5 Amazing Toys You Can Make from Cardboard

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I love crafting with cardboard because it is cheap, readily available, and SO easy to recycle into amazing things! Here are five inspiring ideas from around the web to make some frugal toys the kiddos are sure to treasure. 1. This cardboard parking garage is sure to bring hours of pretend play fun! See the […]

DIY Holiday — Play Salad

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Emily played a big role in crafting up this fun play salad set! She couldn’t wait to show it to Clara, so now the two of them have been making up salads all afternoon. This was so simple (and very frugal) to make!! Emily cut out arbitrary lettuce shapes of green craft foam for lettuce, […]

SAJ’s Stealthy Book Tour — The Letter F (and giveaway!)

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I’m so excited my friend Brenda Ponnay, a.k.a. Secret Agent Josephine, has a new series of children’s books!! These books are perfect for little ones learning their ABC’s, colors, and numbers — and they have clever details parents and older siblings will definitely appreciate. I love that these books are available in ebook formats for […]

DIY Holiday Gift for Kids — Doll Bath Set

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After the girls were in bed, it was my turn for a bit of holiday-making! I combined a few things I already had on-hand (empty travel sized shampoo bottles and soap leftover from a hotel stay, a sponge) along with a few things from the dollar store or Target — hand towels, a pack of […]

Giveaway — Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Easel

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As I mentioned earlier, we are getting very close to post number 1,000 for this little bloggy blog!!! After nearly THREE years of blogging, I think this is a milestone worth celebrating, yes? And what better way to celebrate than with a series of fantastic reader appreciation giveaways?? To kick off our blogiversary celebration, my […]

Play Donuts from Dollar Store Socks

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There has been a LOT of holiday-making at our house lately — very exciting!! Now that Emily has one of her surprise gifts ready for Clara, I thought it would be fun to help Clara create a fun surprise gift of her own to give to her big sister. We had lots of fun sneakily crafting […]

Pretend Sweets Made with Sponges!

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Recently, Emily and I made a bunch of pretend play sweets from dollar store sponges for her little sister’s holiday gifts. They were great fun, super frugal, AND very easy to make!! Emily cannot wait to gift these to Clara as part of her Christmas gift, and I love how pretend play food can lead […]

Blinkybug Invasion!

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Mark made some super-fun “blinkybug” toys for Emily, and the two of them spent some quality time together making and later playing with these all afternoon. After all, making your own toys is a lot cheaper (and WAY more FUN) than buying them!! These little critters have blinking LED lights that turn on when their […]

Take the North “Poll” and Save 25% at MelissaAndDoug.com

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Every person who votes will automatically be entered to WIN the toy she voted for as her favorite!!! On 11/21/11 Melissa & Doug will randomly choose 1 winner from all voters who came from this blog. Only 1 entry per voter allowed. ENTER NOW BY TAKING THE NORTH “POLL” Update: This giveaway is now closed. […]

Creepy Crawly Seek and Find… and a PBS Kids Giveaway!

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We made some seek and find bottles, and Clara and I had SO much FUN with this!! She enjoyed the entire process, and afterwards loved the challenge of finding all the creepy critters in the bottle. They are very frugal to make, and are a great way to keep the kiddos occupied in the car […]

Newspaper Play Structures

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Know what I love to do on days when it’s too cold or wet to go outside? Build stuff!! This fun geodesic dome was built using rolled up newspaper to form rods — SO frugal! I basically followed the tutorial here, but made one important adjustment. Rather than using staples at the joints, I punched […]

7 Fun Ideas for Sensory Bins

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Ever since my kiddos were old enough to know not to put things in their mouths, they have LOVED playing with sensory bins. I can’t even tell you how many hours were spent pouring, measuring, sorting — sensory bins can be completely mesmerizing!! New to the idea of sensory bins, or looking for new ideas to […]

Catch the Comet

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Using some leftover scraps of felt in lots of bright colors, I sewed a super-easy comet ball that has been used for several games of catch around here! I have seen much more expensive versions in toy catalogs, but it was a lot cheaper (& more fun) to make our own. It is SO much […]

Hammer Time!

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Here is yet another FUN use for pool noodles — especially if you happen to have a few golf tees on-hand!! We reused the same ones from the awesome marble run and croquet lawn game. I used masking tape to attach the pool noodles to some small cutting boards, and invited the girls to bring some […]

Kickin’ it Croquet Style

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Kids need to burn off some of that extra energy? Have some old pool noodles on-hand?? Then it’s time to make up your own kick croquet lawn game!! Cut pool noodles in half down the middle (we reused the ones from our awesome marble run), and each pool noodle is enough to make up two […]

10 Things You Can Make from Cereal Boxes

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Have some empty cereal boxes on-hand?? Don’t throw them away! Here are 10 inspiring ways to transform ordinary empty cereal boxes into amazing home decor items, organizational bins, toys, and more! Cereal Boxes for Organization from Urban Nest   from Martha Stewart   from Katydid & Kid   Cereal Boxes for Home Decor Can you […]

Printable Play Space

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I made up some cute play spaces from a sheet of card stock paper, and our peg dolls have made themselves right at home. The girls are having a great time with these, and I love how something as simple as a sheet of paper can make their faces light up!! There were lots of […]

Around the Web — Made from Milk Cartons

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Don’t throw those empty milk cartons in the garbage — they are free craft supplies!! Here are a few inspiring ideas for how you can transform ordinary empty milk cartons into fun toys or crafts for the kids.   Love this adorable mouse house for lots of pretend play fun found at belleandrollo.ie   OrigamiMommy.org shows […]