensional fun to their art work on the canvas.

I don’t know about you, but my children like to go through a million pieces of paper a day so this was the perfect canvas for their artistic souls. Since we were on a trip, it also was the perfect item to travel with and break out when the weather was bad.

Want to create your own canvas? Visit Filth Wizardry for their cute idea for creating cute & even roadways for kids using markers and a recycled bottle. It helped inspire our family’s art canvas for our family’s summer vacation and was one of the great ideas featured in our 100 Days of Summer list.

Gain some summer inspiration on our Pinterest 100 days of summer (’12) edition where you can get another amazing round-up of 100 ideas to inspire your summer bucket list. 

This list has everything from making homemade butterbeer drinks for those Harry Potter enthusiasts, to making homemade shrinky dinks, to getting back to the basics with great dinner discussions with great family conversation starters.

There is something for everyone on here- boys and girls of all ages and craft levels. The best part is that they are ALL budget-friendly and will cost you very little in supplies.

If you are on Instagram, you can join in on the fun by taking pictures and sharing all of your summer adventures through there. Let’s use the hashtag #100summerdays. My username is momadvice and I am happy to have you follow our adventures and follow along with yours!  

By tagging your photos, it will make it easy to find each other in the group and share the projects we are tackling together. You can add the tags to your caption or you can add them as a comment later. In either scenario, the tag will pull it into our summer group.

Happy summer to each of you!

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Instagram Summer Inspiration: 100 days of summer, week 1

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Happy summer to all of our friends on MomAdvice. Our summer officially started on Thursday and we couldn’t wait to get the party started. I met the kids down at the bus stop with silly glasses that I found at the Dollar Store to let them know that the only thing we had our summer agenda was FUN. They giggled all the way home at their mother’s silliness, but it was the perfect way to start our summer.

We kicked off our summer with my husband’s big 5K race. He had been training for months to get ready for it and we wanted to show our support for him and how hard he has worked. We worked hard on signs that we could hold up at the finish line for him. In his words, “I was the only one who had someone holding signs for them.” It was such a fun way to be a part of his big race day with him and the kids were so proud of their dad.

We did swim lessons on our last week of school which was either extremely genius or the worst idea ever since it was the craziest week of our school schedule. At the beginning of the week, Ethan was barely getting in the pool. At the end of the week…well, this happened. He was terrified of the deep end and we had been trying to get him to go off the diving board for years. I was shaking so hard when this moment happened, but he did it.  Then he did it again and again. I still can’t believe it!  It was a fantastic way to kick off the summer.

On the last day of school they happened to have a concert at our local park. We were so proud of both of our kids who both finished the year out with the highest honors and grades this year that we wanted to treat them to an evening of celebration.

We headed to Moe’s Southwest Grill, their favorite taco spot, and loaded our picnic basket with great food and a blanket to sit on. We enjoyed the outdoor concert together and it was such a fun way to finish out their year.

Of course, summer is never complete without our summer list! This was the first year that we let the kids do the whole thing on their own. We made some helpful activity suggestions, but let them take the lead this year.

I am just as excited as them to start tackling all of these fun activities with them.

Each of the kids have also gotten a doodle pad and composition book  to begin documenting their summer. I found these at the dollar store and they already have so much to write about. I loved adding this activity to our summer and can’t wait for them to get to show their teachers next year what a great summer they had!

If you are on Instagram, you can join in on the fun by taking pictures and sharing all of your summer adventures through there. Let’s use the hashtag #100summerdays. My username is momadvice and I am happy to have you follow our adventures and follow along with yours!  

By tagging your photos, it will make it easy to find each other in the group and share the projects we are tackling together. You can add the tags to your caption or you can add them as a comment later. In either scenario, the tag will pull it into our summer group.

Gain some summer inspiration on our Pinterest 100 days of summer (’12) edition where you can get another amazing round-up of 100 ideas to inspire your summer bucket list. 

This list has everything from making homemade butterbeer drinks for those Harry Potter enthusiasts, to making homemade shrinky dinks, to getting back to the basics with great dinner discussions with great family conversation starters.

There is something for everyone on here- boys and girls of all ages and craft levels. The best part is that they are ALL budget-friendly and will cost you very little in supplies.

Happy summer to each of you!

xo,
Amy

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The World’s Greatest Homemade Bubbles Recipe

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Three years ago I decided to make our family a batch of homemade bubbles after discovering how easy it was to make these at home. Our homemade bubbles, literally, attracted the neighbors due to their sheer volume and and staying power that they had. Ever since that day, making the first batch of bubbles just screams, “IT’S SUMMER!” to me.

The trick to creating the world’s greatest bubbles is the addition of a little glycerin to every batch. You can find the glycerin over by the first aid supplies or you can ask the pharmacist if they have a bottle of it behind the counter. It is a small bottle of liquid that helps give your bubbles real staying power. After reading up on the science of it, I discovered that glycerin added to the soap solution slows evaporation so the soap film stays intact longer. I can’t argue with the science behind it and neither will you after you make these.

This year we put our bubbles in an iced tea container that I found over in the summer housewares, to help make pouring and filling our bubbles easier. The very first day, my daughter refilled it forty-five times then tipped the entire thing over and dumped all the bubbles out. You have been warned. Pouring bubbles out of a dispenser like this allows for unlimited refills and that spout happens to be irresistible.

We made pipe cleaner bubble wands together and spelled out our name and phrases with wooden beads I found in the craft department. Such a simple idea, but endless possibilities for shapes and designs.

Our school ends on Thursday and we can’t wait to start sharing our summer with you! We are looking forward to our carefree summer days and sharing those with you through the blog.

Have you joined in on our 100 days of summer fun? I am still adding daily to our 2012 board ideas, inspiration, and even ways to craft out that summer list as a family.

If you are on Instagram, you can join in on the fun by taking pictures and sharing all of your summer adventures through there. Let’s use the hashtag #100summerdays. Unfortunately, the hashtag that sounds like the event has been taken by Yelp so this is the best I could do!  My username is momadvice and I am happy to have you follow our adventures and follow along with yours!  

By tagging your photos, it will make it easy to find each other in the group and share the projects we are tackling together. You can add the tags to your caption or you can add them as a comment later. In either scenario, the tag will pull it into our summer group.

Looking forward to spending the summer with you, friends!


1.0 from 1 reviews
The World's Greatest Homemade Bubbles Recipe
Recipe type: Kid's Craft
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 busy toddler
 
Make a batch of what we like to call, "the world's greatest bubbles." You be the judge!
Ingredients
  • 1 gallon water
  • ⅔ cup dishwashing soap
  • 2-3 tbsp. glycerin
Instructions
  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a container.

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