Memory Plates

Plates 

Wish we could say we thought this up, but it’s floating around the internet from school and crafty websites, to personal family blogs. LOVE it though. Did you know your child’s artwork can become permanent on a plain glass plate? (We even bought ours from the dollar store, to see if this DIY worked on inexpensive plates). It does. The only items you need are: Oil based or paint based permanent markers, oven-proof white plates and an oven.
The plates in the photograph were actually drawn by preschool age children, ages 2, 3, and 4 1/2. We started out with just two plates, but decided to add one more to illustrate just how much a child’s drawing changes in one short year. (That’s why the last plate says 2014).
We thought it would be such fun to have a child make a birthday plate every year, or make a plate for Santa’s cookies with their Christmas list written on the back of the plate! AHHH! I wish I had known this before my children were grown. My favorite keepsakes always involve my children’s art.
How about a birthday dinner using all the birthday child’s plates? Mother’s Day or Father’s day plates done by each child in the family? First day of school plates? Umm. Yea. There are so many possibilities, and half of them are in YOUR head. Get crackin’. Carefully though.

INSTRUCTIONS
Draw pictures on the plate with Oil based or PAINT PERMANENT PEN markers only. Place (oven-proof) glass plate in a 300 degree pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. Done.
*Hand wash only.

Fall Thanks

Mod Podge, card stock and Mother Nature= Fall Thanks.  An easy, fun kid-adult creative outlet. We found this craft via Wild and Precious and knew we had to share it.  You’ll love this website and the articles written. They always lift us up and make us want to be better.

Fall Thanks.  Fall Leaf thank you cards

Lovely.

Fall Thanks.  Fall Leaf thank you cards

We love this idea. It would be such fun to make cute place cards for a Thanksgiving dinner, or stationary as a gift for someone you love.  My family had a blast making thank you cards. Go on one last ride up the canyon and bring back a fun family activity in the process.

Fall Thanks.  Fall Leaf thank you cards

“Plant” this one in your to-do pile, and don’t “leaf ” it sittin’ there.

Rock Star Party

Jammin Guitar

Future rock stars of America unite!

If you want  to have a fun, inexpensive and age adaptable party, a Rock Star party might be the way to go. These guitars are a cinch to make.

What you’ll need:

  • heavy tri-fold poster display boards (3 guitars per board)
  • large paint sticks (free at Home Depot )
  • large rubber bands (Office Depot has bright-colored giant rubber bands)
  • paint or stickers
  • scrapbook paper
  • Shrinky Dink paper to make a guitar pick (available at Micheal’s or any craft store.  *You can also use any plastic “to-g0” container with a #6 on the bottom.
  • golf tees

With these easily accessible items we made rubber band guitars that 3-6  year olds went nuts for.  With an hour or two of  pre- preparation you can put guitars together that are ready to be decorated by your guests. We purchased tri-fold display poster boards at Wal-Mart but any office supply carries them. They are the same boards used for displays for science projects etc. They cost between $2.00-$3.00. You can easily make 3 guitars with one poster board. Yes. They are more difficult to cut than cardstock or regular poster board.  Yes. You may curse us if you are making more than 10 but…whip out the good scissors and trudge on my friend.

The guitars are easy to freehand with different google images you may find on-line.  They don’t have to be perfect.

Trace a guitar on the  poster board and cut it out. Cut a 1×4″ piece of the same cardboard to glue near the bottom of the guitar.  This will lift the rubber band strings up a bit so they make more noise.  (see photo).  We used a glue gun to attach it.

Using a glue gun, secure the paint stick to the back of the guitar and pull 4-6 strings up and around it.

Cute scrapbook paper cut the width of the paint sticks will really sass up the neck of the guitar. Attach 4-6 golf tees as shown in the photo.

Decorate with paint or stickers.

Strumming home made guitar

“Rock it man”

Home made guitar ingredients

We also bought regular poster boards, folded them in half, stapled the edges and cut a handle to make a guitar case. You could use colored poster board or let the children decorate them.  Optional but cool.

Home made custom guitar pick

Shrinky Dink guitar picks are sooo fun to make and watch shrink in the oven.  If you buy the kit the instructions are simple and included.  If you are using a to-go container, cut a guitar pick shape out of the plastic (there must be a#6 embedded on the bottom).  The cut shape should be 4-5 times bigger than the actual size you’ll need in the end.  Decorate the picks with permanent markers and put them on a cookie sheet (ink side up). Cook them from 1-5 minutes in a  pre-heated 325 degree oven.  They will curl up first and then flatten so don’t panic.  Try a few first.

