$5 Friday — Paper Marbling — This is awesome!

After yesterday’s post about making an art smock from a garbage bag, you knew today’s post was going to be about a fun, messy project, right? Paper marbling is a bit messy, but lots of fun, and very frugal!  To do your own paper marbling, you will need: cardstock, liquid starch, water, 2 dish tubs […]

Oil Pastel Art

A few months ago, I picked up a pack of Crayola Oil Pastels from the clearance section of Office Depot, and Emily enjoys drawing with these much more than regular crayons. She made a comment today about how the oil pastels are easier to mix colors with than crayons. In any case, if she will […]

Beads from Old Magazines

We were inspired by upcoming Earth Day to make beads from old magazines! I first saw this idea in The Complete Tightwad Gazette — a terrific resource. To make your own magazine beads, you will need: glue mixed with some water, toothpick (or straw, or bamboo skewer), old magazines, and a paint brush. We wanted […]

Treasure Box

This is one of those activities that keeps the kids busy, and has the added benefit of organizing tiny toys. To make your own treasure box, you will need a small fold up box from the craft store (this one cost just 30 cents), some stickers, and an empty egg carton.  Have your child decorate […]

Pasta Necklaces

I know this is a classic preschooler activity, but I did not realize how much Emily would enjoy making these pasta necklaces! She was excited about every step, and loved wearing her necklaces around the house for the rest of the day. To make your own pasta beads, you will need uncooked pasta such as […]

Jar Matching

It still amazes me how much of our inspiration comes from our recycling bin. For Emily, this is like an endless supply of free craft materials! For this matching activity, you will need jars of various sizes with different sized lids. We used jars from apple sauce, salsa, yeast, baby food, and artichoke hearts. Wash […]

Slacker Saturday — Pouring Practice

Just before Emily went off to bed tonight, I set up a quick and easy pouring activity for her. This sort of transfer activity is very Montessori-inspired, and it was good practice for her. Start with a small pitcher and a medium sized bowl. Fill the pitcher with dried beans and have your child practice […]

Model Magic Magnets

Model Magic by Crayola is one of those craft supplies I like to keep on hand for when we have Emily’s friends over for a visit. I try to stock up on it at AC Moore or Michael’s using the 40% off coupon and get a big tub of the white Model Magic. For this […]

Secret Paintings

I showed Emily how to make crayon resist drawings, and she had a lot of fun with this activity. We did these at night, and it seemed like a fabulous way to end the day. Quiet, relaxing, and fun. To make your own, you will need a white crayon or oil pastel, white paper, and […]

$5 Friday — Rainy Day Fun

This is what we woke up to this morning… When it is raining and you don’t know what to do with the kids, a wise person once told me “Never underestimate the power of the indoor fort”. I could not agree more. It is part hide-out, part reading nook, and part playhouse all rolled into […]

Graphing with Skittles

Nothing helps motivate kids to learn more than CANDY! Last week, I purchased a large bag of Skittles at Big Lots for just $2. Today, we did some graphing with them, and Emily counted them as we went along. We charted the ages of family and friends. Purple for Clara (not quite 1), Orange for […]

Cute and Frugal Monogramed Onesie

Emily was very excited to create something special for Clara this afternoon, and cardboard stencils made this project very easy! I found a set of cardboard alphabet and number stencils at Big Lots for just $1. Baby onesies are usually very inexpensive. This one came in a pack of 3 for $7.99 at Target. With […]

Needle Crafts with Kids

I know what you’re thinking — needle crafts and kids cannot possibly go together, but with a few adjustments even the little ones can take a turn at embroidery. Clara had a difficult time sleeping last night and was up several times with teething pain. This afternoon while she was napping I thought I would […]

St. Patrick’s Day is almost here…

It is starting to look like St. Patrick’s Day at our household, thanks to this cute rainbow suncatcher Emily and I put together! To make your own, you will need tissue paper in rainbow colors, clear contact paper, a hole puncher, black construction paper, gold foil (we used candy wrappers) and some yarn. Lay a […]

Fun with Chalk

There was nothing Emily wanted to do more today than to draw with sidewalk chalk in the driveway, but it was simply too cold this afternoon. However, she was almost just as happy drawing with chalk indoors. She practiced writing her name in very large letters and teeny tiny letters… We worked on an awesome […]

Sunflowers and Bean Sprouts

The emphasis on art projects has always been on the process in our household, but Emily was very proud of the outcome of this project and it has encouraged her to do more stamping projects similar to this one. To make your own sunflower stamping project you will need: a brown paper bag, some paint, […]

Pantry Art

Today we raided the pantry and bathroom closet for some art supplies for a Van Gogh-like beach project! If you have seen this post, you would understand why we have a huge supply of oatmeal and this was a great way to use up some of it. We also added some cotton balls, paper, paint, […]

March Comes In Like a Lion….

Emily spent some time this afternoon working on this drawing of a lion, which proved to be quite frugal since it only required paper and crayons. She was quite happy with the end result and proud that she had drawn it “all by herself”. Here is the secret to her success — a book called […]