Posts Tagged ‘Kid Crafts’

Creating Beautiful & Frugal Treasure Chests

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

When I was a little girl, I had a beautiful musical jewelry box with a twirling ballerina where I would store all of my little treasures. I wanted to create a little box just like that for my son and daughter so I headed to Michael’s and picked up the supplies to create their very own boxes to store all of the important treasures in their lives.

These wooden boxes were $4.99 over by the wooden crafts and paint supplies. I also selected two bottles of spray paint in the clearance section of the store. You just want to make sure to select a spray paint that says that it will work on wood so that your paint will adhere to your project.

When I got home, I spray painted the boxes evenly and then cut out the images that I wanted to decoupage on my treasure chests out of heavy card stock.  I used my Silhouette craft cutter (remember to get those entries in!) to cut out the images, but you could also stencil your images on heavy card stock and then cut them out with scissors.

If you do have  a craft cutter, I chose the princess set, a pirate flag, and a treasure map as my images. Each set was printed and then cut in two different colors that would look nice with my painted boxes and could be layered upon one another to create the images. The treasure map printed out without a “map” within it, so my husband added his art with a Sharpie to the map.

Now comes the fun part! It is time to get your decoupage on! If you have never decoupaged before, it is the coolest craft ever, requires no skills at all, and makes everything look fabulous. Just pour Mod Podge (I used a bottle of the matte finish I had in my craft supplies) into a plastic cup and then use a small sponge brush to glue each cut-out on to your boxes. Once you have glued all of the pieces on, do a light layering of glue over the entire surface, being careful to not shift or cause bubbling around your images. Allow it to dry, do another layer, allow it to dry, do another layer. Two to three layers should be plenty, but you be the judge!

If you want to add a little antiquing to it, just use a little sandpaper to rough it up. Oh, look at that vintage map on top of that little treasure chest. Don’t you just love it?

Once they are dry, they are all ready for treasure filling. Just imagine what could be stored in here. I see my son’s filling with rocks and Pokemon cards & my daughters will be stuffed with glittering plastic jewels or tiny little doll accessories. Whatever is in them,  I have a feeling that these treasure boxes will be loved for a long time.

These would make fantastic birthday gifts and are right within a frugal gal’s gift allowance (a mere $6 in supplies each!) and would be a gift that would be long- remembered!

Gift Giving: Sweet Little Ribbon Rings

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

We finished our last day of school on Friday.  That week was extremely busy and I found myself scrambling on Thursday to pull together teacher gifts to give to our teachers. In year’s past, I just bought each teacher a bouquet of flowers. This year, I wanted to try making the fabric rings that were featured in our notebook on Make It Do instead and thought it would be a great craft to do with my kids.

I don’t sew and didn’t have any fabric laying around so I opted to follow the directions for this project, but replace the fabric with ribbon instead. The ring forms were found in the jewelry-making supplies at Michael’s ($2.99 for six ring bases) and I was ready to go.

You really could do just about any width of ribbon between 5/8″ and eve up to 1 1/2″ depending on how big you would like your ring or what you already have in your craft supplies. I will say that the lighter colored ribbon was easier to work with because the darker ribbon showed any little blob of glue that got stuck to it.

I couldn’t wait to make a few for myself and, of course, my glue gun conked out on me and I will have to buy another one. Luckily, it had enough steam in it to make the gifts and I am so proud of how they turned out!

We paired these rings with big bags of  Honey Nut Granola, tied with some yellow ribbon. I made a double batch and then baked it in the oven while I worked on the ribbon rings. I also tried to write a heartfelt note to each teacher to tell them what they have meant to our family. I have a feeling that these mean a lot more than any gift card or gift I could create for them- at least I hope they do!

Do you do teacher gifts? What did you make this year or what have you done in past years? I would love to hear your ideas!

Gift Giving: Putting Your Own Spin on Photo Journals

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

I could not wait to show you guys what I made for my moms for Mother’s Day this year.  Unfortunately, to keep it a secret, I had to wait until the holiday was over to show them to you. That being said, these photo books would be perfect for just about any occasion, including the fast approaching Father’s Day holiday!