Home made custom guitar pick materials

Ideas:

  • Send invites announcing a “Reunion Tour”
  • Take pictures of the children jammin’ or video them for a while and let them watch their music video.
  • Play music and let the kids rock out with their guitars
  • Use dollar store note books as autograph books everyone can sign.
  • Musical chairs
  • Play music and have the kids “freeze” when the music turns off.
  • Make back stage passes out of a lanyard (available at party stores)

If the children are younger, decorating the guitars might be enough.  If they’re older, the music videos or playing Guitar Hero could be added. You have tons of options.

Have fun and rock on baby!

Marvelous Marshmallow Catapult

Do you have an extra 2×4 sittin’ around your garage? If you do, take a look at this super easy marshmallow catapult! It’s a blast to play with, and costs practically nothing to make. The piece of wood you use can be cut square or at an angle (see above). Best of all there is NO exact measuring required! This would be a fun family activity, Cub scout contest, or even a birthday party take- home if you whipped up a few before the party. It’s simple to do:

  • Cut a piece of wood about twice as long as a clothes pin and sand it a  bit.
  • Glue two clothes pins together on top of each other facing the same direction, and then glue them to the wood block. The back of the clothes pin should be even with the end of the wood.
    (Wood glue is best, but a quick drying epoxy that can be used on wood will also work).
  • Using wood glue again, attach a tongue depressor to the clothes pins about an inch behind the clothes pin’s opening.
  • Next, using a glue gun, glue a milk jug lid to the tongue depressor, to act as the bucket.  Be sure to leave about 1/2 inch at the
    end for easy flippin’.
  •  Decorate with stickers, markers or paint.

Now all you have to do is dig around your kitchen for some marshmallows. Soft marshmallows? Great. Stale? Better. Pom-poms? Sure. Cereal? Absolutely. Ideally, if you have a dog that can “bark-umme” up the remnants of battle…You, my friend, are good to go.
READY. AIM. FIRE!

Kickin’ It

Summer is almost over, but don’t put those swimming noodles in storage just yet.  Soccer season has just begun, why not make a obsticle course to practice all those fancy kicks and maneuvers?  This quick course took literally minutes to set up.  All you need are some high quality wire hangers and a few swimming noodles. (One wire hanger for each side of the noodle).

 With heavy wire cutters, cut the hook off of each hanger below the twist and discard it.  Next, straighten the remaining wire a bit, and fold it in half.  Push the hanger into the noodle with the rounded side in, leaving about 6-8 inches of the wire outside of the noodle. (Enough to push down into the grass to give it some support).

Voila! Fini!  Set up your course and let your kiddies kick a ball, run or belly-crawl their way through your noodle creation.

This activity is totally portable and could be moved from back yard to park.  It would be a great activity for your family, a children’s soccer coach, a birthday party game or even family olympics!

Have a ball “Kickin it”!

 

 

Super Tee Duper

Are you looking for a birthday theme, play group activity, Halloween costume, or even just a rainy day project? Look no further. Super heroes to the rescue!

You can make a “super cool” cape from an ordinary t-shirt!  Making a super hero cape is easy peasy:  Simply remove the sleeves and cut off the front of the t-shirt. Cut carefully around the neck hole, leaving it so it can be pulled over your child’s head. Easy on,easy “take off”!

We made these capes at preschool for a hero themed summer camp. You can make any design or word by carving it into green florists foam with a sharpened pencil and then painting over your design with acrylic paint.  After painting the foam, press the design onto the shirt. It can be reused over and over if you can keep the kiddos from poking their fingers into it. ( I was doing it….it’s fun!) 

If you are going to write words, don’t forget to write them backwards. I totally bombed that one the first time. POW! and BAM! make a lot more sense than !WOP and !MAB.  

Make a mask covered with stickers or paint for “incognito emergencies”.

Off to fight crime in the city, neighborhood backyard! 

*The photo opportunities are endless…

  1.  Come out of a refrigerator box “phone booth”
  2.  Lay on a table with arms out flying
  3. Lift cardboard dumbbells
  4. Wrap rope around a bad guy

 Use your imagination.  I know you have t-shirts just lying around, so if your children are too….You’re in business.

Popping Off

Looking for a fun activity for a birthday party, activity days, scouts or  just for fun?  This is it!  We’ve seen versions of these poppers around in magazines and other websites but they were made out of heavy plastic cups.  We made several of them to use as a possible activity for a preschool camp.  They were fun, but so flimsy we couldn’t get them to work  right even with the heaviest of cups.  Also, the big cups were harder to manage for little hands.

