June 8th, 2013

Crafts – Day 8 of 30 Days of Keeping Kids Busy During the Summer

30 Days of Keeping Kids Busy During the Summer

My kids love to do all sorts of crafts. We keep a good range of supplies, from specific projects the kids have picked out to generic supplies they kids get really creative with.

The hardest part is keeping the craft supplies from being a total mess all around the house. An over the door shoe organizer can be really handy for keeping crafts organized, especially if you have a somewhat discreet yet handy place for it. Ours is near the front door. It may seem as though that’s too visible, but with the layout of our house, it really isn’t. It hangs on hooks in the wall rather than the over the door hooks. It’s right where the kids play with toys and do the less messy crafts.

Make sure you have a drop cloth or some other way to keep the kids from destroying your flooring if they’re working with clay, paints or anything else that might be bad for your floor. You can even have them set up outside some days.

Crafts - Day 7 of 30 Days of Keeping Kids Busy During the Summer

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June 1st, 2013

Painting – Day 1 of 30 Days of Keeping Kids Busy During the Summer

30 Days of Keeping Kids Busy During the Summer

My kids like to paint. I think most do.

The key to kids painting without a big fuss is having a great place to do it and plenty of supplies. We have a plastic cover for the table so the kids can paint there without ruining anything. We also have a good supply of paints, including a rather nice watercolor set. The solid paint is thick enough that my kids have used it for a few years and still aren’t close to hitting bottom on it.

We also have an easel. It’s great for letting the kids paint outdoors. You have to not care about paint on the lawn, or spread out some plastic to protect the patio, but it’s not a bad way to go when the weather isn’t too hot.

Painting - 30 Days of Keeping the Kids Busy

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November 1st, 2012

Showing Off My Daughter’s Homemade Millie (Team Umizoomi) Costume

My youngest has known since July what she wanted to be for Halloween this year. She wanted to be Millie from Team Umizoomi this year. It’s been “Mommy, where’s my Millie costume? Mommy, where’s my Millie costume?” a couple times a week lately. Only trouble is, no one makes them yet. I had to make it myself.

I really like how it turned out. It was a lot of work, but came out well.

Shirt and pants were easy. Pulled them out of her regular wardrobe. Not like it’s at all hard to find pink pants and long sleeve tops. A pink sundress, however, turned out to be impossible to find by the time I started looking. Everything had the wrong kind of print, nothing plain and no floral patterns. I had to make that myself.

I found a cheap sundress pattern, and some pink floral print fabric. I bought more than needed for the pattern, as Millie has that hood. Sewing the dress was basically following the pattern, although I wish I had flared the skirt out more. Following the pattern exactly left too little room for my active girl to run, and she has already pulled some of the stitches on one of the side seams at the bottom of the dress.

The head was a real bear to make, but I love how it turned out. First round, I just made a hood. It had to be separate from the dress, because the dress zips up in back. I just used a hood from one of her other outfits, cut the fabric a bit bigger than the outline, and added straps to the front.

Hated the way the hood looked. It just didn’t give enough of the “Millie” impression to me. The head was simply too small. If you know the show, the characters’ heads are huge, and I wanted that look in the costume.

Then inspiration hit while picking up the kids’ toys one day. I found her bike helmet. Made a cover for it, including a strap to go under her chin and fasten at the side. That was really tough, as I had no pattern. It was estimate, cut, sew, put on the helmet, adjust, sew, cut, pinch, tack down… until the thing finally worked. The chin strap fastens to one side, as it was easier to make a single strap and add velcro to the side than it was to have it fasten under her chin.

The ribbons for her hair were tricky too. I used wired ribbon for stiffness, but it needed more for that first part. My husband got the brilliant idea to trim some strips of hardware cloth, cover them with painter’s tape (couldn’t find the duct tape), and make a little pocket for them to go into the ribbon. These bent nicely into shape so that the ribbons went up for a couple inches before curling down. I cut slits into the fabric of the hood, and bent the hardware cloth into an L-shape. The hardware cloth was hot glued to the helmet so that everything would stay in place, and the ribbons stitched to the hood to make it all look good.

The yellow around the face is just regular ribbon, but I cut up a headband to make the yellow ponytail holders. It just gave them more dimension. Fortunately, the straps to the bicycle helmet just so happened to be yellow too, so they blended in nicely.

This is the most effort I’ve ever put into a homemade costume, and I’m so glad it worked out. Nice part is, the dress can still be worn anytime. A few kids her age knew exactly who she was, and just loved the costume.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

October 5th, 2012

Pine Cone and Cotton Owl Decoration

It has been a long time since I posted a kids’ craft, but one we did at my daughter’s preschool this week is too cute to resist. As one of the other parents there noted, it’s not often you make a decoration that’s appropriate for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. This little guy really works for all of those. He’s also really easy to make.

Pine Cone and Cotton Owl

Supplies

Pine cone – open enough to stuff cotton into
Cotton balls
Popsicle stick
Yellow construction paper
Black construction paper
Orange construction paper
Scissors
Glue

Instructions

Take a handful of cotton balls and stretch them out. You want the cotton really loose. Kids enjoy this part. How much you need depends on the size of your pine cone.

Holding the pine cone carefully (some are spiky), wrap the stretched out cotton around it. Stuff the cotton into the pine cone using a popsicle stick. Use less cotton if you want a more brown owl, more if you want him more white.

Cut two circles out of the yellow construction paper. Size will depend on the size of your owl, but ours are about the size of a quarter. Cut two smaller circles out of the black construction paper. Cut a triangle out of the orange construction paper for a beak.

Glue the black circles onto the yellow to make eyes, then glue to the owl. Glue the beak beneath the eyes. Allow to dry.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

March 26th, 2010

Bubble Painting – Free Fun Friday

This is a fun way to mess around with the paints your kids already have. Kids like blowing bubbles, after all. You’ll need:

Bubble solution
Tempura paint
Straw
Shallow bowl
Paper
Newspaper or other protective covering for work area

Put the bowl on your covered work area. Pour in the bubble solution and add enough of one color of tempura paint to get to the color you want.

If you can trust the kids to not inhale this mixture, let them blow bubbles until they’re just over the rim of the bowl. If you think they’ll try to drink it or inhale by mistake, blow the bubbles yourself.

Have a child gently place the paper over the top of the bowl. The bubbles will pop and leave color on the paper.

You can repeat this on the same piece of paper with other colors. Just be sure the paper doesn’t get too soggy.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.