Friday, April 26, 2013

Stepstool for the Bathroom

I just have to heap some praise on my oldest boy for a minute.  He made this little stepstool to be used in our boys' bathroom.  He actually made it months ago, but I insisted on painting it, and I finally got around to it.

It is just what we needed for the little ones in there.  Perfect bud.  Thanks!!  I just love this little bathroom stepstool.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Easter Egg Caterpillar

Have you seen these cute little caterpillars made from plastic easter eggs?  Maybe I have been living under a rock, but I had never seen this idea before until my son brought this home today from preschool.  I think it is such a cute idea and a super simple craft for preschoolers.

All they did was thread two pipe cleaners through the holes at the end of the easter eggs.  They stacked most of them together like cups, rather than putting them together to form the eggs, then the last half egg, they flipped around and made the caterpillars face.

They twisted the back end of the pipe cleaner together for a sort of tail and then twisted the front ones together to form antennae. They then glued on some googly eyes and added a marker smile.  So cute and super easy!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Shrinky Dink Soccer Ball Backpack Pulls


After school today, my two oldest boys and I made some shrinky dink soccer ball backpack pulls.  They both play soccer (my oldest, eats, drinks, sleeps, and breathes it), and I thought this would be a fun way to dress up their backpacks a little. 

I took the super easy way out and found an image of a soccer ball, printed it onto shrinky dink plastic on my computer, and then my boys cut them out and punched the hole for the hardware.

We put them on a waxed paper lined baking sheet and let them bake for about 3 minutes.  Oh how fun it is to watch those little things finally start to shrink up.    When they came out of the oven, I flattened them completely with a book and then let them cool. 

We then added the hardware and put them on the backpack zipper of their choice. 

The boys can't wait to go to school tomorrow to show off their new soccer ball backpack pull bling.

Linking up with:
A Crafty Soiree
Seven Thirty Three
The Crafty Blogstalker
Somewhat Simple

Monday, April 15, 2013

Picking Dandelions

I noticed the other day that our front lawn had dandelions popping up all over.  I told my boys that if they would pick them, I would pay them a penny per dandelion.  Two of them got busy and brought me a couple of pails full of them.  When I told them how much they had made, they grabbed their pails and went out for a second go-round.  This time, their big brother joined them.

Yes, the lawnmower could have done the same job much more easily, but my boys actually enjoyed searching out all those dandelions.  It kept them busy for a long time and now they have a few bucks to spend.  I think it was a win-win.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Button Spinner Toy

We have made these fun little button spinners many times at our house and the boys enjoy them.  They can be a little frustrating for little ones that have a hard time getting the rhythm down to get the buttons to spin, so I would recommend making these with your bigger kids. 

When my husband was a teacher, he used to make them with his fifth grade class and even some of the students in there had a hard time getting their buttons to spin at first, but eventually they all got it and had a lot of fun with them.

This is a good basic video on how to make and spin the button spinners.

Linking up with

Seven Thirty Three
Thirty Handmade Days

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Clothespin Caterpillars

My little boys and I made these cute clothespin caterpillars yesterday while the big boys were at school.  It was an easy, fun and inexpensive craft project for preschoolers. 

I found the idea at Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom.  Be sure to check out her post on them.  Her caterpillars are soooo cute!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Pressed Pennies and Penny Passports

I have found a great, clutter-free, and inexpensive souvenir option for my boys and these things actually last!!  If your kids are like mine, they are always begging for a souvenir whenever you go somewhere.  Then, when you give in and buy it for them, they lose interest very quickly and you are stuck with this expensive trinket that is cluttering up your house until you finally get rid of it and kick yourself for paying too much for something that was hardly used or enjoyed.

A couple of years ago we started pressing pennies for the boys at the gift shops that had machines whenever we took a trip.  I then found some little penny passports on ebay and bought one for each of them.  Now whenever we run onto a machine, the boys love to pick their design, insert their penny  and money (usually two quarters) and watch their penny get pressed.  Then we put them in the passport booklet for safe and easy storage and my boys can look at them whenever they like.

You can find a list of machine locations at here. So, whenever you are planning a trip, you can look up machine locations and be ready with shiny pennies and enough quarters to press the amount you need.

My boys love their little penny passports and all the memories inside.  My 5 year old even decided to take his passport for his only show and tell day at preschool and all the kids thought it was pretty cool. 

This has been a great clutter-free souvenir solution for our family.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Pinewood Derby

Last night was my eight-year-old's first Pinewood Derby.  He had a great time.

The decorations were incredible.  Way to go leaders!!

A look at some of the cars.

My son decided that he wanted to try to win show this year, rather than worrying so much about speed, so we didn't think his car would be very fast.  It definitely wasn't in the mix for speed, but this is one of the races he did win.

He had a great time racing, regardless of whether he was the first car or the last car across the finish line.  I love that about this boy.  He relishes every experience that life allows him and doesn't need to be "the best" in order to feel good about himself. 

Overall, he took second in show and was thrilled.  The boy who took first in show, didn't win a single race, but his car looked awesome and you could tell he had put a lot of time into it, so I think my son was genuinely happy for him. 
It was a good night!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Last fall I saw these cute mix-and-match blocks on pinterest, and determined that when I had the time, I would download the images and make a set for my boys. Well, my sister-in-law must have read my mind, because she made a set for my boys for Christmas. 

My three youngest have played with them and they all have a bit of a different approach.  My five year old wants to find the perfect match, my three year old wants to see what kind of crazy combinations he can come up with, and my baby just wants to build a tower as tall as he can and then laugh his head off when it falls or he knocks it over.

My overall take on these blocks is that they are cute and fun and they keep my kids entertained for around 15 or 20 minutes per sitting.  I think it is a better solitary activity, since my boys tend to start fighting over the blocks if they are all trying to play with them at once.  I am really glad that these were gifted to us, since the kids do enjoy them, but I am glad that I did not have to put the time and money into them myself, since they aren't quite as big of a hit as I thought they would be.  The set is small enough that they store easily and are worth keeping around for an occassional boredom buster.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Break, Summer Planning, and Easter Grass

Last week was our spring break, so the kids were home all week.  We got out of the house for a few outdoor adventures and we did some fun Easter stuff, but having all the kids here all day long has made me realize I had better be prepared for Summer.  I have already started a summer fun pinterest board, and I will go into Summer with a plan, or I'm afraid of the chaos that might result. 

Here is our Easter Grass after two weeks.  Pretty and fresh and green.  It didn't come in quite as thick and full as usual, which could have been due to the fact that we used cheap, sub-par, potting soil; or it could be that I forgot to water it for a couple of days (oops!!)  In any case, we still love it and enjoy having our Easter grass brightening up our house at this time of year.
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