Searching for a sturdier way to make a popper, we went to Home Depot and bought some PVC pipe. With the help of Mr. “Depot” and his trusty saw, the cool super sturdy popper was born!  (Right in the sprinkler isle in front of everybody). One 4 foot piece of PVC ( 2 inch pipe) made 12 poppers for about $6.00.

They couldn’t be more simple to make:  Buy some bigger birthday balloons.  Tie a knot in the bottom just like you would if you blew it up.  Cut off the very top of the round part of the balloon (just a bit).  Pull the balloon over the pipe. You’re done.  Ta Da. (The balloon stays nice and tight).  Put a pom-pom or a marshmallow in the hole, pull back on the knot and stand back!  Straight up is the best.  They really fly.  You can shoot several small pom-poms at a time or one giant one.  Try to pop one and catch it.  They’re fun for everyone!

* You will have to sand the PVC if it’s rough or it may make a hole in the balloon.  Also remember to be careful if you have young children because there are small items and balloons involved.

Flip For These Flops

 Pretend you’ve never seen these before…O.K… fine, but we love them.  Kiddie flip-flops (or “bigger than kiddie” flip-flops) tied off with a cute bow. Ribbon that’s skinny or fat, two different colors or curly or straight. You can’t go wrong.  Flip-flops for girls could match their fourth of July outfit, or even their swimming suit. I can picture some pretty sassy walks  from  little girls, as they strut into the pool with cutsie footwear. Girls could have a matching bow in their hair. Boys could have Super Hero or other “manly” ribbon just wrapped around the plastic top and glued down on the end. 

They cost next to nothing and could even help your children find their own flip-flops in a pile somewhere! It might be a fun summer birthday activity or activity days craft as well.

Face the toe end of the flip-flop and wrap the ribbon from the front to the back.  Tie it around the toe separator then up and over the strap so the bow lays straight. Hey, I wear some myself , but Iwas told people don’t like to see feet in a picture…especially my kind of  feet I guess. I do have pretty pudgy toes. (Why do you think I need the bows)?

 

That’s Using Your Noodle

What do swords, wands and Lightsabers have to do with going to the pool?  EVERYTHING…if you made them with pool noodles!  Swords,wands and Lightsabers. (OH MY)!  Talk about two for one. Every boy (or girl) needs a sword that’s high on fun and low on “possible injuries” right?  These fun pool noodle toys can be used in the pool to float and play with or to battle it out.

You can make two pool swords using one pool noodle cut in half and two pieces of  3/4″  PVC pipe 12 inches long.  We also added a four sided section of PVC to make it look more like a sword, but it’s totally optional. The pipe needs to be long enough to insert half way so the sword is sturdy, not floppy.  You shouldn’t push it in further than half way or it will defeat the purpose of  being a soft sword (right)? Simply push the PVC into the end of the pool noodle. It should be a tight squeeze so it won’t come out easily.

These toys would not only be fun at the pool, but a great party favor for a castle or a Star Wars themed activity.  You could make them prior to the party, or let the children decorate the handles with colored duct tape or paint.  If you want to get fancy, you could cut several slices of different colored pool noodles and put them on the pipe at the bottom of the sword, nearest your hand.

Try having several helium filled balloons weighted down in your home or on the grass.  The kids would probably love taking a swipe at those!  We think you’ll like them.  Touche’!

*Home Depot will cut your PVC for free.

 

 

Let’s Go Fly A….Bag ♫

I looked out the window the other day to see a plastic bag floating up in the air over my fence. Connected to the bag was a piece of yarn.  Connected to the piece of yarn was a little boy, my cute neighbor Caleb.  He had made a kite! It worked like a charm and kept him entertained for most of the afternoon. I told him he was a genius and I was going to take his picture and put him on my blog. We would call it: “Caleb’s Creation”.  Well, he wasn’t going to forget that. I told him to bring a kite to soccer practice and I would take his picture. I forgot my camera…He didn’t forget his kite. I took this picture with my phone. What a cutie. Making the kite is easy to do, simply tie the yarn or string to the handles of a grocery bag.

Wouldn’t it be fun to have “kite” supplies in your car for entertainment emergencies? Think of all those soccer and baseball practices when your child that’s NOT on the team is going nuts.  How about a picnic in the park?  Try it just for fun, (and pick up the garbage when you leave).

Thank you Caleb!