I know that many people are fans of the photo albums that you can create online, but I had never done one before. I adore taking pictures of my family, but I am not very good about printing them out and sharing them the way I should. I thought it might be neat to share with our moms this year a brag book that that they could enjoy for years to come. I admit that I prefer to make handmade gifts for these occasions (I doubt either mom will ever forget our infamous ping pong wreaths last year), but I knew that there could be a way that I could put a unique spin on these photo albums and add my own homemade touch.

I first weeded through all of the pictures and tried to get a good representation of both of the children as well as pictures of them with the other family members. After selecting my pictures and template (through the photo site I used), I then went to Quote Garden and tried to find a quote for each page of the photo album that would fit the pictures that I had selected. All in all, the process took four hours because of my own admitted perfectionism. I chose a soft-back cover (to save money) and I also visited Coupon Cabin to find a coupon code that I could use towards my purchase. These each cost roughly $16…and it was worth every penny.

These were a few of my favorite photos and quotes that were chosen:

“Everything is beautiful at the ballet” A Chorus Line

“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” Katherine Hepburn

“There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of  a child. There are seven million.” Walt Streightiff

“I have the same goal I’ve had since I was a girl. I want to rule the world.” Madonna

“Brothers and sisters are as close as hands and feet.” Vietnamese Proverb

“There’s no place like home.” Wizard of Oz

“The Force is strong with this one.” Darth Vadar

“A boy’s story is the best that is ever told.” Charles Dickens

“Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever.” Author Unknown

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” Confucius

“And thank you for a house full of people I love. Amen.” Terri Guillemets

I can honestly say that my copy of this book has already become lovingly worn as I have placed it on my coffee table and glance through it almost daily. Each time, I walk a way a little misty-eyed, a little more thankful, and really proud of my amazing kids.

As the gifts were given, there were a few tears and a whole lot of pride radiating from our proud grandma and nana. It is the perfect gift for purse-toting and brag sessions. From what I hear, they have already made the rounds in their workplaces and churches. To me, that is when you know that a gift is a total success..when it just must be shared!

Just a few quick tips:

- Don’t forget to check for coupon codes through whatever photo book publishing site you use. There are usually multiple coupons available. Be sure to compare which coupon will offer you the most bang for your buck. My 20% off coupon, for example, was less than the shipping cost so make sure you crunch those numbers before ordering. Just Google, “Photo company’s coupon code”  and you should get plenty of codes to use towards your purchase.

- I found it easiest to sort my pictures by date first so I could group pictures together on pages easier. Sorting by date also helps to allow the flow into the different seasons of the year and pictures to flow a little more naturally.

- Choose a template with a neutral palette, that will compliment and not detract away from the beauty of your photos.

- Edit your photos before putting them into your book. I use Picnik for my photo editing needs and I absolutely love it. You don’t need to get carried away with the editing (unless you just love to), but it can be a great tool for saturating the color, adjusting color temperature, switching to black-and-white, or adjusting the exposure or contrast in a photo.

Looking for some added Father’s Day inspiration? These crafty bottles brimming over with treats were a hit with my hubby last year.  Our dads also really loved our movie gifts and handmade photo compact disc jackets filled with great music in years past.


Ironically, I had some great timing on this post because today is the last day to enter for a $50 Snapfish gift card for Father’s Day. Please head over there and get your entry in today! And yes, I actually had to pay for all of those photo books so I am extremely jealous you can get one for free!! Entries are due by 8PM eastern time tonight! Good luck, friends

What did you do for Mother’s Day gifts this year? What is up your sleeve for Father’s Day? Please share!

Kool-Aid Easter Egg Dying & Deliciously Deviled Eggs

Monday, April 5th, 2010

The week was a whirlwind filled with new menu planning, Easter shopping. mountains of laundry, and trying to create a white tornado through our house, while two tiny tornadoes following behind me creating new projects for mommy! I had spent the first half of the week in Florida and the second half of my week was spent playing catch-up on life and preparing for an Easter brunch for the family. It was one of those years where Easter sneaked up on me, but it all still came together beautifully.

For our Easter brunch, we dined on our favorite breakfast casserole, a beautiful batch of bunny bread, coffee, orange juice, and fresh fruit.  If you haven’t tried those recipes, I would highly recommend them because they are always a hit in our house.

