Tutorial — Handmade Pinwheels

Another wet day here, but we had a tiny bit of time when we could go outside and run around with our newly made pinwheels. I have been meaning to make these for awhile to use in the garden as a way to keep the birds away. Emily needed a little help to make hers, […]

Dress Up Play

Another rainy day here, so I took the girls on an adventure to our local thrift shop where we spotted this beautiful dress for just $5.00! Emily wanted to use it as part of her growing collection of play dress up outfits. How could I resist? Look! It even twirls! Her favorite dress up outfits […]

Spin Art (Lazy Susan Style)

We had a rainy day this afternoon, so while Clara was napping, Emily and I had a pocket of time for a fun messy art project. I remember making lots of spin art as a kid, but I had a battery-powered kit which included paper and paint. The kit was fabulous, but once the batteries ran […]

Patriotic Wreath Craft

Happy Memorial Day! Here’s a simple craft Emily enjoyed in-between picnics, barbecues, and working in the garden. To make your own patriotic wreath, you will need a star-shaped hole puncher (I found this one at Big Lots for $1), some red, white, and blue construction paper, glue, a paper plate, and a pair of scissors. […]

Top 15 Cheap Picnic Foods

These cheap picnic foods make it easy and affordable to host a picnic. In our household, Summer is synonymous with picnics. We host lots of picnics from Memorial Day straight through Labor Day! You will want to keep some of these cheap picnic foods on-hand for impromptu gatherings with friends or family. Here is a list of […]

Block Prints from Foam Meat Trays

I started saving our foam meat trays to make our own block printed cards, and Emily enjoyed the entire process of this activity! To make your own block prints, you will need: foam meat trays, water-soluble block printing ink, brayer, cardstock, and a large spoon. We used the opposite end of a paint brush to […]

Bean Face Mosaic

Emily informed me this morning that she wanted to make a smiley face. I have no idea why she chose to make such an angry face this afternoon, but she kept telling me this was a picture of a bad guy who is very very VERY ANGRY.  To make bean faces, you will need heavy […]

Butterfly Paintings — Lessons in Symmetry

Like most 5 year old girls, Emily adores butterflies. Today we painted butterflies and I introduced the concept of symmetry. To make your own butterfly painting, start with a sheet of paper, and fold it in half.  Draw half of a butterfly, as shown. I used watercolor markers (just $2.50 for a pack of 8 […]

3-D Spring Art

Today we used Q-tips and twigs for a 3-D Spring craft — catkins (a.k.a. pussy willows) in a vase! These buds are one of the first signs of Spring. The one in our front yard has since bloomed, but this was a nice way to remember how the buds looked. Have your child mix black […]

One Mom’s Brilliant Idea

You are looking at a masterpiece. I wish I could take credit for this, but this is my friend Lisa’s wonderful idea, which she so graciously shared with us during our MOMS Club Cinco de Mayo Fiesta. Lisa is a mom of four boys, three of whom are triplets. Ahem. Triplet BOYS, people! With that […]

10 Tips to Stretch Your Art Supplies

Over time, the cost of art supplies can really add up, and this is especially true for large families with many children. Here are some tips to help you stretch your existing art supplies, and find great alternative supplies from things you already have in your home: Paint — To stretch paint, combine 1 tablespoon […]

Slacker Saturday — Shadow Puppets

Today’s Slacker Saturday activity is Shadow Puppets, and there is something to be said for the simplicity here. Mark showed Emily how to make some easy versions of shadow puppets like a dog, butterfly, and duck. Then, she entertained herself with her own little stories. Sometimes the best activities are the most simple ones, and […]

$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 […]

31 Cent Scoop Night at Baskin Robbins

Just a reminder, or in case you did not already know, tonight is Baskin Robbins 31 cent scoop night from 5pm to 10pm! Take the whole family out for an inexpensive ice cream treat. A small scoop is just $0.31! More details here. Sign up for their newsletter, and you’ll know when the next one […]

Sun Tea

Making sun tea is one of my favorite things to do on a warm sunny day. To make your own sun tea, place a few bags of tea to a jar full of water. We used decaf green tea…. yummmm! Add some lemon slices… Place the sealed jars in a very sunny spot for…. well, […]

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 […]