Hello, my name is Valerie and I am the author of Inner Child Fun. This is where I blog daily about my obsessions with inexpensive craft and activity ideas, money saving tips, and all around good times on a budget! I love sewing, digital photography, organic tea, dark chocolate, gardening, clipping coupons, bourbon, knitting, graphic design, and cooking. I am a graduate of Bucknell University, a former senior software engineer, and now a stay-at-home mom. Oprah is not kidding when she says this is the hardest job on Earth.
My husband, Mark, frequently impresses readers with his witty comments on my posts. Our two girls – Clara (6 years) and Emily (10 years), have taught us that the most cherished moments in childhood can come from the most simplest of pleasures. Playing in an empty cardboard box, painting the sidewalk, or blowing bubbles on a beautiful summer day can provide hours of creative entertainment. If you are a parent, grandparent, or caregiver for a young child, no doubt you have had a glimpse of this magical world. You will find many activities on this blog that will help you to nurture your child’s creativity without breaking your family’s budget, since many activities featured here are either very low-cost or absolutely free.

My greatest hope for this blog is that you will discover the joy that comes from simple pleasures, that creative energy will be experienced throughout your entire family, and that this optimism will continue to grow and spread to others your family comes into contact with for years to come.

You can learn more about me at this fun interview I did for The Artful Parent where Jean and I discuss creativity on a budget.

If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to our feed or become a follower, thanks!

You can reach me by leaving a comment here, or drop me a line at valerie(at)innerchildfun(dot)com! 🙂 I would love to hear from you!

About Emily

Emily (10 years) enjoys painting, gardening, drawing, writing, sewing, and has an endless obsession with China. She will never eat potatoes or corn, but prefers broccoli and olives instead. Since age 2, she has had her own computer, and by age 3 was successfully able to troubleshoot our at-home network. At age 7, she started her own blog at TreehouseCity.com Do not be fooled by her cuteness, as she aspires to take over the world and rule with an iron fist.

About Clara
Clara (age 6) was only a few months old when I launched this blog. Now she is eager to keep up with her older sister and join in the crafts and activities as much as possible.
She likes curling up on the couch with a good book, and prefers “fist bumps” to giving high fives, since those were soooooo yesterday.
About Mark

If you are a frequent reader of this blog, no doubt you have met Mark through his witty and charming comments. In college, I shamelessly seduced him and then later tricked him into marrying me. Clearly, I got the better half of the deal. He works as a senior software engineer, and enjoys tinkering with computers, craft-brewed beer, jalepeno poppers, car maintenance, ice cold Wild Cherry Pepsi, and cooking on the grill. You can drop him a line at mark (at) innerchildfun (dot) com


  1. i'm a reader from hong kong and i has been following your blog for months (forgot where i got the link – maybe from ohdeedoh?) and love all the brilliant ideas and projects you have. i love them for not only the frugal reasons, but also that they get the little ones involved as well. i think i haven't done any sewing since my needlework lessons in high school but i'm getting into the mood again recently (inspired by you and many mothers) to sew some felt play food for my 2-year-old son.

    just want to say hi and thank you and i look forward to sharing your many awesome ideas!

  2. Hi there. I just discovered your blog while searching for do-it-yourself dress up trunk ideas for my girls. Once I got on the blog, I started reading and reading and reading! Girl you are so creative!!! I love your ideas!!! My girls are ages 6 and 4 and I can promise you that many of your activities are gonna be a hit with them!!!

  3. Hi I just found your blog as we were both linked to in one pretty thing today. Had a really great time looking through all the wonderful projects! I think you'd enjoy my blog as well, take a look:

    all the best and happy creating!

  4. Krissy Bryant says

    What a great blog!!!! I found your site by accident. I was looking for patterns, which led me to one blog. They had a list of blogs and I like to check those types of things out. Then I went to another blog……you know how it goes. Then I came upon yours. Love it!!!!! I have just purchased some foaming soap. My 4 year old loves this kind of soap, but it can be costly. So, I was very excited to see I could make my own!!!! When we use all the soap in this one, I plan on using your recipe to make my own!!!! Thanks so much!!!!

  5. EntertainingMom says

    oh Valerie, I love learning about you and your family! And you know I love all your frugal and creative projects!

  6. Amy's Stocking Stuffers says

    Oh my, I'm a Bucknell graduate too!!! (Although I suspect I'm many years older than you — I graduated class of 1990.)

    I can't remember when I first came across your blog, but it was probably while searching for DIY stocking stuffers for my own blog. I don't even have children, but I was so impressed with your creativity that I subscribed to your blog so I wouldn't miss any of your lovely projects. Thanks for sharing them with us!

  7. I love the new updated page…especially that Clara prefers fist bumps over those outdated high fives LOL. Too cute!

  8. God Of Bacon says

    I make my own water from interstellar hydrogen.

  9. I just found your blog. I look forward to following! I LOVE Mimi Kirchner's art and craft! Thank you for the link to the pattern for the doll. Even tho my kids are older, I think I'll try to make this doll.

  10. Hi I just found your blog when I searched for a granola bar recipe. I browsed through your blog and liked all the craft ideas you post. My little one likes doing crafts, so I will definitely be checking back!

  11. Can't wait to follow this blog!

  12. Evelyn / 2 Pequenos Traviesos says

    Hi! I just became a follower. I'm from Puerto Rico and I found your blog through Mommy Moment. You guys sound like so much fun!!! I love the fact that your husband comments your blog. That's awesome! My husband doesn't even follow my blog, and it's his kids we're talking about. I meant to say this in a funny way 🙂 (but it's true)
    I love your writing style, so refreshing, funny and real.
    Many blessings.

  13. I've been subscribing to your blog for a couple of months now, and I really enjoy your posts! I tend to not comment, which I should, because I love comments on my blog! But I read every post and look forward to them. We've made your tissue paper flowers a number of times. We planted them outside this winter (in the snow) and gave a bunch to a friend in the hospital. We've tried a number of your other activities, and I have saved a few for rainy days when I need something to pull from my hat! I have a daughter who is almost 3, and I babysit another 3 year old sometimes, so we love crafts (I also have a 10 month old son, but he doesn't participate with us yet)!


  14. seeking says

    I hope it is ok with you to write about your blog at my blog. I will be linking to your home page and a craft page. I greatly enjoy your blog and anything frugal is a thumbs up with me – please keep blogging


  15. Michelle says

    I am SO happy that a friend of mine introduced me to your blog. Being a mom of 2 (expecting #3) my creative juices often seem to run dry, so how refreshing it was for me to be exposed to SO many of your WONDERFUL ideas. We have already done the play-do spring bud trees and just today finished the flowers used with the cork as a gift to my 4 year old's grandmother's birthday. She LOVED doing the crafts (and so did I)! THANK YOU for sharing all of your incredible ideas and making craft time so much fun with my children! 🙂

  16. JessicaAPISS says

    I learned about your blog from Amy of TeachMama.com and she was soooo right, your site is fabulous! Thanks for all your work and great tips.

  17. This site is great! I put a link to it at my website that is just starting up (www.hourlybulletin.com)

  18. Hi, i just wanted to let you know that your blog is inspiring! And i chose you to give THE VERSATILE BLOGGER award.


  19. Courtney NBC 10 says

    Hi Valerie!

    Can you please get in touch with us via the email provided ASAP in regards to The 10! Show. Thank you!