One new activity we did try this year was the Kool-Aid (or in our case the Mixade) dying technique that was highlighted in our notebook. I had an egg dying kit, leftover from last year, that I thought I might pull out if the eggs did not turn out. Lucky for us, every single color looked gloriously bright and I was so surprised how quickly the colors took to the shell, literally seconds after being dropped into the colored mixture.

We did do one cup of cold water to one packet of color and experimented with blue, green, purple, and red. We also broke out the rubber bands to create the pretty striping on the eggs. They all turned out beautifully! They were so beautiful, in fact, that I plan to do it this way every year and save myself the hassle of buying egg kits. After all, there is always a rainbow of drink packets on hand in our house for our favorite summertime treat… homemade slushies. Yum!

After the eggs have been dyed, I put them in the fridge to make deviled eggs for our Easter dinner. It is one of those little things I love to do and  I love to break out my little egg plate for this occasion.

My little egg plate was a $.50 find at our local Goodwill. I look forward to using it every year and this year was no exception. It is one of those little things that is worth the bit of pantry space that it takes to store every year.

Deviled Eggs (Courtesy of The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook)

7 large eggs, cold
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon grainy mustard (I used some Dijon Mustard instead)
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire
Salt & Pepper

Place the eggs in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat immediately, cover, and let stand for ten minutes. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water and cool for five minutes. Peel the eggs and slice each in half lengthwise (I did mine in half to make them more of an appetizer-style). With a small spoon scoop the yolks into a bowl, add the mayo, vinegar, mustard, and Worcestershire and mash with a rubber spatula until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the egg white halves on a serving platter, discarding the two worst looking ones (if you have any that look bad). Using a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip or a plastic bag, pipe the yolk mixture attractively into the whites. Serve at room temperature.  I then sprinkled with a tiny bit of flat leaf parsley and a little paprika to top!

Use What You Have: Handmade Advent Calendar

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

In the years past, we have always had a Christmas Jar of activities. Each day we would randomly draw from a set number of activities and enjoy a holiday activity together as a family. This year, our life with our two children has become increasingly busy and scheduled. We have two school schedules, extracurricular activities, homework, holiday programs, holiday family events, and so much more going on. Our life of leisure seems to have taken a detour and I have had to be more thoughtful in our approach towards carving time out for what we would hope to accomplish this year.

I wanted to create our own countdown to Christmas in a creative way, but I didn’t want to spend any money on it. I decided to use what I had to create our homemade Advent filled with fun activities and wanted to share with you what we created!

Homemade Advent Calendar

Supplies needed:

A large circle punch (in scrapbook supplies at craft store) or a jar or glass for tracing
Scrapbook or festive holiday gift wrap
2 Muffin Tins
A picture frame stand or a place to prop your finished tins

I began this project by punching out 48 circles. On half of these write the numbers 1-24 and on the other half you can write fun activities to do with your children in anticipation of the big day.

Stick your holiday activity folded up inside of each muffin tin and then attach the numbered circles to each individual muffin tin. Secure with tape on both sides to hold your activities in securely.

Break out your trusty calendar and jot down the activities for each day to remind yourself what you need to plan for and what supplies will need to be purchased to accomplish the activities.

Add a little festive ribbon to the top of your muffin tin. Display the muffin tin by using a picture frame stand or finding a sturdy wall to prop it up with. Have your child draw an activity each morning to complete as a family.

Our Activity List

1. Decorate the Christmas tree.
2. Big bubble baths with holiday music playing.
3. Going to the library to pick out holiday books.
4. Special popcorn and hot cocoa snack (possible visit for the tree lighting ceremony in town).
5. Going to a Christmas Concert.
6. Decorating gingerbread houses.
7. Make Christmas cards for our special friends.
8. Watch a holiday movie.
9. Color a holiday coloring page.
10. Bake Christmas cookies.
11. Go see holiday lights.
12. Go see Santa and a trolley ride through downtown.
13. Write a letter to Santa.
14. Pop popcorn & play a board game together.
15. Host an ornament decorating party.
16. Color a holiday picture.
17. Holiday party to attend.
18. Go to the dollar theater and see a movie.
19. Go see the Christmas lights.
20. Deliver holiday treats to our friends & the firefighters in town.
21. Big bubble bath with holiday music.
22. Open one gift early.
23. Watch a holiday movie.
24. Celebrate our family Christmas.

Total cost for this project was zero and very little money will be spent to do these activities together. The memories I hope to create with my children though, I hope those will be priceless!

Do you do an Advent calendar or have a special way your family celebrates the countdown to Christmas? I would love to hear your ideas!

Gifts You Can Make: Hand Painted Mugs

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Welcome to another installment of Gifts You Can Make. I hope that this series has been encouraging to you. If you are just joining in, I have shared ideas for hot drink mixes you can make and bath salts or soaks that you could whip up for gift-giving. Today we are continuing the series with another gift that is easy to make, but that make thoughtful gifts.

We will begin with painted coffee mugs. What you will need for this craft is plain white mugs like I have pictured above. I buy these at our local thrift store for $.25 each and there is usually no shortage on white mugs that are being donated.

The other thing you will need is a porcelain paint set. These can be found in the painting supplies of your craft store. You are looking for the set that does not require any heat-setting. These paints cost $4.99, but you can bring that 40% off coupon to knock down the total.

Keep in mind, before letting your children loose on painting these, they require a clear coating on them first to prep them for painting. You have to wait one hour for these to dry. After that, give your children some paint brushes and let them decorate their mugs.

Once these are all painted, let them dry overnight and then apply the final clear coat that will go on top of them. The clear paint is contained within the paint set and just requires a quick brush on top of the mugs. I was able to paint three mugs with one set of paints, in case you were planning to do several of these. Once the clear coating has been applied, they are good to go in the dishwasher after ten days of drying.

Here is what my kid’s mugs turned out like! They were so proud of their art work and we plan to give these as gifts to a few special teachers including my son’s art teacher that has inspired him so much this year and our sweet bus driver that braves the bad weather to pick him up.

These painted mugs can be filled with treats, drink mixes, gift certificates to the coffee shop or a bookstore, or whatever else you can think of. We did these for our teachers this year, but one year we made these as grandparent gifts and they were really loved by them too!

Our mugs will be packaged with these jars filled with cocoa mix for our teachers. I had this ribbon leftover from my gift wrapping supplies last year and found these adorable Christmas Story gift tags at Walmart (9 for $2) that I tied to each one with the instructions for the cocoa. The jars were over in their kitchen supplies for $2.97 each to put the cocoa mix in. To save on this expense, try the Crystal Light containers for easy transporting and to keep your gift more thrifty.

I also saw these reusable shopping bags over in the gift wrap supplies at Walmart and scooped these up to package up our gifts. These bags were $2 each and can be reused over and over again. These bags are flat-bottomed, which makes them a little easier to stay standing upright underneath the Christmas tree.

I chose reusable bags last year for gift-giving and they were a total hit! I am such a fan of the Target bags and the clever designs that they implement into their bags. These bags folded up into the size of a small cosmetic case and had a pocket in the front too, perfect for tucking a gift card or a note of appreciation to someone. These were only $1.50, but everyone was so excited to get these.

These have just a couple of pieces of tissue paper at the top, but the bottom was stuffed with newspaper that would have gone in our recycle bin. The newspaper helped these stand a little more upright since they were not flat-bottomed. I felt proud about my eco-friendly alternative and am hoping to convert some of my plastic-bag-lovin’ family members over to the joys of reusable bags.

Do you do gifts for your teachers? What do you plan to give this year? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments below!

Ideas for Making Lunch Fun & Healthy

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

My son will be attending school all day now and this means that he will be eating lunch at school. I have been gathering supplies and ideas over this last month on ways to make his lunch fun and healthy and wanted to share with you some of the information I gathered.

One idea that I am excited to start with him is adding Knock-Knock jokes each day to his lunch. My girlfriend told me about someone doing this at her school and I thought it was such a cute idea to do with my children. I used our free lunchbox notes printable and found this website for ideas on knock-knock jokes to write to him.

I stocked up on small plastic containers that I plan to fill with batches of boxed pudding, applesauce, trail mixes, or raisins to cut down on the cost of the individual serving cups. We also bought stainless steel water bottles that can be filled with juice instead of the juice boxes. Sundays will be spent filling mini-containers and bagging up veggies for the week so that the mornings will be easier on everyone.

He used to eat lunch at preschool each week and the only thing he would ever eat was peanut butter sandwiches. To save on time, I would make five peanut butter sandwiches, put them in baggies, and then I would put them the freezer for the week. In the mornings, I would pull one out and it would be thawed by the time lunchtime rolled around. It was a time-saving strategy that worked really well for us. Unfortunately, he has moved on from peanut butter jelly so I can no longer implement that!

Last month I was hired by Sara Lee to act as a consultant for the company to help them plan a nutritional summit to share with moms ideas for creating a healthy and nutritious school lunch. It was such a unique opportunity for me to help in the planning stages of a blogger event and it is one that I hope I can repeat again with future companies.

Their emphasis was on creating balanced lunches and educating consumers in the bread aisle. I have to say that I have already added many of the ideas that were shared as well as implementing many of the shopping tips and I wanted to share with you some of the best information I got at this summit.

  • Instead of juice, which can add a lot of calories to a child’s diet, try making fruit-flavored waters. I loved this idea for infusing water with mint, strawberries, or oranges for a fun way to make inexpensive flavored water.
  • Get your children to eat the rainbow of fruits and vegetables by hanging a rainbow on the refrigerator. As they eat from each color, they can add a star to it. This helps them see what colors they need to eat and what colors they are doing really well on.
  • Trail mixes are a healthy and satisfying snack in lunches or before/after athletic events. An easy formula to remember for making trail mix is 1/2 cup of dried fruit, 1/4 cup of nuts, and 1/8 cup of chocolate.
  • One of the easiest ways to incorporate whole grain into your child’s diets is to to pack a fun whole grain snack like popcorn!
  • When examining nutritional labels on bread, make sure that the first ingredient listed is, “whole wheat flour.” If the first ingredient listed is, “enriched flour,” look and see whether whole wheat flour is listed and where it is listed on the ingredient list.

If you have any nutritional questions or if you are needing guidance on packing a school lunch, you can contact Sara Lee through their Facebook page. They have added all of the great recipes that they shared with us while we visited the facility and they have Chef Jill checking the site and sharing ideas daily so it is definitely a page worth peeking at.

I think that the main message that I walked away with, is to do the best you can with nutrition, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do it perfectly. Lunch is supposed to be fun and not a chore. Educate yourself about nutritional labels, do your best sharing fruits and vegetables in their lunch, try to incorporate whole grains into your child’s diet, and pat yourself on the back for trying… and don’t forget that cookie cutters, knock-knock jokes, or a sweet little note can be a fun way to make lunchtime fun for your children.

(Full Blogger Disclosure- This was an all-expenses paid trip to their Chicago headquarters which included air travel, a one-night hotel stay, and a gift bag. All thoughts and opinions on this trip are my own.)

What are some of your favorite ideas for making lunches fun & healthy? This is our first year packing lunches and I would love your ideas!

Notebook Experiments: Can I Craft Some Bath Toys?

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

I apologize for all of our technical difficulties! As we are frantically trying to repair all that has been occurring, I share with you one of our favorite crafts. Now that my son is turning seven, I have a feeling that he would take great joy in creating some toys for future baths in our house. This is a quick and easy craft that brought many hours of enjoyment for my children.

Experiment: Can I Craft Some Bath Toys?

Experiment Taken From: Notebook Entry 06.26.08

Materials Needed: Please see plumpudding for the full instructions on this task. I hit our local dollar store and picked up a ten pack of craft foam to use for this project. The craft foam is thin enough that you can cut these with plain old scissors or you could break out your zig-zag scissors from your scrapbooking materials.

I am not very good at free-hand drawing so I went ahead and looked for a template where I could stencil some really cute shapes out of my foam. I found this handy template from the Martha Stewart website and whipped up several fishes, flowers, and hearts for the kids. These were very easy to trace and took only a few minutes to whip up. My husband also put together some that he drew for the kids.

The kids absolutely loved these and didn’t want to get out of the bathtub. I also saved a few sheets of foam for the kids to do finger-painting on. I am planning to use these foam sheets with some of our homemade pudding paints (with only enough water to make a finger-paint consistency instead of a water paint consistency) and then I will just rinse the sheets off when they are done so that they can make brand new creations!

I would recommend making sure to soak the foam before you begin sticking it on walls. The pink color did bleed onto the walls and left a pink shade that is going to take some serious scrubbing to get out. None of the other colors caused this problem, but giving them a good soaking first should prevent this problem.

Conclusion: One package of foam can keep my children entertained for many baths and I can’t wait to whip up some more of these for them to play with. I am thinking that these would make excellent stocking stuffers this year and you can’t beat the price! Thanks plumpudding for your creative idea!

I am so excited to open our Notebook Experiments up to everyone and I hope that you will be able to participate this week or in weeks to come! I will be posting this each Thursday so please mark your calendars if you plan to participate. You can post your entries at any time throughout the week and then leave your entry in the links below.

We have this handy banner that you are more than welcome to use, but it is not a requirement! It is just something you can add to add a little sparkle to your entry.

Rules for Participation:

1. Choose anything from any of our notebook entries (past or present) to do with your family. We have hundreds of bookmarked links of crafts, ways to save money, and organizing ideas.
2. Complete an experiment from the notebook and share about it on your blog or website. We would love to see pictures of what you accomplished or a detailed description of how your projects turned out. Please include a link to this entry, a link to the original posting of the entry (at the original crafster’s blog), and (to help us relocate the project) the date or link of the notebook entry where you found it. You can use the same formatting as our entries or you can just include that information in your post in your own unique way!
3. Post a link below. Please include your name or blog name & a fast description of your project. Example- MomAdvice (WHO bread)

I can’t wait to see what you create and what you find inspiring!

Summer Activity: A Visit to the Fire Station

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

It has been a tradition in our family to visit the fire station at Christmas and make special treats for the firefighters. This year our mom’s group had it on the calendar to make a summer visit and the kids were so excited to visit the fire station again. I don’t know why I had not thought to do this in the summer before!

I get a lot of promotional stuff from different companies and I had saved this tin (with a company logo on it) and recovered it with a bit of wallpaper from the thrift store and a little glue. Ethan worked hard on a thank you card for the firefighters and I whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookie bars. We packaged it in tissue and we were off for our visit to the fire station.

Don’t you love those orange fire engines? I was sucked into taking pictures of the fire station and completely was not paying attention to my kids. There were just so many cool things to see there that I had a hard time capturing all of it.

Thank you to the firefighters at Harris Township Fire Station #2 for sharing all about your job and how things work at the fire station. My children could not have enjoyed the day more and we are so thankful we have such great people protecting us!

I encourage you to read Michelle’s post, at Leaving Excess, on how important our firefighters are and what you can do to show your thankfulness to them!

What are some ways you thank those that serve or care for your family? I would love to get some new ideas for teaching our children thankfulness!

Play it Again, Momma: Sponge Ball Fun

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

It is that time of year again and I will be making another batch of these little sponge balls for the kids. If you don’t have a clothesline, these are fun to just squish in a bucket of water or play with in your child’s water activity table.

My once-a-year Martha Moment is here! These sponge balls are courtesy of Martha Stewart Kids Magazine (and a double inspiration from Betz White who was featured in one of my notebook entries).

I hit the Dollar Tree and got two packages of sponges to make our creations. I followed the instructions and cut two sponges into fours and then stacked the two sponges on top of one another with alternating colors. If you buy two packages, you will have enough alternating colors to make six sponges with different colors in each. Then, simply tie the sponges off with a long piece of floss and knot it a few times to keep it in place.

Here is my plastic ice bucket filled with these sponges. The colors are so beautiful that I wanted to spend an afternoon photographing this pail of sponges. Do we stop there and let the kids play with them like this though? NO!

You could say that I am even more inventive than Martha this time! Now take an old drop cloth or sheet and use painter’s tape, a permanent marker, or paint to make your bull’s-eye. Squares are much easier with the painter’s tape so we have a nice square bull’s-eye for the kids.

Now hang your game up on the clothesline (or wherever else you can find). We weighed the bottom of the sheet down with clothespins. This sheet is also folded in half to give it a little more weight. Of course, when the wind starts blowing, give the kids extra points if they can still hit it.

Not challenging enough? Have one of your kids stand in front and block it.

For some reason, that was one roadblock too many for this toddler.

You can also grab two at a time or a whole handful of them. Make it more challenging by backing the kids up further from the mark. Our point system was 10, 20, and 30 points depending on the size of the square they hit. (PS- I promise I feed my children, they just have extremely high metabolism)

An afternoon of water fun cost us $2 in sponges, but this is a game that I hope we can play many more times together.

What is one of your favorite frugal summer